Happy Human Rights Day from the International Justice Resource Center! On this day, we celebrate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the fundamental values it recognizes. At IJRC, we believe justice is borderless, but as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enters its 70th year, much work remains to realize its vision.
For nearly seven years now, IJRC has been working to make international human rights protections more accessible, transparent, and relevant to the lives of people around the world. Our services help ensure that individuals harmed by human rights violations can achieve accountability and redress, no matter their circumstances. Watch below for a one-minute glimpse into one area in which our work has made a difference over the past year.
Our online readers and users are vital partners in this struggle.We invite you to join us in celebrating Human Rights Day by investing in the promise of the justice beyond borders and human rights for all.
During this giving season, every donation to IJRC will be matched – dollar for dollar – doubling the impact of your support. And, an additional 1% will be added to every donation made through the PayPal Giving Fund.
On behalf of the IJRC team and the many people we serve, thank you for joining us in this important work.
We are pleased to share our latest newsletter. It details the newest additions to the Online Resource Hub, recent engagement with the African and Inter-American human rights systems, upcoming events, and new members of the IJRC team. Read the November 2017 newsletter below, or open the PDF. For the latest in human rights developments, visit the News Room and IJRC Daily.
United Nations Human Rights Council
Credit: UN Photo/Pierre-Michel Virot
In November, several universal and regional bodies will assess States’ compliance with their human rights obligations, through the consideration of State and civil society reports, country visits, dialogues, and hearings on individual complaints. Six United Nations treaty bodies will be holding sessions in the month of November on issues related to civil and political rights, women, racial discrimination, and torture. The Universal Periodic Review Working Group will also be in session and will review nine State reports, holding interactive dialogues with those States’ representatives. Seven UN Special Rapporteurs and one working group expert will conduct country visits, and three working groups will be in session in Geneva, Switzerland. Regionally, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), and African Court on Human and People’s Rights (AfCHPR) will all be in session. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will hear three cases related to inhuman and degrading treatment in the context of the effectiveness of a criminal investigation, fair punishment in the context of suspension from public office as a penalty for conviction, and the legality of detention as a preventative measure.
The UN Human Rights Council’s and UN treaty bodies’ sessions may be watched via UN Web TV. The IACtHR’s session may be viewed on its website or Vimeo page, and the IACHR sessions may be viewed on its YouTube channel. The African Court sessions may be watched on its YouTube channel. The ECtHR hearings may be viewed on its webcast.
To view human rights bodies’ past and future activities, visit the IJRC Hearings & Sessions Calendar.
The International Justice Resource Center (IJRC) in collaboration with the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) and the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) will hold a training from 09:00 to 10:30 on October 30, 2017 at the Kairaba Hotel in Banjul, The Gambia, ahead of the 61st Ordinary Session of the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). The training, which will take place at the seat of the ACHPR in Banjul, seeks to provide human rights defenders, advocates, and victims with updated tools and strategies for conducting research on sources in international human rights law, State compliance with human rights obligations, and national legislation and jurisprudence. As part of its 61st Ordinary Session, which begins on November 1, 2017, the ACHPR will celebrate its 30th anniversary; the ACHPR will use the commemoration to assess the progress of the Commission and to develop strategies for the future promotion of human rights in Africa. [ACHPR: Anniversary] IJRC invites all attendees of the 61st Ordinary Session and preceding NGO Forum to attend this training. For more information, see IJRC’s event flyer and training description.
IJRC also wishes to call attention to the recent arrest in Tanzania of ISLA executive director, Sibongile Ndashe, and 12 other advocates. These human rights defenders were arrested while participating in a workshop on planned litigation to challenge Tanzania’s restrictions on clinics and lubricants helping to stop the spread of HIV. [HRW] The police arrested the lawyers and activists for “promoting homosexuality,” a crime that reportedly does not appear on the Tanzanian criminal code; although they remained in detention, they had yet to be formally charged as of October 25, 2017. [ISLA; Daily Nation] Tanzania is among the countries that still criminalize same-sex conduct. See ILGA, Sexual Orientation Laws in the World – Criminalisation. Authorities have carried out similar arrests over the past year, as part of an intensified crackdown on the LGBT community. [AP; NewsDeeply; Guardian] IJRC has signed on to calls for their immediate release without charge, and looks forward to seeing our ISLA partners in Banjul. Read more
Lisa Reinsberg of the International Justice Resource Center speaks before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
On March 21st, the International Justice Resource Center (IJRC) was among the civil society organizations that appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C. to address the “travel ban” and two other United States executive orders in a hearing held at the IACHR’s own initiative. In a remarkable departure from recent administrations’ engagement with the region’s human rights monitoring body, the U.S. failed to participate in the hearing.
Last month, in a joint letter submitted by IJRC and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), several dozen organizations urged the IACHR to examine alleged human rights violations resulting from U.S. President Trump’s executive order restricting the travel of individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries and the resettlement of refugees. The IACHR called for an expanded hearing to also include two other executive orders, one concerning the construction of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and for increased immigration detention and enforcement, and another that expedites environmental assessments of infrastructure projects such as oil pipelines.
The organizations presented specific requests that the IACHR could pursue to monitor the human rights situation, including conducting on-site visits to relevant areas, issuing press releases, and following up on the implementation of its prior recommendations to the United States, among others.
The webcast of the hearing is available on the Commission’s YouTube channel and on IJRC’s website, which also has additional information on the hearing, including civil society submissions to the IACHR. Read more
The International Justice Resource Center is thrilled to announce the launch of our latest publication, Advocacy before the African Human Rights System: A Manual for Attorneys and Advocates. This manual, which is part of our publication series Preventing and Remedying Human Rights Violations through the International Framework, is the result of several years’ work and benefits from the research and review of numerous colleagues. We are grateful for the input and feedback provided by partner organizations with extensive experience engaging in advocacy before the African Commission and Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Read more
Read our September 2016 newsletter for the latest human rights news, details of our recent training, new additions to the Online Resource Hub, and more.
Read our summer 2016 newsletter for the latest human rights news, details of our upcoming training, recent activities, and more.
We are pleased to share with you an overview of the latest human rights developments and a summary of IJRC’s recent activities, in this April 2016 edition of the IJRC newsletter. Click here to open the newsletter in PDF.