Category Archives: Inter-American System

News Clips- March 10, 2017

Protesters march on International Women’s Day in Barcelona
Credit: Sarahmirk via Wikimedia Commons

Civil Society

  • On Wednesday, to mark International Women’s Day, women demonstrated around the world for equality. [Reuters]
  • On Tuesday, in Argentina tens of thousands joined in a march protesting job cuts and other policies initiated under President Mauricio Macri. [Al Jazeera]
  • On Monday, Israel passed a law denying entry visas to foreign nationals who support boycotts against Israel or its West bank settlements. [Washington Post]

Armed Conflict, Violence, & Humanitarian Crises

  • On Thursday, a human rights organization reported it is likely that a United States-led coalition is responsible for air strikes on an ISIL controlled village in Syria that resulted in 23 civilian deaths. [Al Jazeera]
  • On Wednesday, 21 Guatemalan girls were killed by a fire that occurred amid protests against alleged rights abuses at San Jose Pinula child centre. [Al Jazeera]
  • On Wednesday, gunmen disguised as medical personnel carried out attacks, claimed by ISIL, killing 30 people in a hospital in Afghanistan. [Reuters]
  • On Monday, rebels from Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army initiated an attack against law enforcement officials in the Kokang region near China; 30 people were killed. [Al Jazeera]
  • Last week, government officials in Zimbabwe reported 246 deaths and thousands homeless after recent floods. [Al Jazeera]

Migration, Refugees, & Asylum Seekers

  • This week, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq estimated that 450,000 internally displaced persons are expected to flee to camps as violence in western Mosul, Iraq continues. [Al Jazeera]
  • On Tuesday, Hungary approved a policy of detaining asylum seekers in guarded and enclosed camps as a way of deterring migration. [New York Times]
  • On Tuesday, the International Organization for Migration reported that violence between rival smuggling gangs caused 22 migrant deaths. [Reuters]
  • On Wednesday, the state of Hawaii filed for a temporary restraining order against United States President Trump’s revised executive order that temporarily bans citizens of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from securing visas to enter the United States. [Al Jazeera]

Activities of International Bodies & Entities

Refugee Crisis Reaches New Peak amid Ongoing Conflicts, Islamophobic Policies

Syrian refugees arrive in Greece
Credit: Ggia via Wikimedia Commons

In 2016, more than 65 million people were estimated to be refugees or internally displaced persons  – the highest number in history. [World Economic Forum] Many of the migrants who are fleeing their countries are unable to permanently resettle for a number of reasons, including the global underfunding of refugee support programs and national policies motivated by Islamophobia or isolationism. See Amnesty International, Refugees & Asylum. [Slate] Migrants face dangerous conditions and human rights abuses both during travel and once they reach host countries. Thousands of migrants have drowned while attempting to reach Europe by sea and the conditions of detention in more common refugee destinations may include overcrowding and a failure to provide basic necessities. [Independent; Human Rights Watch; Amnesty International]

Moreover, recent measures enacted by some governments are perpetuating Islamophobia and complicating travel or resettlement for those from Muslim-majority countries. [New York Times: Muslim; IJRC: Protests] An executive order recently implemented in the United States specifically targets migrants and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries, temporarily prohibiting their entry into the United States. [IJRC: Protests]  The International Justice Resource Center, together with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and with the support of dozens of other organizations, yesterday submitted a letter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asking it to review this order in a public hearing. Migrants and refugees are protected against discrimination, among other human rights violations, under international law. Read more

Inter-American Commission Finds Undocumented Migrants Entitled to Workplace Protections

The petitioners’ representatives at the Inter-American Commission
Credit: IACHR

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recently released a decision vindicating the rights of two undocumented workers in the United States whose employers denied them medical benefits and wage replacement after they were injured on the job, in a context of domestic jurisprudence and policy limiting labor protections for undocumented migrants. See IACHR, Merits Report No. 50/16, Case 12.834, Undocumented Workers (United States of America), 30 November 2016. The IACHR ultimately found that the U.S. violated the workers’ rights to equality before the law and social security benefits enshrined in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (American Declaration). See id. This significant decision is the first to address the employment rights of undocumented migrants in the Americas and builds on the IACHR’s doctrine related to discrimination on the basis of immigration status. It includes a list of recommendations to the U.S. to ensure policies and practices that promote equal treatment and due process for undocumented workers. See id. Read more

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