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Human rights

‘Born a refugee, I dream of a place called home’

By Mohammed On World Refugee Day, personal reflections of a young Palestinian from the Gaza Strip CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina, USA, Jun 20 2019 (IPS) – I am a refugee, born to a refugee family. I was granted that status on the day I came into this world. I was not aware of what had happened before then. I did ... Read More »

Put gender violence survivors in front and centre

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage UN, Jun 20 2019 (IPS) – Sexual violence is still all too common and continues to threaten peace and security worldwide. How can we do better? Put survivors at the centre. Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, on Jun. 19, United Nations officials as well as government and civil society representatives ... Read More »

‘Last resort’ partial aid halt to opposition-held Sana’a: UN

The World Food Programme (WFP), the UN’s emergency food relief agency, confirmed on Friday in a statement that it has started a “partial suspension” of aid to areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi opposition forces, including the capital, Sana’a. Spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel briefed journalists in Geneva that the agency took the decision after efforts failed to prevent aid being diverted ... Read More »

Doctors reveal what Nicaragua tries to hide: HRW

Amy Braunschweiger When colleagues told him the Nicaraguan government had ordered the country’s public hospitals to turn away injured protesters, Dr Josmar Ulises Briones Montalván was shocked. “The duty of a doctor is to save lives,” he said. Briones is a neurosurgeon who worked at his private clinic in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, and another one in the northern city of ... Read More »

Prioritize Rohingya rights, safety: ASEAN lawmakers

Dhaka, June 19 (UNB) – ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and Progressive Voice on Wednesday said the government of Myanmar must ensure that the human rights of the Rohingya community are protected and respected. The organizations said safe conditions should be in place in Rakhine State before any Rohingyas are ... Read More »

Independently investigate Morsy’s death: HRW

Beirut – Egyptian authorities should be investigated for the mistreatment of former President Mohamed Morsy, who died on June 17, 2019, after years of insufficient access to medical care, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. The United Nations Human Rights Council, whose next session begins on June 24, should establish an investigation into ongoing gross violations of human rights in Egypt, ... Read More »

Egypt’s ousted president Morsi dies in court during trial

Cairo, Jun 18 (AP/UNB) — Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi who was ousted by the military in 2013 after a year in office, collapsed in court while on trial Monday and died, state TV and his family said. The 67-year-old Morsi had just addressed the court, speaking from the glass cage he is kept in during ... Read More »

An uncertain future for Palestinian refugees

By Charlotte Munns UN, Jun 12 2019 (IPS) – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been forced to justify its existence at the United Nations ahead of a pledging conference later this month. UNRWA came under fire by Jason Greenblatt, US Special Envoy for International Negotiations, at a Security Council ... Read More »

Formal education for Rohingyas in multi-year planning urged

Dhaka, June 14 (UNB)— Speakers at a roundtable suggested engaging Rohingyas in multi-year planning, providing formal education and more support as their repatriation continues to be delayed. They also urged involving Rohingyas with meaningful and productive activities. National Daily Samakal organised the roundtable titled ‘Human Dignity to Rohingya People: Bangladesh Perspective’ in cooperation with Coast, an NGO working in Cox’s ... Read More »

Shops in Hong Kong close doors to ‘find breath of freedom’

Hong Kong, Jun 13 (AP/UNB)  — By the entrance of his restaurant, Kelvin Chung hung a piece of paper announcing the restaurant’s intention to strike on Wednesday. “Hoping to find a breath of freedom,” the sign said, adding that the shop would offer free honey green tea at lunch time to boost the city’s morale. His modest Japanese-style grill joined ... Read More »

Bangladesh slips 9 notches down in Global Peace Index

Dhaka, June 12 (UNB) – Bangladesh has moved nine steps down in the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2019, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This is the thirteenth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Bangladesh has ranked 101st out of 163 countries with a ... Read More »

EU Special Representative for HR Eamon Gilmore visits BD

Dhaka, EUDEL Press Office: EU Special Representative (EUSR) for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore visited Bangladesh on 10-11 June 2019. This visit, the first ever of a EUSR for Human Rights to Bangladesh, reflects the EU’s commitment to engaging with the Government of Bangladesh, and civil society. “Bangladesh is an important country for the European Union in the region. I have ... Read More »

Botswana decriminalises gay sex in landmark case

By Cara Anna | AP Johennesburg — Botswana became the latest country to decriminalize gay sex on Tuesday, a landmark case for Africa, as the High Court rejected laws punishing it with up to seven years in prison. Jubilant activists in the packed courtroom cheered the unanimous decision in the southern African nation that is seen as one of the continent’s most ... Read More »

A call for concrete changes to achieve more gender equal world

By Princess Sarah Zeid Amman, May 29 2019 (IPS) – On the eve of the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver June 3-6, Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan interviewed Dr. Olfat Mahmoud, a Palestinian refugee and women’s rights advocate. Princess Sarah spoke with Dr. Olfat about what the humanitarian system would look like if organizations like hers could help shape it, ... Read More »

How European telcos are monitoring people’s online activity

by Katherine Barnett The security and privacy of personal data are being jeopardised as Deep Packet Inspection is deployed by internet service providers. Europe has not escaped the global move towards ‘surveillance capitalism’. Numerous pieces of legislation are under consideration which put online freedoms and privacy at risk—the UK’s Online Harms white paper is just one example. Now European telecommunication ... Read More »

Keeping armies out of schools – An interview

Philippa H Stewart Senior Media Officer Bede Sheppard Deputy Director, Children’s Rights Division During times of war around the world, students, teachers, and schools have frequently come under attack from armies and armed groups. Schools are deliberately targeted to stop children, particularly girls, from being educated. Students are caught in the crossfire because soldiers are using their schools as a ... Read More »

Cyberlaws in Southeast Asia spell bad news for HR, democracy

By Josef Benedict Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Apr 9 2019 (IPS) – Around the globe, cyberspace has become the new battleground in the fight for the heart and soul of democracy. And Southeast Asia is fast becoming one of the global hotspots where the screws are being tightened on freedom of expression online. Governments across the region have been passing legislation ... Read More »

Robert L. Bernstein 96, publisher, champion of dissent, dies

By Robert D. McFadden May 27, 2019 Robert L. Bernstein, who built Random House into an international publishing giant and championed political dissent, freedom of expression and relief for oppressed peoples as the founder of Human Rights Watch, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 96. Mr. Bernstein’s son Peter confirmed the death, at a hospital. The worlds of publishing ... Read More »

Amnesty Int’l charges Myanmar military with new abuses

Bangkok, May 29 (AP/UNB) — Myanmar’s military, accused of massive human rights violations against the Muslim Rohingya minority less than two years ago, is committing war crimes and other atrocities as it engages in new military operations in the western state of Rakhine, the human rights group Amnesty International said Wednesday. Myanmar’s army has “killed and injured civilians in indiscriminate ... Read More »

Enable Rohingyas to return home: UNHCR asks Myanmar

Dhaka, May 25 (UNB) – UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has urged the Myanmar government to take action to enable the Rohingyas in Bangladesh and those displaced inside the country to return home safely.  Grandi who concluded his five-day visit to Myanmar on Friday, had “constructive and substantive” meetings on Thursday with State Counsellor Daw Aung San SuuKyi ... Read More »

The UN has failed civilians

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage UN, May 24 2019 (IPS) – Despite the United Nations Security Council’s task of protecting civilians, millions around the world are still being displaced and killed with little to no accountability for perpetrators. Marking 20 years since the UN Security Council included the protection of civilians in its agenda, the group convened for an open debate on ... Read More »

It’s time to talk about democracy at work

by Stan De Spiegelaere Democracy at work has many benefits but above all, it is a matter of human dignity. My normal bike commute to work was interrupted by red flags. No revolution (yet) but industrial action blocked access to an energy company (and my bike path). Asked about their complaints, one of the strikers said: ‘Management ignores the rules ... Read More »

SC’s brief statement on media role regarding courts, cases

Dhaka, May 21 – The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a brief statement in an attempt to clarify its instructions issued earlier to restrain the media from reporting sub-judice cases. “Bangladesh Supreme Court always believes in the freedom of the Press. The publication of reports or broadcasts that tarnish the dignity of the court and influence the ongoing trials are ... Read More »

UN’s mandate to protect human rights takes another hit

By Thalif Deen UN, May 20, 2019 (IPS) – The UN’s longstanding mandate to promote and protect human rights worldwide –- undermined recently by right-wing nationalist governments and authoritarian regimes – has taken another hit. The Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says six of the UN’s 10 treaty bodies are being forced to cancel ... Read More »

UK welfare cuts mean families go hungry: HRW

Government Policy Failings Exacerbate Food Poverty, Violate Right to Food London – Government cuts to welfare over the past decade have resulted in tens of thousands of poor families in England left without enough food to eat, a clear breach of the government’s duty to ensure adequate food, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 115-page report, ... Read More »

Women HR defenders face greater risks for their gender

JOHANNESBURG, May 16 2019 (IPS) – Does the name Ihsan Al Fagiri ring a bell? How about Heba Omer or Adeela Al Zaebaq? It’s likely that these names, among countless others, are not known to the average news consumer. But their tireless and dangerous work, however, has made news headlines as protests led to historic political change in Sudan. To the ... Read More »

Inclusive citizenship laws tend to foster economic growth

WASHINGTON DC, May 16 2019 (IPS) – The notion of citizenship has evolved over time. Historically, allegiance was typically to an ethnic group or a feudal lord. With the birth of the nation-state in the 19th century came the need to distinguish between those who belonged to the state and those who didn’t, and therefore to create a legal distinction between ... Read More »

BD Parliament caucus on child rights formed

Dhaka, May 15 (UNB) – A parliamentary caucus on child rights was constituted with Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah and Shamsul Haque Tuku, MP as its chief adviser and president respectively on Wednesday. The parliamentary caucus was formed at a meeting held at the Deputy Speaker’s office, said a handout. The vice president of the parliamentary group is Aroma Datta, ... Read More »

An urgent need to advance peace

STOCKHOLM, May 10 2019 (IPS) – Let us be blunt: the world is in crisis. Peace, human rights, our planetary ecosystem, and our systems of conflict management and global governance are under enormous strain. Global military expenditures reached 1.8 trillion in 2018, their highest level in real terms since the Cold War, driven by great power competition between the US and China. The ‘Doomsday ... Read More »

Rise of right-wing nationalism hurts human rights worldwide

UNITED NATIONS, May 10 2019 (IPS) – The rise of right-wing nationalism and the proliferation of authoritarian governments have undermined human rights in several countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. As a result, some of the international human rights experts – designated as UN Rapporteurs – have either been politically ostracized, denied permission to visit countries ... Read More »