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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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Hold Violators to Account, Abolish 'Virginity Tests'

(New York) – The Indonesian military should deter abuses by its personnel and hold human rights violators accountable, Human Rights Watch said in a letter made public today to the new Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) commander, Marshal…
Indonesian President Joko Widodo attaches the rank to the new Armed Forces Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto during an inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, December 8, 2017
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What Shareholders Should Ask about Company’s Track Record on Human Rights

To British American Tobacco Shareholders: We write on behalf of the nongovernmental organizations Human Rights Watch and Swedwatch to draw your attention to serious human rights abuses we have documented in British American Tobacco’s (BAT)…
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British American Tobacco Shareholders Can Push for Supply Chain Improvements

(London) – British American Tobacco (BAT) should strengthen its processes for identifying and addressing human rights risks in its global supply chain, Human Rights Watch and Swedwatch said today in an open letter to shareholders. At…
An 8-year-old girl sorts and bundles tobacco leaves by hand near Sampang, East Java.
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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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In the next week, Indonesian President Joko (“Jokowi”) Widodo will decide whether to encourage parliament to move forward with a draft tobacco bill aimed at increasing domestic tobacco production. The bill would gut many important existing health…
An 8-year-old girl sorts and bundles tobacco leaves by hand near Sampang, East Java.
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Companies Shouldn’t Profit From Child Labor in Indonesia’s Tobacco Fields

Buy a pack of cigarettes today and chances are you’ll see a prominent warning that the product may be harmful to human health. But many cigarettes should include a second warning too: “This product may be made with child labor.” …
Tell tobacco companies to STOP profiting off the backs of child workers in Indonesia.
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Ayu is only 13 years old, but has already worked for several seasons on her family’s tobacco farm in West Java, Indonesia. Every year, she says she gets sick while carrying tobacco leaves during harvest time. “My stomach is like, I can’t explain, it’s…
A young girl ties tobacco leaves onto sticks to prepare them for curing in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
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I met “Gita,” a petite, 13-year-old girl in East Lombok on a hot September day in 2014. As she sat on the floor in her brown school uniform, her knees tucked to one side, she described spending her afternoons, weekends, and school breaks working on…
An 11-year-old girl ties tobacco leaves onto sticks to prepare them for curing in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
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Exposed to Harmful Nicotine, Pesticides

(Jakarta) – Thousands of children in Indonesia, some just 8 years old, are working in hazardous conditions on tobacco farms, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Indonesian and multinational tobacco companies buy tobacco…
A young girl ties tobacco leaves onto sticks to prepare them for curing in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
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Thousands of children in Indonesia, some just 8 years old, are working in hazardous conditions on tobacco farms. Indonesian and multinational tobacco companies buy tobacco grown in Indonesia, but none do enough to ensure that children are not doing…
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Summary Ayu is a petite, soft-spoken 13-year-old girl from a village near Garut, in the mountains of West Java, Indonesia.[1] She is one of five children in her family, and her parents are farmers who cultivate tobacco and other crops…
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In March, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali made headlines by announcing plans to ban skirts above the knee, calling such attire “pornographic.” That month, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Marzuki Alie, proclaimed: “There have been a…
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Further Labor Reforms Needed to Stop Abuses, Meet Global Standards

(New York) – The decision by Singapore’s Manpower Ministry to grant foreign domestic workers a weekly rest day is an important reform but falls short of international standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The changes, announced on March 5, 2012, go…
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Extend Labor Protections to Migrant Women and Girls at Home, Abroad

(Phnom Penh) – The Cambodian and Malaysian governments’ failure to regulate recruiters and employers leaves Cambodian migrant domestic workers exposed to a wide range of abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. Tens of thousands of…