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Government Should Include Pregnant People in Heat Action and Climate Adaptation Plans

As the UK bakes in record-setting temperatures, its meteorological service issued its first-ever extreme heat warning this week. Public Health England extended its own heat health alert through July 23, as soaring day- and night-time temperatures…
A woman walks under a parasol to shelter from the sun in Birmingham, U.K., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The U.K.'s Met Office has issued its first-ever Extreme Heat weather warning, stating that continuing high temperatures will lead to public health impacts.
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Concrete Plans Needed to Address Climate Crisis, Protect Rights

(London) – G7 member countries should take immediate and concrete action to end fossil fuel subsidies, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-answer document released today. Ending these subsidies is key to countries meeting their human rights…
A Uniper coal-fired power plant and a BP refinery steam beside a wind generator in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on Jan. 16, 2020. © 2020 Martin Meissner/AP Photo
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Russian Lawmakers Target Greenpeace

A healthy environment has become a major topic for public debate globally, particularly in the context of climate change, and Russia is no exception. The authorities clearly understand that. In November the state-owned public opinion polling center…
Members of the Russian branch of the environmental group Greenpeace display a protest banner in downtown Moscow on Thursday, May 20, 2010.
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Environmental rights groups in the country are facing severe harassment by the authorities.

Shortly before 6 a.m. on Nov. 18, a large group of heavily armed masked men buzzed the door of a house in Krasnodar in southwestern Russia.  The house serves as an informal office for Environmental Watch for Northern Caucasus (EWNC), a…
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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…
201911ENV_DRC_reportphotos
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20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
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December Brought a Spate of Arrests, Fines

As 2019 draws to a close, Russian authorities have spent the holiday season harassing environmental defenders taking part in protests across the country. On December 16, police dispersed a protest camp near the city of Kazan…
Rashid Alimov’s protest in St. Petersburg against nuclear waste import, December 17, 2019.
News

Lead Poisoning Victims Await Justice, Compensation

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration at the United Nations. October 24 is United Nations Day, marking the day the UN Charter officially came into effect in 1945. The Charter includes the commitment to protect human rights. But on the…
Houses in Kosovo
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Government Should Repeal Abusive ‘Foreign Agents’ Law

(Moscow) – A prominent Russian environmentalist has fled the country as criminal cases were opened against her in connection to Russia’s law on “foreign agents”, Human Rights Watch said today. Alexandra Koroleva, 65, head of Ekozaschita! (…
Alexandra Koroleva, Zelenogradsk, Kaliningrad region, Russia.
News

Roma Were Exposed to Toxic Lead in UN-Run Camps

  Yesterday, 55 Members of the European Parliament wrote to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, expressing dismay at the UN’s failure to remedy harm inflicted on ethnic minorities in northern Kosovo following the end of the war…
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5 Years of ‘Foreign Agents’ Law Devastates Environmental Groups

(Moscow) – Russia’s “foreign agents” law, which entered into force on this date five years ago, has been used to end or curtail a broad range of important work to protect Russia’s natural environment, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Satellite imagery that showing active wildfires (outlined in red) and smoke near the shoreline of Lake Baikal in southern Russia, July 27, 2017. The Russian environmental group Baikal Environmental Wave was deemed a "foreign agent" organization because it
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Families, Children Left Ill, Destitute

  (New York, September 7, 2017) – The United Nations’ failure to compensate victims of widespread lead poisoning at UN-run camps in Kosovo has left affected families struggling to care for sick relatives who were exposed to the contamination,…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
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Roma Afflicted with Lead Poisoning in UN-Run Camps

The United Nations may be undermining its own efforts to promote human rights, at a time when rights are under threat worldwide. That’s the view of a UN panel of experts, which investigated complaints of human rights violations by…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug Camp outside Trepca mine, on the outskirts of Mitrovica, June 22, 2009.
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21 Environmental Groups in Russia Have Now Been Branded ‘Foreign Agents’

Last Friday morning, Yuri Ivanov, a member and former director of Kola Environmental Center (KEC), arrived at his office and learned from the news that the Justice Ministry had listed KEC as a “foreign agent.” “It is not a big surprise for us,” sighed…
Cover of the children’s book “Sad fairytale about sea animals, oil and kerosene” by Sergey Tararaksin, published by Kola Environmental Center to raise awareness of environmental issues through children’s literature.
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Body Ignores Own Advice to Give Clear Apology for Tragedy that was UN’s Fault

It looked like justice for Kosovo’s lead-poisoning victims was finally within reach. Former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson convened a meeting in December 2016, just as he and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were preparing to hand the…
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Environmental Rights Center Labeled “Foreign Agent”

2017, officially designated as Russia’s “Year of Ecology,” is off to a disastrous start. On January 16, the authorities labeled one of the country’s most prominent environmental groups, Bellona-St. Petersburg, a “foreign agent organization.” …
Artem Alexeev, Bellona-St. Petersburg executive director, at the all-Russia conference, “Reality and perspectives of ecological movement in Russia,” November 1, 2016.
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Environmental Groups Battling Wildfires in Russia Are Attacked

When you fight wildfires, you probably think nature’s rage is what you must fear. Not in Russia, not for activists. Last week, environmental activists were attacked while tackling wildfires in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region. Activists from…
Michael Kreindlin, a Greenpeace member, after being beaten by attackers in Krasnodar region, Russia, September 8, 2016.