Worse Off Than Blacks|
Source: San Antonio Express-News
A recent poll reveals that Hispanics rate interracial relations and future optimism more negatively than African-Americans, who long rated themselves as the most discriminated against ethnicity in the U.S. President Obama has likely played a factor in African-American optimism, while recent animosity toward immigration is probably the cause for increased discrimination towards Hispanics.
Public Disclosure on Supreme Court Docket
Source: Seattle Times
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case concerning a Washington statute that allowed public disclosure of the names of citizens who voted for Referendum 71, a measure involving controversial gay marriage laws. The Supreme Court will rule on whether the public release of ballot information is constitutional under the First Amendment.
Steps for Women’s Rights|
Source: One World
Fifteen years after the Fourth World Conference for Women in
Beijing, the visibility of women’s status has sparked an increase in
civil rights legislation and access to education in countries including
Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. However, contemporary challenges
throughout South Asia, such as ongoing political unrest and certain
religious practices, must still be adequately addressed.
Looms in Southeast Asia
Although many countries in Southeast Asia appear to be making strides towards addressing human rights issues, the region remains a hotbed of perpetual abuse, corruption, and injustice. Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Malaysia have all recently graced the covers of newspapers with incidents of extra-judicial killings, threats against activists, and political violence.
Source: Buenos Aires Herald
Though Venezuela is a top oil exporter, President Hugo
Chavez has been forced to ration electricity due to drought and poor power
management. Fear is growing that the blackouts will increase
already-rampant violence. Smaller schools and clinics will be
closed, but government officials promise that electricity will not be cut
to larger service providers.
Fight for Refugee Status
Colombian refugees make up the second largest refugee population in the world, second only to Sudanese refugees. However, neighboring countries like Venezuela have been loath to grant refugee status to bordering citizens. The delay in assigning such status hinders refugees from working and receiving social benefits as well as acclimating to society.
Sudan Food Program Suspended|
Source: N.Y. Times
Al-Shabab, a militant Islamist group known for its hit-and-run attacks, has regularly threatened the World Food Program (“WFP”). In November 2009, Al-Shabab gave the WFP until January 1, 2010, to cease all operations or comply with Al-Shabab's demands, including paying a $20,000 security fee and ceasing food importation during the harvest season.
Urged to Stop Anti-Homosexual Bill
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Uganda to halt a bill criminalizing new offenses of “aggravated homosexuality”, including attaching the death penalty in some instances. Although a “million-man” march has been planned to support the legislation, Ugandan President Museveni has shown signs that he will not support the bill.
Strike Renewed in Bosnia|
Source: Transitions Online
Five prisoners detained in Sarajevo have reawakened a hunger strike in protest of their detentions. The prisoners are suspected terrorists, who are being held without any formal charges. Bosnian officials assert their right to detain the men without charges and to withhold evidence, but rights groups have demanded more expansive due process.
Rights Defender Arrested
In what was referred to as an anti-terrorist operation, Muharrem Erbey and thirty-six others were arrested on suspicion of associating with the Kurdistan Workers Party. Erbey, who serves as vice president of Turkey’s national Human Rights Association and chairman of its Diyarbakir branch, was arrested in his home by the Diyarbakir Security Directorate.
Worker Contracts in Kuwait|
Source: Gulf News
The Kuwaiti government is in the process of adopting a
standardized employment contract for domestic workers. These uniform
contracts, which will be signed by the employee, employer, and recruitment
agency, will lay out the rights and duties of domestic workers and set
terms and conditions for their employment.
Saudi Criminal Justice
Saudi Arabia is taking steps to strengthen its criminal justice system by approving the establishment of a public defender program. Human Rights Watch reports that intimidation is a common tactic used by Saudi judges to discourage criminal defendants from hiring lawyers. The new public defender program will ideally counteract widespread violations of civil rights in this nation.