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Human Rights Watch  425 people working as part of a global movement to defend human rights. We investigate abuses, expose the truth, and advocate for meaningful change.

Girls are being deprived of education in Pakistan simply because they have no access to it. Nearly 22.5 million of Pakistan’s children – in a country with a population of just over 200 million – are out of school, the majority of them girls. Thirty-two percent of primary school age girls are out of school in Pakistan, compared with 21 percent of boys. By ninth grade, only 13 percent of girls are still in school. Human Rights Watch interviewed 209 people for the report – most of them with girls who never attended school or were unable to complete their education, and their families – in all four of Pakistan’s provinces. “The Pakistan government’s failure to educate children is having a devastating impact on millions of girls,” said Liesl Gerntholtz, women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Many of the girls we interviewed are desperate to study, but instead are growing up without the education that would help them have options for their future.” (📷: © Insiya Syed for Human Rights Watch)

Tunisian authorities are confiscating and searching the phones of men they suspect of being gay and pressuring them to take cruel, degrading, and harmful anal “tests” and to confess to homosexual activity. Prosecutors use the information they collect to prosecute these men, under the country’s harsh sodomy laws. Police arrested two of the men after they went to the police to report being raped. But Tunisian authorities have no business meddling in private sexual practices between consenting partners, humiliating them under the guise of enforcing discriminatory laws. Read our new report via the link in our bio. (Illustrations © 2018 Human Rights Watch)

BREAKING: Attorney-General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation today at the request of US President Donald Trump. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been no friend to human rights, including over criminal justice and immigration policies. But President Trump’s decision to request Sessions’ resignation raises serious concerns about his commitment to the rule of law in the United States. From fanning racial discord and demonizing immigrants to his no-holds-barred attacks on officials who disagree with him, Trump has shown little respect for the checks and balances that allow freedom and rights to flourish. (📷: © 2017 Reuters)

The historic midterm election is over, but there is still a lot of work moving forward to ensure the protection of human rights for all. The following quote on the election results can be attributed to Nicole Austin-Hillery, Executive Director, US Program, Human Rights Watch:
“What we just saw was a record number of voters who made their voices heard at a pivotal moment in this country’s history. In the next Congress, it is imperative that the House and Senate exercise their oversight authority over this administration’s practices of abandoning refugees, detaining immigrant children, suppressing voter turnout, and rolling back women’s health and LGBT protections.” (📷: © 2013 Reuters)

Great news! Floridians just voted to restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated people. 1.4 MILLION people will now be eligible to vote in their communities. #ElectionDay2018 = a historic day for those who believe in #SecondChances. #Yeson4 (📷: © 2003 J. Pat Carter/AP Photo)

Human Rights Watch joined with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and @naacp_ldf on full-page ads in @nytimes and @pittsburghpg over the weekend, along with more than 80 other civil and human rights groups, in solidarity with families of Tree of Life Synagogue - and all who have confronted the darkness of hate. #AgainstHate.

This week, we released a report on women facing sexual violence by officials in North Korea. One woman, Yoon Mi Hwa, a former trader in her 30s from North Hamgyong province who escaped North Korea in 2014, described what happened when she was detained in 2009, after a previous attempt to flee to China: “Every night some woman would be forced to leave with a guard and be raped. There was an especially horrible police guard, who, I later learned, was famous for his cruelty. Every day, whenever new inmates arrived, he’d find a reason to violently beat up one of the detainees, so everybody would know that you must obey him. Click, click, click was the most horrible sound I ever heard. It was the sound of the key of the cell of our prison room opening. Every night a prison guard would open the cell. I stood still quietly, acting like I didn’t notice, hoping it wouldn’t be me the one to have to follow the guard, hoping it wouldn’t be him.” Watch a full length video on our IGTV channel. (Illustrations © 2018 Choi Seong Guk for Human Rights Watch)

North Korean officials commit sexual violence with little concern for the consequences. The government fails to investigate and prosecute complaints, or to provide protection and services to victims, and even asserts that the country is implausibly free of sexism or sexual violence.

Unwanted sexual contact and violence is so common in North Korea it has come to be accepted as part of ordinary life. Many North Koreans who had left the country told Human Rights Watch that when an official in a position of power “picks” a woman she has no choice but to comply with any demands he makes, whether for sex, money, or other favors. Women interviewed said that the sexual predators include high-ranking party officials, prison and detention facility guards and interrogators, police and secret police officials, prosecutors, and soldiers. Fearful of social disgrace and retaliation, and with few, if any, avenues for redress, North Korean women rarely report abuse.

Watch the full lenght video on our new IGTV channel.

Human Rights Watch is releasing a series of videos to inform US voters of what’s at stake this election season. We urge voters to think beyond the headlines and think about our human rights at stake. For the fourth and final installment of our video series leading up to Election Day on November 6, we are highlighting ongoing child detention. Thousands of children remain locked up while judges determine whether they get to stay in the US. This harmful practice should stop today.

Human rights are under assault. Become a @humanrightswatch member today by clicking the link in our bio!

Human Rights Watch is releasing a series of videos to inform US voters of what’s at stake this election season. We urge voters to think beyond the headlines and think about our human rights at stake. For the third installment of our video series leading up to Election Day on November 6, we are highlighting drug policy in the US. Did you know that every 25 seconds someone is arrested for drugs in the US? We are filling our prisons and costing taxpayers a huge amount of money to punish many people who should really be offered alternatives to incarceration.

Become a @humanrightswatch member today and help fight for human rights values! Click the link in our bio.

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