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Repeal New Segregated Education Policy for People with Disabilities

On August 17, Brazilian Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro made harmful remarks about children with disabilities, saying they “disturbed” other students and that some are “impossible to live with.” Later, he apologized to “those who were offended”…
A young girl who does not attend school, living in an institution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 6, 2016.
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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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Prosecutors Mandated to Inspect Institutions, Promote Independent Living

Brazil’s National Council for Prosecutors, the government body overseeing the country’s prosecutors, took a major step yesterday by approving a resolution that could mean significant human rights improvements for the more than 10,000…
A group of persons with disabilities in a yard in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents are taken outside for a few hours during the day but spend most of the time confined to their beds.
News

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…
News

New National Policy Encourages School Segregation

(São Paulo) – A recent Brazilian presidential decree risks undermining the right of children with disabilities to a quality, inclusive education, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch submitted two amicus briefs to Brazil’s Supreme Court,…
A mother with her 3-year-old adoptive daughter, who has developmental disabilities.
News
All people should have the right to education from childhood and as a lifelong process. No one should be subjected to discrimination based on biases about whether they can benefit from receiving education or not. In the last years, Brazil’s law for…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.
News

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.
News

New Regulation Important Step Towards Better Rights Protection

On May 6, Brazil’s National Secretariat of Social Assistance published a federal regulation aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 in institutions for people with disabilities and homes for older people. The regulation, which provides guidelines…
A psychiatric ward in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents of most institutions in Brazil live in depersonalized conditions, have few if any personal belongings, and have little or no privacy.
News

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.
News

Extension of an Important Disability Benefit is an Opportunity for Empowerment

This week, Brazil’s Congress overturned a presidential veto and reinstated legislation expanding access to an important monthly social pension, the Benefício de Prestação Continuada (BPC). Guaranteed under Brazil’s constitution, the BPC…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.
News

Uneven Social Care Assessments Limit Services, Compromise Health and Dignity

(London) – Older people in England are at risk of not getting adequate assistance to live independent, dignified lives due to uneven assessments for social services, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In doing so, the United…
Older woman leaving a community center with programs for older people in East London.
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
News
We arrived at the institution for people with disabilities on a day in November 2016. The door had heavy locks. Once inside, in the back of a room full of beds, we saw a woman waiving us closer. She had cerebral palsy and could not…
A man with disabilities looks out through the bars of a psychiatric ward in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Persons locked in this section of the institution never left their rooms, according to staff.
Video
Thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Brazil are needlessly confined to institutions, where they may face neglect and abuse. Brazil should make it a priority to provide support for people with disabilities to live independently and in…
News

People with Disabilities in Brazil Forced to Live in Institutions

At age 25, Leonardo Barcellos de Albuquerque is finally where he wants to be – at home, living with his mother in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is creating his fourth music album – he released three other CDs over the past three years – and is also…
Leonardo_1
News

Ensure Community-Based Services, Right to Make Decisions

(Rio de Janeiro) – Thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Brazil are needlessly confined to institutions, where they may face neglect and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Brazil should make it a priority to…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.
Report
Summary Leonardo, 25, has muscular dystrophy, a disability that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. He has lived in a residential institution for persons with disabilities in Brazil since he was 15. His mother felt she had no choice…
News
Clara is a community health worker’s dream client—she has absorbed all the training offered on preventing mosquito breeding in her home and implements it to perfection. I spoke to her last October in a favela in downtown Recife. She described how she…
Mother holding her child in Brazil.