All the World’s a Stage: Accessibility and Theatrical Spaces

All the World’s a Stage: Accessibility and Theatrical Spaces

By RightsViews Staff Writer Carina Goebelbecker   Theater is a heartbeat of community. Theaters are a microcosm of society, situating audience members within entrenched social and cultural dynamics, while allowing them to imagine and empathize with characters onstage. Despite 26% of adult Americans having some type of disability, theaters are traditionally not accessible to disabled people, an extension of the challenges disabled folks face when navigating their daily routines. If all the world’s a stage, it should be an accessible one.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of the most prominent pieces of legislation relating to disability. The ADA National Network defines disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” However, disability is more contextual. In the journal article “Disability Worlds,” theorists Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp (2013) define disability as “created by the social and material conditions that ‘dis-able’ the full participation of a variety of minds and bodies...the result of negative...
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ECHR and Brexit: Putting the British Human Rights Law into Contex

ECHR and Brexit: Putting the British Human Rights Law into Contex

By  RightsViews Staff Writer Lindsey Alpaugh    On December 13th, Dominic Raab outlined a “sweeping overhaul” of the current Human Rights Act in the United Kingdom. Raab, who serves as Deputy Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Justice, and Lord Chancellor, said that “the reforms will strengthen “typically British rights” and add a “healthy dose of common sense” to the interpretation of legislation and rulings.” It was revealed earlier this year that Raab, said, “I don’t support the Human Rights Act and I don’t believe in economic and social rights,” in a previously unreleased tape from 2009. The original piece of legislation was introduced in 1998, and permitted the European Convention on Human Rights to be implemented as domestic legislation. The legislation entails provisions including “basic rights to a fair trial, life and freedom from ill treatment - and protections against discrimination or unfair interference in private and family life.” The United Kingdom was the first signatory to that convention. Additionally, the United...
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Rwanda’s National Security Approach to COVID-19

Rwanda’s National Security Approach to COVID-19

By guest contributor & HRSMA alumnus Dr. Laine Munir   The Rwandan capital's military compound of Camp Kigali, once the site of tragic violence during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, is now a site for saving lives during the omicron variant of COVID-19. It is Rwanda's leading vaccination site that undergirds the country's impressive success in managing the pandemic. There have been fewer than 1,400 COVID deaths in the second most population-dense country in Africa. Daily infections continue to decrease, thanks mainly to Rwanda's swift response to social distancing measures and its capacity to build on its foundational pre-pandemic vaccination programs (WHO 2021). Over 30% of the total population has been vaccinated to date, more than twice the continent's rate as a whole, and booster shots are currently available (Kyobutungi 2021). These are not only remarkable public health outcomes but also a statement on national security. The Rwandan National Police and the national army, the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF), have a ubiquitous...
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When Football Fails Human Rights

When Football Fails Human Rights

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...
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The Taliban Takeover: A Recurring Nightmare for the Hazaras?

The Taliban Takeover: A Recurring Nightmare for the Hazaras?

By guest contributor, Devrishi Tyagi* In the month of August, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, following the fall of the previous government. Ever since the takeover, there has been a rising fear among the people of Afghanistan and the international community, of an increase in human rights violations in the region. One of these fears is the persecution of the Hazaras by the Taliban. The Hazaras are said to be the descendants of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol empire. The ethnic group makes up anywhere from 15-20 percent of Afghanistan’s total population, making them one of the biggest and most important minority groups in the country. The history of the persecution of Hazaras is rooted in religious and ideological differences between two Islamic groups. In the late 19th century, the Sunni leader Pashtun leader Amir Abdul Rahman ordered the killing of all Shias in the country and as a result, the Hazaras were targeted for being one of the biggest...
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Ethiopia’s Year Long Tigray Conflict Advances to the Capital

Ethiopia’s Year Long Tigray Conflict Advances to the Capital

By RightsViews Staff Writer Emily Ekshian A year of conflict rages across the border in Ethiopia, constituting a genocidal war against the non-Oromo peoples of the region. The Ethiopian government launched a military offensive in the north, and is fighting opposition forces in Tigray, closing off the region. Ethiopia’s yearlong Tigray conflict threatens to tear the country apart. Tensions emerged between the Ethiopian Federal Government troops and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), where the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, executed a military offensive against the ruling faction in Tigray on November 4, 2020. Thus, in the north, Tigray rebels are fighting Ethiopian government forces and their allies. Tigray, where most of the fighting has been happening, is located in the North, where the government is called the Tigray People's Liberation Front. The government even has its own regional army - militias and special forces. The TPLF ran the country for almost 30 years, even though they made up a minority, only 6%....
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Extraterritorial Corporate Accountability for Transnational Human Rights Violations: SCOTUS Ruling in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe et al

Extraterritorial Corporate Accountability for Transnational Human Rights Violations: SCOTUS Ruling in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe et al

By guest contributors, Priya Garg* and Krati Gupta**   Consequent to an arduous legal battle spanning over more than fifteen years, the Supreme Court of the United States of America (“SCOTUS/Supreme Court”) on June 17, 2021, reversed the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe et al. (together with Cargill, Inc. v. Doe) (“Nestle”) that allowed the respondents, a group of Mali citizens to implicate U.S.-based multinational food corporations, Nestle USA and Cargill for child slavery allegations under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”).  Enacted as a part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, the ATS confers jurisdiction upon the federal courts of U.S. to hear lawsuits filed by non-U.S. citizens for tortious violations of customary international law or a treaty of the United States. The claimants in Nestle were a group of Malian citizens who brought about claims under the ATS that they were trafficked to the Ivory Coast and tortured to work as child slaves...
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How is Climate Change Affecting Southern Madagascar? The Climate Crisis and Extreme Drought

How is Climate Change Affecting Southern Madagascar? The Climate Crisis and Extreme Drought

By RightsViews Staff Writer  Emily Ekshian MADAGASCAR - Four years of prolonged drought has taken a toll on Madagascar as the country is on the brink of the world’s first climate change-induced famine. Madagascar is an island-nation off the southeastern coast of Africa. Currently, the country is suffering from a destructive drought, where more than a million people are left food insecure and 400,000 people are confronted with a famine in the south, the epicenter of the crisis.  The drought poses an imminent threat to the right to life, and opportunities for health, access to clean water, sanitation and food of people in southern Madagascar. As the crisis intensifies , people in the south have been left with no other choice than to  migrate in search of food. Tens of thousands of people were already suffering from the catastrophic levels of hunger and food insecurity after four years without rain. The drought has played a role in isolating farming communities, generating water...
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The Question of Constitutionality, International Law and Women’s Protection after Turkey’s Withdraws from Istanbul Convention

The Question of Constitutionality, International Law and Women’s Protection after Turkey’s Withdraws from Istanbul Convention

By guest contributors Sarthak Gupta* The ‘Istanbul Convention’ officially referred to as the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence is the first legally enforceable international instrument in Europe addressingviolence against women. Turkey was the first country to sign the Convention in 2011. In 2012, on International Women Day, the Turkish Parliament overwhelmingly adopted the Convention, and the Law on the Protection of the Family and the Prevention of Violence Against Women (Law No. 6284) was enacted to integrate the Convention into domestic legislation. In March 2021, Turkey also became the first nation to withdraw from the Convention, ironically that too on International Women’s Day, following its 10th anniversary.  This withdrawal came during the time Covid-19 pandemic when women were more vulnerable to domestic violence. Istanbul Security Directorate statistics stated that there has been a 38% increase incases of domestic violence since March 2020. As per the Turkish Federation of Women’s Association, the physical violence...
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Political Apologies Database: Discussion with the Historical Dialogues Justice & Memory Network Seminar Series

Political Apologies Database: Discussion with the Historical Dialogues Justice & Memory Network Seminar Series

By: Lindsey Alpaugh, staff writer. On Tuesday, October 12th, the Historical Dialogues, Justice, and Memory Network Seminar Series hosted a discussion via Zoom, “Trends in Political Apologies Across the World: Insights From the Political Apologies Database,” featuring Dr. Juliette Schaafsma and Ph.D. Candidate Marieke Zoodsma from Tilburg University. Dr. Schaafsma and Zoodsma spoke about the nature of political apologies, as well as their recently launched resource, the Political Apologies Database. The database is part of a larger project the scholars are conducting, funded by the European Research Center, looking into the key questions surrounding political apologies.  The researchers began their lecture by outlining the larger discussion around political apologies. As states offer, or are asked to offer, political apologies for human rights violations, they may face skepticism or criticism for their motivations. Questions of sincerity, and how this apology might relate to norms of governance emerge for both those affected by the human rights violations, as well as the public at large....
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