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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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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.
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Proposed Plan Could Improve Medicine Access for Millions

Last week, the administration of US President Joe Biden released a much-anticipated policy agenda for addressing exorbitant prescription drug costs in the United States. Congress and the White House should seize this opportunity to implement reforms…
President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
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Tribal Treaty Requires US Government to Provide Competent Care

A United States Court of Appeals last week affirmed a lower court ruling that the US government is obliged to provide competent health care to South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a modest but important victory for the human right to health of tribe…
The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs host a field hearing in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 17, 2016, to discuss proposed legislation aimed at fixing shortcomings at the network of hospitals run by the Indian Health Service.
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A Third Shot in Rich Countries Undermines Legal Obligations to Cooperate

The United States government’s announcement this week that eligible people can receive a third “booster” shot of Moderna or Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines comes as less than two percent of people in low-income countries have received even a single dose of…
Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign at the Vaccine Village in Ebersberg, Germany on May 15, 2021.
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On World Health Day, a Call for a ‘Fairer and Healthier World’

Today marks World Health Day with the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for increased government investment and cooperation to tackle global health inequities. Government policy and practice primarily determine the equity or otherwise of health…
A man wearing a mask receives a vaccination in the arm
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Report Documents ‘Significant Disadvantage’ to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this piece contains the name and image of a deceased person. His name and image are used with the permission of the family.  On August 24, the Queensland Health Ombudsman found that…
Charlie Gowa (left), his mother Xernona PoiPoi, and brother Richard.
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14 Governments Face Possible Military Sanctions

Last week the United States State Department named more countries than ever before – 14 – in its latest annual list of governments responsible for the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. Cameroon, Libya, and Nigeria were added this year,…
Rebel child soldiers gather in Gumuruk, South Sudan.
News

579 Cases in 3 Months Show Need for Reproductive Rights, Sanitation

As Covid-19 dominates headlines, the Zika virus silently continues to put women and children at grave risk in Brazil, and the country has not taken nearly enough steps to combat the mosquito-borne disease or help the families impacted by it. Brazil…
Raquel, 25, holds her daughter Heloisa in Areia, Paraíba state, Brazil. Raquel gave birth to twin daughters with Zika syndrome in April 2016. “I want to give my best to my daughters,” she said in an interview with Human Rights Watch.
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Treaty’s 20th Anniversary Shows Uneven Progress, Need for Improvement

When I joined Human Rights Watch more than two decades ago, I quickly became involved with a global campaign to stop the use of child soldiers. Today marks 20 years since 1 of the campaign’s key accomplishments – the adoption of the United Nations…
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War-torn Country’s Shattered Health Care System Is No Match for Pandemic

As if Yemen’s protracted armed conflict and humanitarian crisis were not enough, COVID-19 presents an imminent danger that further threatens the country’s people. Even though only one case of COVID-19 has been reported in…
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Ensure Accessible, Affordable Treatment for Millions of Vulnerable Americans

The stimulus package the United States Congress approved last week provides billions of dollars for hospitals but does not ensure COVID-19 treatment is affordable and accessible. This gap could prove devastating for millions of…
A woman waits outside the emergency check-in entrance at the Providence Medical Center in Portland, Ore., on March 24, 2020.
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UN Report Finds Unfair Trials, Torture, Overreliance on Confessions

Over the past two years, Iraqi courts have processed more than 20,000 terrorism cases against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects, including hundreds of children. But a new United Nations report finds that far from…
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Bill Aims to Increase Access to Life-saving Cancer Screenings for Women

Today, California Congressman Jimmy Gomez and Washington Senator Patty Murray will introduce the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019. Named after Jeannette Acosta, a former congressional employee who passed away after…
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New Report Suggests Ways to Strengthen International Law

Is there more international law can do to protect children caught up in war? That is the question raised by a major report released today as part of an inquiry on protecting children during conflicts. The Inquiry on…
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Hundreds of Cases of ‘Disappearances’ and Torture Reported Under al-Sisi’s Government

Instead of protecting its citizens from torture and forced disappearances, the Egyptian government prefers to criticize and attack groups calling for investigations. Human Rights Watch published evidence several weeks ago…
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Forces in Northeast Issue Order to Prohibit Recruitment, Verify Ages

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of forces controlling parts of Syria’s northeast, has taken an important step towards ending the use of child soldiers in their ranks. The SDF issued a military order banning the…
Ain Issa displaced persons camp, one of three camps in northeast Syria where Human Rights Watch found the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) have been recruiting children for military participation, June 2017.
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Other Governments Should Address Girls Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products

Every girl around the world has feared it, or worse, felt it: the snickers of peers who see bloodstains on her clothes, the sneers of classmates as she slips a pad into her pocket. But what of the girls who can’t afford sanitary…
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State Department Restores Burma and Iraq to its Annual List of Violators

I held my breath yesterday, waiting for the US State Department to issue its latest annual list of governments implicated in the use of child soldiers. Last year’s list was a disaster: then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson overruled his…
Child soldiers put down their guns in a disarmament and release ceremony in Jonglei state, South Sudan, February 10, 2015.