only search

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

States shouldn’t use ICC budget to interfere with its work

States complain that the ICC needs to broaden investigations beyond Africa—yet some of the same states are now trying to limit the increased budget needed to do so. Part of openGlobalRights’ ICC debate.

Human rights are not losing traction in the global South

In the debate on whether human rights have stalled, analysts are ignoring huge strides in socioeconomic improvements in the global South. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic and social rights. Español

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

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

The ICC needs to ally with victims

To survive the current crisis, the ICC must recruit its most persuasive allies—the victims of atrocity crimes themselves. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the International Criminal Court. Français

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

How we talk about mass violence: the cultural effects of Darfur campaigns

When NGOs alter their narratives of mass violence depending on the cultural characteristics of each country, which version dominates? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on public opinion and human rights.

Missing torture amongst the poor

Documenting torture has always been problematic, but the experiences of the poor are continually left out of the picture. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ data and human rights debate. EspañolFrançais

Fast and flexible support: ingredients to enrich LGBTI campaigning

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to campaigning for today’s LGBTI activists, but providing support on short notice allows organisations to be reactive and flexible. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ funding for human rights debate.

Is public opinion an effective constraint on torture?

Americans’ support for torture increases depending on who is involved and how it is framed. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on public opinion and human rights. Españolالعربية

Time to recognize the right to life for those living in homelessness and inadequate housing

An estimated one third of deaths worldwide are linked to poverty and inadequate housing, yet widespread homelessness and inadequate housing are rarely regarded as a violation of the right to life. Español, Français

A string of departures from the ICC is ringing alarm bells

Three African states have pulled out of the ICC with other departures in the works, putting ICC legitimacy in crisis. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the International Criminal Court.

Closing space in Hungary with a Russian cookbook

Hungary is using Russia’s playbook to close down civil society space, and many Western allies are hardly even noticing. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil society.

Human rights and public opinion in Israel: anger vs. pragmatism

In Israel, public support for the term, “human rights,” is falling; support for actual human rights policies, however, is strong. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on public opinion and human rights. Españolالعربيةעברית

Tackling economic inequality with the right to non-discrimination

Inequality may be compatible with human rights, but not if it violates the right to non-discrimination. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality and human rights.

Putting universality into the Universal Periodic Review

The Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review is systematically marginalizing economic and social rights. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic and social rights. Español

ICC will investigate environmental destruction as well as war crimes

The ICC is now prioritizing crimes involving environmental destruction and land grabbing. How will this change economic development? A contribution to openGlobalRights’ debate on the International Criminal Court. Español

No single dataset is sufficient for understanding human rights, nor should it be

Yes, cross-national datasets are inappropriate for understanding the lived experience of those suffering from human rights abuse, but that’s not why we need them.

Yes, human rights scholars conceal social wrongs—when they miss the point

To suggest that relying on cross-national analyses perpetuates human rights abuses is simply fallacious.