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Failure to Protect Older People, People with Disabilities in British Columbia

(Ottawa) – Inadequate government support compounded risks for people with disabilities and older people during the recent extreme and foreseeable heatwave that killed hundreds of people in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), Human Rights…
A woman sits to take a rest as heat wave hits Western Canada on June 30, 2021 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. © 2021 Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Enforced Disappearances, Incommunicado Detention, Groundless Deportation

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities have forcibly disappeared at least four Pakistani men since October 2020 and deported at least six others without explanation, apparently based solely on their religious background, Human Rights Watch said…
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Examples of In-Person Education in Pandemic Offer Lessons for All

(Bolzano) – The measures some schools in Italy took to ensure access to quality education for students with disabilities during Covid-19-related school closures should inspire other schools to follow suit, Human Rights Watch said today. The steps…
Teacher supports three students sitting in an otherwise empty classroom, all wearing face masks.
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Investigate, Protect Rights Defenders, End Hateful Rhetoric

Update: Poland’s Ministry of the Interior responded to Human Rights Watch’s request for information and comment on our findings in a four-page letter dated April 8, 2021. The letter states that the government adheres to international law guaranteeing…
Protesters hold a banner of Strajk Kobiet (Women's Strike) during a protest in Warsaw on March 8,  International Women's Day, organized by the Women's Strike (Strajk Kobiet) against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the decision of the Constitutional Court.
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Pandemic Exposes Need for Improvements in Staffing, Oversight, Accountability

(New York) – Potential neglect and prolonged isolation may have caused serious harm to many people in nursing homes in the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today.  Human Rights Watch interviews with more…
A nursing home resident holds his wife’s hand.
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Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
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Neglect by Hamas Authorities, Armed Conflict Cause Further Hardship

(Gaza) – Israel’s 13-year closure of the Gaza Strip along with neglect by Hamas authorities, significantly encumber the day-to-day life of tens of thousands of Palestinians with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today on the International Day of…
Deema Salha, an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability, in the yard of her home in the Gaza Strip. Deema uses a nebulizer when she has trouble breathing, which she cannot operate without electricity, putting her health at risk.
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Cities, Federal Agencies, Should Broaden Responses to Climate Change

(Washington, DC) – Many plans by local, state, and federal authorities in the United States to respond to heat extremes and climate change miss the threat that extreme heat poses to pregnancy, particularly for low-income and Black and brown people,…
A pregnant African-American woman sits on a bench in a black and white photo
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New Human Rights Watch Campaign Against Whitewashing Rights Violations

(Beirut) – The Saudi government has spent billions of dollars hosting major entertainment, cultural, and sporting events as a deliberate strategy to deflect from the country’s image as a pervasive human rights violator, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Inadequate Measures Heighten Existing Risks for Health, Lives

(London) – Government inaction has left women and girls facing avoidable obstacles to accessing legal abortion in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s failure to…
Banners and posters from a sit-in by pro-choice activists at the Ministry of Health in Rome on July 2, 2020.
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3 Years into Violence, More Protection, Support Needed

(Nairobi) – Concrete action is needed to make the humanitarian response to the crisis in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon more inclusive of people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today on International Human Rights Day. In…
Blind people hold white canes they received from a local organization working with people with disabilities in Buea, South-West region, December 3, 2019.
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Ban Chaining; Provide Mental Health Services

  (Abuja, November 11, 2019) – Thousands of people with mental health conditions across Nigeria are chained and locked up in various facilities where they face terrible abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. Detention, chaining, and…
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Government, Donors Should Expand Mental Health Programs

(Amsterdam) – The Afghan government is failing to provide sufficient psychosocial, or mental health, support to Afghans who have experienced traumatic events, Human Rights Watch said today. More than half the…
A man sits in the yard at a mental health facility in the city of Herat, April 2014. © 2014 Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images
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Trafficking, Exploitation, Torture, Abusive Prison Conditions

(Addis Ababa) – Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison…
African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. © AFP/Getty Images
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Funds Needed to Scale Up Humanitarian Response

(Nairobi) – People with disabilities in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon are caught in the violence and struggle to flee to safety when their communities come under attack. They also face difficulties in getting necessary assistance…
Staff from the Coordinating Unit, a network supporting people with people with disabilities in the South-West region of Cameroon, April 2019.
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End Institutionalization, Provide Community-Based Support

    (Berlin) – Children with disabilities in state institutions in Kazakhstan are at risk of physical violence, forced sedation, and neglect, Human Rights Watch said today. Kazakhstan should make it a priority to move children…
Sixteen beds fill a room with barred windows in a closed institution for children with disabilities.
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All Children Should Have Access to School

Why did you focus on Kazakhstan for this report? The Kazakh government has committed to improving education opportunities for children with disabilities, but so far we haven’t seen that commitment lead to meaningful change. We wanted to better…
First grade math class in a mainstream inclusive school in Almaty, Kazakhstan, includes at least one child with disabilities.
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End Institutionalization, Support Independent Living

(Moscow) – Russian orphanages where children with disabilities grow up often transfer them to closed state institutions for adults when they reach 18 without their consent, Human Rights Watch said today. Those who do move into the community often…
A young man does yard work on the grounds of a closed state institution for adults with disabilities.
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So, all abortion is banned in the Dominican Republic? Yes. Even in instances where a woman or girl is pregnant from rape or incest, if her life is in danger, or if the fetus won’t survive outside the womb. But the ban, in effect since 1884,…
Rosa Hernández stands in her home below a photo of her daughter, Rosaura Almonte Hernández, who died in 2012 at age 16.
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Oversight Crucial to End Abuse of People with Disabilities

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government has taken important steps to end the practice of shackling people with mental health conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. But many people remain locked up in institutions instead of being able to live in…
A woman with a scarf sits on a wooden platform to which she is shackled.