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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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Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to continue…
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Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex.
 
 The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
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On November 2, the Chilean Senate adopted a resolution urging the Bachelet administration to support the Vatican’s efforts to mediate the Venezuelan crisis, and to seek a special OAS session to evaluate Venezuela's compliance with the Inter-American…
Aerial view of St. Peter's square in the Vatican.
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Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
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This morning Pope Francis delivered a pressing message on dignity before an audience that needed to hear it: the United States Congress.
 
 The pope referred to the US legislators before him as the “face of the people,” urging them that their work…
Pope Francis US Congress
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Correa Cracks Down on Environmental Activism

During his visit to Ecuador last month, Pope Francis delivered a speech on environmental stewardship and urged the administration of President Rafael Correa to “open spaces for dialogue” on how to manage the country’s resources. The 4,000-square-mile…
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His Holiness
 The Pope
 The Apostolic Palace – VATICAN CITY
 
 Your Holiness,
 
 I am writing in advance of your upcoming meeting with President Nicolás Maduro, to be held on Sunday, June 7. We would like to share with Your…
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On February 7, Slovakia will put human rights to a vote. A referendum seeks to exclude same-sex couples from entering into marriage; restrict them from adopting or raising a family; and limit access to comprehensive sex education at school.
 
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Slovakia LGBT
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Why Catholics must condemn anti-gay violence

The recent assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family has brought renewed attention to Catholic approaches to gay and lesbian persons. During the synod, church leaders discussed pastoral and theological perspectives regarding the place of homosexual…
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I went to Vatican City recently to talk to officials there about Pope Francis’ views on homosexuality. In that famous interview in July, Pope Francis answered a question about how he would deal with gay priests: “Who am I to judge”? We sent him a letter…
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A Call to Pope Francis to Align Church Practice With Teachings

(New York) – Pope Francis should condemn violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Holy See. The pope should ensure that Catholic officials act in accordance…
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I am not Catholic. I am not a believer. And yet, as a South African, I am aware of the positive and negative roles the Catholic Church can play. It was outspoken against apartheid, and its liberation theology (controversial within the church) inspired a…
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In his short reign, Pope Francis has developed a reputation for frugality and humility in accordance with his commitment to a Catholic Church of and for the poor. He prefers a wooden chair above the ornate papal throne, plain vestments and an ordinary…