The Pandemic Forces UN Women to Shelve the Feminist Forums Until 2021

UN Women’s executive director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ncguka

UN Women is postponing two long-planned international meetings designed to give civil society groups a leading role in advancing gender rights 25 years after a landmark 1995 Beijing conference on women. The two sessions of the Global Equality Forum that had been planned for Mexico City in May and Paris in July will be postponed until … Read more The Pandemic Forces UN Women to Shelve the Feminist Forums Until 2021

New Tensions Sparking Between Trump and UN Rights Leader, Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, who has been personally attacked by United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, is not planning to resign from her position, according to her office. Her term does not end until 2022, but rumors have been circulating that she could decide to leave amid increasing … Read more New Tensions Sparking Between Trump and UN Rights Leader, Michelle Bachelet

How the US Enabled Aggressions by China and Russia at the UN

For the last decade, Western democracies and human-rights defenders have been locked in a tense struggle with authoritarian great powers at the United Nations. Since 2009, Russia and China have waged a highly successful campaign to dismantle the international human-rights system, particularly through the Human Rights Council. The two countries have made strides especially after … Read more How the US Enabled Aggressions by China and Russia at the UN

Trump’s Dictator Buddies Across the World Are Not Friends of Women

In the gallery of authoritarian governments undercutting the rights of women and threatening democracy around the world, five nations stand out for a special reason. Donald Trump has made the leaders of Brazil, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey his friends and accomplices. In all of these countries, according to mounting evidence in numerous studies, … Read more Trump’s Dictator Buddies Across the World Are Not Friends of Women

The Top 10 PassBlue Stories of 2019: From Strongmen to Sexual Harassment

Once again, 2019 marked incredible upheaval and change across the world, just as 2018 did so universally, signaled by the continued rise in nationalism and revolts by women against repression and violence in their daily lives. Reporting on how United Nations member states — all 193 of them — acted in 2019 was a challenge … Read more The Top 10 PassBlue Stories of 2019: From Strongmen to Sexual Harassment

It’s Time to Increase Parliaments’ Engagement With Human Rights

As protection of human rights seems to be sliding everywhere, the international human-rights system has responded by focusing on national implementation, to ensure that states’ international commitments are translated into meaningful changes felt by people on the ground. While often overlooked, parliaments can provide a critical link between global agreements and domestic progress on human-rights … Read more It’s Time to Increase Parliaments’ Engagement With Human Rights

China Flexes Its Economic Might More Openly on Uighurs Issue

Twenty-three nations, including Britain, the United States, Germany, France and Japan, slammed China at the United Nations recently, citing its persecution of Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang province. “We call on the Chinese government to uphold its national laws and international obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, … Read more China Flexes Its Economic Might More Openly on Uighurs Issue

A New UK Hotline for Victims of Sexual Harassment Is ‘Constantly Ringing’

A new hotline is offering free, confidential legal advice to women in England and Wales who are experiencing sexual harassment at work. Launched in August, it is the only hotline of its kind dedicated to addressing a problem affecting women from all walks of life. Already, the hotline has been inundated with calls from women … Read more A New UK Hotline for Victims of Sexual Harassment Is ‘Constantly Ringing’

Hillary Clinton on Trump’s Foreign Policy: It’s All About Waiting for His Next Tweet

Hillary Clinton glided onto a stage in Manhattan with the luxury of now being a cool-eyed outsider who can sharply question foreign policy decisions being made by the Trump administration on such controversial places as China, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s daylong forum … Read more Hillary Clinton on Trump’s Foreign Policy: It’s All About Waiting for His Next Tweet

The UN Can Do Much More to Resolve Khashoggi’s Murder, Says Agnès Callamard

Agnès Callamard

Exactly a year after Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi-born, American-based journalist, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnès Callamard, remains categorical: UN Secretary-General António Guterres can and should do more about the murder, and so should member states. “I am asking the secretary-general … Read more The UN Can Do Much More to Resolve Khashoggi’s Murder, Says Agnès Callamard

Free Speech: Where Is It Headed in the Digital Age?

David Kaye, a leading voice on human rights in the digital age, is also a United Nations special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, a post he has held since August 2014. The author of a recent book, “Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet,” he spoke with me as … Read more Free Speech: Where Is It Headed in the Digital Age?

Pompeo’s Religion Is Carrying More Sway in US Foreign Policy

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mary Ann Glendon

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo convenes the second of his ministerial-level, multifaith conferences on religious freedom around the world on July 16 to 18, global threats to Christianity are likely to figure prominently, if recent comments by American officials are any guide. Pompeo is a guiding light. An Evangelical Christian, he says he sees a role … Read more Pompeo’s Religion Is Carrying More Sway in US Foreign Policy

Women’s Rights Defenders Are Tired of Being Told to ‘Push Back’ Against the Opposition

As a human-rights defender and women’s rights campaigner, I continue to be struck not by the many challenges now facing women’s rights organizations but by the constant calls for women to “push back against the pushback.” This call for women to push back against the many forces oppressing women’s rights organizations was repeated in a … Read more Women’s Rights Defenders Are Tired of Being Told to ‘Push Back’ Against the Opposition

Human-Rights Lawyers React to a UN Official’s Definition of Rape

A group of several hundred international human-rights lawyers reacted to a first-person opinion piece published by the United Nations expert on torture that “had a problematic definition of rape,” according to the lawyers’ open letter, published on July 1, expressing their legal views. The exchange between the human-rights experts and proponents and the UN specialist, … Read more Human-Rights Lawyers React to a UN Official’s Definition of Rape

Trump’s Pick for UN Diplomat in Geneva Vows to Oppose Reproductive Rights and Put America First

Andrew Bremberg

“I am pro-life, I believe that all human life is sacred, and that human life begins at conception,” Andrew Bremberg told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently. Asked if rape victims should have access to abortion, he replied, “I don’t believe that abortion is a moral solution to any problem.” Nominated by President … Read more Trump’s Pick for UN Diplomat in Geneva Vows to Oppose Reproductive Rights and Put America First

Widows Lose Much More Than a Spouse: They Lose Their Dignity

For many women around the world, the death of a spouse is magnified by many losses — of their social status, marital home, land, property, social security, dignity and, sometimes, their children. But men, on the other hand, lose none of their human rights while usually gaining support in starting a new chapter in his … Read more Widows Lose Much More Than a Spouse: They Lose Their Dignity

Pompeo Retreats on Universal Human Rights as US Looks More Inward

Secretary of State Pompeo

In an audacious move that could be the capstone of the Trump administration’s campaign to reverse decades of American support for human rights globally, the State Department is creating a separate new commission to advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on redefining United States policies, aligned with “natural law and natural rights.” For many human-rights … Read more Pompeo Retreats on Universal Human Rights as US Looks More Inward

An Assault on Trump’s Global Women’s Health Policy Begins

Syrian refugees stuck in Rukban camp, near the Jordan border

With a fierce national budget battle looming in the United States Congress, Democrats on a key committee have formally proposed legislation overturning Trump policies that deny millions of women and girls in developing countries access to vital reproductive health care, including family planning. The legislative bill that emerged on May 16 from the House of … Read more An Assault on Trump’s Global Women’s Health Policy Begins

The Gains of LGBTQ Rights in Some Mideast-North African Nations May Be a Game-Changer

Progress in recognizing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people at the United Nations in New York and in Geneva may seem detached from the realities faced by LGBTQ people in the Middle East and North Africa, or Mena, region. Activists there, however, are navigating the UN human-rights system as part … Read more The Gains of LGBTQ Rights in Some Mideast-North African Nations May Be a Game-Changer

The Case of Harassing a UN Diplomat Via 1,000s of Text Messages

UN women's conference in March 2019

While Koki Muli Grignon was working as the facilitator during the most intense week of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, a prominent annual women’s rights conference at the United Nations, she received an odd email. It was the middle of nearly round-the-clock negotiations on the conference final summary document. The … Read more The Case of Harassing a UN Diplomat Via 1,000s of Text Messages

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