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‘Egypt’s battle to end female genital mutilation’

Egypt is still struggling to prevent the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), which 90% of women under the age of 50 have had to suffer. The practice was banned in 2008, but FGM, seen as a way of purifying young girls (usually between 9 and 12 years old), is still widespread. Both the United Nations and human rights organisations have expressed concerns that the practice violates the prohibition of torture, the right to health, and sometimes the right to life. In January 2015, a doctor was jailed after a 13 year old girl died as a result of him conducting the procedure. This was the first time that the 2008 law was successfully implemented, and is hoped to discourage other doctors from performing FGM (see news report here).

New course ‘International Health Law’ as part of LLM International Human Rights Law at Groningen University

This academic year for the first time the course ‘International Health Law’ will be taught as part of the overall LLM in International Human Rights Law of the University of Groningen.

This exciting new course deals with a wide range of health-related concerns, including the global rise in non-communicable diseases, health security threats including the recent ebola crisis, reproductive health, and access to healthcare services for vulnerable groups.

Course lecturers include Brigit Toebes, David Patterson (IDLO), Aart Hendriks (Leiden University) and PhD researchers from the University of Groningen. The course will be taught during November and December 2015. For more information please visit

http://www.rug.nl/rechten/education/international-programmes/llm/international-health-law and go to GHLG’s webpage at http://www.rug.nl/research/groningen-centre-for-law-and-governance/onderzoekscentra/ghlg/teaching .
For more information about the LLM International Human Rights Law please visit http://www.rug.nl/rechten/education/international-programmes/llm/ihrl/

What is the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership?

This fantastic video introduces the TTIP and explains the controversy surrounding the adoption of an agreement between the EU and US which would allow corporations to take states to court for damaging their interests. As experience shows, such cases are often brought successfully, to the detriment of human rights. One of the reasons for this is the huge amount of money that is often demanded by corporations to be paid by states, which diminishes the state’s resources and ability to realise human rights.

‘The Truth about Trade Agreements’

Tessa Khan (APWLD Programme Officer) called for more transparency and the proper review of investor state settlement cases after disputes involving Egypt’s attempt to increase minimum wage, and El Salvador’s right to keep drinking water unpolluted by the extractive industry. These cases have affected the ability of sttaes to fulfil their human rights obligations and continue to undermine sustainable development.

See Tessa Khan’s statement at the UN General Assembly Joint Session between UN Financing for Development and Post-2015 Processes: Interactive Dialogue with Major Groups and Other Stakeholders.

“Illegal immigrants” have basic social rights – or do they not?

Worrying hesitation by the Netherlands to ‘take steps to ensure basic social rights of undocumented migrants’. Read the full post, by Veronika Flegar (Global Health Law Groningen) below.

Global Health Law Groningen

Veronika Flegar, University of Groningen

Although already a couple of months have passed since the CEC v the Netherlands ruling of the European Social Committee (ESC) on 10 November 2014, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Netherlands is still hesitant to take steps to ensure basic social rights of undocumented migrants. In CEC v the Netherlands the ESC ruled that rejected asylum-seekers and other undocumented persons have the right to food, clothing and shelter. The right to emergency healthcare had already been provided for by the Dutch government in accordance with the earlier cases of the ESC FIDH v France and DCI v Belgium. According to the ESC, the provision of these basic needs is essential for survival in the Netherlands.

However, the decisions of the ESC are not binding and it is left to the Committee of Ministers to recommend steps to…

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