Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Rights with Ajita Banerjie: The Right to Love

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Rights with Ajita Banerjie: The Right to Love

By RightsViews Staff Writer Sydney Smith On March 10 2022, SOGI rights researcher and activist Ajita Banerjie (she/they) spoke about the legacy of the landmark Supreme Court of India decision, Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India. On September 6, 2018, in a unanimous decision by the court, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (1860), which criminalized unnatural sex between two individuals, was considered unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated the rights to expression, equality, privacy, and human dignity.  Banerjie details three reasons why this judgment is unique. First, the judgement not only decriminalized same sex acts, but went above and beyond to recognize LGBTQIA+ members as equal rights-holding citizens who deserve a life free of persecution. Second, the judgment offered an expansive interpretation of the right to privacy. The court recognized Section 377’s unreasonable restriction on privacy and freedom of choice. Additionally, privacy was no longer only relevant in the private sphere; rather, the court recognized social privacy and...
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Ghost Children in South Korea: Call for International Solidarity for the Implementation of Universal Birth Registration

Ghost Children in South Korea: Call for International Solidarity for the Implementation of Universal Birth Registration

By Guest Contributor So Yeon Kim*   “I have lived in South Korea as a ghost. I want to be acknowledged as a living person,” said Marina in her interview in Children That Exist but Don’t Exist. In contrast to her peers who were preparing for the college entrance exam, turning 18 did not mean one step towards her future; instead, it has been a cause of her anxiety. When she turns 19, she could get kicked out of South Korea where she was born, and be moved to Mongolia, the homeland of her parents but a foreign country to her. Marina is a stateless, undocumented migrant child in South Korea.   South Korea has seen a steady increase in the number of migrants that come to achieve the “Korean Dream” and migrants have become an integral part of the economy. South Korea also saw a deep increase in the number of asylum seekers since the implementation of its own domestic Refugee Act in...
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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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NYCHA’s Public Housing Fosters Crime, Poverty and Dreadful Living Conditions

NYCHA’s Public Housing Fosters Crime, Poverty and Dreadful Living Conditions

By Staff Writer Emily Ekshian   GRANT HOUSES, MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS - Is the government truly concerned, or are they simply clustering low income communities together to keep them immobile, and in one space?  The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), has a profound legacy as the country’s first government - sponsored public housing agency. Established in 1935, the 334 housing developments provided by NYCHA include apartment units, houses and shared small building units across New York City’s five boroughs. And the agency’s core mission is to provide decent, safe, and affordable housing primarily for low income New Yorkers, though tenants at the Grant Houses would disagree.   Casually leaning on an NYPD smart car on the collapsed curbside area facing 50 La Salle St, Officer Kang guards the Grant Public housing apartment park, where a shooting occurred down the street just about a week ago. “We’re close to the bottom here,” he says. “Bad living conditions, it tends to get crowded often, and most people are...
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The Rittenhouse Verdict Explained

The Rittenhouse Verdict Explained

By Staff Writer Susanne Prochazka On November 19th, 2021, a jury returned from 27 hours of deliberation and declared 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges he faced after fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during a 2020 night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum (36) an unarmed man who had chased Rittenhouse, and Anthony Huber (26), a demonstrator who had struck him with a skateboard and then lunged for his rifle, and severely wounded a third, Gaige Grosskreutz (now 28) a demonstrator and paramedic who was armed with a Glock pistol. Prosecutors had charged Rittenhouse with five felonies: first degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon; first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon; first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon; first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon; and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. A sixth charge, possession of a dangerous weapon by a...
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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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Deaf Gain: From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to New York Public Schools

Deaf Gain: From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to New York Public Schools

By Carina Goebelbecker, staff writer  Marvel made history by debuting its first Deaf Superhero, Makkari, into its cinematic universe in the movie Eternals. Makkari, played by Deaf Brooklynite Lauren Ridloff, is a character who has super strength and speed. Representation in cinema is incredibly important, for it can lead to the empowerment and agency of the represented communities and their culture. The representation of American Sign Language (ASL) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe should extend to institutions that serve Deaf people, such as public schools. Federal funding should be allocated towards funding for ASL as second language classes in public schools. ASL is referred to as “the third most-used non-English language in the U.S.”, yet ASL classes are extremely difficult to come across in public schools. According to Newsweek, despite the fact that one million people use ASL as their primary language, “98% of Deaf people do not receive education in sign language, 72% of families do not sign with their Deaf children, and 70% of...
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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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