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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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Urgently Address Economic, Political Crises

(Beirut) – The Lebanese authorities’ corruption and failure to address the massive political and economic crises the country is facing have resulted in the country’s most drastic deterioration of rights in decades, Human Rights Watch said today in its…
Lebanese people release balloons bearing the names of the victims of the 4 August Beirut seaport blast to mark the two-month anniversary of the explosion that killed 200 people and injured more than 6,500 others.
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Is Public-Centered Aid Disbursement Possible?

People living in countries with extensive government corruption are often most in need of financial assistance. But their governments generally leave donor countries and international financial institutions with three bad options: rely on leaky…
Aid from the European Union is being unloaded from a cargo plane at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport on September 12, 2020.
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Reflections on International Anti-Corruption Day

The recent passing of James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank from 1995 to 2005, offers a moment to reflect on global progress in the fight against corruption. That his 1996 speech decrying the “cancer of corruption” broke a taboo offers a benchmark…
Business Trap Corruption Graphic
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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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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.
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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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Economic Reform Shouldn’t Come at Expense of People in Poverty

As poverty increases, inflation skyrockets, and unemployment soars, Lebanon is facing the worst economic crisis in its history. Last week, the government began formal negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss a …
People wave a Lebanese national flag during a protest in Central Beirut December 11, 2006.
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  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
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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…
201905Asia_Bangladesh_Garment
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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…
201905Asia_Bangladesh_Garment
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Germany has a growing club of global apparel brands making their supplier factory information public. Unfortunately, KiK is dragging its feet on transparency, and has stayed out of the club. Transparency in the garment industry about the…
A garment worker sews clothing in a building near the site of the Rana Plaza building collapse.
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Germany’s Next Government Will Decide

Mobile phones, clothes, or food: these products and others we use every day can be produced through processes that don’t respect rights. Human Rights Watch has documented the catastrophic things that can happen in leather tanneries in…
Women work in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.
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Protecting Rights in Global Supply Chains

Our lives are full of products produced in faraway countries—think of the clothes you wear or the device you are reading this on. In many cases, consumers have little information about how they are produced, or under what conditions.…
A garment worker sews clothing in a building near the site of the Rana Plaza building collapse.