CHRI Human Rights Update
Your round up from CHRI on 03/03/2016
To receive a daily update email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our distribution list.
Botswana’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, has gone to to partake in the 31st session for the human rights council in Geneva. Whilst there, ‘member states an opportunity to make submissions on a wide range of human rights issues’.
The Botswanan government who wanted to revoke the refugee status of hundreds of Namibians will now have to wait after an order from the High Court. A hearing will be held deciding the fate of the Namibian refugees.
Erasing 76 Crimes
Walter Atoh, a barrister and member of the Human Rights Commission of the Cameroon Bar Association has spoken up against Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality laws. After holding a workshop on human rights, he called for reform of the legislation.
Martin Amidu, a former Attorney General in Ghana has spoken out against the new Postal Packets and Telecommunication Messages Bill that has been proposed be set into legislation. He says that it will ‘interfere with the fundamental human rights and freedoms’
Alban S.K. Bagbin, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament has in a statement said that 407 000 girls will have been married off under the age of 18 within the next 14 years. He stated that they ‘need to resource various state agencies mandated to protect the human rights of individuals’
The police in Malawi has not yet arrested the people who found alleged grave diggers with human bones in their position and burned them because of allegations of witchcraft.
Ashley Currior and Ebenezer Obadare presented the topic on LGBTI rights and hopmophobia and went specifically into Malawi and showed how negative the image of homosexuality was in the country and the pushback that legislation to legalize and end discrimination on basis of sexuality received.
The Legal Assistance Centre has spoken up against gender based violence after the recent murder of Leticia du Plessis. They have said that police fail to protect and assist victims of domestic violence such as Leticia who had continuously filed complaints against her murderer.
Namibia is resolving to pull out from the ICC after alleging that it targets African leaders, this comes after the South Africa African National Congress made a recommendation to do so. This move has been made to promote others to follow in the footsteps of Namibia.
The Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has called for the media’s help in putting pressure on the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, to restore many parts of the country to normalcy and to protect human rights.
The Nigerian army was criticised by Amnesty International, criticisms that may lead to war crimes allegations against people in the army fighting Boko Haram, even after improvements to its procedures. This, the article argues, shows once more how Amnesty is biased toward countries outside the ‘West’.
The Almajiris in North-East Nigeria are a very vulnerable group who live in a backward area of the country that suffers harassment from Boko Haram, leading to there being many from that group living on the street. They want and need education as much as anyone else in the country and it should be made available to them.
Nigeria and Boko Haram have long been in conflict with each other, however, in 2010, Boko Haram stepped up its offensive and it went into a different stage of the war. There have been multiple human rights abuses and intentional targeting of civilians.
Gay Star News
The Seychelles’ cabinet have decided to strip the ban on homosexuality from its legislation. The previous law could mean prison for up to 14 years, however, this has now been changed.
South Africa is obliged to be reviewed by the Committee as it has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The committee is made up of 18 independent members to look into issues concerning the ICCPR.
South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers called on the UUNHCR in Geneve on Tuesday to combat ‘with renewed vigour the insurgence of extremism, terrorism and other inhumane acts in the world.’
Ugandan police and security forces are beating up journalists and arresting them very frequently. Media is vital for a democratic society and the upholding of rights and have the right to freedom expression.
Voice of America
There is a Supreme Court battle coming up in Uganda concerning the election results where there have been allegations of rigging votes among other things. Additionally, journalists have been continuously arrested, especially since the campaigns started for the presidential election.
There have been various calls from around the world for improved democratic practices in Uganda, as well as multiple allegations of the election that was held was not just and fair.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is fighting to take part in a disciplinary hearing against two Toronto police officers, arguing the case involves racial profiling.
An Ottawa public servant who slapped his boss has been given both his job back, and a $25,000 award for damages to his human rights.
A graduate of a Christian university has been awarded $8,500 by a British Columbia human-rights tribunal that found a company refused to hire her in part because of her religion.
Borden Ladner Gervais
In a new policy released in December 2015 (the “Policy”), the Ontario Human Rights Commission expanded the definition of “creed” in an attempt to capture Ontario’s modern landscape of belief. But how far does it go? A vegan may, for example, consider their veganism to form a central part of their identity. Would this be protected by the Policy? And is veganism as worthy of protection as religious beliefs, for example?
The recent legislation to prevent the forcing of the poorest women in India to clear excrement from other people will not do much unless the underlying sexist and caste biased are focused on as well.
Indian students have fought back strongly against the government’s crackdown on ‘campuses and democracy’. Thousands will march to parliament to demand that the arrested JNU students be released as well as protest the caste discrimination.
A priest in India has been sentence to 40 years in prison after he was convicted of raping a 12 year old girl at his church. He is also being investigated for another similar allegation.
The OHCHR has shown and expressed concern over Malaysia’s crackdown on dissent in the country and its violation of the right to freedom of expression and opinion.
Datuk Seri Anwar will represent himself at court in Malaysia after his legal representative has been allowed less and less visiting time to his client. This has been called ‘unjust’ and ‘absurd’, especially considering the amount of cases that he is faced with.
UNICEF in Malaysia has called for a cooperation between government and society to be able to raise awareness and the implementation on children’s rights. It is the obligation of Malaysia to keep people informed and uphold these rights.
Human Rights Watch
Pakistan has been seen to violate multiple articles on human rights relating specifically to children’s rights as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It has come out with a report about these.
Despite laws, rights accords and agreements, and declarations women continue to be harassed and become victims of crimes against them. It seems these laws and agreements do not in themselves do anything to stop the targeting of women.
Honor killings are a tragic yet not all too irregular occurrence in Pakistan, more than 1000 women get killed in ‘”honor killings”’ each year, however, there are probably more as many go unregistered. Laws need to be amended to fight this problem in Pakistan.
A Sri Lankan boy was excluded from school after allegations of him carrying AIDS, however, these rumours were false. This exclusion on basis of him carrying AIDS have been opposed by many already.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said all parliamentarians will vote today on the four constitutional bills regarding gender equality in The Bahamas that is before the House of Assembly, vowing that it will be “a historic day” for equality between men and women in terms of rights.
Gay Star Business
A human rights organization, SASOD, in Guyana is lobbying the government to extend workplace discrimination protections to include ‘gender identity’, ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘health status’ — despite the fact that same-sex sexual activity remains illegal in the country.
St. Lucia times
Director of the Aids Action Foundation (AAF), Joan Didier, has lamented that generally attitudes in the Islands of the OECS towards LBGT persons have not changed. “Across the board attitudes remain the same,” Didier told the Times. She was among participants at a conference on security training for LGBT persons that opened in Saint Lucia yesterday.
Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Cyprus, Ambassador Alexandros Zenon has held a meeting in Geneva with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra `ad Al Hussein, whom he briefed on the ongoing UN led talks aiming at reaching a solution of the Cyprus human rights issue.
Times of Malta
Austin Bencini, a Maltese constitutional lawyer, discusses reactions to the Maltese Church’s position paper on ‘conversion therapy’ stating that “it may not have crossed the mind of the paper’s detractors that it in fact raised a number of fundamental human rights concerns, which, if ignored, will give rise to a flawed law open to challenges at the constitutional level.”
Australia and Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said on Thursday that Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on Papua territory has severely damaged the archipelago’s reputation and that the camp would have to close eventually.
Nauru and New Zealand
Diplomatic relations with Nauru have been frosty ever since New Zealand put a hold on aid funding for Nauru’s justice system last September. The freeze followed concerns held about Nauru’s justice sector and human rights matters.
UN Human Rights Council
A senior Chinese diplomat said here on Wednesday that the UN Human Rights Council should not be undermined by politicization and double standards, or to use human rights to interfere in the sovereignty of other countries.
Citizens for Global Solutions
Apple’s refusal to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters has reignited the debate over how much privacy we can expect in the information age.