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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…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
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Council of Europe Rejects Minimum Standards for Diplomatic Assurances

A Council of Europe expert group has rightly decided not to develop guidelines for the acceptable use of diplomatic assurances to justify sending people to places where they are at risk of torture, Human Rights Watch said today. “We welcome this decision…
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Council of Europe Deadline Is Today; European Parliament to Begin Hearings

European governments must provide detailed information about their participation in or knowledge of the Central Intelligence Agency’s unlawful detention and transfer of terrorist suspects. Two European bodies are investigating the CIA’s activities in…
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Despite what the Prime Minister says, the rules of the game have not changed

In the days after the bombings of 7 July, there were many reasons to feel proud to be a Londoner. Politicians responded with dignity to the terrible events. People of all faiths stood together in the knowledge that those who had commissioned these crimes…
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In two recent reports, Human Rights Watch has exposed the increasing reliance by Western governments on a practice called "diplomatic assurances," which enable those governments to return terror suspects to their home countries, many of which are known to…
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U.N. Committee Rebukes Sweden for Sending Terror Suspect to Torture

Sweden violated the absolute ban on torture by expelling a terrorism suspect to Egypt, the United Nations Committee Against Torture ruled today. Sweden justified the transfer saying it secured assurances from Egypt that the suspect would not be tortured…
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Growing Trend Defies International Law

Governments in Europe and North America are increasingly sending suspects to abusive states on the basis of flimsy “diplomatic assurances” that expose the detainees to serious risk of torture and ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said in a new report…
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"Diplomatic Assurances" will not Protect Deportees

The British government has said it is seeking “diplomatic assurances” that terrorism suspects deported to their home countries will not be tortured there. It argues that, on receipt of such assurances, the men—many of whom have been held without trial for…
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Egypt Violated Diplomatic Promises of Fair Trial and No Torture for Terrorism Suspect

The Egyptian military court conviction of accused terrorism suspect Ahmed Agiza, who was convicted on April 27, violated fair trial standards and failed to address his allegations that he was tortured, Human Rights Watch said today. Sweden expelled Agiza…