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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

People whose identities do not fit into a rigid female/male gender binary have, in many countries, been on a years-long quest to obtain official documents that reflect their identities by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M…
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Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson Prime Minister 10 Downing Street London SW1A 2AA Re: Reform of the Gender Recognition Act 17 June 2020   Dear Prime Minister, On behalf of Human Rights Watch, I write to request that your government…
The transgender pride flag.
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The following is a joint statement by Liberty, Amnesty International UK and Human Rights Watch: Human rights are universal and belong to everyone. Yet too often in the UK trans people are spoken about and treated as though their rights don’t matter…
The transgender pride flag.
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As Bangladesh braces for the impact of COVID-19, with much of the country in lockdown, people with means have stocked food and hunkered down at home. But in a country where one in five people lives below the poverty line, for…
A Hijra in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Legal Green Light for Abortion Services, Same-Sex Marriage Only a First Step

Clocks over Northern Ireland were counting down as the region prepared for a leap toward furthering equality. At midnight on Monday, legislation came into force that decriminalized abortion and legalized same-sex marriage in…
Equal marriage supporters at Maverick Bar, Belfast, celebrate the change to abortion and same sex marriage laws in Northern Ireland
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New Police Data Shows Intolerance Across the Board

New hate crimes data for the United Kingdom shows a shocking number of incidents targeting LGBT people. As I was reading these figures, the need for LGBT-inclusive classes in UK schools has never been more apparent. The data…
Revellers wave flags during a gay pride parade in downtown Madrid, Spain, July 2, 2016.
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Court Holds Government Failed to Consider Violations in Yemen

(London) – The Court of Appeal in London ruled on June 20, 2019 that the United Kingdom government’s refusal to consider Saudi Arabia’s laws-of-war violations in Yemen before licensing arms sales was unlawful, Human Rights Watch said…
Destruction at the location of an air strike at Radfan Ceramics Factory, west of Sanaa, Yemen, on September 23, 2015.
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Protests Against LGBT Curriculum Force Suspension of Inclusive Programs

Debate is growing in the UK over schools teaching children about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identities and relationships. When a Birmingham school started the “No Outsiders” program, lessons aimed…
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Poor Record of Coalition and Houthi Indiscriminate Attacks and Aid Restrictions

(Beirut) – All parties to the conflict in Yemen should minimize civilian harm during military operations against the western port city of Hodeida, Human Rights Watch said today. The Saudi-led coalition, backed by the United States, and…
Imports sit destroyed in a damaged warehouse at the port in Hodeida city, Yemen. © November 2016 Kristine Beckerle / Human Rights Watch
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Support States and Organizations Working for LGBT Rights in the Commonwealth

Meeting Commonwealth leaders this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed regret for Britain’s role in criminalizing same-sex conduct in its former colonies. “I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my…
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May hosts a meeting with leaders and representatives of Caribbean countries, at 10 Downing Street in London April 17, 2018.
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Summary Every day I fear for my safety living in this country because of my sexual orientation. I am alive but if anyone ever find out and wanted to find out, they can kill me …I am an easy target for anything. —Peter, Dominica,…
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Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
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Transgender Men Face Threats and Widespread Discrimination

In October 2017 Human Rights Watch interviewed six transgender men living in different parts of Bangladesh. All of them spoke of bullying at school, barriers to employment, difficulty accessing health care, as well as harassment and verbal abuse in both…
Marchers at an LGBT rights rally in Dhaka during Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New  Year) in 2015.
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Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News

Survey Shows Increase, and Under-reporting

Hate crimes against LGBT people in the UK have surged by nearly 80 per cent in recent years, according to a new detailed survey. The report by British group Stonewall, based on a survey of 5,000 participants, showed that 16…
A poster advertising the exhibition, "Queer British Art: 1861-1967" at the Tate Britain museum in London, United Kingdom, 2017.
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Security Forces Offer Threats, Not Protection

Bangladesh’s notorious Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) raided a gathering in Dhaka on May 19, arrested 28 men, paraded them in front of the media while saying they were gay, and accused them of drug possession. Apparently tipped off by a…
Members of the the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 4, 2012.
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Lack of Rights Protections for Hijras Undermines Government Directive

(Dhaka, December 23, 2016) – Bangladesh’s steps in recent years to recognize hijras as a third legal gender are leading to further abuses due to widespread prejudice and lack of clear rights-based procedures, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
A Hijra in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Summary In recent years the government of Bangladesh has taken important steps toward acknowledging and protecting hijras, but the implementation of promising decrees and programs has exposed hijras to serious abuses. On…