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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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Precious minerals and stones are mined in dozens of countries around the world, and then typically traded, exported, and processed in other countries. Although their supply chains can be long and complex, jewelers and watchmakers have a responsibility to…
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Ministers Should Endorse, Implement Minamata Convention

(Geneva) – Health ministers should pledge to take comprehensive action to prevent and treat the negative health effects of mercury, a toxic chemical, Human Rights Watch said today. The World Health Assembly is scheduled to discuss a resolution on the new…
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Governments Should Sign, Ratify to Protect Environment, Health

Governments around the world should immediately sign the new, groundbreaking Minamata Convention on Mercury, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials around the world will meet in Kumamoto, Japan beginning October 7, 2013, to formally adopt the treaty.…
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“Ibrahim” is a 12-year-old boy working in a small Tanzanian gold mine. One of his main jobs is to separate gold from the ore by using mercury, a toxic metal. Using his bare hands, he mixes mercury with ground-up ore to create a mercury-gold amalgam, then…
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The New International Convention on the Highly Toxic Metal Mercury Could, Despite Some Flaws, Be a Huge Step Forward in Protecting the Right to Health This weekend, more than 140 governments agreed on the text for a new legally binding convention on…
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But Governments Fail to Plan Phase-Out in Small-Scale Gold Mining

(Geneva) – The international mercury treaty just agreed sends an important signal that governments must do more to address the threat of mercury to the right to health, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 19, 2013, 140 governments created the treaty…
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In Final Talks, Western Governments Should Agree to Include Prevention, Treatment

A proposed international treaty to address the damaging effects of mercury should include specific provisions to protect the health of children and other vulnerable populations, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments are to meet in Geneva beginning…
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Three Groups File Lawsuit Seeking Information about ‘Ghost’ Detention

(New York) – In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The…