COVID-19: A primer on Human Rights and International Health Regulations

Dr. Garima Tiwari

Picture Credits: Ontario Human Rights Commission 

The outbreak of coronavirus ( COVID-19)  first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, China has created a worldwide scare and has highlighted the global vulnerability to all nations alike.  It has been declared as a “ public health emergency of international concern”. With the propensity of the disease to spread rapidly, ad-hoc emergency measures are being taken and laws and policies are being implemented relating to health measures, isolations, and travel bans. This pandemic clearly raises concerns regarding the viability of the international legal instruments in place to cater to such situations. Human rights concerns like the right to health, liberty, privacy, and freedom of movement all have come to test. Continue reading

Seeking refuge from climate change

Anne Watanabe

In January, NOAA and NASA announced that the previous decade was the hottest on record, and the UN warned of more extreme weather events in the new decade, the result of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Climate change’s impacts – whether in the form of massive wildfires, hurricanes or flooding, or slower-onset destruction by drought, sea level rise, or extreme heat – will increasingly drive migration worldwide as people flee their homelands. Continue reading

The Rohingya Genocide Continues

Regina Paulose

International crimes against the Rohingya have been perpetrated for decades and continues in the status quo, even after the alarming events of August 2017 that forced 700,00+ Rohingya people to flee into Bangladesh. Since that time there has been little progress made to achieve a long term solution for the Rohingya people. Continue reading

Racial injustice in the United States and the international response

Author: Dr. Thamil Venthan Ananthavinayagan, PhD (NUI Galway), LL.M. (Maastricht University) Lecturer for International Law at Griffith College, Dublin/Ireland

Introduction:

In 2016 the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (hereafter: the Working Group) visited the United States of America (hereafter: USA), one of the many special procedures under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in order to assess the treatment and situation of people with African Descent in the country. With their report, the Working Group concluded that

[C]ontemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching. Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.[1]

The current atmosphere in the USA reveals a quite blunt manifestation of a deeply divided and troubled society, a society that is haunted by its past and offers a bare view of the remnants of slavery that preoccupies the public discourse and society’s consciousness. Continue reading

UN Peacekeeping and Sexual Violence

Author: Regina Paulose

As early as 2013,[1] the French government received reports from the UN that French troops had sexually assaulted young children in the Central African Republic (CAR). Apparently frustrated with UN inaction, Anders Kompass, a Senior UN Official, leaked an internal report regarding these crimes to French officials. Despite the prior knowledge, France only recently took decisive action recently.[2]  Officials in the CAR have also opened an inquiry into the matter. UN Human Rights Chief Zeid has noted the abuse is likely the “tip of the iceberg.”[3]   Continue reading