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Marginalization and Exclusion Imperils Rights, New UN Expert Report Finds

Ageism – the stereotyping, prejudice, and/or discrimination of individuals or groups based on their age – is all around us. One just has to look at a rack of birthday cards for images ridiculing older people or the rows of “anti-ageing” creams on the…
Rohingya people refugees carry an older woman on the way to camp at Shahpori Island, in Teknaf, Bangladesh on September 13, 2017. 
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Make Safe Visits to Aged Care Homes a Reality

For the first time in 12 weeks, residents of Sydney, Australia are now allowed to gather outdoors with up to four friends who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Since a fresh Covid-19 outbreak in late June, millions of people in Sydney have…
Summitcare aged care facility in Baulkham Hills in Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2021.
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Gaps in Services Create Risks for Institutionalization, Violate Rights

(Moscow) – The Russian government is not providing adequate resources for home-based services for older people, denying some of them the ability to live independent and dignified lives, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite legislative reform to…
A pensioner carries logs in the courtyard of her wooden house where she opened a private museum of the old quarter.
Report
Summary The international reconstruction effort in Afghanistan after 2001 created an opportunity to advance human rights, and women’s and girls’ rights in particular. Although its achievements have fallen short of what was envisioned, significant…
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Inclusive Climate Action and Planning Needed after 12 Perish

On July 15, twelve people with disabilities living in a group home drowned in floods in Sinzig, Germany, because they did not manage to evacuate in time. This is not the first time people with disabilities in group homes died during a climate…
The “Lebenshilfe-Haus” or ‘assisted-living facility”, where twelve people with disabilities drowned in floods on July 15, 2021.
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Climate Crisis Requires Inclusive Heat Action, Planning, and Response

Recent climate change-exacerbated heat waves in the western Canadian province of British Columbia have left hundreds dead. According to British Columbia’s chief coroner, of the 719 sudden deaths between June 25 and July 1, many were “older individuals…
A person enters the Hillcrest Community Centre, where they can cool off during the extreme hot weather in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 30, 2021.
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Unique Opportunity for Congress to Help People Continue to Live at Home

US lawmakers should prioritize support for home and community-based services for older people as part of the negotiations on infrastructure bills under way in Congress, Human Rights Watch said today. The vast majority of older people in the United…
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(New York, May 6, 2021) – Falling donor support for essential services in Afghanistan is reducing women’s access to essential health care, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More cuts are likely in coming months following the announcement…
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Ensure Adequate Staffing, Person-Centered Support in Aged Care Facilities

The Australian government has the chance to make a lasting impact on the lives of older Australians next week when it announces its proposed budget in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report. The…
A resident looks out from the window of the Florence Aged Care Facility amid the second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Melbourne, Australia August 17, 2020.
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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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Residents Need Access to Courts Amid Emerging Reports of Neglect During Pandemic

This week, Arizona legislators will vote on bill 1377, which would shield nursing homes from civil liability for negligence while providing services during the Covid-19 pandemic. At least 32 states have already passed laws or issued executive…
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Pandemic Exposes Need for Improvements in Staffing, Oversight, Accountability

(New York) – Potential neglect and prolonged isolation may have caused serious harm to many people in nursing homes in the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today.  Human Rights Watch interviews with more…
A nursing home resident holds his wife’s hand.
News

Stop Using Vague Law to Silence Criticism of Prime Minister

Displaying absolute intolerance for peaceful criticism, Bangladesh authorities have arrested hundreds of people, including journalists, for criticizing or satirizing the country’s ruling party and its leaders. Even children have not been spared for…
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meets with officials in Tokyo, May 29, 2019.
News

Governments, International Actors Should Step up Protections for Older People

A groundbreaking report released on March 18 and led by the World Health Organization (WHO) calls out ageism for what it is: a socially-acceptable form of discrimination that impacts older people’s livelihoods, health, and even survival. The report…
Older people crossing the broken bridge at the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.
News
Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
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Susan Robinson, a 68-year-old resident of a United States nursing facility, was lying awake one night in March when she heard her neighbor gasping for breath. “She was dying,” Robinson said. “They took her to the hospital. They didn’t tell us anything…
Caterina Salvi, 90, waits for a visitor inside a protective inflatable plastic tunnel at the Martino Zanchi nursing home in Alzano Lombardo, northern Italy, February 24, 2021.
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Accountability, Adequate Staffing, Home Support Needed to Protect Older People

The Australian government should immediately act on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to improve rights protections for older people, Human Rights Watch said today. The commission, in its final report…
A resident looks out from the window of the Florence Aged Care Facility amid the second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Melbourne, Australia August 17, 2020.
News

Federal and Local Governments Should Invest in Community Safety

  Cities across the United States are seeing numerous unprovoked attacks against Asian-Americans, particularly older people, according to a new study by a coalition documenting and addressing anti-Asian hate and discrimination. On January…
Decorative lanterns hang above Mott street in Manhattan's Chinatown district before the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year, New York, NY, February 9, 2021.