HRBDT Weekly News Circular

By Shoaib Ehsan

Each week the Human Rights, Big Data & Technology Project, based at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre, prepares an overview of related news stories from the week. This summary contains news articles from 22 to 28 July 2017.

You can follow the HRBDT Project on twitter: @hrbdtNews.

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Amnesty International’s Tanya O’Carroll on privacy & the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ argument

By Ajay Sandhu 

I recently interviewed Tanya O’Carroll, a Technology and Human Rights advisor at Amnesty International, to discuss government surveillance and its impact. I framed our discussion around the most common response researchers studying surveillance receive from the public: the “nothing to hide” argument. The nothing to hide argument alleges that government surveillance programs serve a security purpose and should not to be opposed by innocent people. This blog outlines O’Carroll thoughts about the nothing to hide argument and it’s flaws, the importance of privacy rights, and the ‘encryption mentality’ that she thinks should replace the nothing to hide argument. Continue reading

Chile and the Inter-American Human Rights System

By Karinna Fernández, Cristián Peña and Sebastián Smart

Scholars and commentators have focused on Chile as a successful example of democratic transition, but much still remains to be done around improving human rights compliance in the country. For example, Chile has failed to effectively address some of the atrocities perpetrated during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship of 1973-90, or the current human rights violations that affect indigenous peoples and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) community. As will be shown, the Inter American Human Rights System (IAHRS) offers opportunities in this regard, and provides a forum to address both past and present human rights violations. To understand these opportunities, the first part of this post will give some current examples of human rights violations in the country, while in the second part we will show how the IAHRS has contributed to the advancement of human rights.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By  Tola Akindipe,  Giulia Carlini, Elizabeth Mangenje,  Tommaso Poli,  Udita Sharma

Each week students at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre prepare an overview of the past week’s human rights related news stories from around the world.

  • Africa

Uganda: Arrests of Dozens Attending Peaceful Meetings is Absurd – Amnesty International

Children Increasingly Targeted for Murder, Rape in Central African Republic – UN News

Boko Haram suspects tortured in Cameroon, Amnesty says   – BBC Africa

Zim man set free over anti-Mugabe slur– Zimbabwe Situation

Somali spike but global piracy still declining– Maritime Journal

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Udita Sharma, Elizabeth Mangenje, Tola Akindipe, and Giulia Carlini

Each week students at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre prepare an overview of the past week’s human rights related news stories from around the world.

  • International

New refugee framework “dead in the water” without more international support-IRIN

Environmental defenders being killed in record numbers globally, new research reveals –The Guardian

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“People just don’t get it” an interview with Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts about why surveillance issues aren’t getting the attention they deserve

By Ajay Sandhu 

The precarious state of privacy often fails to stir public attention. For example, the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), a piece of legislation granting police and intelligence agencies sweeping surveillance powers in the UK, is said to have passed into law “with barely a whimper.” What explains this lukewarm response? How does the US install bulk surveillance programs like Total Information Awareness (TIA) or the UK pass privacy threatening bills like the IPA (sometimes called the “snooper’s charter”) without receiving the level of attention that one might expect from a society which claims to value privacy rights?

To help answer this question, I spoke to Kade Crockford, the director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM). I spoke to Crockford because of her expert knowledge on issues related to privacy, security, and surveillance as well as her recent experience leading a campaign against the Boston Police Departments’ plan to buy social media spying software. Crockford played a central role in the pro-privacy advocacy which likely encouraged the Boston PD to scrap their plans. I thought that Crockford could offer insights into why surveillance practices aren’t earning a critical response and how to reverse this trend. Continue reading

International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Luiza Drummond Veado and Cecilia Grillo

Each week students at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre prepare an overview of the past week’s human rights related news stories from around the world.

  • International

‘A human right, not a bonus’: readers on campaigning for disability rights – The Guardian

  • Africa

Tanzania: Stop Threatening Rights Groups – Human Rights Watch

Reconsider charges against Palestinian human rights defender, UN experts urge Israel – UNNews

Ghana: People with Disabilities Freed from Chains – Human Rights Watch

Bahrain: Woman human rights defender at high risk of torture, including sexual assault – Amnesty International

Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Yezidi Fighters’ Families Expelled – Human Rights Watch

Central African Republic: Civilians Targeted in War – Human Rights Watch
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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Luiza Drummond Veado and Cecilia Grillo

Each week students at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre prepare an overview of the past week’s human rights related news stories from around the world.

  • International

‘Inclusive, equitable and quality education’ at the heart of high-level UN event – UN News Centre

UN experts call for resistance as battle over women’s rights intensifies – OHCHR

15 years of ICC: international criminal justice is working and needs strong support – Huffington Post

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