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The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
News
An ongoing legal case in London could provide the impetus for significant reforms to improve human rights protections for workers in the garment industry. The UK legal action doesn’t relate directly to clothing companies, but it sounds a warning that…
Women Garment Industry
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
News

Provide Information, Protect Livelihoods When Mines Move In

  Information is key to protecting the health and the livelihoods of people in areas affected by economic development. And that is why a 10 percent cut in the Malawi Human Rights Commission's budget announced recently is such bad news. The…
Mining machinery left behind at Eland coal mine at Mwabulambo after closure in 2015.
News

Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
News

Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
News
  Malita had high hopes when she first heard that foreign and domestic companies would start mining in her area of Malawi. The government and the companies promised jobs, better schools and improved access to healthcare in her village. They…
Malcoal mine in Kayelekera.
News
When she was 12, Chimwemwe, from a rural village in southern Malawi, married a 17-year-old boy. She had started having sex with him when she was 10 because, she said, he gave her money and small gifts, while her parents could not afford to feed her or buy…
News
An Afghan migrant is stabbed in the heart on the streets of Athens. Black-shirted paramilitaries linked to Hungary’s third-largest political party march through a Roma neighborhood shouting, “You will die here.” A neo-Nazi gang commits a string of murders…
News

The Fight for Human Rights

In 2008, recently out of Yale Law School, I traveled to Malawi with a development organization and met a local prosecutor over lunch. Making conversation, I asked her what type of cases she prosecuted: "Murders," she said. When I asked why a career as a…
News
The new Malawi government took an important step in June when it indicated it could not host the African Union summit if it meant welcoming President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to its territory, given that he is an International Criminal Court suspect for…
News
At a news conference shortly after she was sworn in as Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda announced her government’s intention to decriminalise homosexuality. It is unclear how she will achieve this, but the move is in stark contrast to the approach of her…
News

Regional Court’s Future Hangs in the Balance

The Tribunal for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established in 1992 as a sub-regional court, to provide, among other things, a remedy to citizens of the 15 SADC countries when their own countries were unwilling or unable to act on…
News
For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…