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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…
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End Assistance to All Military-Controlled Entities

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should immediately cancel plans to donate money to purchase vehicles and communications equipment for the Myanmar police force, Human Rights Watch said today. The police force, which operates under the auspices of the…
Myanmar border guard police officers walk along a path in Tin May village in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, July 14, 2017.
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…
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Testimony of Skye Wheeler at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Co-Chairmen Representatives McGovern and Hultgren and members of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing on human rights and the use of sexual violence by the Burmese military against ethnic minorities in Burma. …
A Rohingya survivor of rape in Teknaf, Bangladesh, June 25, 2018.
News

Secretary-General Report Details Sexual Violence as Weapon of War

The United Nations secretary-general for the first time has included Myanmar’s military, or Tatmadaw, in his annual list of parties that have committed sexual violence in armed conflict. Presented today to the UN Security Council, the…
Rohingya refugees walk across a bamboo bridge in the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh, February 11, 2018.
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

Soldiers Commit Gang Rape, Murder Children

(New York) – Burmese security forces have committed widespread rape against women and girls as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. …
Rohingya women refugees who crossed the Naf River from Burma into Bangladesh continue inland toward refugee camps.
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
Video
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…
News

Video Testimony Matches Satellite Images of Attacks

(New York) – The Burmese military has conducted a campaign of arson, killings, and rape against ethnic Rohingya that has threatened the lives of thousands more, Human Rights Watch said today. Refugees who fled the recent violence told Human Rights Watch…
20161221rohingya 2 PHOTO
News

The Crucial Role of Women in Burma’s Peace Talks

“Women’s role is to ease tensions,” a public relations expert of an ethnic armed group told me as I sat in his office in northern Burma (also called Myanmar). He and his male colleagues were trying to explain why women could not be part of cease-fire…
Residents of Ngot Ngar village, Kutkai township, Shan State, in front of their homes, which have come under attack from the Burmese military.
News

Government, Ethnic Armed Groups Should Promote Women’s Rights in Political Transition

(New York) – Burma’s government and ethnic armed groups should ensure that women meaningfully participate in efforts to end the country’s longstanding armed conflicts, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should also make…
Members of parliament attend a meeting at Burma’s lower house in the capital, Naypyitaw, March 2016.
News

Women’s Participation in Burma’s Peace Negotiations and Political Transition

In theory, we can do it [increase women’s participation in the peace talks]. But in practice it’s difficult. So, we made a “gentleman’s agreement” to wait until later. —Ethnic Armed Organization representative,…
Members of parliament attend a meeting at Burma’s lower house in the capital, Naypyitaw, March 2016.
News
Last week in Burma’s commercial capital, Rangoon, the Ta-ang Women’s Organization had to cancel the launch of a report because the authorities deemed its subject matter too sensitive. The report, “Trained to Torture,” documents Burmese military abuses…
A woman is silhouetted as she stands outside her hut near the bank of Yangon River March 18, 2012.