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Government, Political Parties Should Promote Equal Political Participation

Today the Mexican Senate is holding its first ever hearing for people with disabilities. Bryan Russell, who has run for parliament in his home country of Peru, gave pre-recorded testimony on the need for inclusion of people with disabilities,…
2021 Human Rights Watch Marca Bristo Fellow Bryan Russell campaigning at San Martin Plaza in Lima, Peru
News

Supportive Community Response, Rather than Law Enforcement

Kaola Baird experienced intense feelings of depression and sadness. She began noticing that she was feeling drained, with limited energy and motivation. She just stopped engaging with life fully. Her experience is not unique. One in four people around the…
Kaola Baird with teammates at the Dragon Boat Race Festival
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Governments Should Invest in Rights-Based Services to Prevent Abuses

Tied to a bed at night, forced to wear a makeshift straitjacket, strapped to a chair with insulation tape and cargo straps for several hours a day. This, for many years, was the daily reality for Noah (pseudonym), a boy with autism living in a privately…
Staff tied a boy with autism to this bed in a care home in Finland.
News

89th Session, 2021

This update submission relates to articles 2, 9, 23, 28, and 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and focuses on access to education during the Covid-19 pandemic and shackling and discrimination against children with disabilities. Access…
News

Proposed Law Would Improve Protections for Older People, Many Others

The window is rapidly closing for South Korea’s National Assembly to pass a comprehensive antidiscrimination law that citizens and human rights organizations have long endorsed. Anti-discrimination legislation has been submitted 11 times since 2007…
An elderly woman seated on the floor of an apartment
News
“Nothing about us without us” – that was the call from the indigenous rights advocate Ghazali Ohorella from the Alifuru people in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia during a panel at the climate summit in Glasgow.  This plea was echoed by many…
Georgina Wabano and her mother cooking traditional food for school children in Peawanuck, ON, December 18, 2019. : © 2019 Daron Donahue
News

Activists at COP26 Side Event Demand Recognition

“Disabled people won’t survive climate change if it isn’t in the plan for us to do so. And you can’t plan without us.” These were the words of Gabrielle Peters, a disabled policy analyst from Canada, during a side event at the United Nations…
Exterior of the COP26 Climate conference, showing the event banner.
News

Executing Nagaenthran Dharmalingam Would Violate International Law, Treaty Obligations

(New York) – Singapore authorities should halt the planned execution of a man with an intellectual disability, Human Rights Watch said today. Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, a 33-year-old Malaysian national who was sentenced to death in 2010 for bringing 42…
202111asia_singapore_Nagaenthran_Dharmalingam
News

Hopes for Accessible Voting on Election Day Dashed

In the weeks leading up to the October 10 parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) promised to take steps to ensure people with disabilities could vote. But on election day, videos circulated suggested IHEC’s…
A man helps his mother as she casts her ballot during the parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq on October 10, 2021.
News

Lawmakers Have Opportunity to Get Services to Hundreds of Thousands on Waitlists

The overwhelming majority of older people and people with disabilities in the United States, no matter how they vote, prefer to live at home rather than in a residential institution like a nursing home. Accordingly, millions of people access home and…
Disability rights activists and caregiving advocates hold a vigil in front of the US Capitol to urge Congress to include full federal funding for home and community-based care services in the budget reconciliation package on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.
News

National Campaign Urges Provinces to Cancel Contracts Enabling Abuses

(Ottawa) – Provincial governments should sever their contracts to hold immigration detainees in provincial jails, where many experience abusive conditions, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today in opening a joint national campaign, #…
Red and black illustration of people in detention
News

Progress Toward Accessibility Ahead of Elections, but Gaps Remain

Next week, Iraq will hold parliamentary elections, but many people with disabilities are effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places. Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, has one…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018.
News

The SC Order is Welcome, But More Needs to Be Done for People with Disabilities

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green uniforms, their heads shaved because of the…
Women with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities at a mental hospital in Mumbai
News

Failure to Protect Older People, People with Disabilities in British Columbia

(Ottawa) – Inadequate government support compounded risks for people with disabilities and older people during the recent extreme and foreseeable heatwave that killed hundreds of people in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), Human Rights…
A woman sits to take a rest as heat wave hits Western Canada on June 30, 2021 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. © 2021 Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Stories from People with Disabilities During Canada’s Extreme Heatwave

When temperatures in British Columbia, Canada, soared to nearly 50 degrees Celsius/122 degrees Fahrenheit this past summer, people with disabilities and older people were left unprotected. Hundreds of older people died. Heatwaves are expected to become…
Camper van at sunset
News

Significant Victory Requires Holistic Approach to Implementation

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green…
Women lying on the ground in a room.
News

At Summit, Governments Should Commit to Scale Up Community Services

(Paris) – Governments and donors should take concrete steps to develop rights-respecting and community-based mental health services, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to governments in advance of the third Global Mental Health Summit. The…
A man sitting on the floor in a dilapidated room, with his ankles locked by a metal bar.
News

Governments Should Make Information Accessible to All

Imagine that during a national emergency, you and your loved ones are at risk. The government is announcing information that could have a profound impact on your safety, but you don’t have access to it because it hasn’t been made available to you.…
A sign language interpreter records sign language lessons that are broadcast on public television, at an elementary school in Athens, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.