• Human Rights

    As Expected, the US Quits the UN Human Rights Council

    by  • June 19, 2018 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    In a long-expected decision, the United States announced it was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, the world body’s primary organ for promoting and protecting the rights of people worldwide. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, delivered comments on June 19 in the...

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    With Trump’s Human-Rights Policies, Religious ‘Values’ Take Priority

    by  • June 7, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Health and Population, Human Rights, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Cubans waiting to be served food during the country's annual celebration of its revolution.

    For almost three centuries, through street protests, court battles and a civil war, the United States has sporadically but steadily advanced and expanded human-rights protections and commitments in domestic and foreign policies. Now Donald Trump and the most conservative, ideologically driven officials on his team want to turn back this record in fundamental ways,...

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    ‘Don’t Try to Be a Superwoman’: An Interview With Michelle Bachelet

    by  • May 31, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Latin America, Women • 4 Comments

    Michelle Bachelet ended her second term as president of Chile on March 11, 2018. Her first term, from 2006 to 2010, was marked by an ambitious social and economic agenda advancing women’s rights and better health care. Her cabinet of ministers, for example, was composed of an equal number of men and women, as...

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    In Year 2 of Trump Presidency, the US Is Still Eroding Both the UN and Women’s Rights

    by  • May 21, 2018 • Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    After a year of bombast and threats by Ambassador Nikki Haley and the ever-evolving Donald Trump administration, the tone appears to be turned down a few notches in the second year of the Trump presidency. But efforts to undermine the United Nations and what it stands for have not stopped, at least for now,...

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    Thank You, United Nations, for Helping Victims of Nazi Experiments

    by  • May 17, 2018 • Human Rights, International Justice • 

    As World War II ended and the horrors of the Holocaust unfolded before a stunned humanity, the victims, their families and people of good will sought to construct a new world order of justice grounded in recognition of inalienable human rights. Prof. Hersch Lauterpacht made the case for an International Bill of Rights, the...

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    Thank You, UN, for Protecting Victims of Slavery and Other Cruel Practices

    by  • April 19, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Human Trafficking, International Justice • 

    While slavery and inhumane practices have still not been eradicated, the United Nations has done much to expose them and to help stamp them out. Its efforts continue. Early after its establishment, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights carried out a study on slavery. Its findings were riveting, and it made several policy recommendations...

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    South Africa’s Light on Human Rights Dims Again at the UN

    by  • April 17, 2018 • Africa, Human Rights, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    When the monthlong winter session of the United Nations Human Rights Council opened at the end of February, expectations were high that progress would be made on reforms demanded by the United States and supported by many other nations, although not in as threatening terms as those of Nikki Haley, the Trump administration’s ambassador...

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    Reform Eludes the Human Rights Council as Bolton Returns to the Scene

    by  • April 1, 2018 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    The 2018 winter session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was marked more by what didn’t happen than what did. There was still no official announcement in Geneva from the Trump administration about whether the United States would leave the Council or even seek re-election in 2019, when its current term expires. There was...

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    Women Descend on the UN, Riding on the Heels of #TimesUp

    by  • March 12, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Secretary-General, Women • 2 Comments

    As women across the world battle systemic harassment and worse abuses for merely being female, the United Nations has opened its annual gathering of women in one of its biggest conferences of the year. This time, the 12-day meeting focuses on the status of rural women, but since it follows closely on the heels...

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    UN Agencies Moving Into Blockchain to Help People in Crisis Settings

    by  • February 27, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Poverty, Refugees, UN Agencies • 

      Blockchain technology emerged alongside Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency powering digital payments through a peer-to-peer system, currency trading and even, in some cases, black-market transactions. Now, some United Nations agencies are using blockchain to provide basic identification to refugees and others in developing countries as well as for specific actions like helping refugees obtain food...

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    Changing the Minds of Youths to Stop India’s Extreme Bias Against Girls

    by  • February 26, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, India, Poverty • 

    HARYANA, India — In 2014, Breakthrough India, an independent human-rights organization, launched a program to tackle gender discrimination throughout 150 schools in Haryana, one of India’s most gender-biased states. A 2011 census showed that Haryana, a primarily agricultural state bordering Delhi in northern India, had the worst child-sex ratio in the country, with only...

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    The ‘Incredible Courage’ of Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s Human-Rights Advocate

    by  • February 17, 2018 • Asia, Human Rights, Women • 

    Only a few days before Pakistan’s most famous human-rights advocate, Asma Jahangir, was felled by a heart attack on Feb. 11, she was speaking out in support of a group of ethnic Pashtuns who had marched across the country from their homes along the Afghanistan border to protest military brutality. A Pashtun boy had...

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    Why Turkey’s Model Work Permits for Refugees Don’t Actually Work

    by  • February 5, 2018 • Human Rights, Poverty, Refugees, Syria, WORLDVIEWS • 

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A major problem with Turkey for the millions of refugees there, it has a model work permit system for the newcomers, but it still bars them from the country’s labor market. Such problems can be overcome, experts contend, so that the refugees can work for decent wages in Turkey. Izza Leghtas,...

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    Thank You, UN, for Defending Our Human Rights Against Gross Violations

    by  • January 30, 2018 • Human Rights, WORLDVIEWS • 

    From 1970 to 2000, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the predecessor to today’s Human Rights Council, considered in closed meetings and acted on some 80 country situations where there were reliable allegations of gross violations of human rights. In parallel, the UN Decolonization Committee and the Special Committee Against Apartheid gathered information,...

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    Blessed Are the Peace-Builders in Ukraine: Female Activists Repair a Broken Country

    by  • January 21, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Health and Population, Human Rights, Women • 

    KYIV, Ukraine — There is no escaping that Ukraine is at war — although it is not totally apparent who the Ukrainian military and volunteer vigilantes are fighting in the east: Russian “separatists” or Russians themselves? No one can definitively say who is who or decide up from down, one of the living puzzles...

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    Leave the UN’s Human-Rights Treaty System Alone

    by  • January 7, 2018 • Human Rights, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    The United Nations Charter requires each and every member state to discharge its obligations by faithfully carrying out norms of legally binding international human-rights law. These may be norms of international customary law, those contained in treaties or those flowing from general principles of international law. The human-rights provisions in the Charter were amplified...

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