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The openGlobalRights 'openPage' provides a multi-lingual space for critical thinking on human rights discourse and advocacy. While other openGlobalRights pages curate focused debates, the openPage ranges across multiple human rights topics. Our authors raise emerging human rights issues, and debate all manner of strategic challenges. We bring together scholars, advocates, journalists, and practitioners, and publish diverse views from all world regions.

The myopia of human rights

The legalism of the human rights framework makes it blind to the cooperation and sense of civic responsibility that truly makes us human and accounts for our uniqueness.

Justice over rights?

Human rights organisations like Amnesty International have been advancing social justice through social and economic rights, while others choose more confrontational approaches. What are the potentials and pitfalls of different approaches to social justice? EspañolFrançais

Advancing social justice through human rights at Amnesty International

In expanding its work on economic and social rights to look more closely at issues of resource allocation and distribution, Amnesty may appeal to some—but not all—of the constituencies demanding social justice. Español

Human rights missing from social justice activism

Whether human rights will help us get social justice is on the minds of activists. But is it on the agendas of human rights institutions?  Español 

Listening to the streets: the Spanish case

Four years after Spain was shaken by mass protests, the country’s electoral politics are changing. Have human rights organizations been affected and will they also change? EspañolPortuguês

Will SDGs lofty ambition undermine advocacy to achieve them?

The SDGs are certainly more comprehensive, and inclusive of human rights concerns and all relevant actors, than the previous development goals, but this may make it harder to hold anyone accountable if they aren’t met. Español

Winning a place for human rights in the new sustainable development agenda

Though far from perfect, the new Sustainable Development Goals include important human rights commitments and do a better job than the MDGs of linking human rights to development. Españolالعربية

Adding global value? The Commonwealth migrant crisis

Malta is set to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, but the country might prefer to ignore the migrant crisis on its doorstep.


Human rights mainstreaming in climate change policy: a glass half full

The UN’s human rights bodies can’t solve the problem of climate change – but that doesn’t mean they have no role to play in pushing for more ambitious action to meet this global threat. EspañolFrançais

The Common (Wealth) of Youth

Youth participation is vital to the global rights movement, yet institutions are not confronting obstacles facing youth. The Commonwealth organization and its programsmust strive for active youth involvement in agenda shaping.

India’s environmental flashpoints

AAbannerEconomic progress is clashing with environmental rights in India, and proposed legal forms are shrinking democratic spaces—increasing the likelihood of violence. Español

Losing girls: post Ebola in Sierra Leone

The effects of Ebola on Sierra Leone will be felt long after the country is declared Ebola-free, and girls are being particularly ostracized and stigmatized.

Human rights aren’t revolutionary? Good!

Human rights are no longer “revolutionary”, but that’s a good thing. 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 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

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

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

Human rights are revolutionary—in principle not practice

The practice of human rights is utterly inconsistent with the subversive backbone expressed in its norms, and this tension presents problems for the movement. EspañolFrançais

“What human rights?” Why some companies speak out while others don’t

Many companies speak out for human rights when it relates directly to their operations, but are some companies willing to take a stand on broader human rights issues? Français, Español

Beyond accountability: the struggle for co-existence in Sri Lanka

The promised report of a UN investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka will achieve little unless accompanied by real introspection by both Tamil and Sinhala communities. தமிழ் (Tamil), 

How revolutionary are global human rights?

Facing global protests over the lack of social justice and democracy, are international human rights organizations ready to be more openly political? Or are human rights simply the wrong tool for the job?  EspañolFrançais

Africa’s social movements present opportunities, not threats, for rights groups

After decolonization, many African political groups lost touch with the grassroots. Let’s not let the same happen to the continent’s professional human rights groups. Português, Español

Nationality laws – a new battleground for women’s equality

More than 60 countries deny women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality – a new global campaign aims to change that.  Françaisالعربية

The struggle for nonhuman rights

The Nonhuman Rights Project argues that certain animals should be legal persons. In the world of rights, what divides persons and things?  EspañolFrançais

Human rights – taking sides for Net Neutrality

‘Net neutrality’ means non-discriminatory access to an open internet, and new US rules – pushed by activists – block companies from undermining this. EspañolFrançaisالعربية

Eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030

The UN’s proposed new development goals include a target to end harmful traditional practices like FGM by 2030. We now know the key steps needed to get there. Françaisالعربية

Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant

With issues and actors constantly evolving, traditional human rights organizations and activists must balance conventional and innovative methods. EspañolPortuguês

Let’s get fiscal – human rights advocates are tackling tax injustice

The human rights community cannot stay silent about tax abuse. Both normative developments and practical experiences point to how human rights can shape tax policy. EspañolFrançaisالعربية

Muzzling humor in the Ecuadorean Revolution

In Ecuador, Rafael Correa’s government muzzles critique and attacks satirists in an increasingly anti-democratic environment. Español


The Human Rights Council at 10: too much talk, too little action?

There is lots of talk about human rights at the UN Human Rights Council, but too little attention to the violations of those rights in specific countries.  Français

Tackling Egypt’s gender-based violence with crowdsourcing

Can online crowdsourcing help NGOs more effectively tackle gender-based violence in Egypt? Españolالعربية

Why are US police departments still race-biased?

Without better data, we won’t be able to learn why racially biased policing persists, and what we can do about it. EspañolFrançais

Corporate concern for human rights essential to tackle climate change

We have the means to create a green and equitable economy, but first corporations must embrace sustainable growth strategies that include a concern for human rights.

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