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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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When Isaias Cervantes, a hard of hearing young adult with autism and mental health conditions, became agitated and upset with his family, they called 911 to request support. The 911 operator sent sheriff’s deputies instead of a crisis intervention…
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Sports Federations Need to Ensure Reasonable Accommodation for All Athletes

The Tokyo Paralympic Games begin this week with thousands of Paralympic athletes from around the world competing in 539 events in 22 sports. Sadly, one athlete who had earned a place on the United States team won’t be there. Rebecca Meyers, 26, a…
Rebecca Meyers competes in the Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 during day 4 of the Para Swimming World Championship in Mexico City, Mexico on November 5, 2017.
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Letter of Support to the Assembly Appropriations Committee

August 10, 2021   Lorena Gonzalez Chair, Committee on Appropriations Assembly Appropriations Committee State Capitol, Room 2114 Sacramento, CA 95814   Via email: approps.committee@assembly.ca.gov   Dear…
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Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding Children’s Rights and Alternative Care June 30, 2021 Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Committee on the Rights of the Child ahead of its upcoming Day…
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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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Residents Need Access to Courts Amid Emerging Reports of Neglect During Pandemic

This week, Arizona legislators will vote on bill 1377, which would shield nursing homes from civil liability for negligence while providing services during the Covid-19 pandemic. At least 32 states have already passed laws or issued executive…
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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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Ensure Alternative Registration Methods for Covid-19 Shots

Most US states have prioritized people over 75 in the first wave of Covid-19 vaccinations, but obstacles to securing an appointment can hinder delivery. Most states are using online systems for scheduling. But while technology was once considered the…
Allegheny Health Network employees run a Covid-19 vaccine clinic at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 6, 2021.
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Police Killing in Philadelphia Underscores Need for Supportive Responses to Emotional Crises

The killing of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old man with a mental health condition, in Philadelphia this week is now part of a long list of cases of police violence against people with disabilities in the United States. On Monday afternoon,…
A neighbor gathers at a memorial outside Walter Wallace Jr.'s home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 27, 2020.
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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…
White house
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Inaccessible Polls, Ballots May Disenfranchise Millions in Upcoming Elections

Approximately 38.3 million people with disabilities, nearly the equivalent of the entire population of California, are eligible to vote in the upcoming United States elections. This includes 5.4 million Black and 4.1 million Latinx voters with…
A woman departs the Beethoven Elementary School after participating in early voting in Chicago, October 15, 2020. 
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UK Parliament Needs to Act Fast to Save Lives

The United Kingdom government’s recently published data revealing that people with disabilities account for 59 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales between March and July 2020 should shock us all. But this devastating data is just…
A man wears a protective face mask as he drives a mobility scooter in central Leeds on the morning of March 21, 2020.
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On the ADA’s 30th anniversary, we should reflect on what’s still missing to make sure that all people with disabilities are included in the United States

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law transformative legislation known as the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was a major victory for the rights of people with disabilities, not only in the United States but globally.…
Protesters supporting people with disabilities gather outside the White House in Washington, May 15, 2017
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New Easy-to-Read Guide for Residents and Families

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people living in nursing facilities. More than 50,000 residents of nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities in the United States have died from Covid-19. In March, the US Centers for…
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New York, 18 Other States Limiting Access to Justice Amid Covid-19

(New York) – State lawmakers across the United States are increasingly denying residents of nursing facilities access to legal remedies, Human Rights Watch said today. Nursing facilities’ longstanding problems managing infection control have put…
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Successful Challenge to Discriminatory Language in Alabama’s Emergency Care Plans

As experts warn that the Covid-19 pandemic could overwhelm emergency rooms across the United States, some state policies on emergency care have come under scrutiny for potentially discriminating against people with disabilities.…
The picture shows the emblem of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
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Scrutiny Needed to Ensure Rights of People with Disabilities, Older Persons

(London) – UK’s Coronavirus Act, which becomes law today, has serious implications for the rights of people with disabilities and older people, and its implementation needs to be carefully monitored to protect people’s rights to…
A man wears a protective face mask as he drives a mobility scooter in central Leeds on the morning of March 21, 2020.
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The Path from Pride to Change

When I was 4 months old, I got polio, and since then I’ve been a wheelchair user. When I was 10, in 1975, my parents found a summer camp for children with disabilities in California and decided it would be a good experience for me.…
Carlos Rios, on the right and making a funny face, with his buddies at Camp Harmon in 1975.