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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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Mainland Space Shortage Bars Transfer of Vulnerable People

(Brussels) – The already dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria camp for asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos may deteriorate into a full-blown humanitarian disaster as winter approaches unless urgent action is taken, Human Rights Watch…
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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

Replacing Onerous Procedures Allows Access to Strong Pain Medication

As of today, thousands of cancer patients in Armenia may soon be able to get the pain treatment they need – and to which they have the right – thanks to new regulations the government adopted earlier in November. About 8,000…
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News

Legal Changes Are Next Step to Get Treatment to Those in Need

About 8,000 people die from cancer in Armenia every year, many spending their last days in excruciating pain. But Armenia has recently taken two important steps toward ending their suffering. In February, the government adopted a…
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Face Delays, Barriers to Reuniting with Families

  (Athens) – Unnecessary delays and arbitrary barriers are keeping older refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Greece, unable to reunite with family members who have legal status in the European Union, Human Rights…
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A Window of Opportunity For Few Refugees

  This is the second of a two-part commentary on family reunification by Bethany Brown of Human Rights Watch and photojournalist Anna Pantelia that documents a Syrian family’s final days in Greece before heading to Germany to…
Mohammed finally spends time with his children and wife in their new home in Germany. © 2017 Anna Pantelia
News
  This is the first of a two-part commentary on family reunification by Bethany Brown of Human Rights Watch and photojournalist Anna Pantelia that documents a Syrian family’s final days in Greece before heading to Germany to…
On Boxing Day in the Osanas’ house in Greece, Dominique called Falak’s husband, Mohammed, on Skype and introduced his family. © 2017 Anna Pantelia
News

Greece, EU States Need to do Better to Reunite Families

Fatima, 62 years old, fled persecution and the destruction of her city of Aleppo, Syria, with the dream of reuniting with her daughter and grandchildren in Germany. She survived the treacherous journey to Greece, but border restrictions in the Western…
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News

Urgent Legal Changes Are Next Step to Get Treatment to Those in Need

About 8,000 people die from cancer in Armenia every year, many spending their last days in excruciating pain. But Armenia is taking an important step towards ending their suffering, and the government recently adopted a national strategy to…
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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
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…
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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.
News

Protesters Face Long Sentences, but Violence Against Them Unpunished

(Berlin) – The Armenian government failed to ensure meaningful and credible accountability for law enforcement officials responsible for excessive and disproportionate force against peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Demonstrators march peacefully in downtown Yerevan on July 30, 2016.
News
Several years ago I started researching the nearly insurmountable barriers people with advanced cancer face in accessing opioid painkillers in Armenia. I interviewed many people who were dying — in horrible pain. These were devastating interviews, seared…
Gurgen G., who had a brain tumor, and his mother. Gurgen participated in a palliative care pilot project, which improved the quality of his remaining life. He died in August 2012, free from pain.
Report
Summary Two years ago my left hand got paralyzed from the tumor and I started to develop severe pain. It felt as though it was burning, as if my arm was on fire. It was hellish pain. . . . Now I have pain 24 hours a day, but at night it…
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Thousands of patients with advanced cancer in Armenia suffer from avoidable, severe pain every year because they cannot get adequate pain medications. While effective, safe, and inexpensive pain medications are available in Armenia, most patients and…
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“Who has AIDS, who has AIDS? Is it you?” That’s what a police officer shouted to an outreach worker during a stop-and-search I witnessed in downtown Athens, in May 2014. It was my first night out with a team of outreach workers from Athens Checkpoint, an…