EU: Due diligence proposal ‘a missed opportunity’

Responding to the publication of the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence, Patrick Wilcken, Head of Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International said: “The EU Commission’s decision to develop a directive marks a milestone on the road to greater corporate accountability across the EU. However, the narrow scope of the draft means that this is a missed opportunity, as in its current form only 1% of all EU companies would be required to check that their business complies with human rights and environmental standards.” Patrick Wilcken, Head of Business and Human Rights at Amnesty…

US Congress Falls Short in Plan to Cut Insulin Costs

Click to expand Image A woman fills a syringe with insulin at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, California, April 29, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo/Reed Saxon United States Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this week announced a vote on a bill that would cap out-of-pocket insulin costs for people with health insurance. While this bill could help millions of underinsured people in the US who struggle with high insulin costs, Congress should also protect those without health insurance. The Affordable Insulin Now Act, introduced last week by Senator Reverend Warnock of Georgia, would cap copayments on…

Global: Older People at Heightened Risk in Conflict

(New York) – Older people are often at heightened risk of abuses during armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. All parties to armed conflict should end abuses against older people and facilitate humanitarian assistance to older people in need. The United Nations Security Council should ensure that the UN addresses the need for enhanced protection of older civilians in armed conflict in its work.  February 23, 2022 No One is Spared Abuses Against Older People in Armed Conflict Download the full report in English The 49-page report, “No One Is Spared: Abuses against Older People…

Landmark Decision on Colombia Abortion Rights

Click to expand Image Abortion rights activists celebrate in front of Colombia’s Constitutional Court in Bogota, Colombia, February 21, 2022. © 2022 AP Photo/Fernando Vergara Colombia’s Constitutional Court has delivered a major victory for women’s reproductive rights by decriminalizing abortion on all grounds up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion after 24 weeks will be legal in Colombia under exceptions in place since 2006: when a pregnancy poses a risk to the health or the life of the pregnant person, is nonviable, or is the result of rape. The landmark 5-to-4 ruling puts Colombia at the forefront of an expansion…

Endure exploitation or risk deportation: the dilemma of Australia’s migrants

Migrant workers in Australia often choose not to report exploitative treatment to avoid putting their visas at risk. A new bill designed to protect foreign workers could make them more vulnerable due to its lack of whistleblower protections. Guardian Australia explores the shortcomings of the proposed bill.   Michael’s story: Exploitation or deportation  Michael moved to Australia from south-east Asia in 2013 to study cookery. Since then, he has built a life for himself there, with a partner, a child and a career.   But he faces an impossible dilemma in his daily life: face exploitation in the workplace or risk losing…

Russia/Ukraine: Amnesty International calls for respect for international humanitarian and human rights law as prospect for expanded armed conflict escalates

Responding to news that President Vladimir Putin has ordered “peacekeeping operations” to the so called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” in eastern Ukraine, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: “After weeks of fruitless negotiations, the protection of civilians in Ukraine must now be the absolute priority. While the potential for full-blown conflict is now a devastating reality, every effort must be made to minimize civilian suffering and prioritise humanity in this crisis. It is a legal obligation of all parties to do so. While the potential for full-blown conflict is now a devastating reality, every effort must…

Canada: Let Gravely Ill Canadians Leave Northeast Syria

Click to expand Image Canadian Kimberly Polman in Roj camp in northeast Syria. © 2019 Maya Alleruzzo/AP Photo Canada is effectively preventing a Canadian woman and a young Canadian child detained in northeast Syria from coming home for life-saving medical care despite a Canadian policy allowing them to do so, Human Rights Watch said today. That policy allows Canada to repatriate nationals held in northeast Syria as Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members if they have potentially fatal medical conditions that cannot be treated in the camps and prisons where they are held. A former US ambassador who has…

Colombia: Decriminalization of abortion is a triumph for human rights

The Colombian Constitutional Court’s ruling in favour of the decriminalization of abortion during the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy is a great triumph for human rights, said Amnesty International today. “We celebrate this ruling as a historic victory for the women’s movement in Colombia that has fought for decades for the recognition of their rights. Women, girls and people able to bear children are the only ones who should make decisions about their bodies. Now, instead of punishing them, the Colombian authorities will have to recognize their autonomy over their bodies and their life plans,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas…

Russia: LGBTI siblings facing up to 8.5 years in a Chechen jail must be released

Ahead of Tuesday’s sentencing of Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev, two Chechen siblings who face up to 8.5 years in prison after being falsely accused of “aiding illegal armed groups”, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Director, said: “Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev must be immediately and unconditionally released. They should never have been charged in the first place. Belonging to the LGBTI community in Chechnya — or anywhere else for that matter — is not a crime. Nobody should be detained for their sexual orientation or  gender identity or for criticizing the authorities. Their ordeal must…

Turkey: Baseless prosecution of Öztürk Türkdoğan an “attack on all those who speak out for human rights”

All charges against Öztürk Türkdoğan, the co-chair of Turkey’s most prominent human rights organisation and a respected lawyer, should be immediately dropped, Amnesty International said today ahead of the start of his trial tomorrow. Öztürk Türkdoğan, the co-chair of the Human Rights Association (IHD), faces baseless charges of “membership of a terrorist organization”, “insulting a public official” and “insulting the Turkish nation and the Turkish state” for public statements he made in relation to his association’s human rights work. “The prosecution of Öztürk Türkdoğan is an undisguised attack on this one human rights defender and also on all those who…

India: Biased Investigations 2 Years After Delhi Riot

Click to expand Image A municipal worker stands where communal clashes took place in New Delhi, India, February 27, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Altaf Qadri (New York) – Indian authorities are wrongfully prosecuting activists and protest organizers under India’s anti-terrorism law two years after 53 people were killed in communal violence following peaceful protests against discriminatory citizenship policies, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately drop politically motivated charges and release the 18 activists and others detained. People responsible for abuses should be appropriately prosecuted, including supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government who instigated the…

Turkey: Human Rights Defender on Trial

Click to expand Image Öztürk Türkdoğan, co-chair of the Human Rights Association, Turkey’s oldest human rights nongovernmental organization. © 2022 IHD (Istanbul) – The prosecution of a human rights defender demonstrates the Erdoğan government’s policy of bringing baseless criminal charges against people involved in legitimate and peaceful civil society activities, Human Rights Watch said today. Öztürk Türkdoğan, co-chair of the Human Rights Association, Turkey’s oldest human rights group, is scheduled to stand trial in Ankara on February 22, 2022, on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization.” If convicted, he could face a sentence of 5 to 10 years in…

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