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;UNFPA; WHO; UN 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,Kenya, India and Australia.
Poland: Women’s Rights Activists Targeted – Human Rights Watch
Mass surveillance challenge proceeds to Europe’s highest human rights court – Amnesty International
Latin America and the Caribbean
Venezuelan troops blockade bridge to stop aid from Colombia – The Guardian
Syrian refugees burn plastic to survive harsh winter – Al Jazeera
Hospitals in Yemen unable to cope with swine flu – Al Jazeera
Trump sees an opening with voters on late-term abortion – The Atlantic
Australia: ParentsNext limits right to social security for parents and children – Australian Human Rights Commission
Pacific teachers given human rights training – RNZ News
South and South-East Asia
Philippines: Lowering criminal age to 12 will ‘endanger children’s lives’ – Amnesty International
Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are the author(s) alone