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Dear OpenGlobalRights (OGR) Readers, 

We are very excited to share OpenGlobalRights' new website with you!   

OGR launched here as a section of openDemocracy in June 2013 with support from the Ford Foundation and the University of Minnesota. Since then our team and network has grown and we have launched 18 thematic series and published over 1400 articles and translations in 24 languages. These have been authored by over 580 human rights activists, scholars, donors and practitioners in more than 60 countries. 

Over the last year, we solicited and received feedback on our progress from partners, evaluators and readers. With this input and much deliberation, we decided to develop a new independent platform to continue facilitating critical exchanges on human rights strategies and policy worldwide. On the new site, we will continue to publish articles in many languages while also making other resources such as cutting-edge data on public opinion towards human rights available.  

As we transition to our new site and begin publishing content there, our full archive will remain here on openDemocracy and we will continue to disseminate content through openDemocracy’s networks in the coming months. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and readership! We look forward to growing with it at

All the best,

The OGR Team

July 2017

‘If I lose my freedom’: preemptive resistance to forced confessions in China

Human rights defenders in China are increasingly using pre-recorded statements to control narratives to protect themselves against forced confessions. 简体中文. 

International organizations and the crisis of legitimacy

When international organizations face legitimacy problems, they need to address governance issues, conflicts of interest, and poor leadership.

Evicted rights in Spain: no room of one’s own

Thousands of people are being evicted in Spain due to austerity measures, and women are disproportionately affected by structural inequality. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic and social rights. Español

The moral hazards of conflating what is useful with what is right

To suggest that we should only seek to understand perpetrators if it’s “useful” is contrary to the universality of human dignity. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on engaging perpetrators.

Revolutions are built on hope: the role of funders in collective self-care

Funder practices are vital to alleviate partner advocates’ stress, anxiety, and burnout from uncertainty or rigid requirements. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on mental health and human rights. Español.

Exploring new possibilities beyond foreign funding in Brazil

Brazil has a potentially large philanthropy market, and social media may be key to tapping into this resource. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on funding and human rights. Português. Español

New strategies for tackling inequality with human rights

To confront inequality, the Ford Foundation is harnessing the human rights framework to address political and socio-economic systems. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights.

Why it’s getting harder (and more dangerous) to hold companies accountable

Corporations are using defamation lawsuits to shut down their detractors—and the problem is only getting worse. Español. Français. 

Collective care in human rights funding: a political stand

To support the activists and groups that we fund, donors must engage in honest conversations around our own burnout and ethics. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on human rights and mental health. العربيةEspañolPortuguês.  

International recognition and public opinion towards conflict and violence

Experiments show international recognition of statehood could change popular support for violence in self-determination conflicts. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on social science experiments.

When advocacy work builds resilience, everyone benefits

For many, activism can be healthy and healing. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on human rights and mental healthShqip (Albanian). Español

Ready for anything: how preparation can improve trauma recovery

When in the field, human rights workers must be better prepared for trauma in order to heal from it. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on human rights and mental health. العربية . 

Security and well-being: two sides of the same coin

By not paying enough attention to self-care, activists are compromising their own security—and that of their organizations. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on mental health and well-being. Español.

To strengthen digital security for human rights defenders, behavior matters

When approaching digital security for human rights defenders in hostile environments, we need to think more about practical behavior. A contribution the openGlobalRights debate on data and human rights. Español. 简体中文.

Following orders: how expectations might reduce human rights abuses

Understanding the logic of expectations could help us predict why some people follow orders to violate human rights—and others don’t. Español

Discrimination in action: the value of experiments in human rights

A video game experiment in Slovenia reveals discriminatory practices against the Roma—what else might experiments teach us about human rights? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on .

Monetizing the human rights “brand”

Marketing research can help Mexican rights groups monetize their “brand” and boost public donations. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on . Español

Using experiments to improve women’s rights in Pakistan

Experiments on support for women’s rights in Pakistan could improve the implementation and enforcement of UN treaties. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on .

The human rights lab: using experiments to craft effective messaging

Framing issues in different ways can undermine or bolster support of human rights, and experiments can help to explain why. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Español.

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.

Turning weakness into strength: lessons as a new advocate

Without adequate preparation, new human rights advocates can be easily traumatized and struggle to understand what they are going through. A contribution openGlobalRights’ debate on mental health and well-being.

Engage when we can, confront when we must

Indian human rights workers do not want to engage with the police, but to enact real change, both sides must work together. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on engaging perpetrators.