Reports

Protecting Voting Rights in the US during the Covid-19 Pandemic

The 83-page report, “What Democracy Looks Like: Protecting Voting Rights in the US during the Covid-19 Pandemic,” examines changes that election officials made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic prior to the 2020 primaries in Arizona, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin and their impact on the right to vote. Human Rights Watch recommended steps US election officials should take for the November election and beyond to prevent violations of voting rights, which during the primaries had discriminatory impacts on Black and Latinx people.

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  • How Violence and Impunity Fuel Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon

    This report documents how illegal logging by criminal networks and resulting forest fires are connected to acts of violence and intimidation against forest defenders and the state’s failure to investigate and prosecute these crimes. 


  • The Failing Response to Pesticide Drift in Brazil’s Rural Communities

    This report documents cases of acute poisoning from pesticide drift in seven sites, located across Brazil, including farming communities, indigenous communities, quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) communities, and rural schools.

  • A Lifetime of Isolation and Neglect in Institutions for People with Disabilities in Brazil

    This report found that many people with disabilities enter institutions as children and remain there for their entire lives.

  • The Impact of the Zika Outbreak on Women and Girls in Northeastern Brazil

    This report documents gaps in the Brazilian authorities’ response that have a harmful impact on women and girls and leave the general population vulnerable to continued outbreaks of serious mosquito-borne illnesses.

  • Impunity in Domestic Violence Cases in the Brazilian State of Roraima

    This report examines systemic problems in responding to domestic violence in the state. Human Rights Watch documented 31 cases of domestic violence, and interviewed victims, police, and justice officials. The organization found failures at all points in the system for responding to domestic abuse. 

  • The Toll of Unchecked Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro

    This report documents how unlawful police killings have contributed to the unraveling of the state’s ambitious efforts to improve public security.

  • The Prison Crisis in the Brazilian State of Pernambuco

    This 31-page report documents how prison authorities have ceded control of detention facilities to the “keyholders,” who sell drugs and sleeping space to fellow detainees, and deploy violent “militias” to enforce their rule, according to former detainees, family members, and two state officials interviewed by Human Right

  • Police Violence and Public Security in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo

    This 122-page report examined 51 cases in which police appeared to have executed alleged criminal suspects and then reported the victims had died in shootouts while resisting arrest.
  • Hidden Abuses Against Detained Youths in Rio de Janeiro

    When Human Rights Watch last visited Rio de Janeiro’s five juvenile detention centers, in July and August 2003, we found a system that was decaying, filthy, and dangerously overcrowded. The facilities we saw did not meet basic standards of health or hygiene.
  • Juvenile Detention in the State of Rio de Janeiro

    The 70-page report documents that youths in Rio de Janeiro’s detention centers are often beaten and verbally abused by guards.
  • Abuses Against Detained Children in Northern Brazil

    Children in northern Brazil are routinely beaten by police and detained in abusive conditions, Human Rights Watch charged in a new report released today.

  • Human Rights Watch traditionally advocates reparations as part of the remedy for any serious human rights abuse. For example, under traditional human rights law and policy, we expect governments that practice or tolerate racial discrimination to acknowledge and end this human rights violation and compensate the victims.
  • Rapid, unplanned growth of Brazil’s urban centers—11 of its cities are home to more than a million people each—has been accompanied in most cases by soaring crime rates and public dissatisfaction with the criminal justice system.
  • Human Rights Abuse and Criminality in Rio de Janeiro

    The homicide rate in Rio de Janeiro tripled in the last 15 years and public concern grew apace. The press, prominent civic leaders, and politicians focused particularly on violence related to criminal gangs and drug trafficking.