Global

Articles with a global or international focus

 

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Français

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

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

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

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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

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 
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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 ...

Social media complicates mainstream media goals of pluralism and diversity

By: Maria Luisa Stasi & Pierre François Docquir
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Français

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
Español

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
Français

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

#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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Français

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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 ...

Inaction on gender equality puts SDGs at risk

By: Marte Hellema & Hannie Meesters
Español

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
Deutsch

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
Español

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
Español

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
العربية

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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 ...

The right to design babies? Human rights and bioethics

By: Roberto Andorno & Alicia Ely Yamin
Español

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
Español

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

Why policymakers need to tackle the digital gender gap

By: Ana Brandusescu
Français

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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 
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
हिन्दी

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
Español

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.

Reducing dependence on foreign aid—what will it take?

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

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
العربية

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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 
Español

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
Español

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
Français

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
Español

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
العربية

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 
Español

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
Español

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 
Español

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 
Español

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 
Español

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
Español

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
Français

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Français

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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 
Español

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
Español

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
Français

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
Español

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
Español

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
Español

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
Français

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
Français

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
Deutsch

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
Español

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
Français

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.

Old dogs and new tricks: rethinking human rights business models

By: Edwin Rekosh

In this climate of closing space, we have an imperative to rethink the business models for protecting human rights.

Using budget analysis to confront governments: what practitioners need to know

By: Ian Allen & Megan Manion & Thandi Matthews & Robert Ralston

Millions of dollars that could address socio-economic disparities are lost through illicit financial flows, but budget analysis could help.

Statelessness as forced displacement

By: Kristy A. Belton

When we think of forced displacement, we don’t usually think about the stateless. But we should.

How to get inequality on the global policy agenda

By: Leonard Seabrooke & Duncan Wigan

The Panama Papers give NGOs a prime opportunity to talk about inequality. But how they do it matters.

Violent groups aggravate government crackdowns on civil society

By: Shannon N. Green
Français

Armed non-state actors, criminal elements and violent extremists—not just governments—are responsible for the increasing crackdown on civil society.

What drives the crackdown on NGOs, and how can it be stopped?

By: Kendra Dupuy & James Ron
Español

Foreign aid is always political, and elevates the risk of a government crackdown on NGOs.

In the name of security: when silencing active citizens creates even greater problems

By: Iva Dobichina & Poonam Joshi
Español

Silencing activists in the name of security can stifle actors most likely to challenge extremist ideologies, making insecurity worse.

Civil society in the post-Soviet space: fighting for the “End of History”

By: Orysia Lutsevych 
Русский

“Partly free” countries in the post-Soviet space must fight even harder now to protect growing civil societies.

Reclaiming space through UN-supported litigation

By: Maina Kiai
Español

Working together, the UN and civil society are using innovative legal action to protect fundamental human rights and re-open lost civic spaces.

Missing: an international response to the rising tide of impunity

By: Cathal Gilbert
Español

Civil society organisations are targeted because political elites know they have power. But where is the international backup?

Are we being innovative in protecting civic space?

By: Araddhya Mehtta
Español

Taking lessons from history’s best dissenters, civil society is finding new ways to make cracks in shrinking spaces.

Everyone does better when everyone does better

By: Savio Carvalho

For long-term social and economic stability, investments into increased economic equality are essential for everyone’s prosperity.

Is a reformed Refugee Convention a solution?

By: Neva O. Öztürk & Cavidan Soykan
Türkçe

The Refugee Convention was designed for an earlier era, but there seems little will to update its provisions to meet today’s reality.

Burden-sharing: Utopian dream or principled pragmatism?

By: Irene Khan 
Français

Global burden-sharing schemes won’t solve the refugee crisis – experience shows tailored, regional arrangements grounded in principled pragmatism are the best way ...

Choosing a new UN Secretary-General who will champion human rights

By: Yvonne Terlingen
Español | Français

A new UN Secretary-General must champion human rights – and that means a more transparent, inclusive and merit-based selection process.

Refugee protection is politics

By: Roni Amit & Loren B. Landau
Français

The best refugee legislation in the world will have little effect when those seeking protection are characterized as security risks.

Tackling inequality as injustice: four challenges for the human rights agenda

By: Gaby Oré Aguilar & Ignacio Saiz
Español | Français

Human rights can help confront economic inequality, but four conceptual, normative, strategic and methodological challenges must be overcome.

As the world ages, more must be done to protect the rights of older persons

By: Rosa Kornfeld-Matte 
Español

The UN’s expert on the human rights of the elderly describes the key issues she is dealing with and how she hopes to build support to advance her important agenda.

Syria continues to bleed while the Middle East closes its doors

By: Susan M. Akram
العربية

Host states impose greater restrictions on refugees’ rights at least partly because Western states aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities.

Running the numbers on ICC deterrence: when does it actually work?

By: Hyeran Jo & Beth A. Simmons
Español

Systematic assessments reveal that the ICC can deter intentional civilian killing, but only under the right conditions.

Violence data: what practitioners need to know

By: Amelia Hoover Green
Español

The demand for numerical data on human rights has never been higher, but no data can be taken at face value.

The struggle for sans-papiers human rights

By: Upendra Baxi

Protecting the rights of refugees and migrants requires a response based in hospitality not hostility.

Without addressing women’s security, we can’t hope for equality

By: Amrita Kapur
Español

Understanding why and how insecurity affects women is key to overcoming inequality across all dimensions of empowerment.

Putting on the pressure: domestic constituencies and refugee policy

By: Emily Arnold-Fernandez
Français | Español

As long as states do not face pressure from their own constituencies, domestic refugee policy is unlikely to change.

Rediscovering a winning formula for refugee protection

By: James Milner 
Français | Español

State cooperation can only solve the refugee crisis if states actually want to cooperate. And evidence shows that they don’t.

Improve refugee protection by managing it better

By: Tim Finch 
Français | Español

The disorder and tragedy inherent in large-scale, spontaneous refugee flows is not inevitable—what we need is a managed protection regime.

Refugee reform must become a global project

By: Alex Neve
Español | Français

Many different states are implicated in the wars and human rights violations that provoke refugee crises, which means they must also be part of the solution.

A global solution to a global refugee crisis

By: James C. Hathaway 
Français | Español | العربية

If implemented as intended, the UN Refugee Convention points the way to a truly global solution to the refugee crisis.

Inequality, human dignity and the power of unions

By: Sergio Chaparro Hernández
Español

Why does progress on equity and human rights depend more on workers’ organization than we usually think?

Insisting and resisting: women’s funds lead the way for local philanthropy

By: Lucía Carrasco Scherer & Christen Dobson
Español | Français

Women’s funds are gaining increasing recognition at the local and international levels as leading agents of social change.

Adapt or perish: the new normal for civil society

By: Shannon N. Green
Español

As space for civil society closes, donors and civil society leaders are realizing they cannot take public support for granted.

Digging deeper: the impact of coal on human rights

By: Krizna Gomez & Gregory Tzeutschler Regaignon

With governments making commitments at the Paris Conference of Parties (COP21), global leaders must understand the impact and future of coal as a matter of human ...

To discredit victims, call them terrorists

By: Ana Bracic & Amanda Murdie
Español

Repressive governments can damage the effectiveness of human rights action by attempting to discredit a prisoner of conscience.

Human rights and social justice—a false dichotomy?

By: David Petrasek

Even a narrow view of human rights will find at least some overlap with social justice demands, which are too often linked only to economic and social rights.

Still falling short—the ICC’s capacity crisis

By: Elizabeth Evenson & Jonathan O’Donohue 

The ICC’s proposed expansion still falls well short of meeting the significant demands on the court.

Human rights and the age of inequality

By: Samuel Moyn
Español | Français | العربية

The human rights regime and movement are simply not equipped to challenge global inequalities.

Myth-busting human rights awareness

By: Joel R. Pruce
Español

Broad public support for human rights is a false front—not a mass movement but a loosely bound herd.

Will SDGs lofty ambition undermine advocacy to achieve them?

By: Charles F. Maccormack & Sarah Stroup
Español

The SDGs are certainly more comprehensive, and inclusive of human rights concerns and all relevant actors, than the previous development goals, but this may make ...

Winning a place for human rights in the new sustainable development agenda

By: Kate Donald 
Español | العربية

Though far from perfect, the new Sustainable Development Goals include important human rights commitments and do a better job than the MDGs of linking human rights ...

The key to ICC success: widening the reach of international justice

By: James A. Goldston
Español | Français

Technical legal arguments are insufficient to address growing disenchantment with the ICC. More must be done to extend the reach of international justice to the ...

Know thy audience: effective messaging in human rights campaigns

By: Laurence Janta-Lipinski
Español

Knowing your audience, and tailoring messages accordingly, will make or break a human rights campaign.

For human rights, majority opinion isn’t always important

By: Kenneth Roth
Español | Français | العربية

If polls don’t target relevant publics, they misinform activism.

“Small places, close to home”: successful communication on human rights

By: Neil Crowther
Español | Français

Effective counter-framing is crucial to improve public opinion on human rights.

Making peace through polls

By: Colin Irwin 

Public opinion polls can help bring forward the voice of the silent majority, who mostly favour peace in situations of violent conflict.

Human rights mainstreaming in climate change policy: a glass half full

By: Marc Limon
Español | Français

The UN’s human rights bodies can’t solve the problem of climate change – but that doesn’t mean they have no role to play in pushing for more ambitious action to ...

Law and politics at the International Criminal Court

By: Benson Chinedu Olugbuo

The ICC should be above politics, but some of the rules found in the Rome Statute make that difficult.

Less money, more risk: the struggle for change in women’s rights

By: Rochelle Jones & Sarah Rosenhek & Anna Turley
Español | Français

With fewer resources and greater risks, sustainable change in women’s rights internationally means supporting local women’s collective action and power.

Why framing matters—and polls only give you so much

By: Nat Kendall-Taylor 
Español

Understanding how people think about human rights, not just what they think, is critical to effective communication.

Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?

By: Brian Root 
Español | Français | العربية

Human Rights Watch generally avoids burdensome evaluations; instead, we’re looking for “light and agile” reflections on our work.

Climate change poses an existential threat to human rights

By: Stephen Humphreys
Español | Français | العربية

It’s obvious climate change is a human rights issue. Less obvious is that saying so doesn’t necessarily help much, and indeed exposes the limitations of rights ...

Greening human rights

By: John Knox
Español | Français | العربية

The protection of human rights and a healthy environment are mutually reinforcing – a fact that is gaining increasing international legal recognition.

Elevate the law in fight against atrocities

By: Kip Hale 
Español

No one would argue the law should be subservient to politics when confronting domestic criminality, so why should this be the case for international crimes?

Does it matter when polls go wrong?

By: Kathy Frankovic 

When political polls go wrong, many people start to doubt polling entirely. But that’s a costly mistake.

Doubling down on human rights data

By: Sarah E. Mendelson
Español | Français | Русский

NGOs have often resisted social science methods, but random sampling and public opinion survey data can help us understand what people actually think and want.

Data-driven optimism for global rights activists

By: James Ron & Shannon Golden & David Crow & Archana Pandya
Español | Français | العربية

Opinion polls across four world regions suggest that human rights activists can be cautiously optimistic—the public likes and trusts them.

Human rights are revolutionary—in principle not practice

By: Joel R. Pruce
Español | Français

The practice of human rights is utterly inconsistent with the subversive backbone expressed in its norms, and this tension presents problems for the movement.

Is the relationship of the ICC and R2P truly “win-win”?

By: Ruben Reike
Français | العربية

Evidence from Syria and Libya suggests that linkages between the ICC and R2P are not always win-win.

ICC action and the domestic effects of transnational criminality

By: Valentina Azarov
العربية

Noisy discussions in the Israeli/Palestinian context have obscured how the ICC’s role may impact Israel’s relations with other states, especially in Europe.

At the ICC, there is no deterrence without resources

By: Mariana Rodríguez-Pareja  & Salvador Herencia-Carrasco
Español

To deter atrocities, the ICC requires more diplomatic support, financial resources and logistical assistance from the Security Council.

When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey

By: Emma Naughton & Kevin Kelpin
Español | Français | العربية

Yes, human rights work must be measured, but we need to focus on the small steps as well as the “big picture.”

Towards a multipolar civil society

By: Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah & Mandeep Tiwana
Español | Português

With the world more multipolar than ever, why is civil society power still disproportionately located in the global North?

When internationalization causes more harm than good

By: Ram Mashru
Español | Français | العربية

Focusing on the practicalities of internationalization neglects a vital and thorny question: is going global really in the interests of all rights groups?

One-way street: can internationalization ever be South-North?

By: Maja Daruwala

North-South internationalization must be an alliance of equals, not simply a Northern expansion.

To prevent atrocities, count on politics first, law later

By: Jack Snyder & Leslie Vinjamuri
Español | Français

Recent studies pointing to the global deterrent effect of the ICC and international law in reducing atrocities are highly speculative.

How does professionalization impact international human rights organizations?

By: Carrie Oelberger
Español | Français

The more transnational human rights groups become, the more likely they are to professionalize. This, in turn, can influence the sector’s values.

The International Criminal Court at risk

By: Elizabeth Evenson & Jonathan O’Donohue 
Español | Français

With all-too-limited resources, the ICC is falling behind in the fight against impunity. Unless drastic measures are taken, it may never catch up.

Do-It-Yourself-Aid: alternative funding sources for rights work?

By: Anne Meike Fetcher
Español

Is “Do-It-Yourself-Aid” the answer to funding rights work? Anne-Meike Fechter describes this model, its funding and related implications

Eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030

By: Nafissatou J. Diop
Français | العربية

The UN’s proposed new development goals include a target to end harmful traditional practices like FGM by 2030. We now know the key steps needed to get there.

The Ongwen trial at the ICC: tough questions on child soldiers

By: Mark Drumbl
Español | العربية

LRA commander and former child soldier Dominic Ongwen’s forthcoming trial at the ICC risks obscuring the complex question of how to achieve justice when a victim ...

Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world

By: Vincent Ploton
Español | Français

Human rights groups are understandably reluctant to use “results-based management”, but embracing this approach can boost their impact.

Decentralizing can make global human rights groups stronger

By: Adriano Campolina
Español | Français

NGO internationalization is now trendy, but ActionAid realized long ago that giving up power doesn’t mean having less power.

The Human Rights Council at 10: too much talk, too little action?

By: Marc Limon & Subhas Gujadhur
Français

There is lots of talk about human rights at the UN Human Rights Council, but too little attention to the violations of those rights in specific countries.

A Geneva Spring? Why civil society needs North-South solidarity

By: Louise Arbour
Español | Português

International human rights institutions are weak, but true North-South solidarity in civil society could challenge a broken system.

Internationalization is about more than just advocacy

By: Johanna Siméant
Français

As NGOs create global brands rather than a “global civil society”, internationalization reaches beyond human rights advocacy.

Playing both ends against the middle

By: Stephen Hopgood
Español | Français | العربية

The idea of a “global middle” assumes that human rights transcend borders. But do they really?

Corporate concern for human rights essential to tackle climate change

By: Asuncion Lera St. Clair

We have the means to create a green and equitable economy, but first corporations must embrace sustainable growth strategies that include a concern for human rights.

Religion inspires in ways that international law does not

By: Abadir M. Ibrahim
العربية

Using extreme examples to justify a purely secular human rights approach does a disservice to the many religious leaders doing progressive work.

Internationalizing human rights NGOs is not a zero-sum game

By: Kenneth Roth
Español | Português

Internationalizing human rights NGOs can benefit everyone; it’s not a zero sum game.

New trend, old roots: “internationalization” in Amnesty’s history

By: Susan Waltz
Español

For Amnesty International, the growing trend of “internationalization” has very old roots.

Secularism can sometimes undermine women’s rights

By: Emma Tomalin

Rights activists tend to identify secularism with women’s rights, but if we don’t engage with religion, we can’t effectively confront many wrong-headed policies ...

Human rights diversity goes beyond North-South relations

By: Emily Martinez
Español | Français | العربية

Diversifying the global human rights movement involves more than North-South restructuring.

UN strategy to combat religious intolerance - is it fit for purpose?

By: Marc Limon & Nazila Ghanea & Hilary Power
Español | العربية

As religious intolerance and discrimination increase, is the UN’s current strategic response – as set out in a Human Rights Council resolution and related plans ...

Don’t ditch the “local” when scrambling to “go global”

By: Stanley Ibe
Español | Français | العربية

We cannot afford to globalize human rights at the expense of local context. To be sustainable and effective, local activists must lead and adapt human rights initiatives ...

A time for change? The future of INGOs in international human rights

By: Wendy Wong
Español | Français | العربية

Representativeness and access in the human rights arena is crucial, but is decentralization really the best move?

Multiple boomerangs: new models of global human rights advocacy

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito
Español

The global human rights field is being transformed, and activists are inventing new, less hierarchical models of collaboration, including global virtual networks ...

How do we solve structural inequality in global networks?

By: Charli Carpenter
Español

It’s time to relocate power centres in the top-heavy human rights network. The savvy use of network tactics is the best approach: cultivating southern “hubs”, empowering ...

Moving Amnesty closer to the ground is necessary, not simple

By: Salil Shetty
Español | Français | العربية

The rapidly changing global structure and the rise of emerging powers require Amnesty to work in a more bottom-up manner. Now, for the first time ever, there is ...

Coming together, or falling apart?

By: Sarah Stroup
Español | Français | العربية

International human rights groups are a big help when developing transnational norms; decentralizing these NGOs risks robbing them of their key strength.

Convergence towards the global middle: an emerging architecture for the international human rights movement

By: Louis Bickford
Español | Français | العربية

As international rights groups move “closer to the ground” and domestic groups reach out internationally, the human rights community is converging. Can we harness ...

Human rights – help or hindrance to combatting climate change?

By: Usha Natarajan

Although the human rights framework brings out the inequities inherent in both the causes and impacts of global warming, it risks perpetuating a flawed development ...

Twilight or dark glasses? A reply to Eric Posner

By: Beth A. Simmons
Français | Español

Eric Posner argues that the proliferation of human rights norms is essentially useless, but his argument ignores key evidence to the contrary.

Throwing justice under the bus is not the way to go

By: Richard Dicker
Français

Past experience suggests warnings that international criminal trials impede peace efforts are overblown. The ICC prosecutor mustn’t politicize her mandate by paying ...

The ‘interests of justice’ require challenging impunity

By: Dan Saxon

The ICC may consider the local context, but no policy or legal decision that permits impunity for gross human rights abuse can satisfy the interests of justice.

The politics of impunity little impacted by the ICC

By: Sarah Nouwen
Español

The intervention of the ICC in some countries has many effects, but little impact on promoting real accountability – and at times working against that goal.

The twilight of human rights law

By: Eric Posner
Español | العربية | Français

The international human rights regime is too expansive in scope and feeble in enforcement to have any real impact; good government can’t be reduced to a set of ...

Intolerance of impunity does not make ICC an enemy of peace

By: Paul Seils
العربية

Demanding accountability for war crimes does make the job of peace mediators more difficult, but so be it – an ICC investigation cannot be bargained away.

The surprising impact of the Rome Statute in India

By: Usha Ramanathan
हिन्दी

Though India refuses to join the ICC, the Rome Statute has proved very useful in pushing for law reform that would put an end to decades of impunity for state complicity ...

The ICC and its impact: more known unknowns

By: Mark Kersten
Français | Español

When it comes to the ICC’s impact on peace processes, we actually know very little, which may be because we are asking the wrong questions. It’s time to create ...

Does the ICC advance the interests of justice?

By: Priscilla Hayner
Français | Español

What exactly are the “interests of justice” in the context of the ICC? And should the ICC prosecutor take conflict resolution into account, or do the interests ...

Introducing this week's theme: The International Criminal Court - from a troubled past, what future for International Justice?

By: David Petrasek & Archana Pandya

The Rome Statute established the ICC with an independent Prosecutor and a robust and comprehensive mandate to end impunity for the worst crimes. But now, after ...

The ICC – breach in the dyke, or high water mark?

By: David Petrasek
Français

The International Criminal Court has failed to live up to expectations that it would mark the end of impunity. Beset by controversy, and its continued relevance ...

Open budgets, open politics?

By: Dan Berliner
Español | Français

Budget transparency has the potential to make governments more accountable, but research shows that it occurs most often where it is least needed.

Development and human rights – a plea for a more critical embrace

By: V. Nagaraj
Español

The human rights framework provides an inadequate tool for understanding the deeper processes of development, and its uncritical embrace risks imposing a legal ...

Winners and losers: how budgeting for human rights can help the poor

By: Helena Hofbauer
Español | Bahasa | Français | 简体中文

Recent research reveals the impact that international covenants could have on government taxation and expenditures. Based on civil society organization (CSO) campaigns ...

Beyond the courts – protecting economic and social rights

By: Irene Khan  & David Petrasek
Français | Español | العربية

The overlapping and interdependent nature of human rights suggests efforts to protect only some rights in law are misguided. The reason for legalizing economic ...

Transforming the development agenda requires more, not less, attention to human rights

By: Radhika Balakrishnan & Ignacio Saiz

The UN General Assembly later this month will begin negotiations over the content of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to succeed the Millennium Development ...

Is the emerging middle class our best hope for global rights activism?

By: Doutje Lettinga
Español | Français | العربية

A global poll into perceptions of human rights confirms there is hope for international human rights organizations to build alliances within Southern civil societies ...

A do and don’t do list for the new High Commissioner

By: David Petrasek
Español

A new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has just been appointed - Prince Zeid, Jordan’s UN Ambassador in New York. He will need to move quickly to improve the ...

Let’s talk about religion

By: Meghan L. Morris
Español

Many human rights advocates work with people and/or communities who believe in a God or gods, but few are actually talking about the specifics of those beliefs. ...

The real power of rights is not religion

By: Michael Bochenek
Español

It’s not useful to debate whether human rights derive from religion or to include religious leaders only as token voices. What we need are authentic alliances with ...

No human rights without God

By: Daniel Philpott

Human rights need God because three ingredients are critical to their validity: universal moral norms, human dignity, and their “trump card” status. These ingredients ...

Starting at the top: why rights groups need to engage religious leaders

By: Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr 

For human rights to find resonance in the global South, we must connect them to the existing beliefs of the people by engaging religious leaders. Without this cultural ...

The paradox of religion and rights

By: Jeremy Carrette

While religion is foundational to human rights, it is also problematic. Broad concepts of religion often obscure identity and hide an imperialistic organization ...

Religion as a human rights liability

By: Nida Kirmani 
Español | اردو | العربية

lthough many human rights movements have religious underpinnings, explicitly linking religion to human rights can lead to the exclusion and persecution of minority ...

Human rights must get religion

By: Larry Cox
Français | Español | العربية

Many human rights activists are secular and view religion as a problem, rather than as an ally. Although religion does often pose serious challenges, it also offers ...

On a wing and a prayer: can religion revive the rights movement?

By: Jack Snyder
Español | Français | العربية

Normative frameworks in the Global South are largely religious, making it difficult for the secular human rights movement to penetrate these societies. Religious ...

Funding for human rights: the BRAC experience

By: Ian Smillie

Over four decades, BRAC has become one of the largest and most effective NGOs in the world, with outstanding success in incorporating human rights into its programs ...

In for a bumpy ride: international aid and the closing space for domestic NGOs

By: Saskia Brechenmacher & Thomas Carothers
Español | Français | العربية

The global pushback against domestic NGOs has arrived. International donors must learn to cope, but it won’t be easy.

Exploring local possibilities for local rights

By: Okeoma Ibe
Français

Designing and planning solutions to human rights problems from thousands of miles away often produces unsustainable results. The time has come for Southern human ...

What's a funder to do?

By: Rachel Wahl

If international funding compromises the work of domestic human rights groups, what should international donors do? It is admirable for local groups to refuse international ...

Can corporate campaigners tap corporate largesse? Unlocking millions for human rights advocates

By: Chris Jochnick

Human rights advocates are loathe to accept corporate funding, even in pursuit of worthy initiatives. But companies facing human rights challenges are eager for ...

From aid to investment: funding women's rights groups

By: Angelika Artyunova

A paradigm shift in funding from human rights toward 'investments' and 'business solutions' is threatening women’s rights organizing and the rights-based approach ...

Rights-based approaches to development: from rights ‘talk’ to joint action

By: Hans Peter Schmitz

The rights based approach to development is increasingly popular, but more rights-based money isn’t the answer to the world’s ills. Rights-based practitioners will ...

The state of global human rights philanthropy

By: Christen Dobson & Lucía Carrasco Scherer & Emilienne de León
Español | Français | العربية | Português

Using the first-ever data-driven effort to track global human rights funding, representatives from two major global funding networks based in the U.S. and Mexico ...

Universal values, foreign money: local human rights organizations in the Global South

By: James Ron & Archana Pandya
Türkçe | Español | Français | Português | العربية | עברית

Despite enjoying a fair bit of local support, local human rights organizations (LHROs) in the Global South are still largely dependent on foreign funds. To better ...

Misunderstanding the mass politics of the rights mission

By: Jack Snyder

The problem with Aryeh Neier’s argument is that, historically, there has been no way to separate efforts to promote general human rights from rising groups’ political ...

It begins and ends with power

By: Stephen Hopgood

The author acknowledges his supporters, but he answers his critics. It is political leverage, not human rights, that make things happen. The wealthy and influential ...

Against reductionist views of human rights

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito
Español

César Rodríguez-Garavito responds to Stephen Hopgood and Aryeh Neier, criticising both sides of the debate for an all too simplistic view of the actors, the content ...

New powers won’t play by old rules

By: David Petrasek
Español

Expecting new global powers to promote human rights abroad via the United Nations assumes that they will play by the old rules and - if such pressure is to be effective ...

Encouraging stronger engagement by emerging powers on human rights

By: Kenneth Roth & Peggy Hicks
Español | العربية | Português

Resentment of the west is making emerging powers hold back when they could be using their strengths and experiences to challenge the world’s abusive regimes.

Human rights in the vernacular

By: Jack Snyder
Español | العربية

The road to greater ownership of human rights by emerging powers is a bumpy one. But it will lead to a more real, and less utopian approach.

Human rights: past their sell-by date

By: Stephen Hopgood
Español | العربية

It is activists, not states who will make a difference in future. But western-led rights organizations may have seen their day.

Challenges and opportunities in a changing world

By: Salil Shetty
Español | العربية

Emerging powers are starting to wield some clout on global rights but they need to do much more says Amnesty International’s Secretary General.