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With the G7 Summit around the corner and debates about waiving intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines and other health products heating up, all eyes will be on Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel has stood in the way of the waiver, making it…
A woman receives the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 at an apartment building in Bengaluru, India, April 24, 2021.
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Law’s Gaps Should be Fixed by Next Government

(Berlin) – A new law on human rights in supply chains adopted by the German Parliament on June 11, 2021, ushers in a long-awaited shift to mandatory company compliance rules in Germany, Human Rights Watch said today. The German parliament acted…
A 9-year old girl collects sand at a mining site in Uganda.
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Proposed Measure Falls Short of International Norms

(Berlin) – The German government’s proposed law governing companies’ obligations to respect human rights in supply chains is a step in the right direction but needs improving in key areas, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament should explicitly…
"Peter," 15, working alongside a teenage girl at an artisanal and small-scale mine in Odahu, Amansie West district, Ghana.
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New Measures to Address Abuses in Chinese Region Insufficient

The United Kingdom and Canada made coordinated announcements this week to help prevent British and Canadian businesses from being complicit in, or profiting from, human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang region. The move follows growing calls…
People work amidst massive piles of cotton in China's Xinjiang province. 
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After Pledging Reforms, UK Development Bank Should Implement Them

A United Kingdom development bank, CDC Group, has taken another step toward addressing human rights abuses at oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May, the bank committed to reforming its complaints mechanism and adopting a…
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Concerns About Equal Access to the Benefit and Fresh Fears Over the ‘Five-Week Wait’

A bleak Covid-19 winter is coming. Cases are soaring and the UK government has imposed a further one-month lockdown in England. The lockdown could push more than 2 million people into furlough, or temporary leave from work. Hundreds of thousands more…
Citizens Advice operates the “Help to Claim” service, which helps people apply for Universal Credit online. 
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Call for an Effective Human Rights Due Diligence Law

(Berlin) – A German law that would require companies to exercise due diligence throughout their supply chains could greatly benefit children’s rights, Human Rights Watch, Kindernothilfe, Plan International Germany, Save the Children, Terre des hommes…
Child labor in an informal gold mine in Ghana
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Summary “I skip a meal so my children can eat and to ensure that the bills are paid.” -Janet, 35, March 2020   “Janet R.,” 35, a single mother who works at a college student advice center in London, suddenly found herself on the verge…
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Government’s Flawed ‘Universal Credit’ Algorithm Pushing People into Poverty

(London) – The United Kingdom government’s rigid insistence on automating Universal Credit threatens the rights of people most at risk of poverty, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. A comprehensive redesign of how the government…
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News

Companies’ Respect for Rights at Particular Risk During Covid-19

This would have been the week: The German government had put the planned Supply Chain Act on its cabinet meeting agenda. If passed, the law would require companies to ensure that the rights of workers and communities in their supply chains are…
Workers sew clothes in a garments factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 25, 2020.
News

Ruling a Victory for Claimants’ Rights, but Problems Remain

When Rachelle, 35, a single working mother in London, received her first Universal Credit payment in March, she had a panic attack. It was far short of what she needed to pay the rent and support her two children, one of whom has a disability. “I am…
A branch of the UK employment social security agency where claimants seek assistance with their benefits, Newcastle, March 4, 2020.
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US Should Emulate Germany’s Workers-First Response

The meatpacking industry in Germany, like the meatpacking industry in the United States, has recently seen outbreaks of Covid-19 at multiple facilities across the country, and hundreds of migrant workers from Eastern Europe have become infected. But…
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News
  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
News

Groups Call for Law on Human Rights Protection in Companies’ Sourcing Practices

Knowing where products are made is key to stopping human rights abuses in the global supply chain.  An alliance of 64 NGOs and trade unions in Germany – including Human Rights Watch – has launched a Supply Chains Law Campaign urging the…
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News

Rigorous Monitoring Needed to Advance Protection Against Supply Chains Abuses

The German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy is trying to weaken measures that would track how well companies in the country identify and respond to possible human rights abuses in their supply chains. The coalition government…
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