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New Guidelines Raise Alarms for Reproductive Rights

The State Council, China’s cabinet, in its “Chinese Women’s Development Guidelines” for 2021-2030, announced today, identified “reducing non-medically necessary abortions” as a step toward women’s development. It’s unclear what specific policies…
A promotion for China's defunct one-child policy remains on the outer wall of a government office in Bobai, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, August 26, 2021.
News

However China Frames its Population Policy, Birth Limits Fundamentally Infringe on Women’s Reproductive Rights

On 1 June, I woke up to the news that the Chinese government had announced that it will allow all couples in the country to have three children, an increase from two. I joked to myself, “Finally, I’m legal!” I was born illegally as the third child…
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News

Protect Women Targeted; Hold Attackers to Account

(Melbourne) – The Papua New Guinea government should protect women accused of practicing “sorcery” from violence and hold the attackers to account, Human Rights Watch said today. At least five women have been attacked since March 2021, one of whom was…
Screenshot from the testimony of Dr. Fiona Hukula at the Special Parliamentary Inquiry into Gender-Based Violence in Port Moresby on May 24, 2021.  
News

Few Toilets, No Menstrual Hygiene Supplies

When “Mi Mi” (a pseudonym) prepared for anti-coup demonstrations in Yangon in late February, she carefully chose to wear a pair of jeans and sneakers so she could run from the abusive security forces. The last thing on her mind was to carry menstrual…
An official with a megaphone during the release of prisoners from Insein prison after a presidential pardon in Yangon
Report
Summary If you haven’t had children, employers regard you as an “extra-large time bomb” that will explode twice [take maternity leave twice]. If you’ve had one child, you’re a “time bomb” likely to have a second child at any time. If you already…
News

Companies Fire Pregnant Women; Only Seek ‘Married Women with Children’

(New York) – China’s two-child policy has made commonplace pregnancy-related discrimination against women in the workplace since first imposed in 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  The 37-page report, “‘Take…
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News

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

Government Warns H&M, Nike

(New York) – Companies threatened with Chinese government-promoted boycotts should stand firm in their opposition to forced labor, Human Rights Watch said today. Chinese authorities have recently encouraged consumers across China to boycott…
Workers load cotton onto a truck at a sunning ground in Alar (Alaer), northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, September 2015.
News

End Assistance to All Military-Controlled Entities

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should immediately cancel plans to donate money to purchase vehicles and communications equipment for the Myanmar police force, Human Rights Watch said today. The police force, which operates under the auspices of the…
Myanmar border guard police officers walk along a path in Tin May village in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, July 14, 2017.
News

Adopt Real Solutions for ‘One Child Policy’ Problems

This week an economics professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University offered up a novel proposal to solve China’s very serious gender imbalance: polyandry – women having multiple husbands. It’s an interesting idea, but we don’t think polyandry would…
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News
  Two years since the #MeToo movement took off in China, Chinese feminists are battling headwinds in a political environment where the ruling Communist Party’s control over the Internet, media and independent activism is tighter than…
Screenwriter Zhou Xiaoxuan speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at her home in Beijing, China, on January 16, 2019, detailing her involvement in China's #MeToo movement. 
News

Workers Fear Increase in Union Busting at Factories During Covid-19 Lockdown

In previous years on May 1, workers across Myanmar would rally and march in solidarity for workers’ rights and justice. But this May Day the streets will be quiet, as no marches are allowed with Covid-19 lockdowns and curfews in place. Most…
Workers shout slogans during a May Day march in Yangon, Myanmar, May 1, 2019.
News

11 Percent of Civil Service Ads Specify ‘Men Only’

(New York) – China’s government should mark International Worker’s Day, May 1, 2020, by ending gender discrimination in its civil service recruitment, Human Rights Watch said today. Chinese law prohibits gender discrimination in hiring…
Main image for China jobs report
News
  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
News

Companies Canceling Orders, Adding to Job Loss, Unpaid Wages

  (London) – Apparel brands’ business practices in response to COVID-19 are exacerbating the economic plight of millions of garment workers in Asia, Human Rights Watch said today. Scores of clothing brands and retailers have canceled…
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News

Refugees, Health Care, and Criminal Justice Top Agenda

(Sydney) – Australia’s sweeping national security laws and police actions against journalists and whistleblowers are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. Refugee…
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News
As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
News

China’s Gender Imbalance Having Devastating Regional Consequences

What do Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, and Vietnam have in common? The answer is tragic. There’s compelling evidence that all have become source countries for a brutal business –…
A young woman who was trafficked at age 17 by a friend’s mother who promised her a well-paid child care job and then sold her to a family in China as a “bride.” Once purchased, she was confined and subjected to sexual slavery, but managed to escape after