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Global Slavery Index

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Global Slavery Index (PDF)
Source: Walk Free Foundation

This is the second edition of the Global Slavery Index (‘the Index’). The Index estimates the number of people in modern slavery in 167 countries. This year’s Index also includes an analysis of what governments are doing to eradicate modern slavery. In addition to measuring the extent of the problem and the actions taken, the Index increases our understanding of the contextual factors that make people vulnerable to modern slavery.

The Index is the flagship report produced by the Walk Free Foundation, a global human rights organisation dedicated to ending modern slavery.

The 2014 Global Slavery Index estimates there are 35.8 million people living in some form of modern slavery globally

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“There is No Freedom Here” — Silencing Dissent in the United Arab Emirates

November 20, 2014 Comments off

“There is No Freedom Here” — Silencing Dissent in the United Arab Emirates
Source: Amnesty International

Scores of activists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been harassed, arrested and in some cases tortured in custody according to a new report by Amnesty International that sheds light on the repressive tactics widely used by the government to silence its critics.

“There is No Freedom Here:” Silencing Dissent in the UAE lifts the lid on the climate of fear that has taken hold in the country since 2011, with the authorities going to extreme lengths to stamp out any sign of dissent, criticism or calls for reform in the wake of the mass popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.

Those targeted include lawyers, university professors, students and civil society activists, some of whom are linked to the Reform and Social Guidance Association (al-Islah), a peaceful grassroots organization that the government claims has links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The clampdown has also targeted their family members.

Australian Government Assistance to refugees: fact versus fiction

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Australian Government Assistance to refugees: fact versus fiction
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

Introduction In recent years a series of emails have been widely circulated throughout Australia claiming to describe the social security entitlements of refugees compared with those of other Australian residents. A common claim in these emails is that refugees in Australia receive higher social security benefits than age pensioners. Some also suggest that refugees receive free gifts such as houses. Claims of this kind are erroneous and appear to have caused some confusion in the community. They are often brought to the attention of senators and members by their constituents.

This Research Paper describes the current situation with regard to refugee entitlements to social security and other assistance in order to clarify this issue.

The assistance to refugees and asylum seekers described in this Research Paper is longstanding and has bi-partisan support. Such support is consistent with the overall obligation and commitment by Australia to provide protection for refugees and resolve refugee situations.

Pakistan: human rights situation

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Pakistan: human rights situation
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Human rights abuse is one of the most complex and challenging issues in Pakistan today. The EU has expressed concerns about the human rights situation and monitors events closely. The European Parliament is worried about the sharp increase in sectarian violence and religious intolerance, as well as the continuing repression of women in the country.

EU — Trafficking in human beings 2010-2014: eradicating the slave trade

November 12, 2014 Comments off

Trafficking in human beings 2010-2014: eradicating the slave trade
Source: European Commission

During the years 2010-2012, EU Member States registered 30 146 victims of trafficking in human beings. Behind this number are human tragedies, broken hopes and destroyed plans for a better life. During the same period, 8 551 prosecutions against traffickers were reported across the EU. 80 percent of victims of trafficking were female, and over 1 000 child victims were registered as trafficked for sexual exploitation. This data is part of a statistical report on victims and perpetrators of trafficking released today by the European Commission. A report also shows that many concrete measures against this severe human rights violation have been undertaken during 2010-2014, such as better cooperation with civil society, and guidelines issued to border authorities and other stakeholders on how to better identify victims.

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls: The World’s Best Laws and Policies

October 27, 2014 Comments off

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls: The World’s Best Laws and Policies (PDF)
Source: World Future Council

At the World Future Council, we strive to bring the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. With our annual Future Policy Award, we highlight the world’s best solutions and we encourage policy-makers around the world to implement them.

In 2014, the Future Policy Award celebrates laws and policies that contribute to ending one of the most pervasive human rights violations: violence against women and girls. One in three women worldwide suffers some form of violence in her lifetime. By restricting women’s choices and limiting their ability to act, the persistence of violence against women has serious consequences for peace and security, economic development and poverty reduction. Thus, it hampers all efforts towards a future just society. International experts from academia, civil society and international organisations have nominated twenty-five policies from around the world which were implemented to improve the lives of women. Together, they reflect the broad scope of existing policy responses at local, national and transnational levels.

Hat tip: IWS Documented News Service

Posthumously Conceived Children: An International and Human Rights Perspective

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Posthumously Conceived Children: An International and Human Rights Perspective
Source: Journal of Law & Health

This essay considers posthumous conception from an international and child-centered approach. After a sketch in Part I of the phenomenon of posthumous conception and the complexities it evokes, Part II examines the types of issues arising in court cases concerning posthumous conception. Part III considers how courts in their rulings have addressed the welfare and best interests of posthumously conceived children and analyzes the scope and meaning of relevant decisions. Part IV looks into children’s rights or interests raised in those judicial decisions: parental acknowledgement, family structures, identity harm, and inheritance and social benefits. This part draws on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a prime instrument to advance children’s rights on the international level, incorporating as much as possible the perspectives of children. I argue that the discourse must include concern for the rights and interests of posthumously conceived children and that a new special category of children who are “outcast” cannot stand the test of equality and non-discrimination, nor of the entrenched principles of child welfare and best interests. Moreover, I suggest that attending to children’s perspectives may illuminate the gaps in the current discourse and what needs to be addressed. Finally, Part V draws some conclusions and calls for a more relational approach to ensure that posthumously conceived children do not pay the price of their parents’ decisions and that their welfare and best interests are upheld.

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