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Susan Robinson, a 68-year-old resident of a United States nursing facility, was lying awake one night in March when she heard her neighbor gasping for breath. “She was dying,” Robinson said. “They took her to the hospital. They didn’t tell us anything…
Caterina Salvi, 90, waits for a visitor inside a protective inflatable plastic tunnel at the Martino Zanchi nursing home in Alzano Lombardo, northern Italy, February 24, 2021.
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President Jair Bolsonaro has been peddling the myth that only older people are at risk from Covid-19. At the same time, he has repeatedly dismissed their needs. His  disinformation and callous remarks about the country’s 28 million people over 60…
A Zapotec woman washes her hands after learning from a local radio program about hand-washing and social distancing to avoid COVID-19, in Oaxaca state, Mexico, March 31, 2020.
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Every day for more than two years, Mae has brought breakfast and dinner to her husband, Dean, 75, (not their real names) in his aged care facility in their town in Northern Queensland. Dean has dementia and Mae sits with him for hours, encouraging…
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As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, women in Kenya still face hurdles in owning and using land and property. “I feel like a prisoner,” a 45-year-old widow told me last year during an interview about the subject in Kakamega. “I’m…
A woman walks past a mural on a Family Health Options clinic in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, May 16, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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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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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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It has been two years since #MeToo went viral, and it’s about time the garment industry’s sexual harassment problem got the attention it deserves. Clothing and footwear brands can do much more to prevent and address gender-based violence in their…
Women Garment Industry
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This year I have interviewed dozens of people who have told me how aged care facilities drugged their parents, grandparents, husbands, wives and neighbours. We’d sit down in someone’s home, or in an advocacy group’s meeting space, or in a coffee shop, and…
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What connects the Copenhagen Fashion Summit and the Amarnath Yatra, a pilgrimage in northern India? Garment factory owners navigating business pressures, workers’ rights, and an apparel industry that often pits the business pressures against labor rights…
Women Garment Industry
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Some apparel companies cut costs by subcontracting their labor to factories with records of rampant worker abuse.

Last year, I huffed my way up a steep, narrow flight of stairs to meet a man who owned a small garment workshop in western India. The workshop — with about 20 male workers sewing — was hot and stuffy in the punishing Indian summer. But it looked…
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Time will tell whether Bangladesh’s garment industry has its Wonder Woman. Last month, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) elected its first female president: Rubana Huq, managing director of the Mohammadi Group.…
Bangladeshi garment workers shout slogans during a protest in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Thousands
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  I have been working to protect the rights of women workers for 25 years, and whether I speak to domestic workers, election workers, farmers, or activists, their experience of sexual harassment and violence has been a common thread. The other…
Women Garment Industry
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Choice and the Dangers of Institutionalization for Older People

There are inherent risks in the institutionalization of older people. More protections from those risks are needed, particularly around decision-making. A “best interests” standard for decision making “for your own good” is not good enough. Older people’s…
201809health_wheelchair_1
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My dad’s hearty laugh and sparkling eyes faded—and his care needs grew—as dementia set in. For his last few years, my dad lived in a care facility. The memory care unit staff treated him well. But he needed more than the staff. He needed…
Dementia
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“We don’t want another Rana Plaza.” Those were the parting words when I spoke with a Bangladeshi garment worker who miraculously survived the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013. The building housed five garment factories employing…
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