All posts by EMA Human Rights Blog

The International Monetary Fund: Human Rights are not my Business?

By Mustapha Hadji The 1980s debt crisis opened the door for IMF to directly interfere in the fiscal and monetary policies of borrowing countries. The Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) have impacted the lives and livelihoods of third world citizens for decades.[1] Reducing public spending was the “magical recipe” prescribed by IMF to crisis-wracked countries to get out of the debt spiral. Cutting public spending meant little to no money for social programs, public education, public health services and many other programs and services that create safety nets for vulnerable social segments of those countries.


The Legal Personality of Rivers

By Bronagh Kieran Lately, the legal personality of rivers has been considered in several jurisdictions. In India, the High Court recognised the legal personality of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in March 2017 however, this decision was overturned in July 2017. Contrastingly, the Whanganui river was recognised as a living entity in New Zealand in March 2017 by way of legislature.


Not Gay Enough: the Struggle of LGBTQI Asylum Seekers in Europe

By Milena Österreicher He did not act, walk or dress like a gay man. He fought with other people in his accommodation. He didn’t have many friends. These are the reasons why the Austrian authorities didn’t believe that a young Afghan man was homosexual and rejected his claim for asylum last August. The 18-year-old said he fled from being persecuted for his sexual orientation in his home country.


Lord Destroy and the Italy we thought was Over

The social movement developed in Italy in the 60s and 70s, known as “il Sessontotto”, led to a cultural revolution. Women began to claim ownership of their bodies, independence from caring for their husbands and children and freedom from the chains of sexual bigotry. They were active in social movements and political protests, they claimed rights leading to the approval of the law on abortion, as well as to a change in the social perception of both female roles and rules. Nonetheless, even in 2018 some Italian society remains untouched by this strong change. This is the phenomenon highlighted by Vincenzo Maisto, known as Lord Destroy.


Detainees with disabilities: Quid of the non bis idem principle?

By Lauryane Leneveu Spending dozens of hours in a cell smaller than three square meters. Sharing this cramped space with other people or instead being completely isolated from human contact. Being locked in a stressful, heavily monitored and sometimes violent environment. Prison life, a difficult and often traumatic experience, is not easy for anyone. Imagine what it is like for detainees with disabilities.


My Gender, Your Decision: Determination of Gender Identity in the UK

By Alice Gould Between July 3rd 2018 and October 22nd 2018 the UK Government ran a public consultation in England and Wales into the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Whilst the GRA and the Civil Partnership Act (also of 2004) were revolutionary at the time, 14 years later our concepts of gender, sexuality, and LGBT norms have significantly changed. Although England, Wales, and Scotland recognised same-sex marriage (with Northern Ireland lagging behind) in 2013, gender recognition has lacked any substantial reform.


Populism Emerging in Belgium? How the Recent Turmoil Reshaped the Political Landscape

By Liesbet Debecker When, on Saturday evening, the so-called ‘Swedish coalition’ that formed the Belgian government finally crumbled, no one who has followed Belgian politics over the past few weeks was surprised. What exactly happened in this chronicle of a death foretold? What led the Belgian government to collapse over a non-binding international treaty?


Have you met Ghazal? Syrian Refugees aren’t just in Europe

By Tarek Bashour Ghazal is her name; she was nearly six years old when she was rescued from drowning in front of the camp of displaced people where she and her mother share a tent with six others. Ghazal’s father fell during the war whilst fighting against the regime. She was told that her father was swimming in the sea with the nice colourful fish, and so she ran to the water in front of her camp and searched for him until the air left her lungs. Now she is 12 years old and she knows that he is dead. She hates the regime for killing her father but does not realise how many fathers he killed on the other side.