Human rights (6do encyclopedia)

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, regardless of their race, gender, nationality, religion, sexuality, or any other status. These rights are often enshrined in national constitutions and international treaties and serve as a set of standards that governments are expected to uphold to guarantee respect for human dignity and protect individuals from abuse.

The concept of human rights has its roots in ancient civilizations, where codes of law and morality were developed to regulate the relationship between individuals and societies. However, it was not until the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 that a comprehensive and universal framework for human rights was established.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out a broad range of rights and freedoms, including civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and security of person, and the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. It also includes economic, social, and cultural rights, such as the right to work, education, healthcare, and a standard of living adequate for one’s well-being. These rights are interdependent and indivisible, meaning that they are all equally important and must be protected in a balanced and comprehensive manner.

Over the years, a number of other human rights instruments have been developed at the international, regional, and national levels. These instruments include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights, among others. Each of these instruments provides a more detailed and specific set of rights and obligations that governments must respect, protect, and fulfill.

The protection of human rights is not only a moral imperative but also contributes to the stability and prosperity of societies. Respect for human rights promotes trust, tolerance, and understanding among individuals and communities, and reduces the risk of conflict and violence. It also enables individuals to live with dignity and to reach their full potential as human beings, which in turn benefits society as a whole.

Despite the universal recognition of human rights, there are still many challenges to their implementation and protection. Violations of human rights, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, discrimination, and censorship, continue to occur in many parts of the world. These violations are often the result of political, economic, or social factors, such as corruption, poverty, or conflict.

To address these challenges, it is important to promote a culture of human rights, where individuals and communities are aware of their rights and responsibilities and are empowered to demand their realization. This involves raising awareness about human rights, providing education and training on human rights issues, and supporting civil society organizations that promote human rights.

Governments also have a critical role to play in promoting and protecting human rights. They must create an enabling environment for the protection of human rights and provide the necessary legal and institutional frameworks and resources to ensure their effective implementation. This includes developing laws and policies that respect human rights, establishing independent and impartial judicial and law enforcement institutions, and ensuring access to justice for all.

In addition, international cooperation and support are essential for promoting and protecting human rights. The international community can provide technical and financial assistance to governments and civil society organizations to strengthen human rights protections and promote accountability for human rights violations. International organizations, such as the United Nations and regional human rights bodies, also have a role to play in monitoring and reporting on human rights violations and providing recommendations for their resolution.

In conclusion, human rights are essential for the protection of human dignity and the promotion of a just and peaceful society. The protection of human rights requires a commitment from individuals, governments, and the international community to promote and protect these rights in a comprehensive and balanced manner. Only through this collective effort can we ensure that human rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled for all.

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US report accuses China of jailing as many as 10,000 people

South China Morning Post

23-05-15 18:50

The US government has estimated that as many as 10,000 people have been jailed due to China's campaign of repression against religious groups. Beijing is said to be seeking to bring all theological activity under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. The annual International Religious Freedom Report provided the estimate, with figures ranging from the low thousands upwards. The section on China cited President Xi Jinping’s claim that “religions in China must be Chinese in orientation”, with particular crackdowns on groups classified as “cults”, including the Church of Almighty God and Falun Gong.
U.S. warns against crossing Mexico border illegally as Title 42 ends


23-05-15 18:16

US authorities have warned of "tougher consequences" for unauthorised migrants crossing its borders from Mexico amid the reopening of the asylum process, which had been restricted by COVID-19 pandemic measures. The new regulations will mean that up to 5,000 migrants can enter the country each day, although migrants who do not demonstrate a right to remain face deportation, a five-year minimum ban on reentry and possible prosecution. However, some US asylum officers fear the changes compromise international protections and human rights upheld by Joe Biden's administration's campaign promises. Meanwhile, border countries have closed crossings and increased security measures.
Free tuition fees extended to migrant students


23-05-15 17:46

The Scottish government has extended free tuition to students who have been in the UK for three years and have received permission to remain. Children of asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors will also be eligible. The move comes after lawyers argued that 20-year-old Iraq-born Ola Jasim had her human rights breached after being unable to obtain free tuition because she was two months short of the required residency term. A subsequent Court of Session case ruled in her favour. The Scottish government will apply the newly extended terms from the 2023/24 academic year.
Rwanda asylum plan: Timeline of goverment’s policy to deport migrants

The Independent

23-05-15 16:42

The UK's Rwanda plan, which seeks to deport asylum-seekers arriving in the country, has returned to the courts following a ruling that the scheme was lawful. Legal proceedings prevent flights to Rwanda taking off while the case is ongoing. The plan was announced in April 2022 by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who cited a sharp increase in the numbers crossing the Channel. New figures show that the agreement is not deterring asylum seekers from crossing the Channel and almost exactly the same number of people have made the journey since the start of 2023 as in 2022. The deal has faced criticism from asylum seekers facing deportation, former Tory Prime Minister Theresa May, and, most recently, General Sir Richard Dannatt, the former head of the British army who argued that Rwanda is still living under the "shadow of genocide" and hence the country is not fit to receive asylum seekers from the UK.
Turkey's election board showed lack of transparency - OSCE observers


23-05-15 16:07

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has accused Turkey's High Election Board (YSK) of being excessively biased towards the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In addition, bias by state-run media and a lack of transparency in the conduct of the election were also noted. Observers criticised the fact that Erdogan and his party enjoyed advantages that opposition groups did not have. Despite what were described as unequal conditions for parties for campaigning, the elections were mostly peaceful, with a good turnout and options available to voters, observers said.
Death penalty: Amnesty reports major increase in executions

Deutsche Welle

23-05-16 00:01

Iran and Saudi Arabia recorded a combined 80% of registered executions worldwide last year, according to Amnesty International. Iran killed 576 people, almost double the previous year’s figure, and six people were executed per day in Saudi Arabia, which saw 196 killed. At least 883 people were executed in total in 2022, an increase of over 50% on the previous year, and the highest number in five years. Amnesty did not include the estimated thousands of executions carried out in China or, among others, North Korea and Vietnam. At the end of the year, 112 countries had abolished the death penalty, with 125 countries voting for a moratorium on its use.
US urges Mali to investigate, hold accountable those to blame for Moura attack


23-05-15 22:31

The US State Department has called on Mali's transition government to conduct an "independent, impartial, efficient, exhaustive, and transparent investigation" into the murder of hundreds of villagers in Moura last year by the Malian Armed Forces and Russia-associated militia group, Wagner, which it labelled a "transnational criminal organization". The UN Human Rights Office has called for a separate investigation, after reporting that at least 500 people were murdered and dozens tortured or sexually assaulted over a five-day operation. Russia and Mali have previously maintained that the Wagner group are trainers, not mercenaries, and the former's UN envoy told a human rights meeting last month that those killed were militants.
Thailand election latest: Prayuth breaks silence, calls for 'stability'

Nikkei Asia

23-05-16 07:22

Thailand has concluded its first election since the military coup of 2014, with the pro-junta Palang Pracharath emerging as the largest party. Talks will now begin on the formation of a coalition government. The Election Commission, the army and the junta have been accused of trying to manipulate the result to ensure the retention of military control. The results have revealed deep political divisions in Thailand, with young, urban voters tending to support pro-democracy parties, while older, rural voters backed conservative candidates. Almost 70% of Thais voted, the largest turnout since 1997.
Sunak’s push for European court reform on Rwanda flights knocked back

The Independent

23-05-16 14:10

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempt to encourage a change in European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rules blocking deportation flights to Rwanda has been rebuffed. Johnson has urged the Strasbourg court to permit the UK to deport failed asylum seekers in the African country, but a meeting of fellow Council of Europe leaders this week has reportedly dismissed any chance of rule changes. However, Johnson is set to seek a meeting with the EHCR president to discuss reforming rules on injunctions.
Council of Europe leaders gather to show united face against Russia


23-05-16 13:06

The Council of Europe (CoE) summit, being held in Reykjavik, Iceland, has considered holding Russia legally responsible for the death and destruction caused by its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The summit, only the fourth in the CoE’s 70-year history, has seen the suspension of Russia’s membership as a direct result of the invasion. Attendees have discussed possible measures against Russia, including the creation of a dedicated tribunal to try leaders and commanders in The Hague, and the establishment of a register to record the damage caused by Russia.
In Brazil, pris­ons with­out guards of­fer in­mates path to re­cov­ery

Al Jazeera

23-05-16 13:04

The Association for Protection and Assistance of Convicts (APAC), a Brazilian non-profit advocating for better treatment of prisoners, is running facilities across the country that empowers inmates to oversee security, produce their own food, manage discipline and care, wear their own clothes and have their own keys. Prisoners referred to as “recovering persons” are called by their name rather than by a number and recidivism rate is around 14 percent, compared to the Brazilian state’s national average of 39 percent after five years. APAC’s approach to rehabilitation offers prisoners education, treatment with dignity, and social workers. Convicts of all types of crimes are accepted, although drug-related offenders are prevalent. However, there are concerns surrounding the spiritual side of the program, as APAC views crime through the lens of individual moral error, rather than as a social construction that can change when conditions change.
UN accused of ‘rewarding’ Iran as it gives ambassador leading human rights role


23-05-16 12:33

Iran has been accused of human rights abuses following a decision by the United Nations to appoint Iranian ambassador Ali Bahreini as chairman of the UN Human Rights Council Social Forum 2023. Critics noted that the announcement followed Iran’s execution of two men on blasphemy charges and its continuing crackdown on anti-regime protesters. The appointment was “shocking” and showed “ethical blindness”, a spokesman for the US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said. A spokesman explained that the Social Forum 2023 was merely a two-day event.
‘Rainbow activists’ showing children ‘graphic’ material, says Cambridge academic

The Independent

23-05-16 12:01

James Orr, an academic at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity, questioned the teaching of sex education in schools, claiming that it has been outsourced to “radical rainbow activists” who subject children to graphic messaging. Speaking at the National Conservatism conference in Westminster, Orr also criticised drag queens who host “story hour” at schools and public libraries, claiming sexualised, misogynistic parodies of femininity are routine. Orr has also called for UK withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights and backed a conservatism based on freedom, religion, family and the national interest.
Pakistan to try ex-PM Khan's violent supporters under army laws


23-05-16 17:54

Those involved in the recent attacks against state assets and military facilities in Pakistan will be tried under army law, according to members of the country's civilian and military leaders, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The decision followed accusations from the military that the rioters and their masters had been identified, and were affiliated with former prime minister Imran Khan, who was arrested over corruption allegations. While campaigners have called for those responsible for violence during the protests to be punished, they have also protested against civilians being tried under army laws.
Namibia's top court recognises same-sex marriages formed elsewhere


23-05-16 17:27

Namibia's Supreme Court has ruled that the government must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples married in countries where it is legal, despite the fact that same-sex marriage is yet to be legalized in the country. The legal case arose after the government refused to give residency rights to non-Namibian spouses, claiming that the marriages could not be recognized in the country. This decision could be seen as a step forward in regards to LGBT+ rights in Africa as most countries still ban same-sex relationships. Sexual contact between men is a criminal offense in Namibia, but the law is rarely enforced.
Global Executions Highest in 5 Years, Amnesty International Says

NY Times

23-05-16 16:04

At least 883 people were executed globally in 2022, according to a report by Amnesty International, a 53% increase from the previous year’s total of 579. More than 90% of the killings were carried out by three countries, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while it is believed that China executed or sentenced to death "thousands" of people. The report questioned the transparency of these unofficial statistics. The study stated many of the deaths were for drug-related offences, which international treaty bars the death penalty for. Four countries abolished the death penalty during the year: Central African Republic, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Russian court sentences Colombian man to 5 years in prison for 'fake news'


23-05-16 15:54

A Colombian man has been jailed for five years and two months after being found guilty of spreading "fake news" about the Russian army in Ukraine. Alberto Enrique Giraldo Saray was convicted of violating a law passed last year that has been used to silence opponents of Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine, carrying a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and $60,000 in fines. His trial was held behind closed doors in Moscow and it is not known whether he pleaded guilty. Giraldo Saray, who lived in Moscow for 20 years and holds a Russian passport, was arrested in April 2022 after investigators say he purchased mobile phones and SIM cards and placed them in a shopping centre in Moscow, before his two accomplices allegedly sent mass messages containing "knowingly false information" about Russian soldiers in Ukraine.
Salman Rushdie warns of threat to freedom of expression in West


23-05-16 14:51

Novelist Salman Rushdie has warned of the most severe threats to free speech and publication he has seen in his lifetime. Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after he was placed under an Iranian fatwa over his novel "The Satanic Verses," was left blind in one eye after being stabbed on stage at an event in New York in August 2022. During a virtual appearance at the UK's 'Freedom to Publish' awards ceremony, Rushdie called for efforts to be made to protect the ability to write and read freely, citing instances of books being banned in schools and libraries in the US.
UK and EU agree to collaborate over cross-Channel migration

Financial Times

23-05-16 22:19

The UK and the EU are to work together to combat smugglers and prevent irregular migration across the English Channel. The deal will involve exchanging intelligence, expertise, and personnel and will mean London will work with Frontex - the EU border agency. The UK's Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and the EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, have both endorsed the agreement after six months of deadlock. The move follows weeks of pressure on Sunak from senior Tory MPs to tackle migrant crossings after bruising local election results.