Articles with a global or international focus


Social media complicates mainstream media goals of pluralism and diversity

January 22, 2020
By: Maria Luisa Stasi & Pierre François Docquir

Freedom of expression demands and facilitates the development of pluralistic media landscapes. But as ...

Counter-terrorism laws provide a smokescreen for civil society restrictions

January 15, 2020
By: Susan Wilding

States need to focus on strategies that actually work and expose governments that are dismantling democracy ...

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

January 14, 2020
By: Raymond A. Smith

How can international human rights law be creatively deployed to expand protections to other characteristics ...

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

January 8, 2020
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 ...

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

January 8, 2020
By: Philip Alston

The digitalization of welfare is presented as an altruistic and noble enterprise designed to ensure ...

Cross-border collaboration is key to protecting migrant rights

December 18, 2019
By: Regan Ralph

As hostile governments push nativist rhetoric and enact abusive policies, supporting the innovative ...

Promoting freedom of religion or belief – key lessons

December 18, 2019
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 ...

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

December 13, 2019
By: Kate Jones
Español | Français

To date, it’s been left to the tech companies to set limits on online political campaigning. Governments ...

Chile and a global revolution for dignity

December 13, 2019
By: Juan Francisco Lobo

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

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

December 11, 2019
By: Cate Brown

As civilian protesters take to the streets to demand their rights, human rights leaders consider a future ...

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

December 10, 2019
By: Krizna Gomez & Thomas Coombes
Español | Français | العربية

An experimental, hands-on narrative change initiative shows how even small civil society organizations ...

Inequality a prominent concern for UN human rights monitors

December 4, 2019
By: Steven L. B. Jensen
Español | Français

UN human rights bodies are highlighting inequality when making recommendations to states – showing that ...

Global protests demand human rights actors tackle economic injustice

November 26, 2019
By: Ignacio Saiz
Español | العربية

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

The Committee System: 2020 and Beyond

November 21, 2019
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?

November 14, 2019
By: Erin Thomas & Megan Lee Candolfi

In the Pacific Islands, gender inequality and gender-based violence are being exacerbated by climate ...

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

November 13, 2019
By: Marcia V. J. Kran

UN treaty bodies need to monitor and follow-up on the recommendations they make to states. Some have ...

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

November 6, 2019
By: Katharine G. Young
Español | Français

Constitutional entrenchment is only part of the battle for recognition of economic and social rights, ...

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

November 1, 2019
By: Ana Zbona & Phil Bloomer

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

Protecting children’s digital bodies through rights

October 30, 2019
By: Kristin Sandvik
Español | العربية

Children are becoming the objects of a multitude of monitoring devices—what are the possible negative ...

UN inefficiencies undermine effective handling of individual petitions

October 29, 2019
By: Kamelia Kemileva

The UN treaty bodies receive thousands of individual complaints, but the secretariat that deals with ...

Anti-capitalist human rights for the 21st Century

October 24, 2019
By: César Rodríguez-Garavito
العربية | Español

In addition to asking whether or not human rights reinforce the status quo, we should address the following ...

UN treaty bodies advance LGBTI rights

October 22, 2019
By: Kseniya Kirichenko
Español | Русский

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

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

October 15, 2019
By: Navi Pillay
Español | Français

The human rights treaty bodies are central to human rights reform efforts, but are burdened by inefficiencies. ...

The lengthy journey towards a treaty on business and human rights

October 11, 2019
By: Maysa Zorob

A new version of the UN’s draft treaty on business and human rights strengthens its protection focus, ...

Employing the politics of solidarity against the rise of populism

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

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

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

September 26, 2019
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. ...

Saving human rights

September 24, 2019
By: Hurst Hannum
Français | Español

Declining support for human rights is partly attributable to the expansion of the concept to cover all ...

Seeds of inequality: women in sustainable agriculture

September 19, 2019
By: Karine Belarmino & Marie Schaedel

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

Protecting abortion providers requires effective strategies to prevent harassment

September 17, 2019
By: Ximena Casas Isaza
Español | Français

Abortion providers working in national contexts where the law is poorly understood and abortion is socially ...

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

September 4, 2019
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?

August 22, 2019
By: Flavia Fascendini
Español | Français

The Universal Periodic Review can highlight that online rights are an essential part of human rights ...

Intellectual property as a tool of empowerment

August 20, 2019
By: Sarah Yookyung Kim
Español | Français

When much broader communities can harness intellectual property rights, these shifts can contribute ...

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

August 6, 2019
By: Deepa Ranganathan

#MeToo ignited a conversation about sexual and gender-based violence, but young feminists in the global ...

Bringing human rights home: new strategies for local organizing

August 1, 2019
By: Jackie Smith & Joshua Cooper

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

The human rights wars heat up

July 31, 2019
By: Eric Posner
Español | العربية

The new US Commission on Unalienable Rights will provide a conservative interpretation on human rights. ...

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

July 25, 2019
By: Philip Alston & Nikki Reisch

Delivering on the SDG’s promise to reduce economic inequality requires progressive taxation and effective ...

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

July 18, 2019
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?

July 10, 2019
By: Alison Berthet

It’s clear that regulation of AI must start now, but why do emerging frameworks primarily talk about ...

UN human rights mechanisms proving effective SDGs monitor

July 4, 2019
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 ...

Giving with trust: how philanthropy can transform power relations

June 20, 2019
By: Ise Bosch & Claudia Bollwinkel
Español | Deutsch

Philanthropy can repeat oppressive patterns, or it can transform donor-recipient relations by giving ...

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

June 19, 2019
By: Charu Lata Hogg

In addressing conflict-related sexual violence, the UN Security Council has urged prevention, protection ...

Brain research suggests emphasizing human rights abuses may perpetuate them

June 18, 2019
By: Laura Ligouri
Español | Français | العربية

Capitalizing on the brain’s capacity to simulate events, messages of positive behavior – instead of ...

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

June 13, 2019
By: Natalie Gill

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

Competition rules could protect human rights on social media platforms

June 4, 2019
By: Maria Luisa Stasi

Social media platforms are abusing their dominant position and exploiting users with terms of service ...

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

May 30, 2019
By: Leyla-Denisa Obreja

Amidst growing debate on women’s reproductive rights, worldwide policies allowing free access to emergency ...

Can protecting indigenous human rights also improve conservation efforts?

May 29, 2019
By: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Español | Français

Lands under secure indigenous tenure often have better conservation outcomes—can stronger protections ...

Hope counters hate in polarized and populist narratives

May 23, 2019
By: Rosie Carter

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

New strategies help investors hold corporations accountable on human rights

May 16, 2019
By: Gabe Rissman

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