The World Bank Group created the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) in 1999 to ensure that development projects financed by its private-sector lending arm are environmentally and socially sound. The report uses quantitative and qualitative methods to offer an empirical view of how CAO works, what factors influence its approach and outcomes, and when communities believe it is effective and fair.
Federal law allows employers to pay workers who earn tips a sub-minimum wage of $2.13 an hour, creating a two-tiered wage system. This report analyzes how this wage structure violates the human rights of tipped workers in the restaurant industry, including their right to an adequate standard of living and their right to health. Sub-minimum wages also increase the vulnerability of workers to discrimination based on their gender and race. The report recommends federal and state legal and policy reforms.
Rape and other forms of sexual violence are common features of the social upheaval and mass violence that has marred post-independence India. This report examines efforts in Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, and Odisha by women victims of sexual violence to access justice and the response by India to their efforts. Based on this analysis and applicable international standards, the report makes specific recommendation for actions by the Indian state to address common institutional weaknesses.
Since the 1990s, officers with the United States’ largest law enforcement agency, Customs and Border Protection, have killed at least forty people near the U.S.-Mexico border, including minors, people shot in the back or in fleeing vehicles, and U.S. citizens. This working paper finds that no agent has been held accountable in a criminal or civil court of law for a killing and identifies the legal doctrines that hinder accountability.
Based on interviews and surveys conducted with undocumented students at U.C. Berkeley, this report explores how undocumented immigration status has impacted students’ path to higher education, their university experience, and their plans for the future. It outlines recommendations to federal, state, and university officials seeking to support the success of undocumented students in higher education.
Submitted in conjunction with the 2014 U.N. review of U.S. Compliance with the Convention against Torture, this shadow report documents the cumulative effect of indefinite detention and abuse experienced by some Guantánamo detainees; provides data about the economic, psychological, physical, and social harm former detainees have suffered as a result of their detention; and recommends that the U.S. government compensate former detainees for their ill-treatment.
This working paper reviews the international legal framework applicable to India’s obligations to ensure the right to a remedy for enforced disappearances and other gross human rights violations. It evaluates India’s domestic law in light of the country’s international obligations, identifies gaps, and recommends law reforms. This working paper should be considered together with its companion piece, Comparative Country Studies Regarding Truth, Justice, and Reparations for Gross Human Rights Violations.
This working paper examines transitional justice initiatives undertaken in Brazil, Chile, and Guatemala to address the widespread human rights abuses perpetrated during the military dictatorships in those countries and compares these initiatives to truth seeking mechanisms in India as part of the effort to advance redress for human rights violations committed in areas that have experienced internal armed conflict or mass social unrest in the country. This working paper should be considered together with its companion piece, The Right to a Remedy for Enforced Disappearances in India.
This commentary offers suggestions to strengthen the commitment of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to adopting a gender-inclusive approach to its investigations, charging, prosecutions, and sentencing by identifying how the Prosecutor can operationalize examining the intersections between gender and other identities in understanding and responding to sexual and gender based crimes in conflict situations.
This working paper reviews relevant international laws on accountability for sexual violence and concludes that international criminal justice offers the best prospects of redress, but that this potential has been seriously underutilized. Using Uganda as a case study, the paper lays the groundwork upon which to generate a legal reform agenda internationally.
This report outlines a framework for implementation of California’s Human Right to Water law, which declares that all residents of the state have a right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water. The report calls on state agencies to address water challenges affecting diverse populations and identifies human rights principles—such as non-discrimination, public participation, and accountability—that should guide their efforts.
This report—based on extensive legal research and in-depth interviews with government officials, advocates, and affected individuals—provides an in-depth look at the abuse and discrimination perpetrated against LGBT individuals in El Salvador and the precarious legal protections they are currently afforded. It includes recommendations for policy reform, administrative action, and training and awareness to address the prevalence of violence, impunity, and inequality.
This webpage offers a variety of resources to help the public explore the roles that health professionals have played in the interrogation of detainees taken into U.S. custody since 9/11 and join a national debate about health ethics and torture.
This report summarizes the most pressing issues advocates raised during a global consultation convened by the International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) — Asia Pacific and hosted by Women and Media Collective in Colombo, Sri Lanka on the issue of women and conflict.
This policy brief finds that the United States has deported the lawful immigrant parents of nearly 88,000 citizen children in just a decade. The forced removal of lawful permanent resident parents (or green card holders) convicted of relatively minor crimes can lead to psychological harm, behavioral changes, and disruptions in the health and education of tens of thousands of citizen children.
This report calls on the United States to reform its policies and practices regarding the prosecutions of extradited Colombian warlords to better support Colombia’s efforts to hold these paramilitaries accountable for mass atrocities. Federal prosecutors are pursuing drug-related charges against thirty former paramilitary fighters, including individuals implicated in terrorizing and killing thousands of innocent civilians.
This report calls on nations to address the human rights impacts of climate change policy. The report highlights the unintended consequences of climate change policies, and recommends that states adopt a program for action to develop policies that incorporate international human rights standards.
This policy paper recommends that the United States promote programs to assist former detainees released from the U.S. detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to reintegrate into their communities. These programs should be an integral part of any comprehensive plan to close the camp.
This two-year systematic study of Guantánamo detainees develops a factual record of the long-term impact of U.S. detention practices on detainees during their confinement at the Guantánamo Bay facility and after their release from U.S. custody; assesses the perception of detainees on how their incarceration has affected their families and communities; and recommends appropriate U.S. government policies.
This paper reviews the development of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and analyzes problems it faces in prosecuting leaders of the Khmer Rouge for serious crimes committed under their regime (1975-1979). It concludes that the “success of the ECCC experiment will be determined largely by how the Cambodian people and Cambodian institutions respond to the tribunal”.
This report confirms anecdotal evidence that undocumented workers were being abused as they provided critical help to rebuild New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. The study documents the vulnerability of undocumented workers, including reduced access to health care, wage discrepancy, and unsafe working conditions.
Based on interviews conducted with tsunami survivors, government officials, human rights activists, and aid workers in five tsunami-affected countries, this report finds survivors continued to suffer inequities in aid distribution, human rights abuses, and the inability to have input into reconstruction planning and policy, and recommends concrete steps to address these issues.
This unique, interdisciplinary study utilizes demographic data as well as interviews to identify patterns in the forced migration and experiences of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent. The study indicates that those leaving the country are not afforded due process and frequently suffer abuses at the hands of government officials, and makes recommendations to improve the migration system.
This paper sets forth a human rights-based proposal to provide HIV medicines in Sri Lanka on behalf of the AIDS Coalition for Care, Education, and Support Services, a Sri Lankan non-governmental organization. The brief was submitted to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health and the World Bank in the context of a pending funding proposal from Sri Lanka before the international financial institution.
This paper provides a comprehensive normative analysis of federal law regarding immigration and trafficking, as well as of federal, California, and local law on labor and employment, in order to identify gaps in protections for domestic workers. It also surveys strategies utilized by cities, countries, and international organizations to address the human rights struggles of domestic workers.