Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Travel to Bratislava to talk about reparations and international criminal justice

Tomorrow I shall be discussing with university students some aspects of the reparations decision of the ICC in the case Lubanga together with my experience while working for the OHCHR in the consultation to survivors of sexual violence as to design projects with reparation/assistance purpose.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cote d'Ivoire and the UN mandate

Given the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire and the discussion on the UN role, I would like to call the attention on the mandate of the UN in the country, particularly, the certification mandate concerning the electoral process of the SR of the SG.
You can follow it in the press release that follows, at the end, you find the full text of the SC resolution.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

France and the use of the taser

Today Amnesty International France has also given an extensive interview on the topic on France 24 TV.
A citizen of Mali has died as a consequence of the use of taser.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hiring interns in the non-profit sector: are there no ethics?

Today I shall refer to a very different topic to those habitually included in this blog, that worries me particularly as human rights professional: the almost disappearance of paid positions in the human rights sector (non-profit), as to give place to the increasing amount of internships.
You study human rights, probably you complete a postgraduate program, or two, or three, or more. Perhaps you publish articles, or even a book. You attend expensive courses as to update your knowledge. You want to be a good professional. All of this has a cost, of course. Then, may be, if you do not have work experience, you accept an internship (than in reality is an unpaid full-time job), as to gain work experience.
And after that, what?
Browsing some LinkedIn profiles today, I found with sadness how some professionals have no option that to jump from an internship to the next one. Browsing job postings, internships prevail. As it is said in the US, most jobs are advertised through networks, if you are not inside, you will never get to know that new opportunities exist (it is another story the discussion of the ethics of just recruiting and interviewing "friends of friends").
If I am a manager, and I post an internship, probably I need assistance and I want that a "new" professional earns some further experience. Explain me, please, how happens that some human rights professionals are just short-listed among candidates for unpaid positions, and when they apply for a paid opening even in the same organization for which they have worked for free during several months, though they have been good performers as interns, however, they are not even interviewed for the paid job.
As said before, internships can be a good opportunity for newcomers to the work life as to earn skills when we do not have the resources as to pay for work, and our program is so important that unpaid work appears to be "good" to sacrifice. Moreover, an organization can test a worker sur place, thinking in a future hire. However, this is not the reality of the human rights market today.
If I forward or I re-publish an internship position in my network, am I aware of any ethical dilemma? Is the intern being used or abused? Is it a learning experience of temporary character for a new professional or is it the abuse of the person that "got in" and does not permit other ones to develop a normal professional life, implying a salary (even in the nonprofit sector, you need to eat, you have family and further needs), and other benefits, as any other normal person.
If you publish job ads, including internships, please, ask yourself whether you are not also contributing exploitation of a colleague by another colleague, in times of crisis (economic and ethical).

Friday, November 19, 2010

World Day to Stop Violence against Chldren

Support is growing for considering November 19th, anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the World Day to Stop Violence against Children.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Council of Europe gives steps as to advocate for justice appropriate to children

The Council of Europe has advanced in the preparation of the Guidelines on Children-Friendly Justice.
You can consult the draft in the following link"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

UK decides to grant reparation to Guantanamo detainees

Several media outlets have reported today on this issue.
You can follow this issue also on

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Parliamentary elections in Afghanistan

Parliamentary elections (249 seats of the Lower House) have taken place today in Afghanistan, among some instances of violence.
First results are not expected before October 8th.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peru's change of mind

Peru has reacted. Some days ago, we wrote here expressing our preoccupation, as an Executive Order had been adopted that could lead to impunity in human rights cases. The Peruvian Congress has repealed it this week.
Congratulations from a human rights perspective.
You can follow the corresponding press release issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights:
The law cancelling the Order can be found here:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New START treaty on the way to ratification

Today the US Senate Committee of Foreign Relations has adopted a resolution opening the door to the ratification of the new Start (Strategic Arms Reduction) treaty with Russia.
The text of the treaty and further documents of interest, can be downloaded on the Secretary's of State website:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New case of the European Court of Human Rights concerning journalistic sources

The European Court of Human Rights (Grand Chamber) has delivered yesterday its judgment against the Netherlands in a case concerning a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The Court found that this country had violated the mentioned provision when seizing photographs that could permit to identify the information sources.
The case, Sanoma Uitgevers B.V. v. the Netherlands (application no. 38224/03) permits to appreciate that even in a criminal investigation, the journalistic source of information is privileged.
You can read the decision following this link:

And France is on the way to ban the burqa

Friends, I love France, but this country, the country of the 1789 Declaration, is giving to much to talk concerning human rights in the last days.
Today the French Senate has approved the law banning the use of clothes dissimulating the face and sanctioning the use and act to compel the use with fines. Now, the Constitutional Council has one month to check the legislation.
As reported by BBC:

The text can be read over the following link:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The EU Commission vs. France concerning treatment of Roma

Viviane Reding Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship has issued a statement today asserting the intention to initiate an infringement action against France due to the recent measures targeting Roma, as violations of the Freedom of Movement Directive.
You can check her Statement here:

Le Monde has published an article on this issue:

New report of HRW on human rights violations against the displaced in Eastern Congo

HRW has published today a new report about the human rights violations that target those displaced in Eastern Congo.
You can consult it following this link:

Monday, September 13, 2010

15th session of the Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council opened today the 15th regular session in Geneva.
A highlight was the preoccupation of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the situation of human rights defenders.
You can follow the different speaches of today's session in the following website:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mc. Farlane vs. Ireland, European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (Grand Chamber) has decided yesterday a case concerning the lenght of criminal proceedings (more than 14 years) and the lack of an effective remedy for the victim of this violation to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms against Ireland. Finding a violation of both articles 13 and 6$1 of this treaty, the Chamber granted 5500 EUR as compensation for non-monetary damage.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Preoccupation in the human rights community for Peruvian Executive order

The Executive order 1097 can be dowloaded over the following website:
It refers to procedural norms to be applied to crimes that constitute human rights violations. The most problematic issue appears to be article 6 of the Order, that includes the following text that permits a court to issue a "partial dismissal decision to the benefit of anyone facing charges whose case has suffered an excessively long investigation"
The main concern is the application of this provision to investigation of human rights violations.
The history of investigation of human rights violations in Peru had already received significative attention in the Inter-American System of Protection, that is, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court. The Case Barrios Altos of 2001 dealt specially with provisions that could amount to an amnesty. You can read it following this link:
In the light of this case, further jurisprudence and the treaty obligations binding Peru, the Inter-American Commission has reacted requesting the Peruvian authorities to adopt the necessary measures as to avoid that human rights violations in this country are impune.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Third session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


The Conference of the Parties took place in New York last week.
The highlight is the selection of the members of the Committee that is entilted to monitor the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
You may find the documentation concerning the Convention if you follow the linked cited above.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Washington Post Article on the US change of policy towards the Human Rights Council

concretely, the reporting policy towards the Universal Periodic Review, new mechanism created with the reform of the UN human rights system and the creation of the Human Rights Council instead of the Commission on Human Rights.
If you want to read the US report for the UPR please follow this link:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

High Peace Council for Afghanistan?

Afghan President Karzai has announced the constitution of a High Peace Council to pursue peace talks with the Taliban, according to latest press releases.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kosovo, the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice


This draft resolution of the UN General Assembly is a consequence of the recent advisory opinion of the ICJ on Kosovo, where the Court concluded "that the adoption of the declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law, Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) or the Constitutional Framework. Consequently the adoption of that
declaration did not violate any applicable rule of international law" (para. 122, see ICJ, Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo (Request for Advisory Opinion) - Advisory Opinion - Advisory Opinion of 22 July 2010 , http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/141/15987.pdf?PHPSESSID=4bc67c8bdf6904436ebb4ffd10f267a6).

Non-refoulement and Iraq

Though non-refoulement is a well-established principle of customary international law, in addition, recognized by treaties such as the 1951/1967 Refugee Convention and the 1984 Convention against Torture, individuals are still subject to its violation, here, even by those countries that count, in theory, with the highest standards.
Let us not talk about the consequence of deporting individuals to sensitive areas.
Good for the UNHCR position.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

MSS vs. Belgium and Greece


The Grand Chamber of the ECHR heard today this case concerning an asylum-seeker of Afghanistan and the problem of the application of the Dublin II Regulation (Belgium considered that Greece, with not an excellent record of protection for asylum-seekers, was the country competent to deal with the application).

What is wrong with minority rights in Europe?


Slavery and Human Trafficking International Law and the Role of the World Bank


Lecture at the UNI Graz