The Tik(Tok)ing of privacy rights in the digital era: the need for an international framework to protect data privacy

by Siri Swayampu, former URG NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Universal Rights Group NYC

Research estimates that over half of the world’s population is online every day and over 90% of the population aged 6 and older will be online by 2030. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic saw a sustained surge in online activity across the world. Beginning as a breakthrough in communications, the internet phenomenon has since transformed into a revolution that is embedded in every …

For 18% of Americans social media is their main source of news – what does this mean for the presidential elections?

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 30 July, the Pew Research Center released a report that revealed that one in five Americans use social media for their primary source of news. This report comes at a time of both an intense news cycle, dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a fast approaching US presidential election, and when social media usage is at an all-time high . It …

US presidential candidates set out markedly different positions on human rights, the Human Rights Council and the UN

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

With a Presidential election less than 100 days away, over 150,000 American deaths from COVID-19, and a GDP freefall comparable to the Great Depression, the focus of the American voter is very much on domestic, rather than foreign, policy. Yet, a recent draft State Department report contains worrying implications about the human rights foreign (and domestic) policy of a second term Donald …

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 stakes couldn’t be higher’: social media, disinformation, and the survival of democracy

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 11 June United States Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden posted the following tweet : He accused Facebook of failing to enact any real reforms to combat disinformation on its platform, with his campaign releasing an open letter for people to sign emphasising the role that disinformation – spread on Facebook – could have on the coming 2020 presidential election …

What are friends for?: ‘Groups of Friends’ and the UN system

by David Joseph Deutch, Universal Rights Group NYC Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Having arisen out of the post Cold War period, the concept of ‘Groups of Friends’ represented a newly found faith and belief in the power of multilateralism as a means of global problem solving. Groups of friends are coalitions of United Nations (UN) member states, who band together in order to further and actualise particular goals and outcomes related to …

‘When the weapons fall silent’: UN Security Council discusses transitional justice

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 13 February the Security Council held its first ever discussion on transitional justice as a thematic issue, with States from every region offering first-hand accounts and calling for the UN to play a supportive role. Belgium, Security Council President for the month of February, initiated and presided over the open debate on ‘ transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict situations ,’ under the Peacebuilding and Sustaining …

Spotlight on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the UN

by Grace Kennedy, former Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

In Michelle Bachelet’s address at the 74th session of the Third Committee at the UN General Assembly (GA) she highlighted recent ‘pushbacks on women’s equality’ and the need for a ‘pushback to the pushback.’ Indeed, over the last several years, women’s rights, and especially women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), have been a point of contention at the UN. …

Duplication or complementarity? A comparative analysis of Human Rights Council and Third Committee resolutions

by Grace Kennedy, former Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

In recent years many have begun to take a closer look to the relationship between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the General Assembly. As we near the end of 2019 now is an apt time to review the work done by both bodies this year and the level of efficiency achieved. Do these two key human …

Report on the 74th session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary During the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Third Committee, the UNGA Committee tasked with addressing human rights issues and concerns, ran from 1 October 2019 through 21 November 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York. This year’s Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the High …