Safeguarding human rights in places of detention: The role of National Preventive Mechanisms during COVID-19

by Marie PORCHET, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of millions of individuals around the world. As national and supranational authorities have attempted to confront uncertainties raised by the crisis, people have seen their liberties restricted through measures such as social distancing, lockdowns, and bans on various activities. This situation has been especially worrisome for certain vulnerable groups, notably persons deprived of …

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 …

A list of opportunities for human rights under the next US administration

by Yoni Ish-Hurwitz, Executive Director, Human Rights Likeminded Office Blog, Blog, By invitation

Starting 20 January, when US President-elect Joe Biden takes office, so much can change for human rights at the United Nations. The US, which is the largest contributor to the UN budget by far, will have the power to move mountains if President-elect Biden delivers on his plan to restore US leadership on the global stage . His transition team has been preparing for months. He sees four crucial …

Human Rights Council vote to elect new President sets a positive precedent

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Instituciones, procesos y mecanismos de derechos humanos internacionales

There have been suggestions in press coverage about the selection of the 2021 President of the Human Rights Council that the inability of members of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) to settle on a single consensus candidate, and to instead pass the decision to the full Council for vote by secret ballot, was in some way a bad thing – that it was …

41st Session of the Human Rights Council.

A new year’s resolution: placing the Human Rights Council at the vanguard of the global democratic fight-back

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

It is now over thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and excited talk about the ‘end of history’ [i] – the idea that with the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) and the ascendancy of Western liberal democracy, humanity had reached ‘not just […] the passing of a particular period of …

In the wake of attack on the Capitol, Biden repeats commitment to strengthen democracy domestically and abroad

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC Bajo la lupa: democracia, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

Biden has repeatedly affirmed his dedication to crafting a foreign policy plan focused on rebuilding alliances with like-minded partners in order to strengthen the United States’ position as a nation that protects and promotes democracy and human rights globally. He made this clear in recent remarks and, in an address following the insurrection at the United States Capitol on 6 …

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 …

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

by Tess Kidney Bishop, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Instituciones, procesos y mecanismos de derechos humanos internacionales, 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 2020 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 …

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 …