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Fragile Gains Made Since 2001 Should Be Expanded, Protected

With the withdrawal of the last US forces from Afghanistan, fighting in the country has intensified and the Taliban are gaining ground. The prospect of an expanded civil war and widening Taliban control looms. In the midst of it all, many donor countries…
Delegates attend the last day of the Afghan Loya Jirga meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 3, 2019.
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“For me, if I was writing an article, I might call it how the pandemic saved our lives,” said Amanda Furdge, who, through the US-based Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice, trains high school girls from the deep South of…
Amanda Furdge (left) advises participants of the Young Women’s Leadership Institute on how to engage and educate registered voters
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How an Undervalued Workforce and Allies Secured Sweeping Labor Protections

Ten years ago, on June 16, 2011, a landmark international treaty was adopted to help protect domestic workers around the world. The International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 189, Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers radically changed how…
Domestic worker leaders chant “Up up domestic workers, down down with slavery” after the ILO vote to adopt the Domestic Workers Convention, June 16, 2011
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The US Withdrawal, Drops in Foreign Aid, and Health Care for Women and Girls

When the United States announced in April that it would withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, it raised concerns the move would come with cuts in development assistance. Yet dwindling foreign investment has already left Afghanistan’s government with…
Midwives care for a mother who has just given birth in a hospital room
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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…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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How Ten Years of Advocacy and Incremental Changes Add Up

In Greece, a recent high-profile court ruling and policy change mark momentous human rights victories for migrants and children. On October 7, an Athens court ruled that the country’s far-right xenophobic political party, Golden Dawn, whose members…
A woman sits with her children in Victoria Square in Athens, Greece, awaiting transfer after being evicted from their place of residence, July 20, 2020.
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Canada Is Failing Indigenous Peoples Facing Threats to Food, Health, and Land

In some of the most remote stretches of Canada – from the provincial norths to the territories – First Nations are facing serious threats to their ways of life because of the effects of climate change. A rapidly changing environment means harvesting food…
Weenusk First Nations members packing their sleds ahead of a hunt near Peawanuck, Ontario, December 14, 2019.
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Why Poverty and Inequality are Human Rights Issues

Human Rights Watch has long documented how, when people live in poverty, their ability to exercise all their human rights erodes. Because of this, we have pushed governments to end abuses that contribute to poverty. We have recently decided to…
girls from the Kalokol Girls Primary School fetch water
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Kenyans are speaking about divorce more openly than ever before. But women still face insurmountable difficulty when trying to claim matrimonial property after divorce. Human Rights Watch found that the process for dividing up this property discriminates…
Women registering for a community dialogue meeting organized by the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) with the Milimani Law Courts in Kibera, Nairobi.
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The Global Pandemic Offers Chance to Embrace Clean Energy

It’s been three months since governments around the world implemented lockdowns in response to Covid-19. The virus has killed hundreds of thousands and forced millions more into joblessness and destitution. With the global transport of people and goods…
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  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
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How has the situation on Lesbos changed since your last visit? When I was here in 2016, I couldn’t imagine things being worse. We saw a lawless situation in Moria refugee camp. There were around 6,000 people in the camp,…
Migrants who arrived yesterday to Greece from Turkey eat bread as they try to warm themselves at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, March 6, 2020.
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How European Development Banks Fail the Very People They Claim to Assist

Why did you focus your research on these oil palm plantations? These plantations provide jobs for many people. But their workers are being underpaid and exposed to unhealthy working conditions. The European development banks that finance these…
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Forests Razed to Make Way for Oil Palm Plantations

What Indigenous communities did you focus on? Indonesia is home to about 50 to 70 million Indigenous people, about a quarter of the country’s population. We looked specifically at the impact of large-scale oil palm plantations on two groups:…
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Domestic Violence Goes Unaddressed in Tajikistan

What is happening in Tajikistan in terms of domestic violence? Reports indicate that at least one out of five, and probably more, women in Tajikistan have been abused by a current or former husband or partner. The number is likely much higher…
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Being Outside is a Health Risk for Some of Zambia’s Children

How did you first become aware of the problem in Kabwe? We learned about it from an environmental group several years ago but became interested in doing our own research after seeing a young person from Kabwe speak at a United Nations event.…
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Why Sex Work Should be Decriminalized

How did you find sex workers willing to talk about their work despite it being illegal in South Africa? It’s very difficult to gain sex workers’ trust without connections to people already actively supporting sex workers. For one, because their…
Sex workers wearing masks lead a march to mark International Sex Workers Rights Day in Johannesburg March 3, 2011