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Rosemary Bechler

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy's mainsite editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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Updated: 29 min 48 sec ago

A new report suggests sexual violence against men and boys in widespread in the Syria conflict. And this largely unacknowledged abuse is barely addressed in the humanitarian response.   

After years of coverage about how the “foreign agent law” would spell the end of freedom of association in Russia, parallel universes of Russian civil society are growing, vibrant, vocal and confident. 

The future of human rights as a frame of justice depends on our capacity to create, detect, and foster bridges with other frames.

Non-invasive and non-punitive interventions that draw on positive emotions have promising potential to break the poverty cycle, but this approach risks ignoring root causes of poverty.

An innovative intervention by international experts in Mexico invigorated the work of human rights organizations to fight against systemic impunity in the country

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 progress in fairness, transparency, and accountability.

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 help their voices reach the public and political spheres?

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 rights standards.

Social movements in Haiti are reimagining justice in order to fight back against exploitation by the mining industry.

Dropping defensive tactics and reframing human rights in a relatable way are both key to responding to stigmatizing backlash in Hungary and connecting to new audiences.

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 of this new nationalist resurgence.

Shifting to local community funding is possible in Latin America, as a case in Argentina clearly shows. Can more organizations make such similar shifts in a sustainable way?

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.

Technology can help to prevent conflict, but it can also facilitate human rights abuses, and companies that collect user data are in the middle of the debate.

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.

Abolitionism was arguably the first human rights movement, but historical waves of anti-slavery activism have yet it to see it truly eliminated. How can a human rights-based approach help?

Human rights researchers are seeking new ways to establish facts, creating new opportunities for collaboration between researchers, scientists, and academics.

Powerful civil society coalitions have re-emerged in South Africa, using litigation, social mobilization, and diverse political coalitions.

Human rights NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe are facing increased hostility from governments and declining legitimacy in public opinion, while social service providing NGOs are not similarly threatened. Can human rights organizations learn from this difference?

Legal empowerment can be transformative across a wide range of issues, which can sometimes make such efforts feel disconnected. But practitioners need clearer questions to maximize their experience and knowledge.