Scotland taking a child rights based approach further than ever

by Dragan Nastic, Strategic Lead - UNCRC, UNICEF UK Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms, Uncategorized

On 2 September: “The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill” was tabled in the Scottish Parliament to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law. This is a significant moment in realising a widely shared vision of ensuring all children and young people growing up in Scotland have …

UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights goes out guns blazing against failure to address poverty

by Steven L. B. Jensen Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

‘The world is at an existential crossroads.’ These are the opening words in the outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston’s final report to the UN Human Rights Council submitted in July 2020. Professor Philip Alston, one of the world’s most distinguished human rights experts, used his five-year tenure to put a spotlight on the …

Putting people at the heart of the human rights treaty body system

by Ashley Bowe, Senior Human Rights Advisor, SPC RRRT and Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Samoa held a ground-breaking treaty body session on child rights, evidencing the benefits of extending these sessions beyond Geneva. Calls for treaty body committees to undertake their sessions  on the ground have been made for decades. The first ever such session recently took place in the Pacific, providing empirical evidence of the significant opportunities and slight obstacles of this practice. The genesis of this session can be traced back …

What the ‘US Commission on Unalienable Rights’ gets wrong about the UN

by Ryan Kaminski, Security Fellow, Truman National Security Project Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

On July 16, the US State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights, tasked with providing ‘advice on human rights grounded in [U.S.] founding principles and the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ released its draft report . Policy, legal, and rights experts have since opined on the Commission’s problematic conceptual approach.  The report’s conclusions on the UN human rights system should …

The UK’s new targeted sanctions regime ‘a powerful new tool with which to uphold and protect human rights’

by H.E. Rita French, International Ambassador for Human Rights of the United Kingdom Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 6 July, the UK launched a new ‘Magnitsky-style’ Global Human Rights (GHR) Sanctions Regime. The regime will be a powerful new tool to hold those involved in serious human rights violations and abuses to account. This marks the beginning of a new era for sanctions policy and will change the paradigm in which the UK engages on human rights. …

Human rights strategies of governance

by Dr Bertrand G. Ramcharan Blog, Blog, By invitation

June 26, 2020 COVID-19 and the response to it is changing the world. Problems of climate change, pandemics, poverty, inequality, injustices, inadequate health systems, prejudice, and societal inequities have been revealed in sharper light, even as dynamic uses of new forms of communication, the internet, technology and science, pioneer new pathways to the future. Violence against women and abuses by …

Human rights and the UN Charter: NGOs made the difference

by Felice Gaer, Director, AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation

June 26, 2020 At the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, there is a plaque on the wall of the Garden Room that reads: 25 April – 26 June 1945 In this room met the Consultants of forty-two national organizations assigned to the United States Delegation at the Conference on International Organizations in which the United Nations Charter was drafted. Their …

China and the UN’s human protection agenda

by Rosemary Foot, Senior Research Fellow in International Relations at the University of Oxford Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan famously drew attention to what he saw as a core feature of the late twentieth century – a reinterpretation of State sovereignty. As he put it: ‘When we read the Charter today, we are more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them.’ …

Human Rights and COVID-19: ‘Build Back Better’

by Steven L. B. Jensen Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

We are living in times that call for leadership of the responsible and visionary kind. Such leadership is visible in a number of states and the citizens living there are in a better situation because of it. We are also witnessing distinct examples of the opposite. Here, we see that populations are suffering much more than necessary as political leaders …

Protecting the rights of older persons during the COVID-19 pandemic

by Alfonso Barragues, Deputy Director, UNFPA Liaison Office in Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pointed out, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most dangerous challenges the world has faced in our lifetime. It is a human crisis with severe health and economic consequences. That is particularly the case for older persons who face a higher mortality risk, with those over 80 years old dying at five times …