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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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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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UK Parliament Needs to Act Fast to Save Lives

The United Kingdom government’s recently published data revealing that people with disabilities account for 59 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales between March and July 2020 should shock us all. But this devastating data is just…
A man wears a protective face mask as he drives a mobility scooter in central Leeds on the morning of March 21, 2020.
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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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Scrutiny Needed to Ensure Rights of People with Disabilities, Older Persons

(London) – UK’s Coronavirus Act, which becomes law today, has serious implications for the rights of people with disabilities and older people, and its implementation needs to be carefully monitored to protect people’s rights to…
A man wears a protective face mask as he drives a mobility scooter in central Leeds on the morning of March 21, 2020.
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
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Novalpina Capital Should Respect and Deliver on Its Commitment to Upholding the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Dear Mr. Peel, We write in reply to your March 1, 2019 letter, which responded to our open letter of February 18, 2019 raising concerns around the acquisition by Novalpina Capital of a stake in NSO Group. We welcome Novalpina Capital…
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Uneven Social Care Assessments Limit Services, Compromise Health and Dignity

(London) – Older people in England are at risk of not getting adequate assistance to live independent, dignified lives due to uneven assessments for social services, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In doing so, the United…
Older woman leaving a community center with programs for older people in East London.
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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In mid-August Australia’s justice minister proposed a new law requiring the country’s biggest companies to report on their practices and policies to prevent forced labour in their operations and supply chains. The government wants to…
Women work in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.
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‘Five Eyes’ Nations Should Support, Not Threaten, Digital Security

(Washington, DC) – The governments that constitute the intelligence partnership known as “The Five Eyes,” will meet on June 26-27, 2017, in Ottawa to discuss how to bypass encryption. The governments may pursue a dangerous strategy that will subvert the…
People sit at computers inside GCHQ, Britain's intelligence agency, in Cheltenham, UK, November 17, 2015.
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What Shareholders Should Ask about Company’s Track Record on Human Rights

To British American Tobacco Shareholders: We write on behalf of the nongovernmental organizations Human Rights Watch and Swedwatch to draw your attention to serious human rights abuses we have documented in British American Tobacco’s (BAT)…
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British American Tobacco Shareholders Can Push for Supply Chain Improvements

(London) – British American Tobacco (BAT) should strengthen its processes for identifying and addressing human rights risks in its global supply chain, Human Rights Watch and Swedwatch said today in an open letter to shareholders. At…
An 8-year-old girl sorts and bundles tobacco leaves by hand near Sampang, East Java.
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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will be in London next week to pitch foreign investment, is mired in political controversy at home. The corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad fund refuses to…
Malaysia's (L-R) Prime Minister Najib Razak and King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah wave Malaysian national flags during National Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, August 31, 2015.