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Video Celebrates the 10-Year Anniversary of a Landmark Treaty

June 16 marks 10 years since the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a groundbreaking treaty establishing global labor standards to protect domestic workers’ rights. In that time, 32 countries have joined and dozens have improved labor…
Domestic worker and human rights organizations join forces in Geneva, to demonstrate alongside the opening policy negotiations. June 2010.
News

Migrant Workers Face Abuse and Exploitation

There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and…
Trapped in Employer's home
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Philippines Should Demand Stronger Protections for Overseas Filipino Workers

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to cut off the flow of Filipino workers to the Middle East in response to incidents of rape and suicides of Filipinos in the region. “I’m sorry, all the Filipinos there, they…
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Video Shows Moment That Domestic Worker Screams for Help, Falls

Last week, a horrifying video of an Ethiopian domestic worker falling from what media reports say is the seventh floor of an apartment building in Kuwait went viral. The video appears to have been filmed by the worker’s employer inside the flat with the…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News

Future Whistleblowers Are Watching

Update: On Friday, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama urging that he commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning. On January 17, President Obama ordered Manning be freed, having served nearly 7 years of her sentence, on May 17, 2017, rather…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
News

Crackdown on Activists Undermines Fight for Rights

Lebanon marked International Human Rights Day on Saturday by deporting Sujana Rana, a Nepalese migrant domestic worker involved in the struggle for the rights of migrant domestic workers. Her arrest and deportation suggests…
Sujana Rana being deported to Nepal from Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport.
News

Real Oversight and Reform on Surveillance Needed in the US

What a coincidence – just as we launch a Campaign to Pardon Edward Snowden, and as the new Oliver Stone movie opens, the House Intelligence Committee issues a report arguing against clemency for Snowden, alleging overwhelming damage he supposedly caused…
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Sign Petition to Bring Whistleblower Home

Today, Human Rights Watch joins the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International in launching a public campaign urging President Obama to pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden. It’s been more than three years since…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
News
Working up to 18 hours per day for weeks without breaks or a day off. Being paid little, or not at all. Locked in their employers’ home, fed food scraps, their passports confiscated. These abuses can amount to modern slavery as defined by the United…
News
A couple is currently on trial in Singapore for allegedly starving their domestic worker to the point where she weighed only 29 kilograms (64 pounds). The domestic worker, Thelma Gawidan, who is from the Philippines, says she endured more than a year of…
News
Today marks two years since the first of Edward Snowden’s revelations about United States government surveillance shocked the world. Yet despite the international debate on privacy and the proper role of government surveillance that his disclosures set in…
News
Just yesterday, we sat down with activists from Haiti concerned about the impact that badly regulated mining could have on their communities’ already poor access to safe drinking water. Communities around the world face similar problems, and with more…
News
A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
News
Back in 2008, just minutes after President George W. Bush signed amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into law, Human Rights Watch and other human rights, media, and legal groups brought a constitutional challenge to the sweeping powers…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
News
Edward Snowden’s revelations changed the world, awakening us to a profound but insidious peril. Since last June when his first accounts of National Security Agency mass surveillance became public, we have learned how vulnerable our everyday digital…
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While not present in person, Edward Snowden’s figurative presence permeated this year’s annual Stockholm Internet Forum. Unlike past years, where optimism about Internet-driven opportunities for economic development and social innovation were…
News
Yesterday, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia inked an agreement that says Indonesian women working in Saudi homes will be able to keep their passports, communicate with their families, get paid monthly, and have time off. The new pact comes in the wake of years…