Displaying items by tag: human rights

Thursday, 04 November 2021 21:37

Canada: First Nation people and human rights

Prime minister Justin Trudeau came into office promising to strengthen and restore ties with native communities and recently told reporters, ‘We are committed to compensating indigenous people who were harmed as children in child and family services’. Yet his government says it will appeal against a court order to pay billions of dollars to compensate indigenous children who went through the child welfare system. Last month, a tribunal upheld a 2016 ruling that the government underfunded First Nations services compared with those for non-indigenous children, and ordered $40,000 (£23,340) payouts to each child who was in the on-reserve welfare system after 2006. The case has been a source of tension between tribes and the government. The government has said it is not opposed to compensation, but that it had issues over the order's jurisdiction and how the money was to be divided.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 02 September 2021 21:38

Japan: huge army of under-employed ex-housewives

There are many smart, educated women who could drive Japan out of its economic slump to a stunning economic recovery, but the rigid hiring system and male-dominated leadership block women from the best-paid jobs. Japan risks becoming a nation of bored housewives with university degrees. Parliament declared it would significantly increase the number of women in leadership by 2020, but the deadline quietly came and went without getting close to its target. Critics believe the aim had little to do with women thriving at work and more to do with an acute need for workers. The working-age population has been rapidly shrinking since the 1990s. Many women are stuck in part-time or dead-end roles which pay 40% lower than men. Companies are reluctant to have more women in their workforces, but the drive for change could come from international companies hiring graduates with gender equality.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 05 August 2021 21:42

Turkey: torture in prisons

‘Because my surgery was delayed while I was in prison, my left upper tooth, palate, cheekbone and lymph nodes were removed. The bottom of my left chin is now empty. Bone was taken from my leg and placed on my face. According to an MRI, the tumor has spread to the back of my eye’, said Ayşe Özdoğan, whose ‘crime’ was working at a dormitory affiliated with the Gülen movement. She was jailed for nine years for being ‘a member of a terrorist organisation’. Torture, ill-treatment, and lack of medical care for sick prisoners, are widespread in Turkish jails. Rooms are arranged with no security cameras. No torture detection can be made. When prisoners filed a criminal complaint about being beaten, a disciplinary investigation was launched against them for insulting the officer and the president.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 09 July 2021 09:48

Palestinian human rights violations

The USA is resuming unconditional financial aid to the Palestinians without any stipulation that the PA end human rights violations and assaults on public freedoms. Lawyers for Justice said that the forms of torture in the PA-controlled Jericho Prison included hanging detainees from the ceilings, beatings, verbal abuse and electric shocks. ‘The Future List calls on all electoral lists approved by the Central Elections Committee, all human rights bodies and all honourable people of this country to form a united front to confront the arbitrary political arrests that aim to silence every free voice that rises in the face of tyranny and corruption practiced by the Palestinian Authority.’ It appears the diplomats care little that the PA is arresting, torturing and intimidating social media users and political activists. Western journalists loudly raise their voices when damning Israel. International silence and absolute support for the PA encourages Palestinian leadership to continue their repression.

Published in Worldwide

Rev Brian Casey is making a fresh appeal to the Home Office not to deport 13 year old Giorgi Kakava, who has lived in Scotland since he was three. He faces being sent to Georgia, where he was born. He came to the UK with his asylum-seeker mother, who feared the gangsters her husband owed money to would either kill Giorgi or sell him to sex traffickers. She died in 2018 while awaiting the outcome of her asylum appeal, leaving Giorgi in the care of his grandmother and legal guardian Ketino Baikhadze. His residence permit expired in December. 90,000+ people signed a petition asking that he be allowed to stay in Glasgow. Rev Casey said it was a ‘scandal and a moral outrage’ that he was still living under a cloud of uncertainty. His plea for ‘decency and compassion’ comes as the Scottish parliament prepares to vote on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 23 March.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 04 February 2021 21:37

MPs and care home visit bans

Care home visitor bans have been branded a human rights breach by some MPs, who are demanding a new law allowing visits and have given the government a two-week deadline to act and stop residents dying in isolation. A committee of MPs and peers has called on government ministers to legislate against blanket bans on care home visits in England, which they argue is a breach of the basic right to family life. We can pray for all residents to receive visits from a close relative or friend. This is what happens in Ontario, where they changed the law to allow access to care homes and mental health hospitals for a relative who is a designated caregiver and part of the home/hospital’s care team, provided they test negative before each visit. Harriet Harman heads up the team of MPs who have asked Matt Hancock to ‘consider our proposal as a matter of urgency and respond to us by 17 February’.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 26 November 2020 20:32

Assisted dying challenge

Paul Lamb is paralysed below his neck apart from limited movement in his right arm after a car crash in 1990. He said he was ‘devastated’ after a Court of Appeal refused him permission to bring a legal challenge over assisted dying. He argued the current law, banning assisted suicide, is discriminatory and breaches his human rights. He said he felt ‘powerless’ and urged the government to launch an inquiry. The Ministry of Justice said any change in the law would have to be considered by MPs. In an open letter to justice secretary Robert Buckland, Mr Lamb said he was writing ‘to urge you to take notice of this decision and launch an inquiry into assisted dying, and ask if you might meet with me to discuss this important matter’. Humanists UK are supporting Mr Lamb in his case.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 26 November 2020 19:33

Iran: one foreign national released

Iran has detained a number of foreign nationals and Iranian dual citizens in recent years, many of them on spying charges. Human rights groups have accused Tehran of using the cases as leverage to try to gain concessions from other countries. On 25 November Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British-Australian academic serving a 10-year sentence for espionage, was freed in a swap for three jailed Iranians. She has strongly denied all charges against her, as has British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who since 2016 has been in prison, also on spying charges. Her husband Richard said, ‘Nazanin and I are really happy for Kylie and her family. It is an early Christmas present for us all that one more of us is out and on their way home; one more family can begin to heal.’ Amnesty International said, ‘There may now be renewed grounds for hoping that UK-Iranian dual-nationals like Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori will also be released in the coming days or week.’

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 19 November 2020 21:24

Christian sacked for defending marriage

West End star Seyi Omooba is appealing against key decisions in her court case at an employment tribunal in London. She was removed from a lead role in a musical production and dropped by her agents after another actor dug up an old Facebook post where Seyi quoted the Bible and said she believed in real marriage between a man and a woman. The judges decided not to hear expert evidence from a theatre critic and theologian, and then made decisions which that evidence directly contradicted. The appeal was to be heard during the first lockdown, but an online hearing was refused, delaying the case to 2021, even though many other cases have been conducted online. The delay makes it harder for her to be vindicated.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 16 July 2020 21:40

Judges plunge Brexit talks into chaos

The European Court of Justice has rejected a crucial EU-US data sharing deal that could have serious ramifications for the relationship between Europe and Britain. Thejudges rejected the Privacy Shield agreement between the bloc and the USA. The tool is used by thousands of firms to protect Europeans’ personal data when it is transferred across the Atlantic. The agreement prompted complaints amid privacy concerns about the United States’ surveillance watchdogs. As part of the post-Brexit future relationship talks, the two sides want to establish an agreement to enable smooth flows of data after the transition period expires in December. The UK has fully rearranged the EU’s procedures into national law, but has a controversial track record in mass surveillance. In 2018 a European court ruled the UK had breached human rights protections in its mass surveillance programmes.

Published in Europe
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