Human Rights News

Zimbabwe: Zimbabweans Divided Over Western Sanctions
[VOA] Harare -- Pro-government Zimbabweans say sanctions imposed in 2003 and earlier by some Western nations, including the United States, because of election rigging and human rights abuses, are derailing the country economy's recovery. The sanctions are a divisive issue among Zimbabweans. The U.N. Special Rapporteur has been assessing the impact of sanctions.
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Madagascar: 'Catastrophic' Drought Is Claiming Lives - Global Action Urgently Required #AfricaClimateCrisis
[AI London] One of Madagascar's worst droughts in history is devastating a population where 91% live below the poverty line
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Zimbabwe: State Yet to Charge Arrested War Vets
[263Chat] 40 members of the war veterans association who were arrested yesterday while protesting against poor pension earnings in Harare's central business district are yet to be charged, their lawyer Tinashe Chinopfukutwa has confirmed.
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Zimbabwe: Lawyers Petition Police Chief Over War Vets Detention
[263Chat] The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has written to police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga demanding the immediate release of 40 war veterans who were arrested in Harare yesterday whilst protesting against poor pensions.
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Zimbabwe: China Rails Against U.S. Over 'Illegal' Sanctions
[Nation] China has hit out at the United States for maintaining its 20-year-old sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying the embargo has damaged the southern African country's economy.
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Nigeria: Saro-Wiwa, Others Deserve Exoneration, Not Pardon - Saro-Wiwa Foundation
[Premium Times] "Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other eight Ogonis were not criminals. They were innocent activists unjustly murdered for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community."
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West Africa: Child Slavery in West Africa - Understanding Cocoa Farming Is Key to Ending the Practice
[The Conversation Africa] In 2000 and 2001, the use of child slaves on cocoa farms in West Africa was exposed in a series of documentaries and pieces of investigative journalism, sparking an international outcry .
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Women under fire in Belarus, activists tortured and exiled – UN expert
While women in Belarus overall are being denied rights and freedoms, female political activists are subjected to enforced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment and exile, an independent UN human rights expert told the General Assembly on Tuesday.
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South Africa: Save the Children Sounds the Alarm Over Food Crisis Facing Immigrant Children
[GroundUp] Letter to Department of Social Development still unanswered after more than a year
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Norway: Supreme Court Rules Windmill Park in Sami Area Violates Indigenous Rights
On October 11, 2021, the Norwegian Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, held that the concession for a wind turbine park in the Fosen-halvøya (Fosen peninsula) area of Norway violated the indigenous Sami people’s right to exercise its cultural rights because the windmills prevented them from herding reindeer in the area.Background to the DecisionIn 2010, the … Continue reading “Norway: Supreme Court Rules Windmill Park in Sami Area Violates Indigenous Rights”
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UN experts condemn Israel’s designation of Palestine rights defenders as terrorist organisations 
Independent UN human rights experts on Monday strongly condemned the decision by the Israeli Minister of Defence to designate six Palestinian human rights and civil society groups, as terrorist organisations.
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Africa: Leaders At COP26 Must Avoid a Global 'Squid Game' Where Winners Prosper, and Losers Perish #AfricaClimateCrisis
[Thomson Reuters Foundation] "We must not spiral into a devastating - and lethal - survival game where we struggle for our health, fight for natural resources and livelihoods" writes Dr Hans Kluge of the World Health Organization
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Nigeria: 20 Years of IOM in Nigeria
[This Day] The IOM has done remarkably well for Nigeria
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Malawi: Malawi Deports Nigerians and Pakistani for Drug Dealing
[Nyasa Times] The Minister of Homeland Security Honourable Richard Chimwendo Banda has order the deportation of two Nigerian nationals for being found with dangerous drugs and a Pakistani for operating business illegally in Lilongwe.
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No safe harbour: lifting the lid on a misunderstood trafficking crime
The crime of harbouring, in which victims of human trafficking are accommodated or forced to stay in a specific location, is not universally understood by courts around the world. A new UN study aims to address that issue, and improve protection for victims.
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UNICEF sounds alarm over abductions of women and children in Haiti  
The number of children and women abducted in Haiti until the end of August, has already surpassed last year’s total, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned this Thursday.
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'Landmark decision’ gives legal teeth to protect environmental defenders
A 46-strong group of countries across the wider European region has agreed to establish a new legally binding mechanism that would protect environmental defenders, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said on Friday.
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Fears grow for the lives of 5 Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli prisons
Israel has been urged to either release or charge five Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Grave concerns have been expressed for the lives of the prisoners by UN independent rights experts, who on Thursday, called on the Israeli Government to completely end the “unlawful practice “ of administrative detention.
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Restore sexual, reproductive health rights lost during COVID, rights expert urges
Sexual and reproductive health rights, are human rights, the independent UN expert on the right to health reminded Member States in the General Assembly on Wednesday, saying that it was essential to restore services in the field, that have been eroded during the COVID-19 pandemic
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Tunisia: 53 Tunisian Migrants Rescued Off Kerkennah Island - MoD
[Tunis Afrique Presse] Tunis/Tunisia -- Joint Naval and Coastguard units rescued on Tuesday evening 53 Tunisian undocumented migrants who called for help after their boat broke down northeast of El Attaya (Kerkennah Island).
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Nigeria: Nigerian Govt to Spend N19 Billion On Software - Immigration, Works Ministry Top List
[Premium Times] While the items are essential for government operations, their cumulative cost compiled by PREMIUM TIMES is higher, in part, due to fragmented purchases by agencies that have little or no consideration for cost-reduction or value.
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Nigeria: Court Orders Immigration Service to Release Ex-Rivers Gov Odili's Passport
[Premium Times] The Nigeria Immigration Service had said it seized Mr Odili's passport based on a request from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which claimed he was on a watch-list.
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Brazil: National Public Safety and Social Defense Plan Enacted
On September 28, 2021, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued Decree No. 10,822, establishing the National Public Safety and Social Defense Plan (PNSP) 2021–2030 in Brazil. (Decreto No. 10.822, de 28 de setembro de 2021.) The plan, which will be in effect for 10 years, consists of objectives, strategic actions, goals, a governance system, and guidelines … Continue reading “Brazil: National Public Safety and Social Defense Plan Enacted”
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Jamaica: Government Files Revised National Identification and Registration Act
On September 21, 2021, Jamaica’s minister of justice, Delroy Chuck, filed the National Identification and Registration Act, 2020 in Jamaica’s House of Representatives (draft bill). The draft bill regulates the establishment and operation of the National Identification System (NIDS) in Jamaica. The current text of the draft bill revises prior legislation from 2017 that was … Continue reading “Jamaica: Government Files Revised National Identification and Registration Act”
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Israel: Regional Labor Court Rejects Teacher's Claim That Requiring Her to Wear a Mask While Teaching Violated Her Rights
On August 26, 2021, the Beer Sheba Regional Labor Court rejected a suit by an elementary school teacher (the plaintiff) for compensation for discrimination and emotional distress allegedly caused by requiring her to teach virtually when she refused to wear a mask because of her asthma. The court ruled that the Ministry of Health’s (MOH’s) … Continue reading “Israel: Regional Labor Court Rejects Teacher’s Claim That Requiring Her to Wear a Mask While Teaching Violated Her Rights”
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England: Amendment to Health and Care Bill Would Create Offense of Testing for Virginity
On July 16, 2021, members of the United Kingdom’s (U.K.’s) Parliament proposed an amendment to the current Health and Care Bill, which aims to reduce bureaucracy within the National Health Service, increase accountability, and help integrate health services across England. The amendment adds a clause to the bill to create a new offense of testing … Continue reading “England: Amendment to Health and Care Bill Would Create Offense of Testing for Virginity”
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Lithuania: New Immigration Legislation Adopted Amid Influx of Asylum Seekers from Belarus
On July 13, 2021, the Seimas (parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a law containing multiple amendments (Amending Law) to the country’s Law on the Legal Status of Aliens (Law on Aliens), which Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda signed into law on the same day.The amending law changed the rules and procedures for seeking asylum … Continue reading “Lithuania: New Immigration Legislation Adopted Amid Influx of Asylum Seekers from Belarus”
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International: UNESCO Calls for Preservation of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage, Unhindered Right to Education
On August 19, 2021, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) made a statement that “calls for the preservation of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage in its diversity, in full respect of international law, and for taking all necessary precautions to spare and protect cultural heritage from damage and looting.” In addition, the director general … Continue reading “International: UNESCO Calls for Preservation of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage, Unhindered Right to Education”
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OSCE/ODIHR Director Link criticizes call for reintroduction of death penalty by Tajikistan’s Prosecutor General
WARSAW, 6 August 2016 – Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), today criticized the call by the Prosecutor General of Tajikistan for the reintroduction of the death penalty, and expressed concern over recent discussions related to removing the bans on capital punishment in some other OSCE participating States. “Countries in the OSCE have committed themselves to consider the complete abolition of capital punishment, not to reconsider that abolition,” the ODIHR Director said. “Yesterday’s call by the Prosecutor General in Tajikistan for the reintroduction of capital punishment in that country is completely out of place in a region where most of the countries recognize the inherently cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of…
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ODIHR Director Link and IHRA Chair Constantinescu, on day to commemorate genocide against Roma and Sinti, say greater efforts needed to protect endangered memorial sites and ensure dignity of victims
WARSAW / BUCHAREST, 2 August 2016 – Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), called today for greater efforts to protect endangered memorial sites related to the Roma and Sinti genocide during World War II. Speaking on the occasion of the commemoration of the liquidation of the “Gypsy family camp” at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, when the close to 3,000 remaining Roma and Sinti in the camp were murdered, they stressed that states have to do more to demonstrate their sincere and strong commitment to education about and remembrance of the genocide. “Positively, we have seen increasing attention in recent years…
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OSCE concludes series of training seminars on implementing the National Preventive Mechanism in Kazakhstan
257391 Colin McCullough, OSCE Programme Office in Astana The OSCE Programme Office in Astana concluded a series of two-day training seminars for some 100 members of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) against Torture on 2 August 2016 in Aktobe, Western Kazakhstan. From May to August 2016, participants were trained in Pavlodar, Almaty, Astana and Aktobe on practical aspects of the NPM’s implementation. The training seminars aimed at increasing the transparency and effectiveness of the Mechanism in monitoring, reporting and conducting preventive visits at detention facilities. National experts discussed with the NPM members the working procedures and methodology, challenges in fulfilling human rights obligations and ethical aspects in line with national and international anti-torture standards. Special emphasis was placed on the…
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OSCE/ODIHR and OHCHR train prosecutors and lawyers in Kyrgyzstan on international standards regarding freedom of religion or belief
International standards and the national legal framework on freedom of religion or belief were the focus of two consecutive training events organized jointly by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institution and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Regional Office for Central Asia (ROCA) of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from 25 to 28 July 2016 in Bishkek. The training for 25 prosecutors and 31 defence lawyers from all regions of Kyrgyzstan was provided in close co-operation with the Training Centre for Prosecutors under the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Training Centre for Lawyers. The course covered a wide variety of topics directly relevant to the work of the participants, including recent developments in Kyrgyzstan.…
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OSCE launches first distance human rights course in Ukraine for judges
Andrii Dziubenko The OSCE Project Co-ordinator on 15 July 2016 launched the first distance course in Ukraine on the application of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Developed, designed and produced by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator, the course was finalized after it was successfully piloted on the online platform of the National School of Judges of Ukraine (NSJU). From now the NSJU will have this sustainable tool at its disposal for systematically training judges on applying the case-law of the ECtHR without having to involve extra human or financial resources. Thirty judges from all over Ukraine have already been trained distantly and received their certificates of accomplishment. The content was developed in co-operation with experts on…
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OSCE PA human rights committee Chair Ignacio Sanchez Amor follows up on developments in Turkey
COPENHAGEN, 25 July 2016 – In response to the measures taken by the Turkish authorities following the attempted coup, Ignacio Sanchez Amor (MP, Spain), Chairperson of the OSCE PA Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, issued the following statement today: “I remain concerned by the developments which have been taking place in Turkey since the attempted coup, as expressed in an earlier statement. As I joined the rest of the international community in offering strong support to the restoration of constitutional order, I also warned against reprisals and hasty purges and underscored the need to safeguard democratic institutions. “Unfortunately, the sudden dismissal of thousands of judges, prosecutors, academics, and journalists across the country has challenged human rights standards,…
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Obama to Meet with Mexican President Peña Nieto as State Department Evaluates Mexico’s Human Rights Situation
The meeting takes place at a moment when the State Department is assessing whether the Mexican government has met the human rights conditions in the Merida Initiative. Washington, DC—Tomorrow the presidents of the United States and Mexico will meet at the White House. This meeting takes place at a moment when the State Department is assessing whether the Mexican government has met the human rights conditions in the Merida Initiative—a U.S. security assistance package. Under the Merida Initiative, 15 percent of select funds are conditioned on the State Department reporting to Congress that Mexico is making substantive progress in its respect for human rights within the framework of security operations. read more
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Assembly’s work on migration presented to OSCE ambassadors by Ad Hoc Committee Chair Lombardi at special Permanent Council
VIENNA, 20 July 2016 – Presenting the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s work concerning the refugee and migrant crisis at a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna today, Swiss parliamentarian Filippo Lombardi laid out the Assembly’s plan of action going forward, which includes monitoring the situation on the ground and developing policy recommendations for the OSCE and its participating States. The meeting was convened by the OSCE German Chairmanship to present and discuss the report by Amb. Claude Wild, Chair of the OSCE Informal Working Group Focusing on the Issue of Migration and Refugee Flows. The participants discussed in particular the importance of improving global migration governance and how the OSCE can lend its contribution to promoting regional implementation…
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WOLA Report: Mexico's New Criminal Justice System
There’s Much Left to do Before Celebrating The Mexican government has called its transition to the new adversarial, oral-based criminal justice system a “mission accomplished.” However, much remains to be done for Mexico to enjoy a system that holds perpetrators accountable for crimes while ensuring respect for human rights. Washington, DC­–The Mexican government has called its transition to the new adversarial, oral-based criminal justice system a “mission accomplished.” However, according to a new WOLA report, much remains to be done for Mexico to enjoy a system that holds perpetrators accountable for crimes while ensuring respect for human rights. read more
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Ayotzinapa Case: Negotiations between Mexico and the Inter-American Commission Continue
WOLA and 11 organizations demand a strong mechanism to follow-up on the case In a public letter to Mexican President Peña Nieto, the human rights organizations requested that a mechanism with the terms proposed by the IACHR is established. In a public letter to Mexican President Peña Nieto, WOLA and eleven international and regional human rights organizations urged the Mexican government to create an effective mechanism to follow up on the investigation of the enforced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students. read more
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Third Member of Honduran Environmental Organization COPINH Murdered Since March
Brutal killing of Lesbia Janeth Urquía underscores the deeply troubling pattern of violence against human rights defenders in Honduras Honduran authorities must take meaningful and serious steps to address what appears to be a pattern of repression against human rights defenders. Press Release read more
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Republican House Leadership Signals Shift on Cuba
Broad and bi-partisan support for measures to ease trade and travel restrictions on Cuba led to controversy in the House of Representatives on Wednesday night, and ended with an agreement that signals a shift in the House leadership’s attitude toward Cuba policy change. read more
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Cuba Votes in House of Representatives Expected Tonight
Republicans Take Lead on Cuba Trade and Travel When the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill comes to the House floor, likely on Wednesday, July 6, Republican Members of Congress will take the lead in offering two amendments that would ease travel and trade with Cuba. Debate on the amendments is expected Wednesday evening, with votes on Wednesday or Thursday. Washington, D.C.—When the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill comes to the House floor, likely on Wednesday, July 6, Republican Members of Congress will take the lead in offering two amendments that would ease travel and trade with Cuba. Debate on the amendments is expected Wednesday evening, with votes on Wednesday or Thursday. read more
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WOLA Announces Recipients of its 2016 Human Rights Awards
Honorees Show Unwavering Commitment to Human Rights in the Americas Press Release Washington, D.C.—WOLA (the Washington Office on Latin America) is proud to announce the recipients of its prestigious Human Rights Awards for 2016. Each year, WOLA presents this award to organizations or individuals who exemplify a commitment to WOLA's vision for the future, where human rights and social justice are the foundation for public policy. The 2016 Human Rights Awards recipients have shown unwavering dedication to advancing human rights in the Americas. read more
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