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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
Report
  Summary In late August and September 2017, Bangladesh welcomed the sudden influx of several hundred thousand Rohingya refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. This followed an earlier wave of violence in October 2016, which forced over…
News
Deborah, a 58-year-old widow in Zimbabwe, said that after her husband died, her in-laws harassed and threatened her. They wanted her home and the land she had cultivated for four decades. Deborah said her brother-in-law had “taken all of…
Two widows in eastern Zimbabwe, facing harassment from in-laws who are trying to force them to vacate their homes and fields. Rural Eastern Zimbabwe, October 2016.
News

Customary International Law Prohibits Returning Rohingya to Burma

India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, said in a tweet that his government is “not violating any international law” if it deports Rohingya refugees “as we are not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention.” Hold on. If India had not signed the…
A group of Rohingya refugees cross a canal after travelling over the Bangladesh-Burma border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 1, 2017.
News
“Before my husband was even buried, my brother-­in-­law was making moves [to take over my property]…,” a widow living in a homestead outside Bulawayo with her three children told me, “I only realised about three weeks later that I was being left out.”…
Two widows in eastern Zimbabwe, facing harassment from in-laws who are trying to force them to vacate their homes and fields. Rural Eastern Zimbabwe, October 2016.
News

After Losing Their Husbands, Zimbabwe’s Widows Face Losing Their Land, Property, and Livelihood

When Moud Gohwa Taremeredzwa lost her first husband at the age of 26, she faced a stark choice: move in with her deceased husband’s elder brother as his new wife, or lose everything she had worked and lived for –including her children. Moud opted for the…
Moud Gohwa Taremeredzwa is a Zimbabwean widow who successfully fought property grabbing relatives in court
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Widows in Zimbabwe are routinely evicted from their homes and land, and their property is stolen by in-laws when their husbands die. The government of Zimbabwe should urgently take steps to protect widows from this practice. Human Rights Watch found that…
News

Property Grabbing Leaves Many Older Women Destitute

  (Harare) – Widows in Zimbabwe are routinely evicted from their homes and land, and their property is stolen by in-laws when their husbands die, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government of Zimbabwe should urgently…
Two widows in eastern Zimbabwe, facing harassment from in-laws who are trying to force them to vacate their homes and fields. Rural Eastern Zimbabwe, October 2016.
Report
Summary When Michelle, 57, was widowed in 2012, she lost more than her husband. Shortly after his death, her in-laws took over the fields she had tilled for decades. They also stole the fruit from the trees in her kitchen garden and sold the harvest…
Report
Summary Some things are getting better. There is electricity in the next village, and we may get electricity here, too. But none of that matters if our land is gone. –Nu Yee, San Klo, Karen State, February 2015 The businessman takes the…
News
There is much to be skeptical of in Burma’s plan for nationwide elections in October. But today one small, yet important, first step toward making Burma a genuine rights-respecting democracy took place. As part of a national process to update voter lists…
News

Real Progress Needed in Zimbabwe Marange Fields Before Exports Proceed

(Jerusalem) - The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme should not allow further exports from the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe until the government makes clear progress in ending abuses and smuggling, Human Rights Watch said today. Participants in…