Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence: A Look at Victims and Perpetrators

Maria Concepcion Badiola

Women are said to be more vulnerable and therefore are more likely to suffer sexual violence. For that reason, the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols specifically safeguards the rights and safety of them and this measure constitutes a positive way to protect those rights and avoid the perpetration of sexual crimes. However, and despite the legislation is clear on prohibiting sexual violence, a big problem related is the misconception on gender roles as well as the male protection within the law. Continue reading

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End Conversion Therapy for Minors

Author: Regina Paulose

Conversion therapy (also known as “reparative,” “re-orientation,” or “cure” therapy) is a type of psychotherapy which professionals or ex-gay ministries use to allegedly “cure” or “help” a person who is gay eliminate or suppress feelings towards the same sex. Continue reading

Rape as a Crime versus Rape as a Punishment: What is going on in India?

Written By Garima Tiwari

Indian village council orders sisters to be raped and paraded naked after their brother elopes with married woman.[i]

This recent news and few other similar incidents evoke a number of sentiments. Of course, it is an illegal order with no statutory backing, yet it is an order of the “members of the society” or as are called “Kangaroo Courts” . And it raises pertinent issues about the perception of women in India within a complex web of Caste, Culture, Religion and a family –community system still very patriarchal. While the Nirbhaya Delhi Gang rape case is still sore and the Government’s “security regime” -in place, headlines of “sentencing to rape”, create a mismatch in legal and societal standards. This post loosely  puts forth ideas on how the simple formula of merely punishing the offender does not even look like a step forward in acknowledging the deep seated problem in a complex society like India. Continue reading

The Right to Belong: Dealing With Statelessness in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author:  Michael Addaney

‘Statelessness is a profound violation of an individual’s human rights. It would be deeply unethical to perpetuate the pain it causes when solutions are so clearly within reach.’

Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

In recent years statelessness has become a major concern in various contexts and levels particularly within Africa. Often, statelessness is associated with displacement through armed conflicts as well natural disasters and hence overlaps with the flow of refugees and Internally Displaced Person (IDPs). With Africa’s colonial heritage, critical issues arose from the succession of states and the determination of national status within emerging and transitional states. Moreover, most African states have different approaches in determining nationality and civil status which inadvertently conflict with the legal and policy frameworks of other states. All the above situations create statelessness. Continue reading

Family Reunification Under International Law

Author: Giovanni Giudetti

Family reunification can be seen as “on the one hand, as a humanitarian or human rights issue, and, on the other hand, as an immigration matter which might place a strain on the labour market and social facilities, such as housing, education and medical facilities”[1]. Continue reading

X v Y: Italy and Kafalah

Author: Giovanni Giudetti

The Islamic institution of kafalah, which finds its origins in northern Africa, has given rise to different opinions and ways of dealing with family reunification in European countries[1]. In order to better understand this issue with a deeper analysis of the measures adopted by EU member States[2], we examine this through the lens of the Italian Corte di Cassazione[3], which denies the right to family reunification for children in care through kafalah. In the case X v. Y an Italian citizen of Moroccan origin applied for and obtained custody through kafalah of his two nephews from the Moroccan authority, in order to provide his brother’s children, who were left fatherless, with accommodation, maintenance, education and protection in his country of residence, Italy. Continue reading

Time for Change: Gender Equality in Africa

Author: Michael Addaney[1]

Gender stereotypes are described as preconceived ideas whereby males and females are arbitrarily assigned characteristics and roles limited by their sex.[2] The UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (African Charter) recognise that women suffer continued and systematic discrimination due to their sexuality with the most pervasive one being violence against women.[3] Continue reading