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The SC Order is Welcome, But More Needs to Be Done for People with Disabilities

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green uniforms, their heads shaved because of the…
Women with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities at a mental hospital in Mumbai
News

Discrimination Will Affect the Country’s Fight Against the Pandemic

As the number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 10,000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on April 14 to announce an extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 3. He acknowledged the hardship, particularly for…
Men wait for a bus that will take them to a quarantine facility in the Nizamuddin area of New Delhi, India, March 31, 2020.
News

Vulnerable, Poor Communities at Risk of Further Abuse

  In parts of Colombia, armed groups exercise a frightening amount of control over the population. Now, some groups are threatening to brutally enforce measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Armed groups have issued threatening…
Colombia ELN soldiers
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“We don’t get any other job no matter where we go. I have tried. I know this is discrimination, but what can I do?” In June 2014, when I met 18-year-old Bablu, he was working through a contractor for the government, cleaning garbage and…
 Gangashree walks through the village to manually clean human excrement from dry toilets in Kasela, Uttar Pradesh, which she will collect in her basket and carry to the outskirts of the village for disposal.
News

Ill-treatment of Prisoners Continues Unabated

“The last time I saw my son alive, he was begging me to save him. He told me that the policemen holding him in custody beat him with a belt the entire night, forcing him to confess to the crime.” Leonard Valdaris’s son Agnelo…
Police officers in New Delhi, India in January 2016. Police in India are often accused of protecting colleagues from accountability for abuses.
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News

A Postmortem Report, a Special Public Prosecutor, and an Eyewitness Testimony Turned the Tide in the Case of 20-Year-Old Aniket Khicchi

Aniket Khicchi and Ratan Vani were arrested on October 26, 2013, for alleged theft and taken to the Vanrai police station in Mumbai’s Goregaon neighbourhood. Khicchi died that night. The police did not inform Khicchi’s family either of the arrest or of…
Police officers in New Delhi, India in January 2016. Police in India are often accused of protecting colleagues from accountability for abuses.
News

Police Are Rarely Held Accountable for Custodial Deaths, As the Case of 22-Year-Old Altaf Shaikh Shows

“From his affidavit it appears that he has already made up his mind and has given a clean chit to the police officers,” the Bombay High Court found in October 2009 in response to an affidavit from the assistant commissioner of police of Maharashtra’s…
Copy of post-mortem report of Altaf Shaikh, September 11, 2009.
News

How the Police Disregard the Laws Designed to Prevent Torture and Mistreatment in Custody

“He was crying bitterly, he was saying, ‘Daddy save me, save me. They have been beating me the whole night. They will kill me, Daddy. These policemen will kill me.’” Leonard Valdaris, father of 25-year-old Agnelo, is haunted by the last words…
Agnelo's grave.
News
In India, many women and girls with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are locked up in institutions against their will. Some of the institutions for those women, who have disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy to schizophrenia…
News
Punitive measures against girls forced into child marriages should not find a place in government policies, programmes and practices. Child brides are not criminals. They cannot be compared to children accused of committing crimes. Anyone who hears a…
News
It’s the Americas’ largest reunion. Happening every three years, the Summit of the Americas brings together the heads-of-state of the region to talk about pressing concerns. Over the weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, the theme will be “Connecting the…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
News
Around this time last year a friend sent me a link to the hilarious "Mother of the Year Award" online video from Momsrising.org. I was on maternity leave, and laughed until I cried at the witty lines about mothering.  I watched it with my two little boys…
News
Many people think that tuberculosis is a disease of antiquity, eliminated decades ago by improvements in living conditions and the discovery of effective antibiotic treatment. But one-third of the world's population has been infected with TB and in 2008…
News
A vibrant democracy with raging debates about health care. A country that prides itself on pioneering medical treatment but continues to see shocking disparities between the wealthy, who can afford expensive, quality care, and the poor, whose access to…