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.



Amnesty International has toxic working culture, report finds – The Guardian

The 2019 Report for the fight to end female genital mutilation – NPR News

Nearly two-thirds of children lack access to welfare safety net, risking ‘vicious cycle of poverty’ – UN News


Dozens sentenced over deadly 2015 Tunisia attacks– Al Jazeera

Sudanese forces fire tear gas at Khartoum mosque – witnesses– Reuters

Refugees hope for solutions as African leaders gather in Ethiopia– Al Jazeera


Stansted 15: no jail for activists convicted of terror-related offences – The Guardian

Warwick University vice-chancellor urged to resign over handling of rape threats in student group chat – The Independent

Poland: Women’s Rights Activists Targeted – Human Rights Watch

Mass surveillance challenge proceeds to Europe’s highest human rights court – Amnesty International

Amnesty to pay £1m over suicide of stressed worker Gaëtan Mootoo – The Times

Latin America and the Caribbean

Venezuelan troops blockade bridge to stop aid from Colombia – The Guardian

Bahamas: 28 Haitian migrants drown in illegal crossing – BBC News

Guatemalans protest against bill that would free war criminals – Al Jazeera


Syrian refugees burn plastic to survive harsh winter – Al Jazeera

Hospitals in Yemen unable to cope with swine flu – Al Jazeera

Saudi leaders may be responsible for activists’ torture: UK MPs – Reuters

Will Saudi Arabia be held to account for Khashoggi’s murder?– Al Jazeera

Jamal Khashoggi murder: No closure without body, says fiancee– Al Jazeera

Syrian artists use music and comedy to promote idea of freedom– Al Jazeera

North America

Trump sees an opening with voters on late-term abortion – The Atlantic

US attorney in Philadelphia sues over safe injection site – AP News


Australia: ParentsNext limits right to social security for parents and children – Australian Human Rights Commission

New Zealand: ACC payout ‘one benefit’ law ruled discriminatory by Human Rights Tribunal – RNZ News

Australian government seeks to block bid to relax tough law on migrants – Reuters

Auckland schoolboy Marli Atu told to cover up traditional Pasifika tattoo plans to challenge rules at Human Rights Commission – New Zealand Heald

Pacific teachers given human rights training – RNZ News

South and South-East Asia

Nepal urged to crack down on ‘menstruation huts’ after fourth death in a month – Reuters

Philippines: Lowering criminal age to 12 will ‘endanger children’s lives’ – Amnesty International

Cupid takes aim: gay couples file Valentine’s cases to wed in Japan – Reuters

Turkey condemns China’s ‘torture and political brainwashing’ in Xinjiang – CNN

Myanmar villagers flee to Bangladesh amid Rakhine violence – Al Jazeera


Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are the author(s) alone


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