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Governments Should Consider Ways to Curb Global Plastics Production, Protect Rights

Chemical pollution has reached a dangerous level globally. According to a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology, substances introduced by human activities are interfering with the Earth’s natural systems and may have severe…
Two children stand above a river filled with garbage
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Anti-Death Penalty Group Condemns Sentence, Seeks Action on Prison Conditions

(New York) – Human Rights Watch on January 18, 2022 joined other organizations in condemning Sri Lanka’s ongoing use of the death penalty after a prison official was sentenced to death on January 12. The groups said that the conviction appeared to be an…
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Investigations, Prosecutions Fall Short

(New York) – The Maldives authorities during 2021 failed to adequately address threats and violence by extremist Islamist groups against politicians, journalists, and activists, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Despite some…
Maldivian police secure area following a blast targeting former President Mohamed Nasheed, Malé, Maldives, May 6, 2021.
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Human Rights Defenders and Ordinary Citizens Targeted, Harassed, Tortured

(Beirut) – Egypt’s superficial attempts to create an impression of human rights progress failed to disguise the government’s brutal repression of all manner of dissent in 2021, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Despite ending…
An Egyptian intelligence security detail member stands guard near a banner showing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
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Punishment of Dissent; Impunity

(Beirut) – Iranian intelligence and judicial authorities continued their crackdown on dissent in 2021, while lawmakers passed and debated laws that further violate human rights, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2022. Over the past three…
Iranians gather during a protest after their province's river dried up due to drought and diversion, in the central city of Isfahan, on November 19, 2021.
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Two Men Face Forced Return to Persecution in China

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities are apparently preparing to deport two Muslim Uyghurs back to China, where they are at serious risk of arbitrary detention and torture, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities have held the men arbitrarily…
201911MENA_SaudiArabia_Repression_main
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Coastal Communities Bear Brunt of Climate Inaction

Earlier this month, parts of Papua New Guinea (PNG) experienced a surge in king tides that flooded communities and displaced approximately 53,000 people. King tides are the highest predicted tides of the year and are reaching higher and farther as…
Two boys in a canoe
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Can Advance Economic Justice, Fix Broken Safety Net, But More Needed

(Washington, DC) – The Build Back Better Act would bring the United States closer to meeting international human rights standards and begin to repair a badly broken social safety net, Human Rights Watch said today. The Senate should strengthen…
Children and teachers complete a mural in celebration of the launch of the Child Tax Credit on July 14, 2021 at the KU Kids Deanwood Childcare Center in Washington, DC.
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Ten Points to Celebrate from 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for children around the world. Earlier this month, UNICEF reported that the pandemic has plunged 100 million more children into poverty and rolled back virtually every measure of progress. This grim…
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, demonstrates with others in front of the Standard and Chartered Bank during a climate protest in London, England, October 29, 2021
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Needs of Marginalized Groups Should Inform Government Response

Canada’s western province of British Columbia is once again reeling from devastation linked to climate change. Following this summer’s deadly heat and rampant wildfires, record rainfall this month has triggered massive flooding, displacing more than…
A woman and children in boat leaving behind car with floodwaters up to the roof in the background.
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Need to Protect Communities’ Rights in Importing Countries

Last week, the European Commission proposed new rules governing waste shipments from EU countries. The regulation could be good news for communities around the world impacted by European plastic waste exports. Currently, many EU governments ship…
A pile of garbage and waste next to a road
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“Nothing about us without us” – that was the call from the indigenous rights advocate Ghazali Ohorella from the Alifuru people in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia during a panel at the climate summit in Glasgow.  This plea was echoed by many…
Georgina Wabano and her mother cooking traditional food for school children in Peawanuck, ON, December 18, 2019. : © 2019 Daron Donahue
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Civil Society Participation in COP27 at Grave Risk

(Beirut) – The choice of Egypt to host the next UN climate summit severely imperils Egyptian and international civil society participation, a crucial feature of the global efforts to address the climate crisis, Human Rights Watch said today. Under…
A group of uniformed police with riot gear stand on the street
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Activists, disappointed about UN rebuff, take the fight to COP26

When the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child decided in October it could not move forward with a climate crisis petition, I received a message from Raina Ivanova, one of the 16 youth who had brought the case. “We are all very disappointed,” she…
child petitioners who filed a complaint before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
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Call for Visionary Leadership at COP26 to Face Climate Emergency

Brianna Fruean, a 23-year-old Samoan activist, put it simply when addressing world leaders at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26): “We are not drowning; we are fighting.” The youth climate movement is present and vocal in Glasgow, both…
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, demonstrates with others in front of the Standard and Chartered Bank during a climate protest in London, England, October 29, 2021
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Activists at COP26 Side Event Demand Recognition

“Disabled people won’t survive climate change if it isn’t in the plan for us to do so. And you can’t plan without us.” These were the words of Gabrielle Peters, a disabled policy analyst from Canada, during a side event at the United Nations…
Exterior of the COP26 Climate conference, showing the event banner.