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.
By Paul Hunt
This blog originally appeared on The Conversation
For 12 days, Philip Alston, the UN envoy on extreme poverty and human rights, and his tireless team, have travelled the length and breadth of the UK. They’ve listened to hundreds of people who have experienced poverty. Many of these stories were heartbreaking, as I witnessed when attending a public meeting in Jaywick, Essex, organised by Unite Community, for the international visitors.
This month, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, John Knox, will travel to Mongolia on an official country visit. By creating the mandate in 2012, the Human Rights Council acknowledged the increasing recognition of governments and civil society that a safe and sustainable environment is needed to fully enjoy many human rights, such as the rights to food and water. For Mongolia, a healthy environment is particularly important for the one-fifth of its population who are nomadic pastoralists, as their livelihoods are intricately tied to the environment. This post will discuss how rural-urban migration of Mongolian herders highlights the connection between environmental concerns and human rights.
Facing threats of climate change, poor rangeland management, and pollution, Mongolia is falling behind on many of its environment-related human rights obligations. For my dissertation for the MA Human Rights & Cultural Diversity at the University of Essex last year and as a National Geographic Young Explorer, I interviewed herders about environmental change, natural disasters, and migration, focusing on learning what a local human rights-based approach to climate change displacement could look like. One former herder’s story highlighted the human rights and environment issues that Mr. Knox will need to address in his upcoming country visit.
By Sanae Fujita
The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, David Kaye, conducted an official visit to Japan from 12 to19 April 2016. This blog presents a brief recap of the Rapporteur’s key findings relating to journalism in Japan, and notes allegations that the mission, and those assisting it, were subject to surveillance. Continue reading