BofaxeCurrent Developments

Playing with Fire

Is the aid pledged by the G7 an offer Brazil’s President Bolsonaro cannot refuse?

“Our house is burning”, French President Macron found graphic words to address the wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, which have reached threatening levels in the past weeks. 80,000 fires this year alone have resulted in the loss of approximately 350,000 hectares of rainforest. Notably, Brazilian President Bolsonaro is known to support the ‘slash-and-burn’ agriculture, which is responsible for most of the fires, and only initiated a two month ban of …

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Current Developments

What’s next to preserve the linguistic richness of Indigenous Peoples?

Beyond the International Year of Indigenous Languages

This year, 2019, marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Based on the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution 71/178, it represents a massive effort to finally raise awareness on the invaluable richness of Indigenous languages. This initiative is primarily led by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), but it involves all the UN bodies directly dealing with Indigenous Peoples’ rights (e.g., the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous …

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Current Developments

Manual scavenging: outlawed, yet persisting

The stinking legacy of suffocation and stigma captures the degrading practice of Manual Scavenging in India. Twenty-six years after this repulsive practice has been outlawed by the Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, there are still 182,505 manual scavengers across India, with 740,048 households using the services of manual scavengers for clearing out human excreta. Alarmingly, this number does not include septic tanks, public sewers, and railway …

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Cynical International LawSymposium

In international law we (do not) trust

The persistent rejection of economic and social rights as a manifestation of cynicism

Economic and Social Rights (ESRs) are the unloved and unwanted last born child of the human rights family. Despite a promising start in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (the UDHR), ESRs still retain a second class status in most national jurisdictions. What explains this cynicism with which ESRs are (still) regarded? This blogpost analyzes how the skeptical gaze through which ESRs are often viewed legitimizes (or attempts) to legitimize …

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Current Developments

Handschlag oder Kniefall?

Ein Kommentar zum Revised Draft Treaty on Business and Human Rights

Am 16.07.2019 hat die UN-Arbeitsgruppe „Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights“ (OEIWG) einen überarbeiteten Entwurf [revised draft (RD)] für einen Vertrag zum Thema Unternehmen und Menschenrechte veröffentlicht. Es handelt sich hierbei um eine zweite, überarbeitete Version, nachdem der sog. zero draft (ZD) exakt ein Jahr zuvor veröffentlicht wurde. Der neue Entwurf enthält einige weitgehende Zugeständnisse an Industriestaaten und Unternehmen, die …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Alle Wege führen nach Dublin

Über die rechtswidrige Rückschiebung eines afghanischen Flüchtlings nach Griechenland

Im Jahr 2018 einigte sich Deutschland mit Griechenland in Form eines Verwaltungsabkommens darauf, dass aus Griechenland über Österreich nach Deutschland einreisende Flüchtlinge unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen unverzüglich nach Athen zurückgeführt werden dürfen. Im Zuge dessen verweigerte die Bundespolizeidirektion einem aus Afghanistan stammenden Flüchtling nach einer Kontrolle die Weiterreise und sorgte für seine Rückführung nach Griechenland, wo er zuerst einen Asylantrag gestellt hatte. Im Rahmen des einstweiligen Rechtsschutzes geht nun das Verwaltungsgericht …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Land and identity

On India’s revocation of Jammu & Kashmir’s special constitutional status

“There will be chaos if our identity is compromised”. This statement by Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), shows that the long-simmering conflict over the region (see also Bofax Nr. 517E “Trading Blows”) has once again reached boiling point. Juxtaposing the interplay of land and minority identity in Kashmir with the current ascendancy of land rights in international law, we see that …

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Current Developments

Setting the record straight how detention and indictment works in Sweden – as illustrated by the Assange case

In a recently published text, Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Human Rights Chair, Geneva Academy and Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow, felt “repulsion and disbelief”, starting off with stating that Assange “has never been charged with a sexual offence” in Sweden. If one’s understanding of criminal procedure is based only on English law or common law, this is a serious allegation, if you are …

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Current Developments

Winter is (no longer) coming

The impact of the Arctic melt on Inuit peoples

Climate Change is an all-engulfing global challenge, triggering its share of fear, skepticism and most recently outright denial. This reality is alarming. An IPCC special report warns of global temperatures rising 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. By 2080, the Arctic Summer Sea Ice is expected to disappear completely. Unfortunately, States continue to ignore the horrifying prospect of a vanishing arctic, and its impact on the lives of the Arctic …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Us & them

On xenophobic policies and human rights

On 21 May 2019, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe published a report following her visit to Hungary from 4 to 8 February 2019. The report inter alia deals with the human rights situation of migrants and refugees in Hungary and discusses five points in this regard: inaccessibility of protection, violence and ill-treatment in connection with removals from the territory, detentions, treatment of unaccompanied minors under …

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