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Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.
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United States Congressional Briefing “Religious Freedom in India,” September 22, 2021

Thank you for inviting me to testify today. Among India’s most pressing human rights concerns today is the worsening situation with respect to religious freedom. The facts are clear: attacks against religious minorities in India, especially Muslims…
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Listing Achievements at UN Won’t Hide Failures to Protect Rights

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week, to address global issues and list his government’s “achievements on the domestic front.” But back home, authorities are targeting…
Farmers participate in a protest against farm laws in Haryana, India on September 7, 2021. 
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Stop Harassment of Activists, Journalists, Peaceful Protesters

(New York) – Indian authorities are using politically motivated allegations of tax evasion and financial irregularities to silence human rights activists, journalists, and other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. In September…
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Eleven Groups Call for Independent Oversight of State Surveillance

Update: This has been updated to include additional groups in support of this action. (New York) – Indian authorities should immediately, independently, and credibly investigate the government’s alleged use of advanced spyware to target…
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Authorities Should Address Sexual Violence, Ensure Justice

Protests over sexual assault have renewed in India’s capital, Delhi, after a 9-year-old Dalit girl was killed on Sunday. Her family alleges that she was raped and murdered while fetching water from a crematorium in southwest Delhi. The crematorium’s…
Activists hold a candlelight march protesting the alleged rape and murder of a 9-year-old Dalit girl in New Delhi, India on August 4, 2021. 
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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
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Ensure Prompt Access to UN Refugee Agency for Protection

(New York) – Indian authorities should immediately free all detained Myanmar asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should investigate the deaths of two women who had fled Myanmar and died in custody in Manipur state from Covid…
A Myanmarese man looks towards the Indian side at the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram, India, Saturday, March 20, 2021. 
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Ending Military Use of Schools Protects Students, Teachers

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently called on India to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, an intergovernmental political commitment to take common-sense measures to make it less likely that students, teachers, and schools are…
An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard during a search operation in Srinagar, Kashmir, in August 2018.
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Examples of In-Person Education in Pandemic Offer Lessons for All

(Bolzano) – The measures some schools in Italy took to ensure access to quality education for students with disabilities during Covid-19-related school closures should inspire other schools to follow suit, Human Rights Watch said today. The steps…
Teacher supports three students sitting in an otherwise empty classroom, all wearing face masks.
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Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
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Opportunity for Expanding Access to Justice for People with Disabilities

A recent judgment by India’s Supreme Court is a watershed moment for women with disabilities in India and worldwide. The case involved a 19-year-old blind woman who was raped by her brother’s friend. The court in its April judgment, rendered by…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
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Authorities Should Focus on Solutions, Not Misguided, Abusive Policies

Hundreds of corpses, many suspected victims of Covid-19, are being left along riverbanks in northern India. Local officials say that decomposition makes it difficult to determine whether they died of the coronavirus. But villagers say that fear of the…
Policeman stand bodies Ganges River India Covid
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Covid-19 is surging through India, resulting in record-breaking numbers of new cases with medicine, oxygen, and vaccines in tragically short supply. Amy Braunschweiger speaks with South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly about how this humanitarian crisis is…
People wait to get tested for Covid-19 in Hyderabad, India. A crowd stands before two health care workers.
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Flout Child Protection, Immigration Rules

(Paris) – French police summarily expel dozens of unaccompanied children to Italy each month in violation of French and international law, Human Rights Watch said today. To enable the returns, the police frequently record on official documents…
A member of the French border police checks identity documents in March 2021 at the Menton-Garavan station, the first French train station for those travelling between Genoa, in Italy, and Nice, in France.
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Free Expression Crucial to Managing Covid-19 Pandemic

Indian groups trying to locate assistance for Covid-19 patients are finding that the requests keep coming. Although the government has attempted to increase medical supply stocks, distribution remains patchy. The authorities have often responded to…
People wait to get tested for Covid-19 in Hyderabad, India. A crowd stands before two health care workers.
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Provide Essential Medical Supplies; Urge India to Free Rights Defenders, Address Abuses

(Brussels) – European leaders at the May 8, 2021 summit with their Indian counterparts should prioritize the deteriorating human rights situation in India, including the right to health, eight organizations said today. With a devastating Covid-19…
People suffering from breathing problems receive free oxygen support at a gurdwara, a place of assembly and worship for Sikhs, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Delhi, India.