Trump and human rights - How should activists respond?

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The day after Donald Trump’s surprising victory, openGlobalRights asked leading human rights figures, “How should human rights activists respond?”

Here, we curate the responses we receive, as leading scholars, activists and NGO leaders debate how best to grapple with the rise of an explicitly rights-rejecting superpower.








Fighting for indigenous rights in the Trump era

March 15, 2018
BY: Tereza M. Szeghi

American Indians are actively resisting Trump’s efforts and working to ...

Five key battles for re-imagining democracy in a radically changed world

January 22, 2018
BY: Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

The challenges facing civil society now aren’t about reviving our weakening ...

Evidence indicates that we should be hopeful—not hopeless—about human rights

November 29, 2017
BY: Kathryn Sikkink
Español | Português

We compare our current human rights situation not to the past but to an ...

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

November 24, 2017
BY: David Forsythe

Trump’s attitude towards human rights is not entirely new: our presumed ...

Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a weapon against populism

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

The Sustainable Development Goals could give activists the rhetoric they ...

“Speaking truth to power:” a call for praxis in human rights

April 18, 2017
BY: Alicia Ely Yamin

Human rights require struggles over power and systems of thought—not just ...

Republicans move to break with the United Nations

March 24, 2017
BY: Paige Berges

Republicans are revisiting a move to withdraw from the United Nations ...

Will human rights law actually protect us from fascism?

March 14, 2017
BY: Eva Nanopoulos

Human rights regimes such as the European Convention on Human Rights are ...

Preparing for terrorism—and potential torture—under President Trump

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

Will Trump’s unequivocal position on torture affect how the US responds ...

Modi and Trump - voting strongmen, voting hate

February 27, 2017
BY: Zahir Janmohamed

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

Might Trump lead US activists to rediscover international human rights?

February 27, 2017
BY: Mark Philip Bradley

Recent social justice struggles in the US have largely eschewed the language ...

Opportunities for resistance: Trump’s authoritarianism and the law

February 23, 2017
BY: Stuart Wilson

Human rights values and rule of law are lost on authoritarians, but the ...

The death knell of American Exceptionalism under Trump

February 16, 2017
BY: David Forsythe

If Trump pushes his agenda too far, Republicans concerned with liberal ...

The world is watching—corporate action on Trump travel ban

February 3, 2017
BY: Salil Tripathi

Many corporations have already taken a stand against Trump’s travel ban, ...

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

January 11, 2017
BY: Chris Grove
Español | العربية

Human rights—as a movement that critiques systemic inequalities and affirms ...

Making the human rights movement great again—amidst rising nationalism

December 29, 2016
BY: James A. Goldston

As angry rhetoric and illiberal nationalism soars globally, the human ...

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

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

For rights activists, Trump’s victory is a dark cloud with one silver ...

Why the American Electoral College matters for human rights everywhere

December 5, 2016
BY: Benjamin James Waddell

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

Trump, the other and human rights in society

November 24, 2016
BY: Inga T. Winkler

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

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

November 21, 2016
BY: Christian Medina-Ramirez 

A shell-shocked America, a Brexit-divided United Kingdom and a crisis-stricken ...

Bringing back waterboarding? Torture policy in Trump’s America

November 16, 2016
BY: Lisa Hajjar

As the US prepares for president Trump, anyone who cares about human rights ...

Trump’s election makes US human rights pariah

November 15, 2016
BY: David Petrasek
Español | Français

A Trump presidency poses a grave threat to human rights—not only in the ...

Trump and the limits of human rights

November 14, 2016
BY: Samuel Moyn
Español | Français

No matter how good our ancestors were in creating the international human ...

International pressure on US human rights matters now more than ever

November 11, 2016
BY: Kathryn Sikkink
Español | Français

Domestic politics are important, but we need international human rights ...

Fascism rising

November 9, 2016
BY: Stephen Hopgood
Español | Français

Global institutions and principles now face their sternest test. Trump’s ...