News Selection – Human Rights
Recent international news and analysis chosen to illustrate and update Tread Softly briefings on Human Rights.
Forced displacement at record 68.5 million
19/6/2018: Wars, violence and persecution uprooted record numbers of men, women and children worldwide last year, according to the UN Refugee Agency’s annual report. The increase in number of refugees was the highest ever reported by the UN Agency.
America First or America Alone?
21/6/2018: News of the US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council has provoked strong reaction from human rights groups. The common theme is that the decision will undermine vital protection of human rights around the world.
Asylum applications fall across EU
18/6/2018: Applications for asylum fell by 44% across the EU in 2017 compared to the previous year, although the total of 728,470 remained high. The proportion of migrants granted refugee status fell to 50% from 55%.
Migrants are dying as Europe panders to populism
17/6/2018: A strongly worded leading article in the UK's Observer sees the fate of the Mediterranean rescue ship Aquarius as the consequence of Europe's failed migration policies. It calls for leaders to work together to create a humanitarian strategy.
Myanmar government will work with UN on return of Rohingya refugees
31/5/2018: Two major UN agencies have signed an MoU with the Myanmar government, establishing a framework for cooperation to create conditions conducive to the voluntary and safe repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
UN investigators finally allowed to visit Rakhine state
27/4/2018: After months of deliberations, Myanmar has finally agreed to allow the UN Security Council to visit Rakhine, where ambassadors will tour Rohingya villages affected by the violence.
How the Human Rights Movement Failed
23/4/2018: A Yale professor argues that the human rights movement is partly to blame for the rejection of its values by many world leaders. More attention to social and economic rights might have prevented the populist reaction to inequality.
Myanmar not ready for return of Rohingya refugees
8/4/2018: Myanmar is not ready for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, according to the most senior UN official to visit the country this year. There is no access to health services, whilst displacement continues.
Environmental Activists Targeted in Vietnam as Repression Continues
4/4/2018: Human Rights Watch calls on the Vietnamese government to drop all charges against six activists who have campaigned tirelessly for democracy and human rights. The Formosa environmental catastrophe in April 2016 has been the catalyst.
Duterte’s Dubious Defense
27/3/2018: The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is investigating allegations of crimes against humanity arising from the war on drugs in the Phillipines. The initial defense presented by President Duterte is unimpressive.