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

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

WORLDVIEWS

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

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

 

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

WORLDVIEWS

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

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

TOPIC: WOMEN

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

 

WORLDVIEWS

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

TOPIC: WOMEN

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

TOPIC: WOMEN

Celebrating Women’s History Month, Trump-Pompeo Style

Here’s how the United States government marked the 2019 monthlong celebration of the world’s women in March: Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got off to an early start on March 13  by releasing the State Department’s annual global human-rights report, scrubbed of all references to reproductive health and rights. Hewing to the obsession … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

In the Drive for Gender Equality, the Law Is Not Always on Women’s Side

Bangkok Woman

So how are women doing these days, during the global push for gender equality? Not all that great in work and legal protections, according to a new World Bank report, even in some prosperous countries — including the United States. The US ranked 65th on the report’s scorecard, below Malawi, Kenya and the Bahamas. With … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

US Abortion Restrictions Violate Women’s Human Rights

Every year, 25 million women across the world are forced to obtain unsafe abortions. The United States, through its foreign policy, is deeply complicit in the violation of these women’s right to life and equality under international law. International human-rights frameworks guard against these violations and hold the US and other countries accountable. The International Covenant … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Authorities Find More Ways to Silence Women Human-Rights Experts

More than two decades have passed since the United Nations General Assembly approved the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which encourages countries to protect people who fight for human rights around the world. So why has the situation deteriorated, especially for women who defend human rights? Fears of terrorism and the rise of fundamentalism and … Read more

How Many Immigrant Children Is the US Detaining? Nobody Knows

Sloppy or nonexistent identification systems at the United States-Mexican border, no organized tracking of children snatched from their parents — some often too young to say who they are — and the withholding of important information by Trump officials, frequently defying a federal court order and a presidential decree six months ago, have come to … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

As Nicaragua Slides Deeper Into Dictatorship, Other Nations Grow Alarmed

In a rebuke to President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua on Dec. 21, governments of 14 democratic nations in Europe, the United States, Chile and Australia condemned the closing, banning or expulsion of civil-society organizations working on rights and governance issues in Nicaragua. The censure came as violence is again being used against Ortega’s critics. Young … Read more

 

TOPIC: WOMEN

Heather Nauert, Trump’s Nominee for UN Envoy, Faces Heated Opposition

The nomination of Heather Nauert to succeed Nikki Haley as United States ambassador to the United Nations has quickly enraged some international women’s rights groups and a major Islamic advocacy organization based in the United States, portending a tense confirmation hearing in the US Senate for Nauert. The announcement of her nomination last week by … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women’s Rights Predicted to Advance in New US Congress

The results of the recent United States elections raise hopes for women’s rights. At least 100 women, among them young liberals who defeated incumbent men, will hold nearly a quarter of the seats in the House of Representatives when a new Congress opens in early January. Two women are Muslim-American and two are Native Americans, … Read more

Charting Human Rights in a Dramatic New Way

What if we lived in a world where countries competed to see which ones treated their citizens best — in a race to the top, Olympian style? Now there’s a way to get started. A project called the Human Rights Measurement Initiative has launched metrics and tools to track the performance of more than 140 countries, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

It’s All Clean Slates for the Next Human Rights Council Vote

GENEVA — The annual ritual of holding elections for vacant seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council for a three-year term is set for Oct. 12. All five regional groups have clean slates: the number of candidates is equal to the number of open seats. Notwithstanding talk about the need to improve the Council’s … Read more

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