Print Friendly and PDF
only search openDemocracy.net

This week’s front page editor

Thomas Rowley

Tom Rowley edits oDR.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Syndicate content
Updated: never

The Indian Supreme Court’s landmark decision to declare unconstitutional a colonial-era law criminalizing same-sex relations shows majoritarian prejudices must bow to fundamental human rights.

Nature has been treated in law as property, and exploited. But there is growing legal recognition that nature has rights, and affirming these is essential to both a healthy environment and human rights.

Restrictions on Palestinian mobile companies mean that Israeli companies reap profits from Palestinian customers, while Israel benefits from the resulting surveillance capacity and propaganda tools.

With private corporations now the largest providers of satellite technology, human rights practitioners need to recognize the power—and the limits—of geospatial technologies in court cases.

Critics of human rights legalism are right to call for more “pragmatism,” but this must be contextual, looking for advocacy hooks grounded in moral, political, and legal approaches. 

China’s engagement in UN human rights reviews provides real opportunities to advance protection for LGBT rights, although advocates in China face many obstacles.

By neglecting citizen engagement, the human rights movement has failed not only to secure all rights but has put the civil and political rights already secured at risk, including in the North.  

The protection and resilience of Human Rights Defenders demands that we all better understand and navigate how power and violence operate in both public and private arenas.

Grassroots activism through social movements offers the best hope for meaningful change in the fight for equality and dignity, and donors need to build trust and create approaches that support this mobilization

Join our email list to receive the latest perspectives on human rights policy and strategy issues. 

 

Traveller communities in Ireland are using international human rights law to monitor their housing conditions and to demand action from the local council. And they are not the only ones.

Misconceived and poorly executed US efforts to reform the UN Human Rights Council failed. But the UN human rights machinery needs reform—shown by its response to the crisis in Venezuela.

Across the EU, several member states are preparing to cut funding to civil society organizations. In many cases, cuts are aimed at advocacy and human rights organizations that sometimes challenge governments and expose corruption and malpractice.

Humanitarian workers giving aid to migrants are being threatened and in some cases imprisoned. But compassionate assistance for imperiled people in all settings is a right that must be protected, not persecuted.

The UK and EU are ignoring Swaziland’s threats to human rights and civic space, refusing to hold the monarchy to account.

Constitutional provisions are critical to protecting human rights, but adopting some rights protections may be more likely if other protections are already in place. Can human rights activists use this knowledge to improve rights protections?

Malaysia’s recent caning of a homosexual couple reflects a larger problem with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) continued support for discriminatory practices that endanger the lives of thousands and violate international human rights norms.

The European Court of Human Rights is supposed to help victims of rights violations seek justice, but procedural hurdles are preventing access for those that need it most.

Despite closing space for civil society, the new Escazú Agreement—which offers protection measures for environmental groups and defenders—is a shining example of citizens organizing in creative ways to fight for social justice.

Breakthroughs in technology—including artificial intelligence—can help fulfill the right to development, but digital technologies are not magic bullets; there is a strong role for governance.