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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
News

European MPs Launch Warning Ahead of Possible Vote

The European Union (EU)’s efforts to finalize a free trade deal with Vietnam are at risk because of Vietnam’s poor human rights record. In a joint letter sent this week, 32 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) raised a…
201809europe_eu_parliament_mep
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Use Trade Pact to Demand Rights Improvements

Cecilia Malmström, the European Union’s trade commissioner, will hold talks on Monday with Trần Tuấn Anh, Vietnam’s trade and industry minister, about concluding a long negotiated Free Trade Agreement. Based on the EU Commission’s…
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem holds a news conference in Brussels, Belgium June 1, 2018.
News

Plan Would Link EU Funds to Rule of Law, Functioning Judiciary

It’s not every day the European Commission proposes something truly ground-breaking. But yesterday, when the EU announced a new plan to link EU funds given to member states to the health of their judiciary, it did just that.…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
News

A Chilling Warning to Supporters and Dissidents

A Vietnam court sentenced activist Tran Thi Nga on Tuesday to nine years in prison followed by five years under house arrest for spreading “anti-State propaganda.” The conviction was handed down during a one-day trial – a swift and…
Tran Thi Nga protests against the arrest of blogger “Mother Mushroom” in October 2016.
News

Other Council of Europe Countries Should Back LGBT Rights

As of March 1, Finland will allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing to thirteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws.Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement on February 21, affirmed…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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
What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership? What are the main human rights issues relating to the TPP? What are the primary labor rights issues? Will the TPP require countries with poor labor rights records to reform? What are the…
TPP Leaders
News
John Kerry begins a three-day trip to Vietnam Saturday, his first trip there as US Secretary of State. Accounts of the visit are sure to mention the historical significance: as a young man, Kerry served in combat during the Vietnam War and later…
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When World Bank President Jim Kim was interviewed by CNN’s Richard Quest today, in the lead up to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings in Washington, Quest asked President Kim how the World Bank can effectively work in countries…