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Positive Step in British Columbia as #WelcomeToCanada Campaign Moves to Quebec

Since Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International launched the joint #WelcomeToCanada campaign in October 2021 calling on Canada to stop incarcerating immigration detainees in provincial jails, more than 5,000 people have written to the Government of…
Red and black illustration of people in detention
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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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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
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Climate Crisis Requires Inclusive Heat Action, Planning, and Response

Recent climate change-exacerbated heatwaves in the western Canadian province of British Columbia have left hundreds dead. According to British Columbia’s chief coroner, of the 719 sudden deaths between June 25 and July 1, many were “older individuals…
A person enters the Hillcrest Community Centre, where they can cool off during the extreme hot weather in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 30, 2021.
News

New Law Bans Discrimination, Promotes Inclusion

On May 5, Armenia’s parliament adopted the law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is a long-awaited reform with the potential to change the lives of the roughly 200,000 people with disabilities in Armenia by protecting them from…
A boy sits on a swing in the courtyard of an orphanage for children with disabilities, Yerevan, Armenia.
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Ensure Transparency, End Institutional Care

Serbia has taken a positive step to better protect people from Covid-19 by agreeing to release data on the total number of Covid-19 infections and deaths inside social care institutions. People inside institutions are some of the most at-risk during…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
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Some Released, Remainder Face Serious Risks from COVID-19

On April 1, Canadian authorities released several detainees from the Laval Immigration Holding Centre in Quebec. Some had gone on hunger strike to protest the lack of protection from COVID-19 in detention facilities. “We felt abandoned,” one man…
People wait in a temporary detention center in Blackpool, Quebec, August 5, 2017.
News

UN Committee Finds New Evidence of Violence in Institutions

A recent review of Serbia finds that the government is failing to protect women with disabilities in institutions from violence. In its report, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) also…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News

Court Ruling Gives Hope for Greater Equality Before the Law

A recent decision by Armenia’s highest court promises to advance the right to equal justice for people with disabilities in Armenia. In 2015, Artur Hakobyan, a then 18-year-old military conscript reported that a military…
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With great sadness we share the news that Medi Ssengooba, a dear friend, partner, and colleague at Human Rights Watch, passed away last week after a short illness. Medi was a strong advocate, a sharp lawyer, and a kind and…
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Long Journey Home for Baby With Disabilities

At her local church in Yerevan, Armenia, Siranush lit a candle and prayed that her daughter would survive the night. Lusine, 22, was hovering between life and death in a nearby hospital after a terrible car crash. As Siranush pleaded for her daughter’s…
Armenia Orphanage Witness - Meri 1
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Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
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The day Julija was born should have been a day of celebration for Jasmina and Ivica Čuković, a Serbian couple, who had tried for years to have a baby. But the events following their daughter’s birth in a public hospital in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, left…
Julija Čuković, who spent ten months of her life in an institution, at home in Kragujevac with her parents, where she enjoys to play with her younger sister, also in the photo. © 2016 Zoran Stamenković
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Living with Disabilities in Uganda

As told by Shantha Rau Barriga Edna seemed shy, rounding her shoulders protectively over her baby. She was breastfeeding, and I could see the burn scars on the top of her head. Despite her initial self-consciousness, she told us her story, starting with…