Victim Versus Multinational Corporation

Todays topic, business and human rights. This is a topic I became very familiar with after interning at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. When you spend all day researching human rights abuses committed by corporations, it makes you question all of humanity. At first I found it astounding that in the 21st century people still experience abuse at work. Not just sexual or racial discrimination, but brutality, beatings and death. Alas, it rapidly became apparent that this remains a pertinent issue in our modern society and the purpose of my internship was to raise awareness of the violations and challenges that victims are facing. With more awareness comes more accountability. By talking about these issues and cases there is more pressure on corporations to provide reparation for their victims, and to put in place regulations to prevent abuses from happening again.

Seems like a simple concept. Expose the corporations, pressure them to make reparations, get justice for the victims and prevent future abuses. If only it were that easy. The following post will demonstrate the real struggle that victims can face when they find themselves experiencing abuse at the hands of a multinational corporation (MNC). To highlight the challenge, we will briefly discuss one particular case, the story of Zakaria who was left paralysed after an encounter with security at Acacia’s North Mara Gold Mine in Tanzania.

““Zakaria’s Story” shows the extraordinary lengths to which a multinational company will go to deny victims justice and compensation.” – RAID

Acacia 

Acacia is a gold mining company registered in London and operating the North Mara Gold Mine site in Tanzania. Formerly known as African Barrick Gold, they have been Read More »

Angola Decriminalises Homosexuality

Today on the blog we are celebrating the advancement of human rights. In a ground breaking move Angola has decriminalised homosexuality. There are sixty eight countries recognised by the UN that still criminalise homosexual conduct, but Angola is no longer one of them.

no one is illegal

On the 23rd January 2019, the Angolan parliament took a vote which saw a huge majority of 155 members in favour of overhauling the existing criminal penal code. This is the first alteration of its kind since they gained independence from Portugal in 1975.

“In casting aside this archaic and insidious relic of the colonial past, Angola has eschewed discrimination and embraced equality.” – Human Rights Watch

Read More »

Refugees in the Balkans

When we talk about the European Refugee Crisis everyone’s thoughts turn almost solely to Greece and Italy. Greece and Italy are overrun with refugees trying to reach safety because of their geographical location. Asylum seekers crossing from Turkey first reach Greece, and those coming from North Africa first reach Italy. Subsequently, the situation in Greece and Italy often makes the headlines with aid organisation directing their resources to help the thousands residing in the camps near the borders. However, other lesser known regions have also recently found themselves with an influx of refugees and not enough resources to cope. Thus, in this post we will focus on the plight of those who find themselves stranded in the Balkans. With the help of Collective Aid NGO who work tirelessly in the region to provide aid to those trying to pass through, we will unveil the reality of the situation in the Balkans.

neil-iris-1317910-unsplash bosnia.jpg

History of the Balkans

The Balkan states most commonly refer to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. In 2015 whenRead More »

Syria: A Breakdown of the Seven Year War

Syria is like a buzzword in the news today. We hear Syria, we know it is bad, we know we feel terrible for anyone from Syria, and we know that we need to help the Syrians. However, after a couple of conversations it’s come to light that whilst people understand there is war, not everyone really understands the cause of the conflict in Syria and what is going on now. So lets break it down.

The Beginning

7 years ago is when the conflict started. It is now longer than the second world war. For many years prior to this the political situation in Syria had been tense. Syrians complained of corruption, economic downfall and a hinderance on their freedom. However, it was the Arab Springs (the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia) which fuelled the start of this war. Encouraged by the successful overthrowing of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, in March 2011, Syrians began their own pro-democracy protests against president Bashar al-Assad.Read More »

Report Released on Human Rights Violations Affecting Refugees in Northern France

A short update today as I bring your attention to a newly released report co-produced by Help Refugees and Refugee Rights Europe. The report was released today on the two-year anniversary of the shut down of the ‘Calais Jungle’. The purpose is to highlight the increasingly dire situation for refugees in Northern France over the past few decades, and draw attention to the critical need for authorities and the British government to intervene and implement change.

calais france

The two organisations have produced a time line which covers activities of asylum seekers, government authorities and aid agencies from 1994 to the present day. The time line is easy to understand and highlights the critical information that you need to be able understand the message. The message being that the situation for the asylum seekers is worsening. They are enduring police brutality, harsh conditions, infringements of their rights and exclusion from the society they are trying to survive in. Read More »

Millions of Uyghur Muslims Detained in China

Today the spotlight is being shone on China. Despite the secretive nature of the nation, a somewhat frightening story has emerged which suggests that China is detaining over a million Uyghur (Uighur) Muslims in camps in the Xinjiang region.

Who are the Uyghur?

The Uyghur are a large group of ethnic Turkic people of Muslim religion, millions in their numbers, who reside in the North Western Xinjiang region of China. Despite being ruled by China, they are considered more central asian in their culture and ethnicity and bare more similarities with their neighbours Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan than with China.

The Xinjiang region have at times had a relative amount of independence from China and brief moments of autonomy. However in 1949 the Chinese Communist Party took back control of the region and have kept an overly watchful eye on it ever since. The Uyghur culture and integrity have been gradually diminished from this point on. There have been increasing crackdowns from the government and a mass influx of Han Chinese as authorities promote the ‘up and coming’ area in a suspected attempt to make the Uyghur a minority.

Xinjiang_in_China
North West region of Xinjiang – Photo from New Internationalist

Background of the conflict Read More »

Trump Administration Attempt to Eradicate the Legal Existence of Transgenders

The latest and shocking news from Washington has seen the nation and the world up in arms over Trumps latest policy. In a baffling move to undo the progress that the Obama administration made regarding transgender individuals, Trumps cohort has announced a new plan to define gender in a manner which could eradicate transgender recognition.

trump

During the Obama administration a definition of gender was adopted that interpreted ‘sex’ to include ‘gender identiy’. It permitted recognition based on an individuals preference and psychological factors, meaning it was not restricted to gender at birth. There were problems reported as a consequence of this, such as conflict over the use of bathrooms, sleeping areas, or single sex arenas. However, these problems could seemingly have been resolved through education, more consideration or other dispute resolution means. To backtrack on the progress made and redefine the meaning of gender seems an unwarranted and disproportionate act in light of these problems. Read More »