Over the past few decades, Iran has transformed from being the greenest nation in the Middle East to a country grappling with worsening air pollution and rising temperatures. Today, the capital city of Tehran is among the most polluted cities in the world. The rise in air pollution, which in part consists of uranium particles […]
As civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, the world watched as millions of Syrians were faced with the unimaginable peril of uprooting their lives to flee violence and persecution. Many sought refuge in Turkey with newfound hopes of stability and safety; once there, however, they experienced novel challenges to their survival, subjected to multifaceted […]
Civil unrest, cruel tragedy, and unjustified brutality have defined the reign of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which came to power after the 1979 Revolution that toppled the Pahlavi dynasty. Since its inception, the Islamic Republic has cracked down on women’s rights, bringing initially rebuffed rumours about the regime’s plans to life and drastically changing […]
In recent decades, Canadians have felt increasingly detached from the misery of war, and consequently, take their human security for granted. As they turn on the news and educate themselves on war-zone conflict, they question the morality of callous governments and war criminals. While such outrage is necessary, it is time that Canadians stop deflecting […]
“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.
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.
Contemporary international relations between the United States and Iran are a classic case of prioritizing inter-state objectives over human welfare. Amid rising tensions, people have become more focused on the race for superiority between Iran and the United States, rather than the resulting human suffering and violence.
Since October 17th, thousands of Lebanese citizens have been flooding the nation’s city centers in peaceful protest of long-standing government corruption, growing inequality, sectarianism, and poor provision of public services.
The political and economic situation in Syria as well as the ongoing civil war due to dissatisfaction with the Assad government has resulted in and perpetuated the current refugee crisis. As of October 2019, the total number of Syrian refugees and displaced peoples has risen to 12.9 million. Since 2011, the Middle East has witnessed a proliferation in popular mobilization against their respective autocratic governments triggered by political reform, a variety of religious and sociopolitical factors, and the deterioration of the economy[i]. However, the international community has up until recently largely overlooked a major underlying issue. As of recent years, studies have linked the current state of climate emergency to the continuous aggravation of the refugee crisis in this region.