Global Human Rights Abuses Created by Ryan George for English 295

About - This website is being created to help spread awareness for the many human rights abuses that happen across the world and help give students and young adults different ideas on how to help those effected. This page was created by Ryan George a student at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for his English 295 class. The professor overseeing this project is Dr. Y.E Pelletier.

Syrian Crisis

Syria is currently one of the most turbulent places in the world with many different powers trying to gain control of the region. And with this turbulence comes one of the greatest human rights/refugee crisis that we have seen this decade. There have been many events that have led to the ultimate collapse of this country, but foreign intervention along with radical Islamic terrorism has created a global hot spot for human rights abuses. There have been many tragic stories come out of the Syrian area due to the many attacks on civilians by government forces and their allies. One of the most recent attacks occurred in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun where government planes used chemical weapons to destabilize the rebel forces. The attack managed to kill hundreds of civilians and soon prompted a missile strike on a local Syrian airbase by the United States. This is just the most recent on hundreds of attacks that have hurt and displaced millions of citizens across the country. As of February 2016, the civilian death toll totals to about 470,000 with 6.3 million people displaced within the country and 5 million refugees in surrounding countries. This problem in Syria continues to grow regardless of the growing amount of intervention from outside countries. It is hard to tell whether all this intervention from neighboring countries is helping the problem or making it worse. The United States is currently backing the non-Islamic rebels while Russia and surrounding countries continue to support the local government regime. This power struggle makes it much more difficult for aid agencies like Red Cross and the United Nations help the citizens in need within the area. With this in mind, the best way for young adults and students to make a difference would be to help volunteer for agencies like the Red Cross. Even volunteering in the states can play a big role in how things play out for people who are across the world and in need.


Central Africa has been and continues to be one of the most impoverished areas in the world. With widespread poverty and and many radical terrorist groups, the people of central Africa many things to fear. One of the greatest problems that continues to linger is the large amount of sexual violence that millions of women have to deal with on a daily basis. Sexual violence is currently what most women fear most according to the International Rescue Committee. This comes with no surprise as almost 2/3 of women in Central Africa say they have either experienced sexual violence or have been raped. Recently there has been an increase in this aggression towards women, mainly due to the increased military involvement in major cities. The IRC found that women felt more threatened with the increased presence of armed men as they become more fearful of rape and aggression while doing everyday activities. There have been many commitments made to the female population in the Central African Republic with different agencies promising to help and ease the problem. However, many of the current agencies are heavily underfunded and this causes a disruption in the amount of aid that can be given to those who need it the most. Women's rights is one of the most emergent issues around the world and there are many things that students and young adults can do to help make a difference around the world. Donating to agencies like the IRC can help them fund clinics and other resources to help women in developing countries like the Central African Republic. People can also spread awareness through social media and help issues like this get recognized by more people across the world.


The Russian occupation of Crimea in March of 2014 has created many problems for the civilians that live in the newly annexed part of the Ukraine. The United Nations has accused the Russian government of many human rights violations as well as condemned its recent occupation. Many people have been displaced in this event including a small Turkish ethnic group named the Crimean Tartars who have lived on the Crimean peninsula since the 13th century. Since the occupation, hundreds of Ukrainians have been detained without any indication of release. The Crimean people have also been subject to cruelty, violence, and torture since the Russian occupation. The United Nations has passed a resolution that acknowledges all of these grievous crimes but it fails to address the crimes done to the citizens by their own government. One of the main reasons for this occupation was the ousting of the former prime minister who supported the Russian government. Once he had been ousted and replaced with a western sympathizer, the Russian government occupied one of the most important sea ports in the Ukraine. The various rights abuses have been well documented by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. There were many details which included the ill-treatment, torture, and intimidation used against many of Russia's political opponents. The struggle for human rights is a constant effort especially in areas around eastern Europe where poverty levels are still very high. However, there are many efforts being made to help the Ukrainian people recuperate from the recent occupation. Volunteering for organizations like the UN and the Red Cross can help make a difference for those who are suffering but can also help them prepare for operations of high volatility like the Russian occupation.


Currently, one of the greatest tragedies of human rights is taking place in India. Women in India are constantly being marginalized with abuses happening every day. The current state of Women's rights in India is comparable to those during the medieval times where rape, and torture can happen at any time any where. One horrific incident happened in 2014 where two girls aged 13 and 15 were abducted, raped, and hung. This type of behavior just brings up questions like, "How can this happen in a civilized country." Well here the answer to that question, much of India is extremely rural leaving justice up to vigilantes. The justice system in India is extremely slow and cases that involve women are almost always left unnoticed. There have been many attempts to help and uplift women, especially in rural areas, but there are still many who oppose this social movement. This problem isn't only found in the accused but in the justice system as well. There have been many instances where the justice system has shown complete apathy towards women during their struggles. This discrimination against girls begins at home where boys are given preferential treatment in almost all aspects of life including: education, job choice, public facilities, and transportation. This type of discrimination has been embedded so far deep into their culture that the only way to progress is wait. As a new socially conscious generation takes over, hopefully the plight of women in India will become more recognizable. For us here the best way to help those suffering would be to spread awareness through social media as India is a very tech heavy country.


There are many human rights abuses that aren't well covered by the media and modern day slavery is one of them. In many middle eastern and eastern European countries slavery still exists and is widespread especially among immigrants and minorities. Earlier this month, a woman in Italy named Paola Clemente died while working in a grape field. Even though slavery hasn't been prominent in western countries for several centuries, this type of modern day slavery takes up a different form in how it lures its victims. There are instances where immigrant families will migrate to a new country and take any new job they can get. However, these jobs are extremely low paying and require many hours of work. These conditions eventually lead to exhaustion and sometimes even death if the right conditions persist. Modern slavery is not new to southern Italy’s agricultural industry. Thousands of Italians, migrant workers, and asylum seekers pick fruit and become vulnerable to trafficking. In Italy, where the effects of the economic downturn earlier in the decade are still being felt, farmers work with labor recruiters who serve as middlemen to take advantage of the cheap labor. These workers are paid very little and middlemen take what's left. There are many things that people can do to help those who are affected by modern slavery. The United States should not provide a market for slavery. However, it is clear that we are importing a tremendous number of goods that should, at the very least, be investigated for forced labor. To truly prevent Americans from supporting slavery, Customs and Border Protection needs to prioritize investigating these shipments. There are also things that everyday people can do like help spread awareness through social media or volunteer for aid based organizations.


One recent crisis that involves human rights abuses is the targeting of gay men in Chechnya . On April 1, 2017, independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that Chechen authorities detained more than one hundred gay men over the prior week “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.” The newspaper reported that three of the men have been killed, while indicating that the death toll may be even higher. Survivors reported enduring beatings and torture as well as being forced to disclose the names of other members of the LGBT community in the region. The author cited multiple sources within the Chechen government and Russian authorities as well as local LGBT groups and activists. This may be considered one of the most blatant forms of human rights abuse as hundreds of men are being forced into camps and forced to work in berating conditions. While many of these homophobic acts are being done out of extreme propagandize that was used in Russia and several of its neighboring countries, the United States and the European Union both condone these actions. The U.S. Department of State condemned the attacks and called on the Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation. The Department of State also expressed concern about “the widespread discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons in Russia or any society” and called “on the Russian government to protect all people from discrimination and violence.” These types of events are usually the ones that cause major media outlets and other news sources to explode with stories but for some reason this tragic tale hasn't seen much coverage. For mass human rights abuses like this, it is hard for everyday citizens to do much. However, any little bit helps so spreading awareness through social media and donating and volunteering for aid agencies can go a long way.



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