Courts and Global Norms on Freedom of Expression

Courts and Global Norms on Freedom of Expression

By RightsViews Staff Writer Carina Goebelbecker Is it fake news, fact, or some form of the truth? Freedom of expression holds space for all these possibilities. The “Courts and Global Norms on Freedom of Expression” two-part conference programmed by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression illuminated all these possibilities and their implications within a larger national and international setting. The streamed session on Thursday October 21st explored the cultural context of freedom of expression and how norms intersect with policy, practices, and beliefs. Columbia Global Freedom of Expression was founded in 2014 with the intention of connecting international professionals and activists with their communities and networks of support. The goals of the conference were for the speakers to share their experiences with courts to the public and to promote dialogue. Columbia University President and Founder of the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression Lee C. Bollinger delivered the opening remarks, noting how global norms of freedom of expression have been established and continue to...
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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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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...
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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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An Alternative Path Forward: Pivoting LGBTI Rights to Corporate Korea

An Alternative Path Forward: Pivoting LGBTI Rights to Corporate Korea

By guest contributor Haley Son*   On 14 June 2021, for the first time in over a decade, South Korea’s lawmakers agreed to hear proposed national laws geared toward protecting the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people. While these bills have garnered international support, prospects for passage of an anti-discrimination bill are dim due to intense lobbying by conservative factions and faith groups. Given the challenges of LGBTI equality under South Korea’s legal framework, an alternative avenue would be for corporate Korea to implement LGBTI rights based on global standards in the meantime.  South Korea, the world’s 10th largest economy, still has no laws preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, making it a rarity among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in that regard. The South Korean Constitution, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (the “UDHR”), sets forth global human rights standards, such as establishing legal equality between the sexes, and prohibiting political, economic, and social discrimination on...
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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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Inadequacy of Laws Against Cross-Border Sex Trafficking Between Nepal and India

Inadequacy of Laws Against Cross-Border Sex Trafficking Between Nepal and India

By guest contributor Ayush Kumar* Globalisation has caused the emergence of new technologies that facilitate trade and transport, making business more rewarding. A negative ramification of this change is the proliferation of cross-border human trafficking. The UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) defines Human Trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of people through force, fraud, or deception, intending to exploit them for profit.” Men, women, and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. There are nearly 36 million victims of human trafficking in the world, out of which two-thirds are from Asia, making it the third-largest crime in magnitude and profit after arms and drug trafficking. With Covid-19, the situation is anticipated to turn grimmer. Open Borders: A Facilitating Factor Nepal is an indispensable neighbour of India because of its cultural, historical, and economic connections. It also holds a vital place in India’s foreign policy...
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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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