Foreign Policy Blogs

Human Rights

The Whistleblower (2010)

The Whistleblower (2010)

Sex trafficking. It happens all over the world but is largely invisible to most. What The Whistleblower (a drama, not a documentary) does is expose it as it occurred in Bosnia in 1999, four years after the Dayton Accord was reached. Rachel Weisz plays Kathryn Bolkovac, a police officer from Nebraska who ...

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U.S. Prospects for Ratification as MLC, 2006 Enters into Force

U.S. Prospects for Ratification as MLC, 2006 Enters into Force

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) will enter into force. The MLC, 2006 is an extremely comprehensive convention considered to be the “fourth pillar” of international maritime law. Though it enjoyed unanimous adoption within the ILO, the ...

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Ciao, Bella: Death in Italian

Ciao, Bella: Death in Italian

When the moon hits your eye like’a big pizza pie…that’s amore. Substitute “moon” for “man” and “that’s amore” for a significant proportion of Italian women. Exact figures on domestic violence are unknown for obvious reasons, but the more troubling occurrence of women being murdered is also not ...

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Asia’s Pivot: Stepping on Human Rights, Reviving Realpolitik

Asia’s Pivot: Stepping on Human Rights, Reviving Realpolitik

In late July, following 28 years of authoritarian rule in Cambodia by the Prime Minister Hun Sen, citizens of the impoverished southeastern Asian state went to the polls for elections. What followed was a shocking setback: Mr. Sen’s ruling Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) saw its number of seats in the ...

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Impending Change for China’s One-Child Policy?

Impending Change for China’s One-Child Policy?

Recent media excitedly report on the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) contemplation of abandoning its decades-old “one-child policy.” However, the official press agency, Xinhua, merely wrote that the PRC is still “deliberating” on studies and whether to “relax” the policy or not. Xinhua reported the spokesman for ...

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Pride and Prejudice and Banknotes

Pride and Prejudice and Banknotes

Back in May I wrote about the derisively named “storm in a teacup” over the decision of the Bank of England to remove reformer Elizabeth Fry from the £5 note. Why this was controversial to some was that it meant that no women, apart from the monarch, ...

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Malala’s Islam

Malala’s Islam

Malala Yousafzai requires no introduction, especially not now that the United Nations has recognized her birthday as “Malala Day,” celebrating  this girl from Swat Valley, Pakistan, who has such a strong desire for knowledge that even a bullet to the head could not waiver. Addressing the United Nations on her ...

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Chong Chon Gang Saga Encouraging More International Scrutiny of DPRK

Chong Chon Gang Saga Encouraging More International Scrutiny of DPRK

The recent international shipping scandal involving the Chong Chon Gang, a decrepit, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-flagged (DPRK) cargo ship with a dodgy track record has raised many important questions involving contemporary issues on the international laws of international security, maritime law, human rights, and labor rights. ...

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The Humanitarian Toll of the Syrian Crisis

The Humanitarian Toll of the Syrian Crisis

Syria long ago became a source of a steady trickle of bad news but recent reports coming from several UN agencies working in Syria highlight just how dire the humanitarian situation there has become. First up is a new report from the World Food Programme and the UN Food and ...

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Libya and the Sahel: Has a Dictator’s Demise Doomed the Region?

Libya and the Sahel: Has a Dictator’s Demise Doomed the Region?

After the fall from power in 2011 of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi, Libya’s de facto ruler for forty-two years, there was no lack of backslapping bonhomie among NATO country members who had helped overthrow the despot from power. Indeed, the West’s bombing sorties had been skillfully executed, with France and Great Britain playing ...

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The shadows of the informal economy

The shadows of the informal economy

In which sector of the economy are women disproportionately (over)represented? And even though they are in the majority, still get paid less than their male counterparts? There may of course be more than one answer to these questions, however for the purposes of this blog post, the one I’m ...

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On the Establishment of the White House Council on Native American Affairs

On the Establishment of the White House Council on Native American Affairs

Executive Order 13647 of U.S. President Barack Obama, signed June 26, 2013, and published July 1, 2013, eponymously established the White House Council on Native American Affairs (the Council). This move reaffirms Obama’s stated commitment to the principles of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. ...

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The Democratic Republic of Congo: When All Else Fails, Try Counter-Insurgency

The Democratic Republic of Congo: When All Else Fails, Try Counter-Insurgency

Last March, after seeing its nearly 20,000-strong peacekeeping force embarrassed by Congolese rebels in armed clashes outside of Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) second biggest city, the U.N.  Security Council decided unanimously to deploy 3,000 troops to act as an “intervention brigade” in the eastern part of ...

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Til Death Us Do Part

Til Death Us Do Part

When you’re married to someone you (hopefully) love, they become the center of your universe. But what happens when they die? For many women the world over, becoming a widow means becoming a burden – and being tainted by stigma. In 2011, the U.N. designated June 23 as International Widows’ ...

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Indonesian Haze Raising Regional Human Rights Questions

Indonesian Haze Raising Regional Human Rights Questions

As the slash-and-burn deforestation peat-burning agricultural practices of communities and companies in Southeast Asia continue, their peoples are suffering the worst air quality on record. Particularly hard hit are Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. The fires mainly burn on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, with the smoke travelling ...

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