The Farm Bills and the Fallout: How Modi’s India Responded to Protests through State Violence and Media Repression

The Farm Bills and the Fallout: How Modi’s India Responded to Protests through State Violence and Media Repression

The Indian agriculture acts of 2020, often referred to as the Farm Bills, are three acts that were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020. These three very contentious laws have been called a “watershed moment” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while they have been deemed “death warrants for farmers” by MP Pratap […]

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#ChallengeAccepted: The Black and White Photos Worth A Thousand Words

#ChallengeAccepted: The Black and White Photos Worth A Thousand Words

Content warning: physical/sexual violence against women. In 2017, the viral #MeToo movement took the world by storm, inspiring women to use their voices to open up about their stories of sexual assault. Social media played an instrumental role in elucidating the toxic rape culture that has long pervaded our society. With the increased time spent […]

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History Repeats Itself: Pandemics’ Disproportionate Impact on LMICs

History Repeats Itself: Pandemics’ Disproportionate Impact on LMICs

At the June 2020 General Assembly, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres declared that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are falling “disproportionately on the most vulnerable: people living in poverty, the working poor, women and children, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups.” His statement accurately depicts the asymmetric effect that this pandemic […]

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Garment Industry: Modern Day Slavery?

Garment Industry: Modern Day Slavery?

Prior to the nineteenth century, textile and clothing production relied primarily on made-by-hand methods. The Industrial Revolution of the early nineteenth century marked the transition to a new, more efficient manufacturing process in the Western world. Mechanized methods of manufacturing became widespread, resulting in cheaper and faster clothing production. As consumer prices fell, new apparel retailers emerged to cater to a growing demand for affordable garments, and to create employment opportunities. While the Industrial Revolution provided an incentive to increase profits, these motivations were also responsible for creating deplorable working conditions that exploited the absence of labor protection laws.

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The Greatest Threat to the Human Right to Health: Climate Change

The Greatest Threat to the Human Right to Health: Climate Change

“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition,” according to the World Health Organization. Health as a human right, however, has been widely overlooked as it becomes increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change. The health effects are not only diverse but also overwhelmingly negative and wide-ranging. These effects being both direct and indirect will therefore impact all individuals as well as economies worldwide. Populations are pressured to change their diets, rapid changes to ice, snow, and land result in more life-threatening accidents, and natural sources of drinking water are disappearing and diminishing in quality. It is estimated that between 2030 and 2050, there will be 250,000 additional annual deaths resulting from heat exposure, malaria, diarrhoea, and childhood malnutrition. The protection of the environment has thus become a crucial part of the contemporary human rights doctrine. According to the Office of the High Commissions for Human Rights, “Human rights law requires each State to do more than merely refrain from interfering with human rights itself; it also requires the State to undertake due diligence to protect against such harm from other sources.” The State has a duty to its people to safeguard their well being even if it means regulating environmentally harmful corporations and industries. Therefore, it is the evident inaction by global institutions, such as governments, relating to the exacerbation of climate change that violates the fundamental human right to health.

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Freedom in a Time of Crisis: COVID-19 and Citizens’ Rights

Freedom in a Time of Crisis: COVID-19 and Citizens’ Rights

I am writing from a government-mandated, fourteen-day self-quarantine, now a standard procedure for those who have travelled outside of the country in the past two weeks. Like many, I was surprised at the rapid progression of events surrounding COVID-19. When I left Canada, there were 21 cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom—none in Scotland, the country that I was visiting. Upon my return home, just ten days after my arrival abroad, the number of cases had risen astronomically. Hundreds of Britons were infected with the virus and community transmission had been detected. It was becoming increasingly clear that the coronavirus would not be limited to China. In the startlingly fast escalation of the crisis, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

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A Dire Outbreak: The Coronavirus and Racial Prejudice

Amid the humanitarian crisis in Wuhan, the epicenter of the deadly outbreak, Chinese authorities are desperately resorting to extreme measures. In an effort to contain the spread of the disease, officials enforced an unprecedented quarantine of nearly 11 million citizens. Orders of house-to-house searches have been implemented and an emergency hospital was built in just ten days to tackle the outbreak. Despite the measures taken to contain the spread of this deadly disease, the number of infected cases has soared from 50 in China, to over 31,535 in more than 20 countries in the past three weeks. The death toll is even more alarming, amounting to 638.

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Sexual Violence in India: The Unnao Rape Case

Over the past decade, reports of rape in rural and urban areas of India have been consistently increasing. In 2012, the infamous “Nirbhaya case” – in which 23-year-old Jyoti Singh, while traveling in Delhi, was gang-raped, beaten, and killed – garnered global attention. Under public scrutiny, certain “amendments” were made by the government to laws relating to rape. Chief Justice S.A. Bobde made the promise of “effective and speedy investigation and trial.” In the following years, however, those changes proved to be inconsequential as more rape cases were being reported in 2017 than in 2012.

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India’s Borders, Open to Whom?

India’s Borders, Open to Whom?

Last month, the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a new set of laws that would allow minority religious groups from neighbouring Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to more easily gain Indian citizenship. While at first glance these policies seem welcoming to targeted minorities, they notably exclude Muslims, raising questions about their true motivations.

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