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The Taliban’s cruelties are horrendous, but withholding international support and maintaining blanket sanctions will only hurt the long-suffering Afghan people.

Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation is spiraling into catastrophe. Millions of Afghans are now facing severe economic stress and food insecurity in the wake of the Taliban’s August takeover, set off by widespread lost income, cash shortages,…
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News

For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
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(New York) – Human Rights Watch joined Access Now, Amnesty International USA, and Mnemonic today in issuing the following statement, saying that social media platforms need to preserve and archive content that may provide evidence of past or ongoing…
The YouTube video sharing application is seen on an iPhone with the symbol for unavailable content in the background in this photo illustration
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Summary “Dao,” an ethnic Lao man in his 40s, previously lived a largely self-sufficient life in the village of Srekor in northeastern Cambodia’s Stung Treng province. He fished on the Sesan River and farmed rice and fruit on the fertile soil along…
News

Coerced Land Sales Linked to Predatory Lending

(Bangkok) – The World Bank Group should investigate alleged coerced land sales and other rights abuses linked to predatory lending and over-indebtedness in the micro-loan sector, Human Rights Watch said today. These longstanding problems have worsened…
Communities reiterate their calls for adequate housing rights and an end to land conflicts on World Habitat Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 5, 2015.
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(Bangkok) – The recent Thai Ministry of Justice’s decision to grant a human rights award to a company currently facing trial for human rights abuses casts serious concerns on the government’s commitment to upholding human rights especially in the in the…
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21 July 2020 Your excellency, We, the undersigned 33 civil society organizations, urge the Governments of Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and…
Communities reiterate their calls for adequate housing rights and an end to land conflicts on World Habitat Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 5, 2015.
News

Companies Canceling Orders, Adding to Job Loss, Unpaid Wages

(London) – Apparel brands’ business practices in response to COVID-19 are exacerbating the economic plight of millions of garment workers in Asia, Human Rights Watch said today. Scores of clothing brands and retailers have canceled orders without…
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Hun Sen Responsible for Decision Because of Worsening Human Rights Situation

(Bangkok) – The European Commission on February 12, 2020, announced the partial suspension of Cambodia’s preferential trade preferences with the European Union after the government failed to address serious human rights concerns, Human…
Women in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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Time and Cost-Cutting Pressures Are Incentives for Labor Abuses

(London) – Clothing and footwear brands should end business practices that provide incentives for factory labor abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 66-page report, “‘Paying for a Bus Ticket and Expecting to…
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  Summary Soon after the Rana Plaza collapsed in 2013 in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing over a thousand workers, a top official from a global brand flew into Pakistan.[1] His sudden trip was sparked by the desperation to make up…
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Act Urgently to Reverse the Declining Number in School

(New York, June 13, 2018) – The World Bank, along with the Afghan government and its donors, should use its new education program to reverse the declining number of girls in school in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday in a letter to bank…
Girls sit for lessons on a stairwell inside a school building.
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Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
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How Unions Help Workers Worldwide

How can a mango craving spiral into a labor dispute? I was talking with garment workers in Cambodia when I heard the mango story. A pregnant garment worker had been caught sneaking mangoes into the factory despite a rule forbidding food…
Garment workers take part in a May Day demonstration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia May 1, 2017.
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“That’s the Rat Trap Door factory,” a garment worker told me, pointing to a little blue door on a windowless wall along National Road 4 in Phnom Penh. “The door is so small it looks like only rats can get in.” It didn’…
Women in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Women constitute about 90 percent of the workforce in Cambodia’s garment industry.
News

Urge to Press the Government for Action Is Long Gone

“This is not a side event. This is the main event,” several speakers said at the – yes – side event on women’s empowerment the day before the October 5 donor conference on Afghanistan in Brussels. The donor session, for all its warm glow, highlighted the…
DATE IMPORTED:October 05, 2016(Front Row L-R) Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani, European Council President Donald Tusk, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, U.S.