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Brazil’s President Held to Task by Critical Pandemic Report

A Brazilian Senate committee yesterday approved on a 1,100-page report that lays bare what happens when a country’s president adopts policies with utter disregard for human rights during a pandemic. The report was the result of months of hearings…
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro holds a drug he recommended to treat Covid-19 during a Facebook live event in April 2020. That drug has no proven effect against the virus.
News

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

Repeal New Segregated Education Policy for People with Disabilities

On August 17, Brazilian Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro made harmful remarks about children with disabilities, saying they “disturbed” other students and that some are “impossible to live with.” Later, he apologized to “those who were offended”…
A young girl who does not attend school, living in an institution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 6, 2016.
News

Justice Should not Take 50 Years

A Brazilian court has issued the first conviction of a state agent for human rights abuses committed during the dictatorship of 1964 to 1985. Yesterday a judge in São Paulo sentenced retired police officer Carlos Alberto Augusto to 2 years and 11…
Demonstrators show photos of people killed during Brazil's dictatorship outside a police station that used to be a torture center used by the dictatorship in Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 5th, 2019.
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
News

Widespread Impunity Perpetuates Police Violence in Brazilian State

In the early morning of May 6, police in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro sent heavily-armed officers supported by helicopters and armored vehicles into Jacarezinho, a vast poor neighborhood of narrow alleys, subjecting its almost tens of…
Activists and relatives of victims shout slogans and demand justice the day after a deadly police operation in the Jacarezinho favela of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 7, 2021.
News

Prosecutors Mandated to Inspect Institutions, Promote Independent Living

Brazil’s National Council for Prosecutors, the government body overseeing the country’s prosecutors, took a major step yesterday by approving a resolution that could mean significant human rights improvements for the more than 10,000…
A group of persons with disabilities in a yard in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents are taken outside for a few hours during the day but spend most of the time confined to their beds.
News

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

President Bolsonaro Continues to Oppose Measures that Could Save Lives

President Jair Bolsonaro went on national TV last week and claimed to have adopted all necessary measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. As he was speaking, thousands of Brazilians banged pots on their windows in disagreement – with good reason.…
An overhead view of a cemetery
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

Government Should Implement Legislation, Address Gaps in Protection for Victims

This month, after years of activism, Kuwaiti women’s rights activists won a new law establishing protections against domestic violence. The need for this law was underscored on September 9 when Fatima al-Ajmi, aged 35 and pregnant, was shot repeatedly…
The Kuwait city skyline is seen through the haze of a sand storm in Shuwaikh, Kuwait City.
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

Bolsonaro Disregards WHO Recommendations Even After Testing Positive

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro spent months downplaying Covid-19 and refusing to take measures to protect himself and the people around him. He visited stores; he let supporters congregate around him; he shook hands – all without wearing a mask. On…
Brazil´s President Jair Bolsonaro (center, wearing a white shirt) poses for a picture with US Ambassador Todd Chapman (center, wearing a hat) and several ministers during a luncheon at the ambassador´s residence, July 4, 2020.
News

Maha al-Mutairi’s Allegations of Police Abuse Go Viral in Kuwait

As Maha al-Mutairi, a 39-year-old Kuwaiti transgender woman, made her way to a police station last Friday night, she decided to post a video. Maha had been summoned by authorities for “imitating women” – the fourth time she has faced this charge…
The transgender pride flag.
News

New Regulation Important Step Towards Better Rights Protection

On May 6, Brazil’s National Secretariat of Social Assistance published a federal regulation aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 in institutions for people with disabilities and homes for older people. The regulation, which provides guidelines…
A psychiatric ward in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents of most institutions in Brazil live in depersonalized conditions, have few if any personal belongings, and have little or no privacy.
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

Afro, Indigenous Communities Especially at Risk

  Internally displaced people in Colombia often live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to water and food. These families, who fled violence in their home regions and often struggle economically, face further risk from Covid-19.…
A photograph sent to Human Rights Watch showing the living conditions of a displaced indigenous community in Buenaventura, Colombia. Their limited access to water and health services means that Covid-19 could spread quickly through the community.
News

Extension of an Important Disability Benefit is an Opportunity for Empowerment

This week, Brazil’s Congress overturned a presidential veto and reinstated legislation expanding access to an important monthly social pension, the Benefício de Prestação Continuada (BPC). Guaranteed under Brazil’s constitution, the BPC…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.
News

Supreme Court Justice Defends Freedom of Expression

In the recent Netflix comedy The First Temptation of Christ, Jesus returns home from the desert to a surprise party. But he is not alone. He is accompanied by his presumed boyfriend. On January 8, Rio de Janeiro appellate…
Screenshot from Netflix's "Porta dos Fundos's Christmas Special: Christ's First Temptation," December 26, 2019.
News

Decision Based on Reports of Severe Human Rights Abuses in Venezuela

On December 5, Brazil’s refugee agency (CONARE) granted asylum to 21,432 Venezuelans . Until then, CONARE had granted asylum to a total of just 263. There are currently 224,000 Venezuelans living in Brazil. In June, CONARE…
Venezuelan children play in a refugee shelter in Boa Vista, Roraima state, Brazil, August 26, 2018.