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A parent’s desire to protect their child from harm is a universally shared emotion. Whether you are raising your children in the suburbs of Perth or in the Gaza Strip, every parent has that instinct embedded deep in their bones. Working as a…
Students call for urgent climate action during the school strike for climate in Perth, Australia.
News
As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
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  Across rural Brazil, ordinary people are being poisoned from highly hazardous pesticides sprayed near their homes, schools, and workplaces. This was one of the main findings of a report released by Human Rights…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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I met Yara, a teenager who was 3-months pregnant, a few months ago in an impoverished indigenous community in Mato Grosso do Sul state. I was there to talk to her parents, Irupe and Pinon, about how toxic pesticides sprayed in the large…
Veja Pesticides
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“It’s like there’s fog across the whole town,” said Othman, a resident of Kfar Zabad in the Bekaa Valley. “We’re coughing all the time, unable to breathe, sometimes we wake up and see ash in our spit.” Othman was describing…
Garbage is piled near a highway in Beirut, Lebanon January 19, 2016. © 2017 Reuters
News
Lebanon’s waste crisis gained international recognition in 2015, when garbage overflowed in the streets of Beirut. But in fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. My organization, Human Rights Watch, found that Lebanon’s mismanagement…
Open burning of waste in Majadel, south Lebanon.
News
Lebanon is once again staring down a waste management crisis, with news that the Costa Brava and Bourj Hamoud landfills will reach capacity in 2018—two years before the government’s initial estimate of 2020. In response, the cabinet is reportedly…
Garbage is piled near a highway in Beirut, Lebanon January 19, 2016. © 2017 Reuters
News

As Attacks on Environmental Rights Defenders Escalate, the Stakes Are High for the Upcoming Climate Change Talks in Germany.

At a time when people across the Caribbean, the United States, and South Asia are still suffering from the devastating impacts of floods and hurricanes, the stakes are high for the  talks on climate changeplanned for early November.…
Indigenous peoples demand their rights at climate negotiations in Marrakesh
News

20 Million Lives at Risk

Last month, three UN human rights experts released a joint letter to the Bangladesh government about the country’s failing response to deadly arsenic in drinking water. Two decades after the problem came to international attention, an estimated…
Hands of Selina Aktar, a woman in her late 30s with arsenic-related health conditions that first began appearing 20 years ago.
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  Malita had high hopes when she first heard that foreign and domestic companies would start mining in her area of Malawi. The government and the companies promised jobs, better schools and improved access to healthcare in her village. They…
Malcoal mine in Kayelekera.
News
“She likes to take a bath, but [the water] irritates her skin,” Susan said of her active two-year-old daughter. When the little girl was 18 months old, Susan started to notice rashes all over her daughter’s legs. “I thought it was something from the grass…
Roxanne Moonias, mother to an infant with a chronic illness, demonstrates one of the steps she takes to ensure her baby is not exposed to contaminants in the water.
News

Human rights is an essential part of implementing the new climate accord

The signing ceremony at the United Nations this week for the climate deal brokered in Paris last year will be a moment of truth. Already, more than 130 governments, including the United States and China, have promised to be here. But…
COP21 Participants Paris_PHOTO
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This week, 195 nations came together in Paris and adopted a global agreement to combat climate change. The accord aims to keep global warming below 2 degree Celsius, with nations pledging to gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions, among other goals.…
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As governments from more than 190 countries descend on Paris next week to negotiate a new climate change agreement, they will have to consider both scientific and political realities. But to come up with a plan that works, they will need to fully grasp…
News
  This remote region in Kenya’s north-west is known as the cradle of humankind. But it is a case study in how climate change forces people off their land. It was in Kenya’s Turkana County, near the border with Ethiopia, where one of the…
News
Long ago, local villagers erected a sign beside a small cascade of the stream, calling the place "Waterfall of the daughter of the mountain". "Daughter of the mountain" is an old phrase to describe women from ethnic minorities. But when I visited in the…
News
This Saturday is World Water Day – a day the United Nations and its member countries have devoted to promoting sustainable management of the world's water resources. It seems fitting that it falls in March, women’s history month, because the lives of…