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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.
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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…
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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.
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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.”
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Summary This is the pain that I have – I’m not only fighting against my child’s abuser, and his lawyer… No, this is a constant fight against the whole education system… the prosecutor… it’s a constant fight. They [school and prosecutor’s office]…
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Women Tell Their Stories

Abortion in all instances, including rape, is illegal in Honduras. Any woman who has an abortion, and anyone found to have helped her, can be charged with a crime and imprisoned. For that reason, La Línea (“The Line”) was a rare resource in…
Lorena (a pseudonym) was unaware she was pregnant when she went to a hospital in intense pain two years ago. Doctors suspected she had attempted an abortion and called the police. She was taken from the hospital in handcuffs and is now facing charges.
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Cristina Alvarado is a social worker and part of the national coordination team of Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz “Visitación Padilla” (Movement of Women for Peace “Visitacion Padilla”).
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Survivors and Advocates Seek Help from UN Human Rights Committee

Norma* (*indicates a pseudonym) was 12 when her father began raping her. She became pregnant shortly thereafter. Though abortion is legal in Ecuador when a woman or girl’s life or health is in danger, no one told her this. She gave birth despite…
#NiñasNoMadres
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Assembly Should Ease Abortion Laws

(Washington, DC) – Ecuador’s National Assembly should decriminalize abortion for survivors of rape, Human Rights Watch said today ahead of a planned presentation to the Assembly’s Justice Commission via Skype. José Miguel Vivanco,…
A green handkerchief with the hashtags #DéjameDecidir (let me decide) and #AbortoPorViolación (abortion in cases of rape) has become emblematic of the campaign for the decriminalization of abortion in Ecuador.
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Montreal Summit Provides Important Platform to Support Global Justice

In a first-of-its-kind summit, the world’s female foreign ministers will meet in Montreal today and tomorrow to discuss a range of global challenges, from advancing peace and security to eliminating violence against women and girls in…
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Abuse, Neglect Raise Safety Concerns; Fuel Mistrust of Law Enforcement

(Saskatoon) – Indigenous women’s accounts of police abuse in Saskatchewan raise serious concerns about their safety in the province, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to the Government of Canada. The National Inquiry into Missing and…
Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers talk at a blockade on a country road in the province of Alberta. © 2012 Reuters
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Lawmakers Set to Discuss Loosening Notoriously Strict Anti-Abortion Law

This week, lawmakers in Honduras will have the chance to allow some women access to abortion, reversing restrictions first imposed more than 30 years ago. Under the current law, terminating a pregnancy is illegal and carries a heavy prison sentence,…
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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In July, 2012, Lydia N. (not her real name) sat in a hotel room not far from Highway 16 – the “Highway of Tears” in northern British Columbia where so many indigenous women and girls have been murdered or disappeared – and told me about her efforts to…
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Ignores Need for National Inquiry into Violence

(Toronto) – A landmark Canadian parliamentary report released on March 7, 2014, failed to recommend needed steps to stem violence against indigenous women, Human Rights Watch said today. The committee did not recommend either an independent national…
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“They tore my sweater and jeans off in the holding cell. There were three or four of them – men – a female guard was watching,” Joy I. told me. “I tried to sit up and they pepper sprayed me twice. They kept pushing me down and tearing my clothes off.” Joy…