US Court Rules for Safety in Meatpacking

Click to expand Image © 2019 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch In a major victory for meatpacking workers, a United States district court in Minnesota on Wednesday found that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had violated federal law with a 2019 rule eliminating slaughter line speed limits in hog processing plants. In its […]

Qatar: Wage Abuse Action Shortchanges Workers

(Beirut) – Qatari authorities have failed to provide redress for hundreds of migrant workers who are suffering from months of unpaid wages at two companies, even though authorities have repeatedly been informed of these abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. The Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund, which the government established in 2018 specifically to ensure […]

Saudi Arabia: Personal Drivers Face Abuse

Click to expand Image Foreign laborers work on the construction of new luxury houses in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, April 2019.  © 2019 FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images (Beirut) – Saudi Arabia should put in place labor and immigration reforms to protect domestic workers, including personal drivers, Human Rights Watch said today. New Human Rights […]

Russia Should Support Health Workers, Not Silence Them

Click to expand Image A medical specialist wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a break at the City Clinical Hospital Number 15 which delivers treatment to COVID-19 patients in Moscow, Russia. May 25, 2020. © 2020 REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov As Russia reports record numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths, authorities seem paradoxically concerned with preventing health […]

What Will it Take for Saudi Arabia to Abolish Abusive Sponsorship System?

Click to expand Image There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and exploitation including forced labor, trafficking, and slavery-like conditions. Gulf states are increasingly keen to insist […]

Lebanon: Blow to Migrant Domestic Worker Rights

Click to expand Image Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon’s controversial kafala sponsorship system. © 2019 Adib Chowdhury / SOPA Images/Sipa via AP Images (Beirut) – Lebanon’s State Shura Council, the country’s top administrative court, delivered a sharp blow to migrant domestic worker rights by suspending the implementation of a new standard […]

US: Heat Emergency Plans Missing Pregnancy, Racial Justice

Click to expand Image © RuslanDashinsky/Getty Images (Washington, DC) – Many plans by local, state, and federal authorities in the United States to respond to heat extremes and climate change miss the threat that extreme heat poses to pregnancy, particularly for low-income and Black and brown people, Human Rights Watch and partners said today. Authorities should […]

California: Proposition 22 Threatens Gig Workers’ Rights

(Los Angeles) – Californians should vote No on Proposition 22, a ballot measure that would eviscerate minimum wage and other labor rights protections for the state’s grocery app workers, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. By rejecting Prop 22, voters can help ensure that grocery shopping and delivery apps – a fast-growing […]

Georgia Passes Sweeping Labor Reforms

Click to expand Image A plenary session of Georgia’s Parliament, September 16, 2020.  © Parliament of Georgia In an important move to protect workers, this week Georgia’s parliament adopted sweeping amendments to the country’s labor code. The reforms regulate such crucial issues as work hours, overtime, night shifts, weekly rest, daily breaks, and perhaps most […]

Syria: Health Workers Lack Protection in Pandemic

Click to expand Image A health worker with a face mask walks inside a hospital, as hospitals enforce a series of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Damascus, Syria March 19, 2020. © 2020 Reuters/Omar Sanadiki (Beirut) – Syrian authorities are failing to protect health workers at the front line of the […]