On 10 December 2018, it will be seventy years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Thanks to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and States’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted, untold human suffering prevented and the foundations for a most just world have been laid. To celebrate the 70th Anniversary UN Human Rights is launching a year-long campaign on 10 December.Read more
This Summer the Peace Palace Library, accepted a book donation from Brazil titled: “Empresas, Direitos Humanos e Gênero: desafios e perspectivas na proteção e no empoderamento da mulher pelas empresas transnacionais”. The author, Professor Ana Cláudia Ruy Cardia, attended The Hague Academy for the third time and now teaches Private International Law at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in Brazil. In addition, she is also a practicing lawyer in São Paulo. Her publication deals with Transnational Corporations, Human Rights and Gender Issues. Read the Abstract of her publication here.
On a planet where, out of the 100 largest world economies, approximately 49 are States and 51 are companies, issues involving the form of participation of these actors in society are increasingly latent. How to deal with tragic events involving companies and individuals? How not to allow new atrocities to happen again? International society has efforts to restrain the activities of companies violating human rights. Initiatives led by the UN, as well as by other international law subjects, have established a role of protection of human rights by transnational corporations. Within this universe of initiatives, some questions arise: how can such actions be reconciled with women’s empowerment in those companies? How to ensure equal wages, parity promotion opportunities and better living conditions for the group formed by women? These are the main questions, whose answers, still in constant construction, are in this work.
The book is available is the Peace Palace Library. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.orgRead more
Since the creation of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a remnant of the British Empire has been subject of international legal dispute. The two most prominent are the request for an advisory opinion – currently under deliberation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – and secondly the arbitral proceedings under the Law of the Sea Convention. These issues and certain domestic proceedings in the United Kingdom relating to the legal status of the Chagossian people, have been the subject of legal academic research and subsequent publications. A recent addition is titled: “Fifty years of the British Indian Ocean territory: legal perspectives.” This book, produced in response to the 50th anniversary of the British Indian Ocean Territory’s founding, also assesses the impact of the decisions taken in respect of the Territory against a wider background of decolonization while addressing important questions about the lawfulness of maintaining Overseas Territories in the post-colonial era.Read more
This afternoon, the Supreme Court of India delivered a landmark judgment that overturned a colonial era law that made homosexuality a crime. The ruling was delivered by a five-judge bench headed by India’s outgoing Chief Justice Dipak Misra and was unanimous. When reading out the operative portion of the historic verdict, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said: “Any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates fundamental rights”. “Social morality cannot be used to violate the fundamental rights of even a single individual […]Constitutional morality cannot be martyred at the altar of social morality,” he added. India now joins 17 commonwealth nations that have overturned laws criminalizing homosexuality, a legacy stemming from British Colonial Rule.Read more
On August 20, the President of Argentina, Mr. Mauricio Macri, announced during a press meeting that he intends to report Venezuela to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged crimes against humanity. President Macri stated that his plans to refer the Venezuelan government to the ICC are supported by Colombia, Chile and Paraguay. If Argentina succeeds, it will be the first time in history that a state party to the Rome Statute refers a fellow member to the ICC.Read more
Generally, victims of rape and other types of sexual violence are reluctant to speak out. Unfortunately, exclusion and stigmatization are the unavoidable corollary of acts of sexual violence. While there still is limited awareness, focus and advocacy on women’s rights in sexually violent circumstances, it is even less so when men are the victims of these crimes. Reflections on the male victims’ perspective to sexual violence in unrest inspired Sophia Ugwu and her team at Centre for African Justice Peace and Human Rights, a non-profit Foundation based in The Hague, to organise a Symposium on sexual violence perpetrated against the Male gender.Read more
On Wednesday, the Four Freedoms Awards were presented in Middelburg, The Netherlands. At the ceremony HM King Willem-Alexander, HM Queen Maxima and HRH Princess Beatrix were present at the Nieuwe Kerk in Middelburg. The International Four Freedoms Award, the overarching awards for the four freedoms, has been presented to Christiana Figueres Olsen from Costa Rica. Together with her colleagues she spent years in achieving the Paris climate agreement in 2015.Read more
Recent years have seen the African Court begin to find its stride. Its willingness to expand its jurisdiction and defend vulnerable groups against powerful states has shown it to be a bold court with a desire to vigorously uphold its mandate to protect human rights on the Continent. Whilst it indeed seems that the Court has the aspiration to assert itself, the fact that so few states have deposited their Special Declarations allowing individuals and NGOs direct access to the Court continues to hamper its effectiveness. The Court’s outreach efforts to engage with states and civil society in response to this paucity of Special Declarations do appear to be having some success, however, progress has been slow and the Court may have to have recourse to other means to improve state engagement in future.Read more
This week’s compelling guest blog compares the fields of Conflict Studies with Genocide Studies, its intriguing differences and similarities and the general lack of cross-pollination between them, even though they both deal with questions of collective violence and individual participation in violence. The author, Kjell Anderson, is a jurist and social scientist and works in both fields of Conflict Studies and Genocide studies.Read more
Recently, an intelligent and human looking robot named Sophia made global headlines when Saudi Arabia granted the humanoid robot Saudi citizenship. According to the headlines, Saudi Arabia became the first country to grant a robot citizenship. The news caused quite a stir – the female looking robot was not wearing a hijab, she was not accompanied by a male guardian and the robot was awarded citizenship, which made it look like a humanoid intelligent robot was given more rights than women and migrants living in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is known for its restrictive policy concerning women’s rights and Saudi women have only recenly been given the right to drive a car. Perhaps it is a bit premature to give an AI humanoid robots like Sophia citizenship rights. Was it a publicity stunt? Yes.Read more