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The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice will be sharing the most recent stories and key insights from our researchers and partners on our blog. Join our mailing listserv to get the latest information and news.

Stealth privatization: Kenya’s approach to universal health coverage is a private sector giveaway
Exclusive new data shows skyrocketing public expenditure on private health facilities in Kenya.
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Can human rights provide a hopeful vision of a more equal future?
Rampant inequality around the world has forced the international human rights community to confront a basic yet controversial question – what to do about it?
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Sorting in Place of Solutions for Homeless Populations: How Federal Directives Prioritize Data Over Services
National data collection and service prioritization were supposed to make homeless services more equitable and efficient. Instead, they have created more risks and bureaucratic burdens for homeless individuals and homeless service organizations.
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Risk Scoring Children in Chile
We examined the implications of Chile’s “Childhood Alert System,” an “early warning” mechanism which assigns risk scores to children based on their calculated probability of facing various harms.
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“Killing two birds with one stone?” The Cashless COVID Welfare Payments Aimed at Boosting Consumption
In launching its COVID-19 relief payments scheme, the South Korean government had two goals: providing a safety net for its citizens and boosting consumption for the economy. It therefore provided cashless payments, issuing credit card points rather than cash. However, this had serious implications for the vulnerable.
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The (science) fiction of human rights
How a particular kind of science fiction resonates with a wide audience and can enrich human rights thinking and practice
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Singapore’s “smart city” initiative: one step further in the surveillance, regulation and disciplining of those at the margins
Singapore’s smart city initiative creates an interconnected web of digital infrastructures which promises citizens safety, convenience, and efficiency. But the smart city is experienced differently by individuals at the margins, particularly migrant workers, who are experimented on at the forefront of technological innovation.
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Experimental automation in the UK immigration system
The UK government is experimenting with automated immigration systems. The promised benefits of automation are inevitably attractive, but these experiments routinely expose people—including some of the most vulnerable—to unacceptable risks of harm.
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The Doughnut Approach: How to Climatize Human Rights
If human rights are to remain relevant in the Anthropocene, budding theoretical, doctrinal, and advocacy efforts from within the field to address the climate emergency need to be deepened and expanded.
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The Eight-Year Decade That Will Determine the Fate of the Planet and Human Rights
If slowing climate change is a game, how is it going and what's left to accomplish?
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Chosen by a Secret Algorithm: Colombia’s top-down pandemic payments
The Colombian government was applauded for delivering payments to 2.9 million people in just 2 weeks during the pandemic, thanks to a big-data-driven approach. But this new approach represents a fundamental change in social policy which shifts away from political participation and from a notion of rights.
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India’s New National Digital Health Mission: A Trojan Horse for Privatization
Through the national Digital Health ID, India’s Modi government is implementing techno-solutionist and market-based reforms to further entrench the centrality of the private sector in healthcare. This has serious consequences for all Indians, but most of all, for its vulnerable populations.
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Pilots, Pushbacks, and the Panopticon: Digital Technologies at the EU’s Borders
The European Union is increasingly introducing digital technologies into its border control operations. But conversations about these emerging “digital borders” are often silent about the significant harms experienced by those subjected to these technologies, their experimental nature, and their discriminatory impacts.
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False Promises and Multiple Exclusion: Summary of Our RightsCon Event on Uganda’s National Digital ID System
Despite its promotion as a tool for social inclusion and development, Uganda’s National Digital ID System is motivated primarily by national security concerns. As a result, the ID system has generated both direct and indirect exclusion, particularly affecting women and older persons.
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Social rights disrupted: how should human rights organizations adapt to digital government?
As the digitalization of government is accelerating worldwide, human rights organizations who have not historically engaged with questions surrounding digital technologies are beginning to grapple with these issues. This challenges these organizations to adapt both their substantive focus and working methods while remaining true to their values and ideals.
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A GPS Tracker on Every “Boda Boda”: A Tale of Mass Surveillance in Uganda
The Ugandan government recently announced that GPS trackers would be placed on every vehicle in the country. This is just the latest example of the proliferation of technology-driven mass surveillance, spurred by a national security agenda and the desire to suppress political opposition.
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Conflicting Rights and Competing Claims: Biodiversity Litigation in India
The examination of multiple court cases in India reveal the conflicting rights of species, forest-dwellers, and biodiversity. These competing claims to forest and biodiversity conservation shed light on how courts can develop a nascent jurisprudence of balancing them.
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“Leapfrogging” to Digital Financial Inclusion through “Moonshot” Initiatives
The notion that new technological solutions can overcome entrenched exclusion from banking services and fair credit is quickly gaining widespread acceptance. But tech-based “fixes” often funnel low-income groups into separate, inferior systems and create new tech-driven divisions.
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Twenty Years On: GJC Seeks Accountability for U.S. Torture and an End to the “War on Terror”
Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, GJC marks fifteen years of work seeking justice for men who were wrongfully detained and tortured by the United States. Looking ahead, only abolition of the “War on Terror” will bring such abuses to an end.
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Solidarity, not Charity: Distribution of COVID Aid in Haiti Offers an Example of Effective Solidarity
A Haitian-led response to aid distribution in Haiti demonstrates how those closest to the problem are best positioned to address it. This should encourage solidarity with, rather than aid for, communities in the wake of disaster.
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The Climate Fight Needs Imagination—Using the Tariff Act of 1930 to Fight Climate Change
The Human Rights and Climate Change movement should make use of less conspicuous tools, like the administrative agency, and forms of exploitation as a way of targeting corporations in the climate change fight.
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Enough Symbolism, We Need Real Climate Action: Why We Shouldn’t Let Governments Hide Behind Symbolic Climate Emergency Declarations
Though symbolic climate emergency declarations can helpfully shape the narrative around climate change, advocates shouldn’t let them be used to mask government failures to take material action to combat the climate crisis.
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Chased Away and Left to Die: New Report by CHRGJ and Ugandan partners documents mass exclusion from Uganda’s digital ID system and blames national security “obsession”
National digital ID systems are often presented as leading to social inclusion, but our report on Ndaga Muntu, Uganda’s digital ID system, shows a different reality of mass exclusion and a focus on national security.
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The Taint of Slavery in the Brazilian Beef Industry
In 2020, the United States re-opened its borders to Brazilian beef imports, three years after banning them due to health and safety concerns. While the safety of fresh beef from Brazil may have improved, these imports remain tainted – by both slave labor and deforestation.
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I don’t see you, but you see me: asymmetric visibility in Brazil’s Bolsa Família Program
Brazil’s Bolsa Família Program, the world’s largest conditional cash transfer program, is indicative of broader shifts in data-driven social security. While its beneficiaries are becoming “transparent” as their data is made available, the way the State uses beneficiaries’ data is increasingly opaque.
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Fauna, Flora…and Funga: The Case for the Protection of Fungi Under National and International Law
Fungi are the Earth's connective tissue and are crucial for human health and well-being. Yet, they have largely been ignored in international and national environmental law and policy. International negotiations this year provide an opportunity to fix this.
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Social Credit in China: Looking Beyond the “Black Mirror” Nightmare
The Chinese government’s Social Credit program has received much attention from Western media and academics, but misrepresentations have led to confusion over what it truly entails. Such mischaracterizations unhelpfully distract from the dangers and impacts of the realities of Social Credit.
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Why We Must Stand with Haiti’s Democracy Activists
When tens of thousands of people are on the streets decrying dictatorial actions, they’re cheered on as pro-democracy protestors. Yet when similar protests occur in Haiti, they are diminished and overlooked. Being on the right side of history requires that we listen to the voices of Haitian civil society.
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Everyone Counts! Ensuring that the human rights of all are respected in digital ID systems
The Everyone Counts! initiative was launched in the fall of 2020 with a firm commitment to a simple principle: the digital transformation of the state can only qualify as a success if everyone’s human rights are respected. Nowhere is this more urgent than in the context of so-called digital ID systems.
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Marketizing the digital state: the failure of the ‘Verify’ model in the United Kingdom
Verify, the UK government’s digital identity program, sought to construct a market for identity verification in which companies would compete. But the assumption that companies should be positioned between government and individuals who are trying to access services has gone unquestioned.
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Fearing the future without romanticizing the past: the role for international human rights law(yers) in the digital welfare state to be
Universal Credit is one of the foremost examples of a digital welfare system and the UK’s approach to digital government is widely copied. What can we learn from this case study for the future of international human rights law in the digital welfare state?
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Does Jair Bolsonaro commit crimes against humanity by devastating the Amazon rainforest?
Bolsonaro's devastation policies in the Amazon region could prompt a new international paradigm of protection for human rights and the environment.
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Locked In! How the South African welfare state came to rely on a digital monopolist
The South African Social Security Agency provides "social grants” to 18 million citizens. In using a single private company with its own biometric payment system to deliver grants, the state became dependent on a monopolist and exposed recipients to debt and financial exploitation
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Breaking Through the Climate Gridlock with Citizen Power
Why climate advocates are increasingly turning to citizens’ assemblies to remedy governments’ sluggishness on climate change.
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In Markets We Cannot Trust: What the Texas Storm Reveals about Privatized Services
Millions of people in Texas went without power and heat during a brutal winter storm. This avoidable catastrophe was the result of trusting the market and private interests to deliver the public good.
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Putting Profit Before Welfare: A Closer Look at India’s Digital Identification System
Aadhaar is the largest national biometric digital identification program in the world, with over 1.2 billion registered users. While the poor have been used as a "marketing strategy" for this program, the "real agenda" is the pursuit of private profit.
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From Barbuda to the World: Love (and Peace and Happiness) in the Time of Climate Emergency
Barbuda is a microcosm of larger trends and issues from climate-induced displacement and disaster capitalism, to the greenwashing of policies that undermine climate resilience.
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On the Frontlines of the Digital Welfare State: Musings from Australia
Welfare beneficiaries are in danger of losing their payments to “glitches” or because they lack internet access. So why is digitization still seen as the shiny panacea to poverty?
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