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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
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UK Parliament Needs to Act Fast to Save Lives

The United Kingdom government’s recently published data revealing that people with disabilities account for 59 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales between March and July 2020 should shock us all. But this devastating data is just…
A man wears a protective face mask as he drives a mobility scooter in central Leeds on the morning of March 21, 2020.
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Government Should Ensure Children’s Right to Food During Covid-19

As children across England return to school this week, the government should prove it has learned from its mistakes after school closures during Covid-19 left pupils going hungry. Department for Education (DfE) guidance published late last week, just…
Students wash their hands as they arrive on the first day back to school at Charles Dickens Primary School in London, England, September 1, 2020.
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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
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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.
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UK Program Behind the Guide Needs Better Strategy to End Rape During Wartime

The UK government signaled this week that it wants to reignite its initiative designed to end rape during war. As such, members of the initiative and their partners are seeking input for a guide on interviewing victims of conflict-related sexual violence…
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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

Fighting Pandemic Should Not Mean Other Problems Are Ignored

More than 40,000 people dead. Hard decisions about how to relax a lockdown that has confined millions to their homes. Covid-19 understandably continues to dominate headlines and the focus of United Kingdom policymakers. That applies to human…
A man wheels his suitcase across Westminster Bridge looking towards the Houses of Parliament, at would normally be rush hour as the lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus continues in London, March 30, 2020.
News

Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland,…
Demonstrators take part in the Abortion Rights Campaign's annual March for Choice, September 29, 2018.
News

Mitigate Impact of Coronavirus Containment Measures on Poor Families

Update March 19: On March 18, the UK government announced that schools would close on March 20 until further notice for the vast majority of pupils. Limited school places will remain open for children of parents working in essential employment…
From left, Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Witty, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance speak during a press conference about coronavirus in 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, March 9, 2020.
News

Older People’s Right to Health Requires Full Access to a Robust Support System

COVID-19 is spreading around the globe and is especially deadly for older people. The virus has an estimated fatality rate of under two percent, but reaches eight to 15 percent among older people, new analysis shows. Older people can…
Young male community healthcare worker being welcomed by a senior man at his home.
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US, Others Should Follow Suit and Improve Health Protection

The UK is taking a step toward ending preventable forms of cervical cancers, and some other cancers, by offer free HPV vaccines to boys ages 11 and 12. HPV causes nearly all cervical cancers and most throat and mouth cancers,…
A child health nurse holds up a vial and box for the HPV vaccine, brand name Gardasil
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Government Moves Could Weaken Oversight Despite Serious Health Risks

This week, in a puzzling move, the Brazilian regulatory agency on public health, ANVISA, approved a new set of rules establishing risk of death as the only criterion for classifying a pesticide as “extremely toxic.” Until now, ANVISA…
Drone view of a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Some of the houses are around 20 meters from the adjacent sugarcane plantation.
News

Home Office Memo Ignores Suffering of Trafficking Survivors

This week, the United Kingdom Home Office, the country’s interior ministry, came under heavy criticism from the Nigerian anti-trafficking agency and UK politicians, human rights lawyers, and nongovernmental groups for claiming Nigerian women and girls…
Nigerian teenagers and young women selling sex in Italy
News

Simple Changes Could Mean Big Improvements for Children with Zika Syndrome

This dispatch is part of a series focusing on children with zika syndrome and their families. To read more, please visit the blog: Zika: Brazil's Forgotten Families.   Every day, Kássia Consuelo Carneiro wakes up…
Davi with his mother Kássia, father Daniel and older sister Maria Clara.
News

Parents Still Face Fight to Get the Help Their Children Need

This dispatch is part of a series focussing on children with zika syndrome and their families. To read more, please visit the blog: Zika: Brazil's Forgotten Families.   Three-year-old Gaby has long curly…
Carol and her husband Joselito with their three children
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Other Governments Should Address Girls Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products

Every girl around the world has feared it, or worse, felt it: the snickers of peers who see bloodstains on her clothes, the sneers of classmates as she slips a pad into her pocket. But what of the girls who can’t afford sanitary…
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News

Rugby Clubs Set Good Example, But Legal Reform Needed

An unlikely source took a stance on respect for women: professional rugby. Two Northern Ireland players had their contracts revoked following their widely publicized rape prosecution. Both players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart…
A rally held in support of the woman at the centre of the Belfast rape trial in which all four defendants including Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of all charges, Belfast, March 31, 2018.
News

John Worboys Case Should Make Ministers Abandon Plans to Scrap the Act

This week’s landmark judgement by the UK Supreme Court against the London Metropolitan Police for failing adequately to investigate the John Worboys case may bring some belated relief to women he drugged and raped. The Court’…
A London black cab taxi drives past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in late afternoon sunlight in London, Britain, November 10, 2016.