• Residents of Owino Uhuru settlement, near Mombasa, Kenya, protest against a lead smelter that opened next to the settlement that killed workers, poisoning residents, and polluted the community, in November 2013.
    (Nairobi) – Thousands of people in a poor urban district outside Mombasa face serious health consequences from toxic lead from a battery recycling plant, Human Rights Watch said today. The crisis is the result of the Kenyan government’s failure to adequately regulate the lead smelter in the Owino Uhuru district.

Reports

Environment

  • Oct 8, 2014
    Indigenous peoples’ rights, particularly land and resource rights including their right to free, prior, and informed consent, must be a pillar of any principles related to the responsible investment in agriculture and food systems. These rights are integral elements of the right to take part in cultural life, which is interdependent of the right of all peoples to self-determination and the right to an adequate standard of living. I ask that all members of the committee support the inclusion of the bracketed text. Failure to ensure this provision is secured within a final text undermines respect for these rights, thereby putting at risk the sources of livelihood and culture for many indigenous communities.
  • Sep 23, 2014
    Governments should make an urgent commitment to protect people from the harmful effects of mercury by signing and ratifying the new Minamata Convention on Mercury. The Minamata Convention, adopted in October 2013, obliges governments to reduce mercury use and emissions globally and is an important tool to protect the right to health.
  • Aug 13, 2014
  • Jul 30, 2014
    The emerging Brics economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – struck an agreement this month to establish a development bank with an initial capital of $100bn. The Brics want the bank to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects. From the outset, it should adopt open and transparent processes, and environmental and social rules, that are the best in the business. It should help communities become involved in the development of projects, invest in schemes that communities actually want, and ensure that its investments benefit the most marginalised people.
  • Jul 28, 2014
    A leaked draft of the World Bank’s proposed new social and environmental policies reveals significant erosion of protections for communities and the environment, Bank on Human Rights, a global coalition of nongovernmental organizations, social movements, and community groups said in a statement today to the World Bank board.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    The Tajik government says it desperately needs Rogun, which will be one of the world’s tallest dams, to meet its electricity needs. But its reservoir will displace over 42,000 people from small mountain villages upstream from the dam site. Khorsheed, whose name has been changed, and many others I interviewed about the project said their situation is dire.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    The Tajikistan government has shortchanged hundreds of families resettled to make way for a large-scale hydroelectric dam. Despite government commitments to comply with international standards on resettlement that protect the rights of those displaced, it has not provided the necessary compensation to displaced families to replace their homes or restore their livelihoods.
  • Jun 24, 2014
    (Nairobi) – Thousands of people in a poor urban district outside Mombasa face serious health consequences from toxic lead from a battery recycling plant, Human Rights Watch said today. The crisis is the result of the Kenyan government’s failure to adequately regulate the lead smelter in the Owino Uhuru district.
  • Jun 5, 2014
  • May 20, 2014
    Health ministers should pledge to take comprehensive action to prevent and treat the negative health effects of mercury, a toxic chemical. The World Health Assembly is scheduled to discuss a resolution on the new international treaty on mercury, the Minamata Convention, on May 21, 2014.