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National Assembly Passes Law to Ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention

(Paris, July 23) “The world of work must not be a source of anxiety or insecurity for women.” ”France now intends to be a model in the implementation of [the] Convention, by ratifying it as soon as possible.” France’s Minister of Labor, Elisabeth…
Protestors marching to demand the end of femicide and violence against women in Paris, France, November 23, 2019. 
News

Labor Laws Can Support Women Trying to Escape Abuse

Under Covid-19-related lockdowns in 2020, most violent crime in France dropped. Reports of domestic violence and rape went up. The pandemic contributed to a 30 percent increase in reported domestic violence cases within two weeks of…
Protestors marching to demand the end of femicide and violence against women in Paris, France, November 23, 2019. 
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
News

Parliament Should Support Ratification and Improve Protections in National Law

Two years after a landmark treaty to combat workplace violence and harassment was adopted, France has taken an important step towards domesticating the effort. On Wednesday, France’s Council of Ministers approved the ratification of the ILO…
Women demonstrate and march for “First of Chores” on International Day
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
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a stark reminder of how gender discrimination and gender-based violence – in homes, in relationships, on the streets, and at work – is a devastating reality for women and girls across France. In the past year…
Demonstrators attend a rally against gender-based violence in Marseille, France, November 24, 2018. The banners read "You are not alone" and "harassed at work."
News

New Human Rights Watch Campaign Urges Hastening Reforms

(Paris) – France, which intends to play a leadership role on gender equality globally, should accelerate measures to end gender-based violence and harassment at work in its own country, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 15, 2020,…
Demonstrators attend a rally against gender-based violence in Marseille, France, November 24, 2018. The banners read "You are not alone" and "harassed at work."
News

As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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

Ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, Make National Reforms

“Together, governments and social partners, we say NO to violence and harassment and YES to building a better world of work.” France’s Labour Minister Muriel Pénicaud gave these remarks last year when the International Labour Organization (ILO)…
People holding signs against sexual harassment at work protest cuts to France's Ministry of Women's Rights budget, July 21, 2017.
News

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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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

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
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

New Law Would Let Lesbian Couples, Single Women Get In Vitro Fertilization

Update: On June 29, 2021, the French Parliament adopted the new bioethics law with 326 votes for and 115 against. The first article of the bill allows lesbian couples and single women access to medically assisted procreation. All women in…
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn gives a speech to introduce the debate on a bill that would give single women and lesbian couples access to in-vitro fertilization, at the National Assembly, in Paris
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…
News
Nang Seng Ja was just 19 and living in Myanmar’s northern Kachin State when her aunt invited her on a trip to see her three cousins who live in China. About a month into the visit, Nang Seng Ja fainted. She awakened in a strange house surrounded…
“Then the Chinese man said, ‘If you do not marry a man, the money we spent on you to bring you here…was 3000 Yuan and as you have already stayed here for 10 days, 4000 Yuan [US$637] is needed to give me back now. Right now, count the money to give me.
Report
  Summary Seng Moon’s family fled fighting in Myanmar’s Kachin State in 2011 and wound up struggling to survive in a camp for internally displaced people. In 2014, when Seng Moon was 16 and attending fifth grade, her sister-…
News

Government Inaction, Conflict, China’s ‘Gender Gap’ Fuel Sexual Slavery

  (Yangon) – The Myanmar and Chinese governments have failed to stem the trafficking of ethnic Kachin women and girls as “brides” to families in China, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. …
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