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International Community Should Push for Results in Curbing Deforestation, Protecting Rights

As fires rage in the Brazilian Amazon, environment minister Joaquim Leite announced that the government has doubled the budget for environmental law enforcement and will recruit 700 new enforcement agents.  Leite presented these measures as…
Fires near Novo Progresso, Brazil on August 23, 2020, burned land deforested by cattle farmers.
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Proposal a Major Setback to Land Rights Recognition

(São Paulo, August 24, 2021) – Brazil’s Congress should reject a bill that would prevent or hinder many Indigenous peoples from claiming their right to traditional lands, violating their rights under international law, Human Rights Watch said…
Indigenous people protest against a bill on the demarcation of indigenous land, on the roof of the National Congress, on June 8 2021, in Brasilia, Brazil. Photo: Mateus Bonomi/AGIF (via AP)
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Efforts to save the world’s forests could soon get a boost from proposed laws in the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States to restrict the import of agricultural commodities linked to deforestation. These three markets’ consumption…
Cláudio José da Silva at the bank of the Pindaré river, in the Brazilian Amazon.
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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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International Funding Largely Depends on Reducing Deforestation, Protecting Rights

(São Paulo) – The governors of Brazilian Amazon states should take immediate measures to deliver on their pledges to curb illegal deforestation, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The success of the governors’ efforts to secure…
Governors and vice-governors of Brazil’s Amazon states at the 17th Forum of Governors of the Legal Amazon, March 2019
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Dear Governors,                     We are writing to applaud the commitment the Governors, through the Interstate Legal Amazon Consortium, have made to fight illegal deforestation in the Amazon and to…
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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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Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
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To the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the challenges and risks facing climate defenders for the upcoming report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. While recognizing that…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
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Brazil Should Deliver Results in Reducing Deforestation and Impunity for Environmental Crime and Violence

Speaking at the Leaders Summit on Climate convened by the United States today, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro insisted he’s committed to protecting the Amazon and even pledged more resources for environmental law enforcement. But since taking office…
Congressmen Jair Bolsonaro e Eduardo Bolsonaro speak with the press, Brasília, June 21, 2016.
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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…
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Bolsonaro Policies Fuel Deforestation in Indigenous Lands

(São Paulo, April 12, 2021) – Brazilian federal authorities should immediately remove miners who have unlawfully entered the Munduruku Indigenous territory in the Amazon rainforest, Human Rights Watch said today. Munduruku Indigenous people in the…
A mining site in the Munduruku Indigenous Land registered by Brazil's environmental agency IBAMA, May 2018.
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Briefing Paper for US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry

I. Deforestation Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased dramatically since President Bolsonaro took office in 2019. The increase was more than 30 percent during the first year of his administration and an additional 9.5 percent during the…
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Human Rights Watch Letter Detailed Disastrous Policies Fueling Brazil’s Amazon Crisis

On January 27, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) detailing the disastrous impacts of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies. The intervention has now…
Presidente Jair Messias Bolsonaro
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Over the past year, France has been an outspoken voice on the mounting crisis in the Brazilian Amazon, calling international attention to the disastrous environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. But if France genuinely hopes to help…
201909AME_Brazil_Rainforest_Defenders_photo
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Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon. Despite an unstable connection there, a phone call from Stockholm came through…
Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon.