A world made new: Beyond COVID-19 to a low-carbon, resilient and inclusive world

by Dr. Edward Cameron Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

According to her son, Eleanor Roosevelt said the same prayer every night and closed with this wish: ‘save us from ourselves and show us a vision of a world made new.’ This prayer reminds me that in the midst of managing crisis we must also keep one eye on the better future we want to create. COVID-19 is both a …

Contact Tracing and challenges to privacy

by Dr. Jonathan Andrew, Research Fellow, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The RightOn webinar earlier this week brought together experts to discuss the use of technologies to facilitate contact tracing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and asked whether such approaches represented a risk to the right to privacy. A diverse range of perspectives on human rights law – including those of civil society, computer science, academia and the telecommunications industry – informed …

First private sector ‘Treaty Body’ launched by Facebook

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Yesterday, beneath the radar of most diplomats at the UN, Facebook launched what is, in effect, a global first: a private sector-led human rights ‘Treaty Body’ designed to monitor its own compliance with international human rights standards. Specifically, the tech giant’s new ‘Oversight Board’ will review Facebook’s decisions about what content to ‘take down’ (because, for example, it constitutes ‘hate …

Guterres urges governments to put human rights upfront in their response to COVID-19

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

At the end of April UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched an important new report calling for human rights to be placed upfront in guiding the international community’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, entitled ‘We are all in this together: human rights and COVID-19 response and recovery,’ pushes the key message that human rights are critical, not just …

UN Secretary-General report puts human rights at centre of COVID-19 response

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, New York City

Today the UN Secretary-General (SG) Antonio Guterres launched a report on how human rights can and should guide coronavirus response and recovery. This report is intended to be read in conjunction with the SG’s Call to Action on Human Rights (launched this February) and the SG’s other reports and statements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including his report ‘ Shared responsibility, global solidarity: responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 ’, his appeal for governments to …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2020?

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council The High-Level Segment of the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council , held from 24 to 26 February 2020, saw the active participation of more than a 100 world leaders, including, four heads of States, around 90 ministers or vice-ministers, and a number of principals of international organisations. In the statements they delivered to …

‘When the weapons fall silent’: UN Security Council discusses transitional justice

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 13 February the Security Council held its first ever discussion on transitional justice as a thematic issue, with States from every region offering first-hand accounts and calling for the UN to play a supportive role. Belgium, Security Council President for the month of February, initiated and presided over the open debate on ‘ transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict situations ,’ under the Peacebuilding and Sustaining …

Towards a new accountability? EU adds to growing momentum behind ‘Magnitsky acts’

by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 9th December, the day before International Human Rights Day, EU foreign ministers took the historic decision to begin work on an EU-wide ‘Magnitsky act.’ The decision came just over a year after the Dutch Foreign Minister, Stef Blok, gave a landmark speech to his European counterparts in which he drew attention to the crucial importance of accountability for serious human …

Do digital technologies hurt or support human rights?

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 14 May this year, the San Francisco city council voted to ban the use of facial recognition technology by local authorities and agencies, including the police. Several other US cities, and even some States, are now considering following suit. These important developments come in the wake of the release of a recent study by Georgetown University, which found that the use …

Magnitsky acts and the future of accountability for violations of international human rights law: An interview with Bill Browder

by Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Since the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail cell in 2009, US financier turned anti-corruption activist Bill Browder has led an almost one man crusade to strengthen national legal frameworks and responses to alleged gross violations of human rights and/or cases of grand corruption (which are linked to serious human rights violations ). Over the intervening ten years, Mr Browder’s determination and …