Tag Archives: human rights

New Research Paper: The true human rights situation in Eritrea: the new UK Home Office Guidance as a political instrument for the prevention of migration

Please, find in following link this paper:

‘The true human rights situation in Eritrea: the new UK Home Office Guidance as a political instrument for the prevention of migration’
by Sara Palacios Arapiles.

Link to Paper:  http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/6097/

This research paper aims at documenting the true situation in Eritrea,
in order to refute the credibility of the content and of some of the
sources of the new Guidance on Eritrea issued by the UK Home Office
(HO); and of the related policies that are being implemented in some
other countries, such as Israel. The HO country of origin Guidance
surprisingly claims that there are alleged signs of improvement inside
Eritrea for potential returnees. It is argued in this paper that the
reasons for this are entirely politically influenced, with the purpose
of preventing migration. The paper then brings to light the current
circumstances in the country – supported inter alia by the testimonies
gathered by the author, and the new findings of the UN Commission of
Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea- that would make the forcible return
of the Eritrean asylum-seekers and refugees unlawful.


Re-blog: Fictions of dignity: embodying human rights in world literature.

Re-blog from Librarians and Human Rights blog at: hrlibs.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/fictions-of-dignity-embodying-human.html

Fictions of dignity: embodying human rights in world literature.

Fictions of DignityAnker, Elizabeth S. 2012. Fictions of dignity: embodying human rights in world literature. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Over the past fifty years, debates about human rights have assumed an increasingly prominent place in postcolonial literature and theory. Writers from Salman Rushdie to Nawal El Saadawi have used the novel to explore both the possibilities and challenges of enacting and protecting human rights, particularly in the Global South. In Fictions of Dignity, Elizabeth S. Anker shows how the dual enabling fictions of human dignity and bodily integrity contribute to an anxiety about the body that helps to explain many of the contemporary and historical failures of human rights, revealing why and how lives are excluded from human rights protections along the lines of race, gender, class, disability, and species membership. In the process, Anker examines the vital work performed by a particular kind of narrative imagination in fostering respect for human rights. Drawing on phenomenology, Anker suggests how an embodied politics of reading might restore a vital fleshiness to the overly abstract, decorporealized subject of liberal rights.

Each of the novels Anker examines approaches human rights in terms of limits and paradoxes. Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children addresses the obstacles to incorporating rights into a formerly colonized nation’s legal culture. El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero takes up controversies over women’s freedoms in Islamic society. In Disgrace, J. M. Coetzee considers the disappointments of post-apartheid reconciliation in South Africa. And in The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy confronts an array of human rights abuses widespread in contemporary India. Each of these literary case studies further demonstrates the relevance of embodiment to both comprehending and redressing the failures of human rights, even while those narratives refuse simplistic ideals or solutions.

Publication: Report on Human Rights in Iraq: July – December 2012

Reblogged from Reliefweb – Report on Human Rights in Iraq: July – December 2012

Iraq’s human rights progress in question as violence takes its toll: UN Report

BAGHDAD / GENEVA (27 June 2013) – “Despite some progress, human rights in Iraq are under further threat from mounting violence”, says the UN on the release of its latest Report on Human Rights in Iraq.

The report, published by the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in cooperation with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), provides an overview of the human rights situation in Iraq from 1 July to 31 December 2012. Of primary concern is the upturn in armed violence. At least 3,238 civilians were killed and 10,379 injured in 2012 in a worrying reversal of the trend that had seen violence decline in recent years.

“The return to high casualty figures means that much more needs to be done to protect civilians,” said Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq. “We have consistently urged Iraqi leaders to engage in dialogue and develop policies that address the root causes of the problem. Too many innocent lives have been lost,” he added.

Iraq is also yet to respond to UN and international calls for a moratorium on the death penalty. “Weaknesses in the criminal justice system mean that the death sentence is often handed down under questionable circumstances in Iraq,” said Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “With 123 prisoners executed in 2012, there is a great risk that the worst miscarriages of justice imaginable are taking place here,” said Ms. Pillay.

The UN welcomed progress made to implement the National Action Plan on Human Rights, and a number of laws passed by the Council of Representatives. It called for further efforts to empower the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights and to reduce interference by political blocs.

“Women, minorities, the disabled, and other vulnerable groups in Iraq continue to suffer from discrimination, economic and social barriers, and targeted attacks,” said Ms. Pillay. “I urge the Government of Iraq to do everything possible to implement the recommendations made in this report. Strengthening human rights institutions should be a top priority.”

“Iraqi citizens look to their leaders for protection,” concluded Mr. Kobler. “The human rights of all Iraqis should be of paramount concern for all members of the Iraqi Government.”

[Download Full Report]

See Also –Mounting violence in Iraq erodes progress on human rights – UN report

See Also – Iraq’s human rights progress in question as violence takes its toll: UN Report


For further information and interview requests, please contact:

In Baghdad: Eliane Nabaa, Chief of Public Information Office, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (+964 79 01 101 989 / Email: nabaa@un.org)

In Geneva: Mr. Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office – (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org); Liz Throssell (+ 41 22 917 9434 / ethrossell@ohchr.org) or Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 or +41 79 618 3430 / cpouilly@ohchr.org).


Online Human Rights Library Opened in Belgrade | OneWorldsee platform for southeast Europe

Online Human Rights Library Opened in Belgrade

The Online Human Rights Library with close to 7,000 books on the subject of human rights was presented and officially opened on March 15, 2013, at the House of Human Rights and Democracy in Belgrade. On the URL http://www.hrlibrary.rs, the visitors can browse the available books on theory and practice of human rights.

The online library is a part of the first regional Human Rights Library and is opened for activists, students and researchers in the area of human rights. Maja Stojanović, Programming Director at Građanske inicijative (Civic Initiatives NGO) and Chairwoman of the Board of the House of Human Rights and Democracy officially opened the library and expressed her hopes that it will allow the students and researchers, but also members of the general public work more seriously on the subject of human rights.

The library offers, adequate literature, a place for visitors to read, learn and research, which will facilitate the process of researching of human rights and public advocacy. The library aims to contribute to the building of a culture of respect for human rights and raised awareness about the improtance of development of theory and practice of human rights in Serbia.

All interested citizens, students and researches can open a user account on the website http://www.hrlibrary.rs or log in through their Facebook profile, which will allow them to browse and reserve books to check out or read on the premises.

All books are indexed and easily searchable and the website intends to open a forum for commenting on the publications in the library.

The creation of the Library of Human Rights was supported by USAID, through the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC). (Source: Građanske inicijative/ISC)

via Online Human Rights Library Opened in Belgrade | OneWorldsee platform for southeast Europe.

News: Death and torture in a Libyan prison – human rights violations continue

Death and torture in a Libyan prison – human rights violations continue

By Mary Sutton  Wednesday, 13 March 2013.

Hopes for justice and human rights in Libya were dealt another blow as news has emerged of the death on 10th March of an Egyptian, Ezzat Hakim, whilst in custody.  Although the Libyan authorities claim that Ezzat’s death was related to a medical condition, this has been contested by Egyptian human rights lawyers who say that Ezzat died as a result of torture whilst in detention.

Ezzat’s arrest on 13 February 2013 came days after four people – a South African, a South Korean, a Swedish American, and an Egyptian – were arrested in Benghazi on suspicion of proselytisation.  Ezzat, along with three other Egyptians living in Libya, had the misfortune of being on the list of contacts on the phone of the arrested Egyptian, Sherif Ramsis, and, as a result, they were arrested.  It appears their only crime was an assumption of guilt by association and reports suggest they have been severely tortured in an attempt to make them confess.  Over the last two weeks, activists in Egypt received information, purportedly originating from lawyers at the Criminal Investigation Unit in Libya, that the four Egyptians were to be released because of lack of evidence of any involvement with Sherif Ramsis’s activities involving distribution of Christian literature.  Tragically, the delays have cost Ezzat his life.

Concern is now focused on the remaining three Egyptians.  Despite no clear charge they remain in prison.  The latest news is that imminently they will have to stand before the public prosecutor who will decide on their case.  As migrants in one country and part of a minority in their home country, the support and advocacy of human rights activists in the wider international community may prove to be crucial.

Press articles:




New Publication: Prison Service Journal – Special Edition Migration, Nationality and Detention

A special volume of the Prison Service Journal has just been published on the subject of `Migration, Nationality and Detention.’  The Prison Service Journal (PSJ) is published by HM Prison Service. Its purpose is to promote discussion on issues related to the work of the Prison Service, the wider Criminal Justice System and associated fields. The PSJ is hosted by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies following the re-structure of the Prison service and the loss of the Prison service website.

This volume is available to download here:   January 2013 No. 205

Call for Applications: Short Course on Refugee Law Monday 8 April –12 April 2013 Bangkok, Thailand

Call for Applications:

Short Course on Refugee Law

Monday 8 April –12 April 2013

Bangkok, Thailand

Applications received through 28 February 2013

The Centre for Applied Human Rights (University of York, UK), in partnership with the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), is offering a five-day Short Course on International Refugee Law and Advocacy in Bangkok in April 2013.

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. Understanding the legal and policy framework of the international refugee protection regime
  2. Developing national NGO networks for advocacy
  3. Conducting regional and transnational impact litigation of refugee rights
  4. Implementing refugee rights in domestic law
  5. Engaging elected officials and the development of national legislative caucuses
  6. Using national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to monitor and protect the rights of refugees
  7. Using UNHCR processes to protect the rights of refugees
  8. Engaging the human rights mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council, including its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and special procedures (Special Rapporteurs, Working Groups, etc.)

Fore more details and application please visit this website: Click here.


The short course provides an in depth examination of the law and politics of legal advocacy for the rights of refugees, with a particular focus on Asia. The course explores the various mechanisms through which refugee law is developed and can be enforced.

In adopting this focus, it seeks to address the contemporary challenge of those advocating on behalf of refugees: how can we engage the state and the international community so as to better allow refugees to enjoy the rights to which they are entitled?

The Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) will convene this three-day workshop to meet the following objectives:

Why attend?

Whatever your level of involvement with refugee issues, this course will provide you with a deeper understanding of the legal frameworks that govern their rights and new ideas for advocacy based upon current case studies drawn from across Asia. Whether you are a post-graduate student, international agency staff, an NGO worker, lawyer or otherwise interested in refugee issues, the course will provide you with a new, rigorous, rights-based understanding of legal advocacy for refugee rights. Formal post-graduate academic credit available.

To apply, please fill out the application form here.

Please note, space and funding is limited, early application is, therefore, encouraged.  Selected candidates will be contacted during the first week of March 2013.

Finalised agenda and logistical information will be released and circulated to applicants and interested parties prior to mid-March 2013.

Queries are welcome and those seeking further information are encouraged to contact Danielle Grigsby atdanielle@aprrn.info or Shannon Murphy at  shannon.aprrn@gmail.com.

University of York, Centre for Applied Human Rights, and APRRN Secretariat
28 January 2013