Canada and the US

Articles that focus on or discuss Canada and/or the United States




In a world of radical inequality, solidarity is a cornerstone of justice

February 13, 2020
By: Meg Satterthwaite
Español | Français | Kreyòl

Can a human rights clinic, based at a well-resourced law school in the United States, stand in solidarity ...

Jews and Muslims in America could find unity through a common adversary

January 21, 2020
By: James Ron & Howard Lavine

Homegrown nativists in the U.S. dislike both Jews and Muslims, which could help both groups work toward ...

Employing the politics of solidarity against the rise of populism

October 10, 2019
By: Harsh Mander
Español | Français | العربية

With the world facing increasing division and hatred, the human rights community must face this lack ...

To protect human rights abroad, preach to Trump voters

August 29, 2019
By: Howard Lavine & James Ron

Religious leaders can help convince the most ethnocentric and authoritarian American voters to oppose ...

Bringing human rights home: new strategies for local organizing

August 1, 2019
By: Jackie Smith & Joshua Cooper

Declining economic conditions in cities and communities around the world have inspired more people to ...

American policy is strangling health access in the global South

July 16, 2019
By: Karen Chonofsky

The US Global Gag Rule is impeding far more than access to abortion in the global South—services for ...

No, Americans don’t support airstrikes that kill civilians, even when they target terrorists

June 27, 2019
By: James Ron & Howard Lavine & Shannon Golden

Polls that show Americans support airstrikes against suspected terrorists ignore some very large caveats.

Americans to Trump: If war comes, follow the Geneva Conventions

June 27, 2019
By: Alexander H. Montgomery & Charli Carpenter

Recent studies argue that Americans are relatively insensitive to the laws of war. There’s only one ...

Turning to the courts: lessons from Amnesty Canada’s litigation experience

January 24, 2019
By: Alex Neve
Español | Français

When human rights NGOs go to court, there are many key factors to consider beyond just “winning”.

Family separation: a flashpoint in the global migrant crisis

June 29, 2018
By: Brian Root  & Rachel Schmidt

Situations of inhumane treatment and abuses of power are where we need human rights the most, and the ...

Fighting for indigenous rights in the Trump era

March 15, 2018
By: Tereza M. Szeghi

American Indians are actively resisting Trump’s efforts and working to achieve their civil and human ...

Trump’s threats to a liberal world order are not entirely new

November 24, 2017
By: David Forsythe

Trump’s attitude towards human rights is not entirely new: our presumed liberal world order is more ...

Is the UN a friend or foe?

November 17, 2017
By: Charles T. Call & David Crow & James Ron
Español | Français | العربية

Many Republicans believe that the UN curbs America’s interests, but people in the global South often ...

Defending free speech when laws do not apply equally to everyone

September 5, 2017
By: A. Kayum Ahmed

When the ACLU uses civil rights and free speech to defend white supremacists, it reflects the ideological ...

Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a weapon against populism

May 1, 2017
By: Martin S. Edwards & Lis Kabashi

The Sustainable Development Goals could give activists the rhetoric they need to hold the Trump administration ...

How new data can—and can’t—support academic research

April 21, 2017
By: Merrill Sovner

Human rights practitioners and researchers often ask very different questions when collecting data—how ...

Republicans move to break with the United Nations

March 24, 2017
By: Paige Berges

Republicans are revisiting a move to withdraw from the United Nations and related human rights treaties—what ...

Will human rights law actually protect us from fascism?

March 14, 2017
By: Eva Nanopoulos

Human rights regimes such as the European Convention on Human Rights are unlikely to shield citizens ...

Preparing for terrorism—and potential torture—under President Trump

March 7, 2017
By: Courtenay R. Conrad & Justin Conrad & James A. Piazza & James Igoe Walsh

Will Trump’s unequivocal position on torture affect how the US responds to future terrorist attacks?

Modi and Trump - voting strongmen, voting hate

February 27, 2017
By: Zahir Janmohamed

Donald Trump’s win in the US and Narendra Modi’s in India two years ago are both about the majority ...

Opportunities for resistance: Trump’s authoritarianism and the law

February 23, 2017
By: Stuart Wilson

Human rights values and rule of law are lost on authoritarians, but the need to clothe their action ...

Refugee politics from the local to the international

February 21, 2017
By: Sarah Stroup

The Trump administration is affecting refugee politics from small towns to the world stage, and activists ...

The death knell of American Exceptionalism under Trump

February 16, 2017
By: David Forsythe

If Trump pushes his agenda too far, Republicans concerned with liberal democracy and rule of law might ...

The world is watching—corporate action on Trump travel ban

February 3, 2017
By: Salil Tripathi

Many corporations have already taken a stand against Trump’s travel ban, and corporate leaders advising ...

Voter suppression and human rights in the 2016 American election

January 25, 2017
By: Amelia Shindelar

Increasing strictness in voter ID laws and voter intimidation are threatening the right to vote in the ...

Human rights as a grassroots, transformative response to Trump’s “America”

January 11, 2017
By: Chris Grove
Español | العربية

Human rights—as a movement that critiques systemic inequalities and affirms our common humanity—offers ...

Making the human rights movement great again—amidst rising nationalism

December 29, 2016
By: James A. Goldston

As angry rhetoric and illiberal nationalism soars globally, the human rights movement needs clear thinking ...

Human rights groups are secretly US agents. True or false?

December 19, 2016
By: James Ron & David Crow
Español | العربية

For rights activists, Trump’s victory is a dark cloud with one silver lining. For the next four years, ...

Trump’s victory could push the human rights movement to transform

December 10, 2016
By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

Donald Trump’s victory is a threat to human rights, but could it also push the movement to transform ...

Why the American Electoral College matters for human rights everywhere

December 5, 2016
By: Benjamin James Waddell

The history of the American Electoral College demonstrates the importance of combating violators of ...

The private, the social, and the political: a human rights perspective on transgender bathrooms

December 2, 2016
By: Hà Lê Phan & Inga T. Winkler

When it comes to LGBTIQ rights, bathroom politics reflect and are often linked to much broader questions ...

Trump, the other and human rights in society

November 24, 2016
By: Inga T. Winkler

The stigmatization and “othering” we’ve seen in Trump’s campaign will perpetuate systemic inequalities.

A post-Brexit, post-Trump World could learn from Colombia

November 21, 2016
By: Christian Medina-Ramirez 

A shell-shocked America, a Brexit-divided United Kingdom and a crisis-stricken Europe: they should all ...

Bringing back waterboarding? Torture policy in Trump’s America

November 16, 2016
By: Lisa Hajjar

As the US prepares for president Trump, anyone who cares about human rights should be alarmed that he ...

Trump’s election makes US human rights pariah

November 15, 2016
By: David Petrasek
Español | Français

A Trump presidency poses a grave threat to human rights—not only in the US but also worldwide. For ...

Trump and the limits of human rights

November 14, 2016
By: Samuel Moyn
Español | Français

No matter how good our ancestors were in creating the international human rights system, it cannot change ...

International pressure on US human rights matters now more than ever

November 11, 2016
By: Kathryn Sikkink
Español | Français

Domestic politics are important, but we need international human rights law in the United States now ...

Fascism rising

November 9, 2016
By: Stephen Hopgood
Español | Français

Global institutions and principles now face their sternest test. Trump’s victory suggests human rights ...

Is public opinion an effective constraint on torture?

November 2, 2016
By: Will H. Moore
Español | العربية

Americans’ support for torture increases depending on who is involved and how it is framed.

No data, no accountability: solving racial violence in the United States

October 5, 2016
By: Samuel L. Myers Jr.

Without adequate data, the US racial divide remains a matter of perception, rather than of careful empirical ...

The right place for the Left: the World Social Forum in Montreal

September 20, 2016
By: Jamie K. Mccallum & Sarah Stroup

In August 2016, the World Social Forum brought global justice activists to Montreal, the first time ...

Why America needs a truth commission

July 13, 2016
By: Todd Landman 

In the United States, gun deaths over the last three decades far exceed those reported in truth commissions ...

Naming crimes: genocide and public opinion in the United States

June 30, 2016
By: Benjamin A. Valentino & Ethan Weinberg 

Debates about the label “genocide” distract from the substantive discussion about whether and how to ...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: a missed opportunity for civil society?

June 6, 2016
By: Mark Aspinwall

Civil society could have played a key role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership—why were they left out?

Quantitative data in human rights: what do the numbers really mean?

May 16, 2016
By: Will H. Moore

Everyone loves numbers, but when we use them in human rights, how often are we misrepresenting the data?

Who will take the lead on economic inequality, and who should?

May 5, 2016
By: Chris Albin-Lackey

Human rights lack the best language and tools to describe and solve inequality’s most pernicious impacts

When national security trumps international humanitarian law, who wins?

May 4, 2016
By: Brad Gutierrez

International humanitarian law is not a diplomatic conversation devoid of real world implications, and ...

Inequality is more than just a problem for developing countries

March 14, 2016
By: Todd Landman 

Advanced economies are also experiencing persistent and increasing inequality, and its effect on human ...