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90th Pre-Session

This submission focuses on the impact of lead pollution on children’s rights and the right to education, and particularly relates to articles 24, 28, and 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It updates and complements Human Rights Watch’s…
News

UN Experts Urge Full Clean-Up; Candidates Should Address Kabwe Issue

(Lusaka) – Zambia’s next government should urgently clean up lead pollution that has affected the health of tens of thousands of children and adults in the city of Kabwe, six organizations said today, following the publication of a United Nations…
Former Mine Pit in Kabwe, Zambia
News

3 Protesters Reported Killed in Southwestern Khuzestan Province

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities appear to have used excessive force against demonstrators in southwestern Iran protesting lack of access to water, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should transparently investigate the reported deaths of at…
Map of Iran with Khuzestan Province Highlighted
News

Toxic Legacy from Kabwe Mine Needs Action by Governments, Donors, Companies

This June 5 is World Environment Day, which kicks off the “United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”. Ecosystem restoration is about preventing, halting and reversing environmental damage. It is  hugely important  globally…
Children play in a backyard
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To the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the challenges and risks facing climate defenders for the upcoming report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. While recognizing that…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
News

Unfair Trials, Impunity, Pressure to Silence Victims

(Beirut) – Iranian judiciary authorities are prosecuting human rights defenders for reporting abuse in detention, Human Rights Watch said today. Since September 2020, the authorities have brought charges against two imprisoned activists who had…
A campaign poster showing environmental activists, Taher Ghadirian, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Sepideh Kashani, Morad Tahbaz and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh.
News
“Where will we go looking for land? There isn’t any land left,” Elisabeth, a 24-year-old mother of four, asked me in 2016. She, along with other rural residents of the Serenje district of Zambia’s Central Province, was displaced seven years ago — some…
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News

Detainees Faced Torture, Bogus Charges, Unfair Trials

(Beirut, February 19, 2020) – An Iranian revolutionary court has upheld the unjust sentences against eight environmental experts already detained for over two years, Human Rights Watch said today. Iranian authorities have failed to…
A campaign poster showing environmental activists, Taher Ghadirian, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Sepideh Kashani, Morad Tahbaz and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh.
News

Unfair Trial; Continued Due Process Violations

  (Beirut) – An Iranian revolutionary court has sentenced at least six environmental experts detained since January 2018 after an unfair trial where the defendants apparently could not see the full dossier of evidence…
A campaign poster showing environmental activists, Taher Ghadirian, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Sepideh Kashani, Morad Tahbaz and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh.
News

Group’s Video Appeal for Government Clean-up and Healthcare

A new video just published by Zambian environmental activists confirms Human Rights Watch’s research on how a former industrial lead mine in their hometown of Kabwe has left a legacy of severe lead contamination. The youth activists, who work with…
Former Mine Pit in Kabwe, Zambia
News

International Lead Poisoning Week Highlights Need for Action

I met “David” and his brothers in the dusty township of Chowa in Kabwe. David, eight years old, is thin and small for his age. Sitting in their yard, his grandfather described his worries about David. He has problems in…
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News

Submission by Human Rights Watch to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

  Human Rights Watch appreciates the opportunity to provide a submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on children’s right to a healthy environment, in advance of its 2020 annual full-day meeting on the same topic…
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News
“Henry” is thin and small for his age. The 10-year-old, his mum and I are sitting outside in the dusty, poor township of Waya in the Zambian city of Kabwe on a hot, dry afternoon. His mum, looking weary, describes their life…
Former Mine Pit in Kabwe, Zambia
News
Years have passed, but Kasuba* still remembers when she was tested for lead as a child of about 8. The World Health Organisation says that there is no safe level of lead exposure. But the amount of the metal in Kasuba’s blood was up to…
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News

Being Outside is a Health Risk for Some of Zambia’s Children

How did you first become aware of the problem in Kabwe? We learned about it from an environmental group several years ago but became interested in doing our own research after seeing a young person from Kabwe speak at a United Nations event.…
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News

Effective Cleanup, Health Services Desperately Needed Near Former Lead Mine

(Johannesburg) – Lead exposure around a former lead and zinc mine in Zambia is having disastrous effects on children’s health, Human Rights Watch said today. The Zambian government should promptly clean up the…
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Report
  Summary More than one third of the population of Kabwe, Zambia— over 76,000 people—live in lead-contaminated townships. Studies estimate that half of the children in these areas have elevated blood lead levels that warrant medical treatment…
News

Environmentalists Protesting 550 days of Legal Limbo

(Beirut) – At least two environmental experts detained in Iran since January 2018 have likely embarked on a hunger strike to protest their continued detention after many months in legal limbo, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities should…
A campaign poster showing environmental activists, Taher Ghadirian, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Sepideh Kashani, Morad Tahbaz and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh.
News

Detainees Allege Torture in Detention

  (Beirut) – Iran’s judicial authorities are violating fair trial standards in the case of eight environmentalists who have been detained for over a year, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities should immediately open an…
A campaign poster showing environmental activists, Taher Ghadirian, Niloufar Bayani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Houman Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Sepideh Kashani, Morad Tahbaz and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh.