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Archive for the ‘human rights’ Category

Being a LGBTI person in African countries

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Being a LGBTI person in African countries
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

More than 4 African countries out of 5 of have laws criminalising homosexuality, or even punishing LGBTI rights advocacy. Only in 2014 tougher laws were passed in Nigeria, Gambia and Uganda.

As recent developments in Europe show, having non-discriminative laws doesn’t prevent homophobic feeling; but when this feeling is encouraged or not punished by the authorities, it can favour violence towards LGBTI people, including rapes and killings. Furthermore it leads LGBTI people to live in hiding which increases mental or physical health problems among the population.

On several occasions the European Parliament has reminded the EU of its commitment against all forms of discrimination in all the places it acts.

Undocumented migrant children in the EU

January 19, 2015 Comments off

Undocumented migrant children in the EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

In its 2006 communication COM (2006) 0367, “Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child”, relating to the rights of children “as immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees” , the Commission voiced its commitment to closing the gap between national or community migration laws and the children’s rights that the EU is committed to defending.

However the European reality is that undocumented migrants’ access to education, healthcare and housing is often restricted. The unwanted effects of migration laws are especially felt by undocumented migrant children who find themselves in a vulnerable situation rather than being protected by national, EU and international legislation.

This Keysource puts together legislative and practical experience in the European Union with reference to undocumented migrant children, including recommendations on how to improve the coherence between migration policies and moral issues.

Big Deal? U.S. Changes Stance on Cruelty Prohibition, CRS Legal Sidebar (December 16, 2014)

January 16, 2015 Comments off

Big Deal? U.S. Changes Stance on Cruelty Prohibition, CRS Legal Sidebar (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In connection with the presentation of the U.S. periodic report to the U.N. Committee Against Torture November 12-13, the Obama Administration announced a change in the U.S. interpretation of certain aspects of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Most significantly, the Administration reported that it believes the ban on cruel treatment applies to certain areas overseas.

CRS — Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions (December 11, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The United States has led the international community in imposing economic sanctions on Iran, in an effort to change the government of that country’s support of acts of international terrorism, poor human rights record, weapons and missile development and acquisition, role in regional instability, and development of a nuclear program.

This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. It will be updated if and when new legislation is enacted, or, in the case of executive orders, if and when the President takes additional steps to change U.S. policy toward Iran.

Documents in the News — Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program – Foreword, Findings and Conclusions, and Executive Summary

December 9, 2014 Comments off

Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program – Foreword, Findings and Conclusions, and Executive Summary
Source: U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

The Committee makes the following findings and conclusions

#1 The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.

#2 The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.

#3 The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others.

#4 The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others.

#5 The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.

#6 The CIA has actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight of the program.

#7 The CIA impeded effective White House oversight and decision-making.

#8 The CIA’s operation and management of the program complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions of other Executive Branch agencies.

#9 The CIA impeded oversight by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General.

#10 The CIA coordinated the release of classified information to the media, including inaccurate information concerning the effectiveness of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques.

#11 The CIA was unprepared as it began operating its Detention and Interrogation Program more than six months after being granted detention authorities.

#12 The CIA’s management and operation of its Detention and Interrogation Program was deeply flawed throughout the program’s duration, particularly so in 2002 and early 2003.

#13 Two contract psychologists devised the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques and played a central role in the operation, assessments, and management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. By 2005, the CIA had overwhelmingly outsourced operations related to the program.

#14 CIA detainees were subjected to coercive interrogation techniques that had not been approved by the Department of Justice or had not been authorized by CIA Headquarters.

#15 The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained, and held individuals who did not meet the legal standard for detention. The CIA’s claims about the number of detainees held and subjected to its enhanced Interrogation techniques were inaccurate.

#16 The CIA failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of its enhanced interrogation techniques.

#17 The CIA rarely reprimanded or held personnel accountable for serious and significant violations, inappropriate activities, and systemic and individual management failures.

#18 The CIA marginalized and ignored numerous internal critiques, criticisms, and objections concerning the operation and management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.

#19 The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program was inherently unsustainable and had effectively ended by 2006 due to unauthorized press disclosures, reduced cooperation from other nations, and legal and oversight concerns.

#20 The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program damaged the United States’ standing in the world, and resulted in other significant monetary and non-monetary costs.

To Walk the Earth in Safety (2014)

December 9, 2014 Comments off

To Walk the Earth in Safety (2014)
Source: U.S. Department of State

The 13th edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety describes the programs and partnerships that comprise the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) Program. Since 1993, the U.S. has led the international donor community in reducing the harmful effects of poorly secured, unstable or illegally traded conventional weapons of war. We have contributed over $2.3 billion to more than 90 countries around the world.

UK — Modern slavery strategy

December 4, 2014 Comments off

Modern slavery strategy
Source: Home Office

Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. Traffickers and slave drivers coerce, deceive and force individuals against their will into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

This strategy details the wide-ranging actions that we expect from government departments, agencies and partners in the UK and, importantly, internationally. Civil society organisations are equally important partners in delivering commitments across our response.

The scale of modern slavery in the UK is significant. Modern slavery crimes are being committed across the country and there have been year on year increases in the number of victims identified. Work by the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Bernard Silverman, has estimated that in 2013 there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK.

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