Human Rights Current Affairs - 2020

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is observed on February 6 every year. It is an annual awareness day celebrated as part of the UN’s efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation. It was first introduced in 2003.

Why February 6 was Chosen?

It was on February 6, 2003, Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria and spokesperson for the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation, made the official declaration on “Zero Tolerance to FGM” in Africa during a conference organized by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC). Then the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights adopted this day as an international awareness day.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation refers to procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.  The practice is widely carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15 due to cultural, religious or social reasons.

Spotlight Initiative which is a joint project of the European Union and the United Nations aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, specifically targets sexual and gender-based violence, and harmful practices in Sub-Saharan Africa, which include female genital mutilation.

Female genital mutilation is a gross violation of the human rights of women and girls. The practice discriminates against women on the basis of sex and compromises the rights to health, physical integrity and life, the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and the rights of the child.

Hence to abolish this inhumane discriminatory practice, Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 calls for an end to FGM by 2030 under Goal 5 on Gender Equality.

First human rights TV channel Launched

The world’s first television channel dedicated to human rights was launched in London by the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR).

It would be a web-based channel and would deliver human rights issues to audiences in over 20 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The broadcasts of the channel can be viewed via the netgem.tv interactive platform. The programmes are currently broadcasted in English and eventually hopes to broadcast in other languages including Farsi, Turkish, Arabic and Russian.

What the Channel aims to achieve?

The Human Rights Channel aims to deliver hidden stories ignored by mainstream media into people’s living rooms.

The Channel would focus on issues like refugees, press freedom and the incarceration of journalists, extremism, women’s rights, LGBT+ issues and the plight of the world’s stateless people.

The channel has the following programmes in the pipeline, China 30 years after the crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, the positive and negative impacts of technology on women, and the human rights implications of Brexit, Britain’s departure from the European Union.

International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR)

The International Observatory of Human Rights is an independent non-profit and non-governmental organisation. IOHR partners with local and international human rights group to drive and promote positive changes and push for justice and the respect of human rights worldwide.

IOHR aims to defend the dignity of people stripped of their rights including unjustly jailed journalists, human rights defenders, refugees and victims of oppression.