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Referendum on Mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Safeguards in Supply Chains

On November 29, Swiss citizens will decide whether Swiss companies should be required to introduce human rights and environmental safeguards to their global business practices. Voting in favor of the proposal brought by the Responsible Business…
gold trading shop in Santa Milagrose
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Swiss Council of States to Decide on Binding Human Rights Protection in Supply Chains

In the coming weeks, Switzerland’s Council of States has a big decision to take: should Swiss companies be required to introduce human rights and environmental safeguards for their global actions? This month, prompted by pressure from a…
A boy and a girl work in a small gold mine in Amansie West district, Ghana.
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Following a tense meeting with Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban 18 months ago, the president of the European People's Party (EPP), Joseph Daul, issued a clear warning: the EPP "will not accept that any basic freedoms are restricted or rule of…
People protest against a bill that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences, in Budapest, Hungary, April 9, 2017.
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Central European University Suspends Program for Asylum Seekers

An education program aimed at giving asylum seekers and refugees in Hungary a new start is the first casualty of the government’s most recent anti-immigrant measures. This week, the Central European University (CEU) suspended…
People in Budapest protest a draft law targeting Central European University, Hungary, April 4, 2017.
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With independent media largely silenced or taken over, the courts increasingly curbed, and a parliament firmly under the control of the newly re-elected Fidesz ruling party, Hungary’s nongovernmental groups are the most effective…
Protesters attend a rally against Hungarian government's clampdown on a top foreign university and non-government organisations in Budapest, Hungary, May 21, 2017.
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
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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…
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Joint letter by more than 250 NGOs expressing their "grave concern" over the shrinking space for civil society in Hungary

More than 250 organizations and platforms from all over the world have signed a letter expressing their grave concern over the shrinking space for civil society in Hungary. Read the letter here: On 13 February 2018, the Hungarian…
People protest in Heroes’ square against a new law that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences founded by U.S. financier George Soros in Budapest, Hungary, April 12, 2017.
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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This weekend the Hungarian government held its anti-migrant referendum, asking people if the European Union should be able to require it to house asylum seekers from overwhelmed Greece and Italy. The country had been asked to find a home for 1,…
Hungarian police patrol the border with Serbia in Röszke, Hungary. The Hungarian government put up the razor-wire fence in an effort to stem the flow of refugees and migrants into Hungary. September 3, 2015.
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“We came from wars and places where governments are threatening people," 20-year old Nasratullah, an asylum seeker fleeing violence in Afghanistan, told me last week. "And then we came to Hungary and police beat us a lot. I want to know why they are doing…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
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The Hungarian government today dealt yet another blow to asylum seekers and migrants by declaring a state of emergency throughout the entire country due to “mass migration.” The decision follows a similar declaration on September 16, 2015, imposing a…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
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(November 17, 2015) More than 800,000 asylum seekers and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea in 2015, with most traveling onward to northern and western EU countries. According to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, 84 percent were from Syria,…