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An ongoing legal case in London could provide the impetus for significant reforms to improve human rights protections for workers in the garment industry. The UK legal action doesn’t relate directly to clothing companies, but it sounds a warning that…
Women Garment Industry
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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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Provide Information, Protect Livelihoods When Mines Move In

  Information is key to protecting the health and the livelihoods of people in areas affected by economic development. And that is why a 10 percent cut in the Malawi Human Rights Commission's budget announced recently is such bad news. The…
Mining machinery left behind at Eland coal mine at Mwabulambo after closure in 2015.
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Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
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  Malita had high hopes when she first heard that foreign and domestic companies would start mining in her area of Malawi. The government and the companies promised jobs, better schools and improved access to healthcare in her village. They…
Malcoal mine in Kayelekera.
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As students across Slovakia excitedly prepare for the final days of school this week, it’s a good time to ask what can be done to help the students who are already out of school—but who are a lot less happy about it. Students such as 15-year-…
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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When she was 12, Chimwemwe, from a rural village in southern Malawi, married a 17-year-old boy. She had started having sex with him when she was 10 because, she said, he gave her money and small gifts, while her parents could not afford to feed her or buy…
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An Afghan migrant is stabbed in the heart on the streets of Athens. Black-shirted paramilitaries linked to Hungary’s third-largest political party march through a Roma neighborhood shouting, “You will die here.” A neo-Nazi gang commits a string of murders…
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The Fight for Human Rights

In 2008, recently out of Yale Law School, I traveled to Malawi with a development organization and met a local prosecutor over lunch. Making conversation, I asked her what type of cases she prosecuted: "Murders," she said. When I asked why a career as a…
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The new Malawi government took an important step in June when it indicated it could not host the African Union summit if it meant welcoming President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to its territory, given that he is an International Criminal Court suspect for…
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At a news conference shortly after she was sworn in as Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda announced her government’s intention to decriminalise homosexuality. It is unclear how she will achieve this, but the move is in stark contrast to the approach of her…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…