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Trump and human rights: How should activists respond?

The day after Donald Trump’s surprising victory, openGlobalRights asked leading human rights figures, “How should human rights activists respond?” Here, we curate the responses we receive, as leading scholars, activists and NGO leaders debate how best to grapple with the rise of an explicitly rights-rejecting superpower. To join the discussion, please send a paragraph outlining your thoughts to openglobalrights@opendemocracy.net



“Speaking truth to power:” a call for praxis in human rights

Human rights require struggles over power and systems of thought—not just fights against individual violators and institutional inequities. 


Republicans move to break with the United Nations

Republicans are revisiting a move to withdraw from the United Nations and related human rights treaties—what would this really mean?


Preparing for terrorism—and potential torture—under President Trump

Will Trump’s unequivocal position on torture affect how the US responds to future terrorist attacks?


Might Trump lead US activists to rediscover international human rights?

Recent social justice struggles in the US have largely eschewed the language of global human rights. But, Trump might lead US activists to seize human rights again. Français.


Opportunities for resistance: Trump’s authoritarianism and the law

Human rights values and rule of law are lost on authoritarians, but the need to clothe their action in forms of law is not.


The death knell of American Exceptionalism under Trump

If Trump pushes his agenda too far, Republicans concerned with liberal democracy and rule of law might start to push back.


The world is watching—corporate action on Trump travel ban

Many corporations have already taken a stand against Trump’s travel ban, and corporate leaders advising Trump must defend human rights.


Human rights as a grassroots, transformative response to Trump’s “America”

Human rights—as a movement that critiques systemic inequalities and affirms our common humanity—offers a transformative alternative to a politics of fear and exclusion. Españolالعربية


Human rights groups are secretly US agents. True or false?

For rights activists, Trump’s victory is a dark cloud with one silver lining. For the next four years, human rights groups will be inoculated against accusations of complicity in US foreign-policy machinations. Españolالعربية


Trump’s victory could push the human rights movement to transform

Donald Trump’s victory is a threat to human rights, but could it also push the movement to transform and strategize with greater urgency? Español


Modi and Trump—voting strongmen, voting hate

Donald Trump’s win in the US and Narendra Modi’s in India two years ago are both about the majority claiming greater victimhood.


Why the American Electoral College matters for human rights everywhere

The history of the American Electoral College demonstrates the importance of combating violators of human rights and the institutions supporting them. 


Making the human rights movement great again—amidst rising nationalism

As angry rhetoric and illiberal nationalism soars globally, the human rights movement needs clear thinking rather than sudden shifts.


Trump, the other and human rights in society

The stigmatization and “othering” we’ve seen in Trump’s campaign will perpetuate systemic inequalities.


A post-Brexit, post-Trump World could learn from Colombia

A shell-shocked America, a Brexit-divided United Kingdom and a crisis-stricken Europe: they should all note the conciliatory efforts made by Nobel Peace Prize winner Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia. Español


Bringing back waterboarding? Torture policy in Trump’s America

As the US prepares for president Trump, anyone who cares about human rights should be alarmed that he has pledged to restore torture as one of his top five priorities.


Trump’s election makes US human rights pariah

A Trump presidency poses a grave threat to human rights—not only in the US but also worldwide.  For human rights advocates, it can’t be business as usual. EspañolFrançais


Trump and the limits of human rights

No matter how good our ancestors were in creating the international human rights system, it cannot change that we might need different options now.  EspañolFrançais


International pressure on US human rights matters now more than ever

Domestic politics are important, but we need international human rights law in the United States now more than ever. EspañolFrançais


Fascism rising

Global institutions and principles now face their sternest test. Trump’s victory suggests human rights activists should devote themselves to the morass of domestic politics, not international law and norms. EspañolFrançais


All articles in date order:

Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a weapon against populism

The Sustainable Development Goals could give activists the rhetoric they need to hold the Trump administration accountable. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ debate on Trump and Human Rights.

 

“Speaking truth to power:” a call for praxis in human rights

Human rights require struggles over power and systems of thought—not just fights against individual violators and institutional inequities. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Trump and Human Rights.

Republicans move to break with the United Nations

Republicans are revisiting a move to withdraw from the United Nations and related human rights treaties—what would this really mean? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Trump and Human Rights.

Will human rights law actually protect us from fascism?

Human rights regimes such as the European Convention on Human Rights are unlikely to shield citizens against the wave of authoritarianism threatening liberal democracies. 

Preparing for terrorism—and potential torture—under President Trump

Will Trump’s unequivocal position on torture affect how the US responds to future terrorist attacks? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Trump and human rights

Trump pourrait-il amener les militants américains à redécouvrir les droits humains internationaux ?

Les luttes récentes en faveur de la justice sociale aux États-Unis ont en grande partie laissé de côté le discours des droits humains internationaux. Mais Trump pourrait amener les militants américains à se saisir à nouveau des droits humains. Une contribution à la  « série Trump » d’openGlobalRights.

English.

Might Trump lead US activists to rediscover international human rights?

Recent social justice struggles in the US have largely eschewed the language of global human rights. But, Trump might lead US activists to seize human rights again. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ Trump series. Français.

Opportunities for resistance: Trump’s authoritarianism and the law

Human rights values and rule of law are lost on authoritarians, but the need to clothe their action in forms of law is not. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ series on Trump.

The death knell of American Exceptionalism under Trump

If Trump pushes his agenda too far, Republicans concerned with liberal democracy and rule of law might start to push back. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ Trump and human rights debate.

The world is watching—corporate action on Trump travel ban

Many corporations have already taken a stand against Trump’s travel ban, and corporate leaders advising Trump must defend human rights. A contribution to oGR’s Trump & human rights series.

حقوق الإنسان ردّ شعبي تحويلي الطابع على"أميركا" في عهد ترامب

حقوق الإنسان بوصفها حركة تنتقد اللامساواة المنهجية وتؤكد إنسانيتنا المشتركة، تقدّم بديلا تحويلي الطابع لسياسات الخوف والإقصاء. EnglishEspañol

Los derechos humanos como una respuesta popular y transformadora a la “América” de Trump

Los derechos humanos, como un movimiento que critica las desigualdades sistémicas y afirma nuestra humanidad compartida, ofrece una alternativa transformadora a la política del miedo y la exclusión. Englishالعربية

Human rights as a grassroots, transformative response to Trump’s “America”

Human rights—as a movement that critiques systemic inequalities and affirms our common humanity—offers a transformative alternative to a politics of fear and exclusion. Españolالعربية

Las agrupaciones de derechos humanos trabajan en secreto para Estados Unidos. ¿Verdadero o falso?

Para los activistas de derechos humanos, la victoria de Trump es una nube oscura, pero con un rayo de esperanza. Durante los próximos cuatro años, las agrupaciones de derechos humanos serán inmunes a las acusaciones de complicidad con las maquinaciones de la política exterior de EE. UU. Englishالعربية

جماعات حقوق الإنسان عملاء سريون للولايات المتحدة. حقيقة أم إدعاء؟

يطل فوز دونالد ترامب بالانتخابات الرئاسية الأمريكية على نشطاء حقوق الإنسان كسحابة سوادء لا يلوح منها إلا خيط رفيع من الأمل. فعلى مدار السنوات الأربع القادمة، سيتم تلقيح جماعات حقوق الإنسان ضد اتهامات التآمر والتواطؤ في مكائد السياسات الخارجية للولايات المتحدة. EnglishEspañol

Human rights groups are secretly US agents. True or false?

For rights activists, Trump’s victory is a dark cloud with one silver lining. For the next four years, human rights groups will be inoculated against accusations of complicity in US foreign-policy machinations. Españolالعربية

Trump’s victory could push the human rights movement to transform

Donald Trump’s victory is a threat to human rights, but could it also push the movement to transform and strategize with greater urgency? Español

Modi and Trump—voting strongmen, voting hate

Donald Trump’s win in the US and Narendra Modi’s in India two years ago are both about the majority claiming greater victimhood.

Why the American Electoral College matters for human rights everywhere

The history of the American Electoral College demonstrates the importance of combating violators of human rights and the institutions supporting them. Part of openGlobalRights’ Trump and human rights debate.

Making the human rights movement great again—amidst rising nationalism

As angry rhetoric and illiberal nationalism soars globally, the human rights movement needs clear thinking rather than sudden shifts. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ Trump and human rights series.

Trump, the other and human rights in society

The stigmatization and “othering” we’ve seen in Trump’s campaign will perpetuate systemic inequalities. Part of openGlobalRights' Trump and human rights debate.

L’élection de Trump fait des États-Unis un paria des droits humains

La présidence Trump fait peser une grave menace sur les droits humains, non seulement aux États-Unis mais également dans le monde entier. Pour les défenseurs des droits humains, il est impossible de faire comme si de rien n’était. EnglishEspañol

La elección de Trump convirtió a los EE. UU. en parias en cuestión de derechos humanos

La presidencia de Trump representa una amenaza grave para los derechos humanos; no solo en los Estados Unidos sino también a nivel mundial. Para los defensores de derechos humanos, las cosas no pueden seguir como de costumbre. EnglishFrançais

A post-Brexit, post-Trump World could learn from Colombia

A shell-shocked America, a Brexit-divided United Kingdom and a crisis-stricken Europe: they should all note the conciliatory efforts made by Nobel Peace Prize winner Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia. Part of openGlobalRights' Trump and human rights debate. Español

Un mundo post-Brexit, post-Trump podría aprender de Colombia

Una América incrédula, un Reino Unido divido por Brexit y una Europa en Crisis: Todos deberían tomar nota de los esfuerzos conciliatorios por el Nobel de la Paz Colombiano Juan Manuel Santos. English

Trump et les limites des droits humains

Aussi bon que puissent avoir été nos aînés en créant le système international des droits humains, il n’en reste pas moins que nous puissions avoir besoin de nouvelles solutions aujourd’hui. EnglishEspañol

Trump y los límites de los derechos humanos

Independientemente del buen trabajo que hayan hecho nuestros ancestros al crear el sistema internacional de derechos humanos, esto no impide que tal vez necesitemos opciones distintas hoy en día. EnglishFrançais

La presión internacional sobre los derechos humanos en Estados Unidos importa ahora más que nunca

La política nacional es importante, pero en los Estados Unidos, las leyes internacionales de derechos humanos ahora son más necesarias que nunca. EnglishFrançais

Les pressions internationales quant aux droits humains aux États-Unis sont aujourd’hui plus importantes que jamais

Les politiques nationales sont importantes mais nous avons, aujourd’hui plus que jamais, besoin du droit international des droits humains aux États-Unis. EnglishEspañol

Bringing back waterboarding? Torture policy in Trump’s America

As the US prepares for president Trump, anyone who cares about human rights should be alarmed that he has pledged to restore torture as one of his top five priorities

Trump’s election makes US human rights pariah

A Trump presidency poses a grave threat to human rights—not only in the US but also worldwide.  For human rights advocates, it can’t be business as usual. EspañolFrançais

La montée du fascisme

Les normes et institutions internationales n’ont pas empêché l’émergence du fascisme. La victoire de Trump semble indiquer la nécessité, pour les militants des droits humains, de se plonger dans le bourbier de la politique nationale plutôt que de se consacrer aux lois et normes internationales. English, Español

Trump and the limits of human rights

No matter how good our ancestors were in creating the international human rights system, it cannot change that we might need different options now.  EspañolFrançais

El fascismo a la alza

Las instituciones y los principios globales no han impedido el despertar del fascismo. La victoria de Trump sugiere que los activistas de derechos humanos deben dedicarse al laberinto de la política nacional, y no a las leyes y normas internacionales. EnglishFrançais

International pressure on US human rights matters now more than ever

Domestic politics are important, but we need international human rights law in the United States now more than ever. EspañolFrançais

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