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The ordeal of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after repeatedly being raped by a family member briefly brought to the fore the myriad barriers to obtaining a legal abortion in Bolivia. After weeks of publicity and thanks to the intervention…
A woman holds a banner that reads in Spanish "Girls, not mothers," during a demonstration calling for sexual and reproductive rights in La Paz, Bolivia, on Oct. 27, 2021. The case of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after repeatedly being raped by a family member rekindled the debate on abortion in Bolivia.
News

A Trial to Watch in Ecuador

Update: The Tribunal established on November 10 that the trial has been scheduled for January 19, 2022. An upcoming trial in Ecuador should put technologists working in the public interest on high alert.  Ola Bini, a Swedish programmer,…
Digital rights defender Ola Bini in Quito, Ecuador.
News

Government Should Prioritize Prevention, Eradication, and Services for Survivors

On August 14, Ecuador commemorated the country’s first national day against sexual violence in schools. A year ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Ecuador responsible for the violations of Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s rights. Paola, who…
Judges at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hear the case Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s mother brought against Ecuador in San José, Costa Rica on January 28, 2020.
News

Decree Allows for Third Gender Option in Identification Documents

Starting July 21, 2021, Argentina’s National Identity Document and passports now include a third gender category, “X,” allowing people to choose to be designated other than female or male. The move makes Argentina the first country in Latin America to…
President Alberto Fernández (center) with other authorities and members of social organizations, form an 'X', at the Bicentennial Museum in Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 21, 2021
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(Washington, D.C., July 14, 2021) – Ecuador’s laws criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer…
Report
Summary In 2017, Sara, at age 38 with two children, thought she was too old to get pregnant again. When she started to bleed heavily, she went to a public hospital in Quito. A doctor diagnosed a urinary-tract infection and recorded…
News

Greatest Harm for Indigenous, Afro-Descendent People Living in Poverty

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s laws criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer Again?’…
Feminist activists and pro-choice groups witness a debate at Ecuador’s National Assembly on Criminal Code reform, in which there was a possibility that legislators would approve the decriminalization of abortion in cases involving rape, in Quito, Ecuador, on January 3, 2019.
News

90th Pre-Session

We write in advance of the 90th pre-session of the Committee on Rights of the Child and its adoption of a list of issues prior to reporting regarding Ecuador’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This submission includes information…
News

National Civil Registry Discriminates Against Same-Sex Relationships

(Washington, DC) – Bolivia’s national civil registry (Registro de Servicio Cívico, SERECÍ) has discriminated against a lesbian couple by rejecting their application to register their relationship as a union, Human Rights Watch said today. All civil…
The Constitutional Court of Bolivia (Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional).
News

President Should Veto Problematic Provisions of New Law

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has until June 10, 2021 to act on the recently-passed Law to Prevent Violence, Digital Harassment, and Violation of Privacy. The law addresses important issues regarding gender-based violence and violence against…
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso attends the change of military command
News

New President, Lawmakers Should Promptly Adopt Laws, Regulations

(Washington, DC) – The newly elected President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, who took office on May 24, 2021, and the Ecuadorean National Assembly should prioritize implementing Constitutional Court rulings that advance human rights protections, Human…
Ecuador's newly sworn-in President Guillermo Lasso leaves the National Assembly after his inauguration ceremony in Quito, Ecuador on May 24, 2021.
News

Anti-Corruption Measures a Step Forward, but Weak Implementation

(Washington, DC) –  The International Monetary Fund (IMF), despite overall progress in its anti-corruption efforts, has not ensured sufficient oversight of its Covid-19 emergency loans, Human Rights Watch and Transparency International said today…
International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2017.
News

Unsanitary Conditions in Formosa; Isolation, Quarantine Centers; Free Speech Restrictions

(Washington, DC) – Authorities in Argentina’s northern province of Formosa have employed often abusive and unsanitary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins University’s centers for Public Health and…
People held in mandatory quarantine at School N°18, which served as a quarantine center, in the city of Formosa, on January 21, 2021.
News
It is ironic that Jeanine Áñez, a conservative politician who served as Bolivia’s interim president for a year, was detained on March 13 on charges of “terrorism” and other crimes. Under her administration, which ended in November, prosecutors used…
Standing behind bars, Bolivia's former interim President Jeanine Añez speaks to an unidentified woman at a police station jailhouse, in La Paz, Bolivia, on March 13, 2021.
News

Appears Designed to Favor Government Supporters

(Washington, DC, March 11, 2021) – A presidential decree approved by Bolivia’s Congress in February 2021 opens the door to impunity for serious crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The decree provides a blanket amnesty to people prosecuted during…
Supporters of Bolivian opposition candidate Carlos Mesa and of then President Evo Morales clash during a demonstration over disputed electoral results, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on October 23, 2019.
News

Authorities Should Investigate Attacks, Ensure Accountability

Riots that broke out in four large prisons in Ecuador on February 23 have left at least 79 detainees dead. The prisons, located in Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Latacunga, host 70 percent of Ecuador’s prison population nationwide. These violent events are an…
Tear gas rises from parts of Turi jail where an inmate riot broke out in Cuenca, Ecuador, February 23, 2021.
News
Public discussions about abortion are always difficult. They are inevitably affected by stigma, religious beliefs, and profound ethical convictions. The current debate in Argentina about legalizing abortion is no exception. But a serious and…
A crowd of women hold up green protest signs
News
As lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies discuss an abortion bill sent by President Alberto Fernandez to Congress last month, Argentina has a new opportunity to comply with its international human rights obligations and to tackle a serious public…
A crowd of women hold up green protest signs
News

Investigations, Justice, Reparations Needed

(New York) – Thousands of children and adolescents have suffered school-related sexual violence in Ecuador since 2014, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While Ecuador has taken important steps to tackle the issue and expedite justice…
Evelyn Yucailla, 23, a survivor of school-related sexual violence and activist, holds a local newspaper from the city of Ambato, Ecuador. The frontpage headline reads: “Young teacher is guilty.”