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High Temperatures Top Weather-Related Killer in US

The administration of US President Joe Biden announced yesterday a major interagency initiative to respond to the impacts of extreme heat in the United States. This effort, which closely follows the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, will seek to…
Workers harvest cantaloupe on a farm during a drought in Firebaugh, California, US, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
News

Abandon Deterrence Model for Immigrants, Asylum Seekers, Groups Urge

(Washington, DC) – Extreme heat in the United States in the summer of 2021 underscores the urgency of adopting a climate-informed approach to policies affecting border communities, migrants, and asylum seekers, a group of 68 rights organizations said…
Alyssa Quintanilla, part of the Tucson Samaritans volunteer group, carries a cross, May 18, 2021, to be installed near Three Points, Arizona. The cross will be installed in the desert to commemorate the death of a migrant there. 
News

Storm Highlights Need for Inclusive Disaster Planning in the US

Hurricane Ida made landfall in the southern US state of Louisiana last week, leaving thousands of people displaced and millions without power or access to other resources. Among those most at risk during the storm and in its aftermath have been people…
Occupants prepare to depart the Renaissance Place senior living apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on September 3, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
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Evidence of Impact Mounts, Action is Needed

Mother’s Day in the United States is typically associated with spring, and new life. But because of the climate crisis, Mother’s Day also heralds hotter summers with more and longer heat waves, worsening North Atlantic hurricane season, and…
Farmworkers, considered essential workers under the current Covid-19 pandemic guidelines, work a strawberry field in Santa Paula, California, April 15, 2020. 
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Chlorpyrifos Use Threatens Public Health

(New York) – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should ban all uses of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, Human Rights Watch said today. The agency has previously acknowledged the well-documented health risks associated with exposure to…
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Oral Testimony to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Thank you for the opportunity to provide a short statement in support of the proposed regulation that seeks to add chlorpyrifos to the section 326.2(c) list of pesticide active ingredients that are no longer allowed to be distributed, sold, purchased,…
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10 Key Issues that Demand the Administration's Immediate Attention

Whoever wins the November 3 presidential election has an opportunity  – and a responsibility – to help the United States move forward by making human rights a priority in the next administration. This includes ending policies that undermine the…
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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
News

Increasing Temperatures Threaten Worker Safety

Many United States farmworkers and other essential outdoor workers have gone to work throughout the dangerous Covid-19 pandemic, putting food on people’s tables and collecting their trash. But outdoor workers put themselves at risk every year by…
Farmworkers, considered essential workers under the Covid-19 pandemic, harvest beans in Homestead, Florida, May 12, 2020. 
News

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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Communities of Color Face Dangerous Lack of Access to Clean Water

Access to safe and affordable water is essential to human health and for following basic recommendations issued by US public health experts on proper hand hygiene to help prevent Covid-19 infection. Despite this, communities of color across the…
The top of a water tower is seen at the Flint Water Plant in Flint, Michigan January 13, 2016.
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On World Water Day, Marginalized Populations Still Lack Access to Basic Hygiene Measures

  Today is World Water Day, but as the world braces for the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little to celebrate. The need for good hygiene like handwashing is key to protecting public health and responding to the virus.…
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State Pediatricians Urge Cuomo to Protect Children’s Health

Pressure is growing for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would ban the use of chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide. The scientific evidence on the harms of chlorpyrifos is overwhelming and irrefutable. On Friday, the European Union…
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What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
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The Trump administration and United States Congress have endangered public health by ending measures, including defunding a scientific study, that address the human and environmental risks of mountaintop removal, a form of surface coal mining prevalent in…
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Inquiry, Officers’ Arrests Positive First Steps

The Gambian authorities should thoroughly investigate the alleged excessive use of force by police causing the deaths of two anti-sand mining demonstrators on June 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The…
Gambian security officers at the Supreme Court in Banjul, December 5, 2016.
News

Country’s New Leaders Fail to Ease Up on Repression

(New York) – The Vietnamese government engaged in a broad crackdown on freedom of speech, opinion, association, assembly, and religion in 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. Rights bloggers and activists faced constant police…
Farmers from Duong Noi village protest during the trial of Can Thi Theu, a farmer and land rights activist in Hanoi. The placards read "Can Thi Theu is innocent," "Justice for innocent Can Thi Theu" and "Make arrest - grabbing land is criminal," September
News

Respect Rights to Demonstrate and Freedom of Expression

(New York) – Vietnam’s government should immediately stop all harassment, intimidation, and persecution of environmental activists, said Human Rights Watch today. The government should respect their right to peaceful protest and release anyone still…
Plainclothes security forces drag away blogger Huynh Ngoc Chenh.
News
Nearly two years ago, the city of Flint, Michigan switched to a less expensive water source that turned out to be highly corrosive and led to lead poisoning of many children. Public outrage pushed the government to find a safer source, but the…
The top of a water tower is seen at the Flint Water Plant in Flint, Michigan January 13, 2016.