For all of the thousands of news stories on Donald Trump's presidential win, it's fair to say there's very little clarity on what his presidency is likely to mean for human rights. Either within the USA, or around the world. We're all working with scant evidence and a lot of speculation... Essentially, though, the problem is two-fold. First, the USA's human rights record is already poor in manifold ways and urgently needs improvement. And second, Trump's turbo-charged rhetoric suggests an impatience with the rule of law and international standards.
Allowing passengers to cram a plane's overhead lockers with large imitation AK-47s seems an odd thing to permit in these days of heightened airport security (where every 100ml-plus container of moisturiser is banned and travellers are ordered to remove their shoes at the er, drop of a hat), but there you go
Mitchell's "new Srebrenica" line echoes Jan Egeland, the United Nations official who's responsible for trying to broker humanitarian access in Syria. The effectiveness - or otherwise - of UN efforts to deliver aid into Syria has been one of the many vexed issues of this crisis. With Srebrenica (as with Rwanda) the UN failed abysmally. Is it going to fail with Syria as well? Let's fervently hope not. And let's hope that Aleppo stays at the centre of international attention. Because, even without a standalone massacre of Srebrenica's magnitude, Aleppo is already a frightening humanitarian emergency. Aleppo isn't the new Srebrenica, it's the old Aleppo. And that's easily bad enough.
The last century has taught us just how achievable change is, especially when it comes at both a national and individual local level - from people's perceptions about the morality of drink-driving, to the drastic reduction in the ubiquitous habit of smoking everywhere, and of course racism. But it takes a huge coming together of determined people. It takes showing that this is not what we are prepared for the United Kingdom to head towards, that this is not the new normal.
Essentially today, we are acknowledging that sex workers have the right to be free from violence, abuse, and discrimination. Just like anyone else. To accompany the policy's launch, we have also published four new reports looking at the plight of sex workers in Argentina, Hong Kong, Norway and Papua New Guinea. Overall the reports come to the same conclusion. Governments must do much more to protect sex workers from abuse. And criminalisation of sex work contributes to the denial and abuse of their human rights.
A new poll of more than 27,000 people in 27 countries shows that 80% of those interviewed - in countries on all continents - would accept refugees in their country. The poll, carried out for Amnesty International by the global consulting firm GlobeScan, contrasts sharply with anti-refugee attitudes expressed by extremist organizations and politicians claiming to speak on behalf of "ordinary people" in their countries.
It will have come as no surprise to anyone who's been involved in grassroots solidarity with refugees that a new Amnesty poll, published yesterday, has found overwhelming support among the British public for people fleeing conflict and persecution. Over three quarters of British people would accept refugees into their neighbourhood or home, the survey results show, and 70% say the government isn't doing enough to help.
I hope the UK joins other liberal democratic countries in adopting the Nordic model. Perhaps in the future we will wonder why, at the beginning of the 21st century, decriminalisation could even be regarded as freedom rather than an obstacle to equality, a violation of human dignity and a contravention of human rights.
One hundred and fifty-six people have been exonerated from various death row facilities in the USA in the past four decades. And these are just the ones we know about. How many other victims of miscarriages went to their deaths? Serious crimes deserve serious sentences, but the premeditated cruelty of the death penalty is not the answer. Capital punishment has no proven deterrence value, it's prone to terrible error, it's often applied following shoddy trials and sometimes in blatantly political ways, it's irreversible if implemented, and it inflicts mental torment on the condemned...
The stakes for humankind have never been higher. The fact that we have the highest number of people uprooted from their homes since the Second World War - 60million - and 20million of them have been pushed out of their home countries - is a serious wake up call. The UN Security Council and the so-called international community continues to watch helplessly as Syria faces a complete meltdown. But it's not just Syria - Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Burundi, North Korea are all in a precarious condition. It is time for world leaders to stop playing politics with the lives of civilians - children, women and men. It is time to protect the human rights of ordinary people.
Mr Obama's rhetoric over US torture is one of condemning the actions and adjuring us to "leave" them "where they belong - in the past". As if that answers to the seriousness of what took place. Few people would be content with a political arrangement which went no further than the condemning-and-leaving tactic if we were considering the everyday crimes of theft, fraud, assault or rape. I don't see why an official US programme of organised kidnap, illegal imprisonment and serial assault should be any different.
No-one knows who's here and anyone can simply walk in. In the chaos, many - including children, whether they are with their parents or not - are at huge risk of abuse and exploitation. Even when people have lodged asylum claims in France, the system is so slow that some give up waiting and try their luck jumping into the back of a lorry to cross the Channel. People smugglers live here, we were told, and gang rivalries sometimes erupt into violence, making already vulnerable people even more so.