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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

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…
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…
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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 orders without…
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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
News
China has a bride trafficking problem. The country’s longstanding one-child policy and preference for boys created a huge gender imbalance. The difficulty many Chinese men now face finding wives, combined with a lack of protections in China, is…
“I do not know exactly or remember how I got into the new house…When I woke up, I saw a man but not my friends anymore. I don’t know exactly, but later I guessed that was a Chinese house. I did not know where to run away…I realized that I was trafficked.
News

Forced Return Exposes Them to Risk of Torture, Other Abuses

(New York) – China should not forcibly deport seven detained North Koreans who face a grave risk of torture and other abuses if returned to North Korea, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should grant asylum to the members of the group…
Pedestrians walk by a statue of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong outside the railway station in the Chinese city of Dandong bordering North Korea in northeastern China's Liaoning Province, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.
News

Allegations of Sale of Women to China Echo Abuses Elsewhere

Pakistan’s government should be alarmed by recent reports of trafficking of women and girls to China. These allegations are disturbingly similar to the pattern of trafficking of “brides” to China from at least five other Asian countries…
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Report
  Summary Soon after the Rana Plaza collapsed in 2013 in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing over a thousand workers, a top official from a global brand flew into Pakistan.[1] His sudden trip was sparked by the desperation to make up…