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How Some Governments Have Protected People During the Pandemic

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, Human Rights Watch has pressed governments around the world to respect people’s rights to life and the highest obtainable standard of health. We have advocated for refugees trapped in under-resourced camps, older…
A volunteer provides hand sanitizer to passengers entering a bus
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Officials Launch Guidelines for Self-Isolation of Covid-19 Patients

In early June, Kenya’s Ministry of Health released guidelines on how people with mild or asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 could self-isolate at home. The new guidelines were drafted in accordance with the World Health Organization’s recommendations.…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
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Ruling means justice for victim, first step toward directing policy changes

In a landmark ruling – its first on a domestic violence case in Russia – the European Court of Human Rights found that Russia’s lack of legislation to combat domestic violence, as well as the absence of protection orders, indicated a…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
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Despite their mandate to maintain peace and protect people in war-torn countries, some UN peacekeepers have themselves been abusers. Highly publicized allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic have…
Women walk by a United Nations peacekeeping armored vehicle guarding the outer perimeter of a school used as an electoral center at the end of the presidential and legislative elections, in the mostly muslim PK5 neighborhood of Bangui.
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Currently in Indonesia, over 18,000 people with psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) are kept in chains – in part because of a dearth of mental health services. But that may begin to change. During a meeting with Human Rights Watch…
A man with psychological disability appears to be chained to a wooden bed.
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Julia adopted a baby girl born four months premature in 2008. The baby weighed just 1.5 pounds and had to be resuscitated. Julia and her partner longed to have more time with their baby during the 110 days she spent in the hospital, but had to save their…
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Good news in the Central African Republic is rare. So it seemed strange to feel joy as I stood at dawn in the Muslim enclave of Yaloké watching 16 ethnic Peuhl cattle herders boarding a United Nations convoy heading for Cameroon. The Peuhl were smiling…
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In a move that will benefit those living with HIV and AIDS in Mississippi, the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decided to overhaul the state’s federally funded program meant to provide housing to people with AIDS. This comes roughly four years…
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Women in Peru facing tough reproductive choices got great news this week when the Ministry of Health adopted new abortion guidelines that should help doctors treat patients in need. Ninety years ago, Peru’s lawmakers decided that even though abortion is a…
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  Menstruation isn’t something that necessarily leaps to mind when one thinks of human rights. But May 28, 2014, the first-ever global Menstrual Hygiene Day, is designed to change that – it is a day established by a coalition of nongovernmental…
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Yesterday, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia inked an agreement that says Indonesian women working in Saudi homes will be able to keep their passports, communicate with their families, get paid monthly, and have time off. The new pact comes in the wake of years…
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Yesterday, a 565-member forum in Yemen, created to help establish the building blocks for a new constitution, took the major step of releasing a report that recommended a minimum age for marriage of 18 for both boys and girls. The forum, which began in…
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When Samantha learned she was pregnant, she hoped for a healthy delivery, a happy baby, and a smooth return to work. Life did not go according to plan. Samantha had a C-section, and the wound got infected. She took eight weeks of leave from work, much of…
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Zimbabwe’s disastrous sanitation situation has left it in grave danger of waterborne disease outbreaks – something its government publicly acknowledged in a press conference yesterday. In fact, the government officials who announced Zimbabwe’s new…
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Tomorrow is the International Day of the Girl: a day to reflect on how girls are doing the world over and what is holding them back. We now know that a fundamental factor to determine whether a girl can enjoy her rights throughout her life is at what age…
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The Awards for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights

(Voir plus bas pour la version française.) Do you know someone or an organization that deserves to be recognized for their work protecting and defending the human rights of those living with or affected by HIV?  The Awards for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human…
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The "finger" test found to violate rights

After a man she was in a relationship with raped her, Sandhya went to a hospital for an examination and treatment. "The clerk told me a male doctor will conduct the test [forensic examination] and asked me whether that was ok," Sandhya, who is in her 20s…
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Area Residents Suffer from Serious Health Problems Caused by the Pollution

For probably the first time, Bangladesh’s government has leveled pollution-related fines against two leather tanneries in Hazaribagh, a Dhaka neighborhood so polluted with waste from its roughly 150 tanneries that residents and workers are plagued by…