In the News

 News Update

September 20, 2017

Sarah L.S. Erickson, J.D., News Associate

Over 400,000 Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Burma/Myanmar, have fled to avoid threats of ethnic cleansing and genocide. The UN increased its aid and forces in the area but is still struggling to help those in dire need of medical care, shelter, and other essential aid. The government of Burma continues to ignore the humanitarian crisis and refuses to take responsibility. People on the ground have reported that over 200 Rohingya villages have been emptied, many burnt to the ground, and that landmines are on the country’s border, which creates a death sentence for those attempting to flee.

Canada has participated in secret operations to save LGBT individuals in Chechnya from persecution. Over thirty Chechens have been brought to Canada and granted asylum based on their LGBT status. Chechen government officials have publicly stated that gays do not exist there while defending reports of disappearances, torture, unlawful detention, and other forms of persecution against LGBT individuals.

Ramón Nsé Esono Ebalé, a political cartoonist, was arrested by government authorities in Equatorial Guinea and has not yet been released or charged. This detention violates the country’s 72-hour holding limit for individuals who have not been charged with a crime. Ebale is known for his criticism of the government, which has begun a pattern of detaining political dissidents, especially those in ‘arts’ fields. A number of musicians who have released songs with anti-government lyrics have also been imprisoned.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) and Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), estimates that almost 25 million people are victims of human trafficking. The report encourages the U.S. government to double down on its efforts to disrupt human trafficking and to make agreements with other nations regarding this issue. In 2016 there were just 9,071 trafficking convictions globally, a shockingly low number.