Intergovernmental Organizations

Human Rights, Disarmament, and Killer Robots, 26th Session of the Human Rights Council

The BAE Systems Taranis , Courtesy of Wikipedia

Killer Robots, also known as Lethal Autonomous Robots (LARs), are fully autonomous military machines designed to track, target, and attack. Unlike unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones), which require remote human control, LARs, once activated, have the capacity to take a life without human input. Although no military currently utilizes LARs, semi-autonomous military vehicles are [Read More...]

UN Committee against Torture Reviews Holy See and Non-Reporting State

Vatican Window. Photo Credit: Flickr user Derek Key.

In May 2014, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) held its 52nd session in Geneva. Two significant events took place during this session: consideration of the initial report of the Holy See and the review of a non-reporting state. The Holy See, which ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 2002, appeared before the CAT [Read More...]

Turkey’s attempt to ban social media platforms threatens freedom of expression


The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern over Turkey’s recent attempt to ban social media platforms Twitter and YouTube, calling these actions a threat to freedom of expression conflicting with the country’s international human rights obligations. While Turkey is not the only country attempting to block forms of [Read More...]

African Union Promises Commission to Investigate Human Rights Abuses in South Sudan

South Sudan Refugees in Uganda, January 2014 European Commission DG ECHO

The African Union (AU) recently initiated a Commission of Inquiry to investigate gross human rights abuses in South Sudan. This measure follows months of fighting, which began mid-December in South Sudan, displacing 189,000 people in the first three weeks. As of mid-February 2014, over 850,000 people are displaced, both internally in South Sudan and as [Read More...]

United Nations Claims Anti-homosexuality Legislation Violates Human Rights: The Cases of Uganda and India

The International Conference on LGBT Human Rights

*Update on the LGBTQ situation in Uganda* (article follows) On February 23, 2013 President Yoweri Musevini of Uganda signs into law a bill, strengthening Africa’s antigay movement. Although, Musevini said he would not signed the bill proposed by the parliament, he has since then shifted position, agreeing with the conservative view in Uganda. The bill [Read More...]

World Bank Women, Business and the Law Publishes 2014 Report: Removing Restrictions to Enhance Gender Equality


The World Bank Women, Business and the Law has published its 2014 report tracking gender restrictions in 143 economies across the globe.  The World Bank reports that no business in the world contains, on its face, gender discrimination.  However, women around the world remain disproportionally excluded from economic participation.  In an attempt to understand why [Read More...]

Hassan v. The United Kingdom


On a foggy day in Strasbourg, December 11, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) heard arguments from both the applicant and the U.K. government in its last scheduled hearing for the calendar year, Hassan v. the United Kingdom. A number of dignitaries attended including judges from the highest courts of Poland, Montenegro, and [Read More...]

UN Millennium Development Goals to Incorporate a Rights Based Approach

During the 68th United Nations General Assembly, world leaders addressed the need to have the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) written from a human rights based approach. As the UN urges progress toward the eight anti-poverty targets set forth in 2000, concerned advocates note that future targets need to be aligned with human rights treaty obligations. [Read More...]

United Nations Urges Comprehensive Laws Regarding Right to Privacy

As innovations in technology increase global communications and electronic surveillance techniques, many believe that governments need to aggressively protect online privacy while simultaneously upholding international human rights standards, or otherwise risk severely limiting freedom of speech. UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue urges the need for more comprehensive laws regulating what constitutes necessary and legitimate [Read More...]