Saturday, December 10, 2016

Why We Need to Address Gender-Based Violence, Now More Than Ever

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the "16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence" (16 Days) campaign, originated by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL). The campaign takes on a specific theme each year, which is determined by consulting with the many international human rights groups working to end gender-based violence (GBV). By calling upon individuals and organizations around the world to take action against GBV, the 16 Days campaign has had a significant impact and great success in building support of and activism for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls for more than two decades.  

The 16 Days campaign is exactly that —16 days of global activism, starting with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th and leading up to Human Rights Day on December 10th. During this time, Amnesty activists and members advocate for and with those who experience gender-based violence around the world. With the launch of Amnesty International's "I Welcome" Campaign this year, AIUSA has dedicated its 16 days of activism to highlighting how GBV affects refugee women and girls and LGBTI refugees.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War

Recalling the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and other international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Acknowledging that all members of the human family enjoy human dignity and equal and inalienable rights, and that these rights represent a necessary tenet of the preservation of freedom, justice and peace throughout the world,

Aiming to maintain international peace and security and determined to pass on to successive generations an invaluable inheritance of a world free of wars,

Ensuring the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force should not be used, save in accordance with the limitations prescribed by international law,

Reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women, the promotion of social progress and better standards of life for people and future generations and the need to facilitate peaceful coexistence among the world's religions, beliefs, and ethnicities;

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Here’s Why Blocking Refugees from the Eastern Corridor is Irresponsible

Despite the fact that the global community is facing the worst refugee crisis since WWII, the European Union (EU) has undertaken aggressive efforts to divert or even block some of the safest pathways. Over 19.5 million people–of the over 60 million displaced people globally– have so far been recognized as refugees, meaning they are people fleeing their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution from which the government cannot or will not protect them.

Yet rather than providing protection to asylum-seekers and refugees, countries throughout the EU have shut down their borders and forced them to traverse more dangerous routes. Amnesty has reported on the increased securitization of borders along the Eastern Migration Corridor through Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, and up through the Balkan region into Slovenia and Hungary. As the first entry points into the EU for refugees arriving by land or boat, these countries are required to handle their registration and asylum requests, not attempt to make it more difficult.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Father’s Urgent Plea to See His Son Freed From Death Row in Saudi Arabia

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province in 2012 when he was only 17 years old. He was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial based on forced "confessions" allegedly after being tortured, and has recently been moved into solitary confinement. His uncle, Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a Shi'a cleric and vocal critic of the authorities was also sentenced to death last year. In a piece written for Amnesty International, Ali's father recalls his young son and brother, who are both at imminent risk of execution. Please take action now to help stop Ali Mohammed al-Nimr's execution.

Every time I enter and leave my house through our garage, a bicycle in the corner catches my eye, shining brightly.

Looking at that bicycle brings back painful memories of my young son Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who has been sentenced to death and is facing imminent execution in my homeland, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tell President Obama the US Must Do More for Refugees

For centuries, the United States opened its arms to refugees whose lives had been torn apart by war, and those ruthlessly hounded because of who they are or what they believe in. But today, the people of Syria are suffering these hardships on an unimaginable scale, and we're still waiting for US leadership on the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time.


As the pictures of this week have shown, many Syrians who have survived their government's barrel bombs or the knives of ISIS have died trying to find security. By contrast, the world's richer countries have only opened their doors for a tiny fraction of Syria's refugees. Since July 31, 2014, the United States has processed just more than 1,000 Syrians for resettlement. Without US leadership, the international community will never meet the United Nations' goal of resettling 380,000 Syrians.

The refugees cannot go home. In the refugee camps, many are barely surviving on as little as 50 cents a day. Syria's children are becoming a lost generation – traumatized and out of school, working to support their families.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Do Supreme Court Decisions Move Markets?

Stock traders might want to start paying a bit more attention to the Supreme Court.

That's according to one research report published this week that says Supreme Court decisions moved the market value of publicly traded companies by a net $140 billion between 1999 and 2014.

But unlike economic data or other typical market-moving news, there is often an hours-long time lag in trading around Supreme Court decisions. The implication, according to the report, is that there might be arbitrage opportunities for savvy traders willing to sift through complex legal rulings.

"This is not a market that's particularly well understood, so it's taking a lot longer for traders to sort it out," said Daniel Katz, an associate professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, who was a lead author on the report, which was produced by a four-person team including another law professor and a legal analytics consultant.

Killer facts: The scale of the global arms trade

  • A definitive figure for the value of international conventional arms transfers is difficult to calculate with precision. In 2010, the total value, as recorded in national statistics, was approximately US $72 billion. Since then, it is estimated that it the arms trade has been approaching US $100 billion annually. [Source: Solutions, "The Arms Trade Treaty: Building a Path to Disarmament", 2013
  • The annual authorized trade in small arms and light weapons exceeds US $8.5 billion. More than 1,000 companies from nearly 100 countries produce small arms and light weapons. [Source: Small Arms Survey]