9. 12. 2018   Douglas Radcliff

President Donald Trump invoked his national security power denying migrants asylum who enter the country illegally. Although Trump feels “we need people in our country but they have to come in legally,” the question must be asked how does this policy stand in regard to asylum law?

The point of the policy

Officials stated that the goal of the executive order was to bring asylum seekers into the country through legal measures at official border crossings and the policy more or less closes the door on asylum when migrants enter illegally. This is being done in an effort to secure national interest. One of the problems with this policy is the sheer number of border crossings, with many asylum seekers being informed at the crossings they must return another day to make their claim and sometimes requiring them to return to their home country in order to make their claim. This policy came to be in part due to the refugee caravan currently moving throughout Central America and Mexico towards the U.S. border, some of who have begun illegally crossing the border and subsequently been arrested.

9. 12. 2018  

When an international criminal tribunal in The Hague is mentioned, the majority of people think about the International Criminal Court. However, three other such courts are functioning in The Hague, one of them being the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. And as it applies national law, it is a very unique international tribunal. Why was it established? In what ways does it differ  from the other tribunals? The answers are brought by its President, Judge Ivana Hrdličková.

Madame President, as she is called at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, was a judge in the Czech Republic in both civil and criminal cases who, at the same time, focused her academic interests on Islamic law and human rights. She also served as an expert on the Council of Europe on money laundering and terrorist financing matters at the so-called Moneyval. She was appointed a judge at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in 2012 and became its President in 2015. In February 2018 she was re-elected for a third term of eighteen months.

5. 11. 2018   Dougals Radcliff

Taking effect on August 1, 2018, Denmark has joined a list of countries that has enacted bans on wearing face coverings in public, joining other countries that have certain limitations on face veils in public such as France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria and Austria.  

What is the “Burqa Ban?”

Briefly, the most common body coverings worn by Islamic women are the hijab, the niqab and the burqa. The hijab is most common as it simply refers to covering up in general, and many times refers to headscarves worn by women.  The niqab, which is a more concealing traditional Islamic wear describes a face veil, which leaves the area surrounding the eyes clear. Finally, a burqa is an Islamic veil covering the entire face and body. The burqa is quite rare in Western societies and is practiced the least.  

5. 11. 2018   Dougals Radcliff

Chechnya is an autonomous republic of Russia, located in the North Caucasus, near the Caspian Sea, in southern Russia. With a reported (though disputed) population of around 1.3 million people, the Chechen Republic is also, arguably, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a homosexual.

The Crisis

The crisis was first made aware to the public on April 1, 2017 in the newspaper, “Novaya Gazeta.” The paper reported that numerous men between the ages of 16 and 50 had simply disappeared. The paper continues to specify the men were arrested for their practice of, or suspicion of, “non-traditional sexual orientation”.  

19. 10. 2018   Douglas Radcliff

In recent months North Korea and the United States have launched a process to reconcile some of the differences existing between their political cultures. More specifically, the overarching goal of the US in the summit is the nuclear disarmament of North Korea.

North Korea – United States Summit

The attempt to disarm is a step in the right direction when dealing with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, but it is of vital important to consider his optics; what does North Korea Want? As a result of the historical meeting with President Trump and one of the world’s superpowers at the first summit meeting occuring on June 12, 2018 in Singapore, Kim Jong-Un and his cohorts gain a small amount of international recognition, and through this the argument could be made, inadvertent acceptance and even legitimacy.  However, is this what the US and the international community wanted – acceptance and recognition of one of the world’s most authoritarian regimes that has committed countless human rights violations against its own citizens?

19. 10. 2018   Dougals Radcliff

Since becoming a world superpower in the last century, the United States has fought for human rights around the world.  Though many times their actions, or lack thereof has been brought into question, they have seemingly declared and strived to set a good example with regards to the protection of human rights.  However, with the recent election of Donald Trump, human rights and protecting civil liberties are seemingly less important to the current administration.

What are the Violations?

Since President Trump has taken office, the US has moved in the wrong direction regarding human rights. Funds for state departments for refugees have been transferred, re-allocated, or cut.  A very clear racial and ethnic divide has developed as evidenced by refugees and immigrants, in particular Muslims and Mexicans receiving higher levels of scrutiny than others. Furthermore, women have been affected through rhetoric and attacks on their reproductive rights.

19. 10. 2018   Douglas Radcliff

One of the prevailing human rights violations in modern history is occurring now in Myanmar in the Rakhine State. While atrocities have been promulgated for decades, the violence has increased to unprecedented levels as of August 2017.  

Who are the Rohingya?

Myanmar is currently a highly contested country, officially recognizing 135 ethnic groups, of which the Rohingya are not considered one. Of these ethnic groups, the Burmese constitute the largest (more than 2/3 of the population).

The majority of the Rohingya are Muslim. They speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, which is a distinct dialect to others in Myanmar. Most Rohingya live in Rakhine, a western coastal state in Myanmar. The Rohingya are not allowed to leave this territory without gaining government consent. The predominantly Buddhist country does not recognize the Rohingya as their citizens.