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Category: Articles & Statements

hrd10d
Articles & StatementsBlog

10 December: A day of solidarity with people in the grip of conflict and crisis

 

December 10, Human Rights Day illuminates our identity, reminding us of our shared humanity, responsibilities, and the poetry of existence. In the heart of winter, as we are floating on the misty ocean of our collective consciousness the 10th of December emerges as the poetry of who we are, where we did come from, where we are going.

On this day, as we commemorate and observe Human Rights Day, we understand that when we, as humanity, forget who we are and where we come from, we risk beginning to cease to exist.

We may not see the dreams that cease to exist in the narrow alleys of Gaza, but those dreams become the stars that guide us in the spectacular ocean of our collective consciousness. Even though we do not understand the agony many individuals go through in Ukraine, the nation’s resilience becomes the boat on which we float. The suffering of the Uyghur Turks in China and their plight, marked by violations of fundamental human rights becomes the mist floating on the ocean of our consciousness.

As we mark the 10th of December, this day is a call to action, an invitation to stand in solidarity with those in the throes of conflict and crisis. It is a day to affirm our commitment to the ideals of justice, equality, and dignity for all.

In the heart of winter, December 10th stands as a beacon of hope, a reminder that even in the ongoing passage of time, we can embalm the virtues of human rights into our calendar of wisdom.

Let this day be a day of reflection on who we are, where we came from, where we are going, but also of resolve – a resolve to make the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights not just a poetry, but a reality for every person, in every corner of the world.

If this day does not become a day of resolve and reflection, then we would get lost like a waterdrop in an ocean.

Israeli air strikes hit Hamas targets in Gaza
Articles & Statements

Peace is not a choice; it is the only way out

HRS supports all rights-deprived individuals, condemning terrorism and excessive Israeli actions in Gaza, urging respect for human rights and peace. As Human Rights Solidarity it is our duty to stand in solidarity with all human beings deprived of their rights.
When terrorism hits Israeli civilians, we stand with them.
When Israeli operations in Gaza surpass the limits of self-defense and cause harm to unarmed Palestinian civilians, we stand with the Palestinians.
Occupation may beget terrorism, but both deserve condemnation.
Israel is hijacked by a populist regime.
The Palestinian cause is hijacked by a terrorist organisation.
We implore both sides to respect human rights as enshrined in international conventions.
We implore third parties to help protect Gaza from a looming humanitarian crisis and to help to return kidnapped Israelis to their families.
Peace is not a choice; it is the only way out.
Occupation and terrorism should not be seen as available courses of action, even when no other clear options are seen in the horizon.

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Articles & StatementsEducationExecutive Committee

Join us! Here are the HRS volunteer programs

Volunteer at Human Rights Solidarity for hands-on experience in human rights advocacy, research, partnerships, leadership, and community engagement, enhancing employability. As a volunteer at Human Rights Solidarity, you will be immersed in a world of human rights advocacy and learning, gaining experience in research analytical skills, stakeholder engagement and partnerships, presentation skills, events coordination, and leadership positions.

 We have a range of volunteer opportunities from Research Analysts to Partnerships Volunteers to Group Leaders for our various immigrant integration programmes. Each of these experiences will equip you with valuable skills to carry you through your future careers and lives, opening your eyes to the world of human rights and public sector work.

 These roles are perfect for any young people with a desire to create a difference, help a local community, increase their employability in the human rights and government sphere, and a passion for human rights, community engagement, and policy change.

 

AVAILABLE ROLES:

 RESEARCH ANALYST

 As a Research Analyst you will be apart of a team investigating human rights violations in a specific geographical region or a specified topic by the team leader (e.g. women’s rights, trafficking, food and water scarcity etc.). Research methods may include podcast style interviews with experts and text-based analysis. Your will collate your research into a report to be published and on occasion submitted to European Parliament. This is a perfect role for anyone looking to enhance their research and report writing abilities and gain experience in the public sector.

 PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENTS COORDINATOR

 As a Partnerships and Events Coordinator, you will engage in the creation of projects in collaboration with other NGOs and organizations to increase our impact and ability to spread awareness of human rights violations. You may be responsible for working with a team of volunteers to plan events on specific topics of human rights work, contacting speakers, organizations, and participants. This is a great opportunity for anyone passionate about events or partnerships work in the public sector and with a love for project design and management.

 INTEGRATION GROUP LEADER

 As an integration group leader, you will lead one of a selection of immigrant integration programmes we host at HRS. This may be researching and presenting at bi-weekly Know Your Rights events for young asylum seekers and immigrants, leading groups on our Breakfast, Walk, and British History and Culture tours around London, or training young athletes in Basketball on the weekends. This is a great opportunity with a passion for ameliorating society for those less fortunate.

 Join us today and become a part of the HRS family! 

Become a hero

TRAFALGAR1
Articles & StatementsEventsImmigration Committee

‘Humanity Cartoons’ in London squares

Winning cartoons from ‘2nd Int’l Migration Cartoons Competition’ by HRS and Time to Help UK exhibited in London’s key locations. The winning works of the ‘2nd International Migration Cartoons Competition’ organised by Human Rights Solidarity (HRS) and Time to Help UK were exhibited in important centres of London. 20 of the works titled ‘Humanity Cartoons’ were presented to the attention of the public in an interactive open-air exhibition held one week apart, first in Pancras Square and then in Trafalgar Square.

The exhibition, which drew attention to one of the most important agendas of the world, migration and immigration, remained in the square for more than 2 hours each. HRS and Time to Help volunteers explained the problems faced by refugees and migrants to the crowd viewing the exhibition and answered questions.

Each of the works emphasises the reasons why migrants leave their countries, the difficult conditions they are in and the human rights violations they are exposed to. They also criticise countries and institutions that make the lives of migrants more difficult instead of trying to solve the problems.

Our statement about the exhibition titled ‘Humanity Cartoons’ is as follows:

Humanity Cartoons is a joint project of Time to Help and Human Rights Solidarity. These are two registered charities in England and Wales. Time to Help is active in humanitarian aid; and Human Rights Solidarity works on human rights. Immigration and asylum is an issue where these two areas of charitable work come together.

Immigration and asylum are among the most important topics of discussion in the world today. The migration flow from East to West and from South to North is growing exponentially every year. Last year, approximately 80.000 people have applied for asylum in the UK. According to a UN report, more than 108 million people were forcibly displaced by the end of 2022.

This mobility brings with it economic, social and political problems. People who leave their countries at the risk of death face brand new problems in the countries they think of as ‘safe harbours’. Some are arrested, some deported and yet others lose their mental health within years of uncertainty imposed on them.

By using the language of art, we want to raise social awareness about this vital issue and contribute to the solution of this human tragedy. For this purpose, 768 artists from many countries submitted 1,278 works to the cartoon competition on ‘migration and immigration’. The wonderful cartoons you see here have been selected from these drawings.

Each of the works emphasises the reasons why migrants leave their countries, the difficult conditions they live in and the human rights violations they are exposed to. As people living in peace and prosperity, we have to think about them. Like every human being, they have the right to live freely. We should extend all kinds of helping hands to them and create the safe living conditions they need. The United Kingdom must be welcoming refugees.

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Articles & StatementsHuman Rights DefendersUnited Nations

Letter to the UN on the Turkish government’s transnational repressions

 

In the letter, we expressed our deep concern to UN officials about escalation of extraterritorial repression by the Turkish government.

 

In recent years, there has been a worrying increase in cases where the Turkish government has targeted its own citizens beyond its borders. This phenomenon, characterised by harassment, intimidation, abduction and even violence against Turkish citizens residing abroad, is a direct violation of fundamental human rights and poses a significant threat to global peace and security.

The consequences of this transnational repression are far-reaching, going beyond the victims to affect the integrity of the international human rights framework. By eroding the principles of asylum, safe haven and protection from persecution, the actions of the Turkish government set a dangerous precedent that threatens the safety of individuals seeking to flee repression around the world.

We are gravely concerned by the atmosphere of fear that the Erdogan regime, further strengthened by the election results, has created against Turkish dissidents living abroad. We have written the following letter to the “Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances” and “UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism” in order to make them aware of the issue and to take the necessary steps.

court-of-appeal-asylum-seekers-rwanda-illegal
Articles & StatementsImmigration Committee

Court of Appeal: Plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is illegal

Court of Appeal, reviewing the Supreme Court’s judgement, ruled that the plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was illegal. The UK Court of Appeal has ruled that it is illegal to send illegal asylum seekers to Rwanda. Two of the three judges ruled in favour of this, while the other defended the Supreme Court’s ruling that Rwanda is a safe third country.

In December 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that the government’s plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda without assessing their asylum applications was lawful.

The Court of Appeal overturned the previous ruling on 29 June, ruling that sending asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful unless the country’s asylum system was changed, the BBC reported.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak commented after the judgement: “While I respect the court, I fundamentally disagree with its conclusions. Rwanda is a safe country. The Supreme Court has recognised this. UNHCR has its own refugee plan for Libyan refugees in Rwanda. We will now ask for permission to appeal this decision.”

In the coming process, the ministers are expected to appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court.

In its judgement, the Court of Appeal said there was a “serious risk” that if the asylum seekers were sent to Rwanda, they would be returned to their home country and face persecution and ill-treatment there. Rwanda was thus ruled not to be a safe third country.

Supporters of the appeal against the Supreme Court ruling include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), human rights lawyers, civil society organisations and a group of asylum seekers.

UNHCR, which attended the hearing, said Rwanda had committed various human rights violations against asylum seekers within its borders. These include forced return to countries where they are at risk, deportation and arbitrary detention.

Ten asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Sudan and Albania who crossed the English Channel in small boats from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Sudan and Albania were among those who, together with the charity Asylum Aid, appealed the Supreme Court ruling.

Asylum Aid said the latest judgement ‘confirms the rule of law and the importance of justice’. “We are pleased that the court has ruled that the deportation process in Rwanda was unlawful on security grounds,” said Tessa Gregory, partner at law firm Leigh Day, which represented Asylum Aid. The human rights organisation Freedom From Torture called the ruling “a victory for reason and compassion”.

The Rwandan government argued that it was “one of the safest countries in the world” and was known for its “exemplary treatment of refugees”.

The judges who delivered the judgement said they agreed that the Rwandan government had given these assurances ‘in good faith’.

hrs-podcast- channel-spotiyf-open
Articles & StatementsExecutive Committee

Our podcast channel on Spotify is now open

Our podcasts, where we will announce human rights violations and developments in the world and publish important interviews, have started. Human Rights Solidarity (HRS), global human rights bulletins deliver concise and informative updates on human rights issues from around the world.

In each episode, we shed light on the violations of human rights and freedoms throughout the world, and we endeavour to convey the most up-to-date developments. We also plan to make interviews with experts, activists, and individuals at the forefront of human rights advocacy.

Our aim is to raise awareness, inspire action, and empower listeners to make a positive impact in the field of human rights.

Tune in to stay informed and engaged with the ongoing fight for human rights.

aegean boat
Articles & StatementsImmigration Committee

Boat disaster in the Aegean Sea: Nearly 100 migrants lost their lives

Migrant-filled boat, heading to Italy from the shores of Libya, sank on Wednesday off the coast of Pylos in Greece. Once again, the Aegean Sea witnessed a major humanitarian tragedy. A migrant-filled boat, heading to Italy from the shores of Libya, sank on Wednesday off the coast of Pylos in southwestern Greece.

As of Friday, 78 bodies have been recovered from the sea, and 104 people have been rescued. Hundreds of people are still missing. The survivors were taken to the city of Kalamata and most of them are receiving treatment in hospitals.

It is estimated that around 100 children and a total of 750 people, mostly in their twenties and male, were on board the boat. News sources indicate that the migrants were mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, and Palestine. Greece declared three days of mourning following the tragedy.

The easiest and at the same time most painful thing is to cry and mourn for innocent people after their deaths. So, who is responsible for so many deaths? In one word, all of us! However, the main reason for this tragedy is the failure of European countries to build safe passage routes. Or it is the unsafety and impossibility of the existing routes.

With the current conditions and the technological capabilities possessed by governments, these people should never have put their lives at risk in this way. People fleeing from war, torture, and persecution should be able to reach a safe place for themselves and their families without endangering their lives.

The United Kingdom, like other European countries, should learn from this incident and abandon hate speech and divisive policies.

Greek television announced that 9 people, including Egyptians, were detained on charges of “human trafficking” related to the incident. According to allegations, the boat departed from Egypt empty of passengers and picked up migrants in the port of Tobruk in Libya with the intention of heading to Italy.

The disaster occurred after the captain and crew abandoned the boat, which had a malfunctioning engine, on a dinghy. Greek authorities established contact with those on board. The individuals on the boat stated that they did not need anything other than water and food and that they wanted to proceed to Italy. However, the boat capsized and sank at 02:04 local time.

The Pylos Prosecutor’s Office initiated an investigation into the accident, and initial findings indicate that the boat was overcrowded beyond its capacity and that the migrants were piled up on the deck.”

statement-on-the-occasion-omens-of-women-day
Articles & StatementsCommitteeWomen’s Rights

Joint statement on the occasion of Women’s Day

As we approach International Women’s Day (8 March) this year, the theme of women’s equality is more urgent than ever. We have witnessed in the last year a backlash against women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality almost all over the world. We must come together as a global community to address the many challenges and injustices faced by women around the world if we want to attain our global goals of sustainable development and universal peace.

The COVID-19 crisis had already exacerbated pre-existing gender-based discrimination and violence. The world is yet to recover from the economic recession and change in employment practices that had a negative impact on women’s rights.

The recent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has had a devastating impact on the rights and freedoms of women in the country. Women are being forced to stay at home and their access to education and healthcare is severely limited. Initial reports suggest that some 16 per cent of the women have lost their jobs after the takeover. The situation of women lawyers is particularly concerning as they are being hunted down by former prisoners released by the Taliban regime. It is our duty to stand in solidarity with these women and call for their rights to be protected and upheld.

In Iran, the ‘lift the veil’ movement has highlighted the systematic oppression of women in the country. The Iranian regime has been responsible for the deaths of many girls who have spoken out against the oppressive laws that restrict their freedom. Almost 1000 girls have been poisoned by toxic gas in Iran since the beginning of the protest, in what many believe is a deliberate attempt to force their schools to shut down and prevent the girls from reaching out to the public with their demands. We must demand that the Iranian government respect the rights of women and girls and take immediate action to stop these atrocities.

The Turkish government’s human rights record was already at the lowest of its history and much lower than any acceptable standard in a democratic society. Official statistics suggest that between 2015 and 2021, 97,721 women were tried under the anti-terrorism laws of Turkey, 24,945 of whom received prison sentences. Turkey’s antiterrorism laws are reportedly used to silence opposition in the country. Turkey’s prisons are overcrowded and women inmates are subjected to various forms of inhuman treatment, including sexual harassment, naked body search and psychological torture. Turkey’s resile from the Istanbul Convention encouraged impunity for crimes against women. Only in 2022, 334 women were killed by men and only a minimal number of these cases were solved.

The recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria has once again shown that women and children are often the real victims of natural or manmade disasters. There are already signs that the regime is discouraging civilian initiatives to participate and independently control the rehabilitation efforts. Access to social media has already been restricted in various locations. When an already authoritarian regime restricts participation and communication, there is enough reason to be concerned. The international community must put pressure on the Turkish government to ensure that women and girls of vulnerable populations are provided due support and resources they need to rebuild their lives.

In Ukraine, the ongoing conflict has had a particularly devastating impact on women. UN’s Refugee Agency’s figures suggest that 80 per cent of the displaces 8.3 million Ukrainians are women and girls. These women are often the targets of violence and sexual abuse and are left to bear the brunt of the war’s consequences. We must do everything in our power to support the women of Ukraine and ensure their voices are heard.

We must not forget the impact that western restrictions on immigration are having on women. Many women are being forced to leave their homes and families behind in search of a better life, only to face discrimination and hardship in their new countries. Even when the immigration stories that hit the newspaper headlines are about men, there are silent women and girls that will suffer the repercussions of those stories, unheard and unaided. We must call on governments to do more to support these women and provide them with the resources they need to thrive.

Women and girls lag behind by means of enjoying the developments in new technologies. The digital gap is wider for women and they are the victims of new forms of online violence and harassment. It is essential to ensure that new technologies incorporate a human rights-first approach and prioritise the protection of women and girls in their platforms.

In conclusion, as we celebrate International Women’s Day this year, let us remember that women’s equity is not a privilege, but a fundamental human right. Let us realize we cannot achieve gender equality without eradicating gender-based violence. Let us understand that with half of its population left behind, no society can reach its full potential.

We must stand together and demand that governments and other institutions take immediate action to address the many challenges and injustices faced by women around the world. Only then can we build a more just and equitable world for all.

letter-afghan-ambassador-endangered-lawyers
Articles & StatementsEventsHuman Rights Defenders

Letter to Afghan Ambassador for endangered lawyers

Human Rights Solidarity members protested the deteriorating situation of lawyers in Afghanistan on January 24, the Day of Endangered Lawyers. On 24th of January 2023, on the occasion of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, Human Rights Solidarity protested the deteriorating situation of the rule of law and independence of the judicial profession in front of the Afghanistan Embassy in London and delivered a letter to Ambassador Dr Zalmai Rassoul, the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Kingdom. The letter underlined the unacceptability of the deterioration of the rule of law and independence of the judiciary after the Taliban takeover in general, and of the constraints on the ability of Afghan women to access the justice system in particular.

Undersigned by Merve Aslangoren, the serving chairperson of the Human Rights Solidarity, the letter called for immediate halt to restrictions imposed on women lawyers’ work. Before the Taliban takeover, the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) had over 5,500 members, one third of which were women. After the takeover, together with the universities and all other public offices, women are barred from the legal profession. But the real danger to women lawyers comes from the criminals who have been released from jails by the Taliban, as a significant part of these criminals were put behind bars by women judges and prosecutors and are now in a hunt for revenge.

Referring to the joint statement of the Special Rapporteurs Margaret Satterthwaite, on the independence of judges and lawyers, and Richard Bennett, on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, the letter underlined the challenges the Afghan lawyers are facing and called both the Afghan government and the international community to action. ” By suspending the 2004 Constitution, ousting all judges from the bench, and stripping the Attorney General’s office of its key role, the Taliban has precipitated the collapse of the rule of law and judicial independence in Afghanistan”, according to the statement and since the Taliban takeover a minimum of 16 lawyers were killed by unknown individuals in Kabul and other provinces.