Inequitable access to Covid-19 vaccines threatens the human rights of millions and must be addressed

by Tess Kidney Bishop, Universal Rights Group NYC Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

Covid-19 has shone a stark light onto inequalities between countries. So far, high-income countries have recorded the most cases and deaths, but the economic impact of Covid-19 has been disproportionately harmful to lower-income countries, where governments and citizens have fewer resources to weather the storm. Despite their declarations against ‘vaccine nationalism’, richer countries have paid to get to the front …

The Escazú Agreement: A landmark regional treaty for environmental defenders

by Zaineb Ali, Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

The international community eagerly awaits the Escazú Agreement to come into force in early 2021 after having secured 12 ratifications (one more than the minimum required – 11). The Escazú Agreement , which emerged from the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), is the first legally binding instrument in the world to include provisions on environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) …

New corporate ‘Treaty Body’ gears up to consider Facebook’s decision to bar Donald Trump

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

As reported in the New York Times , its members include two people who were reportedly on presidential shortlists for the US Supreme Court, a Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a British Pulitzer Prize winner, a former UN Special Rapporteur, Colombia’s leading human rights lawyer, and a former prime minister of Denmark. Welcome to the Facebook Oversight Board, operational since October 2020 (Mark …

Incitement and insurrection in the US underscore need for universal norms on hate speech and disinformation in the digital age

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Amanda Gu, Universal Rights Group NYC Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

The attack on the United States Capitol on 6 January was live streamed on every major internet platform , an act of violence recorded and organised online. Digital technology companies quickly suspended related accounts, adding to a global debate on the parameters of freedom of expression in the digital realm. Given the gravity of the situation — the fact that social media was used in the attempted …

Brazilian indigenous leaders urge the International Criminal Court to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro over destruction of the Amazon

by Mariana Montoya, Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

Brazilian indigenous leaders have requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate [i] President Jair Bolsonaro for ‘crimes against humanity’, accusing him of unprecedented environmental damage, killings, and persecution. Chief Raoni Metuktire, the leader of the Kayapo people, and Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui, leader of the Paiter Surui tribe, filed the claim at the Hague-based body on 22 …

Norway’s Supreme Court dismisses claim based on the right to a healthy environment and allows new oil exploration in the Arctic

by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group and Renata Politi, Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

On 22 December 2020, Norway’s Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the closely followed climate lawsuit based on the constitutional right to a healthy environment, known as the Norwegian Arctic Oil case . The appeal was brought to the Supreme Court by environmental groups that disputed an administrative decision, based on a 2013 legislation, which authorised the administration to grant licences to oil …

Advertisers and social media companies strike a deal to address harmful content

by Aurore Lentz, Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

Following months of negotiations, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), a consortium of companies including major brands of consumer goods and media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google, reached an agreement earlier this trimester to adopt a common framework on harmful content in the context of advertisement. By defining sensitive or harmful content in a unified manner across the industry, this agreement would make …

The right to a healthy environment gives rise to a growing wave of climate change litigation

by Renata Politi, Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

In an amicus curiae brief submitted in the Norwegian Artic Oil case currently pending before the Norwegian Supreme Court, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment , David R. Boyd, and UN Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes , Marcos A Orellana, argued that “the justiciability of the right to a healthy environment empowers citizens and civil society, strengthening democratic decision-making and fostering accountability for political decisions. Access to justice is itself a fundamental human right, including in the …

Swiss Responsible Business Initiative rejected despite securing a majority of the popular vote

by Zaineb Ali, Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

On Sunday 29 November, the day of the referendum for the contentious and hard-fought Swiss Responsible Business Initiative (RBI), human rights expert Dick Marty stated , ‘if victory doesn’t come today, it will certainly come tomorrow.’ In the end, although the RBI won a majority of the popular vote, 50.7%, it failed to secure the majority of cantonal votes required to pass …

EU adopts ‘Magnitsky’ style individual sanctions regime for grave human rights violations

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog, Uncategorized @lac

Today, 7 December 2020, the EU formally adopted a decision and regulation establishing its new ‘Magnitsky-style’ individual sanctions regime for serious human rights, only a couple days ahead of 10th December – UN Human Rights Day. The step, coming 77 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is expected to make a significant contribution towards global human …