Articles with a global or international focus


Digital agriculture: A new frontier for data rights

By: Philip Seufert

Human rights–based governance frameworks are urgently needed to prevent data-driven exploitation, which will worsen inequalities in food and agriculture.

Overturning 1.5°C: Give science a chance

By: Kelly Matheson
Español | Français

With the success of efforts to secure climate-based rights internationally, now is the time to push for the most up-to-date scientific evidence to inform climate ...

Justice for animals and expanding our communities

By: Ezio Costa Cordella

An animal justice approach that respects all life while recognizing significant differences could transform humans’ relationship with nature.

The radical implications of justice for animals

By: Jeff Sebo

A consensus on animal justice may already be achievable, but it should aim to include not only some but all animals.

Compliance with UN treaty body decisions: A glass one-third full or two-thirds empty?

By: Andreas Johannes Ullmann

Despite accounts of backlash against the international human rights system, research on state compliance shows cause for optimism.

Addressing climate change through the right to an adequate standard of living

By: Anika Baset

Social inequalities will intensify in a climate-affected world. The right to an adequate standard of living can protect those most vulnerable to the impacts of ...

How to grapple with undue funder influence: Recommendations from a workshop (Part II)

By: Juan Ortiz Freuler & Ana Brandusescu & Will Orr

At Rightscon 2023, practitioners provided recommendations for mitigating the negative influence of funders on nonprofits.

Unpacking funder influence over digital rights nonprofits: Reflections from a workshop (Part I)

By: Juan Ortiz Freuler & Ana Brandusescu & Will Orr

At Rightscon 2023, practitioners discussed the complex role of autonomy, dependence, and accountability in funder–grantee relationships. In this first part, we ...

Moving forward with pragmatism, raising an ideal

By: Andrea Padilla Villarraga

Legislative and judicial developments in favor of animals in Latin America have been fragmented, but there have been notable and pragmatic advances.

Indonesia’s reparations program: Hope for justice or hollow promise?

By: Rafsi Albar

To redress its history of human rights violations, the Indonesian government needs to hold responsible actors to account, including those still in power.

Funding truth and transparency: Ukraine's postwar media landscape

By: Emma Lygnerud Boberg

A transparent, democratic recovery effort in Ukraine will require adequate and coordinated funding for the independent media sector.

Democratizing justice in an era of populist ascent

By: Meg Satterthwaite & Katarina Sydow

When autocrats undermine justice systems, democratizing the courts can help build back trust.

The right to strive in a changing world

By: Dale Jamieson

A philosopher prioritizes agency and Anthropocene concerns in a theory of animal justice.

Russia’s appropriation of human rights

By: Kristina Stoeckl

Drawing on transnational far-right strategies, Russia is using the language of rights to pursue a nationalist, anti-democratic agenda.

Weaponizing internet shutdowns to evade accountability for rights violations

By: Jacqueline Rowe & Saba Mah'derom

Internet shutdowns are used to quash dissent and conceal abuses. The rights community should combat this authoritarian tactic.

Human rights gateway or gatekeeper: Digital IDs on trial in Uganda

By: Katelyn Cioffi

A legal challenge to Uganda’s national digital ID system may set an important precedent for human rights enforcement in the era of digital government.

Justice for Animals: A theory in search of moral principles

By: David Bilchitz

To respect all animals’ diverse ways of flourishing, we need a consistent set of moral principles that hold up across practical scenarios.

Rethinking campaigns on human rights defenders

By: Janika Spannagel
Español | Français

Focusing only on defenders’ physical integrity risks undermining the very idea of supporting agents of human rights change.

Human rights are still in demand

By: Geoff Dancy & Christopher J. Fariss

After collecting and analyzing recent search data from 109 countries in five different language groups, we found little to no evidence that people are becoming ...

Hereditary monarchies are the antithesis of a human rights culture

By: Kate Bermingham

Monarchs hold sway over 43 states worldwide; the UK should take the lead in dismantling this archaic system of unaccountable power.

When human rights turned into an AI-driven game of lottery

By: Juan Ortiz Freuler

The widespread adoption of artificial intelligence is fueling a probabilistic turn that shifts the focus from past to future, from individual to group behavior, ...

Archives and the fight against impunity

By: Jens Boel
Español | Français

Archives can be—and often are—instrumental in the fight against impunity.

Mutual aid sustains human rights movements around the world

By: Antonio Gutierrez & Felipe Mesel & Emese Ilyes & Melania Chiponda

In both Latin America and in North America mutual aid movements swelled in response to the collective trauma and collective learning of the pandemic.

Appropriating rights: Who rewrites rights and how?

By: Jayne Huckerby & Sarah Knuckey

Instead of blunt rejection, the global new Right is pursuing a project of so-called rights renewal.

From LGBTQIA+ to SOGIESC: Reframing sexuality, gender, and human rights

By: Raymond A. Smith

The proposed abbreviation is more accurate, more inclusive, and ultimately more universal.

'A promise of human freedom': Synergies between the right to freedom of religion or belief and LGBTQI+ rights

By: Marie Juul Petersen  & Dmytro Vovk

The oppression of religious minorities often goes hand in hand with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Rejecting the colonial legacy of discriminatory laws

By: Marco Perolini

States around the world should repeal discriminatory and archaic laws that reproduce historical inequalities and patterns of oppression.

Regulation of generative AI must protect freedom of expression

By: Esha Bhandari

Any attempts to regulate the content produced by generative AI run the risk of restricting protected expression.

No easy answers to the ChatGPT regulatory puzzle

By: Matt Bartlett

Any legal framework aiming to corral generative AI systems, including frameworks grounded on protecting human rights, will need to reckon with technological nuances.

Borders and AI: Human rights–enhancing legal technologies

By: Sean Rehaag

AI does have the capacity to be used to help asylum seekers and other people on the move, despite its current uses.

Queer Eye for AI: Risks and limitations of artificial intelligence for the sexual and gender diverse community

By: Ilia Savelev

The risks of AI-powered oppression of sexual and gender diversity are already here.

ChatGPT: What’s left of the human in human rights?

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

This new series examines the potential effects of AI in the human rights field.

In defense of the social right to property

By: Koldo Casla

It is now more urgent than ever to redefine the contours of property and its social function in light of economic and social rights.

Climate colonialism: Is it time to rethink alternatives?

By: Paula Alejandra Camargo Páez

The uneven effects of climate change can be traced back to colonial legacies that still linger in mitigation and adaptation actions.

Decolonizing the narrative around constitutions, personal laws, and women’s rights

By: Satang Nabaneh & Shelley Inglis & Lee Waldorf

Many constitutions contain what are known as “clawback clauses,” which exempt personal law from their guarantees of nondiscrimination.

Uyghurs stuck in the US asylum system have no time to lose

By: Henryk Szadziewski

As of March 2023, delays in most Uyghur cases across the asylum system are due to court date scheduling.

Indigenous human rights claims outline promising new ways of life

By: Benjamin Davis

The West ultimately needs to be more reflective about how we live our lives in a very ordinary, everyday sense.

Toward multiplanetary existence? The human rights obligations of corporations on Mars

By: A. Kayum Ahmed

The possibility of multiplanetary existence raises fascinating questions about the universality of the human rights framework.

Misappropriating human rights: Examining Turkey

By: Başak Çalı & Esra Demir-Gürsel

Turkey shares important similarities with global trends with respect to human rights appropriation practices at the expense of women’s and LGBTQI+ rights.

Cuckoos, chameleons, and Indian citizenship

By: Farrah Ahmed

The Indian government uses strategies to disguise its authoritarian nationalist actions through constitutional rights.

What would a new Cold War between China and the US mean for human rights?

By: Daniel Braaten

The Chinese government’s impact on the international human rights regime is not well documented and a recommitment from the US to human rights is not fully clear ...

Leaving the “Goldilocks Zone”: Will human rights survive climate change?

By: Devon Kearney

Recent years have seen backsliding on our common, global commitment to human rights, and climate change threatens to further erode that support.

Education against antisemitism within a human rights framework

By: Joscha Jelitzki

An initiative to foster a campus environment in which no one, Jewish or not, has to be afraid of being different required a human rights mindset.

40,000 people arbitrarily deprived of their nationality in Colombia

By: Andrés Besserer Rayas & Maria Fernanda Orozco Naranjo & Sebastian Portilla Parra & Gabriela del Pilar Thiriat Pedraza

Arbitrary cancellation of nationality has serious sociolegal effects that are being documented in Colombia.

A UN review shows the limits of China’s loud microphone communications strategy

By: William Nee

As the Chinese government seeks “center stage,” its compliance with its human rights obligations should be there as well.

Human rights: Ideology, illusion, source of hope?

By: Matthias Mahlmann

There is no reason whatsoever that can be derived from the theories of evolution and human psychology that undermines the case for human rights.

Racial hatred on the rise in Tunisia: What is the role of digital platforms?

By: Salma Houerbi
Español | Français

Massive raids and attacks against Black migrants in Tunisia, triggered by a virulent online campaign, recall the urgent need for big tech to scrutinize the human ...

India should criminalize the use of 'virginity tests'

By: Sarthak Gupta

The Supreme Court of India could ban the so-called “virginity tests” in cases of rape and sexual assault.

Venezuela: Flourishing in the abyss

By: Rafael Uzcátegui

Venezuela's democratic political and social leadership needs to reflect on its strategies to confront authoritarianism, as well as its strengths and weaknesses, ...

To renew the International Criminal Court, look to the regional rights institutions

By: Jamie O'Connell & James Cavallaro

The ICC can do better by learning from regional human rights institutions.

A seat at the table: Shifting narratives on human rights defenders at the United Nations

By: Sophie Mulphin & Tom Clarke

Stories told at the UN about human rights defenders have a major impact on how they are perceived and supported on the ground.

Seizing the moment to shake up philanthropy

By: Liliane Loya & Ellen Sprenger & Lucas Paulson

Five trends that are reorganizing the way funding agencies can work for philanthropic causes.

Forensic aesthetics and Aleksandar Hemon’s The Lazarus Project

By: Tobias Lebens

New links between literature and human rights open the door to understand evidence and new ways of narrating.

The trivialization of human rights

By: Ligia Bolívar

Virtual activism makes some human rights causes visible but reduces engagement on the street.

Exploring narrative practices for broad-based movements in contexts of democratic decline

By: Julia Roig & James Savage

The narratives we engage & deploy shape our world. In the face of rising authoritarianism, what stories & tactics drive collaboration within & between movements?

The climate emergency at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

By: Thalia Viveros Uehara & Juan Auz

The Inter-American Court will likely be the first regional human rights tribunal to develop an advisory opinion on the climate emergency, prompting normative effects ...

When the Ferguson uprising came to Geneva

By: Joel R. Pruce

A shadow report presented to the Committee Against Torture brought police brutality in the US to an international human rights scenario.

Exploring the scope of ecofeminism in the biodiversity-climate nexus

By: Susan Ann Samuel

The need to include ecofeminism in climate and biodiversity discussions is now more crucial than ever.

Backlash against individual access to the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

By: Mihreteab Tsighe Taye

Rwanda’s case illustrates the risks of withdrawing from regional human rights bodies.

Solidarity, not charity

By: Isabell Sluka

How #LeaveNoOneBehind advocated a reconfiguration of pro-migrant solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic and what we can all learn from it as we face current and ...

Activists face police surveillance outside protest settings in Minnesota

By: Isabel Huot-Link & Angela Rose Myers & Socorro Topete

Protesters of African descent, victims of police brutality, and their families need accountability and healing to find justice.

When human rights go backwards: four lessons

By: Shaharzad Akbar & David Griffiths

What can we learn from the setbacks suffered by human rights?

The (mis)appropriation of human rights

By: Gráinne de Burca & Katharine G. Young

Some human rights discourses have been appropriated by actors who go against human rights principles.

What is true academic solidarity?

By: Ercüment Çelik
Español | Deutsch | Türkçe

Academic freedom is being attacked around the world—how can we create solidarity networks against such attacks?

The flawed case against more-than-human rights

By: Joshua Gellers
Español | Français

Steps have been taken to widen the scope of the “human” part of human rights—and to rethink the way those more-than-human entities also impact human rights.

Small Data for sustainability: AI ethics and the environment

By: Elisa Orrù
Español | Deutsch | Italiano

Moving away from the currently prevalent Big Data mindset towards a Small Data approach would help improve the sustainability of AI systems and would additionally ...

Backsliding on children’s participation rights within a protection discourse

By: Tracey Holland & Yeonjae Hwang

Victimhood can easily disempower children and silence their voices as well as their claims to human rights, particularly their participation rights.

Gendered juvenile detention in the Philippines

By: Pamela Camacho & Steffen Jensen

In Duterte’s war on drugs, women victims have been largely invisible.

The Human Rights Council’s failure to protect Uyghurs in China—for now

By: Michiel Hoornick
Español | Français

It seemed that economic and political concerns drove several countries to vote against a resolution to discuss the human rights for Uyghurs in China.

Deprivation of liberty: when is it acceptable?

By: Patricia Tarre Moser

A new Advisory Opinion of the IACtHR underscores the penalties that deprive pregnant women, caregivers, elderly and Indigenous persons of their liberty.

Participatory baseline water study improves scientific data and strengthens community power

By: Ellie Happel & Beth Hoagland & Olriche Jean Pierre & Tess Russo
Español | Kreyòl

An interdisciplinary research team conducted the first community-owned baseline study on water in an area included in a mining permit in northern Haiti.

Promoting women’s rights: Introducing the Women’s Rights Recommendation Compliance Explorer

By: Jillienne Haglund & Courtney Hillebrecht

A new tool helps people track recommendations and compliance about women’s rights in Europe.

Hollow rights victories? Dutch struggles against digital injustice

By: Victoria Adelmant & Christiaan van Veen

Algorithms calculating the probability of fraud were overwhelmingly and wrongly targeting immigrant groups.

Recipe for better communication of the rights of women and girls

By: Natika Kantaria

A hope-based communications approach to women and girls’ rights can move the narrative beyond problems and challenges and focus on solutions and inspiration.

Human rights in the post-truth era

By: Nicolas Agostini
Español | Français

As attacks on truth and facts multiply, can activists be falling into the traps of post-truth? Evolutions in activism, communications and politics, as well as in ...

Natural resources and the prospects for gender-just sustainable peace

By: Carol Cohn & Claire Duncanson

To build gender-just sustainable peace, post-war states must make deep changes to address extractivism and inequality.

Land grabs in Haiti are on the rise, while mining poses another threat

By: Yulanda Lui & Samuel Nesner
Español | Kreyòl

Between 2006 and 2013, the Haitian government granted more than 50 mining permits to three U.S. and Canadian companies to explore land occupied by dozens of communities ...

Grassroots justice organizations are deploying research to stem the tide of injustice

By: Adrian Di Giovanni & Poorvi Chitalkar
Español | Français

Legal empowerment has the potential to improve our ability to counter threats to human rights.

Caring workspaces for human rights

By: Ezgi Kan & Kerem Çiftçioğlu

Defending human rights workers’ working conditions based on an ethic of care is one of the best ways to foster resilience and well-being.

Transforming the climate crisis into opportunity: A step towards gender equality

By: Madhumita Pandey & Promil Pande

There is a substantial need to bring marginalized voices into our climate change responses and rebuild eco-feminist archives, as that will impact not only our society ...

Biodignity: Rethinking life and respect in the Anthropocene

By: Antonio Pele & Katharina Bauer & Stephen Riley

Human dignity, when it asserts humanity’s moral primacy in the world, or when it over-values human reason, is symptomatic of humanity’s self-destructive and dominating ...

More than human rights: What can we learn from trees, animals, and fungi?

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

Changing the focus from a human-centric approach to human rights will help the movement advance on environmental agendas with an inter-species recognition.

People’s participation in high-level decision-making spaces on regional migration

By: Mara Tissera Luna

Despite long-standing obstacles, Latin American and Caribbean local and national migrant- and diaspora-led associations and organizations have involved themselves ...

Children’s right to climate justice

By: Belinda Walzer

The landmark case of 2019 where sixteen children and young people from twelve different countries opened the door to think about guaranteeing rights now and in ...

Countering the impact of discrimination against pregnant women exposed to high temperatures with human rights

By: Thomas Bundschuh

Poor pregnancy outcomes due to hot temperatures include stillbirth and preterm birth before the completion of 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Fragility, climate change, and the uncertain lives of agro-pastoralist women and girls in East Africa

By: Holly A. Ritchie

Alongside political and social pressures that agro-pastoralist women and girls face, they must add an urgent one: climate change.

The gold standard of the Lima Programme

By: Freya Doughty

What’s next for the Lima Programme, a two-year work program created during COP20 to advance gender-responsive climate policies.

Women, Climate, Insecurity

By: Alexandra S. Moore & Sunita Toor

This series highlights feminist approaches to understanding climate change's impact on women, as well as women's role in addressing those impacts.

Custody laws in Jordan maintain a sexist status quo

By: Lara Bellone d’Altavilla
Español | العربية

Despite important strides made by social movements advocating for women’s rights and led by Arab women, there is still a long way to go to combat gender discrimination.

Lessons from the pandemic: Building a movement for global public investment

By: Alicia Ely Yamin & Joel Curtain

There is a window of opportunity to move toward a model of financing based on Global Public Investment (GPI) to advance health and other social rights.

Revitalizing the UN human rights treaty bodies through regionalization

By: Marcia V. J. Kran & Shelley Inglis

Five reasons why the proposal to regionalize treaty body meetings would work.

The transformative potential of human rights economics

By: Caroline Dommen
Español | Français

Human rights advocates could be more active in using human rights tools to transform economic thought and practice.

AI and autonomous weapons arms transfers

By: Bryanna Rainwater & Lana Baydas

A lack of consensus among states regarding the regulation of AI weapons is an opportunity for rights groups to use international human rights law to push for clear ...

Can action coalitions advance the gender equality agenda?

By: Mmabatho Motsamai & Carol Werunga & Jean Kemitare
Español | Français

The Kenyan government has illustrated the critical role of Action Coalitions as the co-lead of the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence.

The 1968 United Nations debate on human rights and tech

By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Español | العربية | Français

The nexus between human rights and tech is more foundational to the evolution of the international human rights legal project than we normally think.

How can international human rights law protect those who identify as non-binary?

By: Raymond A. Smith

The term “non-binary” has entered some UN reports and media, but there is still a lack of recognition of this identity in human rights law.

Funding and the digital rights nonprofit space. Experiences and recommendations (Part II)

By: Juan Ortiz Freuler & Will Orr & Ana Brandusescu

Nonprofits have to balance securing funds and staying true to their mission. How can we foster autonomy among organizations?

National Human Rights Action Plans: setting the record straight

By: Sébastien Lorion
Español | Français | العربية

New research unearths comprehensive data on the global diffusion of national human rights action plans since the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.

At the UN, states and anti-rights actors join forces to push back against gender justice

By: Umyra Ahmad
Español | Français

At the latest Human Rights Council session, anti-rights language started making its way into some resolutions under discussion.

Land grabs in Haiti sow climate vulnerability and violence against women

By: María Alejandra Torres García
Español | Kreyòl

Land grabs in Haiti cause women to further suffer violations of environmental and women’s rights and exacerbate climate vulnerability.

How do funders shape the digital rights agenda? Notes from the field (Part I)

By: Juan Ortiz Freuler & Will Orr & Ana Brandusescu

Nonprofits’ autonomy from their funders is particularly important in the digital rights space.

India’s Supreme Court rules to protect sex workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic

By: Sarthak Gupta

In a historic rule, the Supreme Court of India aimed to protect the constitutional rights of sex workers in the country.

Lessons and consequences of the failure to regulate AI for women’s human rights

By: Ramona Vijeyarasa & José-Miguel Bello y Villarino

The current absence of adequate regulation by states to protect human rights from the deployment of AI systems is, in itself, a violation of human rights.

Rethinking the accountability of funders

By: Tariro Tandi & Immaculate Mugo
Español | Français

Funders must rethink their principles and practices to ensure that they operate on participation, trust, and mutual understanding instead of power and privilege.

A word of advice to the next High Commissioner for Human Rights: engage with UN human rights experts

By: Vincent Ploton
Español | Français | العربية

Michelle Bachelet will not seek a second term as High Commissioner for Human Rights, kicking off a race to find a suitable replacement.

Addressing the climate crisis: how Pacific youth voices can change climate governance

By: Johanna Gusman

The continual failure of governments to adequately address the climate crisis constitutes a violation of children’s rights and Pacific youth know this better than ...

Egalité? Not in France’s refugee policy

By: Jacqueline Parisi

For a country whose founding universalist principles are imbued with humanitarian rhetoric, it’s astounding how egregiously égalité has been violated.

Lessons for the rights movement in constructing a collective reality

By: Melania Chiponda & Emese Ilyes
Español | Français

Respect for human rights should be founded on recognizing and honoring differences.

Putting people and the planet at the helm of transformative climate action

By: Marisa Hutchinson & Jhannel Tomlinson

For many Global South activists and communities, the pledges and actions agreed upon at COP26 were too late, inadequate, and exclusive.

A tech accountability campaigner's guide to genuine change

By: Jane Chung

In constructing new paradigms, our visioning should not be limited to our definition of the problem.

A collaborative and creative step to address overly broad NDAs

By: Jordan T. Jones

Michael Kleinman of Amnesty International USA reflects on the urgency of taking action against non-disclosure agreements.

Narrative practice: moving from recipes to spices

By: Lucas Paulson

The invitation at the heart of "Narrative Spices" isn’t about specific strategies or approaches, but about cultivating habits that enable curiosity, exploration, ...

Can commercialized healthcare systems help us adapt to the climate crisis?

By: Thalia Viveros Uehara

The Paris Agreement calls on states to consider their human rights obligations in climate adaptation.

An election successfully completed—but at what price?

By: Claire Thomas & Mohamed Eno
Español | Somali

While the unveiling of Somalia's president helps reduce the risk of conflict, the hosting of another ‘election’ on a discriminatory basis is far from ideal.

Work fully, playfully

By: Jessica Fjeld

If work life balance needs to be thrown out the window, what’s the sturdier, more supportive and humane alternative?

Private law is no longer working to protect communities from toxic floodwaters

By: Jonathan Sharp

Contractual arrangements, insurance, and tort law, all private law tools, fail to address the awful threat of hazardous substance leaks because they are unable ...

Rights at risk: Russia’s withdrawal from the ECtHR

By: Courtney Hillebrecht
Español | Русский | Українська

The stakes of Russia’s withdrawal are exceedingly high—for past and present victims and for the Court itself.

Why we’re asking the ultra-wealthy to give billions to feminist movements

By: Tynesha McHarris & Swatee Deepak

At the center of almost every social justice movement are cis- and trans- women and girls, and non-binary folks of color leading the charge.

Stealth privatization: Kenya’s approach to universal health coverage is a private sector giveaway

By: Bassam Khawaja & Rebecca Riddell

Exclusive new data shows skyrocketing public expenditure on private health facilities in Kenya.

What it takes to bridge the divide between the business sector and human rights

By: Andrés Zaragoza

If we want to constructively engage companies, business associations or investors on human rights issues, we must recognize who our interlocutor is.

Why business might thwart the UK government’s Rwanda asylum export plan

By: John Morrison

Although the plan was initiated by the government, it seems likely that private enterprises will be asked to play a significant role at all stages of the process.

Private equity and children’s care homes: a socially responsible investment?

By: Claire Methven O’Brien & Rebekah Wilson

The operation of care facilities for vulnerable children by private-equity backed companies poses threats to human rights.

Science and pandemic: an epistemology for human rights

By: Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky 

The prevailing approach to understanding the pandemic overlooks the fact that the pandemic is a complex phenomenon, in which the social and political play as important ...

The right to health in the Global South: between epidemiology and the pharmaceutical industry

By: Everaldo Lamprea Montealegre

Despite Big Pharma's decisive role in the transformation of the right to health, it continues to play a secondary role in the literature.

Addressing the threat that mines pose to civilians in Ukraine

By: Kathryn Hampton
Español | Українська

While it is imperative that parties to the conflict must stop using landmines, we are also faced with the question of how to respond when they do not.

Child migrants are children first

By: Sarah Damoff

As a matter of human rights, our policies must consider child migrants by their status of child before their status of migrant or litigant.

The injustice of the death penalty for drug offenses

By: Giada Girelli

Is justice really ‘just’ when it puts to death the vulnerable and the powerless?

Radical uncertainty and human rights

By: Garth Meintjes

We would do better to deepen our understanding of human rights as a kind of reference narrative that can help to guide decision-making in the face of radical uncertainty.

Vaccine inequity deepens structural racial discrimination

By: Ohene Ampofo-Anti & Camila Barretto Maia & Joshua Castellino & Pillkyu Hwang
Español | Français | العربية

Institutional failures enabling global COVID inequity can also deepen structural discrimination.

The (science) fiction of human rights

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

How a particular kind of science fiction resonates with a wide audience and can enrich human rights thinking and practice

Moving towards a new history of social rights

By: Steven L. B. Jensen & Charles Walton
Español | Français

A deeper history of social rights can help us identify the factors that have impeded the human rights project.

How can we protect journalists in times of crisis?

By: Sebastián Villamizar Santamaría

This data column examines the threats to journalists worldwide.

A language of no importance: the consequences of neglecting marginalized languages in the digital world

By: Jacqueline Rowe
Español | Kiriol

Most major platforms and services are still only available or functional in a small number of geopolitically dominant languages.

Justice for Miskito divers: a turning point for business and human rights standards from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

By: Maysa Zorob & Hector Candray
Español | Français

For the first time in its history, the Court explicitly stipulates clear business and human rights standards to be met by states and companies.

The case for shadow boards in human rights organizations

By: Dominique Calañas

The human rights movement needs new ways of working which may even sound a little far-fetched.

Why current events in Ukraine (should) raise questions about refugees in Greece

By: Mimi Hapig

The current expressions of solidarity by various European countries towards refugees from Ukraine should reignite the discourse about Europe’s response to refugees ...

Has the local watchdog lost its teeth?

By: Emilie Helene Holm

Across the globe, the transition to digital media is disrupting media ecosystems, creating news deserts where local communities can no longer access information ...

IMF and human rights through art

By: Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky  & Francisco Cantamutto & María Julia Eliosoff Ferrero & Ana Fraile

The video documentary series on "IMF and Human Rights" and the podcast "Promise is Debt" are political and cultural tools to limit the control of finance over our ...

Human rights and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine: an alternative proposal

By: Koldo Casla

Putin’s aggression requires a human rights strategy that accounts for existing power relationships, and attempts to steer the balance in the direction of peace.

Centering gender in the housing crisis

By: Gabriela Tsudik
Español | Русский

The women’s movement is yet to center the specific concerns of poor and unhoused women.

The need for community-based ancestral technologies for socio-environmental defense work

By: Thaynah Gutiérrez Gomes
Español | Português

We must seek technologies from the ancestral past of native peoples and connect them with the knowledge from the urban peripheries.

The Human Rights Council takes a crucial step forward on climate change

By: Peter Splinter

The new Special Rapporteur on climate change should avoid the “blah, blah, blah” that has characterized far too much discussion.

Gender-based violence and the climate crisis: an obstacle to climate-resilient communities

By: Paula Alejandra Camargo Páez

Risk factors for GBV, such as stress and trauma, increase dramatically after natural disasters or prolonged climate stress scenarios.

Why online discrimination against women should concern us all

By: Helena Tallmann
Español | Português

Defenders of women’s rights should look for solutions that address the root causes of online discrimination and work to change them at the societal level.

Plato's Cave has an exit: Using data to illuminate human rights

By: Rodrigo Dornelles
Español | Português

A data-centered approach is fundamental in understanding our institutions and designing more effective strategies.

Why the “Global South” matters in young people’s right to a healthy environment

By: Claudia Ituarte-Lima & Sri Aryani & Delia Paul

If transformation towards global sustainability is to happen, we need to value the work of young climate advocates, and help make it visible.

Rethinking trans people’s right to self-perceived gender identity and gender expression in India

By: Sarthak Gupta

The reluctance to appreciate gender fluidity precludes people from maintaining a self-perceived identity.

A case against U.S. liberal internationalism nostalgia

By: Natalie R. Davidson

A new book revisits ATS litigation, suggesting that the retreat of the U.S. judicial system from its commitment to international human rights has positive implications.

Pushing back against the normalization of COVID-19–related state of emergency restrictive measures

By: Lana Baydas & Marissa Jaime Priceman & Sally Alghazali
Español | العربية

It is time for governments to rescind repressive measures and laws, and to ensure the inclusion of civil society actors in response to pandemic recovery efforts.

How Kazakhstan’s control of information can turn into a regime weakness

By: Pavlina Pavlova
Español | Русский

Network interference and internet shutdowns in the Central-Asian country have become a staple method of stifling the free flow of information during politically ...

Vaccinations and migrant worker lockdowns: COVID-19 and human rights in Singapore

By: Alana Barry

Despite its contributions to the global vaccine effort, Singapore has failed to commit to human rights for its migrant worker population.

Is the current rights framework sufficient to protect the stateless?

By: Anne Lauder

Here’s how the existing human rights framework confronts statelessness and the gaps that remain.

How minority languages found an unlikely ally in translation companies

By: Ofer Tirosh

Professional translation companies are becoming an unlikely partner in protecting minority languages for future generations.

When did it become illegal to defend human rights?

By: Laurel E. Fletcher & Khalid Ibrahim

In the age of the internet, online human rights activism needs to be supported—and protected—as a vital part of the cybercommunications ecosystem.

Humor and human rights: a joke with no punchline?

By: Nicolas Agostini
Español | Français

Humor was one of the best allies to human rights. Today, as some point to its oppressive uses, it has come under fire.

New Zealand’s failure to meet its human rights promises on health care and protection

By: Livvy Mitchell

A recently published report reveals how the New Zealand government’s performance has allowed its health system to become stagnant.

It is time to make ecocide an international crime

By: James Dawes

“The time is right to harness the power of international criminal law to protect our global environment.”

Lost in the crisis: legal accountability for SRHR in humanitarian settings

By: Christina Zampas & Rebecca Brown

If persons in humanitarian settings are to receive the SRH services they need, governments must be accountable for human rights.

The rise of youth activism in Africa

By: Souleymane Sagna

For Africa to address challenges like climate justice, conflict transformation, and food security, the participation of youth activists will be critical.

Finding more than cynicism after COP26

By: Chiara Liguori

Reading between the lines of the COP26 decisions, you can find small wins that are the result of the tireless efforts and dedication of the climate justice movement.

This Human Rights Day, the need to affirm the indivisibility of rights has never been greater

By: Jonathan Cohen & Sofia Gruskin

As the COVID-19 pandemic approaches the end of its second year, the importance of reaffirming this principle is clear.

The eight-year decade that will determine the fate of the planet and human rights

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

If slowing climate change is a game, how is it going and what's left to accomplish?

How new uses of conscience-based claims hinder progress on abortion rights

By: Andrés Constantin & Kayla Zamanian

Making sexual and reproductive health services accessible in practice means the limits of invoking conscientious objection must be incisively interrogated.

An interview with practitioners on the front lines of datafication

By: Juan Ortiz Freuler

A conversation with Grace Mutung’u on the growing adoption of digital ID in Kenya and how it is changing people’s relationship with the government.

Supporting the TRIPS COVID-19 waiver is an essential step to support international human rights

By: Jackie Dugard & Franziska Sucker & Bruce Porter & Jamie Burton

A waiver would be a vital step for expediting the scaling up of manufacturing and provision of COVID-19 medical products.

Creating a scenario from the future

By: Juan Ortiz Freuler

This fictional scenario draws on real signals of change to construct a future scenario around the impacts of datafication on the human rights movement.

What a datafied worldview means for human rights

By: Juan Ortiz Freuler

Understanding how datafication affects the rights and interests of people, and power relationships at large, is key for an effective defense of human rights.

How emotion recognition software strengthens dictatorships and threatens democracies

By: James Jennion

Given that the idea of using emotion recognition technology as a tool of governance is an entirely flawed premise, a ban makes the most sense.

The will and the way: keys for human rights improvement

By: Alejandro Anaya Muñoz & Amanda Murdie

Neither state capacity nor elite willingness are sufficient on their own to improve compliance with human rights norms.

New Zealand is failing to meet its human rights promises on adequate housing

By: Livvy Mitchell

Identifying where human rights violations are occurring within the right to housing shows the government where change is most urgently needed.

What Chile can learn from South Africa about social rights

By: Sandra Liebenberg

The Chilean Constitutional Convention should give careful thought to how to strengthen the relationship between social rights and the right to equality and non-discrimination.

What does the right to a healthy environment mean for wildlife crime?

By: Tamara Léger & Rob Parry-Jones

Understanding RTHE through the lens of wildlife crime is a reminder that tackling crime through a rights-based approach contributes to the fulfilment of human rights.

A discriminatory system killed a transgender man in Egypt

By: Nora Noralla
Español | العربية

By reforming its own system, Egypt can influence positive changes in other countries in the region and lead the way for accessible legal gender recognition mechanisms.

What’s missing in climate lawsuits of the future?

By: Miriam Saage-Maaß
Español | Deutsch

A human rights-based approach should always ask who is affected and how by certain climate mitigation measures.

Solving the climate crisis together: a message to the delegates at COP26

By: Eszter Hartay & Ivana Rosenzweigova

Restrictions on civil society undermine climate mitigation efforts and impede the collaboration that is so crucial to slowing the climate crisis over the next decade.

Bilingual climate justice trajectories

By: Sebastián Villamizar Santamaría

In this Data Column, we explore and compare the usage of several climate-related terms in English and Spanish to track how they have evolved over time.

Lifting the veil of secrecy on rights abuses caused by Brazil’s mining industry

By: Athayde Motta & Miles Litvinoff
Español | Português

Mining companies must tackle human rights abuses or risk communities saying no to their operations.

Haitian migration through the Western hemisphere: a racial (in)justice analysis

By: S. Priya Morley

A transnational racial justice lens is essential to understand recent Haitian migration through the Americas, but also to develop any future policy responses.

Timeful strategies for Indigenous self-determination: lessons from the Purhépecha

By: Angel Gabriel Cabrera Silva

How a temporal perspective affects the struggles for Indigenous self-determination

The urgent need for policy coherence to achieve rights-respecting climate action

By: Els Heile

Legal action should not substitute a holistic approach to green transition.

History shows that UN country-specific Special Procedures are tools for positive change

By: Mariana Montoya & Marc Limon
Français | Español

History has shown that despite strong opposition to Special Procedures, they have been valuable mechanisms for catalyzing positive changes at the local level.

Pandemic Insights

By: OGR Admin

OGR has asked several leaders in the human rights community to share a learning, a reflection, or an insight from these unique times. Read or listen to them here.

Moving fast on climate: the urgent need to tackle short-lived climate pollutants in Latin America and the Caribbean

By: Viviana Krsticevic

The human rights framework can buttress the responses needed to address the emergency, providing tools to guarantee human dignity and the right to a healthy environment.

Embracing change for a better civic space

By: Tom Gerald Daly

While civic action and space are under relentless pressure worldwide, different dimensions of a more positive future are being built and fought for across the world.

Abolition of the death penalty for drug offences is a mission possible

By: Ricky Gunawan

The death penalty for drug offenses appears to be on the rise.

Tunisian human rights activism in the 1960s: Revolutionaries, intellectuals and prisoners of conscience

By: Marc Schade-Poulsen
Français | Español

One should be cautious when conflating today’s human rights understanding with that of the past when narrating human rights history.

The UN Human Rights Council dithers while Earth Burns

By: Peter Splinter

It is essential to translate human rights principles and standards into practicable pragmatic measures that can provide that coherence, legitimacy, and sustainability.

Reimagining civic space for hope

By: Tom Gerald Daly

While civic action and civic space are under relentless pressure worldwide, different dimensions of a more positive future are being built and fought for in communities ...

The challenges of sharing the unknown history of the South African constitution

By: Lauren Segal & Lwando Xaso
Español | Français

A new online archive and exhibition tells the little-known stories and behind-the-scenes challenges of the country's constitution.

The doughnut approach: how to climatize human rights

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

If human rights are to remain relevant in the Anthropocene, budding theoretical, doctrinal, and advocacy efforts to address the climate emergency need to be expanded.

Chile’s constitutional moment is an opportunity to enhance social rights

By: Koldo Casla

To do justice to such an ambitious goal, the Chilean process should not leave anyone behind. This is a historic occasion to make the case for social rights.

From the domestic to the international: Jamaica’s 1961 human rights policy

By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Español | Français

How the domestic trends of human rights policy in the Global South can provide a deeper understanding of modern international rights practice

Of time and the practice of human rights in the digital age

By: Alice M. Miller

Reflecting on the internet as a constitutive site for rights work may allow us to usefully open the internet to a different kind of scrutiny.

Replacing monopolies with impact rewards

By: Thomas Pogge
Español | Deutsch | Français | Italiano

Impact funds would make the business of innovation more cost-effective and enable a triple win for the potential beneficiaries of innovations.

More than a united kingdom: how Botswana became a powerful example for human rights in Africa

By: James Kirby
Français | Español

While some economists and political scientists praise Botswana as a ‘success story’, the country provides more than just a tale of growth and stability.

Personal resources and those of family and friends, not the State, guarantee ESCR in Jalisco

By: Alejandro Anaya Muñoz & David Foust Rodríguez & Carlos Moreno Jaimes

The Mexican State failed in its obligation to guarantee access to human rights for millions because it did not have a sufficient social security infrastructure ...

The moral test of vaccine justice

By: Jonathan Cohen
Español | Français

The forces arrayed against vaccine justice—monopolies, charity, and individualism—stand in the way of a just response to other shared global problems.

Women and the UN: a new history of women’s international human rights

By: Rebecca Adami & Dan Plesch
Español | العربية | Français

Critical human rights theory has problematized the dominant narrative of European, western male rights.

The vitality of human rights in turbulent times

By: Gráinne de Burca

If attention is directed towards the dynamism of social movements and human rights activism around the world, a different set of views of the cathedral emerges.

How the pandemic affects women’s rights in Uruguay

By: Romina Gallardo Duarte

Under the guise of containing the pandemic, government-sanctioned violations of women’s rights in maternal care may quickly become the norm.

Reflections from a human rights clinic in the midst of Covid-19

By: Koldo Casla

Essex’s HRC Clinic had to adapt to a challenging scenario under COVID-19, with physical distancing rules and human interaction exclusively online.

The forgotten Islamic human rights document

By: Nora Noralla
Español | العربية

It is important to look at the CDHR as a symbolic document rather than a human rights instrument.

Three ways to change our “digital future”

By: Bibbi Abruzzini & Sanaâ Nadir & Yohan Cambet
Español | Français | Italiano

The digital world needs to be shared with and understood by the public in order to define together what our “collective digital rights” are.

Breaking binaries and intergenerational reciprocity

By: Marisa Viana & Ruby Johnson
Español | Français | Português

How can we truly value the experiences and perspectives of all generations that are so needed to forge our collective liberation?

How the global human rights community can further push drug policy reform

By: Ricky Gunawan

After a recent study revealed that drug law enforcement often targets poor people and vulnerable groups, the UN Working Group calls for the decriminalization of ...

The ban on the practice of ‘curing queer sexuality’ in India

By: Sarthak Gupta

Although the Mental Health Care Act can be invoked to provide limited protective measures to the LGBTQIA+ community, a separate law is essential to entirely eradicate ...

Who will defend the defenders in Turkey?

By: Netherlands Helsinki Committee
Español | Türkçe

In today’s Turkey, lawyers themselves are being targeted—just for practicing their profession in accordance with the law.

More than lack of capacity: active impunity in Mexico

By: Patricia Cruz Marín & James Cavallaro & Alejandro Anaya Muñoz

Impunity in Mexico is not accidental, random, or involuntary. Instead, impunity results from a chain of actions taken with the express purpose of undermining investigations.

Particular universals: human rights depend on identity politics

By: Amyn B. Sajoo

Romanticizing the universal at the expense of local, subjective truths fails to account for how we arrive at global rights in the first place.

Sustaining grassroots activism through COVID-19 and beyond

By: David Mattingly

Here’s what the Fund for Global Human Rights learned from its second COVID-19 impact survey—and how the funding community can better support the crucial work that ...

New regime, new patriarchy: the İstanbul Convention at stake

By: Simten Coşar
Türkçe | Español

The withdrawal decision is the most recent step on the part of the ruling circles in their policy practices against gender equality, mostly based on Islamic moralistic ...

The inflated cost of defending human rights

By: Meredith Veit
Español | Français | Português | हिन्दी | Русский

The impact of lockdowns has been costly in more ways than one.

A cautionary lesson from Italy: commercializing healthcare can kill

By: Rosa Pavanelli & Rossella De Falco
Español | Italiano

At the latest G20 Global Health Summit, global health leaders seemed to have forgotten one of the most costly lessons of the pandemic.

A call to the human rights movement for going broader and refining the interdisciplinary tools to push for dignity

By: Viviana Krsticevic

Increasing the breadth of actors involved in the common platform of fundamental rights ideals would strengthen the human rights movement’s ability to hold its ground ...

Why the world should follow Scotland’s embrace of a human-rights based approach

By: Slava Balan & John Packer
Español | Français | Русский | العربية

The Scottish report stands out for being forward-looking, distinguishing it from piecemeal and reactive approaches found amongst “advanced” democracies and countries ...

Boycotting the Olympic Games is not enough

By: Barbara Keys
Français | Español | العربية

The history of human rights efforts around the Games is mostly a history of failure.

The urgency of combating stigmatization and criminalization of human rights defenders

By: Meredith Veit
Español | Português | हिन्दी | Français | Русский

We should continue to advocate for imprisoned HRDs whose rights have been most restricted, as well as focus on preventative protection to ensure that their conditions ...

Adapting tech tools for human rights monitoring: lessons from Burundi

By: Vincent Ploton & Connie Moon Sehat
Español | Français

Tech tools can provide great opportunities and challenges to document human rights violations, notably in contexts of acute crisis.

We should be teaching for human rights, not teaching about human rights: a response to Agostini

By: Claudio Schuftan

Agostini neither offers a solution to what human rights defenders are supposed to do differently nor does he offer examples of how identity-based movements undermine ...

Rethinking past and future justice

By: Zinaida Miller

“We should certainly pursue bigger truths and more robust histories, better accounts of the reproduction of injustice, and better remedies for it.”

Risking your life for human rights during a pandemic

By: Meredith Veit
Español | Français | हिन्दी | Português | Русский

Limitations on fundamental freedoms have been purposely and disproportionately used against activists who have refused to put their work on pause.

Social rights constitutionalism in interwar Ireland: for a people’s history

By: Thomas Murray
Español | Français | العربية

Interwar Ireland offers a rich case-study of popular movements contesting economic and social rights ‘from below.’

What the French Revolution can tell us about the history of social rights

By: Charles Walton
Español | العربية | Français

Achieving a consensus on the terms of social obligation in a society based on equality is both complex and extremely important.

Human rights open frontier: resistance and resilience

By: Ruti Teitel

How much does the experience with humanitarian intervention account for the questioning of human rights, and to what extent is this experience central to cutting ...

Future’s past: in search of human rights histories

By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Español | Français | العربية

A new series explores different approaches to the temporalities of human rights history and how this relates to their past, present, and future

Why internet freedom should be at the top of the global democracy agenda

By: Shames Abdelwahab & Mallory Knodel

The internet freedom community is best placed to navigate the balance between cybersecurity and cyber sovereignty, but it needs support from democratic countries ...

Taking climate duties seriously for the protection of the Amazon rainforest: strategic legal choices, science, and human rights

By: Délton Winter de Carvalho
Español | Português

This lawsuit not only builds on undisputed constitutional rights, but also argues for a fundamental right to climate stability.

Sexual violence against males gains interest as an international security threat

By: Cristian Ramos Miranda

Acknowledging men and boys as victims and survivors after decades of neglect and skepticism, proves that the Council is increasingly taking the security implications ...

Memory and human rights from the voices of women in Argentina

By: Mariana Rulli & Lucía Zanfardini

On the 45th anniversary of the beginning of the last civic-military dictatorship in Argentina, this project aims to recover the voices of woman that had been previously ...

What do we really talk about when we talk about human rights?

By: James Silk

The greatest value of international human rights law has been as a language for people, communities, and social movements to use to demand respect for their human ...

Secrecy, brand vaccines, and non-cooperation in the access to COVID in Latin America

By: Tatiana Andia Rey

If we add the usual policy of transnational pharmaceutical companies to the usual policy of how developed countries operate, we begin to see why regions like Latin ...

Mobilizing international human rights to challenge coronavirus vaccine apartheid

By: Jackie Dugard & Jeff Handmaker & Bruce Porter

Beyond the looming humanitarian and moral catastrophe of COVID-19, lie opportunities for mobilizing international human rights law to compel states to take action, ...

Vaccine apartheid: global inequities in Covid-19 vaccine production and distribution

By: Jayati Ghosh

An ‘every-country-for-itself’ approach is irrational and even counterproductive, yet that is exactly what has happened.

Human rights responses against vaccine apartheid

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

In this OGR Up Close, a series of distinguished authors go beyond denouncing the vaccine apartheid. They advocate solutions that address the current health emergency ...

The excesses of identity-based activism undermine human rights

By: Nicolas Agostini
Español | Français

How an overemphasis on subjectivity and lived experience in activism leads to expanding the scope of restrictions and ultimately threatening universal rights

Against nihilism: transformative human rights praxis for the future of global health

By: Alicia Ely Yamin & Paul Farmer

If we recognize that global health has colonial origins, we must also acknowledge that it remains deeply embedded in, and shaped by, interlocking systems of power.

Litigating the future: climate rights before the German Constitutional Court

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

Human rights analysts and practitioners will recognize in the decision of the German Court an important turn in the evolution of rights.

British U-turn on torture shows how human rights advocacy can work

By: Frank Foley

The UK looked set to undermine the international prohibition against torture, but relentless campaigning and shaming forced a change.

Washing off the Trump Stink: reclaiming human rights in the United States

By: Kurt Mills & Rodger A. Payne

Once immediate policies have minimized Trump Stink, what are the implications for the US’ long-term identity?

What the IMF and neoliberals can learn from human rights

By: Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky  & Francisco Cantamutto

Human rights have the power and mandate to challenge the orthodox economic policies that the IMF promotes.

Why foresight should be in the DNA of the social change field

By: OGR Admin

An OGR and JustLabs Guide on futures thinking

Critical legal empowerment for human rights

By: Meg Satterthwaite

Human rights advocates should become reliable partners to movements led by the communities experiencing grave rights deprivations.

Human rights have lost their monopoly as a framework for reform

By: Samuel Moyn

"If human rights are in crisis, it is not because of some problem in their normative content."

The urgent need for a new agenda of change in international human rights law

By: David Kaye

Human rights law needs to evolve in order to meet the challenges and reconceptualized international law and institutions of this moment.

Inaction on ecological contamination finds a market

By: Tarini Manchanda

“We want to live safe lives, and this is how we want to live. We don’t just care for ourselves, we care for the animals.”

European plans to regulate internet will have major impacts on civic space at home and abroad

By: Iverna McGowan
Español | Français | Deutsch

Without inbuilt protections, the European Union's new law billed as a new constitution for the internet could inadvertently empower governments set on shrinking ...

Human rights principles, treaties and mental health: a case study of Greece

By: Jonas Bull & Sacha Feierabend
العربية | Español | Deutsch | Français

How can human rights inform our understanding of mental health support services?

A step towards justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka?

By: Vivetha Thambinathan & Thevya Balendran

The UNHRC should explore and employ a wide range of tools and mechanisms to address human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Public procurement as a tool to realize gender equality

By: Daniel Morris

We need to collect more and better data and explore how gender equality is engaged at different stages of the procurement cycle.

Welfare caps: how the UK and Serbia became outliers in restricting child support

By: Imogen Richmond-Bishop & Danilo Curcic

The limits placed on child benefits in Serbia and the UK have a similarly destructive impact on household incomes and children’s well-being.

Protecting the many left behind: social security policies in Africa

By: Hans-Otto Sano

The politicization of social protection provides opportunities to place it more firmly in the public sphere of government responsibilities, but it also poses challenges ...

The long struggle of Turkish women to survive

By: Baris Cayli Messina

In the late Ottoman Empire, women organized protests and fought for equality. Now they are fighting to survive in Turkey.

From legal empowerment to citizen empowerment in Chile: advancing human rights through action research in a dynamic context

By: Lisa Hilbink & Valentina Salas

Advancing human rights via a people-centered approach requires that researchers be sensitive and responsive to inevitable, and often unpredictable, challenges.

Of crystal balls, pandemics, and resilience: why foresight should be in the DNA of the social change field

By: Krizna Gomez

"Is it not quite odd that for a field dedicated to 'social change,' we often do not engineer change but usually just adapt to it?"

Three challenges for the human rights movement

By: Naomi Roht-Arriaza

Rethinking the human rights movement's approach to state-centrism, institutionalism, proceduralism might lead to a reinvigorated human rights project more able ...

Human rights populism

By: Frédéric Mégret

What happens to human rights when populists invoke its language?

When is human rights part of the problem?

By: Vasuki Nesiah

The rule about the state of emergencies and the strategies we deploy to defend human rights

Human rights or a different register: taking seriously other emancipatory discourses

By: Karen Engle

The challenge for the human rights movement is to take seriously potential conflicts with other emancipatory struggles.

When your oven breaks: new recipes from virtual workshops

By: Ishtar Lakhani & Lucas Paulson
Español | Français

Online spaces offer new opportunities to support creative experimentation in human rights work—but taking them seriously doesn’t have to mean being too serious.

The international human rights imaginary and the international human rights movement

By: Laurel E. Fletcher

International groups should challenge themselves to invent new practice forms that disrupt old patterns that re-instantiate North-South power binaries.

Collaborative research in the midst of crisis: an observatory on disappearance and impunity in Mexico

By: Karina Ansolabehere

How The Minnesota Model helped this organization understand its own identity and role in advocating for Mexico's disappeared or missing persons.

Centering cooperation to advance freedom of religion or belief on international human rights law

By: Mine Yildirim
Español | العربية

Efforts to advance the rights of freedom of religion or belief must be centered on international human rights law and connected to international human rights protection ...

Finding meaning in organizational reflection

By: Sean Luna McAdams
Español | Français

If true reflection is a process and a habit then we, human rights practitioners and funders, need to focus less on the output (a written report) and more on the ...

Syrians disagree on how to pursue justice: So what’s next?

By: Jamie D. Wise
Español | العربية

To effectively promote lasting peace, responses to the violence in Syria must account for incompatible—and even irreconcilable—demands for justice.

Building sustainable revenue in community-based organizations: case studies from legal empowerment organizations

By: Matthew Burnett & Connor Smith

Here are several social enterprise models that legal empowerment organizations have experimented with and that align with the values and work of many frontline ...

Five existential challenges to human rights

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

A look at the key geopolitical, ecological, technological and socio-economic challenges to human rights.

Building sustainable revenue in community-based organizations: lessons from the legal empowerment field

By: Matthew Burnett & Connor Smith

The Open Society Foundation shares key lessons from its work supporting organizations that are experimenting with earned income models.

After Trump, self-reflection is vital for the human rights community

By: Nicolas Agostini

If the human rights community wants to maintain relevance and credibility, it needs to introspect.

Gender and war: rethinking harmful research practices in 2021

By: María Daniela D. Villamil

A Colombian lawyer and professor reflects on how research can serve as a complement to peacebuilding, but also as a catalyst for further conflict and trauma.

America’s re-engagement with the Human Rights Council: remember Resolution 43/1

By: Peter Splinter

How the USA deals with the process launched with resolution 43/1 will speak volumes about how it intends to engage with the Human Rights Council.

How NGOs in the Global South are developing strategies for protecting asylum-seekers at a time of human rights retrenchment

By: Stephen Meili

At a time when many refugee-receiving nations have ignored their international obligation to protect those fleeing persecution, constitutionalized human rights ...

History, art, and experiential learning as a platform for human rights education and advocacy in the United States and Hungary

By: Michael Winikoff & Eszter Kirs

The Minnesota Model calls on human rights practitioners to build community across national borders and challenge assumptions based on disciplinary knowledge.

Partnering with organizations in an international context: lessons from NGO workers in East Africa

By: Colette Salemi & Ragui Assaad

Academic institutions must be intentional about designing collaborative projects and fostering institutional knowledge on how to find and keep partners.

Adverse possession & the right to housing: a rights based approach

By: Shivani Danielle Jacelon

The idea of dignity and security as being fundamental components of the right to housing overlaps with the doctrine of adverse possession.

Women human rights defenders lead in the collective protection to defend life and territory

By: Aura Lolita Chávez Ixcaquic & Marusia López Cruz & Laura Carlsen

"To confront attacks on women and land simultaneously, we have had to learn to tackle discrimination and dismantle unequal power relations in all spheres at once."

“We are jimcrowed:” Marcus Garvey and the 1920 Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World

By: Steven L. B. Jensen

The story of the 1920 Declaration can help us rebalance how we approach human rights history and make it more representative in terms of substance and agency.

How can a survivor-centered approach address sexual violence?

By: Eseohe Ojo & Ravina Anand & Israa Noureddine

The evidence-based approach of listening to and centering survivors can help to address various forms of violence—from those affected by COVID-19 to those experiencing ...

To maximize donations, emphasize needs, not rights

By: Katerina Linos & Laura Jakli & Melissa Carlson

While many NGOs emphasize human rights in their appeals to raise money, new research shows that it is much more effective to emphasize basic needs.

The Coming Good Society: Why new realities demand new rights

By: William F. Schulz & Sushma Raman

Rights must adapt to new realities or risk becoming irrelevant.

The Right Family: The personal is geopolitical

By: Rita Abrahamsen

With the new U.S. administration, the Geneva Consensus Declaration might lose a supporter in this anti-feminist coalition that wants to preserve the traditional ...

Blasphemy laws and human rights: a match made in hell

By: Marie Juul Petersen 

There are few indications that blasphemy laws are effective in hindering discrimination, conflict, and violence; in fact, the opposite may very well be the case.

From hardship to hope: women migrant workers in the Indian ready-made garment industry

By: Archana Shukla Mukherjee & PV Narayanan

In order to provide women migrant workers with a life of dignity, security, and a sense of recognition at their workplaces, the three primary stakeholders of the ...

Stopping the abuse in your produce basket

By: Amanda Borquaye

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, governments and consumers have the opportunity to rethink how we look at the human costs that sustain our grocery shopping.

Tainted Stones: Sandstone produced by bonded labor and child labor makes its way into the United States

By: Waris Husain & Sonali Dhawan

Effective efforts to combat bonded and child labor in the Indian sandstone supply chain will require a nuanced approach to establish the right incentives to enforce ...

From Barbuda to the World: Love (and Peace and Happiness) in the Time of Climate Emergency

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito & Elizabeth Donger

Barbuda is a microcosm of larger trends and issues from climate-induced displacement and disaster capitalism, to the greenwashing of policies that undermine climate ...

Why women’s right to health and gender equality should be your business

By: Layanna Martin & Neel Gammelgård

In order to address existing inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic, companies should make a serious effort in reducing the gender pay gap, upholding maternity ...

Coming to grips with populism after Trump

By: Gerald L. Neuman

Returning to the rule of law and fortifying democracy in the U.S. will best be accomplished by reemphasizing the country’s own democratic and egalitarian values, ...

Whose gender is it? Progressive versus regressive line-drawing in advocacy work

By: Lara Stemple

Exclusionary strategies that police the boundaries of terms like “gender” contradict the equality norms upon which human rights are based.

Recent developments in the UN Human Rights Council offer new opportunities to combat racism and police brutality

By: Peter Splinter

Time will tell whether Resolution 43/1 will dispose Human Rights Council membership to address situations of gross and systematic violations in other countries ...

Public health prevention should be at the center of global health action

By: Andrés Constantin & Belén Rios

Human rights are essential to respond to the rise of diet-related noncommunicable diseases because a human rights-based response has proven to be effective in achieving ...

Public Education as Reparative Justice in two Settler Colonial Contexts

By: Alejando Baer & George Dalbo & Jillian LaBranche

This project seeks to identify opportunities and challenges for educators committed to social justice and healing to critically examine their practices and engage ...

The Minnesota Model for human rights: improving both scholarship and practice

By: Barbara Frey & Fionnuala Ní Aoláin & Joachim Savelsberg & Jessica Stanton

Long-term partnerships between academics and practitioners can build knowledge that both protects and advances human rights.

What are the implications of International Human Rights NGOs moving to the South?

By: Ravindran Daniel

The closure of Amnesty International’s India office raises questions about AI's global strategy and the democratization of the global human rights movement.

What can intersectional approaches reveal about experiences of violence?

By: Dolores Trevizo

Intersectional methods illuminate the variation in human suffering—with gender only one of several factors shaping experiences with violence.

Forget cosmopolitanism: the future of human rights is local

By: Michael Goodhart

It’s time to forget cosmopolitanism: it’s flawed and it impedes clearheaded analysis of human rights backlash.

Making the [In]Visible Powerful: Leveraging Climate Visuals in Courts

By: Kelly Matheson

As visual evidence galvanizes movements around the world and provides irrefutable evidence, climate litigators have an opportunity to leverage phone, drone, and ...

Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights

By: David Forsythe

In Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s report on inalienable human rights, it is unclear why freedom of religion and property rights should be elevated over other ...

Realising the promise of SDG 16 to promote and protect civic space

By: Deirdre de Burca

There is an urgent need for the international community to extend the scope of the SDG 16 civic space indicators that promote and protect civic space.

The #PayUp Campaign is intensifying, but don’t forget the women workers leading the movement

By: Mayisha Begum

By neglecting the importance of women workers in the Global South as central to systemic change, we risk sustaining a movement focused on the ideals of Northern ...

“Sitting with the Grief of Survivors”: embracing collegiality in human rights scholarship

By: Laura T. Murphy

When human rights scholars engage survivors as colleagues, we avoid traps of voyeurism and engage with them not just for evidence of their oppression, but for their ...

To prevent violence against women, we must move away from victim-based responses

By: Chay Brown

Bottom-up, participatory processes can harness place-based expertise and fundamentally shift the way we respond to violence against women.

What will it take to overcome the politics of demonization?

By: David Griffiths

Organizations like Amnesty International must be willing to embrace solidarity and community organizing to overcome the politics of demonization.

Focusing on “identity” can essentialize rather than liberate people

By: Pablo Abitbol

By centering resistances on ​​identity, we might unknowingly reproduce the discourses that essentialize it.

Advancing sexual and reproductive rights in “scofflaw” countries

By: Ali Miller & Ann Sarnak

Using human rights covertly can identify harms otherwise difficult to attribute to root causes—especially in “scofflaw” countries.

Everyday Cosmopolitanism: clinging to the faith of common humanity

By: Hussein Banai

The process of dialogue, reciprocity, and continual struggle in everyday cosmopolitanism is precisely what positions human rights as an effective bulwark against ...

Paternal ignorance in human rights devalues knowledge of marginalized populations

By: William Paul Simmons

In the paternal drive to offer aid, victims and their knowledge are viewed as inferior, but rights activists need to admit their ignorance and question their positionality.

The limits and the promise of trans rights as human rights claims

By: Avery R. Everhart

How can human rights push back against regressive global trends in trans rights and sexual and reproductive rights?

The “homocolonialist” test for global LGBTQ+ & SOGIE rights strategies

By: Momin Rahman

There is a major pitfall in assuming that other countries simply need to “catch up” through an expansion of SOGIE rights frameworks.

When states obscure illegal imprisonments, what is the role of human rights actors?

By: Christoph Steinert

When political prisoners are locked up by states as “terrorists”, how can human rights activists overcome such systematic attempts to deny political motives?

Relationship-based cosmopolitanism is key to meaningful but messy rights protections

By: Kristi Heather Kenyon
Setswana | Zulu

In practice, no one enjoys “international human rights.” In each of our lives, all rights are local and personal.

Sex, sexuality, and sexual and reproductive health: the role of human rights

By: Kate Gilmore & Rajat Khosla

The interplay between sexuality, sex, sexual and reproductive health and human rights is not a mere question of biology, but of palpable matters of power, politics, ...

Learning from COVID-19: Advancing Health and Human Rights in Cities

By: Jackie Smith

It is now clearer than ever that the protection of global health requires universal recognition of everyone’s basic human rights.

Mobilizing empathy for a truly cosmopolitan human rights

By: Shareen Hertel

If it was difficult to show the interconnections among people and rights before the onset of COVID-19, we have an opportunity to do so now.

The forgotten origins of “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”

By: Lisa Levenstein

Without the ingenuity of feminists from the Global South and networks of committed activists on every continent, we would never have heard the phrase: “Women’s ...

What Kind of Support Do Human Rights Activists Need During COVID-19?

By: David Mattingly

Funders should trust and imitate their frontline partners’ ability to assess their communities’ greatest needs and offer the flexibility to pivot amid a crisis.

Can the African regional human rights system preserve ESC rights in a pandemic?

By: Stanley Ibe

Many states still fail to realize that protecting the rights of the poor will ultimately make addressing a pandemic—and other global crises—easier.

Cosmopolitanism’s abstraction can blind us to damaging hierarchies of humanity

By: Joe Hoover

Appeals to humanity and the pronouncement of universal standards are empty (or worse) if they don’t begin with the difficult work of identifying and dismantling ...

Digital activism: empowering women, creating change and demanding human rights

By: Sunita Toor

Movements like #MeToo demonstrate the power of solidarity and collective digital action, but they also reveal that feminist activism is not a monolithic movement ...

Under attack from all sides, where does feminism go next?

By: Pardis Mahdavi

In the US, feminism is under attack from the right, the left, and from within—causing American feminists a “triple bind”.

Human rights education and career opportunities for scientists could foster systemic change

By: Theresa Harris

Building a pipeline for human rights practitioners and scientists who want to work at the intersections of their fields would create opportunities for systemic ...

Pandemic patriarchy: regulation, access, and governance in reproductive rights

By: Alison Brysk & Miguel Fuentes Carreno

Structural inequalities in women’s rights are exacerbated by the pandemic and leave poor and racialized women most vulnerable to the denial of reproductive rights.

Cosmopolitan human rights and local transformations: in tension or in tandem?

By: LaDawn Haglund

The essentializing of “urban inhabitants” as somehow sharing a destiny ignores inequalities among inhabitants that may require more fundamental restructuring to ...

Innovation Labs and the future of human rights practice

By: Charity Ryerson
Español | العربية

For the majority of the world that lacks significant economic and political power, there is an urgent need to increase our capacity to innovate.

Between progress and backlash: protecting sexual rights and reproductive rights

By: Sofia Gruskin
Español | 简体中文

What value do human rights have for advancing protections related to sexuality in the current moment?

Rethinking multidisciplinarity within human rights education

By: Sarita Cargas & Kristina Eberbach

Through solid human rights education, academia can realize its potential to contribute to meaningful social change.

Cosmopolitanism and lived realities: beyond global-local binaries

By: Anthony Tirado Chase & Gaea Morales

False binaries of communities as local versus cosmopolitan are misleading and make as little sense as limiting activists’ choices to using either local or global ...

Educating the next generation of human rights practitioners

By: Shelley Inglis

What is needed to prepare a new generation of human rights practitioners to respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow? What does a new human rights practitioner ...

Business impacts on trans rights demand attention and action

By: Nora Mardirossian

Trans people experience disproportionate rates of violence and socioeconomic exclusion, leading to poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity. What is the role ...

Protesting the preamble: the UN Security Council and the dilution of feminist activism

By: Gina Heathcote

Preambles to UNSC resolutions on women, peace, and security only serve to make feminist politics amenable to the larger militarised agenda of the Security Council.

The quest for butterfly climate judging 

By: Catalina Vallejo & Siri Gloppen

With climate litigation, seemingly minor interventions in the legal realm can have a butterfly effect and generate major social and cultural transformations.

Yes, women’s sexual and reproductive health should matter to the UN Security Council

By: Sara De Vido

The failure of the UNSC to explicitly guarantee women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health reinforces a patriarchal governance system that is inherently harmful ...

The efficacy of lockdowns for COVID-19: humanising the law of derogation

By: Nafees Ahmad

Derogation from human rights obligations may be permitted in a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, but where is the balance between safety and people’s rights?

Democratizing data is key for addressing inequalities during COVID-19

By: Francesca Feruglio & Maria Silvia Emanuelli & Imogen Richmond-Bishop & Brian Omala
Español | Français | العربية

Exclusion in data—which often reflects society’s values and biases about who and what counts—means exclusion in reality when it comes to crises and public policy.

A genuine human rights-based approach for our post-pandemic future

By: John Packer & Slava Balan
Español | Français | العربية | 简体中文 | Русский | فارسی | Limba Română | Português | Italiano

When many governments are still willing to trade the lives of the vulnerable for the economic gains of the wealthiest, we need a human rights-based approach to ...

Fossil fuel producers and the climate: responsibilities and opportunities

By: Richard Heede
العربية | Español

We can trace the majority of climate-altering emissions to individual fossil fuel companies that have the skills, resources, and moral obligation to help fix the ...

Cancelled, postponed, virtual: COVID-19’s impact on human rights oversight

By: Citlalli Ochoa & Lisa Reinsberg

Advocates’ access to human rights spaces has taken a hit with COVID-19, but this pandemic provides an opportunity to make human rights oversight more inclusive ...

Climate litigation against “Carbon Majors”: economic impacts

By: Joana Setzer

Is climate litigation against so-called “Carbon Majors” capable of changing behaviour and guiding climate change-responsive adjudication in the long term?

Creating a feminist alliance for trade justice

By: Aishu Balaji & Diyana Yahaya & Michelle R. Maziwisa

Trade liberalisation is incompatible with women’s human rights and gender equality when corporations exploit women’s cheap labour as a source of comparative advantage.

Lockdowns vs. religious freedom: COVID-19 is a trust building exercise

By: Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal & Liv H. Kvanvig
Русский | Bahasa

Governments must partner with faith leaders to battle COVID-19, creating an opportunity to build necessary trust and cooperation with wider parts of the population.

Why ideas and identity matter in climate change litigation

By: Lisa Vanhala

Existing research on climate change litigation ignores questions about who is mobilizing the law to address the climate crisis. But who isn’t turning to the courts ...

Climate litigation through an equality lens

By: James A. Goldston

Applying an equality lens to climate litigation is not just the right thing to do; it’s also more effective.

Climate science in rights-based advocacy contexts

By: Michael Burger & Jessica Wentz & Daniel Metzger

The science showing causal links between climate change, country emissions, and individual harms is a critical component in human rights litigation on climate change.

The farmer or the hero litigator? Modes of climate litigation in the global South

By: Jolene Lin & Jacqueline Peel

Climate litigation shows that the global South experience is a rich and powerful one that offers many opportunities for multi-directional learning.

Thinking strategically about climate litigation

By: Ben Batros & Tessa Khan

Climate litigators can learn from human rights actors on how and when to use litigation strategically to create systemic change.

Climate litigation and human rights: averting the next global crisis

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

OGR's newest series explores a rising wave of lawsuits that is laying bare the profound impacts that a warming planet has on basic human rights and future generations.

Coronavirus and the right to online political participation

By: Sam Bocetta

Making access to the internet a human right can address inequalities in access to public discourse, especially where free speech is limited.

Government responses to COVID-19 are exacerbating gender-based violence

By: Muthoni Muriithi
Español | Français

Government-mandated lockdowns are trapping millions of women and girls with their abusers, isolating them from support networks.

Will COVID-19 increase religious hostilities and discrimination?

By: Marie Juul Petersen  & Claire Thomas & Sajjad Hassan
Español | العربية

COVID-19 and its impacts may hit some religious minorities disproportionately hard, exacerbating economic inequalities, social hostilities and discrimination.

What does protection from persecution look like during a pandemic?

By: Kathryn Hampton
Español | Français

Policy decisions to exclude asylum seekers due to the pandemic are neither predetermined nor inevitable: we have a choice.

COVID-19 exposes why access to the internet is a human right

By: Jack J. Barry
Español | Français

COVID-19 has exposed the underlying reality that not everyone has internet at home.

Time for a rights-based global economic stimulus to tackle COVID-19

By: Ignacio Saiz
Español | Français

During this pandemic, economic rescue packages—nationally and globally—must protect the socioeconomic rights of those most at risk.

To face COVID-19, the human rights community must first protect its own workers

By: Lysa John
Español | Français

The COVID-19 crisis should be a wake-up call to civil society to strengthen the social protection measures in our own industry.

In a pandemic, be a positive disruptor and not an ambulance chaser

By: Anjli Parrin & Gulika Reddy
Español | Français

In moments of crisis, it is critical that social justice advocates remain focused on ethical and transformative advocacy, not reactive short-term change.

Post-pandemic futures, hope, and human rights

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito
Español | Français | العربية

If human rights actors are to help shape the post-pandemic world, they need to start imagining it now.

Post-pandemic collective action for health rights and social justice is essential

By: Alicia Ely Yamin
Español | Français | Limba Română

The pandemic shows the need for post-crisis collective action, and rising to the task will be essential if we are to realize a new global economic order—with human ...

Can an online platform increase state accountability on women’s rights?

By: Ramona Vijeyarasa
Español | Français | العربية

Quantitative approaches such as the Gender Legislative Index offer advantages compared to using resource-intensive qualitative approaches alone.

Systemic bias in data models is a human rights issue

By: Isabel Laura Ebert & Thorsten Busch
Español | Français

The tech industry must engage with those affected by data errors and embedded discrimination to avoid systemic bias in data models.

How can human rights impact assessments contribute to responsible business conduct?

By: Nora Götzmann
Español | Français

It's time to ask important questions about the integrity of human rights impact assessments and their application.

Solidarity key to post COVID-19 response

By: Obiora C. Okafor
Español | Français

Realizing the vision embodied by human rights requires bolder measures and commitments to international solidarity than the world has so far witnessed.

The Barcelona Guidelines: supporting human rights defenders in temporary relocation

By: Martin Jones & Alice M. Nah & Tessa de Ryck
Español | Français | العربية

For human rights defenders in crisis, temporary relocation can save lives. But new guidelines highlight that the wellbeing and mental health of these defenders ...

We need privacy and data laws to tackle this world pandemic

By: Beatriz Botero Arcila
Español | 简体中文 | Limba Română

Governments are increasingly using digital technologies and big data analytics to address the Covid-19 pandemic. These technologies can’t replace other comprehensive ...

Who will defend the rule of law, if not Amnesty?

By: Sonya Sceats
Español | Français

As Amnesty frames its goals in terms of confronting power and structural injustice, it risks weakening its defense of the rule of law—at precisely the moment when ...

New policies for a new crisis

By: Koldo Casla

Human rights activists don’t have all the answers to the pandemic, but they should focus on protecting the most vulnerable, and be alert to creeping authoritarianism.

Addressing the gender bias in artificial intelligence and automation

By: Surya Deva
Español | Français

If AI and automation are not developed and applied in a gender-responsive way, they are likely to reproduce and reinforce existing gender stereotypes and discriminatory ...

Global HIV/AIDS response, shows human rights is path to success against COVID-19

By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Español | Français

The global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic found success when it put human rights at the core of its efforts, a lesson of key importance to our present and future ...

It’s time for human rights NGOs to challenge systems, not symptoms

By: Sherif Elsayed-Ali

To win support, human rights NGOs must challenge systems, not symptoms, step up their work on ESR, and provide practical solutions to the problems they expose.

When law meets tech: moving toward rights-based AI

By: Vanja Skoric

To address the rights implications of AI, legal and human rights professionals must develop broader knowledge-building networks and increase collaboration across ...

Global Rule of Law Index reveals worrying trends for human rights protection

By: Elizabeth Andersen & Alicia Evangelides

The rule of law is the foundation for human rights, and a global index shows respect for this fundamental principle is declining worldwide—a persistent trend evident ...

Is UN Secretary-General António Guterres committed to human rights?

By: Marc Limon

Much of the criticism of UN SG Guterres for his “silence” on human rights is misplaced—he is rather making a good faith effort, alongside High Commissioner Bachelet, ...

Human rights victims’ complaints to UN not treated effectively

By: Alexandre Skander Galand & Başak Çalı
Español | Français

UN human rights treaties allow individuals to launch complaints when their rights are violated—but the system for dealing with them needs urgent reform.

Landmark judgment from the Netherlands on digital welfare states and human rights

By: Christiaan van Veen
Español | Français

A landmark judgement in the Netherlands shows how technology used by governments to stop welfare fraud and improve “efficiency” may be leading to unjustified exclusion, ...

Rights and responsibilities in the Coronavirus pandemic

By: Kathryn Sikkink
Español | Português | Limba Română

To protect our collective right to health in the current pandemic situation, we need to balance our individual rights with collective responsibilities.

Rising household debt: curse or blessing for human rights?

By: Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky 

Bad social policies and predatory bank practices are forcing larger numbers of people into personal debt, with serious consequences for key human rights and overall ...

How can the human rights community respond to severe political polarization?

By: James Logan
Español | Français

Severe political polarization is tearing at the seams of democracies around the world, with dangerous consequences for our societies, institutions, and human rights.

Communicating Women’s Rights with a hope-based approach

By: Camila Chaudron

For those of us who care about the rights of women around the world, International Women’s Day can feel like empty lip service. But there is an approach that can ...

Seeing business and human rights as a web of corporate accountability

By: Joanne Bauer

A “web of corporate accountability” illustrates the multiple ways in which actors can hold corporations to account for human rights harms—and the leeway that remains ...

Facebook’s new recipe: too much optimism, not enough human rights

By: Stefania Di Stefano
Español | Français | Italiano

Because social media platforms dominate public forums worldwide, a governance system rooted in “social values” instead of human rights may be convenient for companies, ...

Improving domestic compliance with UN treaty body decisions

By: Irina Criveț
Español | Türkçe

Many victims are denied access to international justice because states do not act in a timely manner, but reforming the treaty body follow-up process could help.

Making the case for a more joyful approach to human rights

By: William Paul Simmons
Español | Français

Joy is essential to understanding the struggle for human rights, and recognizing this can articulate a more positive notion of human rights.

Putting human rights at the centre of struggles for health and social equality

By: Alicia Ely Yamin

We’ve made progress on economic and social rights, but the human rights community needs new, much more collaborative strategies to challenge the inequalities underlying ...

Human rights “inflation”—what’s the problem?

By: David Petrasek
Español | Français | العربية

Instead of talking about “rights inflation”, we should understand what we are witnessing are new interpretations that respond to new struggles for human dignity.

The UN Human Development Report must go farther on inequality

By: Steven L. B. Jensen

In order for human rights and development to be mutually reinforcing, the connection between the two must be made as explicit as possible.

Can mapping human rights help in the global fight for equality?

By: Ilia Savelev
Español | Français

Human rights mapping has been key to global advocacy for LGBT+ and can be used elsewhere to flag issues of concern and provide empirical data on rights violations.

What difference does the UN human rights treaty system make, and why?

By: Christof Heyns & Frans Viljoen
Español | Français

A new, global academic study to answer this question is launched in collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

For new narratives, human rights needs new forms of economic power

By: Alejandro Bautista
Español | Français

If compelling human rights narratives are not grounded in sustainable, replicable and scalable projects, it will be hard to outweigh the political and economic ...

The US can play a role in tackling global corporate abuse

By: Phil Bloomer & Alison Friedmann

The recent declaration of the US Business Roundtable on the purpose of a corporation is a seismic shift and is symbolic of the growing power of the movement to ...

Embattled instruction: Military compliance with human rights

By: Cosette D. Creamer & Tracey Blasenheim

A strategic partnership around military human rights between the University of Minnesota and the IIHL reveals the importance of interdisciplinarity and stakeholder ...

Social media complicates mainstream media goals of pluralism and diversity

By: Maria Luisa Stasi & Pierre François Docquir

Freedom of expression demands and facilitates the development of pluralistic media landscapes. But as more people get personalized news feeds from social media, ...

Counter-terrorism laws provide a smokescreen for civil society restrictions

By: Susan Wilding

States need to focus on strategies that actually work and expose governments that are dismantling democracy in the name of countering terrorism.

Can international human rights law be creatively deployed to expand its protections?

By: Raymond A. Smith

How can international human rights law be creatively deployed to expand protections to other characteristics related to severe and systematic rights violations?

Instead of shrinking space, let’s talk about humanity’s shared future

By: Thomas Coombes
Español | Français | العربية

To make the case for civil society, we have to talk less about the threats it faces and more about the values it stands for, how it contributes to society and show ...

What the “digital welfare state” really means for human rights

By: Philip Alston

The digitalization of welfare is presented as an altruistic and noble enterprise designed to ensure that citizens benefit from new technologies. In reality, it ...

Cross-border collaboration is key to protecting migrant rights

By: Regan Ralph

As hostile governments push nativist rhetoric and enact abusive policies, supporting the innovative work of grassroots activists is the best way for the human rights ...

Promoting freedom of religion or belief – key lessons

By: Marie Juul Petersen  & Katherine Marshall
Español | العربية

Freedom of religion or belief is rightly gaining more attention, but steps to promote this right need to be anchored in international standards, locally relevant ...

Putting human rights law at the core of debates on online political campaigning

By: Kate Jones
Español | Français

To date, it’s been left to the tech companies to set limits on online political campaigning. Governments need to step in and to use human rights law as a framework ...

Chile and a global revolution for dignity

By: Juan Francisco Lobo

The protests in Chile, and indeed worldwide, demonstrate a demand for human dignity, in all of its diverse conceptions.

The era of state mobilization is over: Welcome to the streets

By: Cate Brown

As civilian protesters take to the streets to demand their rights, human rights leaders consider a future of citizen-led activism.

Be the narrative: How embracing new narratives can revolutionize what it means to do human rights

By: Krizna Gomez & Thomas Coombes
Español | Français | العربية

An experimental, hands-on narrative change initiative shows how even small civil society organizations can wield pragmatic, activity-based narrative strategies ...

Inequality a prominent concern for UN human rights monitors

By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Español | Français

UN human rights bodies are highlighting inequality when making recommendations to states – showing that this issue should be seen and acted on as a central human ...

Global protests demand human rights actors tackle economic injustice

By: Ignacio Saiz
Español | العربية

Human rights advocates should be as concerned with the economic injustices giving rise to recent worldwide demonstrations as with the repressive responses to them.

The Committee System: 2020 and Beyond

By: Olivier de Frouville
Español | Français

The treaty body system has been in crisis for at least thirty years. Will the year 2020 bring change?

Is climate change worsening gender-based violence in the Pacific Islands?

By: Erin Thomas & Megan Lee Candolfi

In the Pacific Islands, gender inequality and gender-based violence are being exacerbated by climate change, including through natural disasters, migration, and ...

Following up—the key to seeing states act on treaty body recommendations

By: Marcia V. J. Kran

UN treaty bodies need to monitor and follow-up on the recommendations they make to states. Some have begun doing so in innovative ways, and more could be done.

Economic and social rights force us to pressure a return to the state

By: Katharine G. Young
Español | Français

Constitutional entrenchment is only part of the battle for recognition of economic and social rights, as many South African cases have made clear.

WhatsApp sues NSO Group: is this what it takes to hold surveillance tech to account?

By: Ana Zbona & Phil Bloomer

A lawsuit exposing the use of surveillance software to target human rights defenders shows the urgent need for better regulation.

Protecting children’s digital bodies through rights

By: Kristin Bergtora Sandvik
Español | العربية

Children are becoming the objects of a multitude of monitoring devices—what are the possible negative ramifications in low resource contexts and fragile settings?

UN inefficiencies undermine effective handling of individual petitions

By: Kamelia Kemileva

The UN treaty bodies receive thousands of individual complaints, but the secretariat that deals with them is ill-equipped to do so effectively.

Anti-capitalist human rights for the 21st Century

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito
العربية | Español

In addition to asking whether or not human rights reinforce the status quo, we should address the following question: can human rights contribute to imagining non-capitalist ...

UN treaty bodies advance LGBTI rights

By: Kseniya Kirichenko
Español | Русский

The UN treaty bodies are increasingly scrutinizing states’ treatment of LGBTI persons, and this is having positive local impact.

No more tinkering—real reform needed to UN human rights treaty monitoring

By: Navi Pillay
Español | Français

The human rights treaty bodies are central to human rights reform efforts, but are burdened by inefficiencies. The upcoming UN review offers a chance to make them ...

The lengthy journey towards a treaty on business and human rights

By: Maysa Zorob

A new version of the UN’s draft treaty on business and human rights strengthens its protection focus, but must go further to ensure effective access to justice ...

Employing the politics of solidarity against the rise of populism

By: Harsh Mander
Español | Français | العربية

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

The little tissue that couldn’t – the hymen’s role in determining sexual history or assault

By: Ranit Mishori & Karen Naimer & Thomas McHale
Español | Français

For such a small piece of tissue, the hymen has gained outsized status as the arbiter of virginity. But can it really do that?

Saving human rights

By: Hurst Hannum
Français | Español

Declining support for human rights is partly attributable to the expansion of the concept to cover all worthy causes, and to rights being seen as a solution to ...

Seeds of inequality: women in sustainable agriculture

By: Karine Belarmino & Marie Schaedel

Control over land management may be more important than mere legal entitlement when it comes to women’s land rights.

Protecting abortion providers requires effective strategies to prevent harassment

By: Ximena Casas Isaza
Español | Français

Abortion providers working in national contexts where the law is poorly understood and abortion is socially stigmatized face harassment by police, spurious charges, ...

From Human rights to sentient rights: the next generation of rights thinking

By: Jamie Woodhouse
Español | العربية

If we grant rights in order to reduce suffering, should we grant rights to everything that can suffer?

Can the Universal Periodic Review hold governments accountable on digital rights?

By: Flavia Fascendini
Español | Français

The Universal Periodic Review can highlight that online rights are an essential part of human rights and that everyone’s digital rights should be protected and ...

Intellectual property as a tool of empowerment

By: Sarah Yookyung Kim
Español | Français

When much broader communities can harness intellectual property rights, these shifts can contribute to reducing inequality and improving the standard of life for ...

Myths and realities of #MeToo: Young feminists in the global South speak out

By: Deepa Ranganathan

#MeToo ignited a conversation about sexual and gender-based violence, but young feminists in the global South have mixed feelings about the movement’s effectiveness.

Bringing human rights home: new strategies for local organizing

By: Jackie Smith & Joshua Cooper

Declining economic conditions in cities and communities around the world have inspired more people to organize locally to defend and promote our “right to the city.”

The human rights wars heat up

By: Eric Posner
Español | العربية

The new US Commission on Unalienable Rights will provide a conservative interpretation on human rights. It will find allies abroad, and this poses a risk to dominant, ...

Fiscal policy is key to achieving SDGs and avoiding “climate apartheid”

By: Philip Alston & Nikki Reisch

Delivering on the SDG’s promise to reduce economic inequality requires progressive taxation and effective enforcement to ensure wealthy businesses and individuals ...

What Putin’s supposed “death” of liberalism means for human rights

By: Koldo Casla

If Putin was right, and liberalism is dead, what would be the future of human rights in global politics?

Why do emerging AI guidelines emphasize “ethics” over human rights?

By: Alison Berthet

It’s clear that regulation of AI must start now, but why do emerging frameworks primarily talk about ethics rather than law and human rights?

UN human rights mechanisms proving effective SDGs monitor

By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Español | Français | العربية

The SDGs are mostly aligned with human rights objectives—to emphasize this, the UN human rights mechanisms are showing a willingness to hold states accountable ...

Giving with trust: how philanthropy can transform power relations

By: Ise Bosch & Claudia Bollwinkel
Español | Deutsch

Philanthropy can repeat oppressive patterns, or it can transform donor-recipient relations by giving decision-making power and trust along with money.

UN resolution acknowledges hidden victims of sexual violence in conflict—men and boys

By: Charu Lata Hogg

In addressing conflict-related sexual violence, the UN Security Council has urged prevention, protection and relief efforts address all survivors – women and girls, ...

Brain research suggests emphasizing human rights abuses may perpetuate them

By: Laura Ligouri
Español | Français | العربية

Capitalizing on the brain’s capacity to simulate events, messages of positive behavior – instead of repeated exposure to accounts of abuse – could better lead to ...

Bringing women’s voices into the “Smart City Just City” dialogue

By: Natalie Gill

Can urban planners use the technology in “Smart Cities” to create cities that are more just—and safe—for all?

Competition rules could protect human rights on social media platforms

By: Maria Luisa Stasi

Social media platforms are abusing their dominant position and exploiting users with terms of service that fail to protect their human rights. Competition rules ...

Incomplete information on emergency contraception drugs is risking women’s health

By: Leyla-Denisa Obreja

Amidst growing debate on women’s reproductive rights, worldwide policies allowing free access to emergency contraception as non-prescription drugs are putting women ...

Can protecting indigenous human rights also improve conservation efforts?

By: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Español | Français

Lands under secure indigenous tenure often have better conservation outcomes—can stronger protections around indigenous rights also protect the environment?

Hope counters hate in polarized and populist narratives

By: Rosie Carter

Giving people a sense of optimism about and control over their future is the best way to stop populist narratives from taking root.

New strategies help investors hold corporations accountable on human rights

By: Gabe Rissman

A sustainable business model could help human rights groups apply shareholder pressure to improve corporate human rights behavior.

Sex robots: a human rights discourse?

By: Carlotta Rigotti

What are the human rights implications in the growing market for sex robots? Are these AI “gynoids” just harmless sex toys, or do they further marginalize women ...

Rising restrictions on labour rights threaten the heart of social justice

By: Ana Zbona & Sanyu Awori
Español | Français

When space closes for labour rights defenders, the situation is far worse for those at the margins. Labour rights are human rights and must be protected.

Delinking the “human” from human rights: artificial intelligence and transhumanism

By: A. Kayum Ahmed
Español | isiXhosa

The development of artificial intelligence and transhumanism are challenging what it means to be human—and who (or what) constitutes the “human” in human rights.

Undemocratic civil society laws are appearing in democracies

By: Chrystie Swiney

The much-reported clampdown on civil society is not restricted to authoritarian states – restrictive laws on CSOs are spreading into many democratic states too

Silencing the drama - Do the SDG indicators expose the injustices that limit women’s sexual and reproductive lives?

By: Alicia Ely Yamin

The SDGs are a step forward for women’s equality and sexual and reproductive rights, but the indicators used to measure progress may prove problematic for rights ...

If nature has rights, who legitimately defends them?

By: Arpitha Kodiveri

Who speaks for nature’s rights? The question needs careful consideration, or we risk in protecting nature to further disenfranchise the already marginalized.

Litigating the right to a sustainable climate system

By: Jacqueline Peel & Hari M. Osofsky
Español | Français

As the climate crisis deepens, can litigation advancing a human right to a stable and sustainable climate system make a difference?

Rights as a response to ecological apocalypse

By: David R. Boyd
Français | العربية | Español

Recognizing the human right to live in a healthy environment, and the rights of nature itself, are both essential to securing humanity and the planet’s future.

Turning anger into positive energy for gender equality in sport

By: Maggie Murphy
Español | Français

Women footballers face discrimination, harassment, and funding challenges every day. But what is more powerful—listing all the problems, or using hope and optimism ...

Embodiment as resilience and resistance in human rights work

By: Loretta Pyles

Human rights violations harm people’s minds and their bodies, and addressing both can help to heal trauma and allow people to move forward in a more whole and empowered ...

The Gbagbo acquittal and the battle for the ICC’s legitimacy

By: Mark Kersten
Español | Français

The acquittal of Laurent Gbagbo by the ICC is seen by many as a blow to the Court’s legitimacy – but legitimacy is a measure of expectations and these vary widely ...

How civil society can work to improve our technological future

By: Lincoln Ajoku
Español | Français

Given the rapid pace of change in the development and uptake of digital and emerging technologies, civil society will need to evolve, and the World Economic Forum ...

Inaction on gender equality puts SDGs at risk

By: Marte Hellema & Hannie Meesters

If there is no fundamental and transformational change in how gender equality is addressed as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, the entire SDG agenda is ...

Failure to act: getting ahead of technological threats to democracy

By: Laura Rosenberger

Adversaries of democracy are deliberately targeting free speech, and democratic nations must get ahead of the technology curve in order to be proactive about these ...

Seizing opportunities and broad strategy both essential in human rights litigation

By: Wolfgang Kaleck
Español | Deutsch

To bring real human rights change, legal actions usually need to be linked to broader political strategies, but that doesn’t preclude seizing opportunities as they ...

Putting respect for human rights at the heart of sport

By: Mary Harvey
Español | Français | العربية

Sport can unite and inspire, but it can have negative impacts too—a new Centre is bringing together key stakeholders to address the human rights risks of sport.

Hybrid entities can bring for-profit strategies to NGO funding

By: Louis Bickford

Hybrid entities that mix for-profit and not-for-profit strategies have the potential to free NGOs from constantly seeking foundation funding.

Why the future of human rights must be hopeful

By: Thomas Coombes
Español | Français | العربية

For a human rights movement dedicated to exposing abuses, positive communication does not come naturally. But to make the case for human rights, we need to promise ...

UN Human Rights Committee brings new vitality to the right to life

By: Lucy McKernan & Bret Thiele

Through its expanding jurisprudence on the right to life, the UN Human Rights Committee has given advocates on economic and social rights a powerful new enforcement ...

The right to reparation: laudable goal or empty promise?

By: Bojan Gavrilovic

Human rights activists argue that victims of mass atrocities have a right to reparations, but the international community still struggles around how to fulfil this ...

New and inclusive measuring needed for SDG promise of access to justice for all

By: Sukti Dhital & Meg Satterthwaite
Español | Français

SDG 16 promises access to justice for all, but current plans for measuring progress are far too limited. There are opportunities in 2019 to change this.

Crucial year ahead to pursue access to justice for all

By: Elizabeth Andersen

Several key events in 2019 provide a real opportunity to progress on SDG 16—ensuring access to justice for all—and to do so in ways that tackle inequality too.

UN standard-setting continues apace

By: Gordon DiGiacomo

Work at the UN is progressing on several fronts to agree new human rights standards – the topics reflecting new global concerns. But the hard work of implementation ...

Blockchain technologies offer transparency that could improve human rights practices

By: Dean Pinkert & James Ton-that & Ravi Soopramanien
Español | Français

Blockchain solutions could help companies comply with human rights due diligence in more effective and efficient ways.

Beyond Internet access: seeking knowledge justice online

By: Kira Allmann & Anasuya Sengupta
Español | العربية

Most debates around the internet and human rights focus on narrowing the digital divide and facilitating freedom of expression. But a human rights-based approach ...

Litigating rights carries risks as well as rewards

By: Martín Abregú

Where possible, challenging authoritarian and illiberal regimes in court is an important tactic, but it should be done with full consideration to the potential ...

New year, new human rights narratives?

By: James Logan

Within the human rights community, there is a growing enthusiasm for new narratives to build public support for human rights. But creating a new narrative is about ...

Restricting cybersecurity, violating human rights: cybercrime laws in MENA region

By: Wafa Ben-Hassine & Dima Samaro
العربية | Français

Oppressive laws purporting to prevent cybercrime in the MENA region are robbing internet users of their basic human rights.

The right to design babies? Human rights and bioethics

By: Roberto Andorno & Alicia Ely Yamin

New developments in gene modifications make it more urgent than ever to raise societal awareness, and adopt appropriate measures to enforce existing international ...

Cities – a growing and necessary target for human rights advocacy

By: Annabel Short

Cities exercise power in many areas that touch on human rights, and growing urban inequalities mean advocates must focus more attention on municipal governments.

A tech solution to documenting sexual violence

By: Suzanne Kidenda & Katy Johnson
Español | Français

A simple app, developed in close co-operation with clinicians, police and other end-users, is making it easier to effectively document and prosecute sexual assault ...

Why policymakers need to tackle the digital gender gap

By: Ana Brandusescu

Tackling the digital gender gap means more than improving internet access—it means empowering women and girls to use online technology, preventing gender-based ...

How can AI amplify civic freedoms?

By: Zach Lampell & Lily Liu
العربية | 简体中文

Civil society must improve its knowledge and use of artificial intelligence in order to limit exploitation and protect and promote civic freedoms.

New business and human rights treaty takes shape

By: Maysa Zorob

The draft of a new business and human rights treaty is a good start, but needs to be strengthened to better protect victims and ensure their access to effective ...

Human and non-human rights – convergence or conflict?

By: David Petrasek
Español | Français | العربية

On the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, claims to recognize non-human rights are advancing and pose challenges to the anthropocentrism at the heart of the human rights ...

Caliban Unleashed: What role for strategic litigation in an illiberal era?

By: Alicia Ely Yamin

There are inherent limitations in litigating health rights, but it has led to important victories, and must remain a key strategy as populism surges.

Identities in the crosshairs—censoring LGBTQ internet content around the world

By: Miles Kenyon, Adam Senft and Ronald Deibert
Español | العربية

A Canadian company is enabling its software to be used globally to censor access to information on LGBTQ issues, in breach of international standards.

Strategic human rights litigation in tough times

By: Dimitrina Petrova
Español | Русский | 简体中文

There are many good reasons to pursue human rights claims in the courts, especially given the rise of illiberal regimes; not least, it is simply the right thing ...

The value of strategic litigation amidst rising illiberal democracies

By: James A. Goldston
Español | Français | العربية

In an increasingly authoritarian world, courts are among the few spaces where ordinary people can challenge power, voice dissent, and apply independent scrutiny.

The rights of nature gaining ground

By: Mari Margil
Español | Français

Nature has been treated in law as property, and exploited. But there is growing legal recognition that nature has rights, and affirming these is essential to both ...

Geospatial technology—done right—can improve human rights documentation

By: Theresa Harris
Español | العربية

With private corporations now the largest providers of satellite technology, human rights practitioners need to recognize the power—and the limits—of geospatial ...

Politics and pragmatism in human rights advocacy

By: Dustin Sharp
Español | Français

Critics of human rights legalism are right to call for more “pragmatism,” but this must be contextual, looking for advocacy hooks grounded in moral, political, ...

Power and safety: rethinking protection for human rights defenders

By: James Savage & Lisa VeneKlasen

The protection and resilience of Human Rights Defenders demands that we all better understand and navigate how power and violence operate in both public and private ...

Trust is essential in donor strategies with grassroots groups

By: Rona Peligal

Grassroots activism through social movements offers the best hope for meaningful change in the fight for equality and dignity, and donors need to build trust and ...

Alarm bells ring as EU governments target “political” NGOs

By: Cathal Gilbert & Giada Negri

Across the EU, several member states are preparing to cut funding to civil society organizations. In many cases, cuts are aimed at advocacy and human rights organizations ...

Values-based collective action helps resist the criminalization of compassion

By: Rachel Freed

Humanitarian workers giving aid to migrants are being threatened and in some cases imprisoned. But compassionate assistance for imperiled people in all settings ...

Understanding when and why countries adopt rights can improve activism

By: Yonatan Lupu

Constitutional provisions are critical to protecting human rights, but adopting some rights protections may be more likely if other protections are already in place. ...

What “datafication” means for the right to development

By: Anita Gurumurthy & Deepti Bharthur
Español | Français

Breakthroughs in technology—including artificial intelligence—can help fulfill the right to development, but digital technologies are not magic bullets; there is ...

Reimagining human rights as a frame of justice

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito

The future of human rights as a frame of justice depends on our capacity to create, detect, and foster bridges with other frames.

Could “hope and aspirations” end the vicious cycle of poverty?

By: Keetie Roelen

Non-invasive and non-punitive interventions that draw on positive emotions have promising potential to break the poverty cycle, but this approach risks ignoring ...

Mitigating unfair bias in artificial intelligence

By: Bernard Shen

Instead of choosing between humans-only systems and AI systems, leveraging the best of human values and ability as well as artificial intelligence promise greater ...

Battling exclusion: giving a voice to women affected by leprosy

By: Alice Cruz

Women affected by leprosy in India and beyond face high levels of discrimination and stigmatization, with virtually no legal recourse or social support—what can ...

Amnesty International’s new drug policy puts it on a slippery slope

By: Saul Takahashi 

Human rights arguments for decriminalizing drug use are often flawed, and in essence assert a right to use drugs that is nowhere to be found in international human ...

With nationalism rising, do global human rights still have mass appeal?

By: Joel R. Pruce

Caring about the rights of distant others was once fashionable but, as walls go up and societies retract, global citizen engagement may well be the next victim ...

Better data can counteract soft repression

By: Katrin Kinzelbach & Janika Spannagel
Español | Français

Changing the way we document human rights abuses—such as paying more attention to soft repression—could correct our understanding of what is really happening.

New human rights principles on artificial intelligence

By: Sherif Elsayed-Ali
Español | Français

A new set of principles—the Toronto Declaration—aims to put human rights front and centre in the development and application of machine learning technologies.

Advocacy, meet academia: connecting disciplines to improve human rights research

By: Molly Land & Theresa Harris

Human rights researchers are seeking new ways to establish facts, creating new opportunities for collaboration between researchers, scientists, and academics.

A shared learning agenda takes legal empowerment to the next level

By: Erin Kitchell

Legal empowerment can be transformative across a wide range of issues, which can sometimes make such efforts feel disconnected. But practitioners need clearer questions ...

Risks and responsibilities of content moderation in online platforms

By: Richard Wingfield

The issue of content moderation in online platforms has been missing in debates on business and human rights, but these platforms are critical in exercising our ...

Rethinking the notion of a human rights crisis

By: Kathryn Sikkink
Español | Português

The frame of constant crisis has negative implications for human rights, especially when questions of legitimacy arise. But hope—based on empirical evidence of ...

Death by a thousand paper cuts: regulatory attacks on NGOs

By: Edwin Rekosh

A wave of unjustified government regulation is threatening NGO operations, and proactive responses are essential in order to effectively resist.

Strategic responses to the “Foreign Agent” label

By: Jonas Wolff

Instead of letting governments define the terms, CSOs need to take “foreign agent” allegations seriously and address them strategically.

What digital searches reveal about our engagement with rights

By: Rayyan Dabbous

Trends in Google searches show that most internet users are interested in the human rights during crises or policy changes, often due to media prompting. How do ...

Bringing justice close: an experiment in accessing justice with technology

By: Shreya Sen

Legal empowerment enables poor and marginalized communities to be partners in development and decision-making, and new technologies make it possible for women in ...

“Naming and shaming”: still the human rights movement’s best weapon

By: Aryeh Neier

Naming and shaming may be less important as a foreign policy tool to promote rights, but the careful documenting and publicizing of rights abuses remains an essential ...

Decolonizing human rights: local struggles with global dynamics

By: Salil Shetty

Human rights have always been subject to efforts at misappropriation and manipulation for political ends—but power and agency must remain in the hands of those ...

Populism and human rights: a new playbook

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito & Krizna Gomez
Español | العربية

With populist leaders stoking nationalism and violating basic rights, traditional advocacy strategies are losing their effectiveness. The human rights movement ...

Without binding rules, AI guidelines are just wishful thinking

By: Emre Eren Korkmaz
Türkçe | Español

Many governments have released official strategies to promote AI systems leaving the public with few human rights protections.

A gender lens is critical to resolving tech-enabled abuse

By: Michelle Lau-Burke & Callie Strickland

Technology can raise awareness and spark collective action, but it can also deepen gender divides and provide platforms for harassment. How can ICT companies better ...

US loses patience with Human Rights Council reforms

By: Marc Limon

The US said it quit the UN Human Rights Council because it couldn’t reform it – but though others share some blame, the US’ own tactics undermined its effort.

AI insights into human rights are meaningless without action

By: Samir Goswami

We need to act upon the insights that we glean from AI: technology is not a replacement for the political will needed to drive change.

Reducing dependence on foreign aid—what will it take?

By: James Ron & José Kaire & Archana Pandya & Andrea Martínez

Modest investments into local fundraising capacity could transform the global human rights community into a truly sustainable and autonomous force, rather than ...

Twenty-five years later, how much do national human rights institutions matter?

By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Français | Español

An expanding range of literature examines the effectiveness of national human rights institutions, and 25 years after the Paris Principles, a recent study draws ...

Why countries should welcome, not fear, foreign funding of NGOs

By: Ronald R. Krebs & James Ron

A new law in Israel seeks to stigmatize NGOs that receive foreign funding—but evidence suggests that countries should welcome rather than fear the foreign funding ...

Self-care for sustainable movements: difficult but necessary

By: Gulika Reddy

Donors, organizations and staff in the peacebuilding and human rights fields need to talk about the systemic, organizational, and personal barriers to self-care.

The hazards of international NGOs going local

By: Mona Younis
العربية | Español

International human rights NGOs are increasingly locating staff and offices in the global South. A recent evaluation suggests that this can hinder—rather than help—the ...

The “new green”? Business and the responsible use of algorithms

By: Matthew Fenech
Español | Français

Algorithms have long aided decision-making, but as artificial intelligence gains greater autonomy, businesses need guidelines and regulations to ensure that this ...

Artificial Intelligence can be a boon for businesses, but can it protect workers?

By: Emre Eren Korkmaz
Türkçe | Español | Français

Artificial intelligence is rapidly transforming business models, but labor rights and other human rights issues are often lost amidst these quick changes. Can we ...

As artificial intelligence progresses, what does real responsibility look like?

By: Dunstan Allison-Hope & Mark Hodge
Español | Français | 日本語

Artificial intelligence is disrupting how we live, work, do business, and govern—but what mechanisms can guide responsible behavior without stifling innovation?

Apps and traps: why dating apps must do more to protect LGBTQ communities

By: Afsaneh Rigot
العربية | فارسی

Repressive states are manipulating dating apps to find and target LGBTQ individuals, and app companies must take responsibility for reducing the risks to their ...

Addressing the potential human rights risks of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”

By: Phil Bloomer & Christen Dobson
Español | Deutsch

Technology has the power to free us from drudgery or to decimate livelihoods, and the choices that governments and companies make will often determine the difference.

FIFA 2018: digital rights are (finally) playable

By: Peter Micek

Mega events like the Olympics and the World Cup are bringing digital rights concerns under increased scrutiny.

Human rights and development: has the connection sunk in?

By: Paul Nelson & Ellen Dorsey
Español | Français

The connection between human rights and development is hardly new, but even though human rights NGOs are increasingly engaged on ESC rights, too few development ...

Reclaiming civic space: global challenges, local responses

By: Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah & Mandeep Tiwana
Español | Português

To reclaim civic space, there are three key drivers that organizations must focus on, and three critical issues affecting local responses.

Being flexible while staying true: the balance of engaging corporations in human rights

By: Rajshri Sen

Getting traction and funding for women’s rights in India can be difficult, but partnering with innovative corporations is one way to push the boundaries of change.

Leaders, exile, and the dilemmas of international justice

By: Daniel Krcmaric
Español | Français

The advance of international justice means that the “golden parachute” of exile is no longer an easy option for abusive rulers. The bad news is that this may be ...

The SDGs and gender equality: empty promises or beacon of hope?

By: Kate Donald  & Silke Staab
Français | Español

In a challenging global context for equality and women’s rights, a new UN Women report illustrates how human rights can move SDGs beyond rhetoric of “leaving no ...

From revolution to bureaucratization: human rights law becomes central to global health governance

By: Benjamin Mason Meier & Lawrence O. Gostin

Given the dramatic development of human rights under international law and the proliferation of global institutions for public health, it is essential to understand ...

Reimagining justice: human rights through legal empowerment

By: Sukti Dhital

Legal empowerment offers promising new methods to improve access to justice and build legal systems that work for everyone.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: a difficult but do-able mandate

By: Matheus Hernandez

The same mandate that makes the work of the High Commissioner a nearly impossible task, also gives the High Commissioner the flexibility to explore different fields ...

Breaking the human rights gridlock by embracing the Sustainable Development Goals

By: Ted Piccone
Español | 简体中文 | العربية | Français

The dangers of a growing global divergence on human rights, with the rise of authoritarian powers, might be avoided by embracing the global consensus of rights-based ...

Transitional justice—time for a re-think

By: Paul Seils

The transitional justice toolkit was developed for circumstances unlike most of today’s violent conflicts. It needs to be re-thought to provide results on issues ...

New treaty on business and human rights must hold ‘home’ states accountable

By: Daniel Cerqueira & Alexandra Montgomery
Español | العربية | Français

To ensure justice for victims of corporate human rights abuse, transnational companies who evade accountability in the states hosting their operations must face ...

Measuring what matters: a new database to track human rights performance

By: Anne-Marie Brook & K. Chad Clay & Susan Randolph

The launch of the Human Rights Measurement Initiative dataset promises to provide comprehensive overviews of how countries are performing on human rights commitments.

Ending corporate corruption means looking at the North-South nexus

By: Gillian Caldwell
Español | Français

By its very nature, standing up to corruption and corporate power means looking at the link between global North and global South players.

Building the foundations of resilience: 11 lessons for human rights educators and supervisors

By: Sarah Knuckey & Su Anne Lee

Educators and managers can play an important role in building the next generation of resilient human rights advocates.

Is being the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights an Impossible Job?

By: Marc Limon

Perhaps the role of High Commissioner for Human Rights is not do-able after all. Would splitting the position into multiple roles help?

Documenting progress key to Amnesty’s anti-death penalty work

By: Eric Prokosch
Français | Español

A simple, annual compilation of progress towards abolition provided a conceptual basis for worldwide anti-death penalty campaigning – linking local efforts to a ...

Making progress in human rights requires big risks and new allies

By: Maria Bobenrieth
Français | Español

In these turbulent times, business as usual is no longer an option for women’s rights organizations, and we must branch into new methods of operating.

Reproductive gene editing imperils universal human rights

By: Marcy Darnovsky & Leah Lowthorp & Katie Hasson
简体中文 | Русский | Español

The prohibition on reproductive gene editing to enhance human capabilities is weakening in the face of scientific breakthroughs—leaving universal human rights at ...

Another one bites the dust—what future for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights?

By: David Petrasek
Español | Français

The early departure—yet again—of a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights suggests it’s time to re-think the office’s priorities and strengthen its mandate.

Collecting, preserving, and verifying online evidence of human rights violations

By: Enrique Piracés

The amount of digital information available online presents human rights practitioners with a valuable opportunity to document abuses and address a broad scope ...

Five key battles for re-imagining democracy in a radically changed world

By: Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

The challenges facing civil society now aren’t about reviving our weakening de-mocracies—they are about re-imagining democracy for a radically changed world.

A new UN declaration could finally protect rural and landless peoples

By: Shivani Chaudhry

The UN has drafted a groundbreaking declaration that has the potential to protect the human rights of peasants, rural workers, and landless peoples. There is room, ...

Methodological choices in human rights research are political, not just technical

By: Allison Corkery 
Español | العربية

The methods human rights researchers and advocates use determine what injustices we see and prioritize, making methodology far more than just a technical choice.

NGOs are adapting to closing space when they must push back

By: Julian Oram & Deborah Doane

Most development and funding organizations are adapting to shrinking space rather than challenging it, but is this trend inevitable?

Finding research pathways to a slavery-free world

By: Zoe Trodd

Ending slavery means building a science of anti-slavery where advocates can use rigorous research to analyse how and why slavery practices persist.

Addressing systemic inequality in human rights funding

By: Barbara Klugman & Ravindran Daniel & Denise Dora & Maimouna Jallow

Human rights funding is systemically inequitable, and this will only change when funders provide core support that allows grantee organizations to make their own ...

Finding equity: shifting power structures in human rights

By: Barbara Klugman & Ravindran Daniel & Denise Dora & Maimouna Jallow

The marker of progress towards an equitable human rights ecology is when local and national groups no longer have to wait to be invited in.

Evidence indicates that we should be hopeful—not hopeless—about human rights

By: Kathryn Sikkink
Español | Português

We compare our current human rights situation not to the past but to an imagined ideal world, and thus we always fall short.

The value of diversity in creating systemic change for human rights

By: Barbara Klugman & Ravindran Daniel & Denise Dora & Maimouna Jallow

The human rights system must value and mobilize the expertise of all players, from local to international levels. This is a work in progress that has only just ...

Survey: most believe women’s rights are human rights

By: James Ron

Have feminists made traction in campaigning that “women’s rights are human rights?" We interviewed thousands of people to find out.

To strengthen global resistance, resource young feminists

By: Felogene Anumo & Ruby Johnson
Español | Français

Young feminists are pushing back and forging new paths in global resistance, but they need financial support and personal security to achieve real gains.

Building up vs. trickling down: human rights in Southern Africa

By: Kristi Heather Kenyon
Español | Setswana | Zulu

Do we achieve human rights by enacting UN-sanctioned treaties at the legislative level, or at the grassroots level? The history and culture of each country may ...

Putting to rest the Three Generations Theory of human rights

By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Español | Français | العربية

The notion of three generations of human rights has endured for 40 years. But it has no solid historical or analytic basis, and it obscures rather than clarifies ...

Human Rights “Light”: using rhetoric to unite disparate disciplines

By: Tony Talbott
العربية | Español | Français

The use of superficial human rights rhetoric across varied issue areas is not a “dumbing down” of a complicated legal concept—rather, it will expand the ranks of ...

Putting human rights at the centre of the renewable energy sector

By: Eniko Horvath & Christen Dobson
Español | 简体中文

In our efforts to quickly mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, advocates have a critical opportunity and responsibility to put human rights at the centre ...

Intergenerational commitments are critical to protecting future climate leaders

By: Leah Davidson

Intergenerational commitments in climate change are critical to protect children’s rights now and to build the next generation of environmental defenders.

Climate change talks must focus on the most vulnerable: the world’s children

By: Alice Thomas
Español | Français

Across the globe, more extreme weather and climate change are displacing the most vulnerable, including children. Yet not enough is being done to uphold their human ...

Protecting environmental defenders should be a central issue at climate talks

By: Katharina Rall
Español | Français | العربية

As attacks on environmental rights defenders escalate, the stakes are high for the upcoming climate change talks in Germany.

What makes a human rights campaign effective?

By: Cosette Creamer & Amy Hill Cosimini & Yagmur Karakaya & Suzy McElrath
Español | Français

Marketing and public health provide useful lessons about framing and pre-testing messages and good media relations to deliver effective human rights awareness campaigns.

Creative persistence: women’s funds responses to the backlash against feminism

By: Augusta Hagen-Dillon

Widespread backlash against progressive values and mounting legal restrictions have led women’s activists and funds to respond creatively.

Human rights justice requires corporate information sharing

By: Audrey Gaughran

Legal reform is needed to ensure that victims of human rights abuses have access to the relevant information they need to challenge corporations.

Elections without choice: “clean slates” in the Human Rights Council

By: Peter Splinter

The practice of candidates for election to the UN Human Rights Council appearing on clean slates makes a mockery of the “elections” and undermines the quality of ...

Contesting regression: citizen solidarity vs. the decline of democracy

By: Alison Brysk

Even where rights are on the rocks, citizen solidarity and resilient rule of law are the best bets to contest regression.

Irreconcilable tensions? Global human rights institutions and democracy

By: Lisa Sundstrom

To restore people’s faith in liberal democracy, will the human rights community need to scale back to a “core” set of rights, or open up to more diverse understandings?

Reforming the UN Human Rights Council: a call for new leadership

By: Peter Splinter

The UN Human Rights Council falls seriously short in its mandate to ensure effective enjoyment by all of all human rights. It needs real reform—not another reform ...

Measuring globally, surveying locally: A new global effort to measure civil and political rights

By: K. Chad Clay

Help nominate countries for a pilot study aiming to produce cross-national human rights data on a comprehensive list of internationally recognized human rights.

Creating effective new coalitions in tough political times

By: Andrew Hudson

To avoid sinking to the lowest common denominator, activist coalitions must play to individual strengths and find an effective strategic convener.

The world is marching towards—not away from—universal human rights

By: Marc Limon

Despite pessimism about the future of human rights, data on treaty ratification and reservations suggest that we are marching toward universality.

Hard times, but human rights defenders are resilient

By: Andrew Anderson

These are hard times for human rights, but pessimists should not underestimate how resilient and powerful human rights defenders can be.

Orphan structures: holding companies accountable when owners don’t exist

By: Paul Beckett

When companies use legal loopholes to mask beneficial owners, it becomes almost impossible for human rights defenders to hold them to account.

Public interest lawyers need new tools to protect the vulnerable

By: Garth Meintjes
Español | Русский | 简体中文 | العربية

The paradigmatic wall that separates lawyers into two camps—private and public—is a barrier to the possibilities and a threat to the health and resilience of our ...

Defining rather than defending our human rights “moment”

By: Nick Robinson

Rather than defending our existing human rights movement, advocates from multiple avenues must come together to debate the next step forward.

Breaking the fourth wall: theater as human rights activism

By: Christa Blackmon

Using theater to raise awareness on rights issues not only educates the audience—it also creates empathy and connection.

Hard times for human rights

By: David Forsythe

Are we facing hard times for human rights, or are these ups and downs in global affairs to be expected with liberal norms and principles?

Making our movements sustainable: practicing holistic security every day

By: Deepa Ranganathan & María Díaz Ezquerro
Español | العربية | Français

What does holistic security and collective self-care in human rights work look like on a day-to-day basis?

International organizations and the crisis of legitimacy

By: Aseem Prakash & Nives Dolšak

When international organizations face legitimacy problems, they need to address governance issues, conflicts of interest, and poor leadership.

New strategies for tackling inequality with human rights

By: Martín Abregú

To confront inequality, the Ford Foundation is harnessing the human rights framework to address political and socio-economic systems.

Why it’s getting harder (and more dangerous) to hold companies accountable

By: Ciara Dowd & Elodie Aba
Español | Français

Corporations are using defamation lawsuits to shut down their detractors—and the problem is only getting worse.

Collective care in human rights funding: a political stand

By: Meerim Ilyas & Tatiana Cordero Velásquez
العربية | Português | Español

To support the activists and groups that we fund, donors must engage in honest conversations around our own burnout and ethics.

Why the right to science matters for everyone

By: Jessica M. Wyndham & Margaret Weigers

The right to science influences everything from freeing wrongfully accused prisoners to crop rotation—but what happens when that right comes under threat?

“Speaking truth to power:” a call for praxis in human rights

By: Alicia Ely Yamin

Human rights require struggles over power and systems of thought—not just fights against individual violators and institutional inequities.

Evidence of trauma: the impact of human rights work on advocates

By: Meg Satterthwaite
Español | Français

It’s time to think seriously about the effects of trauma on human rights activists.

Human rights datasets are pointless without methodological rigour

By: Lawrence Saez

Existing datasets on human rights have methodological weaknesses that can make them useless for any meaningful statistical analysis.

Tackling inequality: the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals

By: Kate Donald 

Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reducing inequality will require profound changes to “business-as-usual” and close attention to human rights.

Refugee politics from the local to the international

By: Sarah Stroup

The Trump administration is affecting refugee politics from small towns to the world stage, and activists have a long road ahead.

Business can and should ally with those defending human rights

By: Sarah Brooks

Business should heed the views of human rights defenders, and do more to protect their crucial work—which advances the rule of law that benefits business too.

A butterfly effect—steps to improve UPR implementation

By: Hans Fridlund

The UN’s UPR process is proving its worth in encouraging human rights reform on the ground, but action depends on several factors—highlighted in a new report.

Cohesion in the chaos: uniting human rights methodologies

By: Katie Kraska

With the range of options available to document and analyze human rights, it’s important to help researchers and advocates use data responsibly and appropriately.

Under threat: five countries in which civic space is rapidly closing

By: Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

Restricted freedoms and intensifying governmental control raise the risk for social and geopolitical conflict.

Shaming and blaming: assessing the impact of human rights organizations

By: Amanda Murdie

Shaming by human rights organizations can indeed change state practices, with the right combination of partners and conditions.

Beyond science fiction: Artificial Intelligence and human rights

By: Jonathan Drake

Artificial Intelligence is growing at rapid pace, and so are significant ethical and human rights dilemmas.

Making the human rights movement great again—amidst rising nationalism

By: James A. Goldston

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

Illicit drug sales in the deep web don’t really make trading safer

By: Isabel Pereira

Crypto markets for buying drugs might make things safer for consumers, but they do nothing to protect people in producer or transit countries.

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

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, human rights groups will be inoculated against accusations ...

The 1967 Convention on Religious Intolerance—the treaty that might have been

By: Steven L. B. Jensen

The two UN human rights covenants were to be buttressed by a treaty to fight religious intolerance. In 1967, a text was drafted but not adopted—a failure that haunts ...

Should funding agencies also share in the sacrifice of social change?

By: Michael Edwards
Español | Français | Português

What standards of behavior should we expect from the leaders of foundations, NGOs and aid agencies?

How to pay for legal empowerment: alternative structures and sources

By: Lotta Teale
Español | Français

Taking a hybrid approach to legal funding recognizes that different issues require different types of funding.

The old world of civic participation is being replaced

By: Burkhard Gnärig 

Traditional politicians and traditional CSOs are part of an old world that is being replaced by very different forms of civic participation.

Beyond blood diamonds: the violence behind the gold route

By: Natalia Duarte

Illegal gold exchanges between the global North and South are fuelling violence and exploitation, but most consumers are oblivious.

Torture prevention works, but only with the right ingredients

By: Mark Thomson 
Español | Français | Русский

A research study recently confirmed that some torture prevention works, but only with the right combination of factors.

Human rights are not losing traction in the global South

By: Sakiko Fukuda-Parr 

In the debate on whether human rights have stalled, analysts are ignoring huge strides in socioeconomic improvements in the global South.

Collaborating with scientists for climate justice

By: Ellen Platts & Claire Sabel

The impacts of climate change intensify existing social inequities by placing disproportionate burdens on vulnerable populations. Collaborations with scientists ...

Missing torture amongst the poor

By: Steffen Jensen & Tobias Kelly
Español | Français

Documenting torture has always been problematic, but the experiences of the poor are continually left out of the picture.

Time to recognize the right to life for those living in homelessness and inadequate housing

By: Leilani Farha
Español | Français

An estimated one third of deaths worldwide are linked to poverty and inadequate housing, yet widespread homelessness and inadequate housing are rarely regarded ...

Tackling economic inequality with the right to non-discrimination

By: David Barrett

Inequality may be compatible with human rights, but not if it violates the right to non-discrimination.

Putting universality into the Universal Periodic Review

By: Allison Corkery 

The Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review is systematically marginalizing economic and social rights.

ICC will investigate environmental destruction as well as war crimes

By: Richard J. Rogers 

The ICC is now prioritizing crimes involving environmental destruction and land grabbing. How will this change economic development?

No single dataset is sufficient for understanding human rights, nor should it be

By: K. Chad Clay

Yes, cross-national datasets are inappropriate for understanding the lived experience of those suffering from human rights abuse, but that’s not why we need them.

Yes, human rights scholars conceal social wrongs—when they miss the point

By: Todd Landman 

To suggest that relying on cross-national analyses perpetuates human rights abuses is simply fallacious.

How human rights scholars conceal social wrongs

By: Neve Gordon & Nitza Berkovitch

Using cross-national data in human rights research helps perpetuate social wrongs.

Inequality, business and human rights: the new frontier?

By: Uwe Gneiting 

Despite the growing urgency to address inequality, the business and human rights field has remained rather silent on the issue. Why?

Decolonization—not western liberals—established human rights on the global agenda

By: Steven L. B. Jensen

Human rights scholarship and advocacy claim to be grounded in universality, yet both are anything but in their privileging the Western role in building an international ...

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

By: Jamie K. Mccallum & Sarah Stroup

In August 2016, the World Social Forum brought global justice activists to Montreal, the first time it was ever held in the global North. But this reorientation ...

Rethinking what ICC success means at the Bemba Trial

By: Valerie Arnould

When measuring ICC success, we need to examine the local impact and not just the international effects.

Two forums, two approaches to advancing the SDGs and human rights

By: Savio Carvalho

Recent global assemblies make it clear—to achieve the SDGs we need to find ways to hold governments, UN agencies and the private sector accountable for the pledges ...

Making economic rights “real” with stakeholder dialogues

By: Shareen Hertel

When businesses go into a poor community, how can those most affected have more influence over the agenda?

Demagogues and populists must be challenged – UN High Commissioner speaks out

By: Zeid Ra’Ad Al Hussein

A cross border bonding of demagogues and populists poses a grave risk to human rights, and we are doing too little to challenge their lies and half-truths.

Earning the trust of human rights supporters

By: James Ron

Human rights groups have lost—or never gained—the trust of roughly half their (potentially) strongest supporters.

Development banks and the silencing of dissent

By: Gretchen Gordon
Español | Français

By ignoring community concerns around development projects, multilateral institutions can become complicit in human rights violations and closing space.

Human rights data used the wrong way can be misleading

By: Meg Satterthwaite

While data is important for human rights advocacy, the risks of misleading people are also very real and advocates must insist on rigor.

Opening up civic space requires creativity and careful navigation

By: Rachel Hayman
العربية | Русский

Even where civil society space is constrained, local organisations can create positive relationships with state and external actors.

The end of the grant era

By: Ellen Sprenger

Asking donors for money and then implementing programs is an old model from which civil society must break free.

It’s time for development banks to start listening

By: Maina Kiai

The aid community often ignores the wishes of the very people it’s supposed to be helping. The world needs a more bottom-up approach to development.

New approach to refugee protection must prioritize self-sufficiency

By: Mallory Mroz

A new approach to refugee protection needs to draw on the principles of self-sufficiency to prevent aid dependency and let refugees work so that they contribute ...

Taking stock—the Universal Periodic Review's achievements and opportunities

By: Aoife Hegarty & Hans Fridlund

After 10 years, the UN’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism for scrutinizing Member States’ human rights records is having a real impact—but more must be done ...

Human rights organizations and the state: how different are we really?

By: Maayan Geva

How different are human rights organizations and the state institutions they challenge? A key Israel group has pulled away from cooperation with the army, arguing ...

Dying in pain in the global South

By: Diana Guarnizo

Throughout the developing world, people are dying in pain due to an inability to access proper medication. But the problem is about much more than money.

Phantom rights: the systemic marginalization of economic and social rights

By: Philip Alston

Neither the UN nor civil society is doing much about the deep resistance of many states to proper recognition of economic and social rights.

Are human rights treaties a “reputational umbrella” for foreign investment?

By: Ana Carolina Garriga

Evidence suggests that human rights treaties provide a reputational shield for companies to invest in the worst rights-violating countries.

Scientists and engineers as partners in protecting human rights

By: Theresa Harris

Growing interest in pro bono service among scientists and engineers is generating new opportunities for human rights organizations.

Mapping global business opinions on human rights

By: Marc Limon

A global survey of over 800 corporate leaders shows overwhelming recognition that companies must respect human rights, although confusion regarding the exact scope ...

Impact investing: a new player in protecting human rights?

By: Motoko Aizawa

Impact investing is rewriting the way companies can improve human rights conditions.

The International Labour Organization: workers rights champion or 90-pound weakling?

By: Gordon Digiacomo

The ILO oversees the global protection of workers’ rights. It should consider instigating and/or supporting litigation in courts to serve that purpose.

The promises and pitfalls of mobile polling

By: Michael Bear Kleinman 

Mobile polling could revolutionize how civil society and human rights groups operate—if it’s done right.

Taking chances and innovating in human rights

By: Lucia Nader & José Guilherme F. De Campos

In our research, human rights workers, academics, activists and funders gave us a lot of reasons not to innovate.

Local funding is not always the answer

By: Hussein Baoumi
Français | العربية

In some countries, relying on local funding gives human rights defenders even less freedom.

Human rights and the state: embracing and abandoning religion(s)

By: Peter Jacob

The debate about whether a state should be religious or secular doesn’t always affect how a society treats religious minorities.

Who will stand up to corruption?

By: Patrick Alley

Corruption is entrenched throughout global systems—but when will political leaders have the courage to really confront it?

Discrimination, cooperation, and building communities

By: Ana Bracic

New research shows that people who experience discrimination are less likely to contribute to the common good.

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

By: Mark Aspinwall

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

It’s about politics: why public opinion matters for movement organizing

By: Lauren Kitz

For countries in democratic transition, using public opinion research to inform the strategy of social movements has added value.

A treaty to protect the rights of older people is long overdue!

By: Gordon Digiacomo & Martine Lagacé

As the world’s population ages, now is the time to begin work on a treaty to give explicit protection to the rights of the elderly.

From taboo to empowerment: menstruation and gender equality

By: Archana Patkar & Rockaya Aidara & Inga T. Winkler

Menstruation and menstrual hygiene are emerging as pivotal issues for gender equality, human rights and development.

Migrants are driving innovative campaigns for female refugees in Germany

By: Claudia Bollwinkel

Activists are using a multi-van in Germany to help female refugees cope with violence and harassment.

Broader view shows path to refugee reform

By: David James Cantor

The refugee regime extends well beyond the 1951 Convention, and a broader contextual view is necessary in debates about change.

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

By: Will H. Moore

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

The vicious spiral of economic inequality and financial crises

By: Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky 

There is compelling evidence that economic inequality is both a result of, and contributor to, economic crises

Crisis in Europe exposes failing refugee protection regime

By: John Torpey

The refugee protection regime works if it remains limited to those genuinely fleeing persecution — though the Syrian crisis proves again that ways must also be ...

Local funding is not just an option anymore—it’s an imperative

By: Jenny Hodgson

As local rights groups seek alternative funding sources, the closing space for civil society makes this even more imperative.

Business lessons for human rights: borrowing evidence-based practices

By: Bill Mawby & Theresa Harris

The human rights field could learn a lot from evidence-based practices developed in business and medicine.

Without adequate reflection, new refugee solutions risk failing

By: Chris Dolan

We have to stop pushing new refugee solutions without assessing where we have succeeded and failed so far.

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

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?

By: Brad Gutierrez

International humanitarian law is not a diplomatic conversation devoid of real world implications, and ignoring it creates a free-for-all.