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People Still Accommodated in Camp’s Contaminated Area

Dozens of families are still accommodated in areas of a migrant camp in Lesbos where soil testing showed elevated lead levels two months after the Greek government confirmed that the areas were contaminated, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Authorities removing soil
News

Results Highlight Urgent Need for Further Testing, Safety Measures

The Greek government is downplaying the risk of lead poisoning at a migrant camp built in part on top of a former firing range on Lesbos island to justify its own inadequate action, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-answer document released…
The area on the hill from where authorities are removing soil
News

Inadequate Government Response; Lack of Transparency Put Health at Risk

Update January 28, 2021: On January 27, 2021 the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum’s press office shared by email with media outlets and with Human Rights Watch a 79-page document detailing the results from the soil sample testing conducted in…
child plays next to an earth digger
News

Test Soil, Clear Firing Range

(Athens) Thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, United Nations, and Greek and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning in a new migrant camp that Greek authorities have built on a repurposed military firing range on the island of…
A girl from Syria living in Mavrovouni camp watches the Greek military search for unexploded munitions
News

Important Coastal Barrier at Risk from Increased Pollution

Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful to strike in the Bay of Bengal in 20 years, made landfall on the India-Bangladesh coast last month. Amphan ripped off roofs, washed away homes, and flooded farms. Crucially, Bangladesh was able to mitigate impact and…
Men working in a coal mine in Bangladesh
Report
Summary My brother asked, “Can I have your identity? What is your force? Are you RAB, CID, DB?” They did not identify themselves. He asked several times. They did not wear any uniform and they had no legal arrest warrant. Nothing. They just said, “…
News

20 Million Lives at Risk

Last month, three UN human rights experts released a joint letter to the Bangladesh government about the country’s failing response to deadly arsenic in drinking water. Two decades after the problem came to international attention, an estimated…
Hands of Selina Aktar, a woman in her late 30s with arsenic-related health conditions that first began appearing 20 years ago.
Report
Summary On the morning of February 28, 2013, the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party called a strike to protest the death penalty handed down against its leader, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, who had been convicted by Bangladesh’s International Crimes…
News

Carry Out Proper Investigations to Identify and Prosecute ‘Machete Attacks’

(New York) – The Bangladeshi authorities should investigate attacks on secular writers, gay rights activists, and religious minorities, and identify and prosecute the perpetrators, but should immediately stop arbitrarily arresting people without proper…
Police stand guard during a rally by activists demanding capital punishment for a group of bloggers in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 12, 2013.
Report
Summary Khobor lives with his wife, two sons, and daughter in a rural village in central Bangladesh. Their house is small, with a dirt floor, thatched walls, and a corrugated tin roof. Too poor to own his own land, Khobor earns his…
News

20 Years After Discovery, Failing Government Response

(Dhaka, April 6, 2016) – The Bangladesh government is failing to adequately respond to naturally occurring arsenic in drinking water across large areas of rural Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Approximately 20 years after…
2016-04-Bangladesh_COVER
Video
The Bangladesh government is yet to take sufficient steps to end child marriage, in spite of promises to do so. Instead, in steps in the wrong direction, after her July 2014 pledge to end child marriage by 2041, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina…
News
Last December, Human Rights Watch reported on serious lead poisoning in the small indigenous community of Klity Creek in western Thailand, caused by a badly regulated and now defunct lead processing factory upstream. In 2012, we reported on about 150…
News
If you are reading this, it’s not likely you will be one of the 2.5 billion people looking for a place to defecate outdoors. Or one of the hundreds of millions of mostly women and children walking great distances, or waiting in long lines, to collect one…
News
From the slums of Bangladesh to the fashion houses of the world - luxury leather goods from Dhaka generate sales of more than $1bn a year. There are more than 200 tanneries in Hazaribagh, Dhaka, employing more than 30,000 workers. Every day, the tanneries…
News
Earlier this week, two prominent environmental organizations named their top 10 most polluted places. One of those sites – Hazaribagh in Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital – is a place  I know well. It’s home to 150 or so leather tanneries densely packed into…
News

HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the adoption of some important recommendations in the UPR of Bangladesh, but regrets that key recommendations made by member states were not adopted. Positive developments include the government’s pledge to criminalize all acts…
News
For Abigail Chombo in Zimbabwe, World Environment Day will pass like any other; a day with no safe water to drink, a day where the bush substitutes for a toilet. It's as unlikely that Su Xia, a father of two in China, will notice that it's World…