Children Take World Leaders to Task Over Climate Crisis: Daily Brief

Children from around the globe file landmark complaint against world leaders for violating their rights; world leaders should reject autocratic populists’ policies; Israeli Supreme Court hearing on deportation of Human Rights Watch Israel and Palestine director; suspension of UK parliament unlawful; Egypt’s government continues crackdown on anti-corruption protests; mass arrests in Kazakhstan; disturbing footage of Uyghur prisoners; and six prominent Thai activists acquitted.

Having delivered an emotional speech at the opening of the UN Climate Summit in which she accused world leaders of inaction over the global climate crisis 16 year old climate activist Greta Thunberg joined 14 other children from around the world to lodge a landmark complaint under the UN convention on the rights of the child. World leaders’ failure to address the climate breakdown violates the convention and endangers children’s lives, the children argued.

World leaders should reject the abusive policies of autocratic populists at the annual UN General Assembly and be more vocal in their support for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Israeli Supreme Court today deliberated on an appeal by Human Rights Watch against the Israeli government's decision to deport Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch's Israel and Palestine director, for his human rights advocacy. The Israeli government claims Shakir has taken positions that violate its anti-boycott law. 

In a historic ruling on the powers of parliament to hold government to account the UK Supreme Court ruled this morning that Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament at the height of the Brexit crisis was unlawful.

As Egyptians take to the streets to protest against President Sisi's oppressive corruption, the big question is how far will his government go to crush them.

Kazakhstan’s new President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev pledged to accelerate political reforms and improve human rights. But mass detention of peaceful protesters over the weekend and other recent large-scale arrests undermine his commitment to reform.

Disturbing drone footage has emerged showing Chinese police leading hundreds of blindfolded and shackled men from a train in what is believed to be a transfer of Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim inmates in Xinjiang.

And finally some good news: Bangkok’s Criminal Court has acquitted six prominent Thai pro-democracy activists. In an important verdict for protecting free expression in Thailand, the court ruled that a 2018 rally demanding a free and fair election was a peaceful exercise of fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Thai constitution.