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Lawmakers Should Prevent Discrimination in Life-Saving Treatment

In a December 2021 ruling, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ordered lawmakers to protect people with disabilities against discrimination during medical triage decisions. Nine people with disabilities had filed a complaint with the court in June…
202201eca_germany_bundestag
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Justice for 3R Abuses an Important Step Toward Accountability

On December 17, the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) announced it will send its first case to trial. This is a significant moment in the difficult effort to see justice for heinous abuses committed in the most recent conflicts…
Judges from the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) listen to arguments in a hearing
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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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Federal Lawmakers Should Pursue Public Health Solutions Grounded in Rights

On the heels of news that over 100,000 people in the United States died from drug overdose deaths between April 2020 and April 2021, the US Congress considered a proposal last week that will only deepen the crisis. The Biden administration proposal…
Evelyn Milan, right, prepares a package with sterile injecting equipment for a member at VOCAL-NY's headquarters in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 3, 2018. 
News

Justice, Solidarity Crucial to Confront Abuses Past and Present

On December 10, 2019, Abubacarr Tambadou, then Gambia’s justice minister, posed a question to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. “Why is the world standing by and allowing such horrors again in our lifetime?” It was the first…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
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Government, Political Parties Should Promote Equal Political Participation

Today the Mexican Senate is holding its first ever hearing for people with disabilities. Bryan Russell, who has run for parliament in his home country of Peru, gave pre-recorded testimony on the need for inclusion of people with disabilities,…
2021 Human Rights Watch Marca Bristo Fellow Bryan Russell campaigning at San Martin Plaza in Lima, Peru
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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.
News

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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Governments Should Invest in Rights-Based Services to Prevent Abuses

Tied to a bed at night, forced to wear a makeshift straitjacket, strapped to a chair with insulation tape and cargo straps for several hours a day. This, for many years, was the daily reality for Noah (pseudonym), a boy with autism living in a privately…
Staff tied a boy with autism to this bed in a care home in Finland.
News

Proposed Law Would Improve Protections for Older People, Many Others

The window is rapidly closing for South Korea’s National Assembly to pass a comprehensive antidiscrimination law that citizens and human rights organizations have long endorsed. Anti-discrimination legislation has been submitted 11 times since 2007…
An elderly woman seated on the floor of an apartment
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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.
News

Hopes for Accessible Voting on Election Day Dashed

In the weeks leading up to the October 10 parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) promised to take steps to ensure people with disabilities could vote. But on election day, videos circulated suggested IHEC’s…
A man helps his mother as she casts her ballot during the parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq on October 10, 2021.
News

Lawmakers Have Opportunity to Get Services to Hundreds of Thousands on Waitlists

The overwhelming majority of older people and people with disabilities in the United States, no matter how they vote, prefer to live at home rather than in a residential institution like a nursing home. Accordingly, millions of people access home and…
Disability rights activists and caregiving advocates hold a vigil in front of the US Capitol to urge Congress to include full federal funding for home and community-based care services in the budget reconciliation package on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.
News

Member Countries Should Ensure Publicity of Process

Further leadership changes are underway at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as its member countries approach the December election of the court’s next deputy prosecutors. On October 10, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan submitted two shortlists of…
ICC permanent premises
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Disparities in Vaccination Rates Leaves Communities at Risk

This week, millions of residents across New South Wales emerged from more than 100 days of lockdown after the Australian state met its target of full vaccination for 70 percent of its population over age 16. Across Sydney, people queued for haircuts…
People wait outside a Covid-19 vaccination clinic in the Bankstown suburb during a lockdown in Sydney, Australia, August 25, 2021.
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Confirmation of Charges Hearing in Commander Case Starts Today

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) begins the pretrial hearing in the case of a former commander of the Seleka rebel group, who is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. The case is an important…
An ICC billboard in Bangui in September 2021, announcing Said’s confirmation of charges hearing.
News

Théoneste Bagosora Sentence a Lesson in Accountability

Late last month, Malian officials announced that a former Rwandan army colonel convicted of masterminding the slaughter of at least half a million people during the 1994 genocide had died. Théoneste Bagosora, who was 80, was serving a 35-year sentence…
Théoneste Bagosora reacts as he sits in the court at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in Arusha, Tanzania on December 18, 2008.
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Progress Toward Accessibility Ahead of Elections, but Gaps Remain

Next week, Iraq will hold parliamentary elections, but many people with disabilities are effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places. Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, has one…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018.
News

Governments Should Make Information Accessible to All

Imagine that during a national emergency, you and your loved ones are at risk. The government is announcing information that could have a profound impact on your safety, but you don’t have access to it because it hasn’t been made available to you.…
A sign language interpreter records sign language lessons that are broadcast on public television, at an elementary school in Athens, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. 
News

Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.