Girls' & Women's Rights


Even today, girls and women around the world continue to be subjected to discrimination, violence and deprivations of freedoms. Simply because of their gender, girls and women can be deprived of their security, independence and even subjected to unjust imprisonment, torture, and execution.

Working together with NGOs from around the world, we take actions to end domestic violence, human trafficking, honor killing, military rape, and any other violence against girls and women.

We also work on the elimination of discriminatory and unjust punishment as well as the execution of women.

Image by Jason Leung

In Japan, it has been frequently reported that many young women who were scouted as TV personalities or models were tricked or pressured into performing in adult pornographic videos (AV). In many cases, these young women signed agency contracts without knowing what would happen. The victims realized that they would be in a pornographic video only after being sent to a shooting location, and were told that they would have to pay a penalty if they refused the work.


Forced appearances in AV cause serious damage to victims, including physical and psychological harms. Not only are the victims forced to have “sexual intercourse” in the name of contract, but there is not currently any effective legal system other than the cancellation right for minors. Therefore, once the video is released, it continues to spread indefinitely on the internet and causes suffering to women for a significant amount of time. As a result, the victims often suffer from PTSD, or in some cases, commit suicide.

In 2016, Human Rights Now (HRN) released an investigative report on the damage of forced appearances in adult pornographic videos, which resulted in a strong public reaction.


It has been frequently reported that many young women in Japan who were scouted as TV personalities or models, were deceived, and tricked into performing in pornographic films.

Human Rights Now conducted an investigation by interviewing the victims and their supporters to determine the facts. It revealed that in many cases, these young women who signed to agencies without knowing what would happen and were subsequently threatened. Threats made included things such as “You can’t reject the job, you have signed a contract,” “if you refuse to work, you are responsible to pay for the damages,” or “your parents will find out about your work”. The women felt they had no other choice but to participate in the filming of pornographic movies.

Human Rights Now has been requesting that relevant parties in Japan consider measures to prevent further damages. Since the press conference was held in Tokyo following the release of the investigative report, the issue of forced appearances in pornographic films in Japan has been widely covered by media around the world. Moreover, many victims have courageously come forward to testify or become advocates to demand justice and legal reforms to end sexual violence against girls and women. Despite backlash from the pornographic industry, Human Rights Now has been continuously promoting further awareness on the issue in collaboration with many civil society actors. Human Rights Now-NY has also joined this fight to raise more awareness on the issue.

Image by Dingzeyu Li

"I entered into an agreement with the production as a model only to discover that I had to appear in pornographic videos."


On 25 July 2018, Human Rights Now released a report on the discriminatory punishment of women.


This report examines practices of discriminatory punishment of women in eight states varied by region and culture, consisting of Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

The report examines practices of discriminatory punishment of women in eight states varied by region and culture, consisting of Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Each chapter introduces the legal and social context in the state and its international duties, surveys discriminatory practices in the punishment of women which fall short of international standards, and concludes with recommendations.

The report considers multiple forms of punishment, including official punishment as a matter of law, discriminatory practices of officials, and societal punishment which is either sanctioned or tolerated by the state or where the state has been insufficient in ending the practices. Examined practices include substantive discrimination, including moral crimes such as adultery, seclusion, and dress requirements, honor killings, sorcery-related crimes, and other crimes which disproportionately target women, and procedural discrimination, including by moral police, informal judicial bodies, and discriminatory practices by police and judges.


"Women Human Rights Defenders: Fighting for Freedom & Democracy"
NGO CSW 65 Parallel Event
March 17, 2021


On March 17, 2021, during the first week of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65),  Human Rights Now-NY hosted an online event titled "Women Human Rights Defenders in Asia: Fighting for Freedom & Democracy." 

The event aimed to highlight the activities of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in the Asia region and the challenges they face. Due to their work, they are susceptible to discrimination and violence, and often become the target of intimidation and reprisals by authorities. The event featured several prominent WHRDs across Asia who have risked their lives to defend freedom and democracy, the very foundation of human rights and gender equality. Speakers also highlighted the importance of empowering women, girls and youth in order to build a society where full participation in public life is guaranteed to all.