Governmental human rights focal points: governments and national administrations as drivers of human rights implementation?

by Stéphanie Lagoutte, Senior researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and Sébastien Lorion, Senior adviser at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

Human rights ministries, inter-ministerial delegations or committees, whether with a thematic or comprehensive human rights mandate, have become important domestic actors dedicated to driving human rights implementation and progress. These human rights focal points have emerged in State practice and, more recently, have been recognised in international law and guidance, as recommended drivers of implementation. At the same time, governments …

The human rights case for vaccine multilateralism

by Kerry Pearson, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The past eighteen months have exposed the world to an extraordinary challenge with unprecedented setbacks and devastating social and economic repercussions that have forced us, in the words of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to ‘learn [in order] to live’. Fortunately, we have done much learning and the pace at which the world has gained scientific knowledge …

Rethinking the right to education

by Federico Sarchiapone, URG Geneva Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only heralded a public health and economic crisis, but also triggered an educational emergency. Data collected by UNESCO shows that around the globe students lost on average two-thirds of their academic year as governments resorted to mandatory school closures in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. However, this figure masks great disparities among …

41st Session of the Human Rights Council.

Where do things stand with the 2021-2026 review of the Council’s status?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

On 9 June, the President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Ambassador Nazhat Khan (Fiji), convened an informal exchange on the General Assembly’s review of the Council’s status, due to be conducted between 2021 and 2026. This was the first time Geneva delegations had had the opportunity to consider the ‘2021-2026 review’ since the summer of 2019, when it had …

Scotland shows human rights leadership to “build back better”

by Professor Alan Miller, Professor of Practice in Human Rights Law at the University of Strathclyde Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms, Uncategorized @nyc

The UN is calling on all countries to “build back better” from Covid 19 through placing economic, social and environmental rights and equality at the centre of all recovery efforts In Scotland a National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership has published a Report containing 30 recommendations to do just that. The Scottish Government has accepted all of the recommendations and is …

The battle for social media regulation: can international human rights bridge the governance gap in the digital space?

by Daniela Kyle, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Uncategorized @nyc, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 4 June, Facebook declared that former US President Donald Trump’s suspension from their service will last at least two years, following the implementation of new enforcement protocols. These protocols are expected to have long-term effects on the presiding guidelines for content moderation and account suspensions for public figures. On the same day, Nigeria announced a nationwide Twitter ban after the platform …

It’s high time human rights practitioners join conversations on taxation

by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group and Sandra Petrovic, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

In recent weeks, conversations about taxation seem to have moved out from the shadows of bureaucratic policy making and placed front and center of the international geopolitical stage. The reason in one word: COVID-19. However, while there is a growing momentum to establish a new international tax regime that addresses pervasive inequalities, accompanied by greater political will to discuss States’ …

Making AI trustworthy: the EU’s proposed legal framework for regulating artificial intelligence

by Courtney Halverson, URG NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Universal Rights Group NYC

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a plethora of uses, spanning from surprising and beneficial applications, like applying the same technology used to analyse pastries to identify cancer cells, to potentially detrimental and intrusive applications, like using facial recognition to track citizens. The European Union’s new proposal for a legal framework to govern AI suggests that the introduction of ethical, human centered regulations can both …

What we talk about when we talk about accountability

by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group and Anna-Christina Schmidl, Universal Rights Group Geneva Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

On 27 May 2010, addressing the Rome Statute Review Conference of the International Criminal Court in Kampala, Uganda, then-UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon heralded the ‘birth of a new Age of Accountability.’ More than a decade on, in the face of devastating conflicts and a global pandemic that has reinforced structural inequalities and led to a deterioration in the state of human …

Who controls ‘town square’: amidst a public health crisis, India battles social media companies to curb dissent

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

Amidst the collapse of the public health system in India and an atmospheric rise in COVID-19 cases, social media platforms became ‘town squares’; centres of desperate coordination for supplies as well as outlets for growing frustration at the government’s failure to prevent thousands of deaths. The Government of Narendra Modi has in turn pressured social media companies to block posts and remove …