Environmental Justice, Climate Change and the Right to a Healthy Environment in the Biden Administration

by Professor Dan Magraw, President Emeritus of the Centre for International Environmental Law Blog, Blog, By invitation

28 April 2021 United States President Joe Biden has prioritized achieving environmental justice and combatting climate change, following up on campaign pledges. The Biden Administration’s focus on climate change is evident in early Executive Orders (EOs) [i] and in the April 22 Climate Summit that he convened. President Biden’s focus on environmental justice (EJ) is manifested in the same EOs. He …

The class-blindness of human rights

by Dr. Andrew Fagan, Director, University of Essex, Human Rights Centre Blog, Blog, By invitation

If you are reading this piece, it’s unlikely that you are, or that you originate from, a working-class background. I say this not as a rebuke. Nor do I intend to question your commitment to social justice and human rights. As a class migrant myself, I am also not claiming that the human rights community doesn’t include people who still …

Prospects and priorities for the Human Rights Council in 2021

by H.E Nazhat Shameem Khan, 15th President of the Human Rights Council, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, Uncategorized

It is my distinct pleasure to wish you bula vinaka, the traditional Fijian greeting, meaning, roughly, ‘happiness and good health,’ as we begin a new year at the Human Rights Council. It is a singular honour for me, and for the government and people of Fiji, that the members of the Human Rights Council have placed their trust in me …

The right to a livable life in a pre and post-pandemic United States

by Jenna Lanoil, former Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, By invitation

Statistics on their own cannot show the impact of COVID-19 on the livability (the sum of factors that determine quality of life) of communities around the world. The effects of COVID-19 are widespread and far reaching, particularly on socio-economic rights, and demonstrate that what might have once been considered ‘livable’ conditions are now proving to be unsustainable. COVID-19 has rocked …

A list of opportunities for human rights under the next US administration

by Yoni Ish-Hurwitz, Executive Director, Human Rights Likeminded Office Blog, Blog, By invitation

Starting 20 January, when US President-elect Joe Biden takes office, so much can change for human rights at the United Nations. The US, which is the largest contributor to the UN budget by far, will have the power to move mountains if President-elect Biden delivers on his plan to restore US leadership on the global stage . His transition team has been preparing for months. He sees four crucial …

“Vaccine Multilateralism” – Singapore’s approach towards fair and equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines

by Ambassador Umej Bhatia, Permanent Mission of Singapore Blog, Blog, By invitation, Uncategorized

Just a year ago the threat of a global pandemic was treated as a theoretical possibility, the subject of scenario planning or fiction. Pandemic preparedness was expressed in words but not as much in deeds. Today after taking over 1.5 million lives globally, COVID-19 has become a brutal reality-check for us all. It has transformed our societies, impacted the world …

At the Universal Periodic Review in November, the world can also cast its vote for America

by Joshua Cooper, Lecturer, University of Hawai’i, National Universal Periodic Review Task Force Co-Chair, US Human Rights Network Blog, Blog, By invitation

Early November will be an extremely engaging experience for the United States of America, with an election that will determine the future of American democracy. Equally exhilarating, one week later, will be the opportunity the world will have to cast its vote during a 3.5 hour peer review of the US’ human rights record during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) …

Re-imagining human rights for New Zealand

by Paul Hunt, University of Essex (UK); University of Waikato (New Zealand) Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In focus: democracy

This article was first published in the Dominion Post on October 16 and re-published on the Human Rights Centre Blog of the University of Essex on 26 October 2020 There’s a global pushback against human rights. Around the world, authoritarian “strongmen” are behaving like Roman Emperors. Supported by their disaffected ‘base’, they peddle racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance. …

The impact of the 2020 US presidential elections on human rights and international institutions

by Melissa Hooper, Sophia Swanson, Anna van Niekerk, Human Rights First Blog, Blog, By invitation, New York City

The United States has always had a somewhat contentious relationship with the international human rights project. It has never ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (which today has over 150 states parties) or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (which has 185). It became the sole holdout on the Convention …

Reinvesting in rights: Why the next US administration must prioritize multilateralism to protect human rights

by Grace Anderson, Stanford University Ford Fellow in Philanthropy Blog, Blog, By invitation, New York City

October 21, 2020 Over the past four years, the Trump Administration has slowly abdicated its role as a leader in multilateralism and as one of the top promoters of human rights at the UN specifically. At this year’s UN General Assembly (UNGA), President Donald Trump touted a narrow view of human rights, citing priorities of “religious liberty, opportunity for women, the …