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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.
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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. 
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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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Reveal How Asylum Seekers at Border Were Short-Changed on Rights

(Washington) – Two years after the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, newly released government records reveal US immigration agencies’ efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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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
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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. 
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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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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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Much concern has been raised, for good reason, about President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Haspel allegedly was involved in reckless, illegal torture under the agency’s “rendition,…
Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by U.S. President Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is shown in this handout photograph released on March 13, 2018. © 2018 CIA handout
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Unnamed US Detainee Held 2 Months in Iraq

(Washington, DC) – The US government has been holding a US citizen suspected of fighting with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) for two months in an undisclosed military prison in Iraq without access to legal counsel, Human Rights…
The American flag flies next to a statue of the scales of justice at United States Court House, February 6, 2002.