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Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans have been fleeing threats of reprisal and persecution by seeking refuge abroad. Taliban officials have issued vague and doubtful pledges about respecting human rights. Credible reports…
Afghans from northern provinces who fled their homes due to the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces take refuge in a public parc in Kabul, August 13, 2021. 
On July 12, Jordan's infamous State Security Court, which routinely runs roughshod over defendants' due process rights, convicted a former high-level official and a little-known royal family member of "sowing discord" and "inciting opposition to the…
Silhouettes are cast on a Jordanian national flag in Amman, Jordan, November 30, 2016. 
In 2015, Adriana Perez da Silva’s 16-year-old son and four of his friends were driving home after a day in the park when the police fired at their car, killing them. Ms. Silva believes they were targeted because they were Black. As a…
Policemen patrol the Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro on September 14, 2012.
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.
As a new more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus spreads across the country, Brazilians are getting understandably frustrated that it is taking some time to get access to a Covid-19 vaccine. So far, 6.1 million Brazilians have…
Covid-19 vaccination underway in the Umariaçu indigenous village, near Tabatinga, Amazonas, Brazil.

Weakened Enforcement Leads to Spike in Amazon Deforestation

(São Paulo, January 13, 2021) – President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to sabotage efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19 in Brazil and pursued other policies that undermine human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Presidente Jair Messias Bolsonaro
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…
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.
All people should have the right to education from childhood and as a lifelong process. No one should be subjected to discrimination based on biases about whether they can benefit from receiving education or not. In the last years, Brazil’s law for…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.

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,”

Deploy Federal Officers to Protect Rights of Indigenous People, Local Residents

(São Paulo, August 8, 2020) – Brazil’s federal police should immediately send officers to protect Indigenous people and local residents, and collect any evidence of abuses allegedly committed during an ongoing state police operation in the…
The urban area of Nova Olinda do Norte municipality
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.
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

Current Draft Violates Free Speech and Association, Privacy

(São Paulo) – Brazil’s Congress should ensure that any measure aimed at addressing defamation and the spread of false information upholds people’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today…

Police killings have added to suffering and anger in the middle of a pandemic

Close to 2 million residents of the Rio de Janeiro’s impoverished favelas are struggling to cope with two lethal threats. The first, Covid-19, affects us all, but is a heightened risk for those who live on cramped streets where social distancing is…
People protest against police killings in front of the Guanabara Palace, the residence of the Rio de Janeiro State Governor, on May 31, 2020. One sign reads “Black Lives Matter.”

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.

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…
forest fire

Rulings Affirm Equality, Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Amid the public health crisis in the country, Brazil has recently achieved two significant victories for the right to education and the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. On April 24, the Supreme Court…
The Supreme Federal Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal) in Brazil.
President Jair Bolsonaro has been peddling the myth that only older people are at risk from Covid-19. At the same time, he has repeatedly dismissed their needs. His  disinformation and callous remarks about the country’s 28 million people over 60…
A Zapotec woman washes her hands after learning from a local radio program about hand-washing and social distancing to avoid COVID-19, in Oaxaca state, Mexico, March 31, 2020.

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…