Human Rights

Human Rights
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Trump order forces refugee resettlement group to lay off 140 staff

President Donald Trump’s executive order delaying and cutting refugee resettlement is affecting refugee nonprofits. Aid group World Relief let go of at least 140 staffers this week. It is also closing five offices in the U.S. – all because of the Trump administration’s decision to significantly reduce the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. this year.

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Myanmar: Security crackdown in Rakhine has ended, but presence still heavy

Myanmar’s security operation in Rakhine state has ended, the country’s newly appointed national security adviser said on Wednesday, but military and police will stay to maintain peace. The announcement signals the end of a brutal four-month crackdown that the U.N. has said likely constitutes crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing of the state’s minority Rohingya Muslims.

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Syria continues dance around human rights violations

Activists accuse Syria of war crimes. The government denies the accusation. We saw this dance happen again this week, where activists level an accusation and the Assad regime side-steps with denial. In the latest accusation, Human Rights Watch said that the military used chemical weapons on Aleppo late last year. The report stated that in eight attacks that violated international rules of war, at least nine people died and hundreds were injured. Syrian officials denied the accusation, telling Agence France-Presse that the report was “unprofessional and unscientific.”

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Multiple barriers keep 1.5 million Tanzanian kids out of secondary school

Despite improving access to primary education, children in Tanzania often do not continue on to secondary schools. Barriers including lack of rural schools, pressure to work and high-stakes exams prevent more than half of Tanzanian youth from enrolling in secondary school. Limited alternative options leave millions of young people at a lifelong disadvantage, according to Human Rights Watch.

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U.N. ‘complicit’ in mass forced return of Afghan refugees, watch group says

Just last week, refugee groups commended Pakistan’s decision to extend the legal stay of Afghan refugees within its borders from March 31, 2017, until the end of December. Now, Pakistan is under fire from Human Rights Watch (HRW) for “the world’s largest unlawful mass forced return of refugees in recent times,” and the U.N. refugee agency is “complicit,” the group said in a report Monday.

Human Rights
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Homophobia costs countries $100 billion a year, economist argues

Gay, lesbian, transgender and other people who represent gender or sexual diversities face enormous stigma in their communities, by one estimate undermining the potential economic contribution these people could be making worldwide by $100 billion annually. This figure, calculated by lead UNAIDS researcher and health economist Erik Lamontagne, is at best a conservative estimate because data on some groups is limited.

Human Rights
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Ecuador ensures voting rights for people with disabilities

Ahead of the presidential elections, Ecuador is rolling out a plan to make it easier and safer for people with disabilities to cast their votes. The campaign was launched Wednesday by the Electoral Council, the Disability Council and the Federation of Taxi Drivers. It gives citizens the option of voting from home, skipping lines at the voting center and assistance for those requiring help with the voting process.

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