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Newest Debates Series:

 

Social science experiments: How can they support the work of human rights advocates?

Human rights scholars are increasingly using experimental research methods to explore the impact and efficacy of human rights work. In this series, authors explore when and how experiments can help support evidence-based human rights advocacy. Read on...

Resilience as resistance: Mental health & well-being in human rights

The mental health and well-being of advocates has often been neglected by human rights organizations, funders, and advocates. This series examines a range issues including: research on the mental heath impacts of human rights work, obstacles to advancing mental health and well-being, and strategies to prevent and alleviate the harmful effects of human rights work. Read on...

Engaging with perpetrators for human rights: When, how and at what cost?

This debate explores various perspectives on whether, when and how to engage with perpetrators of human rights abuses, including discussions of ethical, moral and strategic considerations. Read on...


Our latest:

Human rights data used the wrong way can be misleading

While data is important for human rights advocacy, the risks of misleading people are also very real and advocates must insist on rigor.

 

Fighting misconceptions and logistics to raise funds in Brazil

Logistical issues and lack of awareness among Brazilians have created significant—but not insurmountable—obstacles to fundraising for human rights. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on funding and human rightsEspañolPortuguês

Opening up civic space requires creativity and careful navigation

Even where civil society space is constrained, local organisations can create positive relationships with state and external actors. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil societyРу́сскийالعربية

The UN undermined both public health and human rights in Haiti

Failing to acknowledge its involvement in the 2010 Cholera outbreak in Haiti, the UN undermined public health norms and violated the human rights standards that it asks countries to uphold. Español

The end of the grant era

Asking donors for money and then implementing programs is an old model from which civil society must break free. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on funding and human rights.  Español

Will tougher sentences prevent female genital mutilation in Egypt?

Egypt is considering tougher sentences and stiffer fines for doctors and parents who perform female genital mutilation on their daughters. But will that change anything? العربية

It’s time for development banks to start listening

The aid community often ignores the wishes of the very people it’s supposed to be helping. The world needs a more bottom-up approach to development. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ closing space for civil society debate. Español

New Katanga trial shows DRC’s potential to try complex international crimes

A DRC warlord convicted by the ICC will now also face prosecution by national courts in the DRC—an enormously welcome step.

New approach to refugee protection must prioritize self-sufficiency

A new approach to refugee protection needs to draw on the principles of self-sufficiency to prevent aid dependency and let refugees work so that they contribute to host communities.

Human rights and the failed coup in Turkey

There are risks for human rights in the post-coup purges in Turkey. But we must applaud more loudly the coup’s failure as a victory for human rights and democracy. Türkçe

Taking stock—the Universal Periodic Review's achievements and opportunities

After 10 years, the UN’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism for scrutinizing Member States’ human rights records is having a real impact—but more must be done to ensure its continued success. Français

In Venezuela, data is power

Venezuela’s lack of reliable data on socio-economic metrics poses both challenges and opportunities for human rights advocates. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil society. Español

Human rights organizations and the state: how different are we really?

How different are human rights organizations and the state institutions they challenge? A key Israel group has pulled away from cooperation with the army, arguing that some close ties are counter-productive.

Dying in pain in the global South

Throughout the developing world, people are dying in pain due to an inability to access proper medication. But the problem is about much more than money. Español

Phantom rights: the systemic marginalization of economic and social rights

Neither the UN nor civil society is doing much about the deep resistance of many states to proper recognition of economic and social rights. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ economic and social rights debate. Español

To implement Agenda 2030 in Africa, people must be at the centre

Increasing threats to citizens’ freedoms will derail the sustainable development goals. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil society.

Are human rights treaties a “reputational umbrella” for foreign investment?

Evidence suggests that human rights treaties provide a reputational shield for companies to invest in the worst rights-violating countries.

Scientists and engineers as partners in protecting human rights

Growing interest in pro bono service among scientists and engineers is generating new opportunities for human rights organizations. Español

Mapping global business opinions on human rights

A global survey of over 800 corporate leaders shows overwhelming recognition that companies must respect human rights, although confusion regarding the exact scope of their duties is a key obstacle to action.  

Impact investing: a new player in protecting human rights?

Impact investing is rewriting the way companies can improve human rights conditions.

 

Colombia’s constrained peace process: how courts alter peace-making

The Colombia case shows international courts do impact local peace-making, but in ways more subtle and nuanced than commonly claimed. A contribution to openGlobalRights debate on the ICC. Español

In Asia, freedom of speech is critical in the fight for human rights

Protecting freedom of speech, assembly and association in Asia is the lynchpin to protecting all human rights. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil society.