Intergovernmental Organizations

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...]

UN Working Group Urges a Binding Accountability Mechanism for Private Military and Security Companies

CC image courtesy of Heath Powell on Flickr

Recent comments by a UN Working Group focused on private military and security companies (PMSCs) highlight the continuing need for an international convention to ensure that PMSCs respect international human rights and humanitarian law. PMSCs are a force and a control tool used by both state and non-state actors. Though PMSCs appear to be the [Read More...]

UN Organs Focus on Paralyzing Debt Caused by “Vulture Funds”

CC Image courtesy of United Nations - Geneva on Flickr

The United Nations (UN) International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered the release of the ARA Libertad, an Argentine naval ship on December 15, 2012. A Ghanaian court impounded the ARA Libertad in October 2012 at the behest of the “vulture fund” NML Capital, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based investment firm Elliot Capital [Read More...]

Adding Human Rights to the European Financial Reform Debate

Photo Credit: Another Day (2) by Mehran Khalili

While the negative impact of the global financial crisis on the realization of human rights has disproportionately hit those in developing and least-developed countries, the crisis has also reached the developed world. On October 5, 2012, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights met with independent experts on the promotion of [Read More...]