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Strengthen Protections, End Asylum Pact with US

Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele agreed on December 15 to implement an Asylum Cooperative Agreement with the US government. It allows US immigration authorities to transfer non-Salvadoran asylum seekers to El Salvador, instead of allowing them to…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
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When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Discrimination Follows them from Home to the US Border

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, sometimes called the Northern Triangle, often face violence and discrimination from their families, gangs, and even the police. When they try to seek asylum…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Summary Camila Díaz Córdova, a 29-year-old transgender woman, tried for years to escape the violence that had characterized her life in El Salvador. She made her way to the United States in 2017 to seek asylum, but after four months in immigration…
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Further Efforts Needed to Prevent, Prosecute Hate Crimes

(Washington, DC) – A judge in San Salvador has found three police officers guilty of the January 2019 killing of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman, and sentenced each to 20 years in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. The court’s July 28,…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
Report
Summary I would like you to pass on our voice. It’s not a voice. It’s a cry of pain. We have been here in Lebanon because they not only raped us, they also raped our land and dignity. —Male survivor of conflict-related sexual violence in Syria,…
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Survivors in Lebanon Lack Needed Services

(Beirut) – Syrian state and non-state actors have subjected men, boys, transgender women, and nonbinary people to sexual violence during the Syrian conflict, resulting in severe physical and mental health consequences which are compounded by a lack of…
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Men, Transgender Women Particularly Vulnerable, Lacking Services

During Syria’s civil war, many people have been subjected to sexual violence, resulting in ongoing trauma. Many of these victims are men and they have described how such violence gets worse if they are considered gay, or “soft” as the local term…
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The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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No Hate Crime Conviction Despite Five Years of LGBT Murders Since Legislative Reform

Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman, suffered violence and discrimination her entire life. She even fled El Salvador multiple times to seek refuge abroad. After being deported from the United States in late 2017, her fate was…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
News

Deported from the US to Her Death

An investigating judge in San Salvador ruled today that a criminal case against three police officers charged with aggravated homicide of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman murdered in January 2019, can proceed to trial. Much to…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
News

Videos, Report Highlight Issues of Identity, Activism

(Beirut, April 16, 2018) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa are defying state-sponsored repression and social stigma, Human Rights Watch and the…
No Longer Alone
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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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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A 26-year-old mobile technician and taxi driver from Aleppo was kept for 23 days in an ice cream factory-turned-detention center, where he was physically and verbally abused. He’d been picked up at a checkpoint by the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front and…
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Security Forces Also Attacked Women and Girls in Raids on Homes

(New York) – Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Witnesses and victims also told Human Rights Watch that soldiers and pro-government armed militias have sexually abused…
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Rights Council Silent on Bahrain Crackdown

(Geneva) - The United Nations Human Rights Council has taken a landmark step forward by addressing for the first time violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, Human Rights Watch said today. The council, in the…