1st – 14th July 2017 – News Snippets

UN adopts first ever legally binding Nuclear Disarmament Treaty

The UN member states voted 122-1 Friday to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with Netherlands voting against it and Singapore abstaining from voting. The Treaty prohibits developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquisition, possession or stockpile of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons. All nuclear-armed nations such as US, UK, India, etc. boycotted the conference.

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UK Parliament publishes the Brexit Bill

The UK Parliament published the Great Repeal Bill to sever political, financial and legal ties with the EU. The bill will ensure that all EU laws put in place by Parliament will remain in force after the countries exit with the exception of the European Communities Act of 1972, the bill which originally made the UK a member of the EU.

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Venezuela crisis: A source of concern

Venezuela is split into Chavistas, the name given to the followers of the socialist policies of the late President Hugo Chavez, and those who cannot wait to see an end to the 18 years in power of his United Socialist Party. There has been a huge conflict between these two factions which has led to multiple casualties. OHCHR has intervened in order to regulate this crisis.

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LGBT rights identified as human rights by the ECtHr

On 20 June 2017, the ECtHR rendered a judgment in the Bayev and Others v Russia. The judgment brought some much needed good news for LGBT rights. Against the backdrop of persecution of gay men in Chechnya and the steady deterioration of the position of LGBT people in Russia generally, the ECtHR showed its activist colours in ruling that Russia’s so-called ‘gay propaganda’ law violates human rights. The authors enthusiastically welcome and applaud the outcome.

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G-20 Countries adopt the Hamburg Agenda.

Twenty major economies met in the 12th G-20 Summit and agreed upon taking concrete steps to combat terrorism. Issue of terrorist financing was taken up and a resolve to make the international financial system terrorism proof was concluded. Making world trade free and fair and developing a World Bank Fund to support Start-Ups by women were other relevant agendas.

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U.S. Government Sued Over Illegally Turning Away Asylum Seekers

Several groups filed suit against the U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency for turning away asylum seekers, contrary to domestic and international law. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, asylum seekers arrived from all over the world to present themselves to CBP to ask for protection. CBP has been routinely turning away vulnerable asylum seekers, forcing them to return to Mexico without allowing them to pursue their right to claim asylum.

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A Handbook for International Frameworks for Data Protection drafted

With the increased adoption of new technologies in recent years, and the increased complexity of data flows and the growth in the number of stakeholders involved in the processing, there has been an increasing need for data protection guidelines that IHOs and NGOs can apply in their work. This need has led to publication of the new Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action prepared jointly by the Data Protection Office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Brussels Privacy Hub, a research institute of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Brussels.

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Forcible “euthanasia”: the ECtHR´s Charlie Gard Decision

The ECtHR recently gave a landmark decision on euthanasia. A child suffered from a rare medical disorder for which there is no known cure but the parents want to try every avenue possible and are even ready to try experimental treatments but the doctors taking it upon themselves apply for the right to die for the child and it is granted. This decision is upheld by all the courts and even the ECtHR and the parents are not given any say in the matter.

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Europe: New Plan to improve condition of refugee children

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, UNICEF and IRC, the International Rescue Committee issued a roadmap to improve the situation of refugee and migrant children arriving and staying in Europe without their parents or care – givers. It highlights the need to identify children, register them through child – friendly procedures. Another important aspect highlighted is that a well-trained guardian takes immediate responsibility of the child.

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New sites inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage list

The World Heritage Committee wrapped its 41st session today and inscribed 21 new sites on the World Heritage List. The meeting went on from 2nd to 12th July and added 18 cultural and 3 natural significant sites to the List. The total list now has some 1073 places with most of them in the European Region. In India the historic city of Ahmedabad has been added to the list.

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Case of Costa Rica v. Nicaragua

In the joined cases concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos between the countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, developments have occurred. The public proceedings were concluded and the court will now begin its deliberation.

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UN Secretary-General appoints head of panel to investigate violence in Syria

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the name of Catherine Marchi-Ulhel of France to be the head of the independent panel created to investigate and prosecute the violations of International Law in Syria. The Committee had been established in December 2016 by the General Assembly.

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ICC decides not to report the violation of South Africa’s obligations to UNSC and ASP

The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court delivered a verdict in an open session in the matter of South Africa’s failure to comply with its obligations to the Court by not apprehending and surrendering Omar Al-Bashir while he was on national territory. The Court considered and matter and decided to not report the failure of compliance to the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) or the UN Security Council (UNSC).

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UN experts request Israel to reconsider charges against Palestinian human rights defender

Two independent UN experts have requested the Israeli Military Court to reconsider the filing of charges against Mr. Issa Amro, a Palestinian human rights defender. Relying on the information available to them, they stated that the charges have been filed against Mr. Amro’s right to protest peacefully which is part of his freedom of speech and expression. They stated that the conviction of Mr. Amro on those charges would place reasonable doubts upon the Court’s ability to mete out justice according to the norms of International Law.

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European Court of Human Rights decides in favour to Belgian law banning face coverings

A Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered a verdict in the matter of Belcacemi and Oussar v. Belgium, holding the Belgian law which banned the adornment of covering which covered the face partly or fully to not be in violation of the Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case had been filed by two Muslims living in Belgium in connection to their right to wear the niqab.

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Mosul Liberation brings devastation

Iraq and US backed forces began the liberation of Mosul 9 months ago and it recently ended at the cost of massive destruction. The historic Old City of Mosul was rocked by bomb-blasts as it was deeply covered with militants Nearly a third of the Old City — more than 5,000 buildings — was damaged or destroyed in the final three weeks of bombardment up to July 8, according to a survey by U.N. Habitat using satellite imagery.

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India and Israel sign seven agreements

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel resulted in signing of seven agreements. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Israel. The agreements relate to science and technology, water and sanitation, infrastructure, agriculture and space research.

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India and Vietnam renew oil deal

Vietnam’s national oil company Petrovietnam has granted extended permission to ONGC Videsh to explore oil block in the South China Sea for another two years. The previous deal was bound to expire in mid-June. This is the fifth extension for India in the contested waters of South China Sea over which China claims sovereignty.

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Compiled by Ayushi Singh, Ankit Handa, Shambhavi Kala, Nitya Jain (IIIrd Year), Pooja Ravikrishnan and Divyakshi Jain (IInd Year)

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