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UN Experts Urge Full Clean-Up; Candidates Should Address Kabwe Issue

(Lusaka) – Zambia’s next government should urgently clean up lead pollution that has affected the health of tens of thousands of children and adults in the city of Kabwe, six organizations said today, following the publication of a United Nations…
Former Mine Pit in Kabwe, Zambia
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Submission by Human Rights Watch to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

  Human Rights Watch appreciates the opportunity to provide a submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on children’s right to a healthy environment, in advance of its 2020 annual full-day meeting on the same topic…
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“Henry” is thin and small for his age. The 10-year-old, his mum and I are sitting outside in the dusty, poor township of Waya in the Zambian city of Kabwe on a hot, dry afternoon. His mum, looking weary, describes their life…
Former Mine Pit in Kabwe, Zambia
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Years have passed, but Kasuba* still remembers when she was tested for lead as a child of about 8. The World Health Organisation says that there is no safe level of lead exposure. But the amount of the metal in Kasuba’s blood was up to…
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Being Outside is a Health Risk for Some of Zambia’s Children

How did you first become aware of the problem in Kabwe? We learned about it from an environmental group several years ago but became interested in doing our own research after seeing a young person from Kabwe speak at a United Nations event.…
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Effective Cleanup, Health Services Desperately Needed Near Former Lead Mine

(Johannesburg) – Lead exposure around a former lead and zinc mine in Zambia is having disastrous effects on children’s health, Human Rights Watch said today. The Zambian government should promptly clean up the…
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  Summary More than one third of the population of Kabwe, Zambia— over 76,000 people—live in lead-contaminated townships. Studies estimate that half of the children in these areas have elevated blood lead levels that warrant medical treatment…
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Every few years, a journalist flies to Zambia to write an article about Kabwe, “the world’s most toxic town.” For more than a century, Kabwe was home to an enormous lead smelting plant that belched its dust into the air and poisoned the soil…
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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Government, Chinese State-Owned Subsidiaries Make Uneven Progress

(Johannesburg) – Workers in the copper mining sector in Zambia remain vulnerable to abuse. New Human Rights Watch research found that the government of President Michael Sata, who promised to prioritize labor rights when he took office in September 2011,…
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“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
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Ensure Perpetrators Prosecuted, Health Services for Victims of Rape, Domestic Violence

(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s laws on violence against women are not adequately protecting victims displaced by the armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face…
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Mining Firm’s Labor Record in Zambia a Red Flag

(New York) – Prospective investors in China Non-Ferrous Metals Mining Corporation’s (CNMC) upcoming initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong should be aware of the company’s disturbing labor rights practices in Zambia. CNMC’s inability or unwillingness…
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It’s the Americas’ largest reunion. Happening every three years, the Summit of the Americas brings together the heads-of-state of the region to talk about pressing concerns. Over the weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, the theme will be “Connecting the…
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“You’ll Be Fired if You Refuse” Labor Abuses in Zambia’s Chinese State-owned Copper Mines Map of Zambia Summary Recommendations To the Government of Zambia To the…
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Congress Members’ Proposal Would Require Concrete Actions to Protect Rights

(Washington, DC) - The initiative by members of the US Congress to establish human rights benchmarks that Colombia should meet prior to US ratification of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a critically important development, Human Rights Watch…
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New Center Will Treat and Support Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

The Zambian government should adopt a comprehensive law to curb sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and accelerate establishment of hospital-based coordinated response centers to help the victims and survivors, Human Rights Watch said today. Care…
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US Congress Should Press for Sustained Results on Human Rights, Anti-Union Violence

(Washington, DC, November 20, 2008) – Colombia needs to do much more to address its human rights problems before the US Congress should consider the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Nancy Pelosi, speaker…
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Dear Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Miller and Chairman Rangel: I write to thank you for the leadership you have shown on human rights in Colombia in connection with the debate over the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and to follow up on concerns you…