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Human Trafficking Search;
A research guide produced by Human Trafficking Search for students and researchers interested in conducting preliminary research on the region in light of current conflict.
Right To Counsel NYC Coalition;
RTCNYC and TakeRoot Justice conducted a participatory action research project to investigate the impact of Right to Counsel on tenant organizing among low-income tenants. We conducted focus groups with tenants and with housing organizers. Utilizing a participatory action research model, tenants and organizers participated in the development of research instruments, were trained to administer the research, facilitated focus groups, and engaged in opportunities for skill-building and leadership development.Our research shows:* Right to Counsel strengthens organizing in a variety of ways. It serves as a know-your-rights tool, helps build a base of involved tenants, and opens the door to new organizing tactics and strategies.* Tenants feel less stress and fear knowing they have the right to legal representation in court, which helps them navigate housing court with confidence and success and prompts them to take action against their landlords.* Right to Counsel creates opportunities for tenants, organizers, and attorneys to navigate relationships, share knowledge and history and provide trainings, all in the service of building the tenants' rights movement.* The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition is deliberate and successful in creating and sustaining a tenant-led infrastructure and movement-building spaces.These findings demonstrate the various ways in which the Right to Counsel meaningfully contributes to New York City's robust tenant movement. These findings also offer insight and inspiration for tenants and organizers fighting for the Right to Counsel in their cities.
This assessment builds on existing bodies of literature, interviews with key informants and stakeholders, two case studies, and Freedom House experiences to better understand the nature of the defense and protection of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and pro-democracy Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Latin America.The study undertakes an institutional and organizational landscape analysis to: determine which entities, organizations and individuals are involved in the protection and defense of HRDs and CSOs (with a particular focus on relocation); identify strategies and approaches to support the defense and protection of HRDs and CSOs within their countries and in exile; analyze the gaps and challenges of existing approaches; and develop recommendations to strengthen the protection and defense of HRDs in Latin America.Given time and resource limitations, the assessment was relatively narrow in its scope. As such, it is not intended to be an impact or capacity assessment; much less, an evaluation of specific programs and/or initiatives. Rather, it describes HRD protection systems in Latin America, highlights opportunities for future HRD activities and major areas that merit further regional and national attention, and HRD protection systems in Latin America. The assessment also highlights opportunities and offers strategic recommendations.
Rights x Tech;
The health of our American democracy depends upon equitable and safe digital spaces. This report examines and synthesizes intersectional movements to build better, more inclusive, and humane technologies. It also introduces a set of principles and inclusive frameworks to help platform, product, and policy leaders conceptualize intentional ethical technology that is responsive to the needs of impacted communities and shape meaningful interventions for systems-level shifts at the intersections of technology and human rights. Rights x Tech is a forum and community that explicitly explores the intersections of technology and power. It brings together technologists, policymakers, and movement leaders for dialogue and solution-building on emerging issues around human rights, products, and power.
Over the past year, governments around the world have engaged in increasingly brazen attempts to stifle dissent by attacking critics who live abroad. Belarusian authorities forced an international airliner to land so they could detain a journalist who was on board. Iranian agents conspired to kidnap a women's rights activist from her home in Brooklyn. Turkish intelligence officers abducted the nephew of a political figure from outside a police station in Nairobi. These audacious acts of transnational repression, in which governments reach across national borders to silence opposition among diaspora and exile communities, demonstrated a dangerous disregard for international law, democratic norms, and state sovereignty.Despite growing awareness of the problem, transnational repression remains a global threat to human rights and democratic values because few tools exist to protect its intended targets. People who are brave enough to stand up to autocrats can feel abandoned. As one human rights defender described it, "If I'm being honest with you, we're really alone in this." While autocrats in origin states work together to threaten them, exile and diaspora communities must contend with unprepared immigration and security agencies in host countries. They are named in abusive Interpol notices, experience reprisals for interacting with UN agencies, and must withstand sophisticated digital campaigns designed to surveil and harass them.The tactics of transnational repression are powerful because they have evolved to take advantage of the connection and openness brought by globalization. Perpetrator states have turned institutions and practices of host governments, international partnerships, and communication technologies against the vulnerable people they shelter.This report, the second in a series by Freedom House on transnational repression, examines the ways in which nondemocratic governments are pursuing their critics abroad, what governments that host exiles and diasporas can do to protect individuals targeted by foreign states, and where gaps in existing safeguards remain.
Freedom in the World 2022 evaluates the state of freedom in 195 countries and 15 territories during calendar year 2021. Each country and territory is assigned between 0 and 4 points on a series of 25 indicators, for an aggregate score of up to 100. The indicators are grouped into the categories of political rights (0–40) and civil liberties (0–60), whose totals are weighted equally to determine whether the country or territory has an overall status of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.The methodology, which is derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is applied to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographic location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.Freedom in the World assesses the real-world rights and freedoms enjoyed by individuals, rather than governments or government performance per se. Political rights and civil liberties can be affected by both state and nonstate actors, including insurgents and other armed groups.
A decade ago, a Muslim religious scholar named Hussain Khan was a vocal critic of the Mahila Mandal Federation (MMF), a Mumbai-based grassroots women's group, which has been nurtured by an NGO called CORO for the past 20 years. He questioned MMF's efforts to help women take on leadership roles in their communities in urban informal settlements. But instead of viewing Khan as an adversary, MMF believed he might one day become an ally.Today, Khan hosts MMF meetings at his madrassa (school), which traditionally excludes women. And he has developed a course, "Quran and the Constitution," which builds community members' awareness of their constitutional rights and their moral responsibility to help neighbours in need.What prompted Khan's change of heart?Along with MMF, CORO spent three years conversing with Khan about the challenges women living in urban informal settlements encounter, including domestic violence and low access to education. CORO was well-positioned to engage in those meetings, since it is largely led by Dalit and Muslim people who live in the communities in which they work. Khan was later selected into CORO's Samta Fellowship, where he spent a full year reflecting on the values enshrined in the Indian constitution and acquiring leadership and movement-building skills that he took back to his community.It is not an accident that Khan now champions the work of a grassroots group that he formerly opposed. It is an outgrowth of CORO's core approach to supporting community-driven change: to meet people where they are and earn their trust. The idea is to unlock their "power within" to advocate for the rights of Dalits, Muslims, and other historically marginalised communities to have an equal opportunity to advance their lives.To learn more about how this kind of ground up, community-driven change comes to life, a Bridgespan Group team spent several months researching and interviewing CORO as well as three other NGOs in the Global South: Mumbai-based Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA); Kenya's Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO); and Ubuntu Pathways (UP), which works in South Africa's Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) townships.Our research reaffirmed that community-driven change is challenging to execute. Multifaceted power dynamics related to gender, caste, class, and religion often pose significant barriers to change. However, we also learned that, despite all of this, the four NGOs pushed past those challenges to build long track records of success by playing a supporting role as community groups built their own solutions. Tightly focusing on a few NGOs, rather than on many, gave us a close-up look at on-the-ground approaches to working with community members as they take steps towards leading their own change. One of our main insights was the similarities in how community-driven organisations think. Specifically, we identified five mutually reinforcing mindsets that help orient these NGOs around community members' priorities and lived experience.
International Forum for Democratic Studies;
From cameras that identify the faces of passersby to algorithms that keep tabs on public sentiment online, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools are opening new frontiers in state surveillance around the world. Law enforcement, national security, criminal justice, and border management organizations in every region are relying on these technologies—which use statistical pattern recognition, machine learning, and big data analytics—to monitor citizens.What are the governance implications of these enhanced surveillance capabilities?This report explores the challenge of safeguarding democratic principles and processes as AI technologies enable governments to collect, process, and integrate unprecedented quantities of data about the online and offline activities of individual citizens. Three complementary essays examine the spread of AI surveillance systems, their impact, and the transnational struggle to erect guardrails that uphold democratic values.In the lead essay, Steven Feldstein, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, assesses the global spread of AI surveillance tools and ongoing efforts at the local, national, and multilateral levels to set rules for their design, deployment, and use. It gives particular attention to the dynamics in young or fragile democracies and hybrid regimes, where checks on surveillance powers may be weakened but civil society still has space to investigate and challenge surveillance deployments.Two case studies provide more granular depictions of how civil society can influence this norm-shaping process: In the first, Eduardo Ferreyra of Argentina's Asociación por los Derechos Civiles discusses strategies for overcoming common obstacles to research and debate on surveillance systems. In the second, Danilo Krivokapic of Serbia's SHARE Foundation describes how his organization drew national and global attention to the deployment of Huawei smart cameras in Belgrade.
The Leadership Conference Education Fund;
This report urges the Biden administration to prioritize and improve data collection, especially in regards to marginalized and vulnerable communities. It builds on our earlier reports documenting the broad attacks on data collection that took place under the Trump administration. It also grew out of our response to the Biden administration's efforts to improve federal data collection in its larger pursuit of racial equity in connection with Executive Order 13985. The order committed the administration to pursue a "comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality." Our report underscores many of the recommendations in the report recently issued by the White House titled, "A Vision for Equitable Data: Recommendations from the Equitable Data Working Group." We also provide concrete examples and steps that can be taken by the Biden administration, including recommendations for the Office of Management and Budget and federal agencies to ensure stakeholder input at all stages of federal surveys and data collection; restore and expand the scope, frequency, and public accessibility of data; add much-needed data collections; increase disaggregation of data; improve cost-benefit analyses; and preserve data privacy.
Atlantic Council of the United States;
The Atlantic Council's Freedom and Prosperity Center aims to increase the prosperity of the poor and marginalized in developing countries—and to explore the nature of the relationship between freedom and prosperity in both developing and developed nations. To aid in this task, this report introduces the new Atlantic Council Freedom and Prosperity Indexes.The Freedom Index measures economic, political, and legal freedom for nearly every country in the world, using the latest available data when the index was constructed at the end of 2021. The Prosperity Index measures economic wellbeing and human flourishing for the same countries and time period. In addition, we collected historical data to allow us to track and analyze change over time. We constructed the same indexes going back in five-year increments for the years 2006, 2011, and 2016; 2006 is the earliest date for which data on our indicators are available.To be sure, there are limits to any data-collection effort. The world changes quickly, and the data we collected at the end of 2021 may not still represent current realities in every case. Russia, for example, is less free today than when we collected the data, due to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and his related crackdowns at home. In addition, we needed to choose indicators that could be applied across all countries and over time, but these generalized measures may not always fit neatly with the unique circumstances in every country. Still, despite these limitations, we believe that these indexes provide new and valuable information on global freedom and prosperity.Going forward, we plan to update the indexes annually. The methodology to produce the indexes is straightforward and transparent, and is described in detail in the appendix.
African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs (ABISA);
Over the last year, the Biden administration has rapidly expanded the socalled "Alternatives to Detention" (ATD) program of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Also known as the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), this electronic monitoring program now has more than 227,000 immigrants under constant surveillance as of April 2022, more than double the number enrolled in the program when President Biden took office. Though ISAP is pitched as an "alternative" to the inhumane and irreparable ICE detention system, it is not an alternative. Instead, the program expands the carceral reach of ICE and bolsters all forms of immigrant detention.This report highlights the excruciating toll that ICE electronic monitoring takes on immigrant communities, underscoring the need for a transformative shift in our approach to immigration. Despite ICE's claims to the contrary, digital prisons are physically inhibitive and harmful to health and wellbeing.
Center for American Progress;
Cameroon is grappling with multiple humanitarian crises—including an armed conflict—that have increased insecurity, destabilized the nation, and caused its people immense suffering. Under existing immigration law, the U.S. secretary of homeland security is authorized to designate a country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if it meets certain conditions that temporarily preclude its nationals from returning safely. Deteriorating conditions in Cameroon along with ongoing humanitarian crises exacerbated by the pandemic make return dangerous and warrant immediate humanitarian protection for Cameroonians residing in the United States. Reports indicate that current U.S. asylum policies have failed to provide Cameroonians with due process when seeking asylum. As a result, many Cameroonians have suffered ill treatment and abuse in immigration detention, where they have faced discrimination because of their race, forcing many to return to a country where they may face grave harm and persecution.The Center for American Progress estimates that there are up to 40,000 noncitizen Cameroonians living in the United States—32,700 adults and 7,300 children—who could be made eligible for protection by a TPS designation. Given the worsening crisis in Cameroon, various Black immigrants' rights advocacy organizations such as Cameroon Advocacy Network, Haitian Bridge Alliance, and UndocuBlack Network—along with members of Congress—have been advocating to temporarily protect them from deportation. It is urgent that the U.S. government do so now and provide protection and stability for Cameroonian nationals living in the United States.