Law

Violence against Women: Advocating for Legal Reform

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Across the world, women are abused, trafficked, raped and killed. Violence against women is a grave violation of human rights, negatively affecting women’s well-being and precluding women from fully participating in society. It not only leads to severe physical, sexual and mental consequences to each individual victim, but tears their families, community and society apart.

Protection of Indigenous Land Rights: Challenges & Remedies

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There are estimated to be 370 million indigenous people in the world, from 5,000 different ethnic groups, living in 90 countries. James Anaya, former Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People, has defined indigenous people as "living descendants of pre-invasion inhabitants of lands now dominated by others. They are culturally distinct groups that find themselves engulfed by other settler societies born of forces of empire and conquest." Despite the United Nations having issued a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including land rights, the land rights of indigenous people have increasingly come under threat.

Transitional Justice in Practice

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Thank you for joining Jasmina Brankovic and Sufiya Bray of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Galuh Wandita and Patrick Burgess of the Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and the New Tactics online community for this discussion on Transitional Justice in Practice that took place on May 12 to May 23, 2014.

Over time, the action and concept of transitional justice has evolved into a method used to promote and implement democracy and sustainable peace. Two examples of transitional justice are truth commissions and institutional reform, however individual acts and processes of transitional justice are utilized differently based on the approaches, countries and the cultural context.

Reparations: Using civil lawsuits to obtain reparation for survivors of human rights abuses and to challenge the impunity of their abusers

Group of citizens holding a posterThe Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) represents survivors using the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act, which gives both U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike the right to sue human rights abusers who live in or visit the United States. CJA has effectively used these acts to help end the possibility of abusers using the U.S. as a safe haven, to assist survivors in gaining reparations, and to break the silence that has enabled abusers to live in impunity.

Testing for Discrimination: Identifying and Prosecuting Human Rights Abuses

The Legal Defense Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities (NEKI) in Hungary learned about a testing tactic from a U.S. group that had successfully proved instances of housing discrimination by sending in “testers” of different races to apply for apartments. Similar discrimination was also occurring in Hungary against the Roma population – in housing, employment, access to public spaces and public services and other areas. NEKI adapted the tactic of testing to fit into its strategy of using lawsuits to challenge human rights violations.

Improving Access to Health: Activating in the intellectual property and health nexus

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Thank you for joining Christopher Wong, New York Law School Fellow, students from his Intellectual Property & Activism class and an amazing group of practitioners in the field for this dialogue on Improving Access to Health. Intellectual property (IP) laws have a significant impact upon global welfare.  In particular, IP law, as it relates to healthcare, is a substantial factor in determining the accessibility of essential medicines, treatments, and medical literature by those in need.  For example, patents on pharmaceuticals can lead to prices that are unaffordable by affected populations in developing countries, while copyright law may contribute to the inability of affected populations to access treatment information for basic ailments.

Domesticating International Human Rights Law

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Thank you for joining the New Tactics online community for a dialogue on Domesticating International Human Rights Law. Human rights are inherent, universal and indivisible, and have found expressions in various international and regional human rights instruments. National constitutions of various countries have adopted these human rights standards. Yet human rights violations are common practice in many parts of the world. Local human rights groups and practitioners have done tremendous work in translating/adopting these human rights standards/principles in their day to day work. They have found novel and innovative ways of translating international human rights standards into practical and meaningful things for local people.

Engaging Pro-Bono Lawyers

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Pro-bono lawyers provide an important service to the protect of human rights. But how do you engage them? Th tackled the issues of defining what a pro-bono lawyer is, what they do, how to develop a network of partnerships and volunteers in pro-bono work, how to train lawyers interested in pro-bono work, what issues of security existed in pro-bono work, and finally, how can pro-bono work be sustainably maintained.

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