How Should We Look at War?

How Should We Look at War?

By guest contributor Julie Uszpolewicz* There is nothing as powerful in making the viewer realise the atrocity and the suffering of war, as an image. Statistics are too dehumanising, words leave too much to the imagination, but photography has the rare power of being apparently objective. However, looking at documented conflicts has been criticised by several post-modernist thinkers (such as Jean Baudillard) as being passive. In the contemporary world of social media, we are faced with images of horror more than we have ever been before, therefore, perhaps the question of the role of photography requires revisiting. Is there a right way to look at the war in the reality that is saturated with photographs of distant conflicts and human rights abuses? Perhaps this article will raise more doubts than give answers, but it seems worthwhile to stop for a second and ask what kind of pictures we are bombarded within the news. The question of ethics in political photography is nothing...
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The Point of No Return: Climate Apocalypse, Human Rights: Code Red

The Point of No Return: Climate Apocalypse, Human Rights: Code Red

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...
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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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Hungarian Curtailment of LGBTQ Rights: A Critical Analysis

Hungarian Curtailment of LGBTQ Rights: A Critical Analysis

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...
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It’s High Time to Upgrade Consumer Rights to Human Rights

It’s High Time to Upgrade Consumer Rights to Human Rights

By guest contributor Swetha Somu* The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a series of misleading advertisements claiming to cure and protect us from the deadly virus. As a result, the consumer protection regulatory authorities across the world have sprung into action by identifying and taking down false and inaccurate advertisements. Consumer rights in the pandemic era "A consumer is a shopper who is sore about something."  - Harold Coffin Coffin is no entrepreneur but a humor columnist and yet his famous quote aptly portrays why a consumer is a consumer. He asserts that a consumer is someone who has a problem or is made to think that he has one and that it can be resolved only if he buys a particular product. The need for an international instrument addressing consumer rights was strongly advocated for back in 1985 which subsequently led to the adaptation of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP). It was later revised in 1999, however, only recently in 2015, UNGA’s resolution...
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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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UK’s Overseas Operations Bill: A Pretext for Abuse or a Protection for War Veterans?

UK’s Overseas Operations Bill: A Pretext for Abuse or a Protection for War Veterans?

By guest contributor, Indrasish Majumder* In 2019, the British government attempted to pass a bill that would prevent British soldiers from being prosecuted for crimes committed while serving abroad. The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill (“Operations Bill”) was introduced in light of some UK operations in Iraq and Afghanistan which prompted an unprecedented number of criminal cases against British soldiers years after these operations. The UK government argued that the allegations raised were baseless and that it had proposed the Bill to shield its troops from false accusations. The Operations Bill seeks to safeguard British personnel by establishing a five-year statute of limitations on prosecution of suspected crimes committed by British troops while stationed outside British territory. It also sets time restrictions for such cases as well as claims brought under the Human Rights Act of 1998. The Operations Bill has been criticised for being unconstitutional and misleading, and it has been claimed that it breaches obligations of the UK government under international human rights,...
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The Vital Role of Women in Peacebuilding

The Vital Role of Women in Peacebuilding

By Susy Prochazka, RightsViews staff writer and graduate student in the human rights MA program. In modern conflicts, women make up the majority of those displaced from their homes and communities, endure more property and economic damages, and suffer extreme physical harm and sexual violence at the hands of militia groups, but peace negotiations fail to incorporate their voices. Despite being those most harmed by conflict and regardless of evidence that their meaningful participation is vital in implementing a lasting peace, women are consistently and conspicuously absent from the peacebuilding process.  Last year marked the 20-year anniversary of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1325, which recognized, for the first time, the unique impact conflict has on women and the critical role women play in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Resolution 1325 emphatically stressed the importance of women’s leadership and meaningful participation in conflict resolution and repeatedly reaffirmed the necessity of women’s “full, equal and meaningful participation” in peace processes. Even with the adoption...
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