International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Besir OzbekFloriane Borel, Anene Negeri and Mitch Paquette

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.

This week’s story in focus

British-born Shamima Begum was 15 years old when she left Bethnal Green, London to join ISIS. Recently, she fled from Baghuz, the last remaining ISIS stronghold in Syria, after the deaths of her two children and while nine months pregnant with her third child. Now living in the al-Hawl refugee camp with her newborn son, Shamima has publicized her desire to return to the UK.

Since this story came to light, the UK Home Office has decided to revoke Shamima’s British citizenship. Under UK law, it is only possible to deprive a person of their citizenship if it is “conducive to the public good” and if doing so would not leave a person stateless. The Home Office has said that because her mother is of Bangladeshi heritage, Shamima would be eligible for citizenship in that country. The government of Bangladesh, however, denies that Shamima is a Bangladeshi citizen and says that she would not be allowed to enter the country. Human rights groups have criticized the UK Home Office’s decision as a breach of Shamima Begum’s right to not be arbitrarily deprived of her UK citizenship. Amnesty International UK has stated that revoking Shamima’s citizenship is “legally and morally questionable,” particularly given that children are involved, and has further stated that if the government suspects that an individual returning the UK has committed crimes under international law, they should be investigated and charged appropriately.

 

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HRBDT Weekly News Circular

By Naomi Biggs

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 8-15 February 2019.

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

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Besir OzbekFloriane Borel, and Mitch Paquette

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.

This week’s story in focus

A court in The Hague, Netherlands heard the first arguments on Tuesday, February 12th in a suit against Royal Dutch Shell Plc alleging the company’s complicity in the executions of nine Ogoni activists by the Nigerian authorities in 1995. The case is brought by four widows who claim that their husbands were targeted for their participation in protests against Shell’s subsidiary in Nigeria. One of the claimants who testified on Tuesday, Esther Kiobel, originally filed a case against Shell in the United States, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the US did not have jurisdiction. They seek compensation and a public apology for the company’s role in violations of their husbands’ physical integrity, right to a fair trial, and right to life, as well as their own right to a family life. Shell denies any connection to the executions.

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Ogoni widows outside the court room in The Hague (Photograph: Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

The allegations in the case concern the Nigerian military’s repression of Ogoni protests against Shell’s pollution during the 1990s, which resulted in widespread human rights violations. Environmental activists continue to face tremendous risk across the globe. Last year 77% of the 321 activists targeted and killed for their work were defending land and environmental rights.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Besir OzbekFloriane Borel, Anene Negeri and Mitch Paquette

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.

This week’s story in focus

Wednesday, February 6th marked this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as designated by the United Nations. Introduced in 2003, this day of awareness highlights the on-going, widespread nature of FGM, as well as efforts to put an end to the practice and provide care for survivors of such procedures.

FGM is recognized as a human rights violation and an extreme form of discrimination against women by a range of UN Agencies and human rights bodies (e.g. UNICEF;UNFPAWHOUN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women; UN Human Rights Council). Recent measures to address FGM include its designation under the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a harmful practice to be eliminated by 2030 and domestic laws prohibiting FGM in a number of countries. However, significant efforts are still needed to effectively put an end to the practice. Thousands of cases are still reported across the world, from the United States and the United Kingdom, to Somalia,KenyaIndia and Australia.

 

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Besir OzbekFloriane Borel, and Mitch Paquette

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

UN Court judge quits the Hague citing political interference – The Guardian

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows – UN News

Early warning, early action: changing the way disasters are managed – ReliefWeb

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