The United States: a world leader in human rights?

By Dr Andrew Fagan

On Thursday 20 June 2018, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced that the US was taking the unprecedented move of formally withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).  America’s two most senior diplomats sought to justify the not-unexpected decision by graphically depicting the UN’s foremost human rights body as entirely unfit for purpose. They explained that despite the US’s concerted attempts to reform the body, the work of the UNHRC was irreparably compromised by the presence of several human rights-violating Member States on the Council. Haley denounced the Council as “a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.” She then proceeded to argue that the US was compelled to withdraw from the foremost UN human rights body precisely because of what she presented as the US’s unequivocal support for human rights. In another communication, Haley declared that the US would remain a “world leader” in the continuing fight for human rights. She stopped short of evoking the Scriptural “city on the hill” symbolism which often accompanies the US’s self-identification as the global moral super-power, but her message was clear enough: true defenders of human rights must not continue to support the UNHRC and should join the US in taking such a politically “courageous” move.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Manon ClayetteAyushi Kalyan , Nina Giraudel, and Sweekruthi Keshavamurthy

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

Peacekeeping chief highlights challenges facing UN Police – UN News

Stigmatized, shunned and shamed, International Widows’ Day draws attention to their unique needs – UN News

World Health Organization No Longer Classifies Being Trans as ‘Mental Illness’ – Global Citizen

 Refugees and other migrants do not lose their rights by crossing borders – OHCHR

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Finding Trump with Neural Networks

By James Allen-Robertson (This post originally appeared on Medium)

When the President tweets, how do we know who is really behind the keyboard? With a trained Neural Network, we might be able to find out.

Prior to March 2018 Donald Trump had been using an unauthorised personal Android phone in his role as POTUS. Whilst a source of anxiety for his Staff, for journalists and researchers this was particularly useful for distinguishing the words of the President himself, from those of the White House Staff. With Twitter’s API — the gateway Twitter makes available for anyone wanting to utilise their data — providing information on the ‘source’ for each Tweet, it became a fair assumption that if the ‘source’ was Android, it was pure Trump.

However as you can see from the following chart that maps the month of the tweet (on the x axis) by the frequency of tweeting (on the y axis), around March 2017 activity from Android drops off, and iPhone activity picks up.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By  Besir OzbekAgathe ArtusÖvünç GüneşFrancesca Fazio

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

UNICEF urges all countries to provide ‘Super Dads’ with paid leave – UN News

The High Commissioner is proud of the UN Human Rights Office in 2017 – OHCHR

Discrimination Has No Role in the World Cup – Human Rights Watch

‘Much more’ can be done to raise awareness about the plight of persons with albinism: UN chief – UN News

The Most Inspiring Photos of 2018 Pride Marches Around the World – Global Citizen

At least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled in 2016, first UN global study shows – UN News

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Deconstructing the meaning of Art: a thing or a right?

By Luis F. Yanes

This blog originally appeared on SLSA Blog.

From Aristotle to contemporary thinkers, many have suggested that there is a human instinct to produce and to enjoy artistic experiences or expressions. But how to define such natural instinct? When we really enjoy something – something we believe to be well done and particularly beautiful – like a car, a house, a table, or even a person, we tend to refer it as ‘a piece of art’, highlighting a distinct characteristic that it has from everything else. Is art then beauty?

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Ayushi Kalyan , Nina Giraudel, Sweekruthi Keshavamurthy,  Manon Clayette

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

World must unite against ‘preventable tragedy’ of ocean pollution: UN chief – UN News

Global Citizen Launches New Campaign for Gender Equality Because #SheIsEqual – Global Citizen

International Summit: Travel and tourism sector acts to protect children across the industry – UNICEF News

Malala Calls on G7 Leaders to Commit to Girls’ Education – Global Citizen

Hunger surges amid deadly conflicts, poor weather conditions in many countries – UN agriculture agency – UN News

Fathers are one of the best, yet most underutilized child development resources – UNICEF – UNICEF News

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By  Besir OzbekAgathe ArtusÖvünç GüneşFrancesca Fazio

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

The UN Wants to Create a Treaty to End Workplace Harassment – Global Citizen

‘Positive’ community building helps combat hate online: UN counter-terrorism chair – UN News

More Than Half the World’s Children Face Poverty, Conflict, or Discrimination – Global Citizen

World Environment Day: Joint Statement by UN Environment and Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment – OHCHR

Gender Inequality Could Be Costing the World $160 Trillion – Global Citizen

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