news updates 

OCT. 02, 2020

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: ‘CYCLE OF VIOLENCE’ FOR FLEEING MIGRANTS MUST BE ADDRESSED

Migrants are facing arbitrary detentions, torture and other serious human right violations for days at the Mediterranean Sea as they flee from Libya. There is a lack of sufficient safe and regular migration channels. Humanitarian search and rescue vessels have been prevented from heading to sea due to the ongoing pandemic.
The reception which happens at Malta has problems of severe overcrowding, poor living conditions and limited contact to the outside world. However, despite Covid challenges human rights must always be upheld.

OCT. 01, 2020

UN EXPERT RAISES ALARM OVER MASS EVICTIONS OF DELHI RAILWAY TRACK DWELLERS

Indian Supreme Court order to evict up to 2,50,000 people living in shacks along railway tracks in the capital, Delhi. This move of the court violates country’s obligations under key international right treaties – 2.3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights containing the core human rights principle that everyone can seek judicial relief against any decision she or he considered arbitrary. The eviction of homeless violates human rights under International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The court has temporarily halted the eviction. Human right activists have called for ban on all evictions during the pandemic under the country’s Disaster Management Act or India’s Epidemic Act.

SEPT. 29, 2020

COUNTRIES FAIL TO PROTECT WOMEN FROM ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL FALLOUT DURING PANDEMIC

Women are becoming victims of domestic violence as they are locked down with their abusers and are being treated as unpaid caregivers. There is lack of gender sensitive measures – helpline, shelters or legal support to counter the surge in violence. The pandemic has provided the countries an opportunity to prioritize social justice and gender equality.
Europe is leading the response on giving unpaid care while America has the largest number of measures aimed at strengthening women’s economic security, followed by Africa. United Nations have come up with the Global Tracker supports Government in making the right policy decisions by sharing good practices and monitoring progress in care policies and measures to address violence against women.

SEPT. 24, 2020

IMPACT ON WORKERS OF COVID-19 IS ‘CATASTROPHIC’: ILO

COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic” impact on workers, the head of the International Labour Organization said , with lost working hours higher than originally forecast, and equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs globally in the second quarter of the year.
Lower and middle-income countries have suffered most, with an estimated 23.3 per cent drop in working hours – equivalent to 240 million jobs - in the second quarter. Mr. Ryder highlighted that while the Governments of richer countries had shored up their economies with hundreds of billions of dollars, poorer nations had been unable to do the same.
Global labour income is estimated to have declined by 10.7 per cent, or US$ 3.5 trillion, in the first three quarters of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. This figure excludes income support provided through government measures.
The ILO Monitor report , said that the global working hour losses in the first nine months of 2020 have been “considerably larger” than estimated in the previous edition of the Monitor (issued on 30 June).
To protect workers and economies everywhere, Mr. Ryder warned against any premature loosening of support for health measures aimed at combating the pandemic, in view of increasing infection rates in many countries. Support for jobs and incomes should be sustained into next year, he insisted, while also calling for finding ways to increase technical help and official develop assistance to emerging economies.

SEPT. 21, 2020.

CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO NOT BE NEUTRAL ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE RAISED BY INDEPENDENT UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERTS

A group of UN human rights experts today called on the international community to strengthen cooperation to enable timely and effective investigations and prosecutions of those behind enforced disappearances, raising concerns about the multiplying effect of impunity.
This comes after rising fears amidst the covid-19 crisis. Luciano Hazan, the Chair of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“The measures adopted to fight against the pandemic such as confinement or the re-deployment of security forces to control their implementation, obviously have affected the capacity of all actors to conduct search and investigation of enforced disappearances,” he said.
Hazan relied to the Key Guidelines on COVID – 19 and Enforced Disappearances, issued by the Working Group, jointly with the Committee on Enforced Disappearances

SEPT. 18, 2020.

BELARUS CRISIS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT AT HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The Council finally adopted a resolution on the deteriorating rights situation in Belarus. It passed by 23 votes for, two against and with 22 abstentions.
The EU tabled a resolution requesting the High Commissioner to make an interim oral update recommending the Council to present a comprehensive written report on the human rights situation (before the end of the year) during and after 2020 Presidential election in Belarus at the 46th session followed by an interactive dialogue.”
The crisis can be traced back to December 2010 election, which had followed “a massive crackdown” on political opponents, human rights groups and media, and hundreds of arrests, with allegations of torture and ill-treatment in custody. Almost 10 years after the December 2010 election, we are seeing many of the same patterns recurring. Some in-fact intensifying
Russian delegation echoed the policy of not interfering in the affairs of another State as a tenet of international law.
Prior to adopting the resolution, the Council considered and rejected 17 amendments, all of which were tabled by the Russian Federation.

SEP. 07, 2020

Côte d'Ivorie adopted Africa's first Statelessness Determination Procedure this week

In a welcoming move, Côte d'Ivorie adopted Africa's first Statelessness Determination Procedure this week. The UNHCR expects that this will help protect those people in the country who do not have a nationality.

Accordingly, regulations were signed on 2nd September to formally establish these procedures in accordance with Côte d'Ivorie's National Action Plan. Once the status of stateless people is regularised and formally recognised, it will make it easier for people to access health services, enroll in schools, seek employment, open bank accounts and buy land and other resources.
Source: UNHCR

SEP. 05, 2020

Army personnel alleged to commit brutality in Philippines

Army persons in Philippines were alleged of confining and thrashing three native tribal people for protesting against Communist New people’s army in the area. It is also alleged that one of those three people, one was forced to eat human faeces, according to an NGO- Umahon that voices for property rights.
Although, the military invalidated such allegation and warned to move legal proceedings against Umahon. It is also discovered that Philippines Army had been harassing and treating the tribal people cruelly and have even took the lives of some of those who protest against the government.
It has also been urged the Human Rights Commission and Philippines National Commission on Indigenous people to examine the matter thoroughly so as to arrive at a sound conclusion.

SEP. 03, 2020

Sudan signs peace deal with rebel groups from Darfur

To put an end to a nearly two decade long conflict and years of bloodshed, the government of Sudan has signed a peace agreement with an alliance of rebel groups called the Sudan Revolutionary Front. The agreement covers key issues of justice, power, security and return of the people who were forced to leave homes because of the war. According to the United Nations, more than 300000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced to leave their homes ever since the conflict broke out in 2003. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan said that it was a moment for optimism, dedicating the agreement to “children who were born in displacement and refugee camps and to the mothers and fathers who miss their villages and cities.

SEP. 01, 2020

Human Rights Campaigners Call for Ban on Imports from Xinjiang

Human Rights campaigners in the USA join their UK counterparts in calling for a ban on all cotton imports from Xinjiang Province in China in the hopes of inducing the Chinese authorities to rethink its prison labour policy. Two petitions delivered to the US Customs and Border Protection cite the substantial evidence available that the Uighur community are being press-ganged into working in the region's cotton fields. According to the Chinese government data cited in the petitions, apparel exports from this disputed region were valued at $4.2bn in 2018 while footwear and textiles count for an additional $3.06bn. The petitions are sponsored by the World Uighur Congress and the Global Legal Action Network.

AUG. 31, 2020

SAUDI ARABIA REVIEWS CASES AWARDING DEATH PENALTY TO JUVENILES

In a welcoming move, the Saudi Human Rights Commission announced that the judiciary would review three death sentences in accordance with a recent decree to halt capital punishment for child offenders.
3 individuals were sentenced to death for allegedly committing crimes when they were children.
Under the decree, the commission stated that the 3 detainees will be resentenced based on the Saudi Juvenile Law, which has a maximum 10-year prison penalty.
The official statement read: “Human rights are a key pillar of the Vision 2030 platform for transformation.” Although Saudi human rights pronouncements count for little, the decision to scrap death penalty for child offenders is a praiseworthy step.
Image source : OHRCHR

AUG. 30, 2020

ARREST OF PROMINENT CARTOONIST: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION UNDER ASSAULT

A prominent Jordanian cartoonist Hajjaj was arrested on August 26,2020 for publishing a cartoon which was satirical about the diplomatic agreement between Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Hajjaj is a prominent cartoonist in Jordan whose cartoons appeared in the major newspapers in Jordan for several decades.
He was arrested for posting a cartoon depicting a dove with an Israeli Flag spitting in the face of the De Facto Ruler in UAE, Mohammed Bin Zayed in his social website and website. The cartoon was referring to the recent reports about the government of The United States being urged by the government of Israel to not sell the F-35 combat aircraft to the UAE despite the normalization agreement between UAE and Israel.
Hajaj’s detention was announced for 14 days and he has been referred to the state security court rather than prosecuting him in the civilian courts. He was arrested on the charge of “disturbing relations with a foreign state” an offence under the Jordan’s counter-terrorism law. He was charged for sabotaging the relations of Jordan with UAE.
Image Source: The Times of Israel

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