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Long Chlorpyrifos Battle Highlights Need for Regulation Reform

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, in response to a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, banned use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos on food crops, 14 years after public interest groups first…
Migrant Farmworkers from Central and South America load fresh-picked corn into trays at Southern Hill Farms on April 21, 2020, in Clermont, Florida.
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One of Many Countries Waking Up to the Dangers of Chlorpyrifos

Last week, the Canadian government quietly released a three-year plan to phase out use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. As Human Rights Watch has reported, the health risks associated with exposure to chlorpyrifos are well-documented. These…
Works plant strawberries farming quebec
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20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
News

Government to Pay US$12 Million in Compensation for Smelter Pollution

In a victory for environmental health, last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.…
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Bayer Agrees to US$10.9 Billion Settlement in Case Alleging Pesticide Caused Cancer

German chemical company Bayer will pay up to $10.9 billion to settle tens of thousands of cancer claims linked to one of its herbicides, Roundup, in one of the largest-ever settlements in United States civil ligation. The weed-killer Roundup is…
Christine Sheppard, in her backyard in Oceanside, California in March 2018, said she sprayed Roundup for years to control weeds on her coffee farm in Hawaii. In 2003, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is now in remission but the cancer treatment causes her severe pain in her hands and legs.
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Mercury Contamination Sickens, Kills Indigenous Community Members

June 27 marks three years since federal and provincial authorities in Ontario, Canada, promised to clean up decades-old mercury contamination. Affected Indigenous residents are still waiting. In the 1960s and early 1970s, a chemical plant dumped…
Sign entering Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, Canada.
News

Lead Poisoning Victims Await Justice, Compensation

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration at the United Nations. October 24 is United Nations Day, marking the day the UN Charter officially came into effect in 1945. The Charter includes the commitment to protect human rights. But on the…
Houses in Kosovo
News

European Union Should Act on Science Deeming Neurotoxin Chlorpyrifos Unsafe

In several European countries, pregnant women risk consuming food contaminated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin that could be harmful to the fetus. Last month, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that the…
An external view of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) headquarters in Parma, Italy.
News

EPA Science Says Chlorpyrifos Exposure Threatens Public Health

Last week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided not to ban chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide that, according to studies funded by the agency, has been linked to developmental delay in children. This decision is just…
A crop dusting plane dusts cotton crops in Lemoore, California
News

Roma Were Exposed to Toxic Lead in UN-Run Camps

  Yesterday, 55 Members of the European Parliament wrote to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, expressing dismay at the UN’s failure to remedy harm inflicted on ethnic minorities in northern Kosovo following the end of the war…
News

Concerns Rising Over Lax Regulation Under Trump

“Luz” started picking strawberries in Florida when she was just nine years old. Her wages helped her mother buy groceries and school supplies, but the work was hard and she often missed class. Exposure to pesticides also made her sick: “When I was in the…
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

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…
News

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.
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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
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…
News
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…