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Expand the Child Tax Credit

The United States Congress is debating the content and price tag of the Build Back Better Act, President Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $3.5 trillion over 10 years in education, fighting climate change, and strengthening the US social safety net.…
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, center, and US Congressman Jimmy Gomez, hold a press conference about the new Child Tax Credit, in Los Angeles, July 15, 2021. 
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Spending Package Would be Groundbreaking Expansion of Social Safety Net

Critics in the United States who argue about the cost of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package pending in the US Congress, which would expand government investment in the country’s broken social safety net and protections for workers, are missing…
US President Joe Biden speaks on 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.
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New Video Urges Congress to Include Equitable Access in Infrastructure Bill

(Washington, DC) – The United States Congress should support programs that ensure everyone in the US has access to safe and affordable water, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. To advance this crucial goal, the US government should…
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Proposals to Tackle Inequality Can Help Advance Right to Food

A major independent review of the United Kingdom’s food systems has underscored the deep inequality around access to nutritious food in the country. The National Food Strategy makes clear recommendations on using food policy to help tackle…
Students eat lunch at Chertsey High School on March 09, 2021 in Chertsey, United Kingdom. 
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Federal Rule Allowing Payday Lenders to Avoid Interest Rate Limits Overturned

The US House of Representatives last week joined the Senate in voting to overturn a federal regulation that allowed payday and other small-dollar and short-term lenders to skirt limits on what interest rates they could charge for loans. This is a major…
The window of a payday loan store
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Solutions to Identity Verification Errors Urgently Needed to Help Those Facing Hardship

Lucy* (not her real name), a 29-year-old grocery delivery worker and mother of two in the US city of Houston, Texas, was under enormous financial strain when we interviewed her in May. She said her income had dropped steeply during the pandemic; she…
Workers in Texas may apply for unemployment benefits on the Texas Workforce Commission website.
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Governments Should Strengthen Equity Measures

Not long ago, talking about menstruation as a human rights issue raised eyebrows even within much of the human rights movement. The dismissiveness about the issue among many underscored both its stigma and the lack of decision-makers who menstruate…
A pupil removes a free organic sanitary napkin from a dispenser at a high school
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Reverse Decades-Long Assault on Right to Join Unions; Curb Inequality

(Washington, DC) – The United States Senate should pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), five human rights and labor groups said today in releasing a question-and-answer document about the issue. The Senate should seize on a once-in…
Frontline healthcare workers in Minnesota picket for fair wages. 
News

Show Spirit of the ‘Beautiful Game’ and Secure the Right to Food

Fans of European football have been on an emotional rollercoaster these past few days, as a proposal for a “European Super League” provoked anger over the greed and financial inequalities the project laid bare. With public outcry about how the plans…
A mobile food pantry with food collected by Fans Supporting Foodbanks and other local anti-poverty groups set up at at St. Mary’s Millennium Centre, Liverpool, UK. Photo shows a purple van with cases of food set up in front of it.
News

Ensure Alternative Registration Methods for Covid-19 Shots

Most US states have prioritized people over 75 in the first wave of Covid-19 vaccinations, but obstacles to securing an appointment can hinder delivery. Most states are using online systems for scheduling. But while technology was once considered the…
Allegheny Health Network employees run a Covid-19 vaccine clinic at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 6, 2021.
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Special License for Billionaire Dan Gertler Undercuts Magnitsky Sanctions

A coalition of Democratic Republic of Congo and international nongovernmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have written to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and urged them to revoke a decision by…
Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler walks through the Katanga Mining Ltd. copper and cobalt mine complex in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 1, 2012.
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Lifting the Permit Cap Would Make Thousands Eligible for Financial Assistance

New York City’s roughly 20,000 street vendors have suffered enormously this past year, as the Covid-19 pandemic compounded perennial challenges such as the lack of a social safety net in the United States for immigrant workers and…
Street vendors and supporters march across Brooklyn Bridge during a rally in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, November 12, 2020.
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Follow Eviction Moratorium Extension with Financial Relief, Other Measures

(Washington) – Federal and state governments in the United States should move promptly to strengthen housing protections for renters during the Covid-19 pandemic, including with additional financial relief, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-…
Tenants’ rights advocates demonstrate in front of the Edward W. Brook Courthouse in Boston
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Biden’s Proposed Child Tax Credit Would Help Millions, But Has Limits

In the US, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit families with children the hardest. Households with children have been most likely to lose employment due to the pandemic. More than 40 percent of US families with children – and more than 55 percent of Black…
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Biden Administration Should Strengthen Regulations, Oversight

Fifty years ago today, then-United States President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, a bill that set the stage for many of the basic protections to which US workers are legally entitled today. In January 2020, the…
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Poverty Rising; Millions More May Soon Face Hunger, Eviction

(Washington, DC) – The United States Congress should strengthen and pass another round of Covid-19 emergency relief before existing protections expire, Human Rights Watch said today. One million new unemployment claims are being filed each week in the…
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Government Needs to Ensure Adequate Housing for Homeless Families

For children in the United Kingdom living in stable and secure homes, waking up in their own beds, this holiday season will be a welcome distraction from a bleak year. But many children across the country do not feel the same safety and stability when…
The interior of accommodation in Marston Court on Bordars Walk in Hanwell, west London, where converted shipping containers have been re-purposed for use as temporary accommodation, August 20, 2019. 
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Extended Eviction Moratorium, Rent Assistance Crucial to Protect Right to Housing

With negotiations concerning a new economic stimulus stalled, millions of renters in the United States face a grim deadline. On December 31, the national eviction moratorium expires. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the…
A rental sign is posted in front of an apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona, July 14, 2020. 
News

Concerns About Equal Access to the Benefit and Fresh Fears Over the ‘Five-Week Wait’

A bleak Covid-19 winter is coming. Cases are soaring and the UK government has imposed a further one-month lockdown in England. The lockdown could push more than 2 million people into furlough, or temporary leave from work. Hundreds of thousands more…
Citizens Advice operates the “Help to Claim” service, which helps people apply for Universal Credit online. 
News

New Law Threatens Workers’ Rights in US, Globally

(Los Angeles) – The passage of Proposition 22 in California is a blow to the rights of gig workers, effectively stripping them of the state’s minimum wage guarantee, paid sick leave, and other protections, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International…
Rally in California calling for the passage of Assembly Bill 5, a law that sought to provide wage and labor protections to gig workers.