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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
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Urgently Find Sustainable, Rights-Respecting Strategy

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s lack of a comprehensive solid waste management strategy is incurring huge environmental and public health costs, the Waste Management Coalition and Human Rights Watch said today. Trash began piling up on the streets in Beirut and…
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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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Open Burning Endangers Health; Urgently Find Rights-Respecting Solution

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s ministerial committee tasked with solving Lebanon’s waste management emergency has yet to act despite a four-month trash crisis in the north, Human Rights Watch said today. The crisis has resulted in trash in the…
Open burning of waste in Majadel, south Lebanon.
News

Urgently Find Rights-Respecting Solution, Consult with Public

(Beirut) – The Borj Hammoud landfill, one of two principal landfills serving Beirut, Lebanon, is set to reach capacity by the end of July 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The government had initially estimated that the landfill…
A beach where a heavy winds and strong waves washed ashore piles of garbage in Keserwan, north of Beirut, Lebanon, on 23 January 2018.
News
Time will tell whether Bangladesh’s garment industry has its Wonder Woman. Last month, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) elected its first female president: Rubana Huq, managing director of the Mohammadi Group.…
Bangladeshi garment workers shout slogans during a protest in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Thousands
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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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Report
  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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Unions Claim at Least 7,500 Dismissed Arbitrarily From Work, Others Targeted in Violent Police Raid

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should immediately investigate garment worker and union leader allegations of arbitrary dismissals and false criminal cases following a recent protest demanding a wage hike, Human Rights Watch said…
Bangladesh police chase protesting garment workers in Savar, outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 9, 2019.
News
  Sexual Harassment in Garment Factories Eleven women garment workers from a factory in southern India sent a hand-written letter to a local union in late 2016.[1] They wrote: “The plight of women workers … we don’t have anyone who would…
Women Garment Industry
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“We don’t want another Rana Plaza.” Those were the parting words when I spoke with a Bangladeshi garment worker who miraculously survived the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013. The building housed five garment factories employing…
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News
A crash in slow motion—it’s the only way one can describe the looming economic fallout should Bangladesh refuse to extend the Accord on Fire and Building Safety. In just one week’s time the Bangladesh government may force this landmark agreement to stop…
Bangladesh police stand guard in front of garment factories in Ashulia on December 26, 2016, when factories re-opened after a five-day shut down in response to garment workers’ wage strikes.
News

Open Waste Burning Continues to Pose Health Risks Across Country

After years of researching Lebanon’s waste crisis, I was horrified to find out it had come to my family’s village. Open waste burning at unregulated dumps across Lebanon creates serious health risks for people living nearby. Mine and…
Smoke rising from the smoldering dump at Qabrikha, October 11, 2018, Qabrikha, Lebanon.
News

Open Burning by Municipalities Endangering Health

(Beirut) – Lebanese municipalities are endangering the health of residents by openly burning waste despite the passage of a national solid waste management law banning the practice, Human Rights Watch said today. Following decades of…
Signs of burning at the al-Qantara dump, including soot from recent burns and ash deposits.
News
This spring marks a solemn milestone. More than five years have passed since a series of deadly fire and building accidents in Pakistan and Bangladesh together killed more than 1,500 workers and injured thousands more. In the aftermath of these…
Women work in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.
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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.
News

Bangladesh’s Garment Workers Still Need Better Protection

Five years ago, the world watched in horror when an eight-story building collapsed in Bangladesh, trapping and killing over 1,100 people employed by garment factories. Rescue workers struggled valiantly for days to save lives, but for most, it was…
Relatives of victims killed in Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, mourn at the site during the fourth anniversary of the collapse in Savar, on the outskirt of Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
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Every year on April 24, I browse through a poignant online memorial for garment workers who died in 2013 in the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. The website is a collection of national IDs, passport-size and other photos—a man posing…