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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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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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Mallorca is set to host an international conference beginning May 28 that will focus on protecting students, teachers, and schools during wartime. Spain offered to host the Third International Conference on Safe Schools to show its…
Children look through a destroyed classroom window at Yerwa Primary School, Maiduguri, Borno state, damaged by Boko Haram during attacks in 2010 and 2013. The school, established in 1915, was the first primary school in northeast Nigeria. © 2015 Bede Shep
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Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell is scheduled to open an international conference tomorrow on protecting schools during wartime on the island of Mallorca, Spain. The occasion has me thinking about two schools at almost opposite ends of Europe…
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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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“We had to get up at 4 in the morning to avoid the police. They caught me five or six times. They beat me with their batons. If you fall, they beat you. Each time, they sent me to Tangiers, Casablanca or somewhere else far away.” …
migrants sitting outside tent by morocco border
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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…
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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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The EU is responsible for correcting the irrational, irresponsible debate about migration to Europe. So far, it’s failed.

Imagine the Hollywood blockbuster about one boat’s perilous journey in the Mediterranean. The Eritrean mother with her five-year-old son, the 16-year-old Afghan boy traveling on his own, and the Syrian patriarch with his entire family — they would be the…
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On the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa stands a graveyard filled with simple wooden crosses. We don’t know the names and stories of those buried there, except that they perished at sea trying to reach Europe, fleeing conflict in Syria, human-rights…
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“Aman.” a 29-year-old Eritrean, had just described his arduous journey to Europe when I heard the news about hundreds of deaths in the Mediterranean. He, like many others I spoke with last week in Dresden, risked their lives last summer crossing from war-…
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Carmen Martínez Ayuso, who is 85 years old, was evicted from her home of 50 years in Madrid on November 21. Her eviction provoked outrage, pledges of support by the neighbourhood football club, and scrambling by authorities to save face. Her experience…
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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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Law 1/2013, enacted a year ago, was meant to be the government’s definitive response to the mortgage crisis. The law came after two royal-decrees, a condemnation by the EU Court of Justice and significant social pressure from the Platform of Mortgage…
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King Juan Carlos is visiting Kuwait and Bahrain this week, after Abu Dhabi and Qatar two weeks ago in a series of visits to the gulf region that will also take him to Oman and Saudi Arabia over the next two months. He is traveling with a high-level…
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From the heights of Mount Gourougou, Melilla -legally, if not geographically, part of Europe- makes Europe appear within reach for migrants trying to get there from Morocco. Looking down, however, they can also see that its nearness is something of a…