After the recent military takeover, Myanmar continues to suffer. Hundreds have been killed or injured, thousands have been arrested or have fled across borders while millions face shortages of food, water and medical supplies. How can the international community help?
Economics and human rights have never been close friends. Human rights advocates have rarely engaged with financial systems. Economists, in turn, have rarely considered human right law precepts. However, COVID-19 intensified the need for mutual co-operation to safeguard the most disadvantaged, particularly women, who have suffered disproportionate negative socio-economic impact from the pandemic.
Developing countries in Asia-Pacific, particularly the Pacific Islands, are at greatest risk from imminent climate change disaster, despite having contributed least to global warming. Industrialised nations must meet their pledges and support crucial mitigation and adaption strategies in the region.
Containing the spread of COVID-19 means curtailing some human rights. However, questions must be raised when governments allow people to attend large sporting events and sit indoors in restaurants and bars but ban partners from prenatal consultations and childbirth.
Russia continues to persecute opponents of its unlawful seizure of Crimea, particularly the Tatars, many of whose leaders have been exiled, imprisoned or disappeared. The international community must support local activists in their bid to end human rights violations.
Bolivia, Argentina and Chile have the world’s largest reserves of lithium, a key resource for the energy transition from fossil fuels. However, intensive mining poses a major environmental risk for the region and the rights of indigenous communities.
Nepalese and Filipino citizens are amongst those foreign nationals still trapped in Afghanistan where the Taliban seized power earlier this year, emphasising how the international community remains ill-equipped to face crises which escalate overnight, leaving the vulnerable without immediate aid.