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20 Million Lives at Risk

Last month, three UN human rights experts released a joint letter to the Bangladesh government about the country’s failing response to deadly arsenic in drinking water.
 
 Two decades after the problem came to international attention, an estimated…
Hands of Selina Aktar, a woman in her late 30s with arsenic-related health conditions that first began appearing 20 years ago.
Report

 Summary
 
 Khobor lives with his wife, two sons, and daughter in a rural village in central Bangladesh. Their house is small, with a dirt floor, thatched walls, and a corrugated tin roof. Too poor to own his own land, Khobor earns his…
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20 Years After Discovery, Failing Government Response

(Dhaka, April 6, 2016) – The Bangladesh government is failing to adequately respond to naturally occurring arsenic in drinking water across large areas of rural Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Approximately 20 years after…
2016-04-Bangladesh_COVER
News
  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 earliest human…
Report
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 increased, the…
Video
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…
News
From the slums of Bangladesh to the fashion houses of the world - luxury leather goods from Dhaka generate sales of more than $1bn a year. There are more than 200 tanneries in Hazaribagh, Dhaka, employing more than 30,000 workers. Every day, the tanneries…
News
Earlier this week, two prominent environmental organizations named their top 10 most polluted places. One of those sites – Hazaribagh in Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital – is a place  I know well. It’s home to 150 or so leather tanneries densely packed into…
News

HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the adoption of some important recommendations in the UPR of Bangladesh, but regrets that key recommendations made by member states were not adopted. Positive developments include the government’s pledge to criminalize all acts…
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For Abigail Chombo in Zimbabwe, World Environment Day will pass like any other; a day with no safe water to drink, a day where the bush substitutes for a toilet. It's as unlikely that Su Xia, a father of two in China, will notice that it's World…
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Last year, I spoke with a 40-year-old woman working in a Bangladesh leather tannery in the Hazaribagh neighborhood of Dhaka. The Hazaribagh tanneries, which export hundreds of millions of dollars in leather for luxury clothes, shoes and boots around the…
News

Area Residents Suffer from Serious Health Problems Caused by the Pollution

For probably the first time, Bangladesh’s government has leveled pollution-related fines against two leather tanneries in Hazaribagh, a Dhaka neighborhood so polluted with waste from its roughly 150 tanneries that residents and workers are plagued by…
News

Bologna Fair Includes Bangladesh Tanneries That Break Waste-Treatment Laws

(Barcelona) – Leather buyers at an international leather fair in Italy should only purchase leather goods from tanneries that comply with laws that protect the right to health and labor rights, Human Rights Watch said today as the fair opens in Bologna.…
Video
Workers in many leather tanneries in the Hazaribagh neighborhood of Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital, including children as young as 11, become ill because of exposure to hazardous chemicals and are injured in horrific workplace accidents. The tanneries,…
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 Summary
 
 Jahaj, 17, has worked in a factory where animal hides are

 tanned in Hazaribagh, a combined residential and industrial neighborhood of

 Dhaka, since he…