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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The Fate of Afghan Women after the US Withdrawal: A Legal Analysis

The Fate of Afghan Women after the US Withdrawal: A Legal Analysis

By guest contributors Ashutosh Anand* and Kaustubh Kumar**   INTRODUCTION The deal between the US and the Taliban signed in February 2020 stated that the US and its allies would withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan within 14 months. On August 31, 2021, all American forces have already withdrawn from Afghanistan, which has consequently unleashed havoc on the rights of Afghani women. When the US and its allies waged war on Afghanistan, the defense of women’s rights was one of their prime reasons to justify their invasion and subsequent occupation. The post-Taliban constitution, enacted in 2004, provided women with most of the basic human and civil rights. Moreover, under American troops’ presence, the post-Taliban regime followed a liberal policy towards women by providing access to healthcare, education, and work. For women’s empowerment in politics, the government also offered a 27 percent reservation of seats for women in Wolesi Jirga (House of People) of Afghanistan, which helped uproot the conservative mindset for women in Afghan...
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Finding Refuge: An NGOs Mission to End the Homelessness of Migrants, Refugees, & Asylum Seekers in Athens, Greece

Finding Refuge: An NGOs Mission to End the Homelessness of Migrants, Refugees, & Asylum Seekers in Athens, Greece

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...
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Pegasus: A Clampdown on Global Democracy and Human Rights?

Pegasus: A Clampdown on Global Democracy and Human Rights?

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. BACKGROUND 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...
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Violation of International Laws and Women’s Rights: Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the Price of Peace

Violation of International Laws and Women’s Rights: Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the Price of Peace

By guest contributor Shelal Lodhi Rajput, a student at Symbiosis Law School.  Uncertain certainties: An eclipse on human rights A country torn apart by war, a country that has seen 40 years of war, a country often referred to as ‘graveyard of empires,’ a country with the shattered dream of peace and a country with a million dollar question i.e., ‘Will the war ever end’? The country is Afghanistan, where things are going from bad to worse with the withdrawal of United States Combat troops. Once again history is repeating itself as the return of the Taliban spell suggests an end to civil liberty, basic human rights, prominently rights of women, and once again the regime of Talibanned as it existed in Afghanistan from 1996-2001. Previously, the Taliban regime banned several innocuous activities including kite flying, makeup artists and musicians. The Taliban’s return to power is evident with every passing day, their insurgencies are increasing day by day and with the alarming rate...
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Qatar 2022 : A World Cup Built on Blood

Qatar 2022 : A World Cup Built on Blood

By guest contributors Abhishek Ranjan* and Shruti Yadav*   This year in March, Germany lined up in Duisburg for their first Group J qualifying match against Iceland, donning jerseys with letters spelling 'HUMAN RIGHTS' embossed on each jersey. Norway's players organized a protest of the same kind in the same week before their match against Gibraltar, wearing T-shirts with the message "Human rights, on and off the pitch." During the national anthem, the Norwegian players also raised five fingers in reference to Article 5 of the Human Rights Act, which stipulates that "everyone has the right to liberty and security of person." The 22nd FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Qatar in 2022, has been the subject of intense scrutiny and controversy since Qatar was given the right to host the quadrennial football tournament in 2010. The hosting rights acquired by this Gulf nation have often instigated disputes ranging from accusations of misconduct in tenders and acquisition of rights to allegations of mass...
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Rerouted, Rerooted: Oral Histories of Syrian-Armenian Refugees

Rerouted, Rerooted: Oral Histories of Syrian-Armenian Refugees

By Larissa Peltola, Editor, RightsViews.   The Armenian Genocide, which took place 106 years ago, today, claimed the lives of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians. While people around the world are now more aware of what occurred in 1915, following a global push for recognition of the genocide, few are aware of the lasting implications of the genocide which have carried on to this day. HRSMA alumna Anoush Baghdassarian (‘19) and Pomona College graduate Ani Schug (‘17) have undertaken the important and necessary work of collecting the oral histories of Syrian-Armenian refugees - the descendants of genocide survivors - to keep the memories of those who have perished alive. What was the Armenian Genocide?  Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish lawyer who coined the term genocide, was moved to do so after hearing about the systematic annihilation of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Before WWI, Armenians - in what is now Turkey - totaled over two million. But by 1922, there were fewer than...
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A Year After Jamal Khashoggi’s Assassination, The War On Truth Continues

A Year After Jamal Khashoggi’s Assassination, The War On Truth Continues

By: Kyoko Thompson, staff writer at RightsViews “A commission is coming from Saudi Arabia tomorrow; they have something to do in the Consulate. They will have something to do on my floor in the office.” - October 1 2018, 21:48 At 1:15 PM on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, Washington Post contributor and longtime journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and was never seen again. His death was not the first of its kind. According to the United Nations, more than one thousand journalists have been murdered since 2006. Yet it drew international attention from governments and individuals alike, many of whom demanded justice. The events that followed challenged the limits of international law and U.S. foreign policy. One year later, an investigation yields more questions than answers, such as: What does justice for Khashoggi look like? Is his death a manifestation of a deeper, more insidious trend? And: What is the future of free speech in an era...
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Gaza On Screen: An Interview with Film Festival Curator, Nadia Yaqub

Gaza On Screen: An Interview with Film Festival Curator, Nadia Yaqub

By: Laura Charney, RightsViews Staff Writer This April, the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University hosted the “Gaza on Screen” film festival highlighting films made by Gazans and about Gaza. Curated by Dr. Nadia Yaqub, “Gaza on Screen” offered an invitation to not only bear witness to the lived struggles and resilience of Gazans, but also the opportunity to engage the ways that Gazans articulate and envision their own experiences. For over twenty years, Palestinian film festivals across North America and Europe have brought Palestinian stories to international audiences. However, Palestinians in Gaza face particularly prohibitive measures that inhibit the communication of their stories. Since 2007, Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza, controlling its airspace, coastline, and borders, and restricting the movement of goods and humans entering or leaving the territory. It was not until this past April at Columbia University that a film festival focusing exclusively on Gazan stories came to life. In an attempt to shine light on the...
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Technology and Privacy in Refugee Aid

Technology and Privacy in Refugee Aid

By: Parima Kadikar, guest contributor. Parima is a rising senior at Columbia College studying Middle Eastern Studies and Human Rights. In an exceedingly digital world, humanitarian aid for refugees is being revolutionized by technological innovation. International non-profit organizations and UN agencies have begun to employ strategies like biometric scanning and blockchain technology to streamline aid delivery and prevent identity fraud. While these strides are noteworthy examples of progress, it is also important to address the potential privacy concerns that could result. In the context of conversations sparked by the Patriot Act-- Congress’s response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which expanded federal jurisdiction over private data and communications for the purpose of intelligence gathering-- and, more recently, by the Cambridge Analytica data-mining campaign which harvested the data of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge or consent for conservative political campaigning, many Americans are protective of both their physical and digital privacy. The evidence of this can be seen from taped webcams...
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