The death of Jamal Khashoggi and the growing prominence of global ‘Magnitsky' laws as a means of securing accountability

by Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

What do the Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have in common? Both victims of shocking human rights violations, including torture and, ultimately, extrajudicial killing, their cases have helped to catalyse an important new trend in how the international community addresses serious infractions of international human rights law. In particular, both killings are closely associated …

How UN Treaty Bodies can better address corruption and its negative impact on human rights

by Patrick Mutzenberg, Director of the Centre for Civil and Political Rights. Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

It is now widely recognised that corruption negatively affects the enjoyment of civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Corruption not only has a negative impact on the ability of States to implement their treaty-based human rights obligations, but it also directly affects the population of such countries. This concern was raised several times by …

Time for a ‘Universal Magnitsky Act’?

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

In 2009, Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison after investigating a $230 million tax fraud involving Russian officials. A subsequent investigation into his case by the Kremlin’s own human rights commission, ordered and endorsed (in July 2011) by the-then Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, found that in order to silence Magnitsky, corrupt officials had accused him of …

Anti-corruption and human rights

by H.E. Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 1 May this year, MPs from across the major UK political parties, agreed in the UK Parliament to support a ‘Magnitsky’ amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. The amendment was adopted without a vote and was described by the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, as “an important moment” that would “allow the UK to act against those responsible …

Corruption: a human rights impact assessment

by the URG team Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Policy reports

Corruption: a human rights impact assessment

Corruption, especially grand corruption, has enormous implications, both direct and indirect, for the enjoyment of human rights. Corruption undermines – perhaps even violates – a wide array of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development. Where governments fail to respect and protect civil and political rights, it in turn creates governance conditions in which corruption can thrive. …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2018?

by the URG team Blog

An independent analysis of the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council  At the opening of the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, nearly one hundred world leaders (e.g. presidents, prime ministers, ministers) delivered high level speeches commenting on the state of global human rights in 2018, and presenting their country’s priorities for the year ahead. The Universal Rights …

The United Nations should create freedom from corruption as a human right

by Matthew H. Murray* and Geneva Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Matthew Murray is an international lawyer who was a senior advisor in the Obama Administration on anti-corruption issues from 2012-2017.  He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2012-2015 and Senior Advisor on Governance and Rule of Law for the US Agency for International Development from 2016-2017.  The …

Corruption and human rights

Corruption compromises States’ ability to fulfil their obligation to promote, respect and protect the human rights of individuals within their jurisdictions. Human rights are indivisible and interdependent, and the consequences of corrupt governance are multiple and touch on all human rights — civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the right to development. In recent years, a …