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Rights Champion Wrote Definitive Account of Rwandan Genocide

Ten years ago today, our beloved colleague Alison Des Forges died in the crash of Flight 3407 traveling from Newark to her home in Buffalo. Alison had recently been in Uganda to meet with her research team that, to my great fortune,…
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Hundreds of Cases of ‘Disappearances’ and Torture Reported Under al-Sisi’s Government

Instead of protecting its citizens from torture and forced disappearances, the Egyptian government prefers to criticize and attack groups calling for investigations. Human Rights Watch published evidence several weeks ago…
Khaled Hassan
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Discriminatory Ruling Breaks Up Family

A Russian court ruled earlier this month that 40-year-old Yulia Savinovskikh is unfit to foster two children with disabilities, claiming that because she allegedly exudes a “style of male behavior,” she violated Russian family legislation as well…
“Sometime and somewhere there used to be summer,” Yulia Savinovskikh posted to Facebook in November 2017 after guardianship agency officials removed two foster children from her care.
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Replacing Onerous Procedures Allows Access to Strong Pain Medication

As of today, thousands of cancer patients in Armenia may soon be able to get the pain treatment they need – and to which they have the right – thanks to new regulations the government adopted earlier in November. About 8,000…
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Discriminatory Assumptions Land Children in Orphanage

When Yulia Savinovskikh had a double mastectomy in July, she was aware of the likely physical side effects of the surgery. But she felt the procedure was worth it; after three pregnancies, her breasts were causing her pain and other…
Two boys who were under the care of foster parent Yulia Savinovskikh until August 2017.
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Other Countries in Francophone Africa Should Follow Suit

When it comes to end-of-life care and pain treatment, Francophone Africa has a long way to go. But, Senegal is one country working to change this. A 2012 study found 16 of 22 countries in Francophone Africa have no healthcare…
During a morphine shortage, a cancer patient in Dakar cluthes onto the railing of her hospital bed because she is in pain and the medication she needs is unavailable.
News

Other Countries Should Follow Mexico’s Lead

Ensuring good health care at the start of life is a longstanding goal for the global community, and major funding backs efforts to reduce maternal and child deaths. By contrast, health care at the end of life – a need almost as…
Doña Remedios and her daughter at the pharmacy of the National Cancer Institute in Mexico City, Mexico on September 1, 2014 to fill a prescription for morphine. They have to travel for several hours to procure the medication because there are no hospitals
News

More than 61 Million Globally Suffer Severe Pain from Advanced Illnesses

Poor people around the world live and die with little or no pain relief or palliative care, a report published today in the medical journal, Lancet, said, calling the fact a “medical, public health, and moral failing and a travesty of…
A palliative care physician assesses a patient’s pain.
News

Legal Changes Are Next Step to Get Treatment to Those in Need

About 8,000 people die from cancer in Armenia every year, many spending their last days in excruciating pain. But Armenia has recently taken two important steps toward ending their suffering. In February, the government adopted a…
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Yelitza López’s greatest fear is to face a grave illness without pain relief. That fear is very real to her – López’s mother, Divisay, has advanced cancer and suffers from bouts of severe pain. “I cannot watch her suffer,”…
A woman walks past empty shelves at a drugstore in Caracas, February 23, 2016.
News

Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
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Embezzlement Allegations Highlight Unsuitability of Institutions for Children

This week, media reports announced that Armenian authorities charged the director of an orphanage for children with disabilities with allegedly embezzling the equivalent of US$95,000 over three years. The charges were leveled…
A boy sits on a swing in the courtyard of an orphanage for children with disabilities, Yerevan, Armenia.
News

Explaining the Inhuman Treatment of Children with Disabilities

My 4-year-old son came home from school as I was reading an article about the abuse of children with disabilities in orphanages. This time it was in Belarus. But I’ve seen it with my own eyes in Serbia, India, and Ghana. “…
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News

Urgent Legal Changes Are Next Step to Get Treatment to Those in Need

About 8,000 people die from cancer in Armenia every year, many spending their last days in excruciating pain. But Armenia is taking an important step towards ending their suffering, and the government recently adopted a national strategy to…
Gurgen G.
News

Attacks on Education Persist

October 9, 2016 marks 20 years since the Lord’s Resistance Army abducted 139 school girls from St. Mary’s College in Aboke, Northern Uganda. The rebels raided the Catholic girls’ boarding school, ransacking the school clinic, attempted to burn down some…
Former abducted Ugandan girls from St. Mary's College in Aboke who returned from captivity by Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels walk with lit candles during a ceremony October 10, 2005 to commemorate the abduction day.
News
The groundbreaking amendment to the Child Welfare Act that the Japanese Diet passed today opens up the possibility of a future in which all children in Japan can live with families. Credit goes to Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki for…
Beds in sleeping quarters for elementary school girls at a child care institution in Iwate prefecture. Eight girls share a room, and the space on their own bed is the only place children are allowed some privacy.
News
Several years ago I started researching the nearly insurmountable barriers people with advanced cancer face in accessing opioid painkillers in Armenia. I interviewed many people who were dying — in horrible pain. These were devastating interviews, seared…
Gurgen G., who had a brain tumor, and his mother. Gurgen participated in a palliative care pilot project, which improved the quality of his remaining life. He died in August 2012, free from pain.
News
In April, the United Nations General Assembly will review the international response to drugs for the first time in 18 years. An issue that has been neglected for decades – ensuring access to controlled substances for medical treatment, such as pain…
A shipment of oral morphine pills arrived at Dakar's Dantec Hospital in July 2013, after a shortage.
News
As people live longer, healthcare systems face an important challenge: caring for more and more people who suffer from pain, shortness of breath, nausea, anxiety, and depression because of advanced chronic illnesses. If not treated adequately, these…
Ending Needless Suffering in Francophone Africa