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Why Poverty and Inequality are Human Rights Issues

Human Rights Watch has long documented how, when people live in poverty, their ability to exercise all their human rights erodes. Because of this, we have pushed governments to end abuses that contribute to poverty. We have recently decided to…
girls from the Kalokol Girls Primary School fetch water
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Brazil’s Industrial Farmers Spray Dangerous Chemicals Near Schools, Villages

  What’s happening with pesticides in Brazil?  Brazil’s an agriculture powerhouse in terms of the amount of land under farming. The farming of soy, sugarcane, cotton, and corn is done at an industrial scale and pesticides are used…
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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  What is it like in Recife and Campina Grande, the cities in northeastern Brazil that you visited? AK: What was shocking to me was the vast inequality. There are these beautiful high-rises and a beautiful beach in Recife, and then there…
Raquel bathes her daughter Heloisa, a girl with Zika syndrome born in April 2016. Raquel says she cannot afford the medicines her twin daughters need for convulsions.
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Equatorial Guinea has the highest GDP per capita of any African country. What’s gone wrong?         About 20 years ago the country discovered oil, and virtually overnight it went from being one of the poorest…
After spending several million dollars on government buildings in Malabo, the capital, and Bata, the nation’s economic center, Equatorial Guinea is pouring billions of dollars into building a new administrative capital, Oyala, in the middle of the jungle.
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Secondary Education Inaccessible for Many Children in Tanzania

Two in five adolescents are out of school in Tanzania, although the country has declared education a national priority and abolished school fees and financial contributions. Lack of money is, however, only one of the reasons why education ends after…
An unfinished science laboratory next to a classroom at a secondary school in Shinyanga region, northern Tanzania.
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Debt buying-companies,  a huge US industry, purchase delinquent debts—mostly credit card debts -- that lenders have given up on collecting.  Each year these companies sue hundreds of thousands of people in an effort to collect the debt and turn…
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Around the globe, Human Rights Watch has documented the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. Today, child soldiers are fighting in at least 14 countries: Afghanistan – Insurgent groups, including the Taliban and other armed groups, use…
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The rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues to kill civilians and abduct children in remote regions of central Africa at an alarming rate with no end in sight. Nearly three years after the LRA began its most current campaign of attacking villages and…
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SummaryBackgroundAnalysis of the Draft Anti-Terrorism Legislation     Defining Terrorism     Infringement of Freedoms of Speech and Expression     Expansion of Police Powers without Due Process Guarantees         Powers of Arrest, Search, and Seizure…
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As a candidate, Barack Obama signaled his clear intention to break with the Bush administration's abusive counterterrorism policies. Once sworn in as president, Obama immediately issued executive orders that set a course toward reform. Human Rights…
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List of Detainees Published by Human Rights Watch

The following is a list of persons believed to be in U.S. custody as "ghost detainees" -- detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel, and who are likely not reported to or seen by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The…
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This 11-page briefing paper documents how the Zimbabwean government threatens its citizens’ access to sufficient food by concealing the basis for its 2004 crop-yield estimate, the size of its strategic grain reserve and the details of the government’s…
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Human Rights Watch has received information about human rights abuses against Dalits in virtually every sphere of life in Nepal, including marriage, religious practice, access to land, and access to education.1 This submission to the government’s…
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Since the collapse of the corrupt Fujimori government in November 2000 the human rights situation in Peru has improved significantly. During Fujimori's last term in office (1995-2000), Vladimiro Montesinos, the de facto head of the National Intelligence…
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A Human Rights Watch Press Backgrounder

In this briefing, we present new figures documenting racial disparities state-by-state in the incarceration of African Americans and Latinos.1 We hope they will help state residents and public officials to understand their state-specific…
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(Washington, DC) - Under President Bush's November 13th Military Order on military commissions, any foreign national designated by the President as a suspected terrorist or as aiding terrorists could potentially be detained, tried, convicted and even…