In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus. In the same month, Bosnia and Herzegovina began implementing restrictive measures aimed at protecting the local population from the new virus. As in many other countries of the world, these measures were on the verge of not respecting human rights and caused numerous controversies.
Measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic have limited a number of fundamental rights to an unprecedented extent. The rights of economic activity, movement, assembly and religious worship have been subjected to the most severe restrictions. Here, however, lies the great danger of the gradual consolidation of a constitutional mithridatism.
Today, the European Commission will publish its annual Rule of Law Report. The new report could now intensify the conflict between the EU and the two Central European member states. Given the continued undermining of democratic principles in Poland and Hungary, one would expect not only a retrospective analysis, but also concrete recommendations for action against violations of the rule of law. However, this does not seem to be the case.
I wanted to expand on the idea that relatively novel platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, are changing the way we see things. Everyone with a camera phone can make videos without any regards to aesthetic rules about composition, lighting, narrative structure and so forth. Those videos that are much more composed are regarded as too artificial, and are trying too hard, whereas realism gained in importance.
Human rights enforcement at the international and at the regional level is difficult, since it is mostly up to individual states to decide which rules they implement within their boundaries. Furthermore, coming up with rights that are universal in nature is a difficult task, therefore, legal documents tend to be rather general when dealing with this topic.
Any pandemic is not only a threat to the health and safety of the people but may also lead to other significant threats to them. In times of great national uncertainty, the government is called upon to act, and the present pandemic is no exception. In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic exigencies, governments around the world have taken vast and unparalleled decisions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect lives.
In recent years, the LGBTIQ community in Hungary has suffered a great deal of discrimination as a result of governmental policies. Until recently the peak of this discriminatory wave against the above-mentioned minority group could be considered to be the law passed in December 2020 that ensures that only married couples are allowed to adopt children, apart from well-based exceptions.
On Tuesday, the 15th of June, the Hungarian parliament passed a new law to protect children from pedophilia. However, the law also bans LGBT+ related content in schools, advertisement and TV. While the opposition boycotted the vote, 157 yes-votes and one dissenting vote enabled the new legislation to enter into force under the leadership of Viktor Orbán’s government.
On the occassion of the International Day against Homophobia this week, Peter Cichon spoke to the newlyweds Aleksandra (Ola) and Karolina (Karo) Moser about the situation in their home country and about what they want for the future.
Legally, the performance of Adam Bodnar’s duties after the end of his term of office remains constitutional, while in the legal fiction of the Law and Justice (PiS) party, it will probably be enforced to deprive him of the tools to perform them. Polish women and Poles will be left without an ombudsman.