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Human Rights Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race

National Reconciliation Without Accountability Rings Hollow

By Commentaries/Opinions

By R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race — Twenty-five years ago, Nelson Mandela was elected South African president after serving 27 years in prison for leading resistance against racially-oppressive apartheid rule. During that same moment in April of 1994, a horrible tragedy was unfolding further north on the African continent as longstanding ethnic grievances within Rwanda irr

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Members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights October 31, 2012.

International Human Rights Bodies Provide a Case for Reparations

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Justin Hansford, ACLU — It is common for nations where mass atrocities have taken place to engage in the process of reparation and repair. This process happened in Germany after the Holocaust, South Africa after apartheid, and here in the United States, forty years after the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. As a result, international human rights bodies have sought to lend their expertise to the process, often by…

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Protests and lawsuits against North Carolina's notorious anti-transgender "bathroom bill" have led to a legal settlement that's being hailed by human rights advocates. But lawmakers in other states are continuing to target the transgender community with discriminatory proposals.

Southern lawmakers continue attacks on transgender people amid crisis of violence

By Editors' Choice

By Benjamin Barber, Facing South — This year has seen the continuation of an alarming epidemic of violence against transgender people in the United States. At least a dozen transgender people have been killed already this year, most of them women of color, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Nine of these murders have occurred in the South — yet lawmakers in Southern states have continued to target the transgender community…

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Customs and Border Protection

A Brief History of US Concentration Camps

By Editors' Choice

There is no doubt that concentration camps are in operation on US soil once again. By Brett Wilkins — Concentration camp (noun): a place in which large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution. – Oxford English Dictionary Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has ignited a…

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UN’s Mandate to Protect Human Rights Takes Another Hit

UN’s Mandate to Protect Human Rights Takes Another Hit

By News & Current Affairs

By Thalif Deen, IPS — The UN’s longstanding mandate to promote and protect human rights worldwide –- undermined recently by right-wing nationalist governments and authoritarian regimes – has taken another hit. The Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says six of the UN’s 10 treaty bodies are being forced to cancel their sessions this year due to financial reasons. The situation has been described as…

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Press Freedom

Civil Society, Press Freedom & Human Rights Under Attack in Africa

By Editors' Choice

By Thalif Deen, IPS — UNITED NATIONS, Apr 12 2019 (IPS) – The civic space in several African countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Mozambique, Somalia and Eritrea, is gradually shrinking – and mostly under authoritarian leaders and repressive regimes. The attacks are directed largely against human rights and civil society organizations (CSOs)— and specifically against the news media. The UN Human Rights Office in Burundi was closed down last February…

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Juan Guaidó engages supporters in Caracas, Venezuela, on February 2, 2019.

In Venezuela, White Supremacy Is a Key Driver of the Coup

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Greg Palast, Truthout — On January 23, right after a phone call from Donald Trump, Juan Guaidó, former speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself president. No voting. When you have official recognition from The Donald, who needs elections? Say what? I can explain what’s going on in Venezuela in photos. Opposition leader and self-proclaimed ‘acting president’ Juan Guaido (2-L) talks to the press as he holds his daughter Miranda (3-L), next to his wife…

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Dancing and singing to forget the pain of Syria's conflict

The Right to Reparation: Laudable Goal or Empty Promise?

By Editors' Choice

Human rights activists argue that victims of mass atrocities have a right to reparations, but the international community still struggles around how to fulfill this right.
By Bojan Gavrilovic, Open Global Rights — While criminal justice is clearly an irreplaceable part of any transitional justice arrangement, reparation is at least equally important—but often forgotten. Criminal trials are generally ill-suited for awarding reparation…

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Member of parliament and musician Bobi Wine says there are still 40 million people living under oppression, and domination, and under dictatorship in Uganda.

Jamaica: Uganda Activist Bobi Wine Says He Is Still State Enemy

By Editors' Choice

The politician and freedom fighter said reggae music has helped to influence him to fight against colonial afflictions while growing up in the ghettos of Uganda. By teleSur — Member of parliament, freedom fighter and artist Bobi Wine traveled 36 hours to Jamaica, the politician says, to be able to spread his musical message to his fellow Ugandans and the rest of the world. Bobi Wine made the remark while…

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Rights group calls for US reparations over 1989 Panama invasion

Rights group calls for US reparations over 1989 Panama invasion

By News & Current Affairs

By AFP — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has called on Washington to compensate victims and families of the 1989 invasion of Panama, accusing US forces of multiple rights violations as they moved to overthrow dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, according to a newly released document. A 91-page report issued Friday says the United States “is responsible” for violating civilians’ rights “to life, liberty (and) security.” The report says…

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