Human rights

International Peace and Security at my expense? Economic Sanctions – A philosophical comment

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This article was published in the printed version of the GIMUN Chronicles, the newspaper of GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016, last March. We thought we’d give our readers a chance to rediscover it!

First Phase Digital

By Laura Carolin Freitag

In light of the horrors of World War II, the United Nations (UN) came into existence charged with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. Established in the name of “We the Peoples”, the United Nations Member States promised mankind to unite their strengths in order to bring about a world free from the scourge of war; a world in which men and women could lead a secure life. Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter enunciates the tools that are at the Member States’ disposal when this mission runs into danger. Read the rest of this entry »

Tunisia : Land of Hope in the Arab World

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©A. LE GALL/DEMOTIX/CORBIS

By Flavio Baroffio

Tunisia is considered to be the cradle of the Arab Spring which has changed drastically the political landscape of the Middle East. It all started in December 2010 when mass protestations broke out in Tunisia because the people were discontent with the economic, political situation and the all-occurring corruption. Shortly after, in January 2011 the former ruler of Tunisia, Ben-Ali, had to step down[1]. Three years later, in 2014, democratic parliamentary elections were held and a new Constitution was adopted. The uprising in Tunisia inspired many other democratic movements in the Arab world, but Tunisia remains the only country where democracy took root. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to say goodbye to stereotypes

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This article was published in the printed version of the GIMUN Chronicles, the newspaper of GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016, two months ago. We thought we’d give you a chance to rediscover it!

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By Michelle Bognuda

In today’s world, people are forced to leave their homeland because of wars. January and February are particularly special months for Ticino’s young people because this is the time when carnival celebrations take place. Although these two statements do not seem to be linked, this year there was a logical connection. Swiss cantons which border other countries, such as Ticino or Geneva, are particularly touchy about immigrants, people in search of political asylum and, last but not least, cross-border workers. Read the rest of this entry »

Your cameras can free Palestine

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The GIMUN 2016 Annual Conference, held from March 7th to 11th at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, gathered around 200 students for a model UN. Yes, it was over a month ago, but it turns out the GIMUN Chronicles journalists had not said their last word! When the conference ended, they still had a few more articles left for us…

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Crédit : Facebook / youthagainstsettlement

By Valentina San Martin, translated by John Ryan-Mills

Freedom is relative : although everyone is born free, various laws continually force people to spend their lives living in restricted freedom. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, “man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”.

During the first Arab-Israeli war, which began in 1948,the Israelis took control of a large area of land that still forms part of their state today. The partition which followed this war led to the forced exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, who for the most part took shelter in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, or Syria. At present, Palestine remains an occupied and marginalized territory, owingnotably to the failure of numerous attempts at international negotiation led by powerful nations, but above all to politicians and a dominant media who remain indifferent to a nation that has been subjugated for decades.

This is why in 2012 a non-violent protest group named Youth Against Settlements (YAS) was formed, with the aim of ending the establishment and expansion of illegal Israeli colonies through non-violent protests and civil resistance. Read the rest of this entry »

Is the world turning back to authoritarianism ?

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By Cristina Valdés Argüelles

The 23rd of February 2016, the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy took place in Geneva, assembling hundreds of activists, human rights promoters, former political prisoners from China, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, among other countries, international human rights NGOs and interested listeners. This ceremony is held every year to lay the cards on the table ; to examine the international current situation ; to address actual human rights violations ; to listen to testimonies of true human rights heroes; to promote democracy and freedom ; to join forces so as to find solutions and, most important, to make the world a better place to live.

During the conference, an interesting discussion came up: Over the past decade, totalitarian authorities have raised and gained more power internationally, repressing the growth of democracy and undermining the population’s rights and values. It might be assumable that humanity, after more than three million years of evolution since the Australopithecus apheresis Lucy, has reached a great level of evolution and promotion of the values of human rights. However, the reality of the global arena seems to point into the opposite direction. Is the world coming back to authoritarianism? Read the rest of this entry »

Flogged for Blogging

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Photo source : RFI

By Flavio Baroffio

When writing my articles for the “UNO, You Know?!” Blog I don’t have to fear to be thrown into jail or being tortured for expressing my opinions. Unfortunately that could happen to me if I lived in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is now in jail for already three years because he was doing exactly the same thing I did : expressing his opinion in a blog. His wife Ensaf Haidar, now living in exile in Canada with their three children, was a guest at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. She was interviewed by the journalist Tom Gross. In the following article I would like to share with you the story of Raif Badawi based on the interview given by his wife. Read the rest of this entry »

The E.U. should not be proud of the new refugee deal with Turkey

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As GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016 is taking place this week, we will be giving you exclusive access to one article a day published in the conference newspaper, at the same moment as the participants and in both of our languages. Check out GIMUN’s website for the full version of the GIMUN Chronicles!

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By Ashli Molina

While Europe agreed to “close” its migrant route, blocking asylum seekers from reaching its soil, Turkey agreed to welcome them into their camps with open arms. This was made possible by a deal—let’s call it a migrant exchange—formed earlier this week at a summit between the European Union and Turkey, who put up a tough fight. The country demanded a lot of financial aid to help refugees stay in Turkey, accelerated talks about joining the E.U., and visa-free travel within the E.U. for Turkish citizens. The new deal, however, betrays European values, human rights, and fails to provide an adequate response regarding the worsening refugee crisis. It is a quick fix that benefits all of Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Education of Young Girls During war: A Look at the Global Situation

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Reprinted from GIMUN Chronicles

By Ghada Ben Saïd

Translated by Amy Reid

Photo: flickr.com/World Bank Photo Collection
Photo: flickr.com/World Bank Photo Collection

In the event of a crisis, it is children who are the first to suffer the effects of the political and economic instability of a country. In a country in conflict, schools are very often damaged or even destroyed, something which encourages parents to refuse to send their children to school. School buildings are also used as temporary residences or for military means. The authorities are so preoccupied with war that the education of these children is often pushed into the background. Many flee from zones of conflict, but for those who do not migrate, life becomes all the more difficult.  This is the case for example, in Syria. Since the beginning of the war, the rate of schooling in the country has dropped drastically.  Syria, despite having a rate of schooling of 95% in 2006, today has the second lowest rate of schooling in the world. Young girls are the first to bear the brunt of this.  Since the beginning of the war, the number of forced marriages amongst young Syrian girls has doubled.  Of the 101 million out-of-school children in the world today, the majority are girls, excluded from the education system and deprived of their basic right to education.

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Perspectives on the Right to Privacy and Data Protection

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by Jan Alexander Linxweiler

Discussions regarding privacy and data protection are already part of our daily lives – especially after the so called “Snowden incident”. And why should they not? The friction between legitimate intelligence gathering and privacy protection as well as data protection are highly controversial. Within the discussions the inherent systematic differences among nations are often unearthed.

In this context this paper wants to introduce different perspectives on privacy and especially data protection within a descriptive assessment. Thus a short definition of privacy is necessary. Furthermore an overview on different approach methods is introduced. Finally the regulatory frameworks regarding these issues within the United States of America and the European Union as well the subsequent frictions are presented.

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‘My favourite word is freedom’ – Human Rights Council on North Korea

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by Tuuli Orasmaa

On Monday, 17th March 2014 the 25th regular session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva focussed on an important issue of the four-week conference: the Interactive Dialogue on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In one of the most eagerly expected events of the Council, the Commission of Inquiry[1] presented its report on the human rights situation in the DPRK followed by comments from the member states of the Council, as well as from certain human rights organizations.

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HUMAN RIGHTS IN PEACEFUL PROTEST

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By Euan O’Neill

Photo by Felipe Kup Barbieri de Matos

On the second of December 2013, after a weekend in which the Ukrainian protests had been cemented in the public consciousness, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights held a seminar at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on effective measures and best practices to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests. The Seminar comprised a panel of international legal and human rights experts, representing states, academia and human rights organisations and its findings were reported to the Human Rights Council. Read the rest of this entry »