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  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets peace, justice and strong institutions as goals for the international community to work toward, along with participatory decision-making at all levels and equal representation and participation of women in public affairs (Goals 5.5 and 16.7).1 The Human Rights Council stressed “the critical importance of equal and effective participation in political and public affairs for democracy, the rule of law, social inclusion, economic development and advancing gender equality, and for the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” 2 As part of their broad mandate to protect and promote human rights, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have a key role to play in protecting and promoting the right to participate in public affairs.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thomas Renard , Rik Coolsaet
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Some 5000 men, women and children have travelled from Europe to Syria and Iraq since 2012. An estimated 1500 of these foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) have returned so far. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands represent a third of European FTF and returnees. This report looks into the evolution of policies on returning foreign fighters in these three countries, comparing responses with regard to fighters that are still in the conflict zone, policies to deal with returnees in prison and attitudes towards the children of foreign fighters. It is the very first systematic and in-depth study into national approaches and policies vis-à-vis returnees. Its added value lies in the wealth of data, including data that has not been published before, and in the comparative angle.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alistair D. B. Cook, Foo Yen Ne
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The exposure to natural hazards has prompted Bangladesh to institutionalize disaster management and coordination. This report examines Bangladesh’s established disaster management structures and the role of key actors through reviewing existing literature from international organisations, academia, and think tanks, followed by interviews with key disaster management stakeholders in Bangladesh from the end of February to the beginning of March 2018. In analysing the response to the 2017 Rohingya Exodus, this report aims to identify lessons learnt and factors which may impede effective disaster management and coordination between different actors with some operating outside their traditional mandated area of natural hazards to govern a complex humanitarian emergency.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh
  • Author: Samantha Sultoon
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Economic sanctions have become a policy tool-of-choice for the US government. Yet sanctions and their potential pitfalls are often misunderstood. The Economic Sanctions Initiative (ESI) seeks to build a better understanding of the role sanctions can and cannot play in advancing policy objectives and of the impact of sanctions on the private sector, which bears many of the implementation costs.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In an American political culture coarsened by belligerence, dozens within Congress still are shaping bipartisan foreign policies to maintain a strong U.S. defense of human rights worldwide. The ability of Congress to sustain bipartisanship on human rights issues is vital to long-term international stability and U.S. national security, according to the Republican and Democratic co-chairs of Congress’ prominent human rights group—the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Through their joint initiative on Human Rights and Election Standards, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and The Carter Center have worked to bring the human rights and election communities closer and to foster stronger links and communication between them. This Plan of Action aims to advance human rights related to genuine democratic elections by charting a course of practical steps toward our shared goals. The draft plan was developed based on the recommendations formulated through consultations that took place between 2015 and 2017. Going forward, organizations and individuals may agree on an ad-hoc basis to disseminating and acting upon the recommendations in this Plan of Action. The OHCHR and The Carter Center acknowledge the many individuals and organizations that contributed to the Human Rights and Election Standards consultations
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rachid Chennani
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Moroccan state started to seriously interact with the human rights discourse in the early 1990s due to long domestic struggles by human rights advocates and global pressures to reform. At the same time, human rights organizations have developed and set aside much of their political lineage, taking up an active role in policy advocacy and pushing for alternatives to meet growing social and societal demands. The 2011 movement has revitalized the human rights approach to politics and social problems, and culminated a decades-long struggle to peacefully and gradually move to a social rights-based contract with the state. Such a state of affairs no longer seems far off.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Mohamed El Agati
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Egyptian state seeks to control civil society through laws and puts in place security measures to restrict its action, while civil society organizations, especially rights groups, deploy various strategies to ensure a minimal space for action. In this struggle, a solution lies not only in legislation enabling the participation of independent civil society but more in the opening of the political domain itself. In a context where the real danger lies in the continuation of a status quo that prevents the construction of a modern democratic state, civil society must build wider social and political network to enable it to influence state decisions and represent rights holders.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Hatem Chakroun
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The interaction between Tunisian human rights organizations and movements struggling for economic and social rights present the former with hard questions and important challenges. Human rights actors need to scrutinize their role and tactics to decide whether they would remain in the fast eroding mediation level (between the movements and the state) or they could explore other avenues that can address the complex issues of representation and brokerage between human rights defenders and the bearers of these very rights who are busy developing new ways of defending themselves.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The economic and social rights movement has struck some success in working with contentious movements to challenge public policies and institutions in Egypt. However, no organic relationship developed between the two. The contentious movement did not strategically adopt an economic and social rights framing that would have enabled it to get beyond its local, largely apolitical and un-institutionalized characteristics in favour of a nationwide platform.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: YUAN Zhengqing, Li Zhiyong, Zhufu Xiaofei
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: The life cycle of international norms is not actually a process of emergence, diffusion and internalization. As is shown by the logic of argumentation and the relational logic of processoriented constructivism, the development of international norms may take another approach, one of origination, diffusion and remolding. Through dialogues on norms, discourse critique, self-remolding and other means, China has enriched the practice of remolding international human rights norms with a human rights theory centered on the right to survive and develop, thereby providing a new approach and new angle of vision that allows non-Western countries to break away from the monist approach of norm development.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Michal Rotem, Neve Gordon
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The struggle between Zionists and Palestinian Bedouin over land in the Negev/ Naqab has lasted at least a century. Notwithstanding the state’s continuing efforts to concentrate the Bedouin population within a small swath of land, scholars have documented how the Bedouin have adopted their own means of resistance, including different practices of sumud. In this paper we maintain, however, that by focusing on planning policies and the spatio-legal mechanisms deployed by the state to expropriate Bedouin land, one overlooks additional technologies and processes that have had a significant impact on the social production of space in the Negev. One such site is the struggle over the right to education, which, as we show, is intricately tied to the organization of space and the population inhabiting that space. We illustrate how the right to education has been utilized as an instrument of tacit displacement deployed to relocate and concentrate the Bedouin population in planned governmental towns. Simultaneously, however, we show how Bedouin activists have continuously invoked the right to education, using it as a tool for reinforcing their sumud. The struggle for education in the Israeli Negev is, in other words, an integral part of the struggle for and over land.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Jeffrey Reger
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on Arabic, English, and Hebrew language sources from the British and Israeli archives, this article seeks to bridge the catastrophic rupture of 1948 to the early 1950s and to trace the changing relationship between ordinary Palestinian olive cultivators in the Galilee and the newly established Israeli state. In contrast with studies that center on the continued expulsion of Palestinians and extension of control over land by the state and state-supported actors in the aftermath of the Nakba, this study examines those Palestinians who stayed on their land and how they responded to Israeli agricultural and food control policies that they saw as discriminatory to the point of being existential threats. Beyond analysis of Israeli state policy toward olive growers and olive oil producers, this article brings in rare Palestinian voices from the time, highlighting examples of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli state’s practices of confiscation and discrimination.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Sahar Francis
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Women have been instrumental to the Palestinian liberation struggle from its inception, and the role they have played in political, civil, and armed resistance has been as critical, if not as visible, as that of their male counterparts. In addition to experiencing the same forms of repression as men, be it arrest, indefinite detention, or incarceration, Palestinian women have also been subjected to sexual violence and other gendered forms of coercion at the hands of the Israeli occupation regime. Drawing on testimonies from former and current female prisoners, this paper details Israel’s incarceration policies and examines their consequences for Palestinian women and their families. It argues that Israel uses the incarceration of women as a weapon to undermine Palestinian resistance and to fracture traditionally cohesive social relations; and more specifically, that the prison authorities subject female prisoners to sexual and gender-based violence as a psychological weapon to break them and, by extension, their children.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Nehad Khader
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In this profile of Rasmea Odeh, JPS examines the case of a Palestinian woman who has been incarcerated in both Israel and the United States. After a decade of confinement in Israel, Odeh was freed in a prisoner exchange in 1979. Following deportation from the occupied Palestinian territories, she became a noted social justice and women’s rights organizer, first in Lebanon and Jordan, and later in the U.S., where she built the now over 800-strong Arab Women’s Committee of Chicago. In April 2017, Odeh accepted a plea bargain that would lead to her deportation from the United States after a years-long legal battle to overturn a devastating conviction on charges of immigration fraud. Observers, legal experts, and supporters consider the case to “reek of political payback,” in the words of longtime Palestine solidarity activist, author, and academic Angela Davis. Odeh’s generosity of spirit, biting wit, and easy smile did not desert her throughout the years that she fought her case. To know Odeh is to be reminded that the work of organizing for social justice is about the collective rather than the individual, and that engagement, relationship building, and trust are the foundations of such work.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, International Affairs, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Salim Tamari
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The passing of Ibrahim Dakkak in early June 2016 marked the departure of the last of the great socialist leaders of Palestine’s post-Nakba generation. Dakkak was known for multiple levels of activism, as a trade unionist, as an exponent of economic development and higher education, and as a political organizer. He was also widely recognized for his role as the chief architect in charge of the restoration of al-Aqsa Mosque after an arson attack in 1969. Politically, he was in the top leadership of three major movements inside the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt): al-Jabha al-wataniyya or Palestine National Front, a coalition launched in August 1973 that mobilized civil resistance to Israeli land confiscations and a whole host of other rights violations; Lajnat al-tawjih al-watani (the National Guidance Committee or NGC), established in 1978 to coordinate resistance efforts inside the oPt with the political leadership of the national movement based outside; and al-Mubadara al-wataniyya (the National Initiative Committee), which Dakkak cofounded with Mustafa Barghouti and Haidar Abdel-Shafi in the 1990s to counter the consequences of the Oslo Accords.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Drawing on fifteen years of work in the antislavery movement, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick examines the systematic oppression of men, women, and children in rural India and asks: How do contemporary slaveholders rationalize the subjugation of other human beings, and how do they respond when their power is threatened? More than a billion dollars have been spent on antislavery efforts, yet the practice persists. Why? Unpacking what slaveholders think about emancipation is critical for scholars and policy makers who want to understand the broader context, especially as seen by the powerful. Insight into those moments when the powerful either double down or back off provides a sobering counterbalance to scholarship on popular struggle. Through frank and unprecedented conversations with slaveholders, Choi-Fitzpatrick reveals the condescending and paternalistic thought processes that blind them. While they understand they are exploiting workers' vulnerabilities, slaveholders also feel they are doing workers a favor, often taking pride in this relationship. And when the victims share this perspective, their emancipation is harder to secure, driving some in the antislavery movement to ask why slaves fear freedom. The answer, Choi-Fitzpatrick convincingly argues, lies in the power relationship. Whether slaveholders recoil at their past behavior or plot a return to power, Choi-Fitzpatrick zeroes in on the relational dynamics of their self-assessment, unpacking what happens next. Incorporating the experiences of such pivotal actors into antislavery research is an immensely important step toward crafting effective antislavery policies and intervention. It also contributes to scholarship on social change, social movements, and the realization of human rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Sex Trafficking, Slavery
  • Political Geography: India, Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543828
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Helene Maria Kyed
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In Myanmar, ordinary citizens prefer to have crimes and disputes resolved within their village or neighborhood. There is a clear preference for avoiding conflict escalation, rather than punishing perpetrators. The official courts are seen as places to avoid whenever possible. They are mistrusted, associated with high costs, and many feel intimidated by them due to fear of authority and formality. Reforming the official judiciary is important in Myanmar, but even if the courts functioned according to international standards, there would still be a demand for local forms of dispute resolution focused on reconciliation and negotiated settlements. This is due to culturally and religiously informed perceptions of problems and injustices, related to shame, fate and Buddhist beliefs in past life deeds. This policy brief by Helene Maria Kyed argues that any support to justice sector reform in Myanmar should include already existing local dispute resolution mechanisms and take local perceptions of justice serious, rather than alone focus on the official judiciary and international rule of law principles. It is important to base programming on inclusive dialogues about justice at the local level, and invest in building trust and gaining context-specific knowledge.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Security
  • Political Geography: Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, discusses his company’s annual top political risks for 2017 and their ethical implications. Topics include the potential challenges from a Trump administration, the moral legacy of President Obama’s foreign policy, human rights in the Middle East, the fate of liberalism in Europe and the world, and the dangers of populism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, International Security, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This discussion paper, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, proposes a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this new approach is to address one of the key challenges of current HRIA practices: the limited engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders, which can undermine effectiveness and trust.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus