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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

Who will stand up to corruption?

Corruption is entrenched throughout global systems—but when will political leaders have the courage to really confront it?  Français

Will evidence of crimes against humanity change anything in Mexico?

A new report argues that widespread human rights violations in Mexico constitute crimes against humanity. But who will stand accountable? Español

Self-interest argument for refugee admission backfires in Japan

Japan fails to protect refugees—but arguing it should do so because its aging society needs new immigrants hasn’t worked. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the future of refugee protection. 日本語

Islamic ideals of peace and justice: are we overlooking something?

Associating progressive social policies with Islam may unsettle some, yet the parallels are there and offer many possibilities. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on religion and human rightsالعربية

Revising perceptions of the rights of older people in Africa

A new African treaty promises to protect the human rights of the elderly.


Do South Africans really have the right to protest?

South Africans’ right to protest exists on paper, but authorities have effectively suppressed dissent by making it too dangerous. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate: Human Rights: mass or elite movement?

Discrimination, cooperation, and building communities

New research shows that people who experience discrimination are less likely to contribute to the common good. A contribution to the openGlobalRights’ public opinion and human rights debate. Español 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: a missed opportunity for civil society?

Civil society could have played a key role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership—why were they left out? A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil society.  Español

It’s about politics: why public opinion matters for movement organizing

For countries in democratic transition, using public opinion research to inform the strategy of social movements has added value. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on public opinion and human rights. Español 

No middle ground: the risks of being a human rights defender in India

Volunteers in India are banding together to form a network that protects human rights defenders. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on closing space for civil society.

A treaty to protect the rights of older people is long overdue!

As the world’s population ages, now is the time to begin work on a treaty to give explicit protection to the rights of the elderly.  Français

From taboo to empowerment: menstruation and gender equality

Menstruation and menstrual hygiene are emerging as pivotal issues for gender equality, human rights and development. Français

Accounting for human rights: lessons from Syria

If refugee advocates don’t shine a light on budgets, it will be nearly impossible to ensure sustained support for refugee protection efforts. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the future of refugee protection. Español

Activists get creative in their push for Moroccan women’s rights

Partnering with a comedienne and taking to social media, Human Rights Watch is getting creative to gain traction on women’s rights in Morocco. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on public opinion and human rights.

Migrants are driving innovative campaigns for female refugees in Germany

Activists are using a multi-van in Germany to help female refugees cope with violence and harassment. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the future of refugee protection. Deutsch

Does “de-Kirchnerizing” Argentina mean dismantling human rights policies?

A key concern for many Argentinians, among the numerous changes Mauricio Macri’s government has implemented, is the dismantling of hard-won human rights gains. A contribution to openGlobalRights closing space debate. Español

Beyond reconciliation and accountability: distributive justice and Sri Lanka's transitional agenda

If the transitional justice process in Sri Lanka ignores the indignities of poverty and everyday precariousness, can we really call it “justice”?

Broader view shows path to refugee reform

The refugee regime extends well beyond the 1951 Convention, and a broader contextual view is necessary in debates about change. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the future of refugee protection. Español

Quantitative data in human rights: what do the numbers really mean?

Everyone loves numbers, but when we use them in human rights, how often are we misrepresenting the data?

The vicious spiral of economic inequality and financial crises

There is compelling evidence that economic inequality is both a result of, and contributor to, economic crises. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic inequality.

Crisis in Europe exposes failing refugee protection regime

The refugee protection regime works if it remains limited to those genuinely fleeing persecution — though the Syrian crisis proves again that ways must also be found to protect those at risk of generalized violence. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on the future of refugee protection.

Local funding is not just an option anymore—it’s an imperative

As local rights groups seek alternative funding sources, the closing space for civil society makes this even more imperative. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debates on closing space for civil society and funding for human rights.