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Efforts to save the world’s forests could soon get a boost from proposed laws in the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States to restrict the import of agricultural commodities linked to deforestation. These three markets’ consumption…
Cláudio José da Silva at the bank of the Pindaré river, in the Brazilian Amazon.
News
Over the past year, France has been an outspoken voice on the mounting crisis in the Brazilian Amazon, calling international attention to the disastrous environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. But if France genuinely hopes to help…
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News
Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon. Despite an unstable connection there, a phone call from Stockholm came through…
Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon.
News

Reporting Rape Survivors to Police Can Endanger Their Health

Brazilian authorities should revoke a Health Ministry regulation that erects new barriers to legal abortion access, Human Rights Watch said today. Among other measures in the August 27, 2020 regulation that could discourage women and girls from…
Women hold a banner calling for “legal, safe and free abortion,”
News
Last August, as forest fires raged in the Brazilian Amazon, President Emmanuel Macron declared “our house is burning” and warned that “under these conditions” France would not support a pending trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur that…
Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil.
News
At the Mercosur summit held virtually last week, President Jair Bolsonaro reiterated his administration’s desire to finalize a trade deal with the European Union. Yet a growing number of European leaders have expressed doubts about the deal given how…
Image of an illegal deforestation strip in the Amazonian forest recorded during the Ibama’s Operation Brigada Verde, in Rondonia, Brazil in August 2019
News

Accurate Data Key to Protecting the Forest Defenders

For the first time, Brazils’ Attorney General’s office has produced a report analyzing violence against Indigenous peoples, Afro-Brazilian rural communities, and other at-risk rural communities by people engaged in illegal logging, mining, and land…
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News

Bolsonaro Administration Disputes Information It Provided

(São Paulo, May 22, 2020) – Human Rights Watch reaffirmed today its finding that fines for illegal logging in the Amazon have been effectively suspended since October 2019 under a Bolsonaro administration decree. That finding is based on…
A federal agent walks on top of timber illegally harvested and extracted from Pirititi Indigenous Territory in Roraima State, Brazil, on May 7, 2018. The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), Brazil’s main environmental law enforcement agency, apprehended 7,387 logs in that operation.
News

Countries are using the coronavirus crisis to lift environmental regulations, even as COVID-19 leaves populations more vulnerable to health impacts from fires.

The world’s forests could soon join the growing list of casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. The fire season is approaching for many. And governments grappling with Covid-19 are rolling back enforcement of environmental protections that are crucial for…
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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News
  Thousands of Indigenous people from communities throughout the Amazon and elsewhere in Brazil had planned to gather in the nation’s capital on April 27 in what has become a massive annual mobilization to defend Indigenous lands and rights.…
Cláudio José da Silva at the bank of the Pindaré river, in the Brazilian Amazon.
News
Brazil's Family, Women and Human Rights Minister Damares Alves called a news conference on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. She remained silent for 30 long seconds in front of television…
Women protest against gender-based violence in Brasilia, Brazil, in 2016.
News

Anvisa report shows concerning findings about food bought and consumed by the Brazilians

Brazil’s National Health Monitoring Agency (Anvisa) released a report on December 11 with concerning findings about the food Brazilians buy every day in their local market. Anvisa technicians gathered more than 4,600 food samples from…
Drone view of a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Some of the houses are around 20 meters from the adjacent sugarcane plantation.
News
“There is real risk in the spread of information, which can put the lives of girls at risk,” said Brazil's Minister of Women, Family, and Human Rights, Damares Alves, in an opinion article published on October 2. The “dangerous information” she…
Damares Alves, Brazil's Human Rights Minister
News
Brazil is accelerating approval of new agricultural pesticides. In 2018, the government approved 450 new pesticides—more than in any other year of the past decade. Another 262 new pesticides or new brands of existing products have been approved so…
Aratiri, a 9-year-old boy, lives in an indigenous community in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul affected by pesticides
News
From October 7 until the end of the year, Brazilian women work for free. That’s one way of picturing the gender-based pay discrimination that haunts Brazilian businesses. Brazilian men earn in about nine months the same as…
Women protest Brasilia
News
A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
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. “
News
Listening to the candidates running for president in Brazil, one would never know that just three years ago the Zika epidemic radically changed the lives of thousands of Brazilian families. Maria Carolina Silva Flor (“Carol”) and Maria…
Maria Gabriela Silva Alves (“Gabi”), age 2, with her mother, Maria Carolina Silva Flor (“Carol”), at their home in Esperança, Paraíba state, Brazil in 2018. Gabi was one of thousands of children born with disabilities caused by exposure to the Zika virus