2019 Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association at Essex

Tara Van Ho

Next year, the University of Essex School of Law and Human Rights Centre will host the 2019 Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association, 12-13 September 2019.

This is a workshop to discuss research-in-progress; papers must be unpublished at the time of presentation. In addition to presenting a paper at the conference, participants are expected to read and be prepared to comment on and discuss the papers of other participants.

Papers may be presented in English, Spanish or French. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 March 2019. If sufficient proposals are made, a panel in Portuguese will also be organized. The working language for common sessions will be English.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Besir OzbekFloriane Borel, and Anene Regassa

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

On December 11, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.1318 – a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the country’s persistently high rates of maternal mortality. The bill seeks to establish a program under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services that will distribute grants to states to fund efforts investigating the factors contributing to pregnancy-related deaths and ultimately develop more effective strategies to reduce maternal mortality rates country-wide.

This bill is seen as a landmark victory for advocates across the country that have long been pushing for increased attention to be paid to the United States’ alarming rate of maternal deaths, which has been documented as the worst rate in the developed world. Indeed, contrary to trends observed in most other developed nations, maternal mortality in the U.S. has continued to rise between 1990 and 2015 and has been shown to disproportionately affect women of colour. These disparities have previously been condemned by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which highlighted the U.S.’ failure to adequately fulfil the right to health and access to health care for communities representing racial, ethnic and national minorities.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Besir OzbekFloriane Borel, and Anene Regassa

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

In Marrakech, UN chief urges world leaders to ‘breathe life’ into historic global migration pact – UN News

Thousands March for Action on Global Warming at United Nations Climate Talks – TIME

Human rights in 2018 – ten issues that made headlines– The Conversation

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UN austerity and human rights report highlights Big Data risks in the UK

By Carmel Williams

Big Data and artificial intelligence are, perhaps surprisingly, a featured highlight in the UN expert’s report on extreme poverty in the UK. Technology is frequently proffered as a solution to poverty and other social rights failings (see for example the recent Astana Declaration on Primary Health Care). However, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, focuses instead on its potential to erode democracy.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

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

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

Statement by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, Geneva – Human Rights Watch

Joint Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – 25 November – UNICEF

Revealed: faulty medical implants harm patients around world – The Guardian

Refugees Have Missed 1.5 Billion Days of School Since 2016, UN Says – Global Citizen

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An End to PFI/PF2- Implications for the Right to Health

By Amy Dickens

On 29thOctober 2018, Philip Hammond delivered a Conservative Budget declaring an end to austerity and outlining plans for a post-Brexit economy. Amidst his speech was the announcement that the government will finally end the Private Finance Initiative (PFI/PF2) on the basis of ‘compelling evidence’ that it does not deliver value for money or transfer risk to the private sector, as proclaimed by the Conservatives and their political predecessors.

Hammond also stated the government’s commitment to honouring its existing contracts. What the Chancellor omitted is the scale of the legacy PFI leaves behind; the 700 existing PFI and PF2 deals will cost the taxpayer an estimated £199 billion by the 2040s. These staggering costs, and the political opacity surrounding PFI, have attracted expert criticism and public outrage. I argue, however, that the PFI saga amounts to more than just an administrative scandal; it is an egregious violation of the rights of UK citizens. Continue reading

International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

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 Diabetes Day: ‘What I wish people knew about my condition’– BBC News

Coral reefs can’t wait for world to take action, urges UN, as Biodiversity Conference gets underway– UN News

When nations work together, hope prevails and collective solutions can be found – UN chief tells Peace Forum, marking World War centenary in Paris- UN News

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