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  • Author: Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: This article considers whether a there should be a separate international Covenant to elaborate on the human right to own property, which has languished since its inclusion in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Privatization, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: This paper warns that the human security discourse and agenda could inadvertently undermine the international human rights regime. It argues that in so far as human security identifies new threats to well-being, new victims of those threats, new duties of states, and/or new mechanisms of dealing with threats at the inter-state level, it adds to the established human rights regime. In so far as it simply rephrases human rights principles without identifying new threats, victims, duty-bearers, or mechanisms, at best it complements human rights and at worst it could undermine them. The narrow view of human security, as defined below, is a valuable addition to the international normative regime requiring state and international action against severe threats to human beings. By contrast, the broader view of human security at best repeats, and possibly undermines, the already extant human rights regime, especially by converting state obligations to respect individuals' inalienable human rights into policy decisions regarding which aspects of human security to protect under which circumstances. The two may be competing discourses, despite arguments by some scholars (Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 12) that they are not.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Sovereignty
  • Author: Brigit Toebes
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: Research indicates that health sectors in both poor and rich nations are vulnerable to abuse and corruption. This paper discusses the character and scope of health sector abuse and corruption. It suggests that human rights law can play an important role in enhancing the transparency and integrity of health systems. Based on the existing human rights framework, some tools are provided and examples are given of how this can be done.
  • Topic: Corruption, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law
  • Author: Jennifer S. Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: On January 12, 2010, an earthquake of devastating magnitude shook Haiti, killing over 250,000, reducing much of the country's infrastructure to rubble—including its government—and leaving millions of people without homes and livelihoods. As Haiti lurches toward an era of rebuilding and renewal, the ways in which priorities are set and resources spent can either accelerate the rate at which Haitians are able to emerge from poverty and achieve economic development—or they can substantially inhibit the country's path toward recovery. One of the most critical factors that will determine which path Haiti takes is the extent to which gender concerns are brought to the fore in the reconstruction process. Gender mainstreaming, as a technical term in the development field, involves ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities, from policy development to legislative drafting. Such a women-focused approach is not only imperative from a moral justice and human rights perspective, but also a vital component of a successful economic development strategy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Natural Disasters
  • Author: Hayat Alvi
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: Ten years after the September 11th attacks in the United States and the military campaign in Afghanistan, there is some good news, but unfortunately still much bad news pertaining to women in Afghanistan. The patterns of politics, security/military operations, religious fanaticism, heavily patriarchal structures and practices, and ongoing insurgent violence continue to threaten girls and women in the most insidious ways. Although women's rights and freedoms in Afghanistan have finally entered the radar screen of the international community's consciousness, they still linger in the margins in many respects.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Human Welfare, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Konstantinos G. Margaritis
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: A possible accession of European Union (hereinafter: EU/the Union) to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR/the Convention) has been discussed in legal society for more than thirty years. The topic had widely opened after the 1979 Commission Memorandum where the major pros and cons were underlined and practical problems were addressed. This discussion led to an official request to the European Court of Justice (ECJ/the Court) in relation to the legality of such accession; the outcome was included in opinion 2/94 that found such accession incompatible with the European Community (EC/the Community) Treaty. However, the whole argumentation regarding EU accession to ECHR had originated earlier, the first approach of the sensitive issue of fundamental rights. Technical problems arose from the other part as well. The ECHR was constructed for States to participate in so the accession of an organization such as the EU would demand significant amendments. A relevant proposal from the Council of Europe's point of view was manifested in the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) Document DG-II 2002. protection at an EU level was directed by the ECJ that had envisaged the conceptual influence of the Convention to the EU and developed the doctrine of Community protection of fundamental rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: James Pattison, Deane-Peter Baker
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: The possibility of using private military and security companies to bolster the capacity to undertake humanitarian intervention has been increasingly debated. The focus of such discussions has, however, largely been on practical issues and the contingent problems posed by private force. By contrast, this paper considers the principled case for privatising humanitarian intervention. It focuses on two central issues. First, is there a case for preferring these firms to other, state-based agents of humanitarian intervention? In particular, given a state's duties to their own military personnel, should the use of private military and security contractors be preferred to regular soldiers for humanitarian intervention? Second, on the other hand, does outsourcing humanitarian intervention to private military and security companies pose some fundamental, deeper problems in this context, such as an abdication of a state's duties?
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, War
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Peter Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: To begin, not propitiously. When checking whether my title 'Necessary Fictions' was being used elsewhere, Google revealed that it was going to be used in a future talk, and by me. It transpired mercifuly that this use was going to be quite different to the present which suggested the prospect of a new academic genre: same title, different paper; rather than the standard combination of same paper, different title. Fortuitously, that contrast gave me the leitmotiv for this talk – that things ostensibly the same can be different, and that things ostensibly different can be the same.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Political Theory, Minorities
  • Political Geography: United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Patrick J. Glen
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: In his seminal work on the history of scientific development, Thomas Kuhn described the structure of that development as revolutionary in nature, occurring at that point in time “in which an older paradigm is replaced in whole or in part by an incompatible one.” The impetus for this paradigm shift is malfunction—“scientific revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense … that an existing paradigm has ceased to function adequately in the exploration of an aspect of nature to which that paradigm itself had previously led the way…. [T]he sense of malfunction that can lead to crisis is prerequisite to revolution.” Kuhn himself analogized his conception of the theory and operation of scientific revolutions to political revolutions, drawing out parallels in genesis, form and function between the two. The notion of revolutionary change, or paradigm shifts, itself provides a useful framework to judge the evolution, current state, and potential future of international human rights and criminal law. Although the analogy must necessarily be incomplete, as is the analogy between scientific and political revolutions, it does go a long way in explaining how the current system of international justice has reached its present state, and what may need to occur before that system can develop further.
  • Topic: Crime, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, Political Theory
  • Author: Susan Waltz, Elaine K. Denny
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: We have prepared this two-part case study with two pedagogical purposes in mind: (1) To develop an understanding of the concept (and political meaning) of human rights. (2) To facilitate discussion about processes of reconciliation and reconstruction and the importance of holistic conceptions of rights and security for future stability. Instructor notes are organized around these two themes. For each theme, we have provided some background commentary and discussion questions that can accompany both parts of the case study.
  • Topic: Civil War, Human Rights, Human Welfare, War
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Rob Prince
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: To most Americans with the exception of those few who, for whatever reason, have an attachment to the North African country of Tunisia, the name Fahem Boukadous, foreign to American ears, means nothing. It means a good deal more to "Reporters Without Borders” and to the US State Department that actually issued a statement (half way down the page) on his behalf, to the US intelligence agencies and military that have carefully followed the Spring, 2008 uprising in the Tunisian region of Gafsa–deemed the most extensive and militant social protest in that country's history in the past quarter century.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, Torture
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Arabia, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Tracey Holland
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: The world's peace-building and development organizations increasingly are incorporating human-rights frameworks into the myriad of activities now under their purview. Slower to develop, however, are the capacity-building programs designed to impart knowledge about human rights to citizens and communities. Field-workers throughout the world indicate that the lack of such guidance-giving education hinders them when it comes to monitoring activities, helping to rebuild public institutions, setting up and organizing electoral politics, building an unfettered media, protecting human security, setting up transitional justice mechanisms, and the myriad of other peace-building activities and democratization challenges they face in post-conflict situations. This paper not only explores this emerging field of the study and practice of human-rights education within the cross-national peace-building sphere by sharing the perspectives of educators around the world, but also considers a host of ideas that should help to advance the human-rights agendas of present and future post-conflict planners.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, Peace Studies, Peacekeeping
  • Author: George Shepherd, Peter Van Arsdale
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: Darfur is located in the Western part of Sudan and borders Libya to the north, and Chad and CentralAfrican Republic to the West. It had an estimated population of seven million (prior to refugee and IDPdisplacements), representing more than 70 tribes, and is potentially rich in natural resources includingoil, copper, and uranium, as well as reservoirs of subsurface "Pleistocene water."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya
  • Author: Howard Adelman
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: “I am sure they (the IDF soldiers) committed this crime.” I read these words just after I had finished the first draft of this paper on 1 February 2009. Oakland Ross, the Toronto Star journalist, was quoting Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish who had trained at the Soroka hospital in Beersheba and the Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv. The interview was held at the latter Israeli hospital where another daughter was being treated for her injuries after the IDF opened the Ezer crossing to Gaza in a rare exception and allowed a Palestinian ambulance to meet up with an Israeli ambulance so the injured child could be transferred by IDF helicopter to the hospital. Dr. Abu al-Aish, a gynaecologist at Gaza's main Shifa Hospital, was a peace activist; his children attended peace camps with Israeli children. During the war, he had been heard frequently on Israel's Channel 10 TV station reporting in fluent Hebrew by cell phone via his friend, the Israeli journalist, Shlomi Eldar, to Israelis on the health problems resulting from the war that he had been witnessing in Gaza from his top floor apartment of a five-storey apartment building on Salahadin Street at the corner of Zino Rd. in Jebaliya just north of Gaza City. On Friday, 16 January 2009 less than 36 hours before the ceasefire went into effect in Gaza on Sunday, 18 January 2009, he was on the air when two shells from an Israeli tank parked a block away ploughed through his apartment and killed three of his daughters. 22-year-old Bisan, 15-year-old Mayer, 14-year old Ayan, and his 14-year-old niece, Nour Abu al- Aish.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Rekha A. Kumar
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: The right of indigenous people to have customary law accommodated within the communities they live is an integral part of Botswana legal system. How far traditional cultures protect the well-being of their people would illuminate the foundation of human dignity on which human rights protection stands in a country. The revelations may not be affirmative always, however. In Botswana the Constitution places a prominent status on custom in a range of contexts. The core of personal law is very much the domain of customary law. It is of particular significance for women's rights. In its application it reinforces the social order by determining the obligations of men, women and children, their entitlement to resources, property ownership, marriage and divorce. It formulates such matters as the status of widows, child custody and inheritance. In the absence of a guarantee that equality between men and women takes precedence over custom, traditional practices that discriminate against women may be lawful in some circumstances. There are a number of regional and international human rights instruments ratified by Botswana. The Government has assumed an obligation to ensure that at all its levels of administration basic rights of the people will be respected and protected. How far these legally bind Botswana in its domestic application of customary law is a legitimate question not clearly settled so far.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Heraldo Muñoz
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: The adoption of the concept of “Responsibility to Protect” (RtoP) by the Heads of State and Government in the September 2005 United Nations World Summit was a historic landmark which has generated great attention as a potentially powerful instrument to impede humanitarian tragedies. Yet much has been missing, or misinterpreted, in the public discussion of this emerging norm. Some fear that RtoP could be abused by powerful countries to intervene in developing nations alleging altruistic motives, while others believe that RtoP is already a rule of customary international law that should be applied unconditionally and without delay in the face of any humanitarian crisis in the world. To make it workable in real life, the concept must be saved from friends and foes by narrowing its focus and turning RtoP as operational as possible so as to effectively implement it, in line with what global leaders decided in 2005.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Author: Stephan Haggard
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: The penal system has played a central role in the North Korean government's response to the country's profound economic and social changes. Two refugee surveys—one conducted in China, one in South Korea—document its changing role. The regime disproportionately targets politically suspect groups, particularly those involved in market-oriented economic activities. Levels of violence and deprivation do not appear to differ substantially between the infamous political prison camps, penitentiaries for felons, and labor camps used to incarcerate individuals for misdemeanors, including economic crimes. Substantial numbers of those incarcerated report experiencing deprivation with respect to food as well as public executions and other forms of violence. This repression appears to work; despite substantial cynicism about the North Korean system, refugees do not report signs of collective action aimed at confronting the regime.
  • Topic: Corruption, Human Rights, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Federico Sperotto
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: Counterinsurgency is the dominant aspect of US operations in Afghanistan, and since ISAF—the NATO-led security and assistance force—has assumed growing security responsibility throughout the country, it is also a mission for the Europeans. The frame in which military operations are conducted is irregular warfare, a form of conflict which differs from conventional operations in two main aspects. First, it is warfare among and within the people. Second, it is warfare in which insurgents avoid a direct military confrontation, using instead unconventional methods and terrorist tactics.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Federico Sperotto
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: On March 11th, 2000, two children who were playing in the neighborhoods of Mitrovica, Kosovo, got hurt by an “unexploded ordnance”. One of them died in the explosion, the other was severely injured. An inquire clarified that the ordnance was a “bomblet”, a part of a cluster bomb dropped during the 1999 NATO air campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Cooperation, International Law
  • Political Geography: Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Author: Sarah Bania-Dobyns
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: This paper argues that because institutions are different from individuals, we need different ethics in order to address the unique ethical risks associated with them. In particular, institutions run into unique ethical problems when no one individual is clearly responsible for an institutional outcome, what many scholars have called the “many hands” dilemma. The traditional approach to resolving such dilemmas has nevertheless been to attribute responsibility to individuals, either as persons or as agents. Since the traditional approach sets limits on the kinds of institutional ethical dilemmas that can be resolved, I turn to historical institutionalism (HI) in order to focus instead on the level of the institution as a step towards the case for holding international institutions accountable as institutions. HI can draw attention away from the detailed actions of individuals inside an institution, instead focusing attention on the evolutionary nature of the institution, making it difficult to change institutional practices. Based on this claim, in the second part I discuss two examples of institutions' accountability structures and guidelines, the EU Code of Good Administrative Behaviour and the IMF Code of Conduct for Staff. By considering three different factors (location of the Code within the governance structure of the institution, relations with a public according to the Codes and language in the Codes), my objective is to show how these Codes illustrate the limitations of the traditional approach to the “many hands” dilemma. I close with a discussion of how this argument makes space for further research on institutional accountability.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Organization