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International Community Should Push for Results in Curbing Deforestation, Protecting Rights

As fires rage in the Brazilian Amazon, environment minister Joaquim Leite announced that the government has doubled the budget for environmental law enforcement and will recruit 700 new enforcement agents.  Leite presented these measures as…
Fires near Novo Progresso, Brazil on August 23, 2020, burned land deforested by cattle farmers.
News

Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
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Brazil Should Deliver Results in Reducing Deforestation and Impunity for Environmental Crime and Violence

Speaking at the Leaders Summit on Climate convened by the United States today, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro insisted he’s committed to protecting the Amazon and even pledged more resources for environmental law enforcement. But since taking office…
Congressmen Jair Bolsonaro e Eduardo Bolsonaro speak with the press, Brasília, June 21, 2016.
News

Human Rights Watch Letter Detailed Disastrous Policies Fueling Brazil’s Amazon Crisis

On January 27, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) detailing the disastrous impacts of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies. The intervention has now…
Presidente Jair Messias Bolsonaro
News

Reproductive Rights Reform, Greater Access to Care Needed

Earlier this month, a 10-year-old-girl in Espírito Santo State, Brazil, discovered she was pregnant after 4 years of repeated rape by her uncle, who threatened her to keep quiet. The girl, who lives with her extended family, wanted to end the…
Pro-choice demonstrators at a protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 8, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo
News

579 Cases in 3 Months Show Need for Reproductive Rights, Sanitation

As Covid-19 dominates headlines, the Zika virus silently continues to put women and children at grave risk in Brazil, and the country has not taken nearly enough steps to combat the mosquito-borne disease or help the families impacted by it. Brazil…
Raquel, 25, holds her daughter Heloisa in Areia, Paraíba state, Brazil. Raquel gave birth to twin daughters with Zika syndrome in April 2016. “I want to give my best to my daughters,” she said in an interview with Human Rights Watch.
News

Accurate Data Key to Protecting the Forest Defenders

For the first time, Brazils’ Attorney General’s office has produced a report analyzing violence against Indigenous peoples, Afro-Brazilian rural communities, and other at-risk rural communities by people engaged in illegal logging, mining, and land…
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News

Defenders Play a ‘Positive, Important and Legitimate’ Role

I met Itahu Ka’apor after a long journey on a rough dirt track into the indigenous territory of Alto Turiaçu, in the Brazilian Amazon. After welcoming me and my colleagues into his community, he spent several days showing us how his…
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News

Bolsonaro Government Should Protect Reproductive Rights

Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão publicly supported a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion in an interview published today in O Globo. Mourão raised the issue of abortion after being asked a question about…
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão publicly supported a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion
News

84 Killed, 276 Missing in Mining Waste Sludge in Brumadinho

The dam collapse in Brazil last week that killed 84 was the second such tragedy in just over three years, pointing to weak oversight by the government and urgent need for reforms. On January 25, a dam with mineral waste…
201901americas_brazil_DamCollapse_AfterCollapse_SatImage_27JAN2019_v1
News

Court Case Challenges Strict Laws

Ingriane Barbosa Carvalho, a mother of three in her early 30s, died two months ago in Brazil. The medical examiner’s report states that she died of complications from an unsafe abortion, and the story made headlines last week when the…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
News

Supreme Court Ruling a Victory for Law Reform in Brazil

The word “victory” is rarely uttered alongside the word “prisons” in Brazil, where even pre-trial detainees are routinely held in overcrowded, unsanitary and violent cells. But this week, Brazil´s Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling…
Painted fingernails of an inmate in the Women's Prison of Brasilia, Brazil, August 3, 2011.
News

Care Should Evolve as Children Born with Zika Grow

Maria Gabriela Silva Alves will have no party for her second birthday today. No cake. No gifts. No celebration. Gabi, as her parents call her, has congenital Zika syndrome, and her parents simply cannot afford it. …
Maria Carolina Silva Flor and Joselito Alves dos Santos with their 18-month-old daughter, Maria Gabriela Silva Alves, pictured after the launch of the Human Rights Watch report Neglected and Unprotected, July 2017.
News

Brazilians March Against Proposed Amendment

Erika Kokay was the only member in a special committee of Brazil’s congress to vote against a constitutional amendment last week banning abortion under all circumstances. Eighteen fellow deputies, all men, voted in favor. They…
Protesters demonstrate against Brazil's congressional move to criminalize all cases of abortion, including cases of rape and where the mother's life is in danger, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 13, 2017.
News

New Law Would Ban Abortion in Cases of Rape, Health Risk

Hundreds of women have died in Brazil from unsafe abortion in recent years. Yet on Wednesday evening, 18 members of a committee in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies – all men – voted in favor of a dangerous new constitutional amendment that…
People participate in the SlutWalk protest on Copacabana Beach, here pope Francis will celebrate mass at night, in Rio de Janeiro, July, 2013. The sign reads "No more criminalization of women, abortion is a right". ©  REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.