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Positive Step in British Columbia as #WelcomeToCanada Campaign Moves to Quebec

Since Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International launched the joint #WelcomeToCanada campaign in October 2021 calling on Canada to stop incarcerating immigration detainees in provincial jails, more than 5,000 people have written to the Government of…
Red and black illustration of people in detention
News

Governments Should Consider Ways to Curb Global Plastics Production, Protect Rights

Chemical pollution has reached a dangerous level globally. According to a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology, substances introduced by human activities are interfering with the Earth’s natural systems and may have severe…
Two children stand above a river filled with garbage
News

Lawmakers Should Prevent Discrimination in Life-Saving Treatment

In a December 2021 ruling, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ordered lawmakers to protect people with disabilities against discrimination during medical triage decisions. Nine people with disabilities had filed a complaint with the court in June…
202201eca_germany_bundestag
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Ten Points to Celebrate from 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for children around the world. Earlier this month, UNICEF reported that the pandemic has plunged 100 million more children into poverty and rolled back virtually every measure of progress. This grim…
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, demonstrates with others in front of the Standard and Chartered Bank during a climate protest in London, England, October 29, 2021
News

Federal Lawmakers Should Pursue Public Health Solutions Grounded in Rights

On the heels of news that over 100,000 people in the United States died from drug overdose deaths between April 2020 and April 2021, the US Congress considered a proposal last week that will only deepen the crisis. The Biden administration proposal…
Evelyn Milan, right, prepares a package with sterile injecting equipment for a member at VOCAL-NY's headquarters in the Brooklyn borough of New York, June 3, 2018. 
News

Government, Political Parties Should Promote Equal Political Participation

Today the Mexican Senate is holding its first ever hearing for people with disabilities. Bryan Russell, who has run for parliament in his home country of Peru, gave pre-recorded testimony on the need for inclusion of people with disabilities,…
2021 Human Rights Watch Marca Bristo Fellow Bryan Russell campaigning at San Martin Plaza in Lima, Peru
News

Needs of Marginalized Groups Should Inform Government Response

Canada’s western province of British Columbia is once again reeling from devastation linked to climate change. Following this summer’s deadly heat and rampant wildfires, record rainfall this month has triggered massive flooding, displacing more than…
A woman and children in boat leaving behind car with floodwaters up to the roof in the background.
News

Need to Protect Communities’ Rights in Importing Countries

Last week, the European Commission proposed new rules governing waste shipments from EU countries. The regulation could be good news for communities around the world impacted by European plastic waste exports. Currently, many EU governments ship…
A pile of garbage and waste next to a road
News

Governments Should Invest in Rights-Based Services to Prevent Abuses

Tied to a bed at night, forced to wear a makeshift straitjacket, strapped to a chair with insulation tape and cargo straps for several hours a day. This, for many years, was the daily reality for Noah (pseudonym), a boy with autism living in a privately…
Staff tied a boy with autism to this bed in a care home in Finland.
News

Proposed Law Would Improve Protections for Older People, Many Others

The window is rapidly closing for South Korea’s National Assembly to pass a comprehensive antidiscrimination law that citizens and human rights organizations have long endorsed. Anti-discrimination legislation has been submitted 11 times since 2007…
An elderly woman seated on the floor of an apartment
News

Activists at COP26 Side Event Demand Recognition

“Disabled people won’t survive climate change if it isn’t in the plan for us to do so. And you can’t plan without us.” These were the words of Gabrielle Peters, a disabled policy analyst from Canada, during a side event at the United Nations…
Exterior of the COP26 Climate conference, showing the event banner.
News

Hopes for Accessible Voting on Election Day Dashed

In the weeks leading up to the October 10 parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) promised to take steps to ensure people with disabilities could vote. But on election day, videos circulated suggested IHEC’s…
A man helps his mother as she casts her ballot during the parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq on October 10, 2021.
News

Lawmakers Have Opportunity to Get Services to Hundreds of Thousands on Waitlists

The overwhelming majority of older people and people with disabilities in the United States, no matter how they vote, prefer to live at home rather than in a residential institution like a nursing home. Accordingly, millions of people access home and…
Disability rights activists and caregiving advocates hold a vigil in front of the US Capitol to urge Congress to include full federal funding for home and community-based care services in the budget reconciliation package on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.
News

Disparities in Vaccination Rates Leaves Communities at Risk

This week, millions of residents across New South Wales emerged from more than 100 days of lockdown after the Australian state met its target of full vaccination for 70 percent of its population over age 16. Across Sydney, people queued for haircuts…
People wait outside a Covid-19 vaccination clinic in the Bankstown suburb during a lockdown in Sydney, Australia, August 25, 2021.
News

Progress Toward Accessibility Ahead of Elections, but Gaps Remain

Next week, Iraq will hold parliamentary elections, but many people with disabilities are effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places. Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, has one…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018.
News

Governments Should Make Information Accessible to All

Imagine that during a national emergency, you and your loved ones are at risk. The government is announcing information that could have a profound impact on your safety, but you don’t have access to it because it hasn’t been made available to you.…
A sign language interpreter records sign language lessons that are broadcast on public television, at an elementary school in Athens, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. 
News

Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.
News

High Temperatures Top Weather-Related Killer in US

The administration of US President Joe Biden announced yesterday a major interagency initiative to respond to the impacts of extreme heat in the United States. This effort, which closely follows the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, will seek to…
Workers harvest cantaloupe on a farm during a drought in Firebaugh, California, US, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
News

Marginalization and Exclusion Imperils Rights, New UN Expert Report Finds

Ageism – the stereotyping, prejudice, and/or discrimination of individuals or groups based on their age – is all around us. One just has to look at a rack of birthday cards for images ridiculing older people or the rows of “anti-ageing” creams on the…
Rohingya people refugees carry an older woman on the way to camp at Shahpori Island, in Teknaf, Bangladesh on September 13, 2017. 
News

Proposed Plan Could Improve Medicine Access for Millions

Last week, the administration of US President Joe Biden released a much-anticipated policy agenda for addressing exorbitant prescription drug costs in the United States. Congress and the White House should seize this opportunity to implement reforms…
President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.