Professor Freedman’s latest piece on the UN Human Rights Council for the Conversation
The wave of reports about abuses perpetrated by aid sector workers in Haiti and elsewhere, including allegations of the abuse of children, should sadly come as little surprise. International actors frequently fall into the gaps between national, regional and international law, and therefore need internal measures to ensure that they adhere to international standards. And of all the players in international interventions, NGOs perhaps need them the most.
Many Rohingya people who have fled the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar are now living as refugees in Bangladesh. And now, the two countries have reportedly struck a deal to return them home. Returning Rohingya people to the hands of their persecutors not only violates international law, but raises fundamental questions about how the world protects those fleeing the most heinous crimes and abuses.
For the first time in the court’s history, the UK will not have a judge sitting at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Christopher Greenwood, who was seeking a second nine-year term, pulled out of the race on November 20, allowing India’s candidate to take the contested seat. This follows weeks of conflict and tension, with a sizeable majority of the UN General Assembly having voted in favour of Judge Dalveer Bhandari. The situation reveals a lot about the internal politics of the UN – because it was politics, not candidate suitability, that determined this recent election.
Professor Freedman’s latest piece with Nicolas Lemay-Hébert is available to read at The Conversation.
When one thinks of human rights in Africa, The Gambia might spring to mind as an example of a country with a domestic record of grave violations. It is therefore rather surprising that the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights continues to be located in the country’s capital Banjul.
For the first seven years of its existence the commission’s hometown provided it with strong ideological support for its work. But in 1994 President Yahya Jammeh seized power. Since then the commission’s location has undermined its credibility and practical utility. Read more
Rosa has co-authored an invited article on the Haiti Cholera Case with Nicolas Lemay-Hebert for Questions of International Law, an open-source peer-reviewed e-journal which aims to foster the debate on questions of public international law by providing a dynamic platform for scholars and practitioners.
Another UN human rights report has been released about Israel and the human rights abuses it perpetrates in the Occupied Territories – yet another report that highlights ongoing violations of international law and that criticises state actors and organs, greeted with yet another symbolic resolution at the UN in Geneva. And of course, all the usual suspects are up in arms. Read more
Following an explosion at a gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, the body of a local businessman was found alongside a flag bearing Islamic inscriptions. Several suspects have been arrested, one of whom was thought to be known to police. Read more
Once again, the Human Rights Council has been hijacked to promote the agendas of states who are trying to undermine the very same human rights the UN is supposed to protect.
A recently circulated draft resolution on “protection of the family” looks likely to be passed by the council, even though the text clearly plays into the hands of countries trying to make it legitimate to oppress individuals based on their gender or sexual orientation. Read more