Asia and Oceania

Threats to Interfaith Marriage in Myanmar

Burmese (Myanmar) Bride and Groom, by Eli Shany

Burmese President Thein Sein asked Myanmar’s Parliament in February to consider creating an intermarriage law, which he says is meant to protect Buddhists. The exact content of the proposal is unclear; however, it includes a ban on polygamy, legislation to “balance the increasing population,” and a law “to give protection and rights for ethnic Buddhists [Read More...]

Microcredit: Creating Opportunities to Overcome Poverty in Pakistan

The concept of microcredit (or microfinance), lending small amounts of money at low interest, has taken off around the world. The phenomenon is often attributed to the founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Dr. Muhammad Yunus. He sees microcredit as an opportunity to “eliminate the exploitation of the poor by money lenders; . . [Read More...]

Situación del Derecho de Acceso a la Justicia y Suspensión de Decisiones Judiciales en Brasil

Crédito Fotográfico: Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Inglés version available here Commissioners Felipe González , James L. Cavallaro , José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez , Emilio Álvarez Icaza (Executive Secretary) Submitters: Justiça Global  /  Justiça on Rails  /  Sociedade for Defense of Human Pará Direitos  / Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense  (AIDA) /  International Rivers  /  Terra Direitos Country: Brazil Petitioners representing [Read More...]

Dushanbe Mayor Bans Non-Traditional Music


Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev, the mayor of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, signed a resolution outlawing certain genres of music from the city’s buses and taxis. In early 2014, Radio Ozodi, Radio Free Europe’s Tajik service, confirmed that the ban encompasses any music considered “alien to national and universal values.” The ban, intended to promote modesty, particularly targets rap music, [Read More...]

Singapore’s Deportations Too Swift for Due Process

signapore little india

Singapore announced the deportation of fifty-three migrant workers on December 17, 2013 for participating in the December 8, 2013 Little India riot. Singapore’s Immigration Act allows for the government to assess and decide to repatriate foreign workers deemed a threat to safety and security. Singapore announced the deportations after a weeklong investigation intended as a [Read More...]

India Upholds Legal Right to Food

On September 12, 2013, India’s President, Pranab Mukherjee, assented to Congressional President Sonia Gandhi’s bill, the National Food Security Ordinance (Ordinance). Passing the Ordinance into law enforces a legal right to food for approximately two-thirds of India’s growing population of 1.2 billion people. The opening lines of the Ordinance “ensur[e] access to [an] adequate quantity [Read More...]

ECCC Closing Remarks in Case 002/01


Closing arguments in Case 002/01 in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) conclude on October 31, 2013.  Case 002 defendants Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary, and Ieng Thirith are charged with crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Convention of 1949, and genocide under the regime of Pol Pot. The [Read More...]

Malaysia’s Preventative Crime Amendments Reintroduce Detention Without Trial

A Prison in Pudu, Malaysia--photo by udeyismail

On October 3, 2013, the Malaysian parliament passed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act to allow renewable two-year detention without trial. Prime Minister Najib Razak claims the legislation combats organized crime and insists that no one will be victimized. Opponents of the amendment and human rights groups compare the act to the recently abolished [Read More...]

The African Union Works Towards Eliminating Sexual Violence in Africa


The African Union (AU) recently hosted a meeting to work towards eliminating or significantly reducing rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict and post conflict African countries. The African Union Commission (AUC), the executive body of the AU, convened experts to address the resulting human rights violations and peace and security consequences of [Read More...]

Renown Chinese Dissident Harry Wu Comes to WCL

Photo credit: Wikicommons user Kate0504. The Dalai Lama visits the Laogai Research Foundation and Museum on October 7, 2009.

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, human rights champion Harry Wu led a conversation with students from American University Washington College of Law (WCL). During his conversation, Wu began with his personal story, detailing the persistent assault on his human rights. Wu, now an American citizen, was born in China in 1937. In 1960, the Mao [Read More...]