New UK Magnitsky-style human rights sanction regime ‘an important step forward for accountability’

by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy

Last Monday (6 July 2020), the UK became the latest country to join the growing ‘ Magnitsky momentum ’ by passing the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations , allowing the Government to sanction alleged perpetrators of the gravest forms of human rights violations. Introducing the Regulations in Parliament, the UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said : “Today this Government and this House sends a very clear message on …

Introducing ‘The Pacific Principles of Practice’ for effective national implementation

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

On 3 July a Human Rights Council side event was held at the Australian Mission in Geneva. Except for the fact that it was a COVID-era ‘hybrid’ side event, held simultaneously offline and online, at a superficial-level the side event was much like any other. Yet dig a little below the surface and the event was extraordinary – or rather, it marked …

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 …

Report on the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, URG Human Rights Council Reports

The 43rd regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC43 ) was held in two segments, as the session had to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first segment took place from Monday 24 February until Friday 13 March. The 43rd session resumed on Monday 15 June and ended on Tuesday 23 June 2020. As it is the …

Report of the Council’s urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systematic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful protests during HRC43

by the URG team Blog, Blog, URG Human Rights Council Reports

On Wednesday 17 June, in the context of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, which resumed on Monday 12 June following its suspension to comply with COVID-19 health measures, an urgent debate was convened on the ‘current racially inspired human rights violations, systematic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful protests.’ The urgent debate was requested …

The RightON web chat series will be back in September

by the URG team Blog, Blog, News, Press, URG News

The web chat on  Business, the Economy, and Livelihoods in a COVID-19 World  marked the last  ‘Right On’  online event before the summer break. The series will resume in September, at the pace of one online event per month. ‘While the series was originally developed to keep the human rights discussion going during the COVID-19 crisis, we decided – due to its success and the fact that it allowed us to …

‘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 …

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 …

Business and human rights: ‘building back better’ from COVID-19

by Cathy Sun, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

As the ongoing COVID-19 crisis lays bare deep socioeconomic divisions that plague even some of the wealthiest States around the world, the crucial role that businesses have in ensuring the enjoyment of human rights by all is brought into ever stronger focus. While governments have struggled with the balancing act of enacting restrictive emergency measures to contain the spread of …