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Pandemic Response to Protect and Increase Resilience in the Food and Farm System

The Honorable Mitch McConnell  U.S. Senate Speaker Washington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Majority Leader  U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 The Honorable Charles Schumer  U.S. Senate Minority…
Workers line up to enter the Tyson Foods port processing plant in Logansport, Indiana, May 7, 2020.
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For households around the world, soon it will be the time of the month to start thinking about next month’s rent, mortgage or housing loan payments. Billions of people have been directly or indirectly affected by Covid-19. This unprecedented public…
Homeless women sleep outside on a mattress in the "Villa 31" neighborhood during a government-ordered lockdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
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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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Entrenched Discrimination, Violence Mar Gains 25 Years after Beijing

(New York) – Governments should mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020 with moves to expedite progress on gender equality, Human Rights Watch said today. They should plan for concerted action and dedicate resources to prevent…
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“Maria,” a Ugandan worker, paid $400 in 2013 to an agency in the United Arab Emirates that promised her a job in a mall in Dubai. Instead, the agency placed her as a domestic worker with half the salary she had been promised. Maria told me that her…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
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The arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York for paying her full-time nanny less than $600 per month – a meager US$3.31 an hour – instead of the US$4,500 stipulated on her visa application has created a diplomatic storm between the United States and India…
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Legal Advances in Two Dozen Countries as Domestic Workers Meet for Historic Congress

(Montevideo) – The founding of a global federation of domestic workers is a sign of the growing strength of the movement, and a key moment to assess progress for workers long excluded from basic labor protections, the International Domestic Workers…
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Claiming Rights Domestic Workers’ Movements and Global Advances for Labor Reform Introduction I. Background II. Ratifications of the Domestic Workers Convention…
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World Day Against Child Labor Highlights Exploitation in Domestic Work

(New York) – Governments should mark June 12, 2013, the World Day against Child Labor, by strengthening legal protections for the 15.5 million child domestic workers worldwide, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should ratify the International…
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Groundbreaking Treaty to Protect Millions of Women and Girls Worldwide

(New York) – Uruguay’s move to be the first country to ratify the international Domestic Workers Convention brings long overdue protections closer to reality for millions of women and girls worldwide, Human Rights Watch said today. The treaty, which…
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Kimberley N., a senior manager of a non-profit organization, gave birth to a baby with a life-threatening illness. After years of stellar performance reviews, she received a scathing one immediately after returning from a short maternity leave. Her…
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This weekend, dad might peek over the hedge at the neighbors' Father's Day gifts. He'll probably see some nice stuff: a National Retail Federation survey found that Americans will spend on average $106 for Father's Day this year, with sporting goods,…
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American moms will be getting generous gifts on Mother's Day: the National Retail Federation estimates that in 2011 the average American will spend $141 on Mother's Day gifts, with total spending of about $16.3 billion. Moms are valuable, right? Your…
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Welcome to reality in the working world

You're pregnant? Congratulations! You must be so excited. But becoming a new parent can be tough, too, and newborns sure need a lot of care. Good thing you'll have a year of partially paid leave from work through your country's parental leave program.…
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Weak Laws, Discrimination Bad for Families and Business

(New York) - Millions of US workers - including parents of infants - are harmed by weak or nonexistent laws on paid leave, breastfeeding accommodation, and discrimination against workers with family responsibilities, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
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New Legal Framework Needed for Reform

(Washington, DC) - Congress and the Obama administration should include protections for immigrants' human rights, both in their daily lives and in the courts, in any immigration reform proposals, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. The…
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As Maria Shriver hits the airwaves this week to talk about work-life balance and her new report on women in America, I'm making my own work-life transition. I just returned to work after nearly one year of maternity leave. That's right: one year. When I…
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Access to Safe and Legal Abortion Is the End Rather Than the Beginning of Women's Childbearing Choices

For an outsider, US politics around choice seem oddly divorced from reality. At its most reductionist, choice in this country means merely that a pregnant woman can choose to buy herself an abortion. In a slightly more expansive line of argument, the cost…