Women’s rights and freedom of religion or belief

by Marie Juul Petersen Blog, By invitation

In China, women from the Muslim Uighur minority are allegedly subject to rape and forced sterilisation in the so-called ‘re-education camps’ where hundreds of thousands of people are detained solely because of their religious affiliation. In Egypt, religiously justified family laws on e.g. marriage, divorce and custody of children discriminate not only against women, but also religious minorities, leaving religious …

‘Unfriending’ online hate: The contribution of the World Jewish Congress

by Leon Saltiel, WJC’s Representative in Geneva and Project Manager on Countering Antisemitism and Yfat Barak-Cheney, WJC’s Director of International Affairs Blog, Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

There is little doubt that one of the modern world’s principal political challenges is the rise of hate speech, particularly in the cyber arena. Such hateful and intolerant expression, especially when widely circulated via the internet, promotes populism, extremism and radicalisation and deplorably leads to violence and murderous attacks. This incitement tears societies apart, threatens democracy and the rule of …

Given UN failings in Myanmar, where is Human Rights up Front?

by Jennifer Norris, Lawyer and human rights advocate Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

What happened to the UN’s Human Rights up Front initiative?  This is a question many human rights advocates have asked since UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took office in 2016.  A recent report on the UN’s failings in Myanmar during the atrocities committed against the Rohingya in 2017 has put this question in stark relief. The independent review , conducted by Gert Rosenthal, …

Universal rights : beauty and strength lie in diversity.

Beauty and strength lie in diversity

by Marghoob Saleem Butt, Executive Director of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC Blog, Blog, By invitation

Does respecting universal human rights mean that everyone must accept and adopt unified sociocultural values and practices? Clearly the answer is no. Yet at international level we see regular efforts to malign specific countries or societies based on their religious and cultural backgrounds. Despite a general agreement among scholars that present-day human rights are the common heritage of all civilisations, …

Building a ‘Culture of Prevention’ in ASEAN.

Building a ‘Culture of Prevention’ in ASEAN

by Yang Yue, Deputy Director and Associate Professor of Institute of Asian Studies, China Foreign Affairs University Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

More than two decades have passed since the concept of an ASEAN ‘Socio-Cultural Community’ (ASCC) emerged for the first time. The idea first appeared in proposals for a ‘Community of Caring Societies,’ adopted by ASEAN countries in their ‘Vision 2020’ (adopted in 1997). Six years later, ASEAN proposed to build an ASCC in its ‘Declaration of ASEAN Concord II’ (Bali …

Rethinking Africa´s role at the Human Rights Council

by Eduard Jordaan, Research Fellow, Rhodes University Blog, Blog, By invitation

In UN human rights forums, African States have a reputation for voting as a bloc, obstructing human rights, and defending the sovereignty of developing countries. Indeed, in 2011, Bertrand Ramcharan, a respected human rights scholar and a former acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, complained that the African and Asian Groups, which together occupy 26 of the Human Rights …

Human rights mechanisms proving effective SDGs monitor.

UN human rights mechanisms proving effective SDGs monitor

by Steven L. B. Jensen, Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation

The SDGs are mostly aligned with human rights objectives — to emphasise this, the UN human rights mechanisms are showing a willingness to hold states accountable to their SDG commitments. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are renewing the debate on the relationship between human rights and development. In 2005, Philip Alston famously described the relationship between the Millennium Development Goals …

Monitoring the SDGs? Find out how Human Rights Measurement Initiative data can help

by Susan Randolph, Co-Founder & Economic and Social Rights Metrics Lead, Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) and Anne-Marie Brook, Co-founder and Development Lead, Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

There are strong connections between human rights monitoring and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ‘seeks to realise the human rights of all.’ So it should not come as a surprise to learn that the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI)’s metrics tracking country performance on the provisions of the core human rights treaties [1] are …

The independence of the international civil service, 1919-2019: minority rights at the League of Nations and human rights at the UN – Part 2

by John Burley, Formerly UNDP; Office of the Director-General; UNCTAD between 1972-2004. Blog, Blog, By invitation

In part one of this blog post, which can be read here , I described the origins of the independent international civil service, created in 1919. I also highlighted the importance of the adoption, as part of the overall Treaty of Versailles, of a set of treaties on minorities (i.e. the minority treaties). Part two will look at how the secretariat …

Human rights and elections: a call for coordination and action

by Avery Davis-Roberts, Associate Director of the Democracy Program at the Carter Center Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

In 2018 alone, more than 100 electoral events took place around the globe, including in the United States where an estimated 113 million registered US voters turned out to cast ballots in a highly contested mid-term election. This year, elections will take place in every region of the world, including in two of the most populous nations, India and Indonesia. …