Reports

IMF Social Spending Floors and the Covid-19 Pandemic

The 131-page report, “Bandage on a Bullet Wound: IMF Social Spending Floors and the Covid-19 Pandemic,” analyzes loans approved from March 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, until March 2023 to 38 countries, with a total population of 1.1 billion, and finds that the vast majority are conditioned on austerity policies, which reduce government spending or increase regressive taxes in ways likely to harm rights. It also finds that recent IMF initiatives, announced at the beginning of the pandemic, to mitigate these impacts such as social spending floors are flawed and ineffective in addressing the harms caused by the policies. The report features a case study of Jordan, where a series of IMF programs have introduced sweeping economic reforms over the past decade, but mitigation measures have been inadequate to address the harm to rights.

202309ejr_imf_illustration

Search

  • Abuses by South Sudan’s National Security Service

    The 78- page report, “‘What Crime Was I Paying for? ’Abuses by South Sudan’s National Security Service” looks in depth at the patterns of abuse by the National Security Service between 2014 and 2020, and at the atmosphere of fear it creates. Human Rights Watch research identified the obstacles to justice for these abuses, including denying due process for detainees, the lack of any meaningful judicial or legislative oversight of the agency, legal immunity for NSS agents, and ultimately a lack of political will to address these widespread practices. These abuses have left victims with long-term physical and mental health conditions.

    map content
    video content
    202012africa_south_sudan_nss_cover
  • Institutionalization and Barriers to Education for Children with Disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

    The 74-page report, “Insisting on Inclusion: Institutionalization and Barriers to Education for Children with Disabilities in Kyrgyzstan,” documents how children are frequently denied quality, inclusive education, in which children with and without disabilities study together in mainstream schools. Children with disabilities are subject to discriminatory government evaluations that often lead to segregation in special schools or at home, Human Rights Watch found. Kyrgyzstan ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2019.

    map content
    video content
    202012eca_kyrgyzstan_drd_education_cover
  • School-Related Sexual Violence and Young Survivors’ Struggle for Justice in Ecuador

    The 75-page report, “‘It’s a Constant Fight’: School-Related Sexual Violence and Young Survivor’s Struggle for Justice in Ecuador,” documents sexual violence against children from preschool through higher secondary education, and the serious obstacles young victims and their families face when seeking justice. Human Rights Watch found that teachers, school staff, janitors, and school bus drivers have committed sexual violence against children of all ages, including children with disabilities, in public and private schools. Ongoing cases show that sexual violence against students continues.

    video content
    202012crd_ecuador_sexual violence_cover
  • Human Rights Violations in Sex Testing of Elite Women Athletes

    The 120-page report, “‘“They’re Chasing Us Away from Sport’”: Human Rights Violations in Sex Testing of Elite Women Athletes,” documents the experiences of more than a dozen women athletes from the Global South who have been affected by sex testing regulations. Human Rights watch found that global regulations that encourage discrimination, surveillance, and coerced medical intervention on women athletes result in physical and psychological injury and economic hardship. The International Olympic Committee – the supreme body in global sports – is developing guidelines to address human rights violations caused by sex testing policies.

    video content
    202012sex_testing_athletes_cover
  • Jewelry Companies, Changing Sourcing Practices, and Covid-19

    The 84-page report, “Sparkling Jewels, Opaque Supply Chains: Jewelry Companies, Changing Sourcing Practices, and Covid-19,” scrutinizes and gives rankings to 15 jewelry and watch brands in their efforts to prevent and address human rights abuses and environmental harm in their gold and diamond supply chains. Human Rights Watch reviewed the companies’ actions since Human Rights Watch first reported on these issues in 2018. While a majority of the jewelry companies examined have taken some steps to improve their practices, most still fall short of meeting international standards.

    map content
    video content
    202011global_jewelry_cover
  • The Culture of Impunity in Post-Conflict Nepal

    The 53-page report, “No Law, No Justice, No State for Victims: The Culture of Impunity in Post-Conflict Nepal,” tracks 62 cases of extrajudicial killings that Human Rights Watch and Advocacy Forum first documented in 2008. The groups found that over a decade later, there has been little progress toward prosecutions, despite court orders requiring investigations to proceed, with the police and prosecutors saying that the government has told them these cases will be handled by transitional justice mechanisms. This inaction is helping to sustain an ongoing pattern of serious violations, including extrajudicial killings and torture by security forces.

    202011asia_nepal_justice_cover
  • The Human Cost of Incendiary Weapons and the Limits of International Law

    The 45-page report, “‘They Burn Through Everything’: The Human Cost of Incendiary Weapons and the Limits of International Law,” details the immediate injuries and lasting physical, psychological, and socioeconomic harm of incendiary weapons, including white phosphorus, used by parties to recent conflicts. Countries should revisit and strengthen the international treaty governing these weapons, which burn people and set civilian structures and property on fire, Human Rights Watch concluded.

    video content
    arms1120_reportcover_web
  • Violence against Women and Girls in Bangladesh: Barriers to Legal Recourse and Support

    The 65-page report, “‘I Sleep in My Own Deathbed’: Violence against Women and Girls in Bangladesh,” draws on 50 interviews to document the obstacles to realizing the government’s goal of a society without violence against women and children. Human Rights Watch found that despite some important advances, the government response remains deeply inadequate, barriers to reporting assault or seeking legal recourse are frequently insurmountable, and services for survivors are in short supply.

    map content
    video content
    202010asia_bangladesh_cover
  • Strengthening Human Rights and Transparency Around Covid-19 Vaccines

    The 77-page report, “‘Whoever Finds the Vaccine Must Share It’: Strengthening Human Rights and Transparency around Covid-19 Vaccines,” examines three significant barriers to universal and equitable access to any vaccine that is found to be safe and effective – transparency, supply, and pricing. Human Rights Watch spells out governments’ human rights obligation to ensure that the scientific benefits of the research they fund with public money are shared as widely as possible to protect people’s lives, health, and livelihoods. Human Rights Watch also argues that using public money without reporting its terms and conditions undermines the human rights principles of transparency and accountability. Governments should take steps to maximize the availability and affordability of safe and effective vaccines and minimize debt for low- and middle-income countries.

    photo gallery
    video content
    202010global_covid19_vaccine_cover
  • The Climate Crisis and First Nations’ Right to Food in Canada

    The 120-page report, “‘My Fear is Losing Everything’: The Climate Crisis and First Nations’ Right to Food in Canada,” documents how climate change is reducing First Nations’ traditional food sources, driving up the cost of imported alternatives, and contributing to a growing problem of food insecurity and related negative health impacts. Canada is warming at more than twice the global rate, and northern Canada at about three times the global rate. Despite its relatively small population, Canada is still a top 10 greenhouse gas emitter, with per capita emissions 3 to 4 times the global average.

    map content
    video content
    202010americas_canada_climate change_cover
  • Elements of and Models for a Treaty on Killer Robots

    The 25-page report, “New Weapons, Proven Precedent: Elements of and Models for a Treaty on Killer Robots,” outlines key elements for a future treaty to maintain meaningful human control over the use of force and prohibit weapons systems that operate without such control. It should consist of both positive obligations and prohibitions as well as elaborate on the components of “meaningful human control.”

    202010arms_robots_cover
  • Abuses and Due Process Violations in Pretrial Detention in North Korea

    The 82-page report, “‘Worth Less Than an Animal’: Abuses and Due Process Violations in Pretrial Detention in North Korea,” provides a unique and detailed description of the country’s opaque criminal justice system. It highlights North Korea’s weak legal and institutional framework, and the political nature of the courts and law enforcement agencies under the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

    map content
    video content
    202010asia_north korea_detention_cover
  • Syrian and Russian Strikes on Civilian Infrastructure

    The 167-page report, “‘Targeting Life in Idlib’: Syrian and Russian Strikes on Civilian Infrastructure,” details abuses by Syrian and Russian armed forces during the 11-month military campaign to retake Idlib governorate and surrounding areas, among the last held by anti-government armed groups. The report examines the abusive military strategy in which the Syrian-Russian alliance repeatedly violated the laws of war against the 3 million civilians there, many displaced by fighting elsewhere in the country. It names 10 senior Syrian and Russian civilian and military officials who may be implicated in war crimes as a matter of command responsibility: they knew or should have known about the abuses and took no effective steps to stop them or punish those responsible.

    map content
    video content
    202010mena_syria_idlib_cover
  • Poor Enforcement of India’s Sexual Harassment Law

    The 56-page report, No #MeToo for Women Like Us’: Poor Enforcement of India’s Sexual Harassment Law,” finds that while women in India are increasingly speaking out against sexual abuse at work, in part due to the global #MeToo movement, many, particularly in the informal sector, are still constrained by stigma, fear of retribution, and institutional barriers to justice. The central and local governments have failed to promote, establish, and monitor complaints committees – a central feature of the POSH Act – to receive complaints of sexual harassment, conduct inquiries, and recommend actions against abusers.

    video content
    202010asia_india_metoo_cover
  • Myanmar’s Mass Detention of Rohingya in Rakhine State

    The 169-page report, “‘An Open Prison without End’: Myanmar’s Mass Detention of Rohingya in Rakhine State,” documents the inhuman conditions in the 24 camps and camp-like settings in central Rakhine State. Severe limitations on livelihoods, movement, education, health care, and adequate food and shelter have been compounded by widening constraints on humanitarian aid. The abuses against the Rohingya amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid, persecution, and severe deprivation of liberty.

    map content
    202010asia_myanmar_rohingya_cover