Category Archives: civil society

News Clips- September 9, 2016


Migrant and refugee camp in Calais
Credit: VOA/ Nicolas Pinault

Migrants and Refugees

  • The United Nations Children’s Fund released a report on refugee and migrant children around the world, finding that over 28 million children have migrated in an effort to leave violence and insecurity. [UN News Centre]
  • Locals in Calais, France gathered to protest the migrant camp in the town where over 7,000 people live. [BBC]

Civil Society

  • The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has called for South Sudan to stop suppressing the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of movement of civil society members. [UN News Centre]
  • Before and during the G-20 meeting held in Hangzhou, China this week, Chinese authorities arrested dozens of journalists and activists. [Washington Post]
  • An activist and village leader in China was sentenced to three years in jail this week after he confessed to bribery. [BBC]
  • The High Court in Zimbabwe ruled this week that a two week ban on protests was unconstitutional. [Jurist]
  • The Supreme Court of Thailand upheld the prison sentence of 20 years in the case of Sondhi Limthongkul, an opposition party leader. [Jurist]
  • The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights jointly published a report this week on freedom of expression in Somalia. [OHCHR Press Release]
  • Authorities in Brazil used tear gas and stun grenades against protestors after tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against President Michel Temer. [BBC]

Human Rights Bodies’ Activities


  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights criticized Donald Trump, a United States presidential nominee, and Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, for spreading fear and manipulating the public in a way that may lead to violence. [Guardian]
  • Denmark has started negotiating to buy data on Danish tax payers from the Panama Papers. [Guardian]
  • The United States and China both signed the Paris Agreement on climate change this week. [Jurist]

News Clips – August 26, 2016

Rana Plaza before the collapseCredit: Sean Robertson
Rana Plaza before the collapseCredit: Sean Robertson

Rana Plaza before the collapse
Credit: Sean Robertson

Civil Society

  • A member of the United Democratic Party, an opposition political party in Gambia, died while in detention last Saturday, prompting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to condemn the death and conditions of detention. [UN News Centre]
  • The Ethiopian government announced this week that it will not prosecute the Olympic athlete who publically protested against the government during the Olympic Games in Rio. [Washington Post]

International Criminal Law

  • Admitting to the war crime of destroying historic buildings in Mali, Ahmed Al Faqi Al Mahdi became the first person to plead guilty before the International Criminal Court. [International Justice Monitor]
  • A former Argentine general and 28 co-defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity, including hundreds of forced disappearances, committed during the Dirty War. [TeleSUR]

Policing, Protest & Excessive Use of Force

  • The National Human Rights Commission of Mexico has found that 22 civilians killed during a drug raid in 2015 died due to excessive use of force and arbitrary execution. [JURIST]
  • The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights this week condemned the killings of black individuals in the United States by police officers using excessive force and expressed concern over the impunity in the killings. [IACHR Press Release]
  • Three human rights experts of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights sent a joint letter of appeal to the government of Ethiopia on allegations of killings, beatings, excessive use of force, and arbitrary arrests associated with recent protests. [ACHPR Press Release]

Business & Human Rights

  • The trial of 18 people accused of construction code violations associated with the collapse of Rana Plaza was postponed this week after defendants petitioned the high court to challenge their charges. [Al Jazeera]

Counter-terrorism & Human Rights

  • Following the enactment of local bans prohibiting burkinis, a full-body swinsuit, in several towns in France, the French Council of State ruled that such bans are unenforceable after police this week enforced the ban in Nice by ordering a woman to remove her clothing. [Guardian; CNN]

Asylum & Refugees

  • Kenya announced this week that it will not close the Dadaab refugee camp, a home for over 320,000 Somali refugees, until Somalia is at peace. [International Business Times]
  • The European Union and Turkey have reinitiated diplomatic talks to reach an agreement on migration management. [Guardian]

LGBTQ Rights

  • A federal judge in the United States recently issued an injunction on the Obama administrations guidelines that state transgender students may use the bathrooms they choose to use. [Reuters]
  • Belize repealed a law that criminalized same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults. [IACHR Press Release]
  • The Constitutional Court of Indonesia held a fifth hearing this week on the constitutionality of several provisions in the criminal code that criminalize same-sex behavior. [HRW]
  • After the recent killing and rape of an LGBT activist and transgender woman, hundreds demonstrated in Istanbul. [Washington Post]

Conflict and Humanitarian Crises

  • A peace deal between the Colombian government and Farc, a rebel armed group, was reached this week after 52 years at war. [Guardian]
  • As part of an operation called Euphrates Shield, Turkish tanks and warplanes have entered Syria in an effort to combat ISIS’s hold of Jarablus. [Guardian]
  • The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report identifying alleged violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in the conflict in Yemen, and calling for a formal inquiry. [UN News Centre]
  • After thousands of cholera victims brought suit in United States courts against the United Nations for its involvement in the epidemic, the U.S. court hearing the case upheld the UN’s immunity from the claim. [Washington Post]


News Clips- August 12, 2016

SC Votes on Temp Extension of Mandate for South Sudan Mission
SC Votes on Temp Extension of Mandate for South Sudan Mission 15-0-0

The United Nations Security Council discusses South Sudan
Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

International Criminal Law

  • Nada Kiswanson, a permanent representative at the International Criminal Court who works on evidence of war crimes in Palestine, has received death threats. [MEMO]
  • The International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh issued sentences to eight individuals for crimes against humanity. [Jurist]
  • German investigators have identified eight individuals who they suspect of war crimes during the Nazi era. [The Local]

Civil Society

  • The government of Ethiopia rejected the United Nations request that observers be allowed into the country to investigate the killings of protesters. [Al Jazeera]
  • Kenya’s High Court ruled that the late human rights lawyer, Willia Kimani; his client, Josphat Mwendwa; and a taxi driver were all forcibly disappeared. [Amnesty International]
  • The LGBT Pride parade schedule for August 13, 2016 in Odessa, Ukraine was canceled by the Odessa City Council, citing possible conflict and criminal activity that could arise around the event. [Human Rights First]
  • Pakistan passed its Electronic Crimes Bill, which activists claim could violate the rights to freedom of speech and privacy. [Jurist]
  • A Brazilian judge upheld protestors right to freedom of expression by ruling that they may peacefully criticize the interim president while at the Olympic venues. [BBC]
  • The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed concern that opposition party members were removed from the Nicaraguan legislator pursuant to a judicial decision. [IACHR Press Release]

Migrants and Refugees

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern over the treatment of refugees in Bulgaria, claiming they are often subject to detention and trials that do not meet international standards. [UN News Centre]
  • The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees expressed concern over the high numbers of South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries and the limited funds available to support them. [UN News Centre]
  • The UN again expressed concern that Australia and Nauru continue to hold migrants and refugees offshore where they are often exposed to violence and sexual abuse. [UN News Centre]

Violence and Conflicts

  • Several bombs exploded in Thailand at the end of the week in a resort town, Hua Hin. [UN News Centre]
  • Rebel groups in Syria announced that they intend to take the city of Aleppo. [Al Jazeera]
  • South Sudan has refused to accept a proposal to allow UN troops to enter the country. [Al Jazeera]
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