Author: Smriti Krishnan

Smriti lives in Alabama. Her academic interests include law and she is deeply interested in public service. When not writing for The Borgen Project, Smriti is a dancer.

PALAU — Palau, officially the Republic of Palau, is a country consisting of hundreds of islands on the western side of the Pacific Ocean. The majority of common human rights issues, such as crimes against children or lack of freedom of the press, are not of great concern in Palau. However, there are still concerns for the state of human rights in Palau. Government Corruption The government of Palau has a careful infrastructure to prevent public corruption. There are even criminal penalties assigned to various acts of corruption. Public officials also have to make annual financial disclosure statements. Unfortunately, this infrastructure…

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AZERBAIJAN — Azerbaijan is a country next to Armenia, bordering the Caspian Sea and serves as the transcontinental area between Asia and Europe. In recent years, Azerbaijan has been in the news for its rapidly growing oil industry. Despite its well-recognized presence in the oil sector, there are still causes of poverty in Azerbaijan. To effectively battle these causes of poverty in Azerbaijan, one needs to examine the country’s recent history. Azerbaijan in History In 1991, Azerbaijan ushered in its independence after 23 centuries of occupation by numerous governments and empires. After independence, the country experienced an increase in poverty…

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SUCRE — Bolivia is a mountainous country in South America, with a long history deeply impacted by European conquerors. While Bolivia has experienced a consistent, but small, increase in its gross domestic product (GDP) as a nation, there are still several causes of poverty in Bolivia affecting its people. A total of 9.8 million people live in Bolivia. Approximately 37.7 percent of this large population live below the national poverty line. Rural communities experience the brunt of poverty, where 3 out of 4 people live in poverty. In particularly, women and children are especially vulnerable, and indigenous communities are subject…

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BRIDGETOWN — South of Florida, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic is the tiny island of Barbados. Barbados is seen as a vacation paradise and every year, tourists flock to Barbados. However, those living in Barbados face concerns that accompany their day-to-day routines. While life in Barbados is fairly smooth, there are still weighty concerns for some areas of human rights in Barbados. The main concerns for human rights in Barbados include unprofessional conduct by the police, violence against women and discrimination against the LGBT population. Discrimination against the disabled is another pressing area of concern. Police in Barbados beat…

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DAKAR — Senegal is a country located on the most western point of Africa, sharing its coast with the Atlantic Ocean. Another moniker for Senegal is “Gateway to Africa,” a name befitting its location. A former French colony, Senegal struggled for independence and finally became a sovereign state in 1960. Despite establishing its independence nearly 60 years ago, Senegal struggles with a large segment of its population still living in poverty. Why is Senegal poor? Traditionally, Senegal has depended on one cash crop: the peanut. Noting the lack of diversification in the economy, the government has attempted to diversify its…

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TAIPEI — Taiwan is a country closely associated with China. In fact, tiny island country Taiwan is just off the coast of China. While Taiwan has demonstrated well-recognized economic growth and a marked interest in improving its human rights record, the country still experiences human rights problems. Concerns surrounding human rights in Taiwan include public corruption, freedoms of expression and violence against women. Several high-ranking officials, including members of the police, have been arrested. For example, former president Chen Shui-bian and his wife Wu Shu-jen were convicted for corruption, money laundering, forgery and embezzlement. However, while the Taipei High Court upheld…

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SEATTLE — Oman is a country to the southeast of Saudi Arabia. To the west of Oman is Yemen. Human rights in Oman is an area of concern for human rights activists and watchdog groups. In particular, human rights activists are concerned with the restrictions imposed on freedoms of expression and assembly in Oman. Oman law targets group activities, such as the right to assemble and associate with certain groups. Even peaceful activists are targeted. Those who may have a long-term impact on the public, such as pro-reform activists and government critics, are often subject to harassment. The harassment takes…

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SKOPJE, Macedonia — Macedonia, north of Greece, is a small country in Eastern Europe known formally as the “Republic of Macedonia.” Threats to human rights in Macedonia include sexual attacks on children and restrictions on the Roma population’s right to travel, and corruption in the public sector and lack of freedom of the press lead to the suppression of human rights in Macedonia. There is a fair amount of corruption in the government. Primarily, the government and judiciary have seemingly engaged in selective justice. In 2014, the Skopje-Center Municipal Council member Miroslav Sipovic was released after over 7 months of pretrial…

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TIRANA — Albania, a county nestled to the northwest of Greece, is part of the Balkans region. Primarily known for being the home of Mother Teresa, Albania continues to experience human rights issues. Some concerns for human rights in Albania include the torture and treatment of detainees, the trafficking of women and children and domestic violence. While there is a fairly strong regulatory infrastructure in Albania, pervasive corruption impedes the effectiveness of law enforcement. Detainees often are subjected to harsh conditions and overcrowding in police stations. Investigations into such conditions have not been effective, with the investigations being delayed or…

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HUNGARY — The Czech Republic, a country tucked between Germany and Slovakia with Poland bordering it in the north, has experienced difficulties in maintaining pollutant-free water supplies. The Czech Republic is a landlocked nation. As result of its own industries and pollution from neighboring countries, the Czech Republic is in a difficult position with respect to monitoring the quality of its water since it has three major river basins: Odra, Elbe and Danube. The Czech Republic has 2,438 formal water providers from which residents obtain their water supplies. Each provider serves an average of 4,057 people. In total, around 6,000…

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