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Food banks, including those in the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), which the BMJ is supporting in its 2020-21 appeal, have provided a lifeline for many people in the United Kingdom who have been left vulnerable and exposed by a deeply flawed…
Abdalkarim Sama, a volunteer at Sufra Food Bank, sorts through tinned food in the storage section on site at Sufra Food Bank, in Brent, Northwest London. October 9, 2019
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UK’s Children’s Rights Record is Under Review

Over the past year, as the Covid-19 pandemic has set in and schools closed, I’ve spoken to some amazing people who are working to protect children’s rights in the United Kingdom. Katie Barry, a primary school headteacher in Lincolnshire, told me in…
Family at Food bank
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Across the globe, people experiencing homelessness face serious risks—this was true before the Covid-19 pandemic. In many wealthy countries, homelessness has come to be seen as a fact of modern society. Some governments have claimed it can’t be…
Tents line a sidewalk on Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco, Saturday, April 18, 2020.
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The Growing Reality of Hunger in “Rich” Countries

  In 2020, you should be watching for more people going hungry and relying on aid to feed their families in the world’s wealthiest countries.  The United Kingdom offers a stark example, as Human Rights Watch has documented. Since…
Abdalkarim Sama, a volunteer at Sufra Food Bank, sorts through tinned food in the storage section on site at Sufra Food Bank, in Brent, Northwest London. October 9, 2019
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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If you’re worried about how facial recognition technology is being used, you should be. And things are about to get a lot scarier unless new regulation is put in place. Already, this technology is being used in many U.S. cities and…
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Anti-Semitic acts are on the rise again in Europe. Amid an alarming increase in violent attacks against Jews in France, including several high profile murders, scores of Jews have decided to leave France for Israel. Some Jewish…
Outside the office of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, demonstrators protest against a law that bars the state from investing in companies that support boycotts of Israel, New York City, June 9, 2016.
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Next week (June 18-22) the European Union hosts governments, the diamond industry, and nongovernmental groups in the diamond-trading city of Antwerp to take stock of the Kimberley Process, the certification process set up nearly two decades ago to end the…
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Questions and Answers

Comprehensive data protection laws are essential for protecting human rights – most obviously, the right to privacy, but also many related freedoms that depend on our ability to make choices about how and with whom we share information about ourselves.…
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In mid-August Australia’s justice minister proposed a new law requiring the country’s biggest companies to report on their practices and policies to prevent forced labour in their operations and supply chains. The government wants to…
Women work in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.
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There have been repeated claims of UK complicity in the alleged torture of individuals detained abroad. The government’s latest move in the saga does not suggest a desire to get to the bottom of them. In July 2010, the British prime minister, David…
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Allegations of mass, indiscriminate government surveillance have sparked a global spat about its proper limits. In defending their programs, the United States and Britain have exposed a troubling, two-tiered approach to the right to privacy in the digital…
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The Arab uprisings have been a poignant reminder of how the Internet can promote free expression and assembly, but also how governments can try abuse it. The medium used by demonstrators to organize protests and bring medical supplies to Tahrir Square,…
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The challenge for UK firms is a serious one - how to conform to the industry’s best practices which they preach in a country where the standard practice is so poor? As British and Qatari Royals inaugurated the Shard - London’s newest tower and the…
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By increasing business with Sudan, the UK would be rewarding a country whose head of state is still wanted for war crimes

The new UK government has made it clear that an important priority of its foreign policy will be to promote British trade and investment abroad. But recent remarks in Sudan by the Africa minister, Henry Bellingham, raise concerns that, by blindly pursuing…
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This Wednesday, unless the UK foreign secretary takes rapid action, Britain’s High Court will hold a hearing to assess whether the UK government should be ordered to hand over secret documents to lawyers for a Guantanamo detainee. The detainee in question…
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It is not just in the United States that aggressive counterterrorism measures have raised serious human rights concerns. This month, the UK House of Lords began debating a draft counterterrorism law that would institute a number of harmful proposals,…
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