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The systems of surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed in both the UK and US depend on law for their justification, and are facing legal challenges in both countries’ legislatures. This might give the impression that, whatever the merits of these…
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This week, British MPs face a simple choice. They must decide if it is right that a woman who flees abuse should become an undocumented migrant just because she runs away. Women like Joycelyn, a young Filipino mother who was brought to London from the…
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One month after the worst terrorist attack in Europe since Anders Breivik’s murder of 77 people in Norway, the contours of the response are becoming clear. Three areas stand out – new counterterrorism laws and policies; the related, though distinct,…
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Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should…
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A court ruling in London yesterday marked a rare victory in the search for justice for torture and other abuses by the UK, US, and allies in the years after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The London case involves Abdul Hakim Belhadj, a former…
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It’s been a year now since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive US and UK spying operations sent much of the world into a tailspin. The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to…
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Wealthy families who come to the UK may bring with them domestic workers who work for them in their home country – often women who raise their children, clean their homes and cook their meals. In a move to cut down on immigration, two years ago the UK…
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Yesterday, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia inked an agreement that says Indonesian women working in Saudi homes will be able to keep their passports, communicate with their families, get paid monthly, and have time off. The new pact comes in the wake of years…
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There have been repeated claims of UK complicity in the alleged torture of individuals detained abroad. The government’s latest move in the saga does not suggest a desire to get to the bottom of them. In July 2010, the British prime minister, David…
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Protect Domestic Workers From Abuse

“I woke up at 4:15 a.m.,” Asma said. “I was exhausted when I went to sleep at 10 p.m. I only had five minutes’ rest … I did not get any days off [or] salary.” Asma is one of an estimated 1.8 million women and girls in Indonesia who engage in domestic work…
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UK plan to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan

Listening to Theresa May’s statement to Parliament today, it seems the British government is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan to face terrorism charges. A new treaty with Jordan aims to address the risk that Abu…
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In March, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali made headlines by announcing plans to ban skirts above the knee, calling such attire “pornographic.” That month, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Marzuki Alie, proclaimed: “There have been a…
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If Theresa May is serious about protecting Abu Qatada, she must press for real change in Jordan

Torture occupies a special place in international law – it is banned at all times and in all places, no exceptions. Most countries, including the UK and Jordan, have signed up to the UN Convention Against Torture, which means they agree not only to the…
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At least nine Cambodian women died last year while performing domestic work in Malaysia. And the grim reality is that, without strong action by the Cambodian and Malaysian governments to rein in exploitative recruitment and employment practices, more…
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The implications of Mousa's death in British custody stretch wider and higher up than the inquiry has been able to reach

The name Baha Mousa has become the most famous in the history of abuses by the British army in Iraq. Thursday's publication of the report of the inquiry into his death in British custody in Basra in 2003 is a remarkable conclusion to the persistent…
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Asma - not her real name - left her village at age 13 to journey to Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. She had just graduated from elementary school, but was being pressured to marry a 23-year-old man. To avoid this, she allowed her cousin to arrange a job for…