Human Rights

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Learning from US Streets / A moment of reckoning

Around the world, people are following in the steps of the US street, protesting in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd against racism and police violence.  The anguish, outcry and anger that started in Minneapolis resonate globally, reaching into the corridors of multi-lateral institutions too. How are we international human rights experts to respond? Our response has begun, of course. Thanks to the leadership of our colleagues working against racism and for the rights of persons of African descent, in an unprecedented effort the UN human rights special procedures came together to stress that police violence in the United States sits within a complex history of racial terror and that it is systemic racism that breeds state-sponsored racial violence, giving license also to its impunity. Placing police violence within its economic, political and social contexts, they have supported calls for the rollback of the staggering scale of police and military budgets and for urgent reparative intervention to address racial injustice. But…

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Institutionalisation and Deprivation of Legal Capacity: This is how Hungary is Violating the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

NGOs have long been sounding the alarm that Hungary is seeing a rise of persons with disabilities being deprived of their human right to equal recognition before the law, and are continuously subjected to guardianship and institutionalisation. It is known that laws and practices linked to disability have a substantial negative impact…

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The WHO: The Guardian of Human Rights during Pandemics?

On May 18, President Trump tweeted a 4-page letter addressed to the WHO, threatening to cut funding to the organization and reconsider the United States’ membership within it. One of the reasons for these threats was the WHO’s reaction to China’s alleged human rights violations. President Trump accused the WHO of ‘being conspicuously silent [ with ]…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 3 – Hacked Off!

In the latest episode of EJIL: The Podcast! is now available. This episode focuses on the application of international law to cyber operations by states and non-state actors. For this discussion, Sarah, Nouwen, Marko Milanovic and I are joined by Harriet Moynihan (Chatham House), and Tilman Rodenhäuser (International Committee of…

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The Elephant in the (Court)Room: Interdependence of Human and Animal Rights in the Anthropocene

On 21 May 2020, the Islamabad High Court issued a remarkable judgment in the case of Kaavan the elephant (among other “inmates” [8] of the Marghazar Zoo), affirming “without any hesitation” that “animals have legal rights” [59]. Chief Justice Athar Minallah held that the “pain and suffering of Kaavan must come to an end”, and ordered his…

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