Secretary of State Blinken reaffirms the Biden administration’s commitment to multilateralism, democracy and human rights

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

A key pillar of both Biden’s election campaign and his time in office thus far has been the commitment to re-engage with traditional allies and prioritise a multilateral approach to tackling the greatest global challenges of today, including protecting democracy and promoting universal human rights. While Biden’s rhetoric on the subject has been strong, the wider international community has been …

Western States flex their ‘Magnitsky muscles’ to secure accountability for human rights abuses in China

by the URG team Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

With the return of the US to the UN stage, geopolitical tensions surrounding human rights, especially relating to alleged violations of human rights law by China, Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia, have resurfaced, dominating , for example, the recently concluded 46th session of the Human Rights Council . Central to the renewed tensions with China is deep US concern about the treatment of the country’s Muslim minority population …

How do you solve a problem like WhatsApp? The complicated role of messaging apps in the fight against disinformation and for free speech

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

Much of the debate around the spread of misinformation and online harassment has been focused on the biggest social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and, more recently, TikTok. Messaging apps, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, and the increasingly popular Telegram and Signal, have nearly as many users as these platforms and are also rife with disinformation, hate …

#ElMomentoEsAhora: ¿Fue HRC46 el momento en el que el impulso detrás del reconocimiento por la ONU del derecho a un medio ambiente saludable se volvió imparable?

by Mariana Montoya and Camila Márquez Blog, Blog

El creciente interés y movimiento hacia el reconocimiento universal del derecho a un medio ambiente sin riesgos, limpio, saludable y sostenible (R2E, por sus siglas en inglés) alcanzó un nuevo crescendo durante el 46 periodo de sesiones (HRC46) del Consejo de Derechos Humanos (Consejo) de la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU). Pareciera que el impulso que durante décadas ha acumulado …

US-China-Russia rivalry spills over into the Human Rights Council

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

Towards the end of last year, Bahrain’s ambassador in Geneva suddenly threw his hat into the ring for the presidency of the Human Rights Council – potentially blocking the previously unopposed candidacy of Fiji’s ambassador, Nazhat Shameem Khan. Then, earlier this month, Belarus and Cuba delivered two joint statements at the Council, attacking EU member States and the UK, and calling on …

What do UK violations of its human rights and other international obligations mean for British democracy?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Bajo la lupa: democracia, Blog, Blog, Uncategorized @lac

In theory, democracy is exceptionally resilient. It is buttressed by the different rights set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – ICCPR (e.g. freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, protection of minorities, the right to vote and to stand for office, habeas corpus, access to justice, and the independence of the judiciary) and the International Covenant …

Biden’s American Rescue Plan has the potential to greatly impact children living in poverty

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

Despite the growing feeling that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic may be in sight, a staggering number of people worldwide continue to suffer from the consequences wrought. The imperative to provide support to those who have suffered the most and the opportunity to ‘build back better’ have never been more evident. The Biden administration seems to recognise this, as …

Facebook vs. Australia–the latest dispute over the digital space

by Amanda Gu, Universal Rights Group NYC Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 18 February, after three years of negotiations over the Australian Media Bargaining Code, Facebook took the controversial decision of implementing a broad ban on all Australian publishers and prevented people in Australia from viewing or posting links to news stories . The ban lasted five days, and was only lifted after the Australian government made concessions. This ongoing disagreement between Facebook and the Australian government is only the latest in …

On it’s one-year anniversary, the Call to Action for Human Rights remains a relevant tool for tackling human rights challenges

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

The anniversary of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ The Highest Aspiration: A Call to Action for Human Rights provides a prime opportunity to reflect on its implementation to date. Launched on 24 February 2020 at the opening of the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council, the Call aimed to bring the human rights pillar of the United Nations’ mandate to the forefront of its agenda. As the challenges of 2020 have …

Biden’s decision to rescind the Global Gag Rule could have implications for the US approach to sexual health and reproductive rights at the UN

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

President Biden repealed the Global Gag Rule, which he described as his ‘predecessor’s attack on women’s health access’, via Executive Order on 28 January. This move comes as part of the administration’s plan to protect the rights of women both domestically and abroad. The decision serves as a key indicator for how the US may re-emerge on the world stage as …