Student-led campaign leads to scholarships to support refugees at the University of Essex

By Tola Akindipe

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Image: Tola Akindipe, Zoe Garshong, and scholarship recipients Rahaf, Nusaiba and Ahmad

Since the beginning of the current refugee crisis in Europe there has been a lot of interest in how higher education can provide opportunities to people who are fleeing persecution. Many universities have drafted policies to make it easier for their admissions departments to admit refugees, or have offered scholarships and fee waivers. During the summer of 2017 the University of Essex decided to join this movement and announced that it would pilot a scholarship scheme to offer three scholarships worth £10,000 to Syrian refugees. This post will discuss the student-led campaign that convinced the University to launch this important initiative.
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Labour’s policies are missing one vital ingredient – ‘social rights’

By Stuart Weir*

The Labour party’s 2017 manifesto remains an impressive document with its insistence on equality and human rights. Labour has become the party of commitments to human rights of all kinds, civil and political, workers’ rights, women’s rights, the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, the rights of people with disabilities, and LGBTI rights.

But there is a gaping hole, as a new pamphlet by Paul Hunt, the outstanding human rights lawyer and activist, points outIn Social Rights Are Human Rights – But the UK System is Rigged, published by the Centre for Welfare Reform, Hunt writes that the manifesto’s social policies on education, social security, housing, health and social care are “among its strongest features”, but there is no explicit mention of social rights [my emphasis], except for a single reference to the right to education.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Diana Figueroa, Tommaso Poli,  Udita Sharma,   Tola AkindipeGiulia Carlini

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 resolution condemns death penalty for same-sex relations – ILGA.org

Anti-nuclear weapons group Ican wins Nobel Peace Prize – BBC

Granting “human rights” to rivers: “Wacky” laws protect special interests, not environment – The Rebel

Promoting human rights through science – Science Magazine Continue reading

International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Udita Sharma, Giulia CarliniDiana Figueroa,  Tola Akindipe

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

Plane crash that killed UN boss ‘may have been caused by aircraft attack’ -The Guardian

Cherif Bassiouni, ‘father of international criminal law,’ dies at 79 – The Washington Post

Almost 75% of all children are subjected to violence each year, research finds – The Guardian

  • Africa

Kenya: IEBC Fails to Convince Nasa, Jp to Back Ballot Papers Deal – allAfrica

Tanzania: No External Investigators in Lissu Shooting, Says Govt – allAfrica

Cameroon is on edge after security forces opened fire on Anglophone protesters – Quartz Africa
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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Giulia CarliniTommaso Poli,  Udita Sharma, Diana Figueroa,   Tola Akindipe

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

72nd Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) –  SDG Knowledge Hub

Dozens of states sign treaty banning nuclear weapons – Al Jazeera

Countries That Care the Most About Human Rights – US News

  • Africa

Kenyan police fire teargas at Supreme Court protesters – Reuters

Zimbabwe: Uproar Over ‘Slavery’ On Zim Farms – allAfrica

Bashir Visit Highlights Abuses in Darfur – Human Rights Watch

Herders against Farmers: Nigeria’s Expanding Deadly Conflict – Crisis Group

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Human Rights, Environment, and Migration of Mongolia’s Herders

by Rachael Diniega

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.

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International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By   Tola Akindipe and Giulia Carlini

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

Resignation of Vitit Muntarbhorn as Independent Expert on SOGI – for Health & Family Reasons – ILGA.org

UN report attacks austerity budgets for growing inequality – The Guardian

  • Africa

Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi (A/HRC/36/54) – Relief Web

Kenyan police fire tear gas after women attacked at election meeting – Reuters Africa

Congolese Troops Shoot Dozens of Burundian Refugees – All Africa

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