Human Rights 

Hate speech: A growing, international threat

Hate speech is having a demonstrable effect on society: one of the many similarities between the January attacks on Brazil’s government buildings, and the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, is that each occurred after certain groups repeatedly directed dangerous rhetoric and false claims against others. Concerns over the growing phenomenon have prompted independent human rights experts… Read More
Human Rights 

Systemic racism within UK criminal justice system a serious concern: UN human rights experts

“We have serious concerns about impunity and the failure to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system, deaths in police custody, ‘joint enterprise’ convictions, and the dehumanising nature”, of the so-called ‘stop and search’ policing strategy, the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said in a statement at the end of an official visit to the UK. ‘Will… Read More
Human Rights 

Home, belonging, and the Holocaust

In 1933, Hitler began putting the party’s core racist and nationalist ideology into practice, identifying who could claim Germany as home and who in their view, really belonged in the country. This process went way beyond enacting legislation to define and exclude Jews from society: the Nazis launched misinformation and hate speech campaigns vilifying and dehumanizing Jews, and sanctioned acts… Read More
Human Rights 

Crises hindering victim identification: UNODC human trafficking report

Globally, the number of victims detected fell by 11 per cent in 2020 from the previous year, driven by fewer detections in low and medium-income countries. The number of convictions for trafficking offences also fell by 27 per cent over the same period, accelerating a longer-term trend registered by UNODC since 2017. Sharper decreases were registered in South Asia (56 per… Read More
Human Rights 

Top UN body asks what more can be done to stop genocide, atrocity crimes

The UN fears risk of these atrocities is heightened given current global crises that include conflict, soaring food and energy costs, and deepening inequalities and tensions, all exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.  In her opening remarks, ECOSOC President Lachezara Stoeva highlighted how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, together with global commitment on the responsibility to protect… Read More
Human Rights 

UN rights chief condemns ‘cold-blooding killing’ of Eswatini human rights lawyer

Thulani Maseko, who was also a pro-democracy activist, was shot dead in his home in the city of Mbabane on Saturday.  Mr. Türk issued a statement condemning his murder.  ‘Stalwart of human rights’  “Thulani Maseko was a stalwart of human rights who, at great risk to himself, spoke up for many who couldn’t speak up for themselves,” he said.  “His… Read More
Human Rights 

Afghanistan: Collapse of legal system is ‘human rights catastrophe’

“Lawyers, judges, prosecutors and other actors involved with the legal system in Afghanistan face grave risks to their safety, and those still practicing must navigate a deeply challenging, non-independent legal system”, Special Rapporteurs Margaret Satterthwaite, on the independence of judges and lawyers, and Richard Bennett, on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, said in a joint statement. ‘Brazen discrimination’… Read More
Human Rights 

Cambodia positioned to fully integrate LGBT people into society, UN expert says

In presenting his conclusions at the end of a 10-day visit to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang, the UN independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, urged authorities to legally recognize LGBT families. “Without exception, State agents with whom I held conversations acknowledged that diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity… Read More
Human Rights 

Guatemala: Protect judicial staffers fighting impunity and corruption

High Commissioner Volker Türk expressed deep concern over the repeated intimidation, harassment and reprisals they are facing.  “It is dramatic, given Guatemala’s history, that those fighting for accountability for gross human rights violations are the ones now being persecuted,” he said.  “Equally concerning are the attacks against those trying to combat one of the worst viruses to afflict any society:… Read More
Human Rights 

Iran’s detention of Belgian aid worker a ‘flagrant violation of international law’: UN rights experts

“We believe Mr Vandecasteele has been arbitrarily deprived of his liberty and is a victim of enforced disappearance for periods of detention,” the independent UN human rights experts said in a statement. “His right to a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal has been violated. These are flagrant violations of Iran’s obligations under international law,” they said. Mr.… Read More