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Blogging about Human Rights from every Corner of the World

To sink or swim in the Fragrant Harbour

“It’s a very fluid situation,” said Tara Joseph, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong earlier this year. Water has always been fundamental to Hong Kong for trade and its name comes from a phonetic translation of the Cantonese for Fragrant Harbour – Heung Gong ( 香港 ). In the 1980’s, the UK government Mandarins who negotiated the handover of Hong Kong knew the Chinese government literally had them over a barrel, as over 70% of the water supply came from Guangdong province across the border. It was a no-win trading position for the British so they made the strategic business decision to exit the colony. … Read more →

Women’s rights to their own body choices

11 July marks World Population Day and this year that covers an estimated 7.7 billion of us. In less than a decade, that number will have climbed to approximately 8.5 billion. However around the world a woman’s womb is becoming a political battleground as fertility rates fluctuate and policy responses often do not consider womens’ choices, health or rights.  … Read more →

The Silencing of Journalists in Mexico

Mexico has been crowned as the deadliest country in the world for those exercising a fundamental human right: the right to inform. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reports that at least 21 journalists have disappeared in Mexico since 2003, representing the highest figure in the Americas … Read more →

Human rights and the climate crisis: an urgent call for action

If a change in climate conditions mean that humans can no longer live in a particular area or even on this planet, then something has to change. The impact of global warming is already causing a steady deterioration to living conditions which is impacting the human rights of some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.  … Read more →

Misuse of Social Media and Press Freedom in India

In weaker and more fragile democracies like India, disinformation strategies have come to the fore in the age of social media. In  recent years, social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp have come under fire for aggravating communal tensions, spreading false information and failing to monitor content for hate speech … Read more →

The New Axis of Populism in Iran

It can be boldly said that class differences and unequal distribution of wealth have always been the main factor in the construction of governments and populist social movements in developing countries, including Iran. Populist ideas and slogans are also welcomed in societies where class inequality is evident, and there is a lot of pressure on the poor, or even a false sense of inequality. … Read more →

The preposterous fear of face veils in Europe 

In the last ten years, many European countries have enacted laws prohibiting face coverings, that specifically aim at Muslim women, a development which seems especially ridiculous in times of COVID-19, where everyone is required to wear a face cover. Nevertheless, just recently, Switzerland has held a referendum on the question of banning face veils in public. … Read more →

Tunisia 10 springs later: a sour aftertaste

Tunisia is often praised as the Arab’s Spring success story. Its Jasmine revolution kicked it off and brought relative political stability to the country. A decade later, the Tunisian youth is back on the streets. In December 2010, a young street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi self-immolated in the streets of Sidi Bouzid. He sparked a national democratic uprising which … Read more →

The Silent Cry of Afghan Women and Girls in the Pandemic

While Afghanistan prepares to battle the second wave of COVID-19, girls have more significant concerns to worry about: their failing dreams and anaemia. For a society that has struggled hard to achieve a 43.02% increase in its literacy rate despite an ongoing war, the pandemic has only pulled them back for worse and longer. While… … Read more →

Explainer: Protests in Thailand

On 17 November 2020, Thai police unjustifiably used water cannons and teargas on peaceful protesters outside the country’s parliament, injuring 55 in the process. The actions of the police underpin the increased hostility towards pro-democracy demonstrations from the Thai government. Thailand is currently experiencing an unprecedented wave of pro-democracy protests, … Read more →

Why we cannot ignore China’s ethnic cleansing

China’s ethnic cleansing of Uyghur Muslims is a human rights catastrophe that we should be paying closer attention to. More than one million Uyghur Muslims in China’s north-western Xinjiang province are being systemically targeted, tortured, and arbitrarily detained. Their only crime is being Muslim. This is not something we should turn a blind eye to, nor should China escape justice. … Read more →

French society in crisis: Islamophobia, terrorism, and the popular vote

At this turbulent juncture in history, it seems clear that the last five years in France’s history will be known for being some of the most violent experienced in the west since 9/11 took place, almost two decades ago. The rate and nature in which terror attacks happen in France is seemingly unprecedented in Europe. There has been a large spate of incidents in the country since … Read more →

The death penalty in the US and the need for change

For the 11th consecutive year, the United States has remained the only country in the Americas to carry out executions. The use of capital punishment by developed countries has fallen significantly in recent times with no member of the Council of Europe carrying out an execution since 1997.  Therefore, the question must remain, why do… … Read more →

Dehumanising the dogfight: the next step in the unmanned arms race

In August of this year, an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm was pitted against a human pilot in simulated F-16 fighter jet dogfights. The AI pilot won, 5-0. The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) hosted the ‘AlphaDogfight’ Trials as part of the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program, which looks at future possibilities of teaming machines with humans to enhance defence capability through “complex multi-aircraft scenarios”. … Read more →

An Anthem for Condemned Youth on the World Day Against the Death Penalty

It is not often that in the world of human rights we celebrate positive news from Iran. However, on the 8 October, human rights defender and journalist Narges Mohammadi was released early from Evin prison, after spending more than 2000 days incarcerated in terrible conditions in a prison now rife with the coronavirus. It was… … Read more →

Home Rules

It’s a strange time to be taking my UK citizenship test. Strange because I’m being asked to assure the Home Office that I will respect the law. I am asked to be aware that in the UK the rule of law is one of the four main values that I will be asked to affirm if I am granted citizenship. … Read more →

The Disappeared: Turkey’s Ghosts That Never Stop Haunting

On July 25, an elderly lady by the name of Hanife Yıldız was dragged on the ground by police officers, simply because she wanted to leave cloves in İstanbul’s historic Galatasaray square. The incident was so horrifying that it even left the people at the scene fearing that she would have a heart attack. … Read more →

Foreign ISIS Children Deserve a Home

Western governments have shirked their responsibilities for far too long. Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of citizens have been evacuated to their home countries in recent months—the largest repatriation in history. But these coronavirus airlifts have passed over a particularly desperate group: the children of foreign Islamic State fighters. For years, the fate of… … Read more →

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