What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2022?

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

An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council The High-Level Segment of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council , held from February 28 to March 3 2022, saw the active participation of more than 120 world leaders, including six heads or deputy heads of State, five heads or deputy heads of Government, and 107 ministers or vice-ministers. In the statements delivered …

The state of democracy in Europe 2021: Overcoming the impact of the pandemic

by Nana Kalandadze, Programme Manager, Regional Europe Programme, International IDEA and Alexander Hudson, Democracy Assessment Specialist, International IDEA Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: democracy

Are European democracies in peril? How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected them? And is the prevailing sense of crisis justified? ‘The Global State of Democracy,’ International IDEA’s biennial report last released in November 2021, is a health-check of democracies across the globe (including a chapter on Europe), designed to provide both a current snapshot of vital democratic attributes, an analysis …

Placing digital technology at the service of democracy and human rights (3D2)

by the URG team Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In focus: democracy, Policy reports, Reportes

Placing digital technology at the service of democracy and human rights (3D2)

From 16-17 November, a high-level meeting of State representatives, UN officials, technology company representatives, and civil society, took place in Montreux, Switzerland, as well as online, to consider the challenges and opportunities posed by digital technology to the integrity and vitality of democracy, and to the enjoyment of civil and political rights. The rapid evolution and spread of digital technology …

Human rights in the digital age: Making digital technology work for human rights

by Geneva Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In focus: democracy, Policy reports, Reportes

Human rights in the digital age: Making digital technology work for human rights

The seventh  Glion Human Rights Dialogue (Glion VII), organised by the Governments of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and the Universal Rights Group (URG), in partnership with the Permanent Missions of Fiji, Iceland, Mexico, the Seychelles and Thailand, was held on 3-4 December 2020 and considered the topic: ‘Human rights in the digital age: Making digital technology work for human rights.’ In particular the Glion VII …

Recent US report of Russian election interference reveals how disinformation can exploit existing divides to erode trust in democracy

by Amanda Gu, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 16 March 2021, the US National Intelligence Council released a declassified report detailing what they found to be the extent of Russian interference in the 2020 US Presidential Election. US President Joe Biden issued a strong rebuke and one month later on 15 April his administration announced sanctions and other retributory measures. According to the report, Russian disinformation campaigns aimed …

New state-level legislation threatens to erode voting rights and the US’ ability to live up to democratic standards

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

State lawmakers across the US have recently sought to pass legislation which will significantly limit voting access. These attacks on voter rights come on the heels of repeated claims that the 2020 presidential election was marred by widespread voter fraud. The claims are rooted in former Republican President Donald Trump’s ‘Big Lie’: that the election was stolen from him. Republican …

How do you solve a problem like WhatsApp? The complicated role of messaging apps in the fight against disinformation and for free speech

by Tess Kidney Bishop, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Universal Rights Group NYC

Much of the debate around the spread of misinformation and online harassment has been focused on the biggest social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and, more recently, TikTok. Messaging apps, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, and the increasingly popular Telegram and Signal, have nearly as many users as these platforms and are also rife with disinformation, hate …

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

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

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 …

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

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, 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 …

The impact of the 2020 US presidential elections on human rights and international institutions

by Melissa Hooper, Sophia Swanson, Anna van Niekerk, Human Rights First Blog, Blog, By invitation, New York City

The United States has always had a somewhat contentious relationship with the international human rights project. It has never ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (which today has over 150 states parties) or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (which has 185). It became the sole holdout on the Convention …