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

‘Historic moment’ for people on the move, as UN agrees first-ever Global Compact on migration – UN News

The ICC Turns 20 – The Future of International Justice Amid Boundless Cruelty (Interview) – Human Rights Watch

Disney Will Produce 21 Short Films by Aspiring Female Filmmakers Around the World – Global Citizen

World Population Day: ‘A matter of human rights’ says UN – UN News

NATO Issues Strong Statement On Spending, Russia, Amid Discord And Trump Criticism – RFE/RL

Failure to educate girls could cost world $30 trillion – Reuters Continue reading

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Why We Need to Stop Talking About ‘Killer Robots’ and Address the AI Backlash

By Lorna McGregor

This post originally appeared on EJIL: Talk!

In the field of artificial intelligence, the spectacle of the ‘killer robot’ looms large. In my work for the ESRC Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, I am often asked about what the ‘contemporary killer robot’ looks like and what it means for society. In this post, I offer some reflections on why I think the image of the ‘killer robot’ – once a mobiliser for dealing with autonomous weapons systems – is now narrowing and distorting the debate and taking us away from the broader challenges posed by artificial intelligence, particularly for human rights.

In order to address these challenges, I argue that we have to recognise the speed at which technology is developing. This requires us to be imaginative enough to predict and be ready to address the risks of new technologies ahead of their emergence. The example of self-driving cars is a good illustration of technology having arrived before regulatory issues have been resolved. To do otherwise means that we will be perpetually behind the state of technological development and regulating retrospectively. We therefore need to future-proof regulation, to the extent possible, which requires much more forward-thinking and prediction than we have engaged in so far. Continue reading

International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Manon ClayetteAyushi KalyanNina 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 

Dangers of poor quality health care revealed ‘in all countries’: WHO report – UN News 

The EU Parliament makes it clear — no deal for Azerbaijan unless it improves its rights record – Human Rights Watch 

Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons marks first anniversary, but still lacks sufficient numbers to become law – UN News 

UN: Next week, world leaders have a chance to end child migration detention for good – Amnesty International    Continue reading

Quick Comment on UK Draft Data Retention and Acquisition Regulations 2018 and the definition of ‘serious crime’ for bulk surveillance powers

By Daragh Murray and Pete Fussey

The UK Government has published the Draft Data Retention and Acquisition Regulations 2018, which propose changes to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA) and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). Both the IPA and RIPA provide a legal basis for Government surveillance, including bulk surveillance techniques.

The changes included in the draft were brought about, in large part, as a result of adverse findings by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Watson case, which held that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights:

…must be interpreted as precluding national legislation governing the protection and security of traffic and location data and, in particular, access of the competent national authorities to the retained data, where the objective pursued by that access, in the context of fighting crime, is not restricted solely to fighting serious crime, where access is not subject to prior review by a court or an independent administrative authority, and where there is no requirement that the data concerned should be retained within the European Union. (para 125)

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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

UN Human Rights Council: As US Retreats, Other Countries Need To Work Together in Defense of Human Rights – Human Rights Watch

Rise in number of children killed, maimed and recruited in conflict: UN report – UN News

The World Is Behind Target to Achieve the Global Goals by 2030 – Global Citizen

‘We must fight terrorism together’ without sacrificing legal and human rights, declares UN chief – UN News Continue reading

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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