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...
Read More
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....
Read More
A Glance at the Life of Sex Workers in India

A Glance at the Life of Sex Workers in India

By guest contributors Kanika Chugh* and Srishti Ray*   With the advent of COVID-19 we all turned to the safety of our homes and accepted the culture of work from home, but the daily wagers of the informal sector didn’t have that choice and were the worst hit. While the work for most of them resumed with several precautions once the lockdown ended, sex workers in Red Light Areas are still struggling to get their lives back on track. On March 26, 2020 government of India announced Rs.1.7 lakh crore as a relief fund for migrant workers, rural and urban poor, and frontline health workers. There are over 800,000 sex workers in India who could not avail that benefit because sex work is not recognised as legitimate work in India. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on October 7, 2020, issued an advisory requesting that states recognise sex workers as informal workers for protection of their rights in the wake of COVID-19, but it...
Read More
Catastrophe in Colombia: Examining the Police Brutality in Cali

Catastrophe in Colombia: Examining the Police Brutality in Cali

By guest contributors Dhanshitha Ravi* and Rishabh Guha** “...because here it’s easier to rain bullets than put food on tables.” - A Colombian protestor INTRODUCTION In April of 2021, Colombian conservative President Ivan Duque Marquez introduced tax reforms to bridge the fiscal deficit exacerbated by the pandemic which sparked the Paro Nacional 28A protests fueled by rampant corruption and inequality in healthcare across the country, the epicenter of which is traced to Cali. The President, an anathema to the netizens, deployed military personnel, the infamous mobile anti-riot squad (ESMAD) and labelled the peaceful protestors as 'terrorists.' Instances of police brutality were recorded leading to deaths, disappearances, and injuries using unrestrained force - violating human rights, contravening the Colombian Constitution and a multitude of international human rights conventions. BACKGROUND Firstly, in Operation Siloe, the guards used venom-system grenade launchers to fire directly into a candlelight vigil. The Popayan Court had previously ordered that such launchers firing non-lethal armaments like teargas must not be fired directly into...
Read More
The Fukushima Disaster and Indigenous Rights in Japan

The Fukushima Disaster and Indigenous Rights in Japan

By Philip Alexander, a law student at at the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.  Introduction In 2011, the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami destroyed three of the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) six nuclear power plants located in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan, resulting in the emission of several volatile radionuclides into the air and water. Recently, TEPCO announced the Japanese Government’s approval to dispose of 1.25 million tonnes of decontaminated radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean over the next two years. Presently, the wastewater is treated by the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) operated by Toshiba and Hitachi General Nuclear Electric before disposal. The ALPS has been qualified as an inefficient method in treating radioactive waste as 72% of the water in storage tanks were required to be processed a second time. Additionally, researchers at the University of Nagoya found the presence of high quantities of Cesium-137 and Carbon-14 in the accumulated groundwater. The ALPS cannot filter Carbon-14, implying that the...
Read More
Examining the Legal Implications and Ramifications of the New Bounty-Hunting Texas Abortion Law

Examining the Legal Implications and Ramifications of the New Bounty-Hunting Texas Abortion Law

By guest contributor Astha Bhattacharya*   Despite a new era of pro-choice feminism overtaking the globe, Texas has passed Senate Bill No. 8, instituting one of the world's most stringent abortion bans. The bill, dubbed the "fetal heartbeat bill," outlaws all abortions after the "first detectable heartbeat." In this piece, I'll take a two-pronged approach to the legislation. First, I'll go over the scientific and medical challenges that the law presents. Then I'll show how the law infringes on women and their globally recognized human and reproductive rights, primarily targeting certain groups of women. SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE Science can't say with certainty when an embryo becomes a "human being." Researchers have recognized up to five distinct developmental stages, any of which could be a viable starting place for human life. The fourth step, which is viability, is clearly ascertainable. The point at which a fetus can successfully survive outside of the uterus with medical assistance is known as viability. This is the stage that the...
Read More
The Letter Condemning Criticism Against ICC’s Decisions: An Attempt to Stifle Free Speech

The Letter Condemning Criticism Against ICC’s Decisions: An Attempt to Stifle Free Speech

By guest contributor Pravah Ranka, a student at Gujarat National Law University. Introduction More than 50 former foreign ministers, prime ministers, and top international officials, including two former British Conservative ministers, have signed an open letter condemning political interference in efforts by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged war crimes in Palestine. They state that attempts to delegitimize the International Criminal Court and hinder its operation will not be accepted if global justice is to be ensured. They have further stated that “the ICC must be shielded from any external pressures or threats including refraining from public criticism of the ICC’s decisions, which could contribute to undermining the independence of the court and public trust in its authority." Regardless of the alleged greater good it aims to achieve, the letter holds the potential to trample upon the civil liberties guaranteed by international law to the public at large. In this context, it is argued that the open letter is inconsistent...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
Recognition of “Marital Rape” As a Valid Ground for Divorce – An Affirmative Step towards Marital Equality and Women’s Rights in India

Recognition of “Marital Rape” As a Valid Ground for Divorce – An Affirmative Step towards Marital Equality and Women’s Rights in India

By guest contributor Yamika Khanna* The Madras High Court in a remarkable judgment (case name was redacted due to the sensitive nature) upheld that marital rape, although not penalized under the Indian Penal Code, is a valid ground to claim divorce. The judgment is a light at the end of a very dark tunnel in recognizing the heinous nature of marital rape as a gross violation of bodily autonomy, privacy, and dignity of a married woman, especially under a legal regime that considers non-consensual sexual intercourse with the “wife” by the “husband” as an exception to the crime of rape. An appeal was filed before the Hon'ble Court against the judgment of the Family Court. The Family Court vide its judgment allowed the petition for divorce sought by the wife on the ground of cruelty. The gravest contention of the wife with reference to cruelty against her pertained to the worst forms of sexual perversion including unnatural intercourse against the wife’s will. In...
Read More