• Human Rights

    A New Index Rates the Well-Being of Women in 153 Nations and US Ranks 22d

    by  • October 31, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, Women • 

    A new women, peace and security index was unveiled at the United Nations recently. At its core, the WPS index, as it is known, provides evidence for what advocates have been saying all along: that the active and equal participation of women in all aspects of society is critical for peace and security, especially...

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    Four Easy Steps to Reform the UN Human Rights Council

    by  • October 15, 2017 • Human Rights, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    Problems encircling the United Nations Human Rights Council are verging toward a major crisis. The same crisis had engulfed its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, leading the secretary-general at the time, Kofi Annan, to call to replace it with the Council. But the same problems affecting the former Commission now affect its successor,...

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    Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

    by  • October 8, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Human Rights, International Justice • 

    Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

    Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people...

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    US Ambassador’s Ultimatum to the UN: Agree With Us or We Go It Alone

    by  • September 16, 2017 • Human Rights, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    When Nikki Haley, now the United States ambassador to the United Nations, was questioned by senators at her confirmation hearing in January about how she would deal with Donald Trump’s dismissive view of internationalism, she said confidently, “I will show him that the UN matters.” She also said that she would show the world...

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    Has Anyone Seen the UN Secretary-General’s Human Rights Agenda?

    by  • August 22, 2017 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Secretary-General António Guterres has set about modernizing some sectors of the United Nations and made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But beyond rhetoric, so far there has been no indication of his modernizing the human-rights sector. We have seen this before. Dag Hammarskjold, a previous secretary-general, undoubtedly believed in human...

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    $5 Million Grant From Microsoft Will Help UN Track Human-Rights Abuses

    by  • July 20, 2017 • Human Rights • 

    As political instability, conflicts and migration proliferate across the world, technology has become a potential solution for identifying and predicting human-rights violations, which play a major role instigating upheavals. Smartphones enable instant updates and eyewitness accounts of events happening around the globe, and the use of cloud computing and big-data analysis allows large amounts...

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    For the US, a Tale of Two Human-Rights Violations

    by  • July 14, 2017 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 3 Comments

    Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, is positioning herself as a champion of human rights. But she appears to be highly selective about which countries or regimes she accuses of committing human-rights abuses. At the same time, she has been pushing hard for cuts to UN peacekeeping missions, which could hurt...

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    A New Duet for Nikki Haley and Trump

    by  • July 10, 2017 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, US-UN Relations • 

    Nearly six months into her United Nations assignment, Ambassador Nikki Haley is aligning herself more decisively with President Donald Trump, defending some of his most controversial and unpopular moves. It is a critical diplomatic time for the White House and for Haley, who is viewed around the UN mostly as a politician with big...

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    US Supreme Court Bars Discrimination Against Unwed Fathers, Rejecting Stereotypes

    by  • June 21, 2017 • Human Rights, Sustainable Development Goals, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Unwed fathers and mothers may not be treated differently in determining whether their children born overseas can claim American citizenship, the United States Supreme Court has recently ruled. This means that all children born to an unmarried American parent, whether it is a father or a mother, must now be treated the same. The...

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    Mass Tourism: Bad for Culture but Good for Women?

    by  • June 13, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Development, Human Rights, Unesco, Women • 

    FLORENCE, Italy — This month, Italy’s tourism season kicks into high gear. Florence, which receives more than 16 million tourists a year, is one of many cities to be marred by mass travel. In the famously picturesque Piazza della Signoria, groups plod through the cobblestoned square, shepherded by flag-waving guides. Vendors peddle selfie-sticks in...

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    In Geneva, Nikki Haley Dodges Questions of US Future in UN Rights Council

    by  • June 6, 2017 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    In a much-anticipated series of speeches in Geneva on June 6, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, would not say whether a decision had been made by the Trump administration about US membership in the UN Human Rights Council. But she warned that if the Council, widely criticized by conservative...

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    One Major Way to End the Global Rape Epidemic: Through Laws

    by  • May 25, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Recently in northern India, a five-months pregnant 10-year-old girl was forced to go to court to request an abortion after conceiving as a result of being repeatedly raped by her stepfather. Indian law does not allow terminating a pregnancy after 20 weeks unless doctors certify that the woman’s life or health is in danger;...

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    Did Equatorial Guinea Bribe Its Way to a UN Security Council Seat?

    by  • May 23, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Human Rights, Poverty, Security Council • 

    Amid the predominantly Francophone region in West Africa is tiny Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, a country blessed — or cursed — with vast oil reserves. For most of its independent life, the country has been ruled by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has the distinction of being the longest-serving nonroyal head of state in...

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    Three Ways to Help Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

    by  • May 3, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Health and Population, Human Rights, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    Celebrating International Women's Day in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2015

    Everyone has a fundamental right to live free of violence. Yet violence against women and girls is a health epidemic and a leading cause of injury and disability for women across the globe. In many regions, it kills as many women and girls from ages 15 to 44 as cancer and surpasses injury from...

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    Nikki Haley’s ‘Historic’ Debate on Human Rights Left a Small Impression

    by  • April 18, 2017 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, Peace and Security, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, presided over what she was determined to sell as “an historic meeting exclusively on human rights” in the UN Security Council. But her brief speech in the April 18 meeting fell far short of introducing innovations to confront violations of human rights or prevent...

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    Nikki Haley: Don’t Forget LGBTI Rights at the UN Security Council

    by  • April 17, 2017 • Human Rights, LGBT, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    WASHINGTON, D. C. — Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has articulated an ambitious blueprint for the American presidency of the UN Security Council this month. One pillar of the US approach will be what she called an “unprecedented” thematic session on human rights to enable the achievement of international peace and...

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    The US Leaving the UN Human Rights Council Would Be a Mistake: An Envoy Talks

    by  • March 21, 2017 • Geopolitics, Human Rights, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    As the Trump administration threatens to turn its back on international organizations unwilling to rubber-stamp Washington’s policies and meet its demands, an early inevitable target is expected to be the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva. In both the White House and Congress, opposition to the Council hangs on two...

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