Derechos Humanos

Pro-Palestinian protesters outside the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, January 2024. Piroschka van de Wouw / Reuters

In its December 2023 filing to the International Court of Justice, South Africa accused Israel of violating its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention in a case that prompted strong reactions. Some touted the investigation as a significant step toward the fair application of international law. Others deemed it a cynical exercise, infused with double standards and political bias.

Amid the controversy, it was easy to lose sight of the fact that any ruling from the International Court of Justice is effectively unenforceable. The ICJ has no independent mechanism to ensure compliance. Israel could easily ignore any decision it dislikes, and the United States would almost certainly veto any attempt to coerce Israel through the UN Security Council.…  Seguir leyendo »

Aerial photo of workers hanging thousands of different coloured fabrics to dry in a fabric factory in Narayanganj, Bangladesh. (Photo credit Joy Saha / Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

The EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive looks finally set to become law, following the decision by the EU Council to approve the legislation on 15 March 2024.

Just a few weeks ago, its future hung in the balance. An unexpected move by Germany to abstain in a crucial Council vote, followed by Italy, led to the vote being pulled.

The publicly-stated reasons for these last-minute wobbles were concerns about increasing ‘red tape’ for businesses during challenging economic times. With the credibility of the EU’s responsible business agenda at stake, and with EU Parliamentary elections just around the corner, there was no time to lose in finding a compromise that might get the law over the line.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ouverture des Etats généraux à Paris, 5 mai 1789. — © Apic / Bridgeman via Getty Images

Dire que les valeurs dites occidentales ne sont guère goûtées dans de vastes régions du monde relève de l’euphémisme. Et même dans les pays qui ont fait leurs les principes démocratiques forgés par l’histoire et une vision du monde universaliste, dont les droits de l’homme constituent une sorte d’épine dorsale, elles sont contestées parfois avec vigueur. De l’identitarisme de type national à celui que véhicule ce que l’on appelle le «wokisme», qui les survalorise pour les nier, l’universalisme occidental vit une période difficile.

Les Occidentaux semblent décontenancés par les critiques dont les droits de l’homme sont l’objet. A leurs yeux, les attaquer doit être assimilé à une offensive contre les démocraties de type occidental elles-mêmes, tellement celles-ci ont fini par se définir par rapport au respect ou non des droits de l’homme, hissés au rang de carte d’identité de toute démocratie digne de ce nom.…  Seguir leyendo »

Eleanor y Franklin Roosevelt. El presidente número 32 de los Estados Unidos y la primera dama e impulsora de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos.Keystone (Getty Images)

Son tiempos inequívocamente convulsos e inciertos, caracterizados por la extensión del temor y la miseria, el retroceso vertiginoso de la democracia y las libertades, en amplias partes del mundo y por la creciente degradación del planeta. También son tiempos profundos para construir un futuro común para la humanidad en términos de esperanza, progreso y prosperidad.

Ciertamente, en muchas regiones del mundo en erupción que conocemos, la vida de numerosas personas se desenvuelve marcada por la pobreza ultrajante, por el retorno del fuego de la ira y el odio, por la frustración, la desolación y la desesperanza.

El autoritarismo subsiste como objeto inamovible, y crece el asedio a los sistemas democráticos, que se ven amenazados por fuerzas disgregadoras, autocráticas y totalitarias, sustentadas en el fanatismo, la demagogia y la polarización extrema.…  Seguir leyendo »

La militante et journaliste Narges Mohammadi, à une date inconnue. Photo fournie par la Fondation Narges Mohammadi, le 2 octobre 2023. - / AFP

Je tiens à exprimer ma gratitude envers les honorables membres du comité Nobel de la Paix pour avoir attribué le prestigieux prix Nobel de la paix au magnifique mouvement « Femme, Vie, Liberté » et à une femme emprisonnée, défenseure des droits de l’homme et de la démocratie. Je suis reconnaissante pour votre soutien significatif et déterminé.

Je suis convaincue que l’impact indéniable du prix Nobel de la paix sur la puissante mobilisation des Iraniens pour la paix, la liberté et la démocratie sera largement supérieur à celui de ma lutte et de ma résistance personnelles. C’est une source d’espoir et d’inspiration pour moi.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the landscape of international diplomacy, the choice of a host country for a global summit is often symbolic. As the world prepares to converge in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the COP28 climate conference, the decision to host such a pivotal event in the heart of the Middle East warrants scrutiny.

The UAE has sought to position itself as a beacon of modernity. Yet the decision to hold COP28 in the Gulf state is problematic. The UAE’s economy is heavily reliant on oil and gas, and it is one of the world’s highest per-person carbon emitters. The BBC has just reported on leaked documents that suggest the UAE was looking to use its position as host of the summit to negotiate bilateral fossil-fuel deals.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian Women Get a Fresh Warning About Their Rights

It has been more than six months since the Russian playwright Svetlana Petriychuk and the theater director Zhenya Berkovich were arrested and jailed for their work on “Finist, the Bright Falcon”, an acclaimed play sympathetic to women recruited by ISIS.

The charge? “Justifying terrorism”.

The plaintiffs have appealed being held in pretrial detention three times; each time, the court has denied it. The prosecution, on the other hand, has asked the court three times to postpone the trial “to interview important witnesses”; each time, the court has granted the request.

Being a feminist is not against the law in Russia. But if Ms.…  Seguir leyendo »

Just weeks after the ninth anniversary of my father receiving a life sentence, I married the love of my life. We held our wedding ceremony at the local mosque, knowing that my father, Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur scholar, could not be by my side. He has not even met my new husband.

I look to my father for guidance every day, even though it has been years since we were last permitted to speak. I feel his presence as I carry the torch of his advocacy for marginalised people in China and around the world. In my homeland, the Uyghur Region (which the Chinese government calls Xinjiang), Uyghurs like me and other Turkic and Muslim-majority peoples are being subjected to an ethnic-cleansing campaign that includes mass detention, abuse and systematic state-sponsored forced labour.…  Seguir leyendo »

India Is Devouring Its Best and Brightest

Prison.

It’s just a word. But when you are using it to describe your own possible future, it leaves the lips with a heaviness and a bitter taste, like bile.

Until a few years ago, ending up in an Indian prison because of my work or things I said seemed as unimaginable as my death — a grim but distant prospect. When I met with fellow journalists, we discussed stories we were working on or the latest political gossip.

But today the possibility of arrest and prosecution on fantastical charges lurks deep in my heart and in those of many Indian journalists, historians, writers, academics, intellectuals and others who openly criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Mohammed bin Salman – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler, who, according to US intelligence officials, approved Khashoggi’s assassination – has managed a near complete rehabilitation of his increasingly autocratic regime.’ Photograph: Bandar Aljaloud/AP

Five years ago, Jamal Khashoggi walked into Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul to pick up a document he needed in order to marry his Turkish fiancée. The journalist never walked out. Inside the consulate, he was ambushed by a 15-member Saudi hit team, who suffocated him and dismembered his body with a bone saw. The death squad then slipped out of Turkey on two charter planes owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Since then, Mohammed bin Salman – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler, who, according to US intelligence officials, approved Khashoggi’s assassination – has managed a near complete rehabilitation of his increasingly autocratic regime.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Don’t Be Scared,’ My Father Said Before He Was Led Away in Hong Kong

I haven’t seen my father, Jimmy Lai, in three years.

The most recent pictures that have emerged show him surrounded by guards in a Hong Kong prison courtyard during his 50 minutes of daily exercise. He looks thinner, his skin darker. But this will not be the enduring image of him that I carry.

In my memory, Dad is sitting at the breakfast table reading Apple Daily, the rowdy Chinese-language newspaper he founded and published. For 26 years, his paper championed Hong Kongers’ fight for democracy. Then, suddenly, it was all over: Beijing tightened its grip, my father was arrested in 2020, and the paper was shut down the next year.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the riot control unit of the European Union's military force in Bosnia and Herzegovina train near Sarajevo, on Oct. 24, 2022. Elvis Barukcic/AFP via Getty Images

On Aug. 29, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered a landmark decision against the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ruling by a 6-1 majority that the country’s constitution and its dominant ethnic power-sharing system grossly violated basic rights to equal democratic representation. Specifically, the court ruled that Bosnia’s constitution had unfairly limited the right to vote and be elected for large segments of the population through a “combination of territorial and ethnic requirements” that collectively amounted to “discriminatory treatment”.

Bosnia’s constitution is a strange thing. It is not a stand-alone social contract but Annex IV of the U.S.-brokered Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian War (1992-1995).…  Seguir leyendo »

Preparations at the international media centre on the eve of the two-day G20 summit in New Delhi, 8 September. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Over the last few months, billboards across India, especially in the capital, New Delhi, have been plastered with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The hoardings welcome international delegates to the G20 summit with the words “Mother of Democracy to host G20”. On the eve of the summit, which begins on Saturday, the prime minister has penned an article citing the diversity of the Indian democracy. He writes: “For India, the G20 presidency is not merely a high-level diplomatic endeavour. As the mother of democracy, and a model of diversity, we opened the doors of this experience to the world”.

Over the past year, through his much-publicised state visit to the United States and through his much talked-about international trips, including the G7 meetings, Modi has extolled the virtues of democracy, of a secular and inclusive nation, paying obeisance to Mahatma Gandhi at every available opportunity.…  Seguir leyendo »

En mayo de 2016, el Comité de Asuntos Legales del Parlamento Europeo lanzó una extraña propuesta, la de crear personas electrónicas, en el marco de la legislación civil para regular la robótica. Se trataba con ella de dar un estatus legal a los robots autónomos de vanguardia, para que sea posible reparar los daños que puedan causar cuando tomen decisiones autónomas o independientes de terceros. Como es sabido, la propuesta no prosperó, entre otras cosas, porque un amplio colectivo de expertos en inteligencia artificial y robótica la criticó duramente con razones muy fundadas. Sin embargo, abrió mercados de futuro y, de hecho, algunos tecnocientíficos recordaron una vez más que su propósito consiste en crear robots inteligentes, autónomos, con sentimientos, que en tal caso deberían ser reconocidos como personas morales, y no solo legales, con todos los derechos que en ese caso les corresponderían.…  Seguir leyendo »

The right to a formal education has been denied to Afghan girls by the Taliban. Many young girls and women are now being forced into marriages. Photograph: Ali Khara/Reuters

We suddenly all woke in the middle of the night. A piercing cry came from the corner of our room. It was my teenage sister, sobbing in the little room we rent in London. She always used to sleep in the same bed as my mother – until the fall of Kabul.

She wasn’t used to sleeping alone. That night, early in spring, she sobbed until dawn. Her pain was obvious: separation from my mother and a longing that became chronically painful for us all. Since our exile, I have been playing the role of mother, thousands of miles from our parents.…  Seguir leyendo »

Jordan Henderson es uno de los varios futbolistas de renombre que se han mudado a la Saudi Pro League. AP Photo/Rui Vieira

Para los seguidores del Liverpool como yo, Jordan Henderson era uno de los chicos buenos del fútbol. Fue el capitán del club que recaudó fondos para el Servicio Nacional de Salud del Reino Unido durante la pandemia de covid-19 y apoyó vocalmente a la comunidad LGBTQ+ de Liverpool.

Sin embargo, en julio de 2023, tras 12 años en el Liverpool, Henderson se marchó al Al-Ettifaq, un club de la Pro League de Arabia Saudí, donde las relaciones entre personas del mismo sexo están penalizadas. El salario semanal de Henderson en el Al-Ettifaq es, al parecer, 900 000 dólares, el triple de lo que ganaba en el Liverpool, el cuarto club más rico del mundo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Afghan women protest against a new Taliban ban on women accessing university education in Kabul on Dec. 22, 2022. Stringer/Getty Images

Teenage girls forced to become child brides and laborers. Food insecurity affecting millions. Public executions and floggings. In the two years since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, 20 years of progress—especially for women and girls—has been systematically erased.

Yet even as international observers lament the Taliban’s horrific abuses and broken promises, some argue that the only path forward is to recognize the group. This argument posits that without formally recognizing the Taliban, the international community cannot deliver lifesaving humanitarian assistance, provide education and other social welfare programs, and receive accurate updates from Afghans inside the country. Under this view, formal relations would grant the international community much-needed influence on an insular and hostile regime.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un enfoque de derechos humanos para la crisis alimentaria mundial

Cuando en enero de 2019 el expresidente brasileño Jair Bolsonaro llegó al poder, uno de sus primeros actos de gobierno fue abolir el Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional (CONSEA), un organismo que había reducido en forma significativa la inseguridad alimentaria y cosechó elogios de todo el mundo. Fue un enorme retroceso para el país, al que en 2014 la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO) había quitado de su «mapa del hambre».

La decisión de Bolsonaro generó de inmediato una movilización popular de protesta, que incluyó la organización de grandes banquetes públicos en las calles de muchas ciudades: el banquetaço nacional.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iranian couple Nasrin Sotoudeh and Reza Khandan, with their friend and fellow activist Farhad Meysami (center) after being released from prison earlier this year following a lengthy hunger strike. Reza Khandan

In the Spring of 2018, two men in Tehran had a humble but risky plan to show support for women who were protesting Iran’s compulsory hijab laws.

Reza Khandan is a graphic designer, the husband of renowned human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh, and a father of two. Farhad Meysami is a physician, teacher and textbook publisher.

The pair bought thousands of blank buttons and a small, hand-cranked button-making machine, printed green and red labels, and took turns producing buttons that said, in Farsi, “I Oppose the Mandatory Hijab”.

Their buttons caught the attention of fellow activists – and Iranian authorities. On June 13, 2018, Reza’s lawyer wife Nasrin was arrested for her work defending many of the women who publicly removed their hijabs.…  Seguir leyendo »

Some 70 US lawmakers wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week, urging the Biden administration to press Russia for the release of imprisoned dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza.

That correspondence probably won’t prompt Russian President Vladimir Putin to free his longtime critic, but it just might help cast a spotlight on the plight of Kara-Murza, which deserves far more international attention than it has generally received.

Much public notice justifiably has been paid in recent months to other individuals who have been unjustly imprisoned by Putin’s ruthless regime. The outrageous detention last month of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has prompted vocal demands for his release from his employer and from the US State Department and generated international headlines.…  Seguir leyendo »