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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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Pope Francis’s support for same-sex civil unions, extracted from a 2019 interview and recently broadcast, has reverberated around the world. Not surprisingly, it is the only snippet from “Francesco”, a wide-ranging documentary on his life,…
Pope Francis attends a inter-religious ceremony for peace in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, in Rome, October 20, 2020.
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The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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  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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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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On November 2, the Chilean Senate adopted a resolution urging the Bachelet administration to support the Vatican’s efforts to mediate the Venezuelan crisis, and to seek a special OAS session to evaluate Venezuela's compliance with the Inter-American…
Aerial view of St. Peter's square in the Vatican.
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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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Correa Cracks Down on Environmental Activism

During his visit to Ecuador last month, Pope Francis delivered a speech on environmental stewardship and urged the administration of President Rafael Correa to “open spaces for dialogue” on how to manage the country’s resources. The 4,000-square-mile…
© 2013 Getty Images
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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.…
News
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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Why Catholics must condemn anti-gay violence

The recent assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family has brought renewed attention to Catholic approaches to gay and lesbian persons. During the synod, church leaders discussed pastoral and theological perspectives regarding the place of homosexual…
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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…
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Many multinational companies now ban children from working in their operations, but child labor is still a central issue for them. In the globalized economy, products have long and complex supply chains, often reaching down to a multitude of small, local…
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I went to Vatican City recently to talk to officials there about Pope Francis’ views on homosexuality. In that famous interview in July, Pope Francis answered a question about how he would deal with gay priests: “Who am I to judge”? We sent him a letter…
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I am not Catholic. I am not a believer. And yet, as a South African, I am aware of the positive and negative roles the Catholic Church can play. It was outspoken against apartheid, and its liberation theology (controversial within the church) inspired a…
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Iran, immigration, Syria, Ghana, Yemen, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Greece, EU & Bahrain...

[View the story "Human Rights Watch Daily Brief, 13 June 2013" on Storify]
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Imagine being taken to the hospital by a family member against your will, put in a solitary cell and forced to sleep, eat and defecate in the same 4x4 space. Imagine telling your nurses that you don’t want to take a certain medication because it causes…