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This week's editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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Updated: 24 min 24 sec ago

In human rights work, practicing the same habits does not guarantee improvement over time.

Help nominate countries for a pilot study aiming to produce cross-national human rights data on a comprehensive list of internationally recognized human rights.

In Kenya, Guatemala and Brazil, courts have defied presidents and shaken up politics—is court-centric advocacy one of the few remaining avenues to legitimately challenge unlawful measures?

How are racism, xenophobia and other forms of extremism challenging human rights advocacy?

To avoid sinking to the lowest common denominator, activist coalitions must play to individual strengths and find an effective strategic convener.

When the ACLU uses civil rights and free speech to defend white supremacists, it reflects the ideological foundations of rights discourses that try to erase white violence.

In Guatemala, children’s rights advocates are often the most heavily burdened and the most frequently ignored. 

Combined with growing fundamentalism and sectarianism, Indonesia once again is in dire need of a human rights movement for change.

Many Brazilians indicate that they would accept authoritarianism and government violence to solve social problems.

Anti-ICC narratives resonate with a crucial minority of Kenyan citizens, but not with victims of political violence.

Linking online campaigns to offline action has become critical in challenging closing spaces in Nigeria.

Effectively motivating people to care about human rights depends largely on where they fall on the political spectrum.

Despite pessimism about the future of human rights, data on treaty ratification and reservations suggest that we are marching toward universality.

These are hard times for human rights, but pessimists should not underestimate how resilient and powerful human rights defenders can be.

When companies use legal loopholes to mask beneficial owners, it becomes almost impossible for human rights defenders to hold them to account.

Fundraising should never just be about money—it must also be about raising awareness of human rights and social justice.

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 societies.

Rather than defending our existing human rights movement, advocates from multiple avenues must come together to debate the next step forward.

Using theater to raise awareness on rights issues not only educates the audience—it also creates empathy and connection.

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?