Global Justice Center Blog

GJC Weekly News Roundup

Lopez Obrador Becomes First Leftist to Govern Mexico in Years

Andrés Manuel López Obrador has won Mexico’s presidential election after the concession of his top two rivals. This victory makes him the first leftist president since Mexico transitioned to a multiparty democracy 30 years ago. The former mayor of Mexico City has made promises to the poor and declared a battle against corruption. Obrador said his government would, “represent all citizens rich and poor, religious or nonbelievers, migrants, human beings of all manner of thought and all sexual preferences.”

Trump Weighs Top Picks for Supreme Court

President Trump said he is close to deciding his Supreme Court nominee after evaluating the four leading candidates at his New Jersey golf club. The President must take into account the likely response of key senators and his core supporters to each prospect. Trump has remained quiet about his decision, which he is expected to announce on July 9th at 9 pm, but it will likely be one of the following federal judges: Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Thomas Hardiman. This decision could move abortion opponents one step closer to overturning the landmark case of Roe v. Wade.

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How the International Community is Failing the Syrian Torture Victims

 

By Maftuna Saidova

June 26th was the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In honor of this day, we should remember the victims who were tortured (and continue to be tortured) in Syrian detention centers and evaluate what is being done to hold the perpetrators responsible. Neither the Syrian government nor the international community has taken any significant steps to address or mitigate the violations happening in in Syria. Under the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the state–who should be responsible for protecting its citizens–has been acting as the perpetrator. Under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad, those who are deemed as a threat to the government continue to be tortured in the detention centers.  Moreover, the two mechanisms set out by the Convention Against Torture, meant to protect victims, have not been fully employed–leaving the victims defenseless against their own government.  As a result, many Syrians continue to live in fear, knowing that their government could strip them of their rights at any moment.

Under Article 14 of the Convention Against Torture, state parties to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, are required to, “ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.” Acts of “redress” can include reparations for the victims such as rehabilitation, compensation, and guarantees of non-repetition. However in this case the Syriangovernment is the perpetrator, which makes it highly unlikely that any types of reparations will be provided to the victims by the government. This is why the role of the international community is especially important for the Syrian victims.

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The UN General Assembly Ignores Gender in Debates on the Responsibility to Protect

By Hannah Sarokin and Brandon Golfman

The 90s were a time of multiculturalism, grunge music, Friends, and the world-wide web.  It was also a decade marked by devastating humanitarian crises, including widespread sexual and gender-based violence.  From Rwanda to the Balkans, mass conflict and genocide rattled global security and peace processes and shed light on the resounding failure of the international community to act.  The principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was born from such atrocity.  

First addressed by the UN during the World Summit in 2005, R2P is the collective recognition that protecting vulnerable civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity is both a domestic and international obligation.  The three pillars of R2P oblige states to protect their populations from such atrocities, require the international community to assist in that protection, and if a state has failed, other states must take appropriate actions to intervene.  Despite a unanimous commitment to R2P at the World Summit, there remains a severe gap in domestic implementation, especially in regards to gender.

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International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Reminders of the Rohingya

By Katya Kolluri

Tuesday, June 19, was the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, proclaimed by the UN in order to raise awareness of various forms of sexual violence perpetrated against women, men, girls and boys, that is either directly or indirectly linked to a conflict.

The effects of conflict-related sexual violence, including poverty, poor health, unwanted pregnancy, and extreme trauma, can endure across generations. The alternative for women who have been impregnated in conflict is abortion – with unsafe abortion the leading cause of maternal mortality in settings affected by war conflict.

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Akila Radhakrishnan featured in Ms. Magazine Blog

Ms. Magazine's blog published a feature on Akila Radhakrishnan's appointment as the President of the Global Justice Center.

Radhakrishnan’s appointment also stands in stark contrast to the troubling statistics about leadership across sectors by gender—which indicate that men make up 95 percent of CEOs and top executives, and under 20 percent of CEOs are people of color. In the non-profit space, women and people of color are similarly underrepresented in leadership positions. 

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