Newest Debate: Public opinion and human rights - what can (and can't) we learn from surveys?

Human rights groups have long argued that their job is to uphold norms, laws, and principles, even if this isolates them from the political mainstream. In recent years, however, a growing number of scholars and handful of activists have begun using opinion polls to better understand the public’s attitude towards human rights issues. Read on...

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Beyond liberal rights: lessons from a possible future in Detroit

Thirty thousand Detroit households have been denied access to water and sanitation, raising systemic questions about the liberal rights tradition. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic and social rights.  EspañolFrançaisالعربية

Are humanitarian aid and professional ambition mutually exclusive?

The professionalization of human rights organizations is only effective if management adapts their strategies. An amateur mentality simply will not work. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on internationalizing human rights organizations. Français

For Moroccan rights groups, good reputations aren’t enough

Without building a strong popular base, the Moroccan human rights community cannot capitalize on its good reputation. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ Public Opinion and Human Rights debate. Françaisالعربية

UNAIDS: Bold human rights targets need better monitoring

If UN agencies set bold targets for human rights reform, they must commit to reporting rigorously on progress to achieve them. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on evaluation and human rights. EspañolFrançais

The UN and children in armed conflict: playing politics?

The Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on children in armed conflict is supposed to protect the most vulnerable, but some countries are effectively wielding political power to escape scrutiny. Françaisالعربية

The death penalty is a Commonwealth problem

The Commonwealth lags behind global trends on abolition, but taking an official stance against the death penalty would put it back on the international stage. Français

Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?

Human Rights Watch generally avoids burdensome evaluations; instead, we’re looking for “light and agile” reflections on our work. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Evaluation and Human Rights. FrançaisالعربيةEspañol

Improving family income does not ensure women’s economic empowerment

Increasing family income does not necessarily increase women’s empowerment. A multi-sector multi-pronged approach is necessary. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic and social rightsEspañol

Can we really eliminate FGM in Egypt by 2030?

Without a full exploration of the relationship between sexual norms and FGM in Egypt, it will be difficult—if not impossible—to eliminate the practice.  Françaisالعربية

Climate change poses an existential threat to human rights

It’s obvious climate change is a human rights issue. Less obvious is that saying so doesn’t necessarily help much, and indeed exposes the limitations of rights advocacy in achieving systemic economic reform. EspañolFrançaisالعربية

Crushing dissent: NGOs under threat in India

Can NGOs and India’s political opposition stop Modi’s civil society clampdown? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Funding for Human Rights.

Greening human rights

The protection of human rights and a healthy environment are mutually reinforcing – a fact that is gaining increasing international legal recognition. EspañolFrançaisالعربية

In Israel, intense combat experience decreases support for negotiations and human rights organizations

The formative years that many Israelis spend in combat service can have a negative impact on attitudes towards conflict resolution and human rights. A contribution to openGlobalRightsPublic Opinion and Human Rights debate.  EspañolFrançaisالعربية ,עברית

Why food riots work in the 21st century

Countries might provide legal guarantees for the right to food, but research shows food riots remain a key means for forcing government action to ensure food markets work for all.  العربية

Elevate the law in fight against atrocities

No one would argue the law should be subservient to politics when confronting domestic criminality, so why should this be the case for international crimes? A contribution to openGlobalRightsICC debate. Español

Partners in prayer: women's rights and religion in Morocco

Pundits say that religion and human rights are opposing forces in Morocco, especially around women’s rights. Our Human Rights Perception Polls suggest a more nuanced picture. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debates, Public Opinion and Human Rights and Religion and Human Rights.  Françaisالعربية

Nine months after Ayotzinapa, can a postcard campaign construct democratic spaces?

Citizen-led campaigns like #YaMeCansé are bringing Mexicans together in a widespread call for more accountability and better democracy. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Human Rights: Mass or Elite Movement?  Español

Research-based messaging changes public support for human rights

Amidst widespread negative views on human rights in the UK, public opinion research can help improve outreach strategies. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Public Opinion and Human RightsEspañolFrançais

Public opinion on human rights is the true gauge of progress

External, “objective” measures of South Korea’s human rights progress will only take us so far. What we need now are the opinions of the people. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Public Opinion and Human Rights.  Español, 한국어 

Use of force: the American public and the ethics of war

Survey data suggest that most Americans weigh the ethics of war with a heavy bias towards protecting American lives and national security. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Public Opinion and Human Rights. Español, Françaisالعربية

International law and US public support for drone strikes

When it comes to public opinion on drone strikes, the UN and NGOs may have more influence than we think. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Public Opinion and Human RightsEspañolFrançaisالعربية

More than smoke and mirrors: citizen perceptions of human rights

Study finds that Mexicans’ perceptions of human rights protections are linked to individuals’ evaluations of their leaders, their government and democratization. A contribution to openGlobalRights debate on Public Opinion and Human Rights. Español