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Fresh Action Needed Six Years After Gui Minhai’s Kidnapping

This week marks the sixth anniversary since Chinese authorities abducted Gui Minhai, a Swedish book publisher, from his home in Thailand in 2015. After enduring a forced confession on state media and a sham trial, Gui was briefly freed in 2017, before…
Protesters stick photos of Gui Minhai, left, and other missing booksellers outside the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong on January 3, 2016.
News

Follows Netherlands Government’s Decision to Halt Adoptions

A recent inquiry in the Netherlands into intercountry adoptions uncovered such damning abuses that the government froze all overseas adoptions. Following the Dutch investigation, the Swedish Family Law and Parental Support Authority, the agency…
Vy över Sveriges parlament (riksdag) i Stockholm den 9 april 2006.
News

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

Peace Prize Provides Impetus for Banning Killer Robots

Thousands of children across Belgium studied five shortlisted Peace Prize nominees over the past school year and voted for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots to win the award, given out every three years by the city of Ypres. The prize shows how…
Growing opposition to fully autonomous weapons from various quarters shows how the public conscience supports banning weapons systems that lack meaningful human control.
News

European governments should do more to stop COVID-19 related racist abuse

Recently when I was heading home from work, a man on the bus pushed me up against the bus window and asked if I was from China. Physically trapped and scared, I told him that I’m Swedish-Korean. Thankfully, that’s when another passenger on the bus…
Sweden COVID-19
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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

Foreign Minister Missed Opportunity to Press China for Gui Minhai’s Release

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom delivered her annual foreign policy address this week, and immediately faced a storm of criticism for her failure to speak explicitly about China’s repeated arbitrary detention of Swedish…
Members from the pro-democracy Civic Party carry a portrait of Gui Minhai (L) and Lee Bo during a protest outside the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong, China January 19, 2016.
News

Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News

Small Case in Sweden a Worthy Start

The photograph is disturbing. A young man in military fatigues is standing on dead bodies looking victorious. The posture of the Syrian soldier, with a grin suggesting pride and his military boot on a victim’s chest, suggests domination…
Stockholm District Court, where most of Sweden’s war crimes cases are adjudicated.
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

European Court Upholds Ban on Face Coverings

The European Court of Human Rights has struck another blow to women’s autonomy, ruling in favor of bans on full-face veils enacted in 2011 in Belgium. Echoing a 2014 ruling in S.A.S v. France, the court cited the vague idea…
Salma, a 22-year-old French national living in Belgium who chooses to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, gives an interview to Reuters television outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels in this April 26, 2010 file photo.
News
Tomorrow, February 10, Belgium will host an international conference at the Egmont Palace on protecting children during times of war. Queen Mathilde will be there. Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders will be there. Various European Union, NATO, and…
Congolese rebel fighter abandoned classroom
News

Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
News
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
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Sweden’s recent decision to open the “world’s first” men’s rape clinic is a welcome move, offering up a model for sexual violence care that includes men and boys. For transgender people – who face high levels of sexual violence and inadequate care – this…
News
Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
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…
News
Two weeks ago, the Netherlands deported Said Ahmed Said to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The Dutch government has been saying for nearly a year that the situation on the ground has improved to the point where they can safely return failed asylum seekers.…
News
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…