Human Rights

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The Value of Life

The right to life has been described by the UN Human Rights Committee as ‘the supreme right’. Its realisation is the precondition for the exercise of all other rights. Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that: ‘Every human being has the inherent right to life.’ The right to life does not merely protect continued physical existence; according to the Committee, it protects ‘life with dignity’. Every one of the more than seven billion people on the planet, thus, equally, has the right to a life with dignity. This is the simple and radical concept that forms the foundation of human rights. The right to life is not absolute, but it allows for the deprivation of life only under extreme circumstances. Traditional belief systems have for centuries allowed and even in some cases mandated human sacrifice, honour killings, and using force to defend the glory of their deities. Those holding power in societies around the world have not hesitated to kill in order to assert their…

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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…

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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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