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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

Fighting stigma: protecting the mental health of African rights advocates

Human rights advocates in Africa face significant challenges in getting past mental health stigmas in order to get help. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on mental health and human rights. Français. العربية.

Evidence of trauma: the impact of human rights work on advocates

It’s time to think seriously about the effects of trauma on human rights activists. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on mental health and well-being in the human rights. EspañolFrançais

Human rights datasets are pointless without methodological rigour

Existing datasets on human rights have methodological weaknesses that can make them useless for any meaningful statistical analysis. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on data and human rights.

Looking deeper to understand African governments’ opposition to the ICC

African governments are withdrawing from the ICC with valid criticisms—but what can be done to make the Court less imbalanced? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the International Criminal Court

The collapse of authority: violence against prisoners in Latin America

With prison riots and massacres getting out of control in many Latin American countries, what is the future of the region’s prison systems? Español.

Navigating the minefield of working with perpetrators

Judgments about when collaboration becomes cooptation are too easily made in the abstract, based on moral tastes rather than evidence. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on engaging with perpetrators. Español

Seeing the myth in human rights

To call human rights a “myth” would appear to discredit them, but myth was central in drafting the Universal Declaration. Español

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Ethics, technology and human rights: navigating new roads

When we incorporate new technologies into human rights work, we need to be acutely aware of agency, participation and consent. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on data 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.

Taking the battle for civic space online

As online spaces become increasingly restricted, human rights activists must stay aware of the risks and benefits of technological developments. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ closing space for civil society debate. Español.

To understand perpetrators, we must care about them

Preventing future atrocities requires empathetic understanding of how regular people transform into monsters. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on engaging perpetratorsEspañol

Crowdfunding to bypass Russia’s civil society crackdown

With heightened restrictions on foreign funding, reporting on the Russian government’s repression requires creative social media projects. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on new business models for human rights. Ру́сский.

To change torture practices, we must change the entire system

Preventing torture goes beyond understanding individuals—it requires changing an entire system that allows for extreme violence. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ series on engaging with perpetrators in 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. 

The fine print: seeing beyond the hype in technology for human rights

With all the hype about new technologies for human rights, activists must think critically and strategically. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on data and human rights

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

Tackling inequality: the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reducing inequality will require profound changes to “business-as-usual” and close attention to human rights. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights. Español.

Working with the enemy: the pros and cons of collaborating with perpetrators

What is the best way for human rights activists to engage with perpetrators? There are ethical and strategic reasons to focus on accountability over understanding, but there are also costs. Español. हिंदी.

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.

Could volunteer-based CSOs be a model for practicing human rights in China?

In China, new laws make fundraising even harder, but the LGBTQ community is getting creative. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on new business models for human rightsEspañol简体中文

Refugee politics from the local to the international

The Trump administration is affecting refugee politics from small towns to the world stage, and activists have a long road ahead. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the future of refugee protection.