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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…
News

Reproductive Rights Reform, Greater Access to Care Needed

Earlier this month, a 10-year-old-girl in Espírito Santo State, Brazil, discovered she was pregnant after 4 years of repeated rape by her uncle, who threatened her to keep quiet. The girl, who lives with her extended family, wanted to end the…
Pro-choice demonstrators at a protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 8, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo
News

New Regulation Important Step Towards Better Rights Protection

On May 6, Brazil’s National Secretariat of Social Assistance published a federal regulation aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 in institutions for people with disabilities and homes for older people. The regulation, which provides guidelines…
A psychiatric ward in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents of most institutions in Brazil live in depersonalized conditions, have few if any personal belongings, and have little or no privacy.
News
President Jair Bolsonaro has been peddling the myth that only older people are at risk from Covid-19. At the same time, he has repeatedly dismissed their needs. His  disinformation and callous remarks about the country’s 28 million people over 60…
A Zapotec woman washes her hands after learning from a local radio program about hand-washing and social distancing to avoid COVID-19, in Oaxaca state, Mexico, March 31, 2020.
News
“There is real risk in the spread of information, which can put the lives of girls at risk,” said Brazil's Minister of Women, Family, and Human Rights, Damares Alves, in an opinion article published on October 2. The “dangerous information” she…
Damares Alves, Brazil's Human Rights Minister
News

Bolsonaro Government Should Protect Reproductive Rights

Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão publicly supported a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion in an interview published today in O Globo. Mourão raised the issue of abortion after being asked a question about…
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão publicly supported a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion
News
Activists around the world will mark the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion on September 28. Like several other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is in the midst of a vigorous public debate…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
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

Court Considering Petition to Expand Access

(São Paulo) – Brazil’s abortion laws are incompatible with its human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video about the issue. Human Rights Watch will speak at a public hearing on August 3 and 6, 2018, as part of a…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
News

Court Case Challenges Strict Laws

Ingriane Barbosa Carvalho, a mother of three in her early 30s, died two months ago in Brazil. The medical examiner’s report states that she died of complications from an unsafe abortion, and the story made headlines last week when the…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
News

Supreme Court Ruling a Victory for Law Reform in Brazil

The word “victory” is rarely uttered alongside the word “prisons” in Brazil, where even pre-trial detainees are routinely held in overcrowded, unsanitary and violent cells. But this week, Brazil´s Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling…
Painted fingernails of an inmate in the Women's Prison of Brasilia, Brazil, August 3, 2011.
News

Constitutional Amendment Would Endanger Women, Girls; Violate Rights

(São Paulo) – Brazilian lawmakers should reject a dangerous constitutional amendment that would prohibit abortion in all circumstances, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed amendment would ban abortion even for pregnancies resulting from…
People participate in the SlutWalk protest on Copacabana Beach, here pope Francis will celebrate mass at night, in Rio de Janeiro, July, 2013. The sign reads "No more criminalization of women, abortion is a right". ©  REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
News
To call Yasmina, age 15, a survivor is an understatement. Burmese soldiers shot and slashed   her family members to death as they fled their village in late August. Yasmina (name changed) managed to escape and swim across a river to the…
Rohingya women refugees who crossed the Naf River from Burma into Bangladesh continue inland toward refugee camps.
News
Last week, Rebeca Mendes Silva Leite, a 30-year-old woman from São Paulo, Brazil, asked Brazil’s Supreme Court for permission to safely and legally terminate an unplanned pregnancy she does not want to continue. No woman…
People participate in the SlutWalk protest on Copacabana Beach, here pope Francis will celebrate mass at night, in Rio de Janeiro, July, 2013. The sign reads "No more criminalization of women, abortion is a right". ©  REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
News

Brazilians March Against Proposed Amendment

Erika Kokay was the only member in a special committee of Brazil’s congress to vote against a constitutional amendment last week banning abortion under all circumstances. Eighteen fellow deputies, all men, voted in favor. They…
Protesters demonstrate against Brazil's congressional move to criminalize all cases of abortion, including cases of rape and where the mother's life is in danger, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 13, 2017.
News

New Law Would Ban Abortion in Cases of Rape, Health Risk

Hundreds of women have died in Brazil from unsafe abortion in recent years. Yet on Wednesday evening, 18 members of a committee in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies – all men – voted in favor of a dangerous new constitutional amendment that…
People participate in the SlutWalk protest on Copacabana Beach, here pope Francis will celebrate mass at night, in Rio de Janeiro, July, 2013. The sign reads "No more criminalization of women, abortion is a right". ©  REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
News
Susana, 25, was breastfeeding when she became pregnant with a second child in Recife. It was unplanned. Her son was born with microcephaly–a condition in which the infant’s head is smaller than expected.   She was among the nearly 100…
News
I met “Mariana,” a 20-year-old woman in Paraíba state, almost a year ago in the waiting area of a public hospital. I was investigating access to reproductive health services for women and girls in northeastern Brazil, and Mariana was one of my first…
Report
Summary On a Friday afternoon in October 2015, Luciana Caroline Albuquerque Bezerra, the executive secretary of health surveillance for the state of Pernambuco, Brazil, received a call from her boss, the secretary of health for the state. Two…