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Report by Human Rights Watch Associate Director for Women’s Rights, Heather Barr

The plight of Afghan women under the Taliban was used in many countries to convince voters to support the US-led military intervention in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks on the US. “Only the terrorists and the Taliban forbid education to women,”…
Women gather to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 3, 2021.
News

The Taliban’s cruelties are horrendous, but withholding international support and maintaining blanket sanctions will only hurt the long-suffering Afghan people.

Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation is spiraling into catastrophe. Millions of Afghans are now facing severe economic stress and food insecurity in the wake of the Taliban’s August takeover, set off by widespread lost income, cash shortages,…
202110asia_afghanistan_money
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Her job had been going well, the woman told me. But her married boss started making sexual advances, which she rebuffed. Then he gave her a gift — a clock. She put it in her bedroom, but the light bothered her, so she kept moving it. “But every…
Women protest to demand stronger government action to fight the spread of intimate photos and footage taken by hidden cameras in Seoul, South Korea, July 7, 2018.
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On the campaign trail and during his first three months in office, President Biden promised a US return to a multilateral foreign policy that supports human rights. That is an important vision for the Middle East, a region often destabilized…
President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington, February 4, 2021. 
News
Gold and diamond jewellery symbolises affluence, artistry, beauty and love. Jewellery is a coveted gift for loved ones on special occasions such as Christmas, weddings and Valentine’s Day. But the gold and diamonds in our jewellery can also mean…
A group of protesters holds a sign that reads "Active Participation of Communities in Diamond Mining is a Basic Human Right."
News
All over the world, gold and diamond mining are risky operations, and sometimes people and the environment are harmed in the process. For over a decade, Human Rights Watch has documented child labor, environmental destruction, and violence by government…
A pearl necklace is displayed over a gray sign that reads "Mikimoto"
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Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
News
The world’s public development banks, focused on alleviating poverty, will gather this week during the Paris Peace Forum to discuss their collective responses to global challenges like climate change and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. This…
Residents of Mindonga settlement on the banks of the stream of effluents released by the PHC palm oil mill, a company supported by European public development banks. February 2, 2019, Yaligimba, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
News

In the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Gold Sector Should Re-assess Human Rights Impacts

The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented impacts on gold supply chains, creating risks that should prompt companies to reassess their supply chains for emerging human rights impacts.  Small-scale mining operations across Africa, Asia, and…
Gold nuggets being weighed by a gold trader
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This is a moment of both fear and hope for Afghan women — and an urgent time for the world to support their hard-won rights. The Feb. 29 deal between the US and the Taliban could pave the way for a peace that Afghans desperately seek.…
Women walk along a street in the old part of Kabul February 29, 2020.
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On February 9, Ingrid Escamilla became one of the latest victims of Mexico’s ongoing wave of gender-based violence. The 25-year-old woman was brutally murdered, allegedly by her boyfriend, in their Mexico City apartment. The next day, a tabloid…
Thousands march in protest against rising femicide rates and kidnappings of women in Mexico City, Mexico on February 2, 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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Gov. Cuomo has only a few more days to sign a bill to ban chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide harmful to public health and the environment. Signing the bill into law is essential for protecting farmworkers’ and children’s rights, health and safety. As…
Farmworkers harvest apples on a farm in New York.