Author: Katrina Hope

New Zealand Bans All Semi-Automatic Weapons

Six days after the devastating terror attack that killed fifty people in two Christchurch mosques, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced an immediate ban on all military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) weapons. This includes assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, as well as parts that are able to convert any semi-automatic

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Pakistani Women March For Equality And Justice

On International Women’s Day, thousands of Pakistani women and men rallied across Pakistan in the “aurat march” (women’s march) to call for political action on women’s rights and equal access to justice. The aurat march began in the city of Karachi in 2018 when a group of women decided to

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Detained Refugees Allegedly Tortured In Libyan Detention Centre

Last week, refugees and migrants, including minors, were reported to have been tortured in Libya for escaping and protesting the inhumane conditions of their detainment under Libya’s Department of Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). Most detained Libyan refugees and migrants were returned to Libya by the E.U. funded Libyan coastguard after

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Women Awarded Nobel Prizes In Both Physics And Chemistry

2018 has been a ground-breaking year for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with female scientists winning the Nobel Prize in both Chemistry and Physics. Dr Donna Strickland won the Nobel Prize in Physics, and Dr Frances H. Arnold won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, marking the first

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UN Security Council Focus On The Impacts Of War And Armed-Conflict On Persons With Disabilities

Despite one billion people worldwide having a disability, persons with disabilities are among the most forgotten and marginalized groups in any crisis or any armed conflict. On 3 December 2018, The United Nations Security Council Open Arria Formula Meeting addressed the alarming situation of persons with disabilities who live in war-stricken countries.

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Iran’s Student Activists Denied An Education

In Iran, the right to education is being stripped from activists. Iranian authorities have been preventing student activists from receiving a graduate education by placing a “star” on their applications, which specify that their application is “missing documents.” Zia Nabavi, an activist and student who was ranked ninth out of over

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New Zealand Celebrates 125 Years Of Women Suffrage

On September 19, 2018, New Zealand celebrated the 125th anniversary of women suffrage. The Electoral Act was signed into law in 1893 and thereby, gave women over the age of 21 the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Therefore, making New Zealand the first country in the world to enact

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Morocco Criminalizes Violence Against Women

Morocco has finally criminalized violence against women which is being praised as a progressive step for women’s rights, yet further reform is still needed. Law no. 103-13 criminalizes some forms of domestic violence, establishes prevention measures, provides new protections for survivors, and tougher penalties for offenders. Despite these positive reforms,

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Google’s Return To China: A Farewell To Human Rights?

In a recent article, The Intercept reported that Google is developing a new search engine and news app codenamed ‘Project Dragonfly,’ that will be censored to comply with China’s restrictive censorship laws and other legal requirements. The search engine would “blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion,

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Saudi Prosecution Seek Death Penalty For Human Rights Activists

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five human rights activists who have been in pretrial detention without legal representation for over two years. The activists are currently being tried for their peaceful activism by Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), a terrorism tribunal which has been

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Out Of Control Police Killings In Rio de Janeiro

Ongoing police brutality in Brazil is now considered a full-blown human rights crisis. Earlier this year, the Brazilian military police pledged to reduce police killings by 20 percent before the end of 2018 in the Brazilian State of Rio de Janeiro. However, from January to July, the number of Rio

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Italy’s Most Exploited: The African Migrant

The Italian countryside is renowned for its beauty, charm and agriculture. The harvesting of tangerines, oranges and olive crops are common and profitable for the local economy. Migrant workers are essential for the harvest of these fruits, as most Italian locals have either left the countryside in recent decades or

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Saudi Arabia and Canada’s Diplomatic Crisis Intensifies

A single tweet has intensified the diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Canada. Last week, Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on Twitter that it was “gravely concerned” about the detention of civil and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland publically acknowledged that “Canada will

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Fleeing Syrians Turned Away By Israeli Forces

Dozens of Syrians waving white flags approached the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights border last Tuesday only to be turned away by the Israeli army. The displaced Syrians stopped 200 meters away from the border fence before Israeli forces told them to leave. The crowd, which included women and children, returned to

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UN Report Condemns South Sudan For Recent Attacks

The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have jointly published a report this week that condemns South Sudanese government forces and aligned troops of targeting civilians in recent attacks. The newly published report documents at least 234 civilian deaths and many

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India Ranked The Most Dangerous Country For Women

“It was horrifying; I still get nightmares. It was the worst phase of my life. I was married against my wishes and then I had to face so much violence and pain on a daily basis.” Meena Devi, a 17-year-old from India, reported her experience of child marriage and abuse

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Thailand: The Death Penalty Returns

Thailand has ended its de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty after nine years. Theerasak Longji, a 26-year-old man found guilty of aggravated murder six years ago, was executed by lethal injection on June 18 2018 by Thai authorities. This is the country’s first execution since August

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The Organization for World Peace