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Expand the Child Tax Credit

The United States Congress is debating the content and price tag of the Build Back Better Act, President Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $3.5 trillion over 10 years in education, fighting climate change, and strengthening the US social safety net.…
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, center, and US Congressman Jimmy Gomez, hold a press conference about the new Child Tax Credit, in Los Angeles, July 15, 2021. 
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Spending Package Would be Groundbreaking Expansion of Social Safety Net

Critics in the United States who argue about the cost of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package pending in the US Congress, which would expand government investment in the country’s broken social safety net and protections for workers, are missing…
US President Joe Biden speaks on how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
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New Law Prohibits Nearly All Abortion Essentially After Six Weeks of Pregnancy

The US state of Texas and the United States Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to women’s (and pregnant people’s) human rights last week. Dozens of US states have been passing destructive laws limiting abortion access for years, but courts usually…
Protesters march from City Hall to the federal courthouse in protest of the new state abortion law in Houston, Texas on September 5th, 2021.
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Water mixed with salt was dinner for Umar Abubaker and his family of eight, including three young children, for many nights during Nigeria’s five-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Before the lockdown, Abubakar, who has a physical…
A man reading the newspaper "The Nation"
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Doris is a 75-year-old woman from Kayaba informal settlement in Nairobi. As with most families in the settlement, her house is a single dilapidated room with mud walls, a corrugated iron roof, and dirt floors. There is no clean running water, and she…
People stand outside a purple building with a mural on it that says "Corona is Real"
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Proposals to Tackle Inequality Can Help Advance Right to Food

A major independent review of the United Kingdom’s food systems has underscored the deep inequality around access to nutritious food in the country. The National Food Strategy makes clear recommendations on using food policy to help tackle…
Students eat lunch at Chertsey High School on March 09, 2021 in Chertsey, United Kingdom. 
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Federal Rule Allowing Payday Lenders to Avoid Interest Rate Limits Overturned

The US House of Representatives last week joined the Senate in voting to overturn a federal regulation that allowed payday and other small-dollar and short-term lenders to skirt limits on what interest rates they could charge for loans. This is a major…
The window of a payday loan store
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Solutions to Identity Verification Errors Urgently Needed to Help Those Facing Hardship

Lucy* (not her real name), a 29-year-old grocery delivery worker and mother of two in the US city of Houston, Texas, was under enormous financial strain when we interviewed her in May. She said her income had dropped steeply during the pandemic; she…
Workers in Texas may apply for unemployment benefits on the Texas Workforce Commission website.
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The Covid-19 pandemic in the United States has left millions of people struggling to make ends meet. Massive government spending, especially the stimulus checks, has provided crucial relief. But the checks are just a band-aid for a U.S. social safety…
Gina Stanton, of the Homewood neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attends a rally held by the Mon Valley  Unemployed Committee and Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid Group at Governor Tom Wolf’s regional office on March 10, 2021, downtown Pittsburgh.
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Governments Should Strengthen Equity Measures

Not long ago, talking about menstruation as a human rights issue raised eyebrows even within much of the human rights movement. The dismissiveness about the issue among many underscored both its stigma and the lack of decision-makers who menstruate…
A pupil removes a free organic sanitary napkin from a dispenser at a high school
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Show Spirit of the ‘Beautiful Game’ and Secure the Right to Food

Fans of European football have been on an emotional rollercoaster these past few days, as a proposal for a “European Super League” provoked anger over the greed and financial inequalities the project laid bare. With public outcry about how the plans…
A mobile food pantry with food collected by Fans Supporting Foodbanks and other local anti-poverty groups set up at at St. Mary’s Millennium Centre, Liverpool, UK. Photo shows a purple van with cases of food set up in front of it.
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No one should have to choose between housing that is unaffordable and housing that is uninhabitable.

President Joe Biden’s recently announced infrastructure plan calls for the federal government to invest $40 billion in repairing America’s public housing stock, a move that could open a new chapter in the nation’s fraught relationship with…
A group of protestors during a major demonstration at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City, in response to then-President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut $6.2 billion in federal housing funds, April 20, 2017. 
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European Lawmakers Join Push for Waiving Intellectual Property Rules for Covid-19 Response

Pressure is growing on the European Commission and EU member states to reconsider their staunch opposition to measures that could open the possibility of a massive increase in Covid-19 vaccine production worldwide. In an unprecedented joint appeal…
A person in Soweto, South Africa receives an injection as they participate in a clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in June 2020. 
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Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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Each passing day underscores the urgency of expanding Covid-19 vaccine access. The gulf between vaccine haves and have-nots has been denounced as “vaccine apartheid". Huge inequities in government resources to procure vaccines and…
94-year-old Mother Teresa Llona receives a Pfizer vaccine during a Covid-19 vaccination campaign at the bull ring in Arnedo, northern Spain, March 4, 2021. 
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It was clear immediately that the Covid-19 pandemic would hit women hardest. First came the school closures. One point four billion children were sent home from school, and many more from childcare facilities. Who was going to look after them? Who…
Women domestic workers, many of whom lost their jobs after the coronavirus outbreak, shout slogans at a protest demanding social security from the government in Bengaluru, India, June 15, 2020.
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When the novel coronavirus began spreading, the shared fate of the globe’s seven billion people came sharply into focus. The virus could infect anyone; leaving anyone unprotected meant making everyone vulnerable. But any hope of solidarity was soon…
Children run past a mural that warns people about the dangers of the new coronavirus, in the Kibera informal settlement of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The warnings about vaccine nationalism started early. As governments poured massive amounts of public money into the race to develop Covid-19 vaccines, experts from around the world warned that, with limited supplies, vaccines would not become a…
A volunteer receives a Covid-19 test vaccine injection developed at the University of Oxford in Britain, during a clinical trial at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.
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Pharma Companies Should Adopt Rights-Based Approach to Help Bridge Vaccine Gap

Over the last few weeks, the relief brought on by the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out has been marred by supply delays and growing concerns around inequitable access. Of the more than 131 million doses given in 73 countries by February 8, 78 percent (more…
A medical staff member administers a dose of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine to a person over eighty years old, in the Santa Maria della Pieta hospital in Rome, Italy.