Players of People's Postcode Lottery will initially award Human Rights Watch £600,000, which will go to defending the rights of women and children in Burundi, South Sudan and Sudan.

UK Director of Human Rights Watch David Mepham said, "We're really excited and grateful to the lottery players for making such a significant award to Human Rights Watch"

"Their help will enable us to investigate human rights violations that harm so many women and children, and to push for the policy changes needed to improve millions of lives."

The conflict in South Sudan has forced more than 4 million people to flee their homes, taking a particular toll on women and children. Human Rights Watch has documented war crimes, including the use of child soldiers, and has urged the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo to help end the abuses. The charity will continue to document the gravest crimes, including widespread sexual violence, and push for international action to end these abuses and ensure the victims see justice.

Recent Human Rights Watch investigations in Burundi focused on political violence, and exposing the killings, disappearances, rapes and torture committed by the security forces. The organisation will work to raise awareness about the crisis and maximize international pressure on the government to end its brutal crackdown and bring those responsible to justice.

The repressive government in Sudan routinely arrests critics, silences the press and prevents people from worshipping freely. The long war in Darfur has forced hundreds of thousands to leave home, displacing civilians - especially women and children. The conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile has also displaced hundreds of thousands, leading to a humanitarian disaster. Human Rights Watch will spotlight how Sudan's repressive public order regime limits the lives of women and girls.

They also hope to investigate how the abusive implementation of projects to exploit natural resources (involving the forced relocation of communities) has lead to human rights abuses.

Executive Director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth said, "The lottery players will help Human Rights Watch to invest in reporting on human rights abuses in Africa and beyond, increasing our effectiveness and protecting the rights of millions."

To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised more than £272 Million for over 4,000 good causes across Great Britain and internationally.

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A young girl stands amid a herd of cattle outside Bor, the capital of Jonglei State