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Need to Protect Communities’ Rights in Importing Countries

Last week, the European Commission proposed new rules governing waste shipments from EU countries. The regulation could be good news for communities around the world impacted by European plastic waste exports. Currently, many EU governments ship…
A pile of garbage and waste next to a road
News

Repeal New Segregated Education Policy for People with Disabilities

On August 17, Brazilian Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro made harmful remarks about children with disabilities, saying they “disturbed” other students and that some are “impossible to live with.” Later, he apologized to “those who were offended”…
A young girl who does not attend school, living in an institution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 6, 2016.
News

President Bolsonaro Continues to Oppose Measures that Could Save Lives

President Jair Bolsonaro went on national TV last week and claimed to have adopted all necessary measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. As he was speaking, thousands of Brazilians banged pots on their windows in disagreement – with good reason.…
An overhead view of a cemetery
News

European Lawmakers Join Push for Waiving Intellectual Property Rules for Covid-19 Response

Pressure is growing on the European Commission and EU member states to reconsider their staunch opposition to measures that could open the possibility of a massive increase in Covid-19 vaccine production worldwide. In an unprecedented joint appeal…
A person in Soweto, South Africa receives an injection as they participate in a clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in June 2020. 
News

Ensure Transparency, End Institutional Care

Serbia has taken a positive step to better protect people from Covid-19 by agreeing to release data on the total number of Covid-19 infections and deaths inside social care institutions. People inside institutions are some of the most at-risk during…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News

Bolsonaro Disregards WHO Recommendations Even After Testing Positive

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro spent months downplaying Covid-19 and refusing to take measures to protect himself and the people around him. He visited stores; he let supporters congregate around him; he shook hands – all without wearing a mask. On…
Brazil´s President Jair Bolsonaro (center, wearing a white shirt) poses for a picture with US Ambassador Todd Chapman (center, wearing a hat) and several ministers during a luncheon at the ambassador´s residence, July 4, 2020.
News

New Regulation Important Step Towards Better Rights Protection

On May 6, Brazil’s National Secretariat of Social Assistance published a federal regulation aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 in institutions for people with disabilities and homes for older people. The regulation, which provides guidelines…
A psychiatric ward in an institution in Rio de Janeiro. Residents of most institutions in Brazil live in depersonalized conditions, have few if any personal belongings, and have little or no privacy.
News

579 Cases in 3 Months Show Need for Reproductive Rights, Sanitation

As Covid-19 dominates headlines, the Zika virus silently continues to put women and children at grave risk in Brazil, and the country has not taken nearly enough steps to combat the mosquito-borne disease or help the families impacted by it. Brazil…
Raquel, 25, holds her daughter Heloisa in Areia, Paraíba state, Brazil. Raquel gave birth to twin daughters with Zika syndrome in April 2016. “I want to give my best to my daughters,” she said in an interview with Human Rights Watch.
News

COVID-19 Is Not an Opportunity to Shelve Democracy

On Monday, under the pretext of addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency, Hungary's parliament gave green light to the Orban-led government to rule with unlimited power for an indefinite time. Prime Minister Viktor Orban can now suspend any…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, center, his deputy Zsolt Semjen and other government members and MPs of the governing Fidesz party vote on a draft law concerning extraordinary measures during the plenary session of Parliament in Budapest, Hungary,
News

European Union Should Act on Science Deeming Neurotoxin Chlorpyrifos Unsafe

In several European countries, pregnant women risk consuming food contaminated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin that could be harmful to the fetus. Last month, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that the…
An external view of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) headquarters in Parma, Italy.
News

Government Moves Could Weaken Oversight Despite Serious Health Risks

This week, in a puzzling move, the Brazilian regulatory agency on public health, ANVISA, approved a new set of rules establishing risk of death as the only criterion for classifying a pesticide as “extremely toxic.” Until now, ANVISA…
Drone view of a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Some of the houses are around 20 meters from the adjacent sugarcane plantation.
News

Simple Changes Could Mean Big Improvements for Children with Zika Syndrome

This dispatch is part of a series focusing on children with zika syndrome and their families. To read more, please visit the blog: Zika: Brazil's Forgotten Families.   Every day, Kássia Consuelo Carneiro wakes up…
Davi with his mother Kássia, father Daniel and older sister Maria Clara.
News

Parents Still Face Fight to Get the Help Their Children Need

This dispatch is part of a series focussing on children with zika syndrome and their families. To read more, please visit the blog: Zika: Brazil's Forgotten Families.   Three-year-old Gaby has long curly…
Carol and her husband Joselito with their three children
News

Care Should Evolve as Children Born with Zika Grow

Maria Gabriela Silva Alves will have no party for her second birthday today. No cake. No gifts. No celebration. Gabi, as her parents call her, has congenital Zika syndrome, and her parents simply cannot afford it. …
Maria Carolina Silva Flor and Joselito Alves dos Santos with their 18-month-old daughter, Maria Gabriela Silva Alves, pictured after the launch of the Human Rights Watch report Neglected and Unprotected, July 2017.
News

Roma Afflicted with Lead Poisoning in UN-Run Camps

The United Nations may be undermining its own efforts to promote human rights, at a time when rights are under threat worldwide. That’s the view of a UN panel of experts, which investigated complaints of human rights violations by…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug Camp outside Trepca mine, on the outskirts of Mitrovica, June 22, 2009.
News

Water, Sanitation Problems That Intensified Zika Outbreak Persist

Brazil’s public health emergency related to the Zika virus is over, the country’s health ministry said yesterday. But we should not declare victory over the mosquito-borne virus. The announcement came 18 months…
Wastewater and garbage are dumped directly into the river in a slum in the Coelhos neighborhood of Recife, Pernambuco state.
News

Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
News
Last year, I entered a prison cell in Brazil seemingly designed to breed tuberculosis. Sixty men shared only six cement bunks. Most slept on the bare floor, some in a tangle of hammocks. The intense heat and humidity made the stench of sweat, feces, and…
2015AME_Brazil_Prisons_PHOTO
News
“I only read about LGBT people because I knew Human Rights Watch was coming to interview me,” a teacher in Tokyo told me last November while I was researching bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students in Japan’s schools. …
A 20 year old Japanese woman who was bullied by her classmates in junior high school holds a notebook displaying the message...