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New Measures to Address Abuses in Chinese Region Insufficient

The United Kingdom and Canada made coordinated announcements this week to help prevent British and Canadian businesses from being complicit in, or profiting from, human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang region. The move follows growing calls…
People work amidst massive piles of cotton in China's Xinjiang province. 
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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. 
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Government’s Flawed ‘Universal Credit’ Algorithm Pushing People into Poverty

(London) – The United Kingdom government’s rigid insistence on automating Universal Credit threatens the rights of people most at risk of poverty, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. A comprehensive redesign of how the government…
202009eca_uk_universal credit_thumbnail
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Ruling a Victory for Claimants’ Rights, but Problems Remain

When Rachelle, 35, a single working mother in London, received her first Universal Credit payment in March, she had a panic attack. It was far short of what she needed to pay the rent and support her two children, one of whom has a disability. “I am…
A branch of the UK employment social security agency where claimants seek assistance with their benefits, Newcastle, March 4, 2020.
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‘Five Eyes’ Nations Should Support, Not Threaten, Digital Security

(Washington, DC) – The governments that constitute the intelligence partnership known as “The Five Eyes,” will meet on June 26-27, 2017, in Ottawa to discuss how to bypass encryption. The governments may pursue a dangerous strategy that will subvert the…
People sit at computers inside GCHQ, Britain's intelligence agency, in Cheltenham, UK, November 17, 2015.
News

British American Tobacco Shareholders Can Push for Supply Chain Improvements

(London) – British American Tobacco (BAT) should strengthen its processes for identifying and addressing human rights risks in its global supply chain, Human Rights Watch and Swedwatch said today in an open letter to shareholders. At…
An 8-year-old girl sorts and bundles tobacco leaves by hand near Sampang, East Java.
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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will be in London next week to pitch foreign investment, is mired in political controversy at home. The corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad fund refuses to…
Malaysia's (L-R) Prime Minister Najib Razak and King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah wave Malaysian national flags during National Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, August 31, 2015.
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Over the last year, reporting about FIFA, football’s scandal-plagued governing body, has focused on arrests, corruption, and worker rights abuses in the upcoming World Cup host countries, Russia and Qatar. So today’s news that…
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Parliament Should Amend It to Prevent Mass Surveillance

(London) – A surveillance bill the United Kingdom government presented to parliament on November 4, 2015, would enshrine the UK’s already overly broad surveillance practices in law and expand the government’s reach even further into peoples’ lives, Human…
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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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Privacy Violations in Intercepting, Retaining, Sharing Data With NSA

Human Rights Watch and three anonymous individuals filed a complaint today over surveillance by the United Kingdom. The complaint by Human Rights Watch to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) charges its rights had been violated…
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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-…
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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…
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General Assembly Should Pass Strong Resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

(New York) – The United Nations General Assembly should approve a new resolution and make clear that indiscriminate surveillance is never consistent with the right to privacy, five human rights organizations said in a November 20, 2013 letter to members…
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Unchecked Mass Surveillance Threatens Rights

(Geneva) – Governments around the world should aggressively protect online privacy through stronger laws and policies as pervasive electronic surveillance increases. There is an urgent need to overhaul national surveillance practices to protect everyone’s…
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Today, Facebook issued its first transparency report, surprising no one in saying that the US government has made more requests for user data than any other country. US surveillance practices are only one of the reasons the country leads the pack:…
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Global Firms Violate International Labor Standards in America

(New York) - Many European companies that publicly embrace workers' rights under global labor standards nevertheless undermine workers' rights in their US operations, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. The 128-page report, "A Strange…
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UK-Ethiopia Agreement on Deportations Puts Suspects at Risk

(London) - The UK government should not rely on unreliable "diplomatic assurances" against torture to deport national security suspects to Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the UK government. In December 2008, the United Kingdom…
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Promises From Algeria and Jordan Unreliable in Preventing Abuse

(London, October 22, 2008) - The British government should immediately halt plans to deport foreign terrorism suspects to countries that offer unreliable promises not to torture them, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 36-page…
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Follow UN Recommendations, and Reject Longer Pre-Charge Detention

(London, October 8, 2008) - The United Kingdom should heed calls in a critical UN report to drop proposals to detain terrorism suspects for 42 days without charge, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the home and foreign secretaries. The…