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After Pledging Reforms, UK Development Bank Should Implement Them

A United Kingdom development bank, CDC Group, has taken another step toward addressing human rights abuses at oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May, the bank committed to reforming its complaints mechanism and adopting a…
201911ENV_DRC_reportphotos
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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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In mid-August Australia’s justice minister proposed a new law requiring the country’s biggest companies to report on their practices and policies to prevent forced labour in their operations and supply chains. The government wants to…
Women work in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.
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Ayu is only 13 years old, but has already worked for several seasons on her family’s tobacco farm in West Java, Indonesia. Every year, she says she gets sick while carrying tobacco leaves during harvest time. “My stomach is like, I can’t explain, it’s…
A young girl ties tobacco leaves onto sticks to prepare them for curing in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
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I met “Gita,” a petite, 13-year-old girl in East Lombok on a hot September day in 2014. As she sat on the floor in her brown school uniform, her knees tucked to one side, she described spending her afternoons, weekends, and school breaks working on…
An 11-year-old girl ties tobacco leaves onto sticks to prepare them for curing in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
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The systems of surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed in both the UK and US depend on law for their justification, and are facing legal challenges in both countries’ legislatures. This might give the impression that, whatever the merits of these…
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This week, British MPs face a simple choice. They must decide if it is right that a woman who flees abuse should become an undocumented migrant just because she runs away. Women like Joycelyn, a young Filipino mother who was brought to London from the…
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One month after the worst terrorist attack in Europe since Anders Breivik’s murder of 77 people in Norway, the contours of the response are becoming clear. Three areas stand out – new counterterrorism laws and policies; the related, though distinct,…
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Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should…
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A court ruling in London yesterday marked a rare victory in the search for justice for torture and other abuses by the UK, US, and allies in the years after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The London case involves Abdul Hakim Belhadj, a former…
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It’s been a year now since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive US and UK spying operations sent much of the world into a tailspin. The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to…
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Wealthy families who come to the UK may bring with them domestic workers who work for them in their home country – often women who raise their children, clean their homes and cook their meals. In a move to cut down on immigration, two years ago the UK…
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Yesterday, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia inked an agreement that says Indonesian women working in Saudi homes will be able to keep their passports, communicate with their families, get paid monthly, and have time off. The new pact comes in the wake of years…
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There have been repeated claims of UK complicity in the alleged torture of individuals detained abroad. The government’s latest move in the saga does not suggest a desire to get to the bottom of them. In July 2010, the British prime minister, David…
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Protect Domestic Workers From Abuse

“I woke up at 4:15 a.m.,” Asma said. “I was exhausted when I went to sleep at 10 p.m. I only had five minutes’ rest … I did not get any days off [or] salary.” Asma is one of an estimated 1.8 million women and girls in Indonesia who engage in domestic work…