By Guest Writer Mohammad Zayaan
On September 15, 2021, after a hostile takeover, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, leading to one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has witnessed. Thousands of Afghans were displaced from the country and forced to move to different parts of the world to avoid persecution. As a result, some countries developed specific policies, after this unprecedented increase in the refugee influx, some guaranteeing safe haven while others are refusing to accept them.
This article discusses a specific policy change that the UNHCR could bring to help people from Afghanistan who had migrated before September and whose application for refugee status had been rejected by the UNHCR. Apart from a country’s own refugee policy, the UNHCR has a separate mechanism called Refugee Status Determination (RSD) to identify and recognize refugees. This mechanism is based on the Refugee Convention, 1951, the Protocol Related To The Status Of Refugees(1967), and the principle of non-refoulement. It is also used...
By Guest Contributor Farid Noori.
On September 30, 2022, 18-year-old Marzia Mohammadi started somewhat of a different day. A special day, some might say. She was going to take the practice version of Afghanistan’s national university entrance exam in a country where schools are closed for girls past sixth grade. Smart, beautiful, and ambitious, Marzia kept a diary in which she wrote lofty dreams like one day meeting in Paris her favorite author, Elif Shafak, and going for a bike ride. Her entry on September 22 reads:
“When national results are out, Marzia, daughter of Bostan Ali, will score in the top 10.”
Eight days later, while preparing for that same exam, instead of showing the world her talent and grit, Marzia was torn to pieces. A suicide bomber entered the classroom and detonated himself among the students killing Marzia, her cousin Hajar, and 55 other students. Besides being mostly girls, the victims shared another identity: all were Hazara, an ethnicity heir...
By Staff Writer Sydney Smith
Content Warning: sexual violence
On March 9, 2022, Russian soldier Mikhail Romanov barged into the home of a mother in the Kyiv region of Ukraine where brutally he took the life of her husband, forcibly undressed her, and gang raped her with a pistol to her head. The raping took place over three separate occasions while her child bore witness. This horrific story is just one account of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) that has been documented thus far in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A report from the OHCHR identifies 108 allegations of CRSV against women, girls, men and boys from February 24 to May 15, 2022 in eleven Ukrainian cities and in a detention facility in the Russian Federation. Although rape and gang rape are the highest reported allegations, at seventy-eight, CRSV takes on many forms and this report alone includes seven attempted rapes, fifteen forced public strippings, and eight other accounts of sexual torture, sexual...
By Dallin Durtschi, staff writer
Sports teams are sometimes owned by well-known public figures. The Dallas Mavericks are owned by Mark Cuban, Will Ferrell owns part of Los Angeles FC, and last month, the man responsible for ordering the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi also purchased the majority share of Newcastle United, an English Premier League football club. This new owner is none other than Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In October, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), whose chairman is the Saudi Crown Prince, was granted permission by the English Premier League to purchase Newcastle United. Amnesty International has outcried and rejected the Saudi purchase pointing towards the massive human rights implications.
Saudi Human Rights Abuses
Lack of Freedom of Speech
The Saudi State carried out the infamous murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi which is a demonstration of their commitment to rejecting freedom of speech and crushing criticism of the state.
Women’s Rights Abuses
Their women's rights abuses are systematic and heinous. Women are not...
By guest contributor Shelal Lodhi Rajput*
Human Rights Code Red
While the world is dealing with the adverse effects of its own actions, the UN’s climate change panel dropped a bombshell in its latest report. Antonio Guterres termed our climate crisis as a “Code Red for Humanity”. We are on the brink of an impending apocalypse as we have failed time and again, gentle reminders, half-hearted summits, and conferences have not worked. Maybe the severe warning in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) report will inspire the international community to save what we can.
Our seas are rising, forests burning, our islands are sinking and countries are at risk of catastrophic collapse. The effects of what many experts are calling “climate chaos” are ubiquitous and cannot be overlooked. The 42-page Climate Change 2021 report was authored by 200+ people, referenced over 14,000 climate studies, and was published with support from 195 countries. The climate emergency is a reality facing current and future...
By guest contributor Astha Bhattacharya*
Belarus ratified its new anti-media law in May 2021, primarily aimed at limiting journalists' freedom of expression and quelling protests against the Belarusian government. The new law makes it illegal for the media to report on any unauthorised public gatherings or to publish opinion polls unless the results have been approved by the government. This law also grants the government the authority to shut down media companies without judicial orders, which were previously necessary. Human rights organisations have slammed this law and the subsequent shutdowns of independent media outlets, claiming that the bill is intended to silence the growing criticism against the Belarusian government.
The new law was introduced in the aftermath of the 2020 uprisings against President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since Belarus broke away from the Soviet Union in 1994. There has not been a single free and fair election in Belarus since 1995, according to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Additionally, Lukashenko...
By: Noah Smith, staff writer.
In July 2020, there was a surge in homelessness for refugees and asylum seekers in Athens, Greece due to evictions by the Greek government. “Forcing people to leave their accommodation without a safety net and measures to ensure their self-reliance may push many into poverty and homelessness,” warned UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic. “Recognized refugees have to vacate much-needed accommodation for asylum seekers waiting in crowded reception facilities on the Greek Aegean islands. Over
31,000 women, men, and children live in five island reception centers with capacity for fewer than 6,000,” said Mahecic. However, the UNHCR has expressed their concerns that government aid for many recognized refugees is ending far too soon and before they have access to employment and social welfare programs. In total, the government of Greece has evicted 8,000 recognized refugees from camps and
accommodations across the country. The first phase of evictions led to nearly 200 people sleeping in Victoria Square in Athens, where...
By guest contributor: Apurva Ambasth*
Discrimination and vilification of members of the LGBTQ+ community are not untoward or unheard of, rather it is, in fact, one of the most commonplace occurrences around the globe. The rights of the LGTBQ+ Community are in danger due to increasingly violent rhetoric in Poland. One-third of the country, around 100 municipalities have declared themselves “LGBTQ+ free zones.”
This article discusses the situation of the LGBTQ+ community in Poland and provides an insight into the deteriorating relationship between Poland and the European Union due to its discriminatory policies.
Political Homophobia in Poland
The right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), won the parliamentary election in October 2019 for a second term. One of the major themes of the election campaign of the party revolved around the opposition of civil partnerships, same-sex marriage, and adoption rights for same-sex couples. The party finds its ally in the Roman Catholic Church for promoting “traditional family values” and establishing Polish national values. A poignant...
By guest contributors: Shubhangi Verma* and Anushka Verma**
With new advancements in technology, we are on the cusp of a new age of revolution. New innovations keep on arriving in leaps and bounds, but these advancements carry with them some callous and fiendish predicaments.
In Greek mythology Pegasus refers to a white horse with wings, coming from heaven, which symbolizes peace and stability in life. In contrast to the real meaning enshrined in Greek mythology, Pegasus spyware, developed by Israeli cyber giant NSO Group Technologies is wreaking havoc internationally. Its most distressing role includes tracking human rights defenders, journalists, and government officials.
Pegasus spyware has the ability to take full control of individuals’ mobile phones including accessing messages, phone numbers, videos, and locations. It even allows hackers to read encrypted messages. Pegasus developed zero-click installations in which attackers could enable the spyware in a mobile phone without any interaction by the phone’s owner.
NSO earlier claimed that Pegasus is exclusively used by Government intelligence...
By guest contributor, Akshita Tiwary*
Recently, Hungary has been in the news for adopting a slew of legislation in the past year that severely curbs the rights of the LGBTQ community. The Prime Minister of the country, Mr. Viktor Orban, and his right-wing political party ‘Fidesz’ have been accused of eroding democracy on several fronts, including attacking LGBTQ rights. This article aims to discuss three of these legislations and highlight how these laws contradict Hungary’s own Constitution and violate international human rights legal standards. Further, it also sheds light on certain legal precedents and measures that can be helpful in tackling this issue.
THE CONTROVERSIAL LAWS
On June 15, 2021, the National Assembly of Hungary passed Bill Number T/16365. This law prohibits children under 18 years of age from being exposed to any content (educational or otherwise) that promotes an understanding of sexual and gender diversity. This bill forms part of a broader law that seeks to restrict pedophilia and sexual crimes against...