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Huge Libel Award Puts Rights Investigations at Risk

(New York) – A Bangkok court’s libel verdict against a prominent labor rights campaigner will have serious chilling effects on activists who investigate and report on abuses in Thailand’s agri-business, Human Rights Watch said today. On…
Labor rights activist Andy Hall was found guilty of defamation and computer crimes for reporting abuses in Thailand's agri-business.
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Precious minerals and stones are mined in dozens of countries around the world, and then typically traded, exported, and processed in other countries. Although their supply chains can be long and complex, jewelers and watchmakers have a responsibility to…
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UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
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  This remote region in Kenya’s north-west is known as the cradle of humankind. But it is a case study in how climate change forces people off their land. It was in Kenya’s Turkana County, near the border with Ethiopia, where one of the…
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Summary Climate change is here with us. We cannot stop it. The only way is to see how to work around it. -- Peter Ekai Lokoel, Deputy Governor Turkana, September 2014 Over the past century, the average annual temperature on earth has…
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Outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday asked the people of Nigeria to forgive whatever mistakes he might have made during his tenure. For some of the Nigerian children who died or are suffering from lead poisoning, this apology comes too…
Report
Toxic Legacy The Village On January 10, 2013, Thailand’s supreme administrative court handed down a judgment in a remarkable case. Prior to the ruling, the 22 plaintiffs travelled to Bangkok…
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Long ago, local villagers erected a sign beside a small cascade of the stream, calling the place "Waterfall of the daughter of the mountain". "Daughter of the mountain" is an old phrase to describe women from ethnic minorities. But when I visited in the…
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Confront Toxic Legacy Before Reopening Lead Mines

(Bangkok) – The Thai government has failed to clean up toxic lead in a stream in western Thailand, threatening hundreds of families with serious and irreversible health problems, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Supreme…
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Thousands of people in a poor urban district outside Mombasa face serious health consequences from toxic lead from a battery recycling plant. The crisis is the result of the Kenyan government’s failure to adequately regulate the lead smelter in the Owino…
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Treat, Compensate Victims of Mombasa Smelter

(Nairobi) – Thousands of people in a poor urban district outside Mombasa face serious health consequences from toxic lead from a battery recycling plant, Human Rights Watch said today. The crisis is the result of the Kenyan government’s failure to…
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Ministers Should Endorse, Implement Minamata Convention

(Geneva) – Health ministers should pledge to take comprehensive action to prevent and treat the negative health effects of mercury, a toxic chemical, Human Rights Watch said today. The World Health Assembly is scheduled to discuss a resolution on the new…
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Governments Should Sign, Ratify to Protect Environment, Health

Governments around the world should immediately sign the new, groundbreaking Minamata Convention on Mercury, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials around the world will meet in Kumamoto, Japan beginning October 7, 2013, to formally adopt the treaty.…
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Clears Way for Life-saving Treatment for 1,500 Children

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to immediately release funds to clean up lead-contaminated villages in Nigeria will save untold lives, Human Rights Watch said today. Releasing the funds clears the way for at least 1,500 children in…
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In Final Talks, Western Governments Should Agree to Include Prevention, Treatment

A proposed international treaty to address the damaging effects of mercury should include specific provisions to protect the health of children and other vulnerable populations, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments are to meet in Geneva beginning…
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In June, two weeks after I returned from Nigeria, I got a message that another child had died from lead poisoning -the 11th in the same family. I could picture the scene: the child starts convulsing; his parents rush him two hours over barely passable…
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Social Media Campaign Seeks President’s Release of Promised Cleanup Funds

(Abuja) – The Nigerian government’s failure to produce promised funding to address the worst lead poisoning outbreak in modern history is leaving thousands of children to die or face lifelong disability, the Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network (NYCAN)…
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Join Social Media Campaign to Save Lives

Lead poisoning in Zamfara State, Nigeria, has taken the lives of over 400 children and left thousands more with permanent life-long disability. In May, President Goodluck Jonathan pledged $4 million to clean up the lead contamination. Today, that money…