The international sports community speaks up for Chinese tennis player; oil companies investors support Myanmar's junta abuses; EU should promote human rights in Central Asia; the dire consequences of Cameroon's armed forces sense of impunity; and a decisive moment for age discrimination in South Korea.
Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis star, has not been seen in public since November 2, after she wrote on social media that she was sexually assaulted by former official Zhang Gaoli. While top athletes are denouncing censorship and calling for her safety, the International Olympic Committee's response is to buy in on Chinese authorities rhetoric that she is "safe" rather than recognizing the country's history of disappearing critics. Could Peng's disappearance be wake-up call for Olympic sponsors to denounce and put an end to China's abysmal human rights records, ahead of the upcoming Beijing Olympics?
Myanmar’s junta, responsible for mass atrocities against the civilian population, is making millions of dollars in revenue thanks to energy and extractive companies that continue exploiting the country's natural resources. While foreign governments have imposed sanctions to halt financial flow to the junta, companies like Total, Chevron, and PTT are still doing business with the military, in spite of serious legal, financial, and reputational risks. These companies, their investors, and governments should act together to enforce targeted sanctions and compel the junta to respect human rights.
A foreign affairs meeting between the European Union and Central Asian foreign ministries will take place on Monday. Countries like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are playing a central role in the humanitarian response to the worsening Afghanistan crisis. However, their strategic position should not overshadow the insufficient efforts of Central Asian governments to improve their human rights records. This is a good test of the EU's commitment to human rights goals in the face of other issues, such as security and migration.
On November 12, protesters in Cameroon called for justice for the police killing of Brandy Tataw, an 8-year-old schoolgirl. In response, soldiers shot live ammunition from armored vehicles, and injured at least seven men. Highlighting the culture of impunity among armed forces, these events show the need to investigate for the killing of Brandy Tataw as well as the use of excessive use of force against protesters.
In South Korea, older people and other victims of discrimination cannot afford to wait any longer: the National Assembly should pass a comprehensive antidiscrimination law before the end of the current legislative session. Many citizens and human rights organizations have endorsed the law, which has now been submitted eleven times since 2007. This law would help, among other things, to prevent age discrimination in employment.