Re-imagining human rights for New Zealand

by Paul Hunt, University of Essex (UK); University of Waikato (New Zealand) Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In focus: democracy

This article was first published in the Dominion Post on October 16 and re-published on the Human Rights Centre Blog of the University of Essex on 26 October 2020 There’s a global pushback against human rights. Around the world, authoritarian “strongmen” are behaving like Roman Emperors. Supported by their disaffected ‘base’, they peddle racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance. …

Report of the Council’s urgent debate on the situation of human rights in Belarus during HRC45

by the URG team Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

On Friday 18 September 2020, in the context of the 45th session of the Human Rights Council, which opened on Monday 14 September, an urgent debate was convened on the ‘situation of human rights in Belarus ’. The urgent debate was requested through an official letter from H. E. Ambassador Michael von Ungern-Sternberg of Germany on behalf of the European Union (EU) and addressed to …

Is digital technology rotting British and American democracy from the inside out

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

The rapid evolution and spread of digital technology are already having a major impact on the enjoyment of civil and political rights around the world, and on the ways in which democracies function. Some of those impacts are undoubtedly positive. Digital technology, for example, allows citizens to scrutinise the actions and decisions of government officials (e.g. in the context of …

For 18% of Americans social media is their main source of news – what does this mean for the presidential elections?

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 30 July, the Pew Research Center released a report that revealed that one in five Americans use social media for their primary source of news. This report comes at a time of both an intense news cycle, dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a fast approaching US presidential election, and when social media usage is at an all-time high . It …

France’s watered-down anti-hate speech law enters into force

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In focus: democracy, In Focus: Human rights and religion

On 1 July a new French law entered into force that aims to regulate online hate speech. Known as the ‘Avia law’ after Laetitia Avia, the parliamentarian who drafted the original bill, the final law was significantly watered down during its passage through the lower house of parliament and the Senate, following opposition from free speech activists. Then, in an …

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 …