Tag Archives: Human Rights

Relevance of Universal Periodic Review in Singapore’s case

31 Oct

In its report to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Singaporeans for Democracy (SFD), an NGO promoting local and regional democracy and human rights, focused on the city state’s electoral system, which it claims, is the root cause of all human rights abuses. While this is a commendable effort in drawing attention to the shortcomings of the electoral system and appears to coincide with upcoming general elections, its appraisals and recommendations may be of little relevance to the review due to the tenuous and indirect links between free and fair elections and human rights violations. It remains at best, speculative, that open and independent elections would naturally create conducive factors leading to human rights promotion. Moreover, the UPR is tasked to deal with specific human rights violations. As such, NGOs should have chosen to focus on these issues such as the death penalty. While Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights (UDHR) affirms the right of all peoples to representative government, this is not explicitly suggested by the SFD report. This article, divided into two parts, briefly describe the history, procedures, strengths and shortcomings of the UPR, before situating within the Singapore context.
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Israeli attack on Gaza Flotilla condemned by UN Mission

26 Sep

A UN mission, established under the mandate of the Human Rights Council to look into the Israeli attack on the Gaza Flotilla earlier this year, has released a report condemning the former for violating various international human rights and humanitarian law during the interception and detention of passengers in Israel.
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Alice Walker on Rwanda, East Congo and Palestine

14 Apr

Democracy Now! has interviewed Alice Walker, a Pulitzer Prize winning, poet, author and activist on her latest book, ‘Overcoming Speechlessness’ tracing the human rights atrocities inflicted on women and children from Rwanda to East Congo and Palestine. Continue reading

Death penalty in Singapore (2009)

1 Apr

According to the Amnesty International 2009 Death Penalty report, the Singapore government has executed one person in the last year. At least six have also been sentenced to death in 2009.

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Sydney activists urge action on Honduras

26 Mar

‘Sydney Says no to Honduras’, a webpage maintained by two Sydney activists concerned about the situation in Honduras, has documented some possible actions that individuals can do. Their suggestions include writing letters to politicians and replying to mainstream media on reports from Honduras.

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The state of water pollution

23 Mar

Extracted from a UNEP report, ‘Sick Water’:

Globally, almost 900 million people do not have access to safe water. Continue reading

Concentration camps in North Korea

4 Mar

It is a shocking estimate but it goes to show that the world cannot afford to look the other way. This means we need to keep up the pressure on the Chinese government (which has been propping up dictatorships such as Burma and North Korea) to stop these atrocities. Human rights NGOs and other states also need to place this on high priority in UN human rights conferences.

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