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Russia, Nigeria, Uganda and Hungary have all passed odious laws in recent years that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Ghana’s proposed legislation takes bad parts from all of these and adds some.

Sometimes the human capacity for cruelty takes my breath away. A recently proposed bill on “sexual rights” and “family values” in Ghana is a case study in extreme cruelty. Ghanaian MPs are considering legislation that is so onerous it beggars…
A young lesbian woman at an LGBT community center in Accra, Ghana.
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In its latest effort to keep asylum seekers from reaching the United States, the Trump administration enacted a new rule on July 16 that effectively bars anyone from seeking asylum in the United States who tries to cross the southern U.…
Demonstrators protest against the detention of asylum seekers at Australian-run offshore detention centers on the island of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, in Sydney, Australia, August 31, 2017.
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Although mounting political pressure has compelled the Australian government to remove most children from Nauru, refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia continue to face significant risks to their physical and mental health.   …
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Children across New Zealand are back in school for the new academic year, and many will be looking forward to studying, playing sport, and maybe singing in the school choir. This isn't the case for many children around the world who are denied…
Children sent to Nauru by Australia for “offshore processing,” August 2016. Parents and children reported that students from families of refugees and asylum seekers are frequently bullied by Nauruan students.
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It’s no surprise that US President Donald Trump would suggest rethinking the refugee deal the Australian government struck with the Obama administration in November. It may indeed go ahead—although the president criticized it, his press secretary said on…
Held by Australia on Nauru for three years, a refugee girl chooses freedom as what she most needs, August 2016.
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Alexander Van der Bellen, who campaigned on moderation and tolerance, won Austria’s presidential election. But in the search for explanations as to how the country came close to electing a far-right populist as its president, some have suggested that…
Australia cartoon
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This week in New York, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, “Our policy on border protection is the best in the world,” and he’ll be touting the Australian model of offshore refugee detention and resettlement at two refugee summits this week.…
A child held at Australia’s offshore refugee processing center on Nauru chooses freedom as what he most needs.
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Six Danish parliamentarians had planned to travel to the remote Pacific island of Nauru this week for a first-hand view of Australia’s offshore asylum operations. Their visit could have been an important one because access to the island is severely…
Held by Australia on Nauru for three years, a refugee girl chooses freedom as what she most needs, August 2016.
News

Canberra Should Close Operations on Nauru

Assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm, inhuman conditions – over 2,000 newly leaked reports paint a sordid picture of Australia’s offshore refugee detention operations on the Pacific island of Nauru. The Guardian newspaper, in reporting the leak, said it’s a…
Nauru kids in detention
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I love jewelry and marvel at the workmanship of jewelers who turn raw metals and stone into beautiful, symbolic objects. Jewelry is an art -- art that I wear on my body and that tells a story. But this Valentine…
Gold heart
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On February 3, the High Court of Australia ruled that the country’s offshore processing arrangements with Nauru are authorised under Australian law - but the court did not consider whether the policy comports with international law. …
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In a village in the Ashanti region last year, I met a small, shy 9-year-old boy—let’s call him Zachary. Zachary was not going school but working at a gold processing site. He told me how he collects the gold particles: “I spread the mercury with my hand.…
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If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed that such inhumanity was possible. I was visiting a so-called prayer camp -- or spiritual healing center -- about a four-hour drive from Accra, Ghana. People in Ghana go to prayer…
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When I visited the small-scale — or “galamsey”—gold mines in the Ashanti Region earlier this year, I met  “Kwame,” a quiet but self-assured 12-year-old. He dropped out of primary school about a year ago to help his mother feed his five younger siblings…
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Ambamfo Ofori Atiemo says that prayer camps in Ghana deserve a closer look, as they are a supposedly compassionate, faith-based response to mental disability. Human Rights Watch’s research suggests otherwise – people with mental health conditions are…