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Equitable Health Care, Covid-19 Vaccine for Conflict Zones; Digital Communications

(Berlin, October 19, 2021) – The German Postcode Lottery is supporting the work of Human Rights Watch in two major areas with more than half a million euros. A €250,000 grant will be used to ensure more equitable access to health care and vaccines for…
Displaced Syrian children read a poster, outlining 7 steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease, at a camp for the internally displaced near Dayr Ballut, near the Turkish border in the rebel-held part of Aleppo province on March 22, 2020, during a campaign to prevent the spread of the virus.
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Pregnancy Risks Left Out of Climate Change Planning

We have corrected the online version of this report to include an additional state government response on heat health action plans received by Human Rights Watch after the requested deadline but prior to publication. Germany has delayed…
A woman shields herself from the sun with an umbrella on a hot summer day in Cologne, Germany, July 25, 2019. 
News
With the G7 Summit around the corner and debates about waiving intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines and other health products heating up, all eyes will be on Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel has stood in the way of the waiver, making it…
A woman receives the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 at an apartment building in Bengaluru, India, April 24, 2021.
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French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Parliament Endorsed Making Vaccines More Available.

French President Emmanuel Macron has taken a major step forward in combatting the global pandemic. After weeks of wavering, he announced that, like U.S. President Joe Biden, he supports a temporary waiver of some parts of the Trade…
A nurse prepares a Covid-19 vaccine syringe at the Saint George Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon on February 16, 2021. © 2021 AP Photo/Hussein Malla
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As the Covid-19 pandemic has devastating human rights, social, and economic consequences across the globe, European Union (EU) representatives have repeatedly stated their commitment to the idea that Covid-19 vaccines should be a universal common good…
People wait to get tested for Covid-19 in Hyderabad, India. A crowd stands before two health care workers.
News

Free Expression Under Serious Threat

(New York) – The Bangladesh government’s increasingly violent crackdown on media freedom is of urgent concern on World Press Freedom Day, nine nongovernmental organizations said in a letter today to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High…
Journalists work in front of a Covid-19 Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 20, 2021. 
News

Provide Essential Medical Supplies; Urge India to Free Rights Defenders, Address Abuses

(Brussels) – European leaders at the May 8, 2021 summit with their Indian counterparts should prioritize the deteriorating human rights situation in India, including the right to health, eight organizations said today. With a devastating Covid-19…
People suffering from breathing problems receive free oxygen support at a gurdwara, a place of assembly and worship for Sikhs, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Delhi, India.
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European Lawmakers Join Push for Waiving Intellectual Property Rules for Covid-19 Response

Pressure is growing on the European Commission and EU member states to reconsider their staunch opposition to measures that could open the possibility of a massive increase in Covid-19 vaccine production worldwide. In an unprecedented joint appeal…
A person in Soweto, South Africa receives an injection as they participate in a clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in June 2020. 
News

Rights, Rule of Law Key in Response to Region’s Crises

(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should set consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response to political turmoil, such as in Kyrgyzstan, or to challenges…
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
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Sick Children Crammed Together as They Wait for Treatment

It’s every parent’s nightmare: a trip to the playground turns into a serious injury for your child, and rather than enjoying a fun day out, you’re in an ambulance racing to the hospital. For my friend Anna, it was a double nightmare, because the…
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Ensure Access to Adequate, Quality Health Care, Provide Sufficient Resources

(Budapest) – Longstanding neglect by the government has left the Hungarian public healthcare system under-prepared to handle the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch found poor conditions in hospitals, including a…
Prime Minister Orban in early April visiting the Budapest Korányi Institute of Pulmonology  - a clinic with specific responsibility for Covid-19 patients. In the background are some indications of disrepair including tiles falling off the wall and an “out of order” sign on the elevator.
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Mass Accommodations Put People at Risk During Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted risks to asylum seekers living in large-scale, shared accommodations. In Germany, where asylum seekers are obliged by law to live in reception centers while their application is considered, it’s an urgent…
Members of a security service stand in protective gear inside a reception center for asylum seekers in North Rhine-Westphalia where 70 people tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19, May 17, 2020. 
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US Should Emulate Germany’s Workers-First Response

The meatpacking industry in Germany, like the meatpacking industry in the United States, has recently seen outbreaks of Covid-19 at multiple facilities across the country, and hundreds of migrant workers from Eastern Europe have become infected. But…
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States Should Allow Rescue Boats to Land, While Protecting Health

(Milan) – European governments’ actions to close their ports to people rescued at sea puts lives at risk and cannot be justified on public health grounds, Human Rights Watch said today. The imperative to protect the right to health in a pandemic…
Crew work seen on the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, operated by German charity Sea Eye.
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COVID-19 Is Not an Opportunity to Shelve Democracy

On Monday, under the pretext of addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency, Hungary's parliament gave green light to the Orban-led government to rule with unlimited power for an indefinite time. Prime Minister Viktor Orban can now suspend any…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, center, his deputy Zsolt Semjen and other government members and MPs of the governing Fidesz party vote on a draft law concerning extraordinary measures during the plenary session of Parliament in Budapest, Hungary,
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Health Risks and International Law Require Safer Alternatives

  (Brussels) – People in immigration detention in European countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. “While entire societies learn to live under…
Women in the Ponte Galeria immigration detention center near Rome, Italy May 6, 2017.
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COVID-19 Is A Double Blow to People Living on the Streets

The queues are getting longer outside the soup kitchen for homeless people behind the Berlin Zoo railway station. Since the coronavirus reached Germany, the center closed its doors and now staff and volunteers serve people through a window to the…
Life on the street: A gathering outside the Bahnhofsmission Zoo, Berlin, Germany.
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European Union Should Act on Science Deeming Neurotoxin Chlorpyrifos Unsafe

In several European countries, pregnant women risk consuming food contaminated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin that could be harmful to the fetus. Last month, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that the…
An external view of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) headquarters in Parma, Italy.