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Government Should Include Pregnant People in Heat Action and Climate Adaptation Plans

As the UK bakes in record-setting temperatures, its meteorological service issued its first-ever extreme heat warning this week. Public Health England extended its own heat health alert through July 23, as soaring day- and night-time temperatures…
A woman walks under a parasol to shelter from the sun in Birmingham, U.K., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The U.K.'s Met Office has issued its first-ever Extreme Heat weather warning, stating that continuing high temperatures will lead to public health impacts.
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Concrete Plans Needed to Address Climate Crisis, Protect Rights

(London) – G7 member countries should take immediate and concrete action to end fossil fuel subsidies, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-answer document released today. Ending these subsidies is key to countries meeting their human rights…
A Uniper coal-fired power plant and a BP refinery steam beside a wind generator in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on Jan. 16, 2020. © 2020 Martin Meissner/AP Photo
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After Pledging Reforms, UK Development Bank Should Implement Them

A United Kingdom development bank, CDC Group, has taken another step toward addressing human rights abuses at oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May, the bank committed to reforming its complaints mechanism and adopting a…
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Other Governments Should Address Girls Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products

Every girl around the world has feared it, or worse, felt it: the snickers of peers who see bloodstains on her clothes, the sneers of classmates as she slips a pad into her pocket. But what of the girls who can’t afford sanitary…
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A year ago today activists attended the Girl Summit, a global meeting hosted by the UK government to agree on action to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage within a generation. Sitting in the audience, I listened to the promises about…
Belkis, 15 years old, holds her one-year-old son in her mother’s house which she returned to after the husband she was married to at age 13 abandoned her.
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Definition of Terms In this report, the following terms have these meanings: “Child” is used to refer to anyone under the age of 18, consistent with usage…
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Set 18 as Minimum Age to Marry

(Nairobi) – Child marriage in Tanzania limits girls’ access to education and exposes them to serious harms, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Human Rights Watch documented cases in which girls as young as seven were married. The…
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One Year On, Governments Should Commit to Action

(New York) – Governments should make an urgent commitment to protect people from the harmful effects of mercury by signing and ratifying the new Minamata Convention on Mercury, Human Rights Watch said today, on the eve of a high-level UN event about the…
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“What’s so scary about smart girls?” The question was posed by a donor representative speaking at the Girl Summit 2014 this week in London. The speaker’s answer to his own question – that smart girls can change the world – matched the mood of…
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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…
Report
Whose Development? Human Rights Abuses in Sierra Leone’s Mining Boom Map of Sierra Leone Summary Recommendations To the Government of Sierra Leone To the …
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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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Government, World Bank, Donors Should Address Child Labor in Mines

(Dar Es Salaam) – Children as young as eight years old are working in Tanzanian small-scale gold mines, with grave risks to their health and even their lives, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Tanzanian government should curb child…
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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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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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Mercury is an ancient metal rich in history, cloaked with mystery and power. It is liquid at room temperature, with a beautiful silver hue. The metal is used in industrial production, in medical and cosmetic products, and in small-scale gold mining.…