openGlobalRights https://opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/12849/all en Human rights mainstreaming in climate change policy: a glass half full https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/marc-limon/human-rights-mainstreaming-in-climate-change-policy-glass-half-full <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/uG63VYaJjNrh2aZ7Mwuw5Ui9TPJ7B1NzgIiDAad-uG4/mtime:1441082266/files/LimonSept.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The UN’s human rights bodies can’t solve the problem of climate change – but that doesn’t mean they have no role to play in pushing for more ambitious action to meet this global threat.&nbsp;<em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/marc-limon/la-incorporaci%C3%B3n-de-los-derechos-humanos-en-las-pol%C3%ADticas-sobre-cambio-c" target="_blank">Español</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">In December this year, world governments will meet in Paris to agree a new binding treaty to halt and ultimately reverse global climate change. The 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), known as COP21, is one of the most important environmental conferences ever to be held. But, as argued in a <a href="http://www.universal-rights.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CC_HR_Displacement_21.07.15_spread.pdf" target="_blank">new Policy Report from the Universal Rights Group</a>, it is also one of the most important human rights gatherings of the past half-century. </p><p dir="ltr">The ability of states to reach—or not—a new and ambitious global agreement in Paris will have a determinative impact on the lives, prospects, hopes, dignity and rights of millions of people around the world. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The consequences of climate change for the enjoyment of human rights have been considered and recognised by the UN on many occasions. The international community has also repeatedly called for human rights principles to be integrated into global climate change policy responses, in order to strengthen those responses and make them more reflective of, and accountable to, the needs of vulnerable people.</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">The consequences of climate change for the enjoyment of human rights have been considered and recognised by the UN on many occasions.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Despite these steps, Stephen Humphreys, in a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/stephen-humphreys/climate-change-highlights-fragility-of-human-rights-norms" target="_blank">recent article for Open Democracy</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, concludes that, when it comes to climate change, “… human rights law and lawyers—and the human rights movement as a whole—has little useful to say and no obvious role to play.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While such a downbeat assessment is surprising, especially when coming from someone who has played a leading role in shaping the human rights and climate change debate for nearly a decade, it is easy to see why Stephen has developed doubts.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The stark truth is that early rapid progress (from 2007 to 2011) in driving forward and leveraging the ‘human rights and climate change’ agenda stalled after COP16 in Cancún. From late 2011 to late 2014, little or no progress was made in using human rights concerns to generate greater ambition in the UNFCCC talks, or in integrating human rights obligations and principles into (international and domestic) climate change policy.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So, does that mean the international human rights community has “little useful to say and no obvious role to play?”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The answer to this question depends on the expectations one has for the role of the international human rights system.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Of course the UN Human Rights Council and its mechanisms cannot solve the contemporary climate crisis. But nor should they – it is neither their responsibility nor their mandate in the UN architecture. &nbsp;The mandate of the Council, as set down in GA resolution 60/251, is to ‘mainstream’ human rights across other UN institutions, mandates and policies—not to <em>absorb</em> those mandates or <em>take over</em> those policies.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Fulfilling this mainstreaming mandate is what the Council set out to do in March 2008 with its </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/climatechange/docs/Resolution_7_23.pdf" target="_blank">first resolution</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> on human rights and climate change (resolution 7/23). Its goal was to demonstrate that climate change has negative implications for human rights (not a given at the time); to delineate the nature of those implications (e.g. which rights, which population groups are most affected); and to urge the relevant parts of the UN to be guided by concern for human rights, when crafting policy responses.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When measured against these objectives, the performance of the international human rights system may be seen in a more positive light. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Slowly but surely, and building on the Cancún Agreements, human rights are being mainstreamed into climate change negotiations, processes and policies.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/uG63VYaJjNrh2aZ7Mwuw5Ui9TPJ7B1NzgIiDAad-uG4/mtime:1441082266/files/LimonSept.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr/United Nations Photo (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancún.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">National Communications (national reporting) under the UNFCCC offer one example of this. A </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.mrfcj.org/pdf/2014-10-20-Incorporating-Human-Rights-into-Climate-Action.pdf" target="_blank">recent report</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> by the Mary Robinson Foundation—Climate Justice (MRFCJ) found that, of those countries that have submitted National Communications and national adaptation plans of action, 49 made explicit reference to human rights (including many who co-sponsored Council resolution 7/23).</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As the world looks towards COP21 in Paris, there are, moreover, further signs of renewed momentum behind human rights mainstreaming in international climate policy.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A number of actors have taken steps to leverage the language of human rights to press for more urgency and ambition in the climate change negotiations, and to more robustly integrate human rights principles and obligations into international and domestic climate policy. In October and December of 2014, dozens of the UN Special Procedures mandate holders issued joint statements calling on states to integrate and take heed of human rights obligations in action on climate change. &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In February 2015, the Government of Costa Rica launched the ‘</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.mrfcj.org/news/geneva-pledge-human-rights.html" target="_blank">Geneva Pledge for Human Rights in Climate Action.</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">’ The signatories to the Geneva Pledge have committed to “enable meaningful collaboration between our national representatives in these two processes [i.e. the UNFCCC and the Council] to increase our understanding of how human rights obligations inform better climate action”. Shortly afterwards, a representative of France, the incoming chair of the COP, called for human rights to be integrated into the Paris negotiations in order to reach “an ambitious and just agreement” at COP21.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, has put forward three practical proposals to strengthen mainstreaming:</span></p><ol><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">The creation of fora under the UNFCCC and the Council to allow the human rights and climate change communities to share examples and good practices (building on the Geneva Pledge);</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">The development of guidelines, by the human rights community, on how to integrate human rights obligations, standards and principles into climate policy (i.e. how to operationalize a rights-informed approach); and</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">States should include consideration of the linkages between human rights and climate change in their reporting to the Human Rights Council (i.e. the UPR) and their reporting under the UNFCCC (i.e. National Communications).</p></li></ol><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A final recent promising step was the Human Rights Council’s decision to renew and strengthen the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment. In an early signal of his intent to leverage this role to help promote greater ambition in Paris, in April 2015 the Special Rapporteur spearheaded a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.thecvf.org/international-human-rights-community-urges-heightened-ambition-at-cop21" target="_blank">joint submission</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> by 14 Special Procedures mandate-holders to the COP UNFCCC on the potential implications for global human rights of a 2°c or a 1.5 °c increase in global average temperatures.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These are, of course, relatively small steps when set against the enormity of the human rights challenges posed by climate change. But that does not mean the international community should not continue to take them. It remains vitally important for international climate change policymakers, when they convene in Paris later this year, to understand the human rights implications of the decisions they are expected to take, especially for the most vulnerable members of society. And it remains important for States to implement any agreement reached in Paris in a manner consistent with their international human rights obligations. These objectives are still worth fighting for.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stephen-humphreys/climate-change-highlights-fragility-of-human-rights-norms">Climate change poses an existential threat to human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/usha-natarajan/human-rights-%E2%80%93-help-or-hindrance-to-combatting-climate-change">Human rights – help or hindrance to combatting climate change?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/john-knox/greening-human-rights">Greening human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/asuncion-lera-st-clair/corporate-concern-for-human-rights-essential-to-tack">Corporate concern for human rights essential to tackle climate change</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/praful-bidwai/modi-government-cracks-down-on-green-ngos">Modi government cracks down on green NGOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/c%C3%A9sar-rodr%C3%ADguezgaravito/decline-of-grand-treaties-thoughts-after-lima-clima">The decline of grand treaties? Thoughts after the Lima climate summit</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/steven-m-wise/struggle-for-nonhuman-rights">The struggle for nonhuman rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/naomi-hossain/why-food-riots-work-in-21st-century">Why food riots work in the 21st century</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marc-limon-subhas-gujadhur/human-rights-council-at-10-too-much-talk-too-little-acti">The Human Rights Council at 10: too much talk, too little action? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/article/who_gains_from_global_warming">Who gains from global warming?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Marc Limon Global Wed, 02 Sep 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Marc Limon 95617 at https://opendemocracy.net When it comes to drones, do Americans really care about international law? https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/tanisha-m-fazal/when-it-comes-to-drones-do-americans-really-care-about-internationa <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/wOAfGz_6E5tsWwunvZ24r-DwU7YtXHdpKR8D33gYJPg/mtime:1440992461/files/Fazal_0.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Is American public opinion on drones influenced by international law, or is it the low-to-no American casualties that have more sway? A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank">Public Opinion and Human Rights</a>.<em><strong>&nbsp;<span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/tanisha-m-fazal/en-materia-de-drones-%C2%BFa-los-estadounidenses-realmente-les-importa-e" target="_blank">Español</a>, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/tanisha-m-fazal/lorsqu%E2%80%99il-sagit-des-drones-les-am%C3%A9ricains-se-soucient-ils-vraiment-" target="_blank">Français</a></span></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">If the American public is really as disengaged from foreign policy as we think, how much can they really know—or care—about international law? In <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sarah-kreps-geoffrey-wallace/international-law-and-us-public-support-for-drone-stri" target="_blank">reporting</a> on their fascinating and important research on international law and US public support for drone strikes, <a href="https://skgovernment.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Sarah Kreps</a> and <a href="http://www.geoffreyprwallace.com" target="_blank">Geoffrey Wallace</a> find that US citizens are surprisingly receptive to arguments that drones should not be used because they violate international law. Their compelling findings make valuable contributions to debates about the power of international law in everyday politics, but some key omissions leave their conclusions open for debate. Do American voters support drones even when compared to other options? And perhaps even more fundamental, why do they care about international law at all?</p><h2>Drones compared to…?</h2><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Kreps and Wallace are fundamentally interested in the following question: if we tell US voters that using drones violates international law, will they be less likely to support the use of drones? They set up a survey experiment that contrasts international law frames with prompts about the efficacy of drone strikes. Efficacy is chosen as a comparison because there is a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8933.html" target="_blank">robust literature</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> arguing that public opinion is most likely to favor the use of force when the public believes that the political aims of force are achievable.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Missing from Kreps and Wallace’s analysis, however, is how and whether the prospect of casualties incurred—and not just casualties inflicted—might affect public opinion regarding the use of drones. Indeed, the “</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.jstor.org/stable/2600916?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents" target="_blank">pretty prudent public</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">” argument—that public opinion on use of force changes depending on the principal objective—was a direct reaction to the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://books.google.com/books/about/War_Presidents_and_Public_Opinion.html%3Fid=OI94AAAAMAAJ%26hl=en" target="_blank">casualty aversion</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> thesis—the notion that, the more military casualties are sustained, the lower public support for the use of force. Because Kreps and Wallace do not consider alternative military options—specifically, ground troops—we cannot know to what extent voter preference is driven by respect for international law versus a desire to minimize US casualties.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/wOAfGz_6E5tsWwunvZ24r-DwU7YtXHdpKR8D33gYJPg/mtime:1440992461/files/Fazal_0.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/U.S. Pacific Command (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> US Marines inspect a surveillance drone between missions in Pohakuloa, Hawaii. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This omission is a critical one precisely because US drone strikes do not produce US casualties (with the exceptions of the few </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/23/the-u-s-keeps-killing-americans-in-drone-strikes-mostly-by-accident/" target="_blank">US citizens who may be killed by drones</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/us/drone-pilots-found-to-get-stress-disorders-much-as-those-in-combat-do.html" target="_blank">PTSD</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-drone-doctors" target="_blank">fatigue</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> as suffered by drone pilots). The low-to-no casualty rate is considered to be one of the main advantages of drones. Today’s drone program contributes to a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/24503/dead_wrong_battle_deaths_military_medicine_and_exaggerated_reports_of_wars_demise.html" target="_blank">longer-term trend of decreasing US fatalities in war driven by military and medical technology</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2013/06/17-drones-obama-weapon-choice-us-counterterrorism-byman" target="_blank">One argument in favor of the use of drones</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is that they can reduce the human and financial costs of war by decreasing fatalities and mechanizing the application of force such that fewer military personnel overall are necessary. Drones reduce the aggregate cost of salary and benefits—</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://theconversation.com/drones-are-cheap-soldiers-are-not-a-cost-benefit-analysis-of-war-27924" target="_blank">including health care</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">—for the military. If policy makers prefer drones as a cost-saving measure, it would be important to understand to what extent the public shares this perception. To make this assessment, we would have to compare public support for the same military strike, but where a drone is used in one case and ground troops in the other. Many of the same arguments about the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/16/us-un-drones-idUSBRE92E0Y320130316" target="_blank">violation of sovereignty</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> as well as </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/24/truth-about-united-states-drone-program" target="_blank">international humanitarian law</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> could be applied to either scenario, and we would have then have a sharper sense of the role of international law in this case.</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">How much international law does the public really know?</span></h2><p><span class="mag-quote-right">If the average voter&nbsp;doesn’t seem to care about foreign policy, how much do voters really know about international law?&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The US public has a reputation for being disengaged from foreign policy. A 2013 Pew Poll found that just over half of respondents thought the US should </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/07/11/american-international-engagement-on-the-rocks/" target="_blank">“deal with its own problems” and let other countries handle their own issues “as best they can.”</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Even more stark, when the American public was asked what President Obama should focus on in </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.people-press.org/2013/01/17/section-1-obama-job-rating-personal-traits-views-of-michelle-obama/" target="_blank">January 2013</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, 83% said domestic policy while only 6% said foreign policy. The question that Kreps and Wallace must address is this: if the average voter </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.people-press.org/2007/04/15/public-knowledge-of-current-affairs-little-changed-by-news-and-information-revolutions/" target="_blank">cannot name the president of Russia</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and doesn’t seem to care about foreign policy, how much do voters really know (or care) about international law?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More important, Kreps and Wallace’s intriguing results raise the question of why voters value compliance with international law. The finding that they do care about international law </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/sociology/political-sociology/cultural-politics-human-rights-comparing-us-and-uk" target="_blank">runs against conventional wisdom</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, which is part of what makes it so appealing. Has the US public’s value for international law </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/08/04/70-years-after-hiroshima-opinions-have-shifted-on-use-of-atomic-bomb/" target="_blank">changed</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> over time such that it is more appealing today? If so, why? Are </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://ejt.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/08/23/1354066114541879.full.pdf%3Fijkey=9kS2d1etLfmMSE3%26keytype=ref" target="_blank">certain voters</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> more likely to value international law than others?</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A request for more: drones, cyber, and robots</span></h2><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The relationship among the use of drones, public opinion and international law also raises questions about other emerging technologies, such as </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/cglc/LawOfCyberAttack.pdf" target="_blank">cyber</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.unog.ch/80256EE600585943/(httpPages)/8FA3C2562A60FF81C1257CE600393DF6%3FOpenDocument" target="_blank">lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS)</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, or “</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.hrw.org/report/2012/11/19/losing-humanity/case-against-killer-robots" target="_blank">killer robots</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">”. The asymmetric nature of casualties incurred versus casualties inflicted, as well as the vagueness of international law, are issues pertinent to all these technologies, but to different degrees. Cyber attacks are least likely to cause direct casualties, if they cause casualties at all, while the concern about LAWS is that these machines could decide on their own to conduct attacks with significant collateral damage.</span></p><p>Jointly examining public response to the use of these technologies would afford the opportunity for some fascinating comparisons, as today there is one <a href="http://www.peacepalacelibrary.nl/ebooks/files/356296245.pdf" target="_blank">widely-read legal manual</a> on cyber and international law, no such manual for drones, and certainly none for LAWS—a <a href="http://nationalinterest.org/feature/should-killer-robots-be-banned-13196" target="_blank">technology not yet in existence</a>. If the public cares about international law and the use of force, comparing reaction to the use of these various technologies in terms of respect to international law could help clarify why the public cares about international law. Such results could then help pave the way forward for civil society and government policy makers trying to navigate this new technological—and legal—landscape.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_2.jpg '" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg '"> <img src=" https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Public opinion and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/scott-d-sagan-benjamin-valentino/use-of-force-american-public-and-ethics-of-war">Use of force: the American public and the ethics of war</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-kreps-geoffrey-wallace/international-law-and-us-public-support-for-drone-stri">International law and US public support for drone strikes</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-e-mendelson/doubling-down-on-human-rights-data">Doubling down on human rights data</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/guy-grossman-devorah-manekin-dan-miodownik/in-israel-intense-combat-experience-decr">In Israel, intense combat experience decreases support for negotiations and human rights organizations</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nat-kendalltaylor/why-framing-matters%E2%80%94and-polls-only-give-you-so-much">Why framing matters—and polls only give you so much </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/juan-francisco-lobo/exposing-torture-virtue-of-american-hypocrisy">Exposing torture - the virtue of American hypocrisy</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/josh-levy/human-rights-%E2%80%93-taking-sides-for-net-neutrality">Human rights – taking sides for Net Neutrality</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/naseem-kourosh/time-for-us-to-reaffirm-its-commitment-to-children%E2%80%99s-rights">Time for the US to reaffirm its commitment to children’s rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/clifford-bob/fighting-abuses-in-existing-powers">Fighting abuses in existing powers</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Tanisha M. Fazal Canada & the US Public Opinion and Human Rights Tue, 01 Sep 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Tanisha M. Fazal 95593 at https://opendemocracy.net Human rights evaluation—who is it really for? https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/claire-thomas/human-rights-evaluation%E2%80%94who-is-it-really-for <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/QrcSnq63EqAaUNUdYONfV_SK9tIIIAXny8zr5V9p8oE/mtime:1440946680/files/Thomas.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The human rights community should embrace evaluation not for our donors, but for our beneficiaries. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights </a>debate on <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank">evaluation and human rights.</a>&nbsp;<span><strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/claire-thomas/la-evaluaci%C3%B3n-en-los-derechos-humanos-%C2%BFpara-qui%C3%A9n-es-realmente" target="_blank">Español</a></em></strong></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Although evaluations are often undertaken at the request of donors or as part of donor driven proposals, is that the only reason to conduct evaluations? As <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour" target="_blank">Emma Naughton and Kevin Kelpin</a> point out, though quantifiable results may matter for donors, it is the assessment of the journey that matters equally if not more to those doing the work. And in the end, isn’t that work really being done for the beneficiaries, and not the donors?</p><p dir="ltr">Beneficiaries (or more widely the communities affected by our work or their representatives) have a right to know what we tried to do on their behalf and whether we made a difference. If yes, what brought that about? And if no, (or not yet), why not? Should we have approached things differently? Beneficiaries clearly have less power than donors, which makes it feel like all the pressure for evaluation comes from donors—in the end project evaluations do not always involve and are not always shared with beneficiaries. But what happens when we have an entire evaluation and decision-making process that doesn’t include the very people we are trying to help?</p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">What happens when we have an entire evaluation and decision-making process that doesn’t include the very people we are trying to help?&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A second important audience is made up of activists, staff, board members, members, volunteers, our peers and colleagues, and the wider human rights community. We also want to know </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.minorityrights.org/8072/evaluations/evaluations.html" target="_blank">if we made a real difference.</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> We want to know which methods work, under which circumstances and why. We need this information to intervene effectively in the future and to know that all the risks have been worthwhile. Evaluations can feel risky to people working on human rights, because such processes question whether we have done the right things in the right ways. This can sometimes be demoralising to staff who have worked hard “at the coalface” and who may, at times, lose sight of the bigger picture.</span></p><p dir="ltr">In the worst-case scenario, evaluations can show that time and efforts have not made any difference (yet). But this knowledge of non-progress is just as important, and both processes and final results count in human rights work. Even though evaluation audiences may not always agree on what to measure, and although long-term social changes may not be achieved at the end of a specific project, small steps along the way can provide useful indications of progress. </p><p dir="ltr">Of course, donors and all those who provide support have <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor" target="_blank">a right to know</a> what we did with the resources they provided. They also want to know if we have made a difference at all to the situation we were targeting. Almost all donors need evaluations to satisfy the needs of other audiences (beneficiaries, staff, etc.) and many will enter into an intelligent and constructive discussion about different evaluation methods that fit the programme and its constraints.</p><p dir="ltr">Although all three of these audiences are interested in what difference has been made, donors are more interested in concrete measurable results and proven successes. Within human rights organisations, for our own learning, we may be as interested in why things worked, or not, as in proving exactly how much they worked. We may also be more patient, being willing to work for ten years to see a real change emerge.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/QrcSnq63EqAaUNUdYONfV_SK9tIIIAXny8zr5V9p8oE/mtime:1440946680/files/Thomas.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Rainforest Action Network (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> The human rights community "should embrace evaluation for our beneficiaries, on whose behalf we all work." </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">Beneficiaries’ evaluation interests, on the other hand, vary greatly. Some are concerned only that their issue has been voiced and heard. Others want to know that everything that can be done is being done to try to resolve or react to ongoing human rights abuses affecting them. Great strides have been made in participatory evaluation methods, involving beneficiaries of programmes in gathering and analysing feedback about them. <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor" target="_blank">As previously noted in this debate</a>, some human rights contexts are more difficult than some development contexts where these methods have mostly been applied. The individuals or groups of people on whose behalf human rights work takes place may be in incommunicado detention, or they may be at very great daily risk of physical attack or disappearance. Those working in governance to hold officials accountable for corruption face similar risks and threats. In addition, people working in gender issues gather views of women experiencing domestic violence or rape, which raises very similar challenges.</p><p dir="ltr">So if the human rights community is still resistant to evaluation solely for donors’ benefit, we should embrace evaluation for our beneficiaries, on whose behalf we all work. Human rights work is not just done to meet an international norm, system or standard. Human rights are useful, ultimately, because they make peoples’ lives a little better in myriad ways. We should be creative in finding ways to identify beneficiaries or those who could speak for them. We should also survey those in our intervention areas who did not benefit as well as those who did, making sure that we are not unknowingly leaving groups out or organising things in ways that some people feel unable to participate. We should evaluate so we can learn what works and why, not just to put ticks on a list.</p><p dir="ltr">Finally, we should also consider evaluating the unintended impact of our work. What changes occurred that we did not anticipate, or that we did not want, or that someone else did not want? If we really want to evaluate our work, these are the tough questions that everyone needs to be asking. </p><p dir="ltr">As much as all the audience needs may differ, Minority Rights Group’s experience has been that if we lead the process, donors will accept our evaluations even if they are not the method they would have chosen. Although they may have specific requirements, it is rare for donors to specify any particular method. This means that organisations can add <a href="http://www.minorityrights.org/download.php@id=1005" target="_blank">beneficiary participation and learning</a> elements to an evaluation that is only required by the donor to validate results. Donors rarely cut or query evaluation costs, meaning that evaluation plans can be ambitious and work intensive. &nbsp;Beyond this, many donors (e.g., <a href="http://www.minorityrights.org/11877/evaluations/minority-rights-group-20092012-sida-evaluation.html" target="_blank">SIDA</a>) will ask an organisation to designate focus areas for an evaluation, and design an evaluation methodology—they will just want to check that they are happy with it. &nbsp;And even donors with rules will vary those rules when it is clear that the nature of the work does not fit the kind of evaluation that that donor is used to seeing. We, the human rights organisations, need to pick up this baton and run with it: if we don’t start leading the evaluation process, donors’ upwards accountability demands will fill the vacuum. If that happens, everyone loses—we will be left with methods developed by and for others that won’t improve our work, or help our beneficiaries.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Evaluation and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation">Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/meg-davis/unaids-bold-human-rights-targets-need-better-monitoring">UNAIDS: Bold human rights targets need better monitoring</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/tim-ludford-clare-doube/finding-balance-evaluating-human-rights-work-in-complex-env">Finding balance: evaluating human rights work in complex environments</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/helen-lindley/when-protecting-civilians-in-humanitarian-crises-how-do-we-measure-su">When protecting civilians in humanitarian crises, how do we measure success?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jeremy-smith-jim-coe/making-case-for-change-value-of-strategic-plausibility-in-eval">Making a case for change: the value of strategic plausibility in evaluation</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/carrie-oelberger/how-does-professionalization-impact-international-human-rights-org">How does professionalization impact international human rights organizations?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader/firm-yet-flexible-keeping-human-rights-organisations-relevant">Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/johanna-sim%C3%A9ant/internationalization-is-about-more-than-just-advocacy">Internationalization is about more than just advocacy</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Claire Thomas Global Evaluation and Human Rights Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Claire Thomas 95587 at https://opendemocracy.net The Common (Wealth) of Youth https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/priya-kumari/common-wealth-of-youth <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/Bce3WYkn9rR1xYUUL425weJzBIE4rAsN-GMU6sfk9so/mtime:1440646456/files/Kumari.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Youth participation is vital to the global rights movement, yet institutions are not confronting obstacles facing youth. The Commonwealth organization and its programsmust strive for active youth involvement in agenda shaping.</p> </div> </div> </div> <ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Youth participation, such as the active youth involvement in the Arab Spring or Malala Yousafzai’s fight for women’s rights, is currently shaping the global order. This type of participation; inspired by social change, human rights, innovation, peace and prosperity; is critical for global development in today’s world. Although perspectives from individuals of all ages are important, those of youth are even more so as they have a vision for a sustainable future and the energy to create the necessary changes to make the world a better place for themselves and their children.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">However, effective youth participation is marred by several challenges, including unemployment, drug abuse, crime, violence and HIV/AIDS. The international community is trying to address these challenges by engaging with youth. For instance, the Youth Initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) facilitates active youth involvement to promote positive drug awareness and healthy lifestyles in their schools and communities.</p></li></ul><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">One such organisation uniquely placed to address these challenges is Commonwealth. Approximately, 87% of the world's young population lives in developing countries. The Commonwealth predominantly consists of developing countries—in fact, it is home to nearly a third of the world’s population, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age.</p></li></ul><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Recently the Commonwealth’s relevance is on the decline. The attendance at both the official and unofficial CHOGM events is dwindling, and the division between its members is becoming visible. According to a poll conducted by the Royal Commonwealth Society in </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://thercs.org/assets/Research-/Commonwealth-Conversation-Final-Report.pdf" target="_blank">2009</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, most of the people in the Commonwealth countries are ignorant of the Commonwealth’s activities except for its </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.thecgf.com/games/" target="_blank">Games</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. People see the Commonwealth as a colonial relic that no longer does anything for them, and its existing mechanism of youth engagement only reaffirms this perception.</span></p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right">Over the years, the Commonwealth has established a multilateral approach for youth development. </span>Internationally it works closely with different organisations to develop a rights-based approach for youth empowerment. For example, the Commonwealth Youth Programme division in collaboration with the International Labour Organization and the Youth Employment Network holds regional consultations with member states to formulate and execute youth employment policies.</p></li></ul><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Among its various youth development programmes, the Commonwealth launched the <a href="http://youthdevelopmentindex.org/views/index.php#OVER" target="_blank">Youth Development Index (YDI)</a>, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.youthdevelopmentindex.org/cms/cms-youth/_images/7150051245204522383408.pdf" target="_blank">Plan of Action (CPA)</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.colelearning.net/cyp/guide/page1c.html" target="_blank">Diploma in Youth Development Work</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. The CPA and YDI are complementary in nature, as the former measures the present situation of youth in 170 countries, while the latter identifies priority areas of focus and investment based on the results of the YDI. The YCI addresses the issue of youth un-employment through training, consistent mentoring and credit support. Alternatively, the Diploma’s aim is to develop youth work into a skilled and vital profession.</span></p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">At the state level, the Commonwealth works with governments to develop policies and share best practices for youth engagement through the following organised meetings: &nbsp;the Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting, the Regional Youth Ministers Meetings and the Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting (CSMM).</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">The condition of youth in many countries of the Commonwealth is dire despite these countries’ established institutional frameworks for youth engagement. Nearly 70% of countries in the Commonwealth rank medium or low in the <a href="http://www.youthdevelopmentindex.org/views/index.php#OVER" target="_blank">Youth Development Index</a>, with their youth development scores ranging from 0 to 0.75 on a 0 to 1 scale (with 0 as the lowest youth development and 1 as the highest). Their youth mortality rate stands at 3.5 deaths per 1,000 compared to the global average of 2.9 deaths per 1,000. On average, the prevalence of HIV among youth in the Commonwealth countries is 2.1%, or two and a half times the global average. This shows that the Commonwealth has established formal institutions of youth participation, but there is a missing link in the form of meaningful participation.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/Bce3WYkn9rR1xYUUL425weJzBIE4rAsN-GMU6sfk9so/mtime:1440646456/files/Kumari.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/Reporter#24728 (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> The Indian Youth Conference protests against rising youth unemployment. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> </li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Given the challenges the Commonwealth countries face, they are particularly in need of strong youth engagement. The Commonwealth organization can improve this situation by working to establish: </p></li></ul><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>A Commonwealth of the Youth:</strong> In 2009, the Commonwealth re-established the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to explore its reform options. In its </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/5847/11/2011_EPG_Report.pdf" target="_blank">recommendations</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the EPG insisted “silence” in the face of serious or persistent breaches of human rights “is not an option,” yet this is precisely what the Commonwealth has been doing with timid responses to cases such as the kidnapping of schoolgirls by Boko Haram in Nigeria or the immigration crisis in Europe and South East Asia. Youth involvement in the Commonwealth can be realised not only through establishing institutions, but also by connecting with the youth, fighting for youth’s rights, standing in solidarity and proactively responding to challenges facing youth.</span></p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>A Commonwealth by the Youth:</strong> The scope of the Commonwealth’s existing engagement with youth is restricted to meetings and discussions rather than on catalysing change. The Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF), which precedes the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, is purely deliberative and exclusive in nature. The CYF 2015 has launched the social media campaign #whatnext to give young people a say in what issues the Commonwealth should address during the biennial summit. However, a drawback of the campaign is that this opportunity is restricted to an elite group of youth who have access to the internet and computers, excluding marginalized youth with little institutional support.</p></li></ul><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>A Commonwealth for the Youth: </strong>The Commonwealth’s youth policies should address challenges facing youth such as unemployment, education disparity, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, crime and violence. Youth unemployment stands at 22.9% compared to the global average of 19.2%. To address the disparity, the EPG recommended establishing the Commonwealth Youth Development Fund (CYDF), which will allow youth from across the Commonwealth to apply for funding to deliver innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to youth employment challenges in their communities. Moreover, states and other funds could advance solutions resulting from CYDF. &nbsp;It is high time for the Commonwealth to implement such recommendations rather than dismissing them.</span></p><ul><li dir="ltr">Today, the Commonwealth is struggling to maintain its relevance. In its attempt to re-brand, itself as an organisation based on common values, its best hope remains firmly footed with youth. As affirmed by the Charter, youth of the Commonwealth can be a powerful ally if given their proper place. The Commonwealth needs to strike a balance between the institutional and substantive elements of youth development. It needs to be of the youth and by the youth when necessary, and for the youth when required.</li></ul><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-kaner/death-penalty-is-commonwealth-problem">The death penalty is a Commonwealth problem</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/vijay-nagaraj/development-and-human-rights-%E2%80%93-plea-for-more-critical-embrace">Development and human rights – a plea for a more critical embrace</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/wade-m-cole/international-treaty-on-economic-and-social-rights-has-positive-impacts">The international treaty on economic and social rights has positive impacts</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/shareen-hertel/legal-mobilization-critical-first-step-to-addressing-economic-and-so">Legal mobilization: a critical first step to addressing economic and social rights </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dan-berliner/open-budgets-open-politics">Open budgets, open politics?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marc-limon-subhas-gujadhur/human-rights-council-at-10-too-much-talk-too-little-acti">The Human Rights Council at 10: too much talk, too little action? </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/rachel-krys/in-uk-public-discourse-undermines-support-for-human-rights">In the UK, public discourse undermines support for human rights </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/eric-posner/twilight-of-human-rights-law">The twilight of human rights law</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Priya Kumari Global Eyeing the 2015 CHOGM Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Priya Kumari 95533 at https://opendemocracy.net ICC success depends on its impact locally https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/elizabeth-evenson/icc-success-depends-on-its-impact-locally <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ujRws7g83f9REq4h5sXVAlFkEps-NH0r421onBn4lfU/mtime:1440530475/files/EvensonAugFinal.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Delivering justice for victims is the raison d’etre of the ICC. But making justice count for victims requires much more than fair trials in a Hague courtroom. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/opoenglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights </a>debate on the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/international-criminal-court" target="_blank">International Criminal Court</a>.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/elizabeth-evenson/le-succ%C3%A8s-de-la-cpi-d%C3%A9pend-de-son-impact-local" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">A permanent headquarters for the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to open later this year in The Hague. The city, known for its institutions devoted to peace and justice, is in some respects a fitting home for the court. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">But The Hague is not where the ICC matters most. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Where the ICC truly needs to matter is in the countries—and indeed in the communities— affected by the crimes the court will try. These are the places where victims and their families struggle to cope with the aftermath of mass atrocity. &nbsp;And these victims and communities—whether in Bangui, Benghazi, or Bunia—are the court’s chief stakeholders and should be at the heart of the ICC’s work.</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">These victims and communities—whether in Bangui, Benghazi, or Bunia—are the court’s chief stakeholders and should be at the heart of the ICC’s work.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Human Rights Watch’s recently published a report on how the ICC is dealing with </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/10/06/cote-divoire-impartial-justice-poses-test-ouattara">atrocities</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> committed during the 2010-2011 post-election crisis in Côte d’Ivoire after Laurent Gbagbo lost the presidential election in late 2010 to Alassane Ouattara. It shows just how far the ICC still needs to go to make its work accessible, meaningful, and legitimate in local communities.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Since investigations began in Côte d’Ivoire in October 2011, the ICC prosecutor has only opened cases related to alleged crimes committed in Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, and by forces affiliated with Gbagbo. This despite the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ee05cdf2.htm" target="_blank">well-documented</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;facts that crimes were committed both by forces allied to the former president and those allied to Ouattara, the current president, and that many of the worst atrocities occurred outside of Abidjan.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There was a certain logic to the limited focus of the prosecutor’s initial investigations. Gbagbo was already in detention and investigators had ready access to evidence within Abidjan. Investigating additional incidents would have increased logistical and security challenges.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But that initial decision to focus on pro-Gbagbo forces has persisted for several years. In the meantime, the prosecution’s one-sided approach has polarized opinion about the court inside the country. The victims’ high expectations for impartial justice before the ICC—fueled by the fear, especially among the victims of crimes by the Ouattara-allied forces, that they would never get it at home—have given way to frustration regarding a lack of progress in prosecuting all sides. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The ICC prosecution—which maintained all along that it would conduct additional investigations in Côte d’Ivoire —has now </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.france24.com/en/20150331-interview-fatou-bensouda-icc-chief-prosecutor-investigations" target="_blank">signalled</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> that it expects to expand investigations in Côte d’Ivoire to all sides this year.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The one-sided prosecutorial approach thus far, however, was compounded by the Court’s outreach efforts, led by the ICC Registry. Resource constraints meant the Registry 0p</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">rioritized efforts to engage with victims of the four or five specific incidents in the cases opened before the court. A separate Registry unit with specific responsibilities to inform victims of their rights had some broader programs to reach other victims. But resource constraints also forced a narrower focus at times. Of course, it is essential to provide information to these victims, who have particular rights, but it should not come at the expense of making the ICC’s proceedings more widely accessible.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ujRws7g83f9REq4h5sXVAlFkEps-NH0r421onBn4lfU/mtime:1440530475/files/EvensonAugFinal.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/Tommy Trenchard (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A pro-Gbagbo guard mans a checkpoint near Duekoue, Ivory Coast in 2011.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The combined effect of both the prosecutor’s failure to pick the cases that would address a broader range of crimes—and perpetrators—and the Registry’s failure to reach out to all sides on the ground was clear in interviews with Ivorian civil society members. “Victims that belong to the other side do not believe in the ICC,” said one human rights activist. “It is painful to say this because normally a victim does not have a side.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The ICC prosecutor should do more to take the experience of victims into account when making the difficult decisions about whom to prosecute and for what, including by strengthening consultation with victims. &nbsp;The experiences of victims will be diverse, and will raise expectations that will be difficult to ever fully meet. But since the court can only try a small fraction of those responsible for the worst crimes in any country, it is important for the prosecution to select cases that will have a broad enough impact to leave people in the country with the feeling that a measure of justice is being done. And to be effective, the Court’s outreach and specialized programs directed to victims need to reach a much larger local audience than the direct victims whose cases form part of an indictment.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Expanded investigations in Côte d’Ivoire this year could mark a fresh chapter. There are also positive signs across the countries where the ICC is investigating possible crimes that ICC officials—who have been making real efforts to address a number of the Court’s growing pains—are looking anew at how they can improve their impact. Strengthened policy commitments to consult victims and a more open-ended investigative strategy by the prosecutor’s office, including a commitment to consistently investigate all sides at the same time, as it is currently doing in the Central African Republic, hold real promise. Planned Registry reforms to bolster the court’s offices on the ground are also essential.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Poor choices or strategy are not the only reasons the ICC’s work lacks impact. A lack of resources is also to blame. The need to deal with cases in other countries with limited resources has been cited by the ICC prosecutor to explain the delay in opening additional investigations in Côte d’Ivoire . This is likely to be a persistent challenge for a prosecutor’s office tasked currently with working simultaneously in eight countries. Funding for outreach across all the countries where the court has opened investigations has failed to keep pace with the court’s needs.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ICC member countries have been reluctant to increase funding. Perhaps unsurprisingly so, given the financial constraints governments everywhere are facing. Indeed, the ICC’s resources will never be unlimited, and Court officials will need to be strategic in their decisions. They likely could have made some different choices in Côte d’Ivoire even with the resources they had.</span></p><p>But mounting demands for accountability and the multiplying workload of the ICC mean that the court will not be able to deliver a more meaningful justice for victims and affected communities without at least some increases in the Court’s resources in key areas. If ICC officials do their part by prioritizing local impact, ICC member countries should show they are willing to help fund a vision of a court that can finally make justice count where it matters—in the countries where the atrocities took place.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/international-criminal-court" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="The International Criminal Court – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/elizabeth-evenson-jonathan-o%E2%80%99donohue/international-criminal-court-at-risk">The International Criminal Court at risk</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/mwangi-s-kimenyi/international-criminal-court-in-africa-failed-experiment">The International Criminal Court in Africa: a failed experiment?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/ottilia-anna-maunganidze/icc-and-beyond-tipping-scales-of-international-justice">The ICC and beyond: tipping the scales of international justice</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/priscilla-hayner/does-icc-advance-interests-of-justice">Does the ICC advance the interests of justice?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/richard-dicker/throwing-justice-under-bus-is-not-way-to-go">Throwing justice under the bus is not the way to go</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/geoff-dancy-bridget-marchesi-florencia-montal-kathryn-sikkink/icc%E2%80%99s-deterrent-impac">The ICC’s deterrent impact – what the evidence shows</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jack-snyder-leslie-vinjamuri/to-prevent-atrocities-count-on-politics-first-law-late">To prevent atrocities, count on politics first, law later</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/pascal-kambale/justice-denied-icc%E2%80%99s-record-in-drc">Justice denied? The ICC’s record in the DRC</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/mark-kersten/icc-and-its-impact-more-known-unknowns">The ICC and its impact: more known unknowns</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-petrasek/icc-%E2%80%93-breach-in-dyke-or-high-water-mark">The ICC – breach in the dyke, or high water mark?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/benson-chinedu-olugbuo/law-and-politics-at-international-criminal-court">Law and politics at the International Criminal Court</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Elizabeth Evenson Sub-Saharan Africa The International Criminal Court Wed, 26 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Elizabeth Evenson 95463 at https://opendemocracy.net Making a case for change: the value of strategic plausibility in evaluation https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/jeremy-smith-jim-coe/making-case-for-change-value-of-strategic-plausibility-in-eval <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ckJAeNkvIMZBFY-ldmIorMPXPoyuZgmVtCFf1c7b0jk/mtime:1440376843/files/SmithCoe.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>By focusing on strategic plausibility, it’s possible to fulfil accountability needs while also favouring learning. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank">evaluation and human rights</a>. &nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/jeremy-smith-jim-coe/d%C3%A9montrer-la-r%C3%A9alit%C3%A9-du-changement-la-valeur-de-la-plausibilit" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Human rights work covers a huge range of interventions, and evaluation approaches will vary according to the type of work being assessed. There may be forms of human rights work that have discrete, “trackable” interventions where a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">results-based management</a> type approach would make sense. But, more often than not, human rights advocacy—as with any influencing intervention in complex social and political environments—does not involve straightforward results that are easy to quantify and attribute causes to.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As others in&nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights">this debate</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;have suggested, a results-based lens is a problematic starting point when trying to understand social change. Change processes are complicated and unpredictable. In the constellation of actors and factors operating in all directions to influence how policy and political processes play out, the role of even the biggest, most active NGO is likely to be relatively small. In such contexts, the risk is that a demand for predictable, quantifiable results may lead to a misrepresentation of reality.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It may also constrain and pervert priorities, as encapsulated in a quote from a human rights defender cited in&nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.innonet.org/resources/files/CEI_HR_Case_Studies.pdf">a report</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;looking at the monitoring and evaluation approaches of three human rights organisations:</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I spent eight years defending political prisoners. There was no hope of their release. I lost every case. What was my [observable] impact? Zero. Should I have done it? I haven’t found one person who says no.”</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Crudely applied, a results-based approach leaves no space for this sort of “zero impact” activity.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">'Should I have done it? I haven’t found one person who says no.'&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Baulking at the direction in which a results-based approach appears to lead human rights evaluation,&nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">Emma Naughton and Kevin Kelpin</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">,&nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation">Brian Root</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and&nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/tim-ludford-clare-doube/finding-balance-evaluating-human-rights-work-in-complex-env">Tim Ludford and Clare Doube</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;accord central importance to learning. These authors emphasise the value of </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">“learning through regular, daily evaluative thinking”</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, highlighting the importance of reserving space for reflection. This approach also includes measuring the tiny, messy steps that together constitute change. These are all points that we would endorse.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">However, expressing fears about overly quantitative results-based evaluation—however well founded—elides but does not resolve the challenge of making a case for an organisation's contribution to change. Organisations also need to demonstrate accountability to the communities and human rights defenders with whom they work, as well as to funders, partners and supporters.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Accountability can take organisations into uncomfortable territory, full of pressures to make the intangible tangible and the complex simplistic. But rather than settling on narrow, results-based modes of operating, we argue that it is possible to fulfill legitimate accountability needs, while also favouring learning. One way to do this is to focus on the strategic plausibility that an organisation's work has had, or will have, a contributory effect in achieving change.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A plausible strategy is one that is coherent and defensible, that takes an expansive but realistic view of how changes come about and the role an individual organisation can have within wider processes. It tolerates uncertainty and accepts complexity rather than presuming a narrow, overly linear trajectory of change. It also sets out, in a credible way, how interim objectives truly constitute incremental steps towards the change that the organisation is seeking. It’s important, of course, to recognise and celebrate interim outcomes. But it is equally important to seek grounds for confidence that any such outcomes represent movement towards—and have a good prospect of translating into—significant and lasting change in people’s lives.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In evaluation, attention to plausibility means interrogating and assessing the explicit—and often implicit—strategic logic of change that lies behind action. In assessing whether and to what degree there is a plausible connection between its efforts and human rights change, an organisation should ask:&nbsp;what does the concrete evidence reveal about what actually happened and why? What are the perspectives of different actors involved about the balance of influences at play? What do we understand about the motivations of, and pressures on, decision makers and what does that tell us about likely factors explaining the end result? What can we learn from comparative examples?</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ckJAeNkvIMZBFY-ldmIorMPXPoyuZgmVtCFf1c7b0jk/mtime:1440376843/files/SmithCoe.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Rasande Tyskar (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> "At times, a goal of 'solidarity' may be used as a get-out clause of 'at least we did something', or as a way to fulfill supporter engagement objectives without obviously having a rationale beyond this." </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Human rights organisations put a high premium on “solidarity” actions, for example. For good reasons, public demonstrations that support human rights defenders and/or expose human rights violators are considered a part of the influencing repertoire. This is particularly true for international human rights organisations supporting local human rights defenders. Solidarity can have a positive place in human rights work, protecting, supporting and emboldening those on the front line. But although organisations express frustration at the lack of possible evaluation methods for such interventions, the real problem may sometimes lie with the faulty or limited strategic logic behind the approach. At times, a goal of “solidarity” may be used as a get-out clause of “at least we did something”, or as a way to fulfil supporter engagement objectives without obviously having a rationale beyond this. Strategic evaluation can oblige organisations to justify the value that solidarity has, to surface the plausibility of the logic underlying the strategy and approach, and to clarify when and where it is meaningful to take a stand and put opposition on record.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As a more straightforward influencing example: a human rights group focused on corporate accountability supported workers within the supply chain of a multinational corporation who were calling for improved working conditions. These demands were eventually met. A review of the situation found that the ongoing relationship between the NGO and the multinational corporation was a critical factor in achieving this result. Other possible explanations were examined, but evidence pointed to a plausible correlation between the efforts of the human rights group and the response.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Avoiding the temptation of the simple truths promised by results-based evaluation carries the risk that evaluations could remain inherently uncertain. But just because assessment of strategic plausibility can be tentative does not have to mean that it lacks rigour.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This sort of evaluation may raise as many questions as it provides answers, but it gets closer to important truths than simple assessment of results. In doing so, this method offers a way to derive a stronger sense of accountability from an evaluation, alongside the benefits accrued in terms of learning.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Evaluation and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/tim-ludford-clare-doube/finding-balance-evaluating-human-rights-work-in-complex-env">Finding balance: evaluating human rights work in complex environments</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation">Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/meg-davis/unaids-bold-human-rights-targets-need-better-monitoring">UNAIDS: Bold human rights targets need better monitoring</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/helen-lindley/when-protecting-civilians-in-humanitarian-crises-how-do-we-measure-su">When protecting civilians in humanitarian crises, how do we measure success?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader/firm-yet-flexible-keeping-human-rights-organisations-relevant">Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/carrie-oelberger/how-does-professionalization-impact-international-human-rights-org">How does professionalization impact international human rights organizations?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jacques-stroun/are-humanitarian-aid-and-professional-ambition-mutually-exclusive">Are humanitarian aid and professional ambition mutually exclusive?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Jim Coe Jeremy Smith Global Evaluation and Human Rights Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Jim Coe and Jeremy Smith 95435 at https://opendemocracy.net Law and politics at the International Criminal Court https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/benson-chinedu-olugbuo/law-and-politics-at-international-criminal-court <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ZLx6OBYVMk7h4SEJhVab9W93NRhvxEd0TcWolLrLM5U/mtime:1440372790/files/Olugbuo1.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The ICC should be above politics, but some of the rules found in the Rome Statute make that difficult. A contribution to <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a>’ <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/international-criminal-court" target="_blank">ICC debate</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">As <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/jack-snyder-leslie-vinjamuri/to-prevent-atrocities-count-on-politics-first-law-late" target="_blank">previous authors</a> in this debate have argued, there is a clear tension between politics and law in the activities of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Although the ICC is a legal institution, it is surrounded by political actors. Further, it is an institution created by sovereign governments with different political interests to protect. This tension will not disappear, and indeed some of it arises from contradictory provisions in the Rome Statute that established the ICC. </p><p dir="ltr">One of the most contentious issues is the relationship between the ICC and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). States which do not ratify treaties should not, normally, be bound by the provisions of those treaties. However, the <a href="http://www.icc-cpi.int/nr/rdonlyres/ea9aeff7-5752-4f84-be94-0a655eb30e16/0/rome_statute_english.pdf" target="_blank">Rome Statute</a> makes it possible for the UNSC to refer states to the ICC even if they have not ratified the Rome Statute. &nbsp;This is how the situations in Sudan and Libya (neither of them party to the Rome Statute) came before the ICC. In addition, under Article 16 of the Rome Statute, the UNSC can also suspend ongoing ICC investigations (on any of its cases), if the investigation is seen as a threat to international peace and security. Some <a href="https://www.prio.org/Publications/Publication/?x=3929" target="_blank">scholars</a> have argued these powers clearly prioritize politics over law. </p><p dir="ltr">Another contentious provision in the Rome Statute is Article 98. In a controversial interpretation of the provision, the US government has used it to demand states who have joined the ICC grant immunity for US citizens who might have committed international crimes (and find themselves in those states). &nbsp;The resulting ‘bilateral immunity agreements’ (BIAs) signed by several countries with the US government is purely the protection of political interests; these agreements clearly <a href="http://www.iccnow.org/documents/AI_JordanSenateBIA_29July05.pdf" target="_blank">undermine</a> the ICC.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ZLx6OBYVMk7h4SEJhVab9W93NRhvxEd0TcWolLrLM5U/mtime:1440372790/files/Olugbuo1.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/UNAMID (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> The tension between the legal writ of the ICC and the politics surrounding it came to the fore with the arrival—and sudden departure—of President Al-Bashir from South Africa. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But Article 98 is a double-edged sword. Although Article 98(2) is the provision relied on by the US to negotiate BIAs, Article 98 (1) provides for the recognition of the immunity of heads of states and governments in the arrest and surrender of citizens not party to the Rome Statute. For states that are part of the ICC, there is no immunity for state officials. But under Article 98(1), non-states parties are given the opportunity to waive the immunity of their state officials if they are to be surrendered to the ICC for investigation and possible prosecution.&nbsp; A</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://jicj.oxfordjournals.org/content/7/2/315.short" target="_blank"> scholar</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> has argued that Article 98(1) applies to President Al-Bashir’s case that recently caused another legal storm between the ICC and the African Union (AU).</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-left">South Africa clearly had a legal obligation to arrest Al-Bashir. But would it have served the interests of justice, broadly defined?&nbsp;</span>The tension between the legal writ of the ICC and the politics surrounding it came to the fore with the arrival—and sudden departure—of President Al-Bashir from South Africa. He was there to attend an African Union Summit. However, there is an outstanding ICC arrest warrant for him. As South Africa has joined the ICC, it is under obligation to implement that warrant. Further, South Africa has incorporated provisions of the Rome Statute into its <a href="http://www.dfa.gov.za/chiefstatelawadvicer/documents/acts/implementationoftherromestatuteoftheiccact.pdf" target="_blank">national law</a>, and this law does not recognize the immunity of state officials. Any person—irrespective of their official capacity—that is alleged to have committed any of the crimes within the Rome Statute and is physically present in South Africa is subject to arrest, investigation and subsequent prosecution. A South African judge therefore <a href="http://politicsweb.co.za/documents/albashir-salc-vs-the-govt-high-court-judgment" target="_blank">issued an order</a> barring President Al-Bashir from leaving South Africa pending the determination on an application made for his arrest.</p><p dir="ltr">As noted earlier, an interpretation of Article 98(1) <a href="http://jicj.oxfordjournals.org/content/7/2/315.short" target="_blank">suggests</a> South Africa will have to request for a waiver of Al-Bashir’s immunity from the government of Sudan before he can be surrendered to the ICC. It is unlikely that Sudan will ever grant such a request, unless there is a change of government in Sudan (in which case President Al-Bashir would in any event have lost his immunity).</p><p dir="ltr">South Africa clearly had a legal obligation to arrest Al-Bashir. But would it have served the interests of justice, broadly defined? Certainly, it would not have been politically expedient for South Africa to arrest a sitting African president. It would have been political suicide for President Jacob Zuma within AU circles. However, the inability of the South African government to arrest President Al-Bashir has led to questions about the South African government’s commitment to constitutional democracy, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and respect for its national laws. President Al-Bashir’s visit put South Africa in a legal corner because of the legal obligation to arrest him. However, the AU that “officially” invited him to its summit in South Africa had previously requested African states not to <a href="http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/ASSEMBLY_EN_1_3_JULY_2009_AUC_THIRTEENTH_ORDINARY_SESSION_DECISIONS_DECLARATIONS_%20MESSAGE_CONGRATULATIONS_MOTION_0.pdf" target="_blank">cooperate</a> with the ICC in arresting Al-Bashir. A question arises then between the respect for treaty obligations and adherence to a request made by a regional intergovernmental organization -- which one should carry more weight? There are no easy answers here, it seems. </p><p dir="ltr">It is clear that whenever there is a conflict between law and politics, it seems law unfortunately takes the back seat. At times, law is forced into a state of suspended animation. Shortly after President Al-Bashir visited Nigeria and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/16/omar-bashir-flees-nigeria_n_3604289.html" target="_blank">suddenly left</a> due to an urgent court process against him, a coalition of civil society organizations in Nigeria petitioned the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to issue an <a href="http://www.african-court.org/en/images/documents/case/Summary_of_ADVISORY_OPINION_No.pdf" target="_blank">advisory opinion</a> on whether a treaty obligation between the ICC and states parties should trump the declaration on non-cooperation. We still await that ruling, but in the meantime can take comfort that the South African judiciary places the <a href="http://politicsweb.co.za/documents/albashir-salc-vs-the-govt-high-court-judgment" target="_blank">obligation to arrest</a> Al-Bashir squarely on the South African government. Yet, can the South African judiciary really move the hands of the ANC government to do what’s needed if there is a repeat performance? I doubt it, although I am willing to be optimistic that the government will abide by their national laws because doing otherwise is an invitation to anarchy. </p><p>In the final analysis, when two elephants fight, the grass usually suffers. In this instance, it is the victims and survivors of international crimes that are denied justice and agency in the battle for supremacy between law and politics. &nbsp;</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/international-criminal-court" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="The International Criminal Court – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jack-snyder-leslie-vinjamuri/to-prevent-atrocities-count-on-politics-first-law-late">To prevent atrocities, count on politics first, law later</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/kip-hale/elevate-law-in-fight-against-atrocities">Elevate the law in fight against atrocities</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/mwangi-s-kimenyi/international-criminal-court-in-africa-failed-experiment">The International Criminal Court in Africa: a failed experiment?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/kwadwo-appiagyeiatua/realpolitik-of-rights-and-democracy">The realpolitik of rights and democracy</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dan-saxon/%E2%80%98interests-of-justice%E2%80%99-require-challenging-impunity">The ‘interests of justice’ require challenging impunity</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/richard-dicker/throwing-justice-under-bus-is-not-way-to-go">Throwing justice under the bus is not the way to go</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/kamal-elgizouli/%E2%80%98sovereignty%E2%80%99-no-defence-against-icc-action-in-sudan">‘Sovereignty’ no defence against ICC action in Sudan</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/ottilia-anna-maunganidze/icc-and-beyond-tipping-scales-of-international-justice">The ICC and beyond: tipping the scales of international justice</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/elizabeth-evenson-jonathan-o%E2%80%99donohue/international-criminal-court-at-risk">The International Criminal Court at risk</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-petrasek/icc-%E2%80%93-breach-in-dyke-or-high-water-mark">The ICC – breach in the dyke, or high water mark?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Benson Chinedu Olugbuo Global Sub-Saharan Africa The International Criminal Court Mon, 24 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Benson Chinedu Olugbuo 95433 at https://opendemocracy.net Less money, more risk: the struggle for change in women’s rights https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/rochelle-jones-sarah-rosenhek-anna-turley/less-money-more-risk-struggle-for-change- <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img style="float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/t0sqNhBdby-ClvWF-rcyt_fwznql6atSsV_JtAQH-TA/mtime:1425583668/files/Sur_Logo_sm_0.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>With fewer resources and greater risks, sustainable change in women’s rights internationally means supporting local women’s collective action and power. A contribution the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" target="_blank">internationalizing human rights organizations</a>.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;"><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/rochelle-jones-sarah-rosenhek-anna-turley/menos-dinero-y-m%C3%A1s-riesgos-la-lucha-por-e" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/rochelle-jones-sarah-rosenhek-anna-turley/moins-d%E2%80%99argent-plus-de-risques-la-lutte-p" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><em>A longer version of this article was first published in Sur Journal’s 20th issue&nbsp;<a href="http://www.conectas.org/en/actions/sur-journal/issue/20/1007383-towards-a-multipolar-civil-society" target="_blank">here</a>,&nbsp;produced by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.conectas.org/en" target="_blank">Conectas.</a></em></p><p dir="ltr">Contemporary women’s rights organizations and movements work in a challenging context of fewer resources, more risks, increasing violence, inequalities and environmental uncertainty. Even so, many women’s rights activists and young women are demanding structural change, protecting their communities, opposing violence and holding the line on key achievements. But access to adequate financial resources continues to affect the sustainability of women’s rights organizations and their capacity to protect themselves. </p><p><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.awid.org/Library/Women-Moving-Mountains3" target="_blank">Recent research</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> by AWID demonstrates that huge transformation is&nbsp;possible when women’s organizations receive serious resources for an extended period of time. But as </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/wanja-muguongo/to-truly-internationalize-human-rights-funding-must-make-sense" target="_blank">Wanja Muguongo</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> argues, the funding and relationships between international and local groups must make sense. Several trends are currently shaping women’s rights work and influencing these relationships.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">First, the existing economic paradigm of market-based development, privatization and growth often raises the costs of basic services. In addition, women’s unpaid work, both in domestic subsistence, reproduction and in unwaged household production, continues to be exploited.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Second, the complex process of developing and negotiating the new Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs), which will culminate in September this year, has made evident the challenges women’s rights organizations and movements will face in the coming years to defend what has been achieved, avoid backlash and put new ideas and proposals on the agenda.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right">'Investing in women and girls' has been heralded as a new key strategy by diverse actors such as the World Bank, &nbsp;Newsweek &nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.3; background-color: transparent;">and&nbsp;Walmart.&nbsp;</span></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Third, the private sector is becoming a central player in the development and philanthropic sectors, with an increase in funding from new private sector actors towards women and girls, often instrumentalizing their contributions to economic growth. “Investing in women and girls” has been heralded as a new key strategy by diverse actors such as the World Bank, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/29/why-the-global-economy-needs-to-businesses-to-invest-in-women.html" target="_blank">Newsweek</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://news.walmart.com/news-archive/2011/09/14/walmart-launches-global-womens-economic-empowerment-initiative" target="_blank">Walmart</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">—but this rhetoric has not necessarily translated into real resources for women’s rights.</span></p><p dir="ltr">AWID’s <a href="http://awid.org/publications/new-actors-new-money-new-conversations" target="_blank">recent research</a> into 170 different partnership initiatives focused on women and girls, found that 143 of them collectively committed USD 14.6 billion dollars. Out of these 170, 27% supporting women and girls said they engaged women’s organizations as “partners”, but only 9% directly funded them. This research illustrates a complex panorama of new actors and new resources for women and girls that defies simplistic categorizations and brings with it new opportunities and challenges.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Fourth, religious fundamentalist movements are continuing to gain power. Increasing violence by state and non-state actors towards the general population, and particularly against social movements and activists, undermines and seriously challenges democracy, peace and human rights. In many regions, this is directly linked to the growing influence of fundamentalism with arguments based on religion (as well as culture, tradition and nationalism) used to violate and deny the rights of women, LGBTQI people, and religious, ethnic and cultural minorities. Fundamentalists and their supporters have also been successfully advancing arguments based on cultural relativism in multilateral processes, most recently at the 59th UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2015.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And finally, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G10/178/70/PDF/G1017870.pdf?OpenElement" target="_blank">violence against women human rights defenders (WHRDs) continues to grow</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. This increase in the number and severity of attacks on WHRDs by both state and non-state actors has serious impacts on the sustainability of women’s rights movements. In recent years, important advances have recognized WHRDs and the violence they face because of their role in defending women’s rights, the environment and their communities.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/wpAsmfJhiyThPngx_KMqLzJ9YagiyP47L2WAzT7MWwg/mtime:1440048419/files/Jones.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/Chedly Ben Ibrahim (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Tunisian women protest the conviction of activists from the rights group FEMEN. Women's rights advocates face growing risks when disseminating their message. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Against this backdrop of fewer resources and more risks, women’s organizing is still not coming together in the most strategic ways. A critical step that international organizations must make is strengthening and supporting local women’s movements so that they can be more effective in their work and struggles at all of these different levels. &nbsp;AWID does this in different ways. It brings together organizations and activists from different social movements and different levels of organizing (local-global). AWID especially emphasizes the importance of exploring new ways of working together, bridging the divides of our issues, sectors, constituencies and movements. One example of this is the next AWID Forum on Feminist Futures: Building Collective Power for Rights and Justice which will take place from 5 to 8 May 2016 in Brazil.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Another critical issue in women’s rights organizing is the facilitation of constructive spaces for diverse women’s rights organizations and other CSOs to strengthen connections and bring together groups that have not yet found common ground. For example, through our Young Feminist Activist (YFA) program, AWID connects our young feminist members with other young women from around the world, raising awareness of their different forms of organizing, and facilitating meaningful engagement with key international processes and events.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There are of course challenges associated with bringing together diverse and sometimes fragmented groups in collaborative processes. Beyond the fact that diverse groups come with diverse ideas, there are challenges in facilitating strong co-ownership among partners in particular due to differences in positioning and resources across feminist and other civil society organizations. We put constant care and attention to these potential tensions and to continuous learning and improvement around how we build collective processes that both advance our objectives and strengthen our movements.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In addition, we have found that the complexity of the context and the urgency of overcoming divisive opinions and goals among social movements requires us to find where identities, themes and geographies can intersect and agree. Learning more about how to work in this way will benefit any similar collaborative relationships.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It is also important for women’s rights advocates to engage in policy advocacy by collaboratively developing positions with allies. We believe that women’s rights organizations must have a stronger knowledge of and voice in development policy-making to ensure that it is responsive to their needs, rights and realities and that resources being allocated in the name of women and girls are effectively reaching those groups.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A collaborative approach with our members and broader constituency is at the heart of our work and reflects our belief in the power of movements to create momentum for change. Deep, sustainable change for women’s rights requires women’s collective action and power. To that end, supporting and strengthening diverse women’s rights movements is essential.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_1.png'"> <img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Internationalizing human rights organizations – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-anoth-sidebox"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://conectas.org.br/en/actions/sur-journal" target="_blank"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/+LOGO_SUR_web_ingles.jpg" alt="Sur logo" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/wanja-muguongo/to-truly-internationalize-human-rights-funding-must-make-sense">To truly internationalize human rights, funding must make sense</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/muthoni-muriithi/internationalisation-lessons-from-women%E2%80%99s-movement">Internationalisation: lessons from the women’s movement</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emily-martinez/human-rights-diversity-goes-beyond-northsouth-relations">Human rights diversity goes beyond North-South relations</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marsha-afreeman/leaving-struggle-for-women%E2%80%99s-rights-out-of-your-account">Leaving the struggle for women’s rights out of your account</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jean-h-quataert/making-womens-rights-human-rights">Making women&#039;s rights human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/louise-arbour/geneva-spring-why-civil-society-needs-northsouth-solidarity">A Geneva Spring? Why civil society needs North-South solidarity</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/charli-carpenter/how-do-we-solve-structural-inequality-in-global-networks">How do we solve structural inequality in global networks?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/improving-family-income-does-not-ensure-women%E2%80%99s-economic-em">Improving family income does not ensure women’s economic empowerment</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights">To empower women, prioritize their social and economic rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nafissatou-j-diop/eliminating-female-genital-mutilation-by-2030">Eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/amel-fahmy/can-we-really-eliminate-fgm-in-egypt-by-2030">Can we really eliminate FGM in Egypt by 2030?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/elsy-melkonian/women%E2%80%99s-rights-in-tunisia-promising-future-or-religiopolitical-game">Women’s rights in Tunisia: promising future or religio-political game?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Anna Turley Sarah Rosenhek Rochelle Jones Global Internationalizing Human Rights Organizations Fri, 21 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Anna Turley, Sarah Rosenhek and Rochelle Jones 95372 at https://opendemocracy.net India’s environmental flashpoints https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/arpitha-kodiveri/india%E2%80%99s-environmental-flashpoints <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><span><a href="http://www.amphibiousaccounts.org/#!/" target="_blank"><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ljS_ccgFFzR40cZPVh15_0-0nK9ETT3ykfL8hqMDgx4/mtime:1439918402/files/AABanner_english%20small.jpg" alt="AAbanner" width="140" /></a>Economic progress is clashing with environmental rights in India, and proposed legal forms are shrinking democratic spaces—increasing the likelihood of violence. </span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/arpitha-kodiveri/focos-de-tensi%C3%B3n-ambientales-en-la-india" target="_blank">Español</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Recently, I stood at the construction of another mammoth dam on the Kanhar river in Dudhi Tehsil, in the Sonebhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, India. I was between river and forest, development and rights, conservation and loss, protest and discipline. As I wrote an initial version of this piece in April 2015, I received word from Kanhar that the police had opened fire against the locals protesting the construction of the dam, leaving one tribal leader hit by a bullet and eight others severely injured. This was just the beginning. Later, peaceful protests were further quelled by the arrests of activists Roma Malik and Sukalo Gond. It is clear that the construction of this dam is illegal, but resistance to it became dangerously illegitimate as rights were suppressed, heightening the possibility of violence.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The dam is being constructed to provide irrigation to industries in the nearby area, which is heavily industrialized, while submerging over four thousand hectares of land in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. The affected population here is mainly Adivasis (indigenous), Dalit and forest dependent communities, their loss deemed by many as an acceptable cost of economic growth.</p><p>This is the cost-benefit narrative one constantly hears in different countries as development and infrastructure projects are underway. Yet India has a progressive legal framework that actually protects the rights of these communities and provides legitimacy to their struggles, even as many involved in the economy push for growth-oriented reforms. But the current government is attempting to drastically alter environmental laws and land acquisition legislation. Kanhar is one such site where this contestation is taking place, and is emblematic of the conflict that is deepening in many parts of the country.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ErecML_VTtM2dnnAeAqIhTyZmadRdVBlN96btjrxNr0/mtime:1439868109/files/Kodiveri.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Photo by: Arpitha Kodiveri, India. (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Key leaders in the sit in of the Save Kanahar Valley Campaign</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">The government intends to change the<a href="http://envfor.nic.in/sites/default/files/press-releases/Final_Report_of_HLC.pdf" target="_blank"> existing legal framework</a>, claiming that economic growth has been stalled by the process of granting environmental clearance as well as the new land acquisition act of 2013—an act that mandates social impact assessments and consent from affected families. While the government views the existing regulations as obstacles to growth, people like those affected in Kanhar understand the proposed reforms to be a dilution of their rights over land and resources.</p><p dir="ltr">These flashpoints—where interests are positioned against each other in a way that conflicts are inevitable—can be seen across the country, from mining to other extractive industries. Here, law becomes a critical site for discussion and compromise. Especially important is the ability of the current law to accommodate negotiations in ways that allow for the expression of rights and questions of justice.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">However, the <a href="http://envfor.nic.in/sites/default/files/press-releases/Final_Report_of_HLC.pdf" target="_blank">proposed legislative amendments</a> would shrink the space within environmental laws and the land acquisition act that allows for a democratic conversation between both sides. The proposals seek to change the legal framework for environmental clearances, applying the doctrine of “utmost good faith”, meaning that businessmen would be trusted to declare the nature and extent of the damage the industry will cause to the environment.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">Laws relating to the environment and land are a product of social and political struggles that shaped India’s legal and political creation.&nbsp;</span>The project proponent would be required to disclose all facts pertaining to the proposed project on an affidavit; in the case of misrepresentation or suppression of facts the proponent would be severely penalized with criminal proceedings to follow. However, in the present clearance process, affected communities have multiple avenues—such as the initial public hearing and presentation of the environment management report—to challenge the impacts of the proposed project. The amendments would only provide one avenue to challenge, in the case of misrepresentation. This allows industrial interests to be adequately represented, while the interests of the affected communities would be negotiated by industry itself. The “utmost good faith” principle would function as a self-certification process where industries will determine the nature and extent of impact, and this will form the basis of obtaining clearance. This clearly coopts the democratic space presently available for communities to express their resistance within the legal realm. It is inevitable that when restrictions like this are put into place, resistance will begin to operate outside the scope of law.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The proposal for an amended land ordinance promises to have similar effects. These amendments seek to do away with consent for acquisition of land, either for public projects or public-private partnerships. They also are designed to remove social impact assessment provisions, which were incorporated into The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act of 2013 after much struggle from peoples’ movements for the recognition of land rights. Amendments to the progressive Forest Rights Act also dilute the provisions for consent from the village assembly in cases of linear projects like roadways or railways.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">These proposed amendments are systematically demolishing legal spaces where people could express their struggles through rights, replacing such spaces with a framework where resistance has no place in law. As resistance begins to function outside the legal rubric, violent conflicts will be more likely. Laws relating to the environment and land are a product of social and political struggles that shaped India’s legal and political creation, and the changes will adversely challenge this foundation.&nbsp;Encouragingly, the amendments proposed by the High Level Committee were rejected by a parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, but it appears likely that legislative space will remain a source of struggle.</p><p dir="ltr">As the new government negotiates the pressing need of economic progress, it is changing the role of law as a site for upholding rights and negotiating conflict. As disputes over the environment increase across India, it remains to be seen how these laws will impact communities and shape the struggles to come.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>A version of this article was <a href="http://www.amphibiousaccounts.org/#!/publicacion/26" target="_blank">first published here</a> on Dejusticia’s <a href="http://www.amphibiousaccounts.org/#!/" target="_blank">Amphibious Accounts</a> Blog. </em></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.amphibiousaccounts.org/#!/" target="_blank"><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ljS_ccgFFzR40cZPVh15_0-0nK9ETT3ykfL8hqMDgx4/mtime:1439918402/files/AABanner_english%20small.jpg" alt="AAbanner" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-anoth-sidebox"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/praful-bidwai/modi-government-cracks-down-on-green-ngos">Modi government cracks down on green NGOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/seema-guha/crushing-dissent-ngos-under-threat-in-india">Crushing dissent: NGOs under threat in India</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/asuncion-lera-st-clair/corporate-concern-for-human-rights-essential-to-tack">Corporate concern for human rights essential to tackle climate change</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/chandrima-das-ashish-karamchandani/in-india-market-helps-promote-economic-and-socia">In India, the market helps promote economic and social rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/medha-patkar/pure-hypocrisy-india%E2%80%99s-fear-of-foreign-funding-for-ngos">Pure hypocrisy: India’s fear of foreign funding for NGOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/babloo-loitongbam/time-for-india-to-clean-up-its-act">Time for India to clean up its act </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/ravi-nair/time-to-challenge-india-for-its-stranglehold-on-funding-for-rights-organi">Time to challenge India for its stranglehold on funding for rights organizations</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/john-knox/greening-human-rights">Greening human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/mauricio-lazala-joe-bardwell/%E2%80%9Cwhat-human-rights%E2%80%9D-why-some-companies-speak-out-while">“What human rights?” Why some companies speak out while others don’t</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/usha-natarajan/human-rights-%E2%80%93-help-or-hindrance-to-combatting-climate-change">Human rights – help or hindrance to combatting climate change?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage Arpitha Kodiveri South Asia Wed, 19 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Arpitha Kodiveri 95308 at https://opendemocracy.net When protecting civilians in humanitarian crises, how do we measure success? https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/helen-lindley/when-protecting-civilians-in-humanitarian-crises-how-do-we-measure-su <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/n4HNyaeBa3111U4Vk5SNLAaSe8QYRn-QM-mFnhiXRI0/mtime:1439765709/files/LindleyFinal.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Oxfam’s protection programme in the DRC shows how “signposts of change” can help us evaluate progress. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank">evaluation and human rights</a>. <span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/helen-lindley/quand-la-protection-des-civils-dans-les-crises-humanitaires-est-en-je" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Over the past decade, protection in humanitarian crises has grown significantly as a sector. As a recent <a target="_blank" href="http://www.alnap.org/resource/19237.aspx">review</a> pointed out, however, the assessment of protection and activities has not been adequately covered in debates on evaluation of humanitarian action. Although we know evaluation is important, we still do not have clear agreements on what constitutes success and how to measure it. Yet, being able to gauge success (or lack thereof) will clearly have an impact on how we proceed in future crises.</p><h2>Community based protection in the DRC</h2><p dir="ltr">Oxfam’s protection programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has certainly faced challenges in evaluating its effectiveness and progress. Since 2009, Oxfam has provided support to <a target="_blank" href="http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/community-protection-committees-in-democratic-republic-of-congo-338435">Community Protection Committees</a> (“committees”) in the DRC to identify protection threats, ranging from illegal road barriers, taxes and forced work, to early marriage and others forms of gender-based violence. Once these threats are identified, the committees engage with local civilian and military authorities on actions to address the threats through positive dialogue, local awareness-raising and advocacy actions. </p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-left">Crucial for evaluation, and particularly &nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.3; background-color: transparent;">Results-Based Management approaches, is determining what realistic changes a programme is seeking to achieve.&nbsp;</span></span></p><p dir="ltr">The evaluation of this work presents a number of pitfalls. Crucial for evaluation, and particularly <a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">Results-Based Management approaches</a>, is determining what realistic changes a programme is seeking to achieve. In the DRC, however, what “success” looks like is often a compromise. For committees, this has included negotiating the removal of some, but not all, illegal road barriers in which individuals wishing to pass by were taxed, or agreeing with local commanders that they are only allowed to take produce from farmers one day a week. Despite having an important impact upon individuals’ lives—for example, making a trip to t<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he market profitable or not—such compromises can be difficult to communicate, and are subject to value judgments by an evaluator. Who decides what success looks like?</span></p><p dir="ltr">When positive changes do occur, frequently they are long term and non-linear. Although advocacy may result in the removal of a protection threat, such as a road barrier, a new threat may arise the next day, or the same threat may return the next month. Turnover amongst local authorities means that the committees and local partners may have to start rebuilding crucial relationships from scratch. The long-term nature of change in attitudes and social norms of community members towards local authorities, and issues such as gender-based violence, mean that at any given moment it can be hard to say to what extent change is occurring, and in what direction.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/n4HNyaeBa3111U4Vk5SNLAaSe8QYRn-QM-mFnhiXRI0/mtime:1439765709/files/LindleyFinal.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr//Oxfam International (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Congolese women attend an Oxfam-led committee meeting on sexual and gender based violence Bweru, DRC. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <h2>Tackling common challenges</h2><p dir="ltr"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.outcomemapping.ca">Outcome Mapping</a> has proved useful in tackling these challenges. With a focus on identifying changes in different stakeholders (called Boundary Partners) that a programme “expects to see”, “would like to see” and “would love to see”, Outcome Mapping has supported Oxfam’s Protection Team in identifying the series of small but meaningful changes in stakeholders. These small changes act as “sign posts” to indicate whether long-term change is happening. This enables the team to be realistic about what they expect to achieve in different time frames (a one vs. three year project for example), helping to identify both what to evaluate, and what to communicate to donors. </p><p dir="ltr">Outcome Harvesting has provided a means to then capture specific instances of changes in behaviour. This data has enabled the programme to move beyond simple statements (e.g., “committees are approaching the authorities and undertaking advocacy”), and to log 24 specific cases of advocacy by committees on different protection issues, and what happened as a result, in a three-month period. As this process develops, it will provide a useful resource for learning and evaluation.</p><p dir="ltr">Outcome Mapping often relies on observational methods for recording change, such as journals. Some changes however, such as those occurring in attitudes and social norms surrounding traditional gender roles or early marriage, can be difficult to directly observe and log. The specific changes identified through Outcome Mapping have provided a framework to guide the design of different data collection instruments such as surveys and focus groups. Engaging with team members, for example, revealed that a key change the programme needs to achieve is in the responses of community members to cases of sexual violence. Traditionally survivors have faced high levels of stigma, and in the case of unmarried women and girls, may be forced to marry the perpetrator. This is often called an “amicable solution”, reflecting social norms surrounding the acceptability of forced marriage. The programme seeks to challenge these norms through local engagement activities lead by the committees. The team was subsequently able to draw from <a target="_blank" href="http://strive.lshtm.ac.uk/sites/strive.lshtm.ac.uk/files/gerry%252520mackie%252520general%252520considerations%252520in%252520measuring%252520social%252520norms.pdf">best practices in measuring social norms</a> to include survey and focus group questions to measure this norm, such as “what would normally happen here if a woman was raped? How people would react? What would they say about the person?” In some cases responses to these questions have revealed reduced stigmatisation surrounding the survivor, and a reduction in the acceptability of forced marriage as an action. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Ultimately, the simplest methods have often proved the most effective. Discussing the results of focus groups village by village with all staff members has enabled the programme to identify practical, context specific lessons learned, such as emphasising the importance of free medical certificates for survivors of sexual violence. Whether using Outcome Mapping, Results-Based Management, or other approaches, the process of engaging team members in identifying what changes the programme is seeking to achieve, in who, and within what time frame, can be an important spring board.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a onmouseout="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png'" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_2.png'" target="_blank" href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights"> <img alt="Evaluation and human rights – Read on" border="0" name="Imgs" width="140" src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/pascal-kambale/justice-denied-icc%E2%80%99s-record-in-drc">Justice denied? The ICC’s record in the DRC</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation">Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/meg-davis/unaids-bold-human-rights-targets-need-better-monitoring">UNAIDS: Bold human rights targets need better monitoring</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/tim-ludford-clare-doube/finding-balance-evaluating-human-rights-work-in-complex-env">Finding balance: evaluating human rights work in complex environments</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/laura-seay/us-policy-in-drc-is-about-interests-not-allies">US policy in the DRC is about interests, not allies</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/michael-broache/beyond-deterrence-icc-effect-in-drc">Beyond deterrence: the ICC effect in the DRC</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-stroup/coming-together-or-falling-apart">Coming together, or falling apart?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader/firm-yet-flexible-keeping-human-rights-organisations-relevant">Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Helen Lindley Sub-Saharan Africa Evaluation and Human Rights Tue, 18 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Helen Lindley 95281 at https://opendemocracy.net Why framing matters—and polls only give you so much https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/nat-kendalltaylor/why-framing-matters%E2%80%94and-polls-only-give-you-so-much <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/Pyja4DHODGQPxmz0iBTH78SZxGLFc7TWoMLx1697WgE/mtime:1439769854/files/TaylorFinal.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Understanding how people think about human rights, not just what they think, is critical to effective communication. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank">public opinion and human rights.</a><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/nat-kendalltaylor/por-qu%C3%A9-el-encuadre-es-importante-y-por-qu%C3%A9-las-encuestas-tienen-" target="_blank">&nbsp;<span><em><strong>Español</strong></em></span></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Existing research on framing has a lot to offer in terms of increasing support for human rights issues. A framing perspective provides important cautionary notes about how we should use polls as part of a communication effort. How people think, in addition to what they think is critical to effective communication, but polls are not great ways to understand the how question. Polls are also not always effective in deriving recommendations for how to communicate effectively about social issues. In fact, using descriptive polling to make communications decisions can actually lead to unproductive outcomes. </p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Why framing matters and why now?</span></h2><p dir="ltr">Human rights issues are currently at a critical juncture. Freedom House has warned for the last nine years that respect for democratic principles, including the political and civil liberties that form the foundation of human rights, has declined. In fact, in their 2015 report the watchdog organization asserted that democracy is now under greater threat than at any other point in the last 25 years. There are a number of factors driving these trends, pushing human rights issues onto the back burner and putting at risk the ground already gained.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The factors threatening democracy and human rights promotion are creating an urgent need for action—but they also hint at opportunity. When issues are actively negotiated in public and expert discourses, the way that people come to understand the issues is up for grabs. On human rights matters, the result of these contests over meaning might very well be the difference between seeing progress on these issues and seeing them backslide further. Bringing a framing perspective—the idea that meaning is shaped by how issues are presented—seems critical at this juncture.</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Understanding is frame dependent</span></h2><p dir="ltr">We know that the way issues are presented <a href="http://pcl.stanford.edu/people/siyengar/" target="_blank">influences what people take away from messages</a>, their attitudes toward the topic, and the degree to which they do (or do not) support specific solutions.</p><p><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">The fundamental tenant of framing research is that people do not come to messages as empty vessels.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The fundamental tenant of framing research is that people do not come to messages as empty vessels. Instead they come with deep, implicit and highly shared understandings of how the world works that they apply to make sense of information and formulate opinions.</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Applying framing theory</span></h2><p dir="ltr">Effective frames are those that advance existing ways of thinking that position people to access and apply our information. When we apply this framing perspective, there are a few things to keep in mind: </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>1. Opinion polls only tell you so much.</strong> Measuring people’s attitudes and support for issues and policies via polls can be helpful as a surface snap shot of what people think (assuming instruments are strong and questions carefully worded) but these instruments do not tell you why people have these opinions. For example, a poll about criminal justice in the US might tell you that people favor specific reforms, but without knowing the underlying patterns of reasoning that people are using to reach these decisions, results are of only limited utility to communicators. Such an understanding can help communicators be strategic. An understanding of how people reach their opinions is vital in helping us make decisions about how messages on a given content domain should be framed. Looking at deep patterns of thinking also has the benefit of yielding results that are more durable than surface measures of opinion.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>2. Figuring out what works (and what does not) is an empirical process.</strong> Too many times, communicators use descriptive polls as their sole means of formulating messaging strategies. While polls help researchers formulate hypotheses, without controlled experimental components, they do not tell us how messages will work to shift, change or channel public opinion and increase support. The only way to know what a message will do is to actually see what it does—to test its effects.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/Pyja4DHODGQPxmz0iBTH78SZxGLFc7TWoMLx1697WgE/mtime:1439769854/files/TaylorFinal.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Shutterstock/Lightspring (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> People approach descriptive polling with deep, implicit and highly shared understandings of how the world works that they apply to make sense of information and formulate opinions.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. More evidence is not the answer.</strong> Framing helps us see that effective communication is not about getting more data or descriptive analysis of the problem into the public discourse. For example, <a href="http://crx.sagepub.com/content/21/1/48.abstract" target="_blank">Hans-Bernd Brosius and Anke Bathelt</a> have shown that “base rate data” (e.g., prevalence statistics) are consistently ineffective in changing people’s understanding of a wide range of phenomena. Evidence, as much as we are told otherwise, does not speak for itself. Communicators should not ask it to. </p><p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Correcting people’s mistakes is a bad way of correcting their mistakes.</strong> We also know that taking on and correcting people’s misperceptions does not make for effective communications. Yet, this is a strategy employed in almost every field, as represented particularly poignantly in the ubiquitous myth-fact sheet and the practice of “myth-busting”. Given the dominance of this communications practice, a group of communications scientists (e.g., <a href="https://dornsife.usc.edu/norbert-schwarz/" target="_blank">Norbert Schwartz</a>) set out to test this strategy. They found that people exposed to myth fact sheets consistently misremember the myths as fact; that this effect gets worse the further in time they are away from the exposure and; the kicker, that they attribute the myths, that they see as true, to the source of the communication. Priming is powerful. &nbsp;Reminding people of what they already know and then thinking you can rationally argue them out of their position is not how cognition works—and thus not how communicators should use their valuable resources. </p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>5. Finding resonant messages should not be your ultimate goal.</strong> Finally, we know that while resonance is an important component of effective communications—in fact you can’t have effective messages without resonance. Resonance—how strongly people identify with a message and how emotional its content is—is certainly part of effective communications, but it must not be the end goal. Highly resonant messages can actually lead people in the wrong direction and away from our desired communications goals. For example, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/AddictionValuesPaper.pdf" target="_blank">we have found</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> that compassion and empathy are highly resonant values for people when thinking about addiction issues. However, this resonance backfires if your goal is to increase support for public policies and programs that deal with addiction. In short, while effective messages have to be resonant, resonant messages aren’t always effective.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">My point in all of this is that we need better ways of understanding how people think about human rights issues—ways that go deeper than and add layers to polling results. We also need a set of empirically tested strategies that can lead people in the direction that we want to take them. Human rights issues need better frames.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_2.jpg '" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg '"> <img src=" https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Public opinion and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/kathy-frankovic/does-it-matter-when-polls-go-wrong">Does it matter when polls go wrong?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-e-mendelson/doubling-down-on-human-rights-data">Doubling down on human rights data</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jeongwoo-koo/public-opinion-on-human-rights-is-true-gauge-of-progress">Public opinion on human rights is the true gauge of progress</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jessica-montell/let-pollsters-pick-navigating-public-opinion-in-israel">Let the pollsters pick? Navigating public opinion in Israel</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/kathy-frankovic/in-myanmar-polls-are-beginning-of-larger-conversation">In Myanmar, polls are the beginning of a larger conversation</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader/firm-yet-flexible-keeping-human-rights-organisations-relevant">Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/c%C3%A9sar-rodr%C3%ADguezgaravito/multiple-boomerangs-new-models-of-global-human-rights-advoc">Multiple boomerangs: new models of global human rights advocacy</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Nat Kendall-Taylor Global Public Opinion and Human Rights Mon, 17 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Nat Kendall-Taylor 95237 at https://opendemocracy.net Losing girls: post Ebola in Sierra Leone https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/yanoh-kay-jalloh/losing-girls-post-ebola-in-sierra-leone <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/qbyBWLXHpgzEWGuZE3LEnl8Vk2uniM_mqG0YeYKjygU/mtime:1439356786/files/Jalloh.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The effects of Ebola on Sierra Leone will be felt long after the country is declared Ebola-free, and girls are being particularly ostracized and stigmatized.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Schools in Sierra Leone opened in mid-April 2015, eight months after they were closed to stop the Ebola virus from spreading. But even though schools are open again, nothing is the same. Reminders of Ebola’s destruction are everywhere, and a new type of vigilance permeates daily life. School staff use thermometers to check for high temperatures. Buckets of chlorinated water are placed strategically in schools, with an encouragement to wash hands and wash often. And only a small number of students have actually come back to class. Some are working to support their families. Others are taking care of younger siblings. Sadly, some are deceased. But there is one population that is disproportionately missing: girls, especially pregnant girls. </p><p dir="ltr">The <a href="https://plan-international.org/about-plan/resources/media-centre/press-releases/pregnant-teenagers-banned-school-sierra-leone/" target="_blank">Ministry of Education in Sierra Leone has banned girls</a> who are “visibly” pregnant from taking the standardized exams that are needed to graduate, justifying this decision by saying that pregnant girls “always fail” these exams. These girls are also not allowed to attend class, as officials believe it may have a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/may/11/let-pregnant-school-girls-back-into-the-classroom-in-sierra-leone" target="_blank">negative influence on other girls</a>. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Of course, teenage pregnancy is not a new phenomenon in Sierra Leone, and the ban on pregnant girls has been in place since 2010. In fact, in 2009, districts in </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.irinnews.org/report/83356/sierra-leone-pregnancy-automatic-dismissal-for-male-and-female-students" target="_blank">Northern Sierra Leone automatically dismissed any girl who was pregnant</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">; they also would dismiss the boy who impregnated her, if identified.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/qbyBWLXHpgzEWGuZE3LEnl8Vk2uniM_mqG0YeYKjygU/mtime:1439356786/files/Jalloh.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Global Partnership for Education (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Girls arrive to school in Sierra Leone. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So if this school “</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.voanews.com/content/schools-reopen-in-sierra-leone-but-ban-pregnant-girls/2717246.html" target="_blank">pregnancy ban</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">” is not unique, why are we talking about it? And how is it linked to Ebola?</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://hivhealthclearinghouse.unesco.org/sites/default/files/resources/Sierra_Leone_National_Strategy_for_the_Reduction_of_Teenage_Pregnancy.pdf" target="_blank">rate of teenage pregnancy</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in Sierra Leone, already at 33% before the outbreak, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://plan-international.org/about-plan/resources/news/teenage-pregnancy-rates-rise-in-ebola-stricken-west-africa/" target="_blank">has reportedly increased</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> since the outbreak of the Ebola virus, though exact figures are hard to verify. While some individuals have linked the rising rate of teenage pregnancy to “idleness”—presumably caused by school closures during the peak of the Ebola epidemic—this does not account for the vulnerability and potential risks for girls compared to boys in crisis situations. </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-2839432/Love-time-Ebola-teen-pregnancy-violence.html" target="_blank">UNICEF has anecdotal evidence that sexual assault and transactional sex among underage girls is on the rise</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and last year a UNICEF representative confirmed that they expected gender-based violence to surge as a result of the Ebola crisis and instability. Some girls have resorted to selling sex to pay for necessities such as food since their parents or other caregivers can no longer provide for them, or are dead.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When the first lady of Sierra Leone, Sia Nyama Koroma, a well-known spokesperson for children’s rights, also endorsed the pregnancy ban, it was not only a stark contrast from previous initiatives (that she and the administration previously endorsed), it was also an additional letdown for the already abandoned young girls.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">The rippling effects of the Ebola outbreak have deteriorated access to and enjoyment of most socioeconomic rights, including the right to education.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In analyzing the weakness and inability of the Sierra Leonean health system to deal with the Ebola outbreak, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-blog/alicia-ely-yamin/ebola-human-rights-and-poverty-%E2%80%93-making-links" target="_blank">Alicia Aly Yamin</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> illustrates the further marginalization of women and children in accessing health services. Indeed, the rippling effects of the Ebola outbreak have deteriorated access to and enjoyment of most socioeconomic rights, including the right to education. By banning young women and girls from school due to pregnancy, Sierra Leone is further alienating and disempowering an already marginalized group. Although this ban existed five years ago, the social destruction caused by Ebola has exacerbated its effect, compounding multiple rights violations. The ban fails to recognize the criminal acts of sexual offenders, the vulnerability of girls who may be orphaned or abandoned due to Ebola, and the inefficiency of the social and legal frameworks to protect these girls.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In addition, focus groups that I interviewed in </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.sierraexpressmedia.com/?p=29641" target="_blank">Northern Sierra Leone in 2011-2013</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> indicated that pregnant girls as well as girls known to be sexually active do not receive much support from their families. Many are called “Raray girls”, or prostitutes, and families stop giving the minimal resources they have to support these girls through school. Because some communities support the punitive ban on pregnant girls, the government has little impetus to lift it.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yet, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.brac.net/node/1656#.VYDMI89Viko" target="_blank">girls that get an education are more likely to escape poverty and live more productive lives</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. We know that educated women are more likely to ensure that their own </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/ED/GMR/images/2011/girls-factsheet-en.pdf" target="_blank">children are educated</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">; we also know that </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.unicef.org/sowc96/ngirls.htm" target="_blank">educated women are more likely to have fewer children</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Given the poor economic state of Sierra Leone, it is an urgent priority to educate everyone, but girls and women are especially in need due to their increased risk factors and marginalization.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Several civil society organizations in Sierra Leone are now mobilizing stakeholders to ensure that these girls are not denied their right to education. This includes the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.forwarduk.org.uk/what-we-do/africa-programmes/sierra-leone-maternal-mortality/" target="_blank">Girl 2 Girl</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Empowerment Movement which (G2G) and the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://fiftyfiftysierraleone.org/" target="_blank">50/50 group of Sierra Leone</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, an organization that campaigns for equal representation of women in decision making in Sierra Leone.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But the reluctance of the government to act is limiting the effectiveness of these actions. The political will is simply not there, and with recent shifts in the government, addressing the pregnancy ban is not a priority. In addition, Sierra Leone is not yet Ebola-free, so fighting the disease continues to be everyone’s main concern.</span></p><p>We know that education provides a step towards a better future. Excluding any girl from this opportunity without support or alternatives alienates her and harms the larger community as well. Right now, with Ebola leaving so much destruction, Sierra Leone needs all the human capital it can get. The government is not in a position to deny education to any member of its population with the capacity to rebuild the country in the wake of this crisis.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nafissatou-j-diop/eliminating-female-genital-mutilation-by-2030">Eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/alicia-ely-yamin/ebola-human-rights-and-poverty-%E2%80%93-making-links">Ebola, human rights, and poverty – making the links</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/josh-busby/human-rights-and-health-long-road-to-mainstream">Human rights and health? The long road to the mainstream </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/meg-davis/unaids-bold-human-rights-targets-need-better-monitoring">UNAIDS: Bold human rights targets need better monitoring</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/mariama-tarawallie/women-in-sierra-leone-resisting-dispossession">Women in Sierra Leone: Resisting dispossession </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/muthoni-muriithi/internationalisation-lessons-from-women%E2%80%99s-movement">Internationalisation: lessons from the women’s movement</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/improving-family-income-does-not-ensure-women%E2%80%99s-economic-em">Improving family income does not ensure women’s economic empowerment</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights">To empower women, prioritize their social and economic rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/paul-seils/intolerance-of-impunity-does-not-make-icc-enemy-of-peace">Intolerance of impunity does not make ICC an enemy of peace</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dimitrina-petrova/nationality-laws-%E2%80%93-new-battleground-for-women%E2%80%99s-equality">Nationality laws – a new battleground for women’s equality</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage Yanoh Kay Jalloh Sub-Saharan Africa Thu, 13 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Yanoh Kay Jalloh 95188 at https://opendemocracy.net Human rights and health? The long road to the mainstream https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/josh-busby/human-rights-and-health-long-road-to-mainstream <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/0sc7wpD15uEYflX3O3yA991SwfrhVmM8KwmgDTKuknI/mtime:1439275605/files/Busby.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Does framing health and access to medicine in rights-based rhetoric help or hinder the overall rights movement?</p><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/wendy-h-wong/human-rights-aren%E2%80%99t-revolutionary-good" target="_blank">Wendy Wong</a> is celebrating the normalcy and universality of human rights, arguing that the mainstreaming of human rights rhetoric is a giant step in the right direction. She acknowledges that many outside human rights circles have embraced—and even misused—human rights language, but in her view this isn’t a problem. “Human rights are ‘no longer revolutionary’,” she writes. “But this is a good thing, not a weakness.” </p><p dir="ltr">Yet, does draping all causes in rights-based rhetoric always work? </p><p><span class="mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">I worry there are diminishing returns if all causes are framed as human rights, as rights increasingly come into conflict with each other.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Historically, there has been less global consensus around social and economic rights than civil and political rights. Moreover, despite the appeal of human rights framing, I worry there are diminishing returns if all causes are framed as human rights, as rights increasingly come into conflict with each other. The experience of framing health as a human right is particularly instructive.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Global health advocates have had a long effort asserting a right to health. In the late 1970s, health advocates tried and failed to frame health as a human right as part of the Health for All initiative intended to support more access to health in developing countries. Scholar Jeremy Youde </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jird/journal/v11/n4/pdf/jird200810a.pdf#close" target="_blank">argues</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> that failure occurred because it happened “at a time when the right to health was highly contested.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In the 1990s, Jonathan Mann reinvigorated interest in framing health as a human right as he led the World Health Organization’s early attempts to address the AIDS pandemic. He launched a new journal, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.hhrjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2014/03/4-Mann.pdf" target="_blank">Health and Human Rights</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, in 1994 on the premise that human rights have special power: “states are increasingly monitored for their compliance with human rights norms by other states, nongovernmental organizations, the media and private individuals.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After Mann’s tragic death in a plane crash in 1998, Lawrence Gostin </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-720X.2001.tb00698.x/epdf" target="_blank">wrote</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> a tribute to his former collaborator, capturing the attractiveness of rights-based framing. &nbsp;“‘Human rights’ when it is invoked in reasoning or argument, commands reverence and respect,” Gostin said. However, he warned that a right to health potentially lacked analytical clarity: “Considerable disagreement exists, however, as to whether ‘health’ is a meaningful, identifiable, operational, and enforceable right, or whether it is merely aspirational or rhetorical.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Gostin wrote these words in 2001 just as AIDS campaigners were mobilizing an access to medicines campaign for the developing world based on moral principles as well as rights-based appeals. In particular countries such as Brazil and South Africa, where the right to health is embedded in those countries’ constitutions, framing access to medicines as a human right had power, as activists could leverage the legal basis of their claims in domestic courts. However, at the global level, it is unclear whether AIDS activists benefited from a perception of health as a human right or helped crystallize that perception through their advocacy.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/0sc7wpD15uEYflX3O3yA991SwfrhVmM8KwmgDTKuknI/mtime:1439275605/files/Busby.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr/United Workers (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A march for the human right to healthcare in Maryland, USA. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Moreover, in the realm of medicines, even if we accept health as a human right, we have competing sets of “rights”. When the World Trade Organization was created in 1995, the so-called Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) were negotiated at the same time. Though developing countries had a lengthy extension period to implement these provisions, these rights extended 20 years of patent protection to makers of branded pharmaceuticals.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Against this new and highly contested set of rights, we have competing claims for access to medicines. While the TRIPS agreement included exceptions for health emergencies, these privileges had to be reaffirmed in the 2001 Doha health exception and clarified further in 2003. This terrain still remains highly contested, as pharmaceutical companies are </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/business/international/pacific-trade-deal-drugs-patent-protection.html" target="_blank">seeking</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to enshrine extended restrictions on data sharing through new regional trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.</span></p><p>With intellectual property rights and rights to health and medicines in conflict, the notion of rights as <a href="http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/bridge/Philosophy/takings2a.txt.htm" target="_blank">trumps</a> that should take priority over competing claims becomes harder to sustain. While philosophers may have nuanced understandings of how to deal with competing rights claims, the challenge in the real world is how to balance competing political priorities. Whether or not elevating health and access to medicines as human rights helps that cause without undermining wider human rights claims remains an open question.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/wendy-h-wong/human-rights-aren%E2%80%99t-revolutionary-good">Human rights aren’t revolutionary? Good!</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-garc%C3%ADa-junco-machado/seguro-popular-mexico%E2%80%99s-progress-in-protecting-right-to-">Seguro Popular: Mexico’s progress in protecting the right to health</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/meg-davis/unaids-bold-human-rights-targets-need-better-monitoring">UNAIDS: Bold human rights targets need better monitoring</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/inga-winkler-virginia-roaf/for-sanitation-human-rights-are-key-to-keeping-governmen">For sanitation, human rights are key to keeping governments accountable</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/doutje-lettinga/how-revolutionary-are-global-human-rights">How revolutionary are global human rights?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nicola-perugini-neve-gordon/human-rights-crisis-problem-of-perception">The human rights crisis: a problem of perception?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/joel-r-pruce/human-rights-are-revolutionary%E2%80%94in-principle-not-practice">Human rights are revolutionary—in principle not practice</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dhananjayan-sriskandarajah-mandeep-tiwana/towards-multipolar-civil-society">Towards a multipolar civil society</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Josh Busby Global Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:00:00 +0000 Josh Busby 95147 at https://opendemocracy.net Human rights aren’t revolutionary? Good! https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/wendy-h-wong/human-rights-aren%E2%80%99t-revolutionary-good <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/lbQKg7tQ0E-fKjlu0sJu6m6npG5BiG_S8kRNGfnX-cY/mtime:1439350925/files/Wong81115.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Human rights are no longer “revolutionary”, but that’s a good thing. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/wendy-h-wong/%C2%BFlos-derechos-humanos-no-son-revolucionarios-%C2%A1qu%C3%A9-bueno" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/wendy-h-wong/les-droits-de-l%E2%80%99homme-ne-sont-pas-r%C3%A9volutionnaires-tant-mieux" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></p><p><em><strong><br /></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Recently on openGlobalRights, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/joel-r-pruce/human-rights-are-revolutionary%E2%80%94in-principle-not-practice">Joel Pruce</a> and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/doutje-lettinga/how-revolutionary-are-global-human-rights">Doutje Lettinga</a> lamented the non-revolutionary—even anti-revolutionary—nature of human rights. Success has made rights-focused NGOs “soft”, earning reproach from critics such as the Russian musician-activists Pussy Riot. More harshly, some say international groups such as Human Rights Watch are now <a target="_blank" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/nicola-perugini-neve-gordon/human-rights-crisis-problem-of-perception">complicit in US imperialism and militarism</a>. </p><p dir="ltr">These critics are wrong in their conclusions even if their observations are correct. Yes, human rights are “no longer revolutionary”, but this is a good thing, not a weakness. Human rights concepts are being incorporated into the language and practices of powerful states and big corporations, helping to make the world a better, safer place. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The achievements of human rights groups are myriad. Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 vague, aspirational notions of what is necessary to preserve human dignity have been integrated into the discourse not only of progressive activists and academics, but also of conservative campaigners, state officials, the media, and corporate moguls. The ubiquity of human rights illustrates how the concept, possibility, and protection of rights have, in fact, persevered. No longer the territory of a handful of “radicals”, human rights have gone mainstream; they are no longer a concept for revolutionaries to use but, instead, for everyone to internalize.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">Human rights have gone mainstream; they are no longer a concept for revolutionaries to use but, instead, for everyone to internalize. &nbsp;</span>Pruce is right to point out many outside the human rights field are using the term “rights” to characterize their causes. True, some of these uses may not align with the history of human rights, such as when religious or pro-family groups use </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cambridge.org/ca/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/comparative-politics/global-right-wing-and-clash-world-politics" style="line-height: 1.5;">rights language</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to deny LGBT rights or promote </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/human-rights-groups-support-russias-anti-gay-propaganda-law" style="line-height: 1.5;">hate speech</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. It is inaccurate, however, to say that rights “[seem] to stand for nothing at all” because they apply to everyone or are seemingly used by everyone. Instead, one can see this broad mundane usage of the term “rights” as their universalization. Rather than denying another group’s rights, these groups are asserting their own. Although there are certainly questionable appropriations of the term “human rights”, the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1528-3585.2010.00412.x/abstract" style="line-height: 1.5;">misuse of the term</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> also, perversely, demonstrates the power of the human rights idea.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For example, Clifford Bob has studied the use of </span><a target="_blank" href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2301401" style="line-height: 1.5;">rights as weapons</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and the deployment of rights language for nationalist or other non-universalist causes. Why do these people use the term “rights” when they could frame their causes in any number of different ways? </span><a target="_blank" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r" style="line-height: 1.5;">As James Ron and his colleagues</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> have discovered through opinion polls, people often have positive associations with human rights and view the term with favor.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For better or for worse, human rights have become the vocabulary for many contemporary global and local movements.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There is no single human rights movement. There are human rights movements that claim alternative ways of defining human rights, which means determining the essence of being human—which itself should be “apolitical”. Yet this does not signify the defining process is apolitical and uncontroversial. Note how far the human rights field has progressed up until today: since 1948, the UN has supported nine additional binding </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CoreInstruments.aspx" style="line-height: 1.5;">treaties</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;and nine optional protocols mandating state action to protect human rights.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/lbQKg7tQ0E-fKjlu0sJu6m6npG5BiG_S8kRNGfnX-cY/mtime:1439350925/files/Wong81115.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/hobvias sudoneighm (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Free internet at the Toronto Reference library. "We have expanded our human rights lexicon, and we continue to add to it. Who would have thought digital privacy and Internet access would one day be debated as a human right in the mid-20th century?" </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We have expanded our human rights lexicon, and we continue to add to it. Who would have thought </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/12/23/human-rights-digital-age" style="line-height: 1.5;">digital privacy</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a target="_blank" href="http://ahumanright.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Internet access</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> would one day be debated as a human right in the mid-20th century? Or consider states’ use of particularly deadly or inhumane weapons; once, these were protected from non-state critique. Today, activists have mounted international campaigns such as the to ban or curtail the use of anti-personnel landmines (the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://canadianlandmine.org/the-issues/the-treaty" style="line-height: 1.5;">Ottawa Convention</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">), </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.clusterconvention.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Cluster Munitions</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the international </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Arms Trade</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and nuclear weapons in the form of the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.globalzero.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Global Zero</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> campaign. Even businesses have begun to incorporate human rights into their daily practice through corporate social responsibility efforts such as the </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.unglobalcompact.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">UN Global Compact</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">; private monitoring efforts such as Goldman Sachs’ </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/esg-reporting/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Environmental, Social, and Governance Report</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">; the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/bangladesh-factory-collapse-csr-important" style="line-height: 1.5;">rethinking</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> after the tragedy of </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21577067-gruesome-accident-should-make-all-bosses-think-harder-about-what-behaving-responsibly" style="line-height: 1.5;">Rana Plaza</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">; and the call for the private sector to address </span><a target="_blank" href="https://oneearthfuture.org/sites/oneearthfuture.org/files/documents/publications/roleofbusinessr2pdigital.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">mass atrocity crimes</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and other </span><a target="_blank" href="http://business-humanrights.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">human rights abuses</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yes, some of the claims couched in human rights language are probably misguided, but human rights belong to everyone. As a result, some understandings and uses of the concept will be uninspiring for some but incredibly rewarding for others.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Let's not act as though anyone has a monopoly on the correct use of the term, or that "human rights" or concept stretching is only happening from the political right.&nbsp;For some, defining poverty as a human rights abuse could be helpful, as it lends an urgency to welfare, growth, and redistribution policies. For others, however, classifying poverty as a human rights problem may be reductionist, unwise, and misguided, since poverty can be so deeply rooted and multifaceted. Rejection of this framing of poverty can happen from left and right. So who is “right?” There is, in fact, no entirely correct answer, so let’s not pretend that any of us “really know” what is, and what isn’t, the correct definition. What we do know is that rights seem to be a very attractive frame for all kinds of groups making political claims.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The take-home point is this: human rights are increasingly part of our moral discourse, and as such, are debated, used, and misused in all kinds of ways. If this means that human rights are no longer “revolutionary”, that is more than acceptable—even a positive. I will take “accepted and discussed” over “subversive but dismissed” any day.</span></p><p><em>A version of this article was <a target="_blank" href="http://duckofminerva.com/2015/07/human-rights-arent-revolutionary-good.html">first published</a> on the Duck of Minerva.</em></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/josh-busby/human-rights-and-health-long-road-to-mainstream">Human rights and health? The long road to the mainstream </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/joel-r-pruce/human-rights-are-revolutionary%E2%80%94in-principle-not-practice">Human rights are revolutionary—in principle not practice</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/doutje-lettinga/how-revolutionary-are-global-human-rights">How revolutionary are global human rights?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nicola-perugini-neve-gordon/human-rights-crisis-problem-of-perception">The human rights crisis: a problem of perception?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emily-martinez/human-rights-diversity-goes-beyond-northsouth-relations">Human rights diversity goes beyond North-South relations</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dhananjayan-sriskandarajah-mandeep-tiwana/towards-multipolar-civil-society">Towards a multipolar civil society</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader/firm-yet-flexible-keeping-human-rights-organisations-relevant">Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/sarah-mckune/privacy-and-security-in-cyberspace-right-of-all-or-luxury-of-few">Privacy and security in cyberspace: right of all or luxury of the few?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/usha-natarajan/human-rights-%E2%80%93-help-or-hindrance-to-combatting-climate-change">Human rights – help or hindrance to combatting climate change?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/kevin-jennings/global-economic-scorecards-that-ignore-rights-reward-intoler">Global economic scorecards that ignore rights reward intolerance</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/leilani-farha/cities-new-guardians-of-human-rights">Cities: the new guardians of human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/josh-levy/human-rights-%E2%80%93-taking-sides-for-net-neutrality">Human rights – taking sides for Net Neutrality</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage Wendy H. Wong Global Wed, 12 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Wendy H. Wong 95144 at https://opendemocracy.net The realpolitik of rights and democracy https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kwadwo-appiagyeiatua/realpolitik-of-rights-and-democracy <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/J3qNHT49FX0DEtCtEhh2CZd4EJ659QeAKXgD3GjE0c8/mtime:1439178735/files/Kwadwo.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>What happens when human rights and democracy do not only advance Western foreign policy, but also contribute to producing, not reducing, poverty? A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" target="_blank">internationalizing human rights organizations</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">In 2010, former president of the World Bank <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2010/04/14/old-concept-of-third-world-outdated-zoellick-says" target="_blank">Robert Zoellick</a> announced that the Third World was passé: “If 1989 saw the end of the ‘Second World’ with Communism’s demise, then 2009 saw the end of what was known as the ‘Third World’.” He was arguing that the way we address poverty, the roles of donor and supplicant, and the way the world deals with failed states must change. At the same time, hopeful discussions about Africa’s burgeoning middle class were on the rise. In fact, that same year, <a href="http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Publications/The%20Middle%20of%20the%20Pyramid_The%20Middle%20of%20the%20Pyramid.pdf" target="_blank">the African Development Bank</a> estimated that the middle class had increased to 34% of the African population. </p><p dir="ltr">But this talk about “Africa Rising” is vastly overhyped. A <a href="http://www.blog.standardbank.com/node/61428" target="_blank">Standard Bank survey</a> of 11 sub-Saharan African countries, which together account for about half of Africa’s gross domestic product, found that 86% of their households remain in the low-income band. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Indeed, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://web.whittier.edu/academic/facultymasters/PCCLAS/DrGomezPCCLASlecture.pdf" target="_blank">Ricardo Gomez</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> noted that in 1992, one-fifth of the world’s wealthiest population received 82.7% of the total world income. Oxfam revealed that by 2014 the richest 85 people across the globe shared a combined wealth of £1 trillion, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world's population. In addition, the wealth of the richest 1% amounts to $110tn (£60.88tn), or </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp-working-for-few-political-capture-economic-inequality-200114-summ-en.pdf" target="_blank">65 times as much as the poorest half of the world</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. On top of that, the UNDP consistently reports on the rise of poverty within countries in the global South.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class="mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">Why, in this so-called era of rights and democracy and the corresponding rights-based development, is inequality on such a drastic rise?&nbsp;</span>Why, in this so-called era of rights and democracy and the corresponding rights-based development, is inequality on such a drastic rise?</span></p><p><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/stephen-hopgood/playing-both-ends-against-middle" target="_blank">Stephen Hopgood</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> notes that Western liberal democracies sustain international space for collaboration and negotiation because it is in their best interests; spreading democracy and human rights often helps to realise their foreign policy objectives. Despite the motives, he argues, the very existence of this international space benefits human rights either directly or indirectly.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But the benefits Hopgood alludes to often only serve a tiny minority of the emerging middle class, who pick and choose what rights to enjoy or fight for, sometimes to the detriment of the majority. After all, as Hopgood himself points out, the middle class is a democratic state’s key constituency, and logically their demands will carry the most weight.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In fact, Western powers have long focused on democratic and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/HRPovertyReductionen.pdf" target="_blank">rights-based approaches</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> as one of the best frameworks to tackle </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6273/1/The_Contributions_of_Professor_Amartya_Sen_in_the_Field_of_Human_Rights.pdf" target="_blank">poverty</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, which at face value might seem like a good thing. But poverty reduction efforts remain drastically uneven across the globe. Much of this is due to </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://africanarguments.org/2011/08/08/parasites-of-the-poor-international-ngos-and-aid-agencies-in-zimbabwe-by-diana-jeater/" target="_blank">exploitation by multinational corporations</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (MNCs) and pseudo-democratic governments in the global South, many of which accumulate power through the application of the rights-democracy framework.</span></p><p dir="ltr">As <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/article/democracy-for-export-principles-practices-lessons" target="_blank">Daniele Archiburgi</a> points out, following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States and its allies exported “instant democracy”. Capitalism, after all, promised “quick” prosperity. However, the realpolitik behind the sudden push was to entrench capitalism and access formerly unreachable markets. </p><p dir="ltr">A type of market democracy and minimal attainment of rights was consequently implanted in the global South, which created a collaborative-antagonistic partnership with global South leaders. This relationship was intended to portray a new partnership of “equals” between the global North and South, founded on the ethos of democracy and geared towards improving the fortunes and wellbeing of the latter. At face value, this arrangement reflects a greater respect for the sovereignty of global South states and the rights of their citizenry, yet the hidden costs for the majority poor are more onerous.</p><p dir="ltr">The antagonistic arm of the relationship allows each party the right to criticise the other’s foreign policy objectives and state practices, but in a measured tone. A good example is the US wanting to have Al-Bashir, the President of Sudan, arrested and prosecuted for war crimes, while collaborating with him on gathering intelligence against jihadists in Africa at the same time.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/J3qNHT49FX0DEtCtEhh2CZd4EJ659QeAKXgD3GjE0c8/mtime:1439178735/files/Kwadwo.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr/GovernmentZA (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> African leaders Jacob Zuma and Omar al-Bashir converse in Khartoum. Western nations' relationships with Africa's political leadership is often beneficial for both parties, but may neglect the concerns of the African people.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">On the collaborative side, the global South is subjected to a “free trade” deal with the North, under the control of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international financial institutions. This allows MNCs to bulldoze their way through treaties and other negotiations, enjoy <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp185-business-among-friends-corporate-tax-reform-120514-en_0.pdf" target="_blank">generous tax breaks</a> and unfettered access to natural resources or markets in the global South—while paying grotesquely low levels of royalties to its citizens and destroying their environment.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This arrangement also benefits leaders in the global South. First, it helps entrench them in power, through the pseudo-democratic arrangement </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/wangari-maathai/key-speeches-and-articles/bottleknecks-to-development-in-africa" target="_blank">put in place by the West</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. As a result, many citizens of the global South now have an ensemble of rights and freedoms enshrined in their national constitutions, yet rights violations are rife. In many countries of the global South, for example—and especially in Africa—governments resort to vote-rigging, vote buying and altering the constitution to extend their stay in power. Numerous laws to ensure various rights serve only as a cover for these governments to display their “commitment”, without having any practical benefit for the citizens.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Second, it creates room for legalised predation—an arrangement whereby laws are put in place to theoretically fight corruption and financial misappropriation. However, in practice, they only represent a tepid attempt to deal with the problem. Despite measures such as public procurement laws, whistle-blowers acts, and commissions/committees of inquiry, corruption remains on the rise according to </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.transparency.org/" target="_blank">Transparency International</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> indices.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Consequently</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, what results is poverty production rather than its </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://bora.uib.no/bitstream/handle/1956/2454/Poverty_production.pdf?sequence=1" target="_blank">reduction</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. The principal beneficiaries of this partnership are the MNCs, while the global South’s political elite and the emerging </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/03/africa-middle-class-search" target="_blank">middle class</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> are left to scramble for the leftovers. And the poor are left out altogether.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Of course, the middle class is expected to expose injustices in the system through application of their knowledge and skills, and the use of rights discourse and practices. Yet, along these lines, Hopgood notes that the rising middle class in the global South are likely to prefer civil and political rights that will protect their person and property, over socio-economic rights that require redistribution of their wealth.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The ultimate solution lies in the cultivation of a new brand of global South political leadership. This leadership must be forward-looking, assertive against the West and bold enough to jettison the current imported democratic arrangements in favour of an inclusive form of governance, which must be rooted in the cultural, historical and developmental circumstances of these countries. This notion of democracy/human rights should genuinely reflect local aspirations and input and be grounded in the lived experiences and interests of not only the middle class, but also farmers, artisans and workers in the informal sector who form the majority poor. The practical application of this home-grown democracy will ultimately contribute towards the attainment of sustainable, holistic development for the global South.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_1.png'"> <img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Internationalizing human rights organizations – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stephen-hopgood/playing-both-ends-against-middle">Playing both ends against the middle</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/doutje-lettinga/is-emerging-middle-class-our-best-hope-for-global-rights-activism">Is the emerging middle class our best hope for global rights activism?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader-akwasi-aidoo/africa%E2%80%99s-social-movements-present-opportunities-not-threat">Africa’s social movements present opportunities, not threats, for rights groups</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/charles-kojo-vandyck/do-african-rights-groups-have-%E2%80%9Chow%E2%80%9D-to-internationalise">Do African rights groups have the “how” to internationalise? </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/wanja-muguongo/to-truly-internationalize-human-rights-funding-must-make-sense">To truly internationalize human rights, funding must make sense</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/richard-dicker/throwing-justice-under-bus-is-not-way-to-go">Throwing justice under the bus is not the way to go</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/charles-kojo-vandyck/beyond-foreign-funding-%E2%80%93-selling-human-rights-in-africa">Beyond foreign funding – selling human rights in Africa</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stanley-ibe/yes-economic-and-social-rights-really-are-human-rights">Yes, economic and social rights really are human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/louis-bickford/convergence-towards-global-middle-emerging-architecture-for-internat">Convergence towards the global middle: an emerging architecture for the international human rights movement</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/maja-daruwala/oneway-street-can-internationalization-ever-be-southnorth">One-way street: can internationalization ever be South-North?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/louise-arbour/geneva-spring-why-civil-society-needs-northsouth-solidarity">A Geneva Spring? Why civil society needs North-South solidarity</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua Sub-Saharan Africa Internationalizing Human Rights Organizations Tue, 11 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua 95119 at https://opendemocracy.net In Myanmar, polls are the beginning of a larger conversation https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kathy-frankovic/in-myanmar-polls-are-beginning-of-larger-conversation <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/iJkLcv-FRP8XgyLO2L7LVB4l72lMCMtPMA-7KumhgoY/mtime:1439146752/files/FrankovicBurma.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Many activists in Myanmar (Burma) are very skeptical of public opinion polling. But these polls are a key starting point for a larger conversation on democracy. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank">Public Opinion and Human Rights</a>. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kathy-frankovic/%E1%80%99%E1%80%BC%E1%80%94%E1%80%BA%E1%80%99%E1%80%AC%E1%80%94%E1%80%AD%E1%80%AF%E1%80%84%E1%80%BA%E1%80%84%E1%80%B6%E1%80%90%E1%80%BD%E1%80%84%E1%80%BA-%E1%80%9E%E1%80%98%E1%80%B1%E1%80%AC%E1%80%91%E1%80%AC%E1%80%B8%E1%80%85%E1%80%85%E1%80%BA%E1%80%90%E1%80%99%E1%80%BA%E1%80%B8%E1%80%99%E1%80%BB%E1%80%AC%E1%80%B8%E1%80%9E%E1%80%8A%E1%80%BA-%E1%80%95%E1%80%AD%E1%80%AF%E1%81%8D%E1%80%98%E1%80%B1%E1%80%AC%E1%80%84%E1%80%BA%E1%80%80%E1%80%BB%E1%80%9A%E1%80%BA%E1%80%9E%E1%80%B1%E1%80%AC%E1%80%86%E1%80%BD%E1%80%B1%E1%80%B8%E1%80%94%E1%80%BD%E1%80%B1%E1%80%B8%E1%80%99%E1%80%BE%E1%80%AF" target="_blank">မြန်မာဘာသာ</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">In Myanmar (Burma), the tentative steps towards democracy since 2010 have brought with them some of the tools that dominate most Western democracies, including public opinion polls. Polling is a great device for ascertaining what the public sees and what it needs, but the first public polls in Myanmar were met with skepticism by some of those who might benefit most from understanding them.</p><p dir="ltr">The findings of two 2014 polls conducted by international NGOs in Myanmar were publicly released last year, sparking an important debate on the value of public opinion in the country. Those public polls appeared to meet internationally accepted polling standards, and all evidence indicated that the Burmese people were able to answer the questions freely.</p><p dir="ltr">In December, I led a team of polling experts from the region—Mahar Mangahas of the Philippines’ Social Weather Station and Ibrahim Suffian of Malaysia’s Merdeka Center—to further explore polling capability in Myanmar. The project was sponsored by the Open Society Foundations Burma Project and the Think Tank Foundation, and the complete report is available online in <a href="http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/polling-myanmar-democratic-transition-20150318.pdf" target="_blank">English</a> and <a href="http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/polling-myanmar-democratic-transition-bu-20150330.pdf" target="_blank">Burmese</a>. </p><p dir="ltr">The team’s task became even more important following the furor that greeted <a href="http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/flip_docs/2014%20April%203%20Survey%20of%20Burma%20Public%20Opinion,%20December%2024,%202013-February%201,%202014.pdf" target="_blank">the country’s first publicly reported opinion poll</a> in April 2014. Interviews were conducted by a local market research organization with a 20-year history, <a href="http://www.myanmarsurveyresearch.com" target="_blank">Myanmar Survey Research</a>, and the report was released by the <a href="http://www.iri.org/" target="_blank">International Republican Institute</a> (IRI). The published results included suggestions that the public held some positive views of the USDP (Union Solidarity and Development Party) and the president, which <a href="http://www.nationmultimedia.com/aec/US-backed-IRI-survey-comes-under-fire-30231530.html" target="_blank">outraged</a> <a href="http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=5743:experts-criticise-u-s-backed-iri-survey&amp;catid=32:politics&amp;Itemid=354" target="_blank">media and members of the opposition</a>, as well as their Western supporters. </p><p dir="ltr">The response demonstrated the lack of experience civil society actors had with polling and how to use social science research in general. The critics chose to ignore other findings in the poll, which made clear the high esteem in which the Myanmar public held Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD). The balanced and nuanced IRI poll results, in which the public gave credit to the USDP for the slowly improving economy and infrastructure, conflicted with the standard narrative of overwhelmingly public support for the NLD and opposition to the government.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/iJkLcv-FRP8XgyLO2L7LVB4l72lMCMtPMA-7KumhgoY/mtime:1439146752/files/FrankovicBurma.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/Htoo Tay Zar (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A crowd of Myanma listen to a speech by National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">This unfortunate overreaction to what could have been very useful information illustrates a problem for civil society groups in Myanmar and perhaps elsewhere: lack of training and lack of acceptance that the public might have a mixture of nuanced opinions. In Myanmar, the shutdown of the social sciences during the military regime and long prison sentences for activists may have caused much of the problem; many activists are convinced that surveys are impossible, the most common criticism being that a sample of 3,000 couldn’t possibly be large enough for a country the size of Myanmar.</p><p dir="ltr">There are good reasons to conduct opinion polls in any country in the period before a major election, especially an election that could result in changes in national representation. There is even more reason to have such polling done in countries without a recent history of democratic elections and survey research, like Myanmar. First off, parties need data to understand the needs and desires of the voting public in order to better represent them. Polls can also serve as a check on government excesses, and many of those we spoke with, including critics, appeared open to the idea of using opinion polls to determine public satisfaction with government services and identify problems that government must solve. </p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right">Opinion polling can represent the minority population as well as the majority, and describe similarities and differences within those groups.&nbsp;</span>In addition, opinion polling, especially polls designed with larger sample sizes, can represent the minority population as well as the majority, and describe similarities and differences within those groups and between minority groups and the majority population. Myanmar is a country with many minority groups, some of which have been fighting against the government for decades. Using representative polling, local and national leaders can better evaluate the needs of minority groups, and the Myanmar public can better understand conflict issues as well as areas where the majority and minorities agree. </p><p dir="ltr">Polls demonstrate the range of opinions and differences within the population over time. Asking the same questions at regular intervals in a scientific manner generates reliable information about the state of the country and the direction it may be headed for both leaders and the public, as well as early indications of shifts in public opinion. Well-conducted polls can quantify serious problems, even human rights issues, as they will tell those who are interested the magnitude of the problem and measure public support for changes.</p><p dir="ltr">Finally, in a transitioning society, pre-election polls can encourage stability, as they create a shared expectation for an election’s outcome and the opportunity to prepare for it. Exit polls in many countries are used both to understand voters’ desires and to validate the counting of votes. </p><p dir="ltr">We noted in our report how polls work especially well if they are released publicly and polls are conducted frequently. It is useful for citizens to know how others in society feel about problems and the parties proposing solutions. When knowledge of what the public is thinking is publicly released, polls act as a bridge between the public and the leading members of society, even in stressful situations. In addition, consistent public release of polling information can create a norm of shared information and create a better-informed society. Methodologies and results can be compared, and polls become part of democratic life. </p><p dir="ltr">When we were in Myanmar, we found that members of the ruling party grasped the importance of discovering what the public wanted—after all, they were pragmatic and concerned, as parties everywhere are, about winning elections. &nbsp;Civil society activists were harder to convince, They had never been exposed to this type of data before, and found it hard to believe that the public might not agree with them on every specific question. While their cause is just, this unwillingness to use polling information can put them at a serious electoral disadvantage. &nbsp;If polling data is used correctly, it can provide helpful information to civic activists on where they should engage the public about their rights. </p><p dir="ltr">Accepting and understanding polls is not only about the need to know public opinion. Polls should be a starting point for bigger conversations. They are about allowing data to enter public debate, as well as policy- and decision-making processes. Without this, countries transitioning to democracy, like Burma, risk remaining in a vicious cycle of personalized politics, policies detached from reality, and outbursts of public anger and violence against politicians’ unresponsiveness.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_2.jpg '" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg '"> <img src=" https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Public opinion and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/wai-yan-phone/human-rights-abuse-in-burma-and-role-of-buddhist-nationalism">Human rights abuse in Burma and the role of Buddhist nationalism</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/kathy-frankovic/does-it-matter-when-polls-go-wrong">Does it matter when polls go wrong?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-e-mendelson/doubling-down-on-human-rights-data">Doubling down on human rights data</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/doutje-lettinga/is-emerging-middle-class-our-best-hope-for-global-rights-activism">Is the emerging middle class our best hope for global rights activism?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jessica-montell/let-pollsters-pick-navigating-public-opinion-in-israel">Let the pollsters pick? Navigating public opinion in Israel</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jeongwoo-koo/public-opinion-on-human-rights-is-true-gauge-of-progress">Public opinion on human rights is the true gauge of progress</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/ryan-e-carlin-jennifer-l-mccoy-jelena-subotic/paying-for-human-rights-violations-pe">Paying for human rights violations: perceptions of the Colombian peace process</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-rachid-touhtou/for-moroccan-rights-groups-good-reputations">For Moroccan rights groups, good reputations aren’t enough</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dahlia-scheindlin/in-israel-implementing-human-rights-feels-wrong">In Israel, implementing human rights feels wrong</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Kathy Frankovic East and South-East Asia Public Opinion and Human Rights Mon, 10 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Kathy Frankovic 95117 at https://opendemocracy.net Finding balance: evaluating human rights work in complex environments https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/tim-ludford-clare-doube/finding-balance-evaluating-human-rights-work-in-complex-env <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/TOFD1M1sS1QAYtylyo5oghlmEIva2u3Vebd6IH3WOEY/mtime:1438799484/files/Ludford.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>In human rights work, how and what you measure determines what kind of organisation you become. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank">evaluation and human rights</a>. &nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/tim-ludford-clare-doube/en-b%C3%BAsqueda-del-equilibrio-la-evaluaci%C3%B3n-del-trabajo-de-der" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/tim-ludford-clare-doube/concilier-%C3%A9valuation-du-travail-en-mati%C3%A8re-de-droits-de-l%E2%80%99h" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Recently on openGlobalRights, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour" target="_blank">Emma Naughton and Kevin Kelpin</a> argued that the evaluation of human rights progress requires a people-centred, light-touch approach that works with the grain of front-line staff’s work. This process, they suggest, must be flexible enough to account for the non-linear nature of human rights change and it must find ways of including rights-holders. As Naughton and Kelpin rightly note, evaluating human rights work is about people.</p><p dir="ltr">Their conclusions echo much of our own thinking over the last few years within Amnesty International. Such conversations must, inevitably, begin with questions around what kind of impact we want to have and what kind of organisation we want to be. How and what results you measure has an effect on what kind of organisation you become. It is relatively easy, for example, to measure website hits, social media shares, or signatures on a petition. But it may be actions that are harder or more expensive to measure comprehensively—such as the “hard yards” behind the scenes in lobbying decision-makers—that could be making the difference. Putting in place ways to measure and report on website hits, for instance, at the expense of other elements, would encourage teams to see our work through that lens. This could potentially change our sense of our own impact, the decisions we might take, and incentives that effect the future actions of staff. </p><p dir="ltr">We try to capture this nuanced, qualitative information on a central database, in which teams running our projects can enter updates on a monthly basis. This information then informs bi-annual project reviews in which project teams build on this data to reflect on how their projects are going, and make adjustments in strategy if required. However, we are currently preparing a new Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework for our Strategic Goals 2016-2019 through which we will build-on, expand, and deepen our ability to understand our impact.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/TOFD1M1sS1QAYtylyo5oghlmEIva2u3Vebd6IH3WOEY/mtime:1438799484/files/Ludford.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/Theo Schneider (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> In a movement as large and diverse as Amnesty, it is relatively easy to learn within a project team. It is learning across projects and programs that is hard. This means identifying who needs what information in their work, and using these strategic points to filter and analyse our evidence base. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">At Amnesty, like many human rights organisations, our currency is influence—on the media, on decision makers at the national and international levels and other key players. We frequently achieve this through the actions of the activists that make up our movement, often in collaboration with human rights defenders with whom we work. In turn, our actions are—or should be—influenced by all these actors. To be the most effective organisation we can be, the newest iteration of our MEL framework must provide project teams with the “critical space”, tools and learning to help us understand that influence. It must also be able to engage with the world outside of Amnesty and how responsive we are to it. </p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-left">We want to emphasise learning, and in particular this implies thinking about how we help all staff to critically engage with their work.&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation" target="_blank">Like our colleagues at Human Rights Watch</a>, we want to emphasise learning, and in particular this implies thinking about how we help all staff to critically engage with their work. We must ensure that we generate the evidence to inform decision-making in our movement. This means being clear on what information we need to generate—where, how and when—as well as who needs to see this at what moment, so that we can make the best decisions to maximise our human rights impact. </p><p dir="ltr">But it also means ensuring we are able to tell the story to our supporters, to rights-holders and to the wider movement. Moving forward we would also like to be able to share more with others the lessons we think we are learning, and better integrate lessons learned externally. </p><p dir="ltr">At present these elements remain a challenge. Information that is recorded on the central database, for example, tends to be a record of outputs and positive impacts. Project reviews have tended to be discrete reviews rather than within a wider framework that has helped us to learn about ourselves as an organisation and to tell the story of our work. </p><p dir="ltr">We complement these processes by commissioning independent evaluations of strategically important projects, which help us engage stakeholders in a longer, more detailed reflection. These have also allowed us to explore different methodological ways of exploring impact, such as outcome mapping, process tracing, outcome harvesting and “most significant change”. However, though extremely useful, there is a risk that such evaluations can reinforce rather than challenge the project-centric nature of our current work. Therefore, moving forward in the context of our new Strategic Goals we are likely to renew our focus on generating learning that can transcend the project and inform the Amnesty movement as a whole (and beyond), and do this within a framework that better defines what success means for us. </p><p dir="ltr">In a movement as large and diverse as Amnesty, too much happens to drive all the evidence of impact, or where we lack impact, upwards. It is not enough to “want” to be a learning organisation. It is also necessary to think about how to sort through all this information so that it is used beyond those involved directly in individual projects. It is relatively easy to learn within a project team. It is learning across projects and programs that is hard. This means identifying who needs what information in their work, and using these strategic points to filter and analyse our evidence base. </p><p dir="ltr">Balancing this with the need to “tell our story” is not easy; contexts vary and those seeking to incorporate learning need refined, specific information, whereas communicating our success and failures outside the organisation must take a different, more general form. This is linked in part to another potential trade off: keeping the burden on our project teams low, while holding ourselves accountable to our own commitments represented by our Strategic Goals. To achieve human rights change requires many different interventions of many different types. If a project team were asked to analyse contributions at all levels across all actors, we would risk their time and energy being swallowed up, limiting their ability to carry out the work itself. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">One solution is to focus their attention through specific learning-questions that cut across our work, but together reflect our organisational theory of change. This filters our evidence base through an analytical lens that we can use to learn, adapt and change, while also creating multiple threads that can be used to build a more communicable story.</p><p dir="ltr">Monitoring and evaluating human rights work is about balancing competing priorities. Just as defining what “impact” means in our work and how best to measure it is a big challenge, so too is learning how to manage these trade-offs within an organisation between proving and improving, between accountability and learning, choosing not one nor the other, but finding how to walk the line between them.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Evaluation and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation">Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/meg-davis/unaids-bold-human-rights-targets-need-better-monitoring">UNAIDS: Bold human rights targets need better monitoring</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/salil-shetty/moving-amnesty-closer-to-ground-is-necessary-not-simple">Moving Amnesty closer to the ground is necessary, not simple</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/susan-waltz/new-trend-old-roots-%E2%80%9Cinternationalization%E2%80%9D-in-amnesty%E2%80%99s-history">New trend, old roots: “internationalization” in Amnesty’s history</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emily-martinez/human-rights-diversity-goes-beyond-northsouth-relations">Human rights diversity goes beyond North-South relations</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/carrie-oelberger/how-does-professionalization-impact-international-human-rights-org">How does professionalization impact international human rights organizations?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dhananjayan-sriskandarajah-mandeep-tiwana/towards-multipolar-civil-society">Towards a multipolar civil society</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/fateh-azzam/in-defense-of-professional-human-rights-organizations">In defense of &#039;professional&#039; human rights organizations</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Clare Doube Tim Ludford Global Evaluation and Human Rights Thu, 06 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Clare Doube and Tim Ludford 95024 at https://opendemocracy.net There is no women’s empowerment without rights https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/shahra-razavi/there-is-no-women%E2%80%99s-empowerment-without-rights <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/p_AoAhJNKEDqGMJ5qCRYLGLcdmnkdPWGiVlqqs_yPzw/mtime:1438656533/files/Razavi.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>As “women’s economic empowerment” becomes a popular development term, we must examine whether such programs are actually ensuring women’s rights. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openGlobalRights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/debating-economic-and-social-rights" target="_blank">economic and social rights</a>.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/shahra-razavi/sin-derechos-no-hay-empoderamiento-de-las-mujeres" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/shahra-razavi/l%E2%80%99autonomisation-des-femmes-passe-obligatoirement-par-les-droits" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">In recent years, a wide range of actors have embraced the goal of women’s economic empowerment. The change in discourse is a significant achievement of the women’s movement, which has been able to catapult a concept that was developed in feminist research and advocacy networks into the mainstream of policy debate. However, up-take by powerful actors and institutions often means that such concepts (like governance and participation) are reinterpreted to fit the interests of those who use them. In the process, they lose their original clarity, becoming fuzzy and ambiguous. </p><p dir="ltr">This is quite clear in the way “empowerment” is being used these days. Some see in women a largely untapped market of consumers (good for boosting profits), while others talk about unleashing women’s economic power and potential as a means to solve the lingering problems caused by the global financial crisis and stalled growth (good for growth). No one would deny the importance of nurturing synergies between women’s economic empowerment and wider economic prosperity. Women’s participation in the workforce, for example, contributes to economic dynamism by bringing more income into the household, boosting aggregate demand and expanding the tax base. </p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">Without a monitoring framework that squarely focuses on women’s rights, it is difficult to know what lies behind lofty claims of 'empowering women'.&nbsp;</span>A fundamental question, however, is whether these presumed “win-win” scenarios stand up to scrutiny, and what is in it for women? Does it expand their practical enjoyment of their rights, as <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights" target="_blank">Barb MacLaren</a> recently argued? Or does it simply harness their time, knowledge and resourcefulness to serve development ends with little or no benefit to women themselves? </p><p dir="ltr">This is where a strong anchoring within the human rights framework becomes essential. Without a monitoring framework that squarely focuses on women’s rights, it is difficult to know what lies behind lofty claims of “empowering women”. Indeed, as Greta Freidmann-Sanchez <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/improving-family-income-does-not-ensure-women%E2%80%99s-economic-em" target="_blank">points out</a>, increasing family income is by no means a guarantee of women’s empowerment. Going beyond headline figures, we need to ask if women’s participation in the workforce is translating into concrete outcomes in terms of their right to a safe and healthy working environment, fair and adequate earnings, and access to a pension, and whether they are able to reduce and redistribute their unpaid care work as they take on more paid work? </p><p dir="ltr">UN Women’s flagship report, <a href="http://progress.unwomen.org/en/2015/" target="_blank">Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016, Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights</a>, shows that the world’s women are a long way away from enjoying their economic and social rights. Not only is women’s labour force participation lagging behind men’s (by 26%), there is a significant global gender wage gap (on average 24%) that has changed very little over the past decade. The bulk of women’s employment (75%) remains informal, with little or no social protection in developing countries. In the OECD countries too, while women constitute 44% of those employed overall, two-thirds of workers on involuntary temporary contracts are women. Last, and certainly not least, women around the world spend considerably more time on unpaid care and domestic work compared to men. This work is critical to (re)producing labor and building a foundation for all economic activity. But on average—across all economies and cultures—women do 2.5 times as much of this work as men. So far at least, the increasing rhetoric on women’s economic empowerment is not being matched by better outcomes for women. </p><p dir="ltr">Now that women’s economic empowerment is on the agenda of such diverse actors, we need to make sure that the right laws, policies, resources and social norms are in place to enable women’s concrete enjoyment of their rights. As <a href="http://www.unrisd.org/unrisd/website/newsview.nsf/(httpNews)/C72E315AB3D49079C12571C6004EEB76?OpenDocument" target="_blank">Gita Sen</a> has argued, “winning the struggle over discourse is only the first step.” In moving forward, advocates of women’s economic empowerment need to scrutinize the extent to which women are able to enjoy not only an equal right to work, but also their <strong>rights at work</strong>. Women’s economic empowerment cannot mean factories that collapse on their workers, casual work in global value chains with low wages, no right to social protection and conditions that quickly lead to “burn out”. Nor can it mean an extended “double shift” made up of paid work added to an unchanged load of unpaid care work.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/p_AoAhJNKEDqGMJ5qCRYLGLcdmnkdPWGiVlqqs_yPzw/mtime:1438656533/files/Razavi.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/Shafiqul Alam (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Bangladesh's garment industry is that country's largest employer of women, but do the conditions and wages of this mode of employment, or other predominantly female-held economic roles throughout the world, constitute real empowerment for women? </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">Taking this agenda forward is not easy in a context marked by recurrent financial crises, structural inequalities and the ever-expanding role of globalized corporate interests. In the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis, for example, there has been backsliding in women’s rights due to ostensibly “gender-neutral” fiscal policies. Austerity measures in the United Kingdom, for example, have had a disproportionate impact on women’s employment—who make up two-thirds of the public sector work force—and have <a href="http://wbg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/FINAL-WBG-2014-budget-response.pdf" target="_blank">eroded women’s financial autonomy</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">However, as we show in Progress, there have also been many positive developments over the past decade that show how women’s rights to work and at work, as well as their access to social protection, can be realized. In Brazil, for example, women’s labour force participation rose from 54 to 58% between 2001 and 2009, and the proportion accessing jobs with social security increased from 30 to 35%. In India women’s organizations have worked with government at multiple levels to enforce the application of the state minimum wage in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), with positive “knock-on” effects on the wages paid to women agricultural workers in the vicinity. In a rising number of countries, in Latin America and the Caribbean (e.g., Chile, Mexico, Ecuador and Uruguay) and in East Asia and the Pacific (e.g., South Korea), significant progress has been made in expanding the reach of accessible and affordable early childhood education and care services. </p><p dir="ltr">Undoubtedly there are multiple synergies between women’s rights and broader prosperity—women’s concrete enjoyment of their rights to work and their rights at work also makes good economic sense. Investing in quality and affordable care services, for example, has the potential for a triple dividend: supporting and reducing the unpaid care work carried out disproportionately by women; contributing to the flourishing of children and care-dependent adults; and generating decent employment opportunities for paid care workers. But to make this happen, organizations of care workers and also of care-users need to be able to monitor the quality of services offered, the working conditions of care workers and the ways in which the funds allocated to the programme are spent. This highlights the broader issue of accountability for women’s rights that is a sine qua non of any agenda that is serious about empowerment, and the critical role of women’s collective action and participation in advancing rights. Now this would be an agenda worthy of the term women’s empowerment!</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/debating-economic-and-social-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_2.png '" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_1.png '"> <img src=" https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Debating economic and social rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/improving-family-income-does-not-ensure-women%E2%80%99s-economic-em">Improving family income does not ensure women’s economic empowerment</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights">To empower women, prioritize their social and economic rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/muthoni-muriithi/internationalisation-lessons-from-women%E2%80%99s-movement">Internationalisation: lessons from the women’s movement</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jean-h-quataert/making-womens-rights-human-rights">Making women&#039;s rights human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marsha-afreeman/leaving-struggle-for-women%E2%80%99s-rights-out-of-your-account">Leaving the struggle for women’s rights out of your account</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dimitrina-petrova/nationality-laws-%E2%80%93-new-battleground-for-women%E2%80%99s-equality">Nationality laws – a new battleground for women’s equality</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/shareen-hertel/legal-mobilization-critical-first-step-to-addressing-economic-and-so">Legal mobilization: a critical first step to addressing economic and social rights </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/virginia-mantouvalou/workers%E2%80%99-rights-really-are-human-rights">Workers’ rights really are human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/helena-hofbauer/winners-and-losers-how-budgeting-for-human-rights-can-help-poor">Winners and losers: how budgeting for human rights can help the poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stuart-wilson/without-means-there-are-no-real-rights">Without means, there are no real rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stanley-ibe/yes-economic-and-social-rights-really-are-human-rights">Yes, economic and social rights really are human rights</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Shahra Razavi Global Debating economic and social rights Wed, 05 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Shahra Razavi 94984 at https://opendemocracy.net Internationalisation: lessons from the women’s movement https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/muthoni-muriithi/internationalisation-lessons-from-women%E2%80%99s-movement <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ZjHGCFeDD8M-pG3tQzSjVg8u1fwxBQanMezzThz9qyY/mtime:1438620911/files/Muriithi1.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The internationalisation debate can learn a lot from women’s movements in terms of opening spaces and opportunities for the voiceless. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openGlobalRights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" target="_blank">internationalising human rights organizations</a>.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/muthoni-muriithi/l%E2%80%99internationalisation-les-enseignements-tir%C3%A9s-du-mouvement-des-fe" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p class="bodya">In the current debate on internationalising human rights groups, there has been a lot of talk on the most effective way to internationalise and who benefits (or doesn’t) from this shift. Contributors have discussed the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/carrie-oelberger/how-does-professionalization-impact-international-human-rights-org">professionalization of aid work</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/emily-martinez/human-rights-diversity-goes-beyond-northsouth-relations">competition for funding in the global North and South</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/adriano-campolina/decentralizing-can-make-global-human-rights-groups-stronger">decentralisation of international human rights organisations</a>. But these discourses, like many others in human rights, often ignore or omit the realities of women’s organising and movement building.</p> <p class="bodya"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">African women have been particularly left out, their voices and experiences deleted out of histories, despite being actively involved in everything from liberation struggles against colonialism to contemporary struggles against conflict and poverty. These women are often depicted as passive victims of human rights abuses with no particular agency to resist, rather than as people who creatively manoeuvre challenges while changing and shaping practices and discourses. Unfortunately, Northern institutions, including human rights organizations and the media, have greatly contributed to these global images of women in Africa.</span></p> <h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">African women’s movements and processes</span></h2> <p class="bodya"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Women activists and women’s movements have been practising internationalism through global movement building and transnational coalition building for a very long time. For decades, African women have challenged cultural and religious ideologies, as well as neoliberal policies that continue to make them poor and marginalized. At the same time, they bear the brunt for rising religious and cultural fundamentalism from their own governments and communities. These factors have led to women working together, whether at local, regional or global levels, to build movements despite their position in society. These processes can be traced back to the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/how-we-work/intergovernmental-support/world-conferences-on-women" style="line-height: 1.5;">World Conferences of Women</a><a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/how-we-work/intergovernmental-support/world-conferences-on-women" style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">starting in 1975, which brought women together from different regions of the world and backgrounds to advance the rights of women.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ZjHGCFeDD8M-pG3tQzSjVg8u1fwxBQanMezzThz9qyY/mtime:1438620911/files/Muriithi1.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr/World Bank Photo Collection (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Bineta Diop, the Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité, speaks at a World Bank &amp; IMF meeting on African economic development. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p class="bodya"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yet even within these solidarity connections and networking, African women have fought for their voices to be heard and continue to challenge feminists and organisations from the global North speaking on their behalf. They also challenge Northern models for social change, arguing that there needs to be a contextual understanding of their specific struggles, and that their priorities may not always match those of other movements, and vice versa. African women have also fought for the “decolonisation” and democratisation of global feminism and human rights, highlighting the persistence of racist and sexist components within these movements.</span></p><p class="bodya"><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These struggles have led to women’s initiatives in Africa both at the national and regional levels, such as&nbsp;</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wlsazim.co.zw/index.php/en/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA)</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">,&nbsp;</span><a target="_blank" href="http://femnet.co/index.php/en/" style="line-height: 1.5;">African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET),</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wildaf.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Women in Law and Development (WILDAF)</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;as well as continental movements such as&nbsp;</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.soawr.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) coalition</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">,&nbsp;</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.fasngo.org" style="line-height: 1.5;">Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS)</a><a href="http://www.fasngo.org/index.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">to name a few. These organisations and networks have persisted in putting African women’s voices at the forefront, and they have been working at the international, regional, national and local levels for many years. For example, SOAWR, a coalition of over 35 organisation across Africa, contributed to the speedy adoption and ratification of the&nbsp;</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.achpr.org/files/instruments/women-protocol/achpr_instr_proto_women_eng.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa,</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;becoming the first human rights instrument in Africa to come into force </span><a href="http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/Rights%2520of%2520Women.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">within two years of adoption</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p class="bodya"><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">Any international-isation of a human rights organisation would be a shift of resourced (global North) organisations to the under-resourced global South and not the other way around. &nbsp;</span>Within this success lies the recognition that activism must be locally and not internationally cultivated if it is to thrive. This applies not only to the women’s movement, but to all attempts at internationalisation. Local activism must be supported and not diminished by larger, well-resourced organisations within the group, and the success of African women’s groups suggests that collaborating in this way can indeed have profound effects. Of course, this doesn’t mean there are no challenges. But to overcome them, the networks must work within a democratic and conscientiousness framework that understands that all women must be able to speak and act for themselves.</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What can we learn from the women’s movement?</span></h2><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">African women have fought for space, recognition and representation within a global movement that is dominated by the global North. These groups have more resources, mobility and support from their governments, which has led to their over-representation within these spaces. As a result, any internationalisation of a human rights organisation would be a shift of resourced (global North) organisations to the under-resourced global South and not the other way around, irrespective of any alternative logic or potential benefit to the contrary. A liberal understanding of internationalisation fails to take into consideration the struggles people have fought to gain representation in a world skewed in favour of the global North and its imagery of the global South. Any move toward internationalisation as discussed in&nbsp;</span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1.5;">this debate</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;needs this nuanced perception and understanding. Failing to do this merely reproduces neo-colonial tendencies of the global North’s disempowerment of people in their own country, and takes away their capacity to act for themselves. I believe this is not the intended aim of any human rights organisation.</span></p> <p class="bodya"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So, how can these “big” organisations continue to support movement building and activism in solidarity with the comparatively “small” organisations in the global South? The debates should focus on building a more conscientious human rights movement that seeks to address the discrepancies and unequal power relations within it. The movement must be willing to give space to those who, for a long time, have been marginalised or completely ignored. It is time to acknowledge structural Western bias within these organisations even as they seek to empower individuals and people in the global South. Solidarity in the name of internationalisation of human rights organisations should mean giving space and supporting people to act for themselves. In this way, it is possible to change the narrative that we know to be untrue: that those to be empowered are in the global South and those to empower them are in the global North. Once we change this assumption, we can all get back to the business of making the world more humane and working together to end human suffering everywhere.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_1.png'"> <img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Internationalizing human rights organizations – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/carrie-oelberger/how-does-professionalization-impact-international-human-rights-org">How does professionalization impact international human rights organizations?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emily-martinez/human-rights-diversity-goes-beyond-northsouth-relations">Human rights diversity goes beyond North-South relations</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/adriano-campolina/decentralizing-can-make-global-human-rights-groups-stronger">Decentralizing can make global human rights groups stronger</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marsha-afreeman/leaving-struggle-for-women%E2%80%99s-rights-out-of-your-account">Leaving the struggle for women’s rights out of your account</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jean-h-quataert/making-womens-rights-human-rights">Making women&#039;s rights human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/charli-carpenter/how-do-we-solve-structural-inequality-in-global-networks">How do we solve structural inequality in global networks?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/louise-arbour/geneva-spring-why-civil-society-needs-northsouth-solidarity">A Geneva Spring? Why civil society needs North-South solidarity</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/improving-family-income-does-not-ensure-women%E2%80%99s-economic-em">Improving family income does not ensure women’s economic empowerment</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights">To empower women, prioritize their social and economic rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader-akwasi-aidoo/africa%E2%80%99s-social-movements-present-opportunities-not-threat">Africa’s social movements present opportunities, not threats, for rights groups</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nafissatou-j-diop/eliminating-female-genital-mutilation-by-2030">Eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Muthoni Muriithi Sub-Saharan Africa Internationalizing Human Rights Organizations Tue, 04 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Muthoni Muriithi 94946 at https://opendemocracy.net Paying for human rights violations: perceptions of the Colombian peace process https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ryan-e-carlin-jennifer-l-mccoy-jelena-subotic/paying-for-human-rights-violations-pe <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/I3vHutgLSyx_GKSvfTGVkCaKETMq0zo8l6dN7XO8-MY/mtime:1438398394/files/Carlin.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>New research shows that providing context for human rights issues yields a broader range of responses to peace talks in Colombia. A contribution to <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a>’ debate on <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank">Public Opinion and Human Rights</a>. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/ryan-e-carlin-jennifer-l-mccoy-jelena-subotic/pagar-por-las-violaciones-de-derechos" target="_blank">Español</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Peace negotiators face a tough audience: while the parties to the conflict may want to lay down their arms and reintegrate into society, victims and the general public often strongly demand justice for human rights abuses. In the past, this “peace vs. justice” tradeoff often produced mutual amnesties. Today, however, international law under the <a target="_blank" href="http://legal.un.org/icc/statute/romefra.htm">Rome Statute</a> requires accountability and criminal prosecutions for grave human rights abuses, and domestic public opinion in democratic contexts clamors for justice. There is also an increasingly robust menu of “transitional justice” options that post-conflict states can choose from to deal with legacies of the violent past. </p><p dir="ltr">How can peace negotiators <a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/rodrigo-uprimny-nelson-camilo-s%C3%A1nchez/icc-and-negotiated-peace-reflections-from-col">navigate</a> these increasing pressures from above and below for some form of transitional justice, and still reach a peace accord to end civil conflicts? How might public opinion polls about attitudes towards various forms of transitional justice affect peace negotiations?</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We investigated this question in a real-time negotiation process: the Colombian government’s </span><a target="_blank" href="http://colombiapeace.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">ongoing talks with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) guerrillas</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to end a fifty-year old civil war. We conducted a two-wave national online experimental survey in Colombia in June 2014 and January 2015 that presented short vignettes about combatants with different degrees of responsibility for human rights abuses. We wanted to determine how legitimate the public finds the political participation of demobilized guerrillas and, especially, the proposal that they serve reduced prison sentences. Most importantly, we wanted to understand what “moves the needle” on these attitudes.09090909090909</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/08/28/pitfalls-abound-in-colombia-farc-peace-talks/" style="line-height: 1.5;">survey findings</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> have the potential to help peace negotiators in several ways. First, they can tell human rights activists and peace negotiators the degree to which people will view different transitional justice arrangements as legitimate. This is crucial not only for predicting public approval in case of a </span><a target="_blank" href="http://colombiareports.co/colombia-senate-approves-referendum-peace-farc-calls-decision-unilateral/" style="line-height: 1.5;">referendum</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, as may happen in Colombia, but also for (re)generating the social cohesion required for sustainable peace. We found, for example, that even after acknowledging responsibility for lower-level crimes and disarming, the idea of demobilized combatants running for political office garners very little public support.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/I3vHutgLSyx_GKSvfTGVkCaKETMq0zo8l6dN7XO8-MY/mtime:1438398394/files/Carlin.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/Guille Legaria (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Colombians call for "Peace without impunity," in rallies against peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Second, the survey findings can help political leaders and negotiators frame messages to build coalitions of support for peace agreements. For example, our research showed that Colombians who voted against President Santos and his peace platform in the last election, or those who abstained from voting at all, could be persuaded to support not only the peace process in general, but even specific transitional justice proposals. This means that the negotiating parties can make progress with gestures such as their latest agreement to work together to </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/03/colombia-farc-rebels-reach-deal-clear-landmines-150307225735901.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">remove land mines</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, or the FARC’s recent promise to </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/colombias-farc-rebels-say-they-will-end-recruitment-of-child-soldiers-10044975.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">no longer recruit children younger than 17</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Third, our research showed that efforts to educate the public can boost the popular legitimacy of the peace process. Specifically, respondents who said they most understood the negotiations were also more likely to support the talks.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In an interesting contrast to the findings by <a target="_blank" href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sarah-kreps-geoffrey-wallace/international-law-and-us-public-support-for-drone-stri">Kreps and Wallace</a>, we found that invoking international law and comparative experiences does not necessarily lead to more positive attitudes about transitional justice proposals. In fact, subjects who were told that Colombia has an obligation to carry out transitional justice mechanisms in accordance with international law were slightly less supportive of such measures. While Colombians may be ambivalent about international law and institutions—we speculate this is due to recent rulings against Colombia in the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/155/18410.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">International Court of Justice</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ictj.org/news/colombia-la-toma" style="line-height: 1.5;">the Inter-American Court of Human Rights</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">—we also found they are much more willing to accept transitional justice if told other countries in the region have done the same thing.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What this indicates, in fact, is that </span><a target="_blank" href="http://books.wwnorton.com/books/978-0-393-07993-7/" style="line-height: 1.5;">international diffusion</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> matters, but it is also deeply contextual. The way in which ordinary people understand international law and institutions often </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=17292" style="line-height: 1.5;">differs sharply</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> from the interpretations of human rights activists and organizations.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yet gauging public opinion is complicated by the fact that many citizens rarely think about human rights. Thus, our work suggests there is value in providing context to the respondents.</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-left">LAPOP results indicate a wide gulf in opinion, with most respondents answering that longer sentences contributed to reconciliation more than shorter ones.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Consider the biennial Americas Barometer survey by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP). In 2014, it asked what would contribute more to reconciliation: if FARC human rights violators received sentences of <strong>five to eight years in jail</strong>, or if they received over <strong>eight years</strong>. The question was pertinent because many former </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/08/28/pitfalls-abound-in-colombia-farc-peace-talks/" style="line-height: 1.5;">paramilitary leaders of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC)</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, another key party to the conflict, have spent or will spend five to eight years in jail, and survey respondents were aware of this.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">LAPOP results indicate a wide gulf in opinion, with most respondents answering that longer sentences contributed to reconciliation more than shorter ones. The results from these questions—asked without context—contrast greatly with our experimental results. Specifically, in our survey we described exactly what human rights abuses a FARC commander we named Francisco committed (kidnapped a group of people for several years), his own motivations (to help the struggle), and the forms of transitional justice he underwent (publicly recognized crimes, disarmed, and paid reparations). Subjects were then randomly assigned to one of three punitive justice outcomes: (1) no jail time, even though some paramilitary/AUC commanders did go to jail for the same crime; (2) several years, about the same as paramilitary/AUC commanders; or (3) many years in jail, many more than paramilitary/AUC commanders.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Afterwards, subjects were asked to rate the sentencing outcome on the grounds of fairness, contribution to reconciliation and contribution to peace. Answers were summed into an index where 1 represented the lowest and 7 the highest rated outcome, in terms of perceived legitimacy. Comparing mean levels across groups, jail time for FARC and paramilitary commanders was ranked as the most appropriate (legitimate) outcome. The gap between equal jail time and more jail time was small but significant, and the “no jail” option was ranked as far less legitimate than any amount of jail time.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These answers are markedly different from the Americas Barometer survey noted above, and as a result we conclude that providing context around crimes and perpetrators can improve support for transitional justice measures. This is a message that should resonate with any practitioners seeking to alter public opinion on these difficult issues.</span></p><p>The advent of nationally representative online surveys and the proliferation of survey experimental approaches have expanded the horizons of public opinion research for human rights scholars and practitioners. Data from single surveys can generate initial insights into public opinion, and more rigorous statistical analysis provides a degree of control for testing those insights. Of course, determining causality is still complex, and definitive conclusions are not always possible. Threats to the validity of survey outcomes are often present. When used correctly, however, survey experiments can diminish these threats. Not only does this make our scholarship more rigorous, it should make our policy prescriptions more effective.</p><p>---</p><p class="p1"><i>This research was funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through a subaward managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) under Cooperative Agreement #AID-OAA-A-12-00039. The contents are the sole responsibility of the authors.</i></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_2.jpg '" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg '"> <img src=" https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Public opinion and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-kreps-geoffrey-wallace/international-law-and-us-public-support-for-drone-stri">International law and US public support for drone strikes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-e-mendelson/doubling-down-on-human-rights-data">Doubling down on human rights data</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/paul-seils/reframing-justice-debate-in-colombia">Reframing the justice debate in Colombia</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/rodrigo-uprimny-nelson-camilo-s%C3%A1nchez/icc-and-negotiated-peace-reflections-from-col">The ICC and negotiated peace: reflections from Colombia </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dan-saxon/%E2%80%98interests-of-justice%E2%80%99-require-challenging-impunity">The ‘interests of justice’ require challenging impunity</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/priscilla-hayner/does-icc-advance-interests-of-justice">Does the ICC advance the interests of justice?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights">To empower women, prioritize their social and economic rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/improving-family-income-does-not-ensure-women%E2%80%99s-economic-em">Improving family income does not ensure women’s economic empowerment</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/scott-d-sagan-benjamin-valentino/use-of-force-american-public-and-ethics-of-war">Use of force: the American public and the ethics of war</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-crow/mapping-human-rights-skepticism-in-mexico">Mapping human rights skepticism in Mexico </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/donagene-barton-courtney-hillebrecht-sergio-wals/more-than-smoke-and-mirrors-citize">More than smoke and mirrors: citizen perceptions of human rights </a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Jelena Subotic Jennifer L. McCoy Ryan E. Carlin Central and South America, & the Caribbean Public Opinion and Human Rights Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Jelena Subotic, Jennifer L. McCoy and Ryan E. Carlin 94927 at https://opendemocracy.net Beyond liberal rights: lessons from a possible future in Detroit https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/chris-grove/beyond-liberal-rights-lessons-from-possible-future-in-detroit <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/fX4fM2MXRDcTLxKzrQNhUj6WjRnDtyoGFItek_Zu7s8/mtime:1438185962/files/Grove.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Thirty thousand Detroit households have been denied access to water and sanitation, raising systemic questions about the liberal rights tradition. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/debating-economic-and-social-rights" target="_blank">economic and social rights</a>. &nbsp;<span><strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/chris-grove/m%C3%A1s-all%C3%A1-de-los-derechos-liberales-lecciones-partir-de-un-futuro-posibl" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/chris-grove/audel%C3%A0-des-droits-lib%C3%A9raux-le%C3%A7ons-d%E2%80%99un-possible-futur-%C3%A0-d%C3%A9troit" target="_blank">Français</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/chris-grove/%D9%85%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B3-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A8%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%AA%D9%85%D9%84-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%8A%D8%AA" target="_blank">العربية</a></em></strong></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Cutting off access to water and sanitation should cause moral outrage in any country, particularly amid global wealth and productive capacity that are sufficient to meet the basic needs of all people. It is particularly shocking in the US, in a city that was the global center of auto manufacturing and is surrounded by 20% of the world’s fresh surface water. As an urgent response to over 30,000 Detroit households being denied access to water and sanitation, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO), Detroit People's Water Board Coalition and other allies organized the International Social Movements Gathering on Water and Affordable Housing in May 2015. The gathering ultimately drew 200 human rights advocates and grassroots leaders to Detroit from across the US and several other countries.</p><p dir="ltr">The City of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history on 18 July 2013. Although Michigan residents had voted down the state’s emergency manager law in a 2012 referendum, the state legislature and governor passed and utilized a similar law (Public Act 436) to impose an <a target="_blank" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/14/detroit-emergency-manager_n_2871371.html">emergency manager</a> on Detroit, in March 2013. With almost unlimited power to negotiate the city’s future, the emergency manager <a target="_blank" href="http://archive.freep.com/article/20140822/NEWS01/308220141/Detroit-water-department-Veolia">contracted the services of Veolia North America</a> to guide restructuring of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">By October 2014, some 30,000 households had faced water and sewer disconnections, prompting the visit of two United Nations Special Rapporteurs. Their </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15188&amp;LangID=E" style="line-height: 1.5;">statement</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> stressed that “thousands of households are living in fear that their water may be shut off at any time without due notice…and that children may be taken by child protection services as houses without water are deemed uninhabitable for children.” Despite their critique and substantial media coverage, unpaid water bills are now being attached to overdue property taxes, exposing thousands of homeowners to </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/one-fifth-of-detroits-population-could-lose-their-homes/381694/" style="line-height: 1.5;">property tax foreclosure</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/fX4fM2MXRDcTLxKzrQNhUj6WjRnDtyoGFItek_Zu7s8/mtime:1438185962/files/Grove.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/uusc4all (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> In Detroit, water shutoffs prompt grassroots groups to respond: “Water is a human right!” This conception of human rights moves beyond the narrow liberal rights tradition.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Warning US and global allies of deepening trends, Maureen Taylor, State Chair of MWRO, often begins presentations on Detroit by proclaiming: “Welcome to the future!” Established in 1918, the Ford River Rouge Complex eventually employed over 100,000 Detroit residents. Today, technology and outsourcing have eliminated tens of thousands of jobs. River Rouge remains Ford’s single largest manufacturing complex, yet it employs only 6,000 people. Detroit provides an important vantage point for examining the liberal experiment in democracy, individual rights and free markets represented by the US. This model drove technological innovation, increased productivity and lower labor costs in the pursuit of profit. For a time, liberalism also created space for labor organizing, and many Detroit auto workers—both white and black—were able to secure steady wages sufficient to afford decent homes and comfortable retirements. Yet the future looks bleak from Detroit.</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-right">The liberal rights tradition promotes individual freedom and formal equality before the law, but it does not promise to end substantive inequalities.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">By 2013, </span><a target="_blank" href="http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/26/2622000.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">39%</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> of Detroit’s rapidly shrinking population lived below the official poverty line; 83% of residents were African American. The liberal rights tradition promotes individual freedom and formal equality before the law, but it does not promise to end substantive inequalities. Neither classical liberalism nor neoliberalism guarantees the right to water, housing, or other public goods and services.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ultimately, neoliberal economic policies deepened material inequality and laid the groundwork for the recent economic crisis, tipping Detroit into insolvency. Growing economic and political inequalities now threaten to undermine liberal rights. As inequality fuels social dislocation and resistance, the government’s response often undercuts civil rights. Detroit reflects a nationwide trend of militarized police forces, surveillance and mass incarceration, disproportionately impacting black communities and undermining rights to life, privacy, political participation and freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The state government usurped the democratic control of Detroit residents. The emergency manager embarked on a series of public-private partnerships; for example, Homrich Wrecking, Inc. was given a two-year, </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.dwsd.org/downloads_n/about_dwsd/bowc/board_meetings/2013_final_agendas/bowc_final_agenda_2013-04-24.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">$5.6 million contract</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to execute residential water disconnections.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A grassroots struggle is resisting shutoffs, running water hoses from home-to-home, protecting children from unjust removal, working with economists to create alternative water affordability plans and with lawyers—including </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.escr-net.org/sites/default/files/Detroit%20water%20case%20amicus%20-%20FINAL%20as%20filed%20%283%20Feb%202015%29.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">ESCR-Net Members</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> from several countries—to insist that the right to life must encompass social rights. Throughout their struggle, grassroots groups continue to insist: “Water is a human right!” This conception of human rights moves beyond the narrow liberal rights tradition.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">First, demanding water as a human right suggests that the liberal focus on freedom and formal equality should be complemented by attention to substantive equality and the common good. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was built on diverse philosophical and faith traditions and struggles for justice, emphasizing the interdependence of political, economic, social, civil and cultural rights.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Second, individual violations of human rights should be a starting point for systemic analysis of impoverishment, dispossession, and repression, which deny rights to people around the world. Following the lead of Detroit residents, human rights advocates might ask: should certain goods and services be taken out of the competitive market? If individual gain has often driven innovation and hard work, is it possible to imagine societal advancements based on values of cooperation, sustainability and empathy? In a global society characterized by abundance and endless opportunities for communication, but also facing existential challenges of climate change, poverty and militarization, we arguably need new models for living together.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Finally, the call made by Detroit organizations for an international gathering of grassroots groups and NGOs—confronting similar struggles across the US and the world—highlights their analysis that a global movement for human rights is vital. If liberalism posited sovereign individuals democratically governing nation-states, there is growing recognition that global economic forces are shaping Detroit and communities worldwide. This does not mean denying the particularity of different contexts, but rather examining how these interact with global forces and common structures of oppression and exploitation. In this regard, human rights are not merely legal standards created by UN processes, ratified by governments and litigated in courts. Human rights are also a basis for common demands and the moral legitimacy of grassroots struggles, which insist on social justice in the face of global power imbalances.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/debating-economic-and-social-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_2.png '" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_1.png '"> <img src=" https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Debating economic and social rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/leilani-farha/cities-new-guardians-of-human-rights">Cities: the new guardians of human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/gordon-mcgranahan/for-sanitation-%E2%80%9Crightsbased-approach%E2%80%9D-may-be-wrong-strategy">For sanitation, a “rights-based approach” may be the wrong strategy</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/helena-hofbauer/winners-and-losers-how-budgeting-for-human-rights-can-help-poor">Winners and losers: how budgeting for human rights can help the poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/inga-winkler-virginia-roaf/for-sanitation-human-rights-are-key-to-keeping-governmen">For sanitation, human rights are key to keeping governments accountable</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/shareen-hertel/legal-mobilization-critical-first-step-to-addressing-economic-and-so">Legal mobilization: a critical first step to addressing economic and social rights </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sara-bailey/can-legal-interventions-really-tackle-root-causes-of-poverty">Can legal interventions really tackle the root causes of poverty?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dan-berliner/open-budgets-open-politics">Open budgets, open politics?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/chris-jochnick/poverty-and-human-rights-can-courts-lawyers-and-activists-make-diffe">Poverty and human rights: can courts, lawyers and activists make a difference?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stuart-wilson/without-means-there-are-no-real-rights">Without means, there are no real rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/irene-khan-david-petrasek/beyond-courts-%E2%80%93-protecting-economic-and-social-rights">Beyond the courts – protecting economic and social rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stanley-ibe/yes-economic-and-social-rights-really-are-human-rights">Yes, economic and social rights really are human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jacob-mchangama/legalizing-economic-and-social-rights-won%E2%80%99t-help-poor-0">Legalizing economic and social rights won’t help the poor</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Chris Grove Canada & the US Debating economic and social rights Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Chris Grove 94865 at https://opendemocracy.net Are humanitarian aid and professional ambition mutually exclusive? https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/jacques-stroun/are-humanitarian-aid-and-professional-ambition-mutually-exclusive <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/KYO4zKOR-_RlX_cvZ1XTdLZJbj-BSbm5x1gALYhA2AM/mtime:1438116329/files/Stroun.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p><span>The professionalization of human rights organizations is only effective if management adapts their strategies. An amateur mentality simply will not work. A contribution to the </span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a><span> debate on </span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" target="_blank">internationalizing human rights organizations.</a><span>&nbsp;</span><span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/jacques-stroun/l%E2%80%99aide-humanitaire-et-l%E2%80%99ambition-professionnelle-sontelles-antinomiq" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/carrie-oelberger/how-does-professionalization-impact-international-human-rights-org">Carrie Oelberger's concerns</a> that the professionalization of human rights organizations is shifting the values of its employees are not without merit. As first a line manager, and then the human resources director of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)—an organization that protects victims of international and internal armed conflicts, and is a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate—I have certainly seen this evolution of career advancement and the tensions that can arise. However, many of the changes she discusses are not only positive, but highly necessary. Amateurism in international human rights work doesn’t benefit anyone. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In 1980, as a young doctor coming out of university, I joined the ICRC to work in a district hospital in Cambodia. I was motivated by a desire to discover the world and assist people in need. We were a group of Swiss expatriates trained on the job to achieve one of the greatest assistance actions since World War II; the logistician had architect training, the doctor in charge had two years of surgery experience in Switzerland, and the person responsible for emergency food relief had a literature degree. Together we invented our work using our motivation, experience and common sense.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After this term, I caught the humanitarian “bug” and ended up giving the ICRC more than 30 years of my life. During this period, humanitarian action became fully professionalized and internationalized. In 2013, during my last term in Bangkok, I worked with professionals from Azerbaijan, India, Ireland, France, the Philippines and, of course, Thailand.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">Now, standards exist in all areas, impact measures are the rule, and performance indicators are essential in the planning process.&nbsp;</span>This was necessary in a world that has become more connected and more demanding, but also more complex, unpredictable and dangerous. Today, humanitarian interventions are more exposed to the public eye, and both donors and recipients have the right to demand accountability. It is no longer enough to "do your best". We owe the people we are assisting an intervention that meets professional excellence criteria, and we owe our donors the assurance that their money is managed with utmost rigor. Now, standards exist in all areas, impact measures are the rule, and performance indicators are essential in the planning process.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But does this shift from an “amateur” to a more “professional” style mean that humanitarian and human rights organizations may become less effective than in the past? Does it mean that people in need may perhaps have received less assistance or protection? Overall, I do not think so. That said, there are new constraints and risks of which we must be aware and manage.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In 1980, we were amateurs working closely together. Today, there is a danger of fragmentation of operations between several areas of expertise: lawyers, doctors, engineers, and others, each in their field with their own frame of reference. But in the complex emergencies we face, the problems are global, and so must be the answers. Good coordination between specialists is essential. Training and career management must give professionals the feeling that they are part of a whole to which they all contribute. This is also the role of field managers, who have become much more important than they were 30 years ago. Knowing how to work together as a highly diversified team is a skill that international organizations must acquire and develop.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">One of Oelberger’s concerns is that professionals are less altruistically-motivated and more concerned by managing their own career. The research that she mentions shows that intellectual stimulation, learning and professional developments are key to job satisfaction. She is right on this point. As an example, I remember a young delegate responsible for the protection of detainees in Kabul, who asked me to change his job, saying: "I love my job, but I do not learn anything new and I am not improving myself anymore."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But I believe that this attitude is also the consequence of a more competitive labour market, where we are all forced to pay more attention to our career path and consequently expect (rightly) our hierarchy to be concerned by the development of our competencies. Organizations must take this into account and managers must dedicate time to training their staff and to keeping an open dialogue with them on their future.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In the extreme situations in which ICRC intervenes, those affected need professionally delivered assistance. They also, however, need an international presence, a gesture, or a word that restores hope and dignity. The authorities with whom our employees deal with are not only sensitive to technical arguments, but also to the power of conviction. Our people do not only have to be competent professionals, but also strong personalities. In 1992, the head physician of a hospital in Azerbaijan reminded me of this when I introduced myself as an ICRC doctor, saying sharply: "I do not care about your organization and your title. Who are you, you?" This is one reason why ICRC places major importance on the evaluation of social and relational skills in the recruitment process.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/KYO4zKOR-_RlX_cvZ1XTdLZJbj-BSbm5x1gALYhA2AM/mtime:1438116329/files/Stroun.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/International Committee of the Red Cross (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> An ICRC medical team operates on a wounded combatant in South Sudan.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Finally, humanitarian and human rights organizations often act in unstructured and unpredictable situations. Professional skills are not always enough. We must leave some room for creativity and personal initiative, which must start from the field. Although we need competent experts, we need to know how to keep adventurous personalities who think outside the box. These people may be difficult to manage in everyday life, but they will make a difference in extreme situations.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After all, it was Louis Haefliguer, who in August 1945, as ICRC delegate at Mauthausen concentration camps, disregarded instructions and convinced SS guards not to execute Himmler's order to blow up all installations, saving more than 40,000 deportees, It was Henry Dunant, a mystic dreamer who ended up bankrupt and had to leave his city of Geneva, but whose initiative of treating the wounded of both sides in the battle of Solferino in 1859 inspired the humanitarian laws of modern warfare.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The humanitarian world needs also people like this. And it is certainly worth the effort to recruit and retain some of them.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Overall, I am pleased with the professionalism and progressive internationalization of ICRC staff. I am convinced that it was beneficial for the humanitarian sector and for the people we are trying to help and protect. But this evolution is positive only if international organizations fully accept it by assuming its constraints and risks, and adapt employee management accordingly.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If human rights organizations want to motivate their professionals and reap the full benefit of their expertise, they should review the recruitment process, develop continuous training programs, make career management more transparent and above all, keep managers accountable in their "team building" role when managing a diverse group of people.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We cannot hire professionals while keeping an amateur management mentality. Humanitarian professionals may have a genuine desire to help, but most also want to advance in their careers. Why can’t they do both?</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/internationalizing-human-rights-organizations" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_1.png'"> <img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/IHRO_inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Internationalizing human rights organizations – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/carrie-oelberger/how-does-professionalization-impact-international-human-rights-org">How does professionalization impact international human rights organizations?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader/firm-yet-flexible-keeping-human-rights-organisations-relevant">Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/wendy-h-wong/time-for-change-future-of-ingos-in-international-human-rights">A time for change? The future of INGOs in international human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation">Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/wanja-muguongo/to-truly-internationalize-human-rights-funding-must-make-sense">To truly internationalize human rights, funding must make sense</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/adriano-campolina/decentralizing-can-make-global-human-rights-groups-stronger">Decentralizing can make global human rights groups stronger</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/johanna-sim%C3%A9ant/internationalization-is-about-more-than-just-advocacy">Internationalization is about more than just advocacy</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jessica-montell/transnational-rights-violations-call-for-new-forms-of-cooperation">Transnational rights violations call for new forms of cooperation</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emily-martinez/human-rights-diversity-goes-beyond-northsouth-relations">Human rights diversity goes beyond North-South relations</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/c%C3%A9sar-rodr%C3%ADguezgaravito/multiple-boomerangs-new-models-of-global-human-rights-advoc">Multiple boomerangs: new models of global human rights advocacy</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Jacques Stroun Global Internationalizing Human Rights Organizations Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:00:00 +0000 Jacques Stroun 94837 at https://opendemocracy.net For Moroccan rights groups, good reputations aren’t enough https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-rachid-touhtou/for-moroccan-rights-groups-good-reputations <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ZeA25-nEgoLxjtgug44ydgKDlY8w6_6Gj7sMt_1-_2w/mtime:1438028933/files/Trouhtou.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Without building a strong popular base, the Moroccan human rights community cannot capitalize on its good reputation. A contribution to&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a>’&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank">Public Opinion and Human Rights</a>&nbsp;debate.&nbsp;<em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/rachid-touhtou-james-ron-shannon-golden/pour-les-organisations-marocaines-de-d%C3%A9fens" target="_blank">Français</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/rachid-touhtou-james-ron-shannon-golden/%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A8%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%BA%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A9%D8%8C-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A9-" target="_blank">العربية</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">On February 20, 2011, thousands of Moroccans took to the streets in Rabat, Casablanca, and Tangier, demanding wholesale change to the <a href="http://fr.globalvoicesonline.org/2011/12/29/92778/" target="_blank">country’s constitution</a>. The protests were led by the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (<a href="http://www.amdh.org.ma/en/about-amdh" target="_blank">AMDH</a>), a Rabat-based organization founded in 1979 by secular, left wing activists and former political prisoners.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">AMDH leaders had begun strategizing for political change as soon as the Arab Spring began in Tunisia, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://ahmedbenchemsi.com/feb20s-rise-and-fall-a-moroccan-story/">two months earlier</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. They created a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.facebook.com/movement20?re=br_rs" target="_blank">Facebook page</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.mamfakinch.com/" target="_blank">new website</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=J0spuMUcQQ4&amp;spfreload=10" target="_blank">YouTube video</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> calling on Moroccans to turn out en masse on February 20. In response, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ribatalkoutoub.ma/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=175:delaprotestationurbaineaumaroc-&amp;catid=143:dossie&amp;Itemid=17" target="_blank">more protestors hit the streets than the country had witnessed since major social uprisings in the 1980s</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The AMDH’s initial success is puzzling. According to the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://jamesron.com/documents/hro-report-morocco.pdf" target="_blank">Human Rights Perceptions Polls</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, based on a representative sample of 1,100 adults living in Rabat, Casablanca, and their rural environs, Moroccan rights groups have a weak social base. Although the public does afford local human rights organizations (LHROs) some trust, they have little personal contact with these organizations.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Consider Figure 1, which charts the public’s trust in LHROs, relative to their trust in other institutions. On a 4-point scale, in which 1 equals “no trust”, adults living in and around Casablanca and Rabat rated LHROs at 2.32, on average. This is lower than the most trusted actors—the army and religious institutions—but much higher than trust in the least trusted institution, the US government.</span></p> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic;"><a style="text-decoration: underline; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; line-height: 19.5px; text-align: center;" target="_blank" href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/4-m7x1fkDZed9HJj4G5MLBn-ABGKtKV6pu4jXfCze00/mtime:1438028950/files/TrouhtouChart1.jpg"><img width="460" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/4-m7x1fkDZed9HJj4G5MLBn-ABGKtKV6pu4jXfCze00/mtime:1438028950/files/TrouhtouChart1.jpg" /></a></div> <p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As Figure 2 demonstrates, however, the Moroccan human rights organizations’ contact with the broader population is very infrequent, suggesting that LHROs would struggle to mobilize large numbers. Only 7% of our sample reported ever having met a “human rights worker” (non-governmental or governmental), and only 1% reported ever having participated in the activities of, or donated money to, a human rights organization.</span></p> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic;"><a style="text-decoration: underline; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; line-height: 19.5px; text-align: center;" target="_blank" href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/SnodEl9id0STsuaea773vOomMVTPb8rQ6MEDebGU_dk/mtime:1438028960/files/TrouhtouChart2.jpg"><img width="460" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/SnodEl9id0STsuaea773vOomMVTPb8rQ6MEDebGU_dk/mtime:1438028960/files/TrouhtouChart2.jpg" /></a></div> <p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Despite this weak social base, however, the AMDH was able to play a pivotal role in the February 20th mass mobilization. It did this by making a crucial alliance with the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.aljamaa.net" target="_blank">Justice and Charity Organization</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (JCO), an Islamist social movement in Morocco that traces its roots to the 1970s.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">According to a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/pubs/PolicyFocus135_Sakthivel_v2.pdf" target="_blank">recent study</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the JCO has up to 500,000 followers; according to its leaders, the real numbers are even higher. Most observers agree that the JCO has built a broad social base in Morocco through close, frequent contact with the public, strong ideological principles, and attention to organizational detail.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Unlike the AMDH and other secular Moroccan human rights groups, which focused on elite-level, anti-regime activities during the “Years of Lead”, Morocco’s repressive 1970s and 80s, the JCO spent its time building ties to ordinary Moroccans. It trained leaders, cultivated sympathizers and devoted time and effort to its popular base.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Human Rights Perception Polls provide a measure of the ideational context in which the JCO thrives. As Figure 3 demonstrates, 96% of Moroccan survey respondents reported that religion was “very important” in their daily lives; 85% prayed at least once a day, and 46% attended mosque at least once a week. In addition, 27% said they trusted Moroccan religious institutions “a lot”, according it 4 on the 1-4 trust scale. Religion, in other words, is crucial to Moroccans, and the JCO has positioned itself squarely within that worldview. </span></p> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic;"><a style="text-decoration: underline; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; line-height: 19.5px; text-align: center;" target="_blank" href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/v6r1VY9sBINmJxFWTyXjGLZLvCKjOcL5z0JZ5CVEkzQ/mtime:1438028970/files/TrouhtouChart3.jpg"><img width="460" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/v6r1VY9sBINmJxFWTyXjGLZLvCKjOcL5z0JZ5CVEkzQ/mtime:1438028970/files/TrouhtouChart3.jpg" /></a></div> <p dir="ltr">Given the JCO’s popular strength, it was crucial that, in February 2011, the <a href="http://www.cairn.info/zen.php?ID_ARTICLE=COME_078_0035" target="_blank">AMDH reached out to the Islamists</a> and, in the heat of the moment, built a temporary coalition of convenience. That winter, the joint AMDH-Islamist demonstrations created a powerful street presence, undermining the king’s confidence in his power. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Morocco’s monarch quickly adapted, announcing far-reaching concessions that few had expected. Mohammed VI paved the way for a constitutional monarchy by reducing his powers, changing Article 19 of the old constitution (which defined the king as a sacred personality), and stressing the primacy of universal human rights over domestic law.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The AMDH </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.carnegieendowment.org/2011/06/20/new-moroccan-constitution-real-change-or-more-of-same" target="_blank">rejected the king’s concessions</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, saying they didn’t go far enough. Instead, they and other secular rights activists called for wholesale reconstruction of the state’s governing institutions, including forming a popular assembly to replace the parliament and drafting a new constitution. Although the AMDH did not openly call for the king’s removal, the suggestion was that, under the new system, the king would become little more than a figurehead.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/ZeA25-nEgoLxjtgug44ydgKDlY8w6_6Gj7sMt_1-_2w/mtime:1438028933/files/Trouhtou.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr/Magharebia (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A 20th of February Movement march in Casablanca, Morocco. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In a sudden turnabout, the religiously-oriented JCO bolted from its alliance with the secular AMDH and decided to demobilize. Instead, the JCO joined forces with the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), a political party that had accepted the king’s reforms. The reasons behind this sudden about-face remain unclear, but some speculate the JCO struck a deal with both the PJD and the king, abandoning street protests in return for free and fair elections.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The JCO is a social movement, not a political party, but their alliance with the parliamentary PJD is mutually beneficial. In November 2011, when the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-15902703" target="_blank">PJD emerged as the leader in national elections</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> with 27% of parliamentary seats, the JCO was the PJD’s silent, but willing, partner.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The PJD’s political gains are real. Under the new Moroccan constitution, rewritten by the king in the summer of 2011, the monarch was obliged to select a member of the PJD, as the largest political party, to form the next government. In early 2012, the PJD gained control over major government ministries, including social affairs, economics and foreign affairs.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The PJD is thus gaining valuable government experience while proving itself to Moroccan voters. It has also demonstrated its ability to work with the monarchy and earn the king’s trust. For the JCO, the alliance with a successful Islamist political party has provided all manner of benefits, including a mechanism for transitioning into a more overtly political role should it decide to do so in the future.</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">The AMDH and other secular rights activists, by contrast, have emerged weakened from the process.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The AMDH and other secular rights activists, by contrast, have emerged weakened from the process. Although they continue to organize weekly protests, their numbers are </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.anneemaghreb.revues.org/1537#tocto1n5" target="_blank">small and declining</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. The AMDH has not been successful in advancing its agenda of wholesale government reform, further reductions in monarchical power, poverty reduction, unemployment alleviation, and more. Most importantly, from the AMDH’s perspective, they have not been able to gain a royal pardon for their former leftist comrades in arms.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There seem to be several lessons for the Moroccan human rights movement. First, some kind of accommodation with the palace appears crucial for political impact. The Islamists chose to strike a deal, and have been rewarded with power and access. By remaining steadfast opponents to the king, the AMDH has been shut out.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More importantly, the AMDH’s inability to sustain a broad-based social movement without the Islamists demonstrates the weakness of their long-term strategy. Although the Human Rights Perceptions Polls do show popular trust in LHROs, good feelings alone cannot sustain a movement. Instead, Morocco’s rights groups must cultivate a robust social base by providing social services and popular education, and by raising money from ordinary members of the public.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Failing these efforts, the Moroccan human rights movement is likely to tread water. The Islamists are growing more powerful, while the Ministry of Interior has just banned several AMDH conferences, threatened to strip the group of its legal status, and demonized the NGO as anti-Islamic and anti-national.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The time has come for a strategic rethink. The Moroccan human rights movement registered </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.amazon.com/Society-Political-Morocco-History-Islamic-ebook/dp/B000SJWARE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1429187390&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=james+sater+morocco" target="_blank">some real successes in the 1990s and 2000s</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. It put human rights on the monarchy’s agenda, forced the state to recognize past abuses, and advocated successfully on a range of issues. The movement’s reputation among ordinary Moroccans, moreover, is reasonably strong.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Without actively cultivating a broad popular base however, Morocco’s local rights groups are destined to remain marginal political players.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_2.jpg '" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg '"> <img src=" https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Public opinion and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/meriem-el-haitami-shannon-golden-james-ron/partners-in-prayer-women%27s-rights-and-re">Partners in prayer: women&#039;s rights and religion in Morocco</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/amina-bouayach/moroccans-are-protesting-but-conditions-aren%E2%80%99t-improving">Moroccans are protesting, but conditions aren’t improving </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/doutje-lettinga/is-emerging-middle-class-our-best-hope-for-global-rights-activism">Is the emerging middle class our best hope for global rights activism?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-e-mendelson/doubling-down-on-human-rights-data">Doubling down on human rights data</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dahlia-scheindlin/in-israel-implementing-human-rights-feels-wrong">In Israel, implementing human rights feels wrong</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/guy-grossman-devorah-manekin-dan-miodownik/in-israel-intense-combat-experience-decr">In Israel, intense combat experience decreases support for negotiations and human rights organizations</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jessica-montell/let-pollsters-pick-navigating-public-opinion-in-israel">Let the pollsters pick? Navigating public opinion in Israel</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nicola-perugini-neve-gordon/human-rights-crisis-problem-of-perception">The human rights crisis: a problem of perception?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/ursula-levelt/can-%E2%80%9C-people%E2%80%9D-truly-set-agenda">Can “the people” truly set the agenda?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/steve-crawshaw/activists-and-elites-connecting-dots">Activists and elites: connecting the dots</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights Arab Awakening openGlobalRights Shannon Golden James Ron Rachid Touhtou Middle East & North Africa Human rights: mass or elite movement? Public Opinion and Human Rights Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Shannon Golden, James Ron and Rachid Touhtou 94791 at https://opendemocracy.net UNAIDS: Bold human rights targets need better monitoring https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/meg-davis/unaids-bold-human-rights-targets-need-better-monitoring <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/uT79uUrOJDhJonmzMEMjxsI2Lkxp9RY_awBLk7q0FIE/mtime:1437966947/files/Davis.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p dir="ltr">If UN agencies set bold targets for human rights reform, they must commit to reporting rigorously on progress to achieve them. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank"> evaluation and human rights.</a>&nbsp;<em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/meg-davis/onusida-los-objetivos-de-derechos-humanos-audaces-requieren-una-mejor-sup" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/meg-davis/l%E2%80%99onusida-les-objectifs-ambitieux-en-mati%C3%A8re-de-droits-de-l%E2%80%99homme-ont-bes" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Take a trip back to the fabulous summer of 2010, when thousands of activists marched in Vienna at the International AIDS Conference. We waved our beer steins in Stephansplatz to the sweet songs of Annie Lennox, and demanded “Human Rights and HIV/AIDS, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.hivhumanrightsnow.org/">Now More Than Ever</a>”. That year, UNAIDS added ambitious human rights targets to its 2011-15 “Getting to Zero” strategy. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Now fast forward to 2015. The UNAIDS-Lancet Commission has once again called for ambitious human rights action to help </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/defeating-aids-advancing-global-health" style="line-height: 1.5;">bring an end to AIDS by 2030</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. As the UNAIDS and The Global Fund craft new strategies and new indicators, it seems like a good time to ask – how are we doing?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In fact, it’s hard to say, given the unfortunately vague reporting by UNAIDS on its last human rights indicators. For example, one of those human rights targets from 2010 was to reduce by half the number of countries with punitive laws and practices around HIV transmission, sex work, drug use or homosexuality that block effective responses.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/uT79uUrOJDhJonmzMEMjxsI2Lkxp9RY_awBLk7q0FIE/mtime:1437966947/files/Davis.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr/United Nations Development Programme (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> UNAIDS workers address beneficiaries at an AIDS/HIV clinic in Timbuktu, Mali.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">That was a bold goal: to cut in four years the number of countries with punitive laws that have been shown, </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.hivlawcommission.org" style="line-height: 1.5;">over and over again</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, to make it impossible to reach the “key populations” most vulnerable to HIV (sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs). Specifically, UNAIDS demanded that we cut the number of countries with laws that criminalize HIV transmission, sex work, drug use or same-sex sexual relations.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These are four clear and easily measurable targets. But they were never actually measured. Why? Because UNAIDS annual reports never set a clear baseline (cut half of how many?), and often used narrative description instead of numbers. Moreover, the reports changed what they measured each year, and did not consistently report comparative data (i.e., whether the numbers of laws increased or decreased from year to year).</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Briefly, digging through the text of UNAIDS annual reports reveals </span><a target="_blank" href="https://megontheinternet.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/unaids-human-rights-indicators-what-counts/" style="line-height: 1.5;">the following</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">:</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span></p><ol><li><span style="line-height: 1.5;">From 2011-15, the number of countries criminalizing HIV transmission rises briefly from 60 countries to 63 countries (in 2013) and then dips back to 60 countries in 2015 (the change is not explained but probably reflects a change in how countries were categorized);</span></li><li><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The number of countries criminalizing same-sex relationships increases from 78 countries in 2011 to 79 by 2015;</span></li><li><span style="line-height: 1.5;">On sex work and drug use, UNAIDS annual reports gives no number and says only that “most countries” criminalized both. (Twice, UNAIDS reported data on the number of countries that use compulsory drug detention for drug users. That is a great thing to track, but it is not the original target.)</span></li></ol><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Overall, no matter how you count it, there was almost no change on these four targets in five years. That’s depressing.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Was the original target (“reduce by half the number of countries with punitive laws”) an achievable goal? Probably not; law reform is slow work and it would have been a massive job to overhaul this many laws in this many countries. Certainly, it would have required&nbsp;a whole lot more financial and political investment in pushing for law and policy change: the hard&nbsp;work of reviewing laws and policies, litigation, human rights advocacy, community mobilization and more.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But even if the goal was overambitious, having more rigorous and reliable reporting on the indicator would have generated data for use by governments, UN treaty bodies, UN country offices, and civil society. That would make it easier to press for change.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-right">What were originally pretty good targets got buried in ambiguous text.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Instead, what were originally pretty good targets got buried in ambiguous text. Instead of sticking to the original clear targets, the UNAIDS report chapter on this human rights indicator lumped in lots of other issues, and muddied the waters.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For example, the original strategy from 2011 </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/sub_landing/files/JC2034_UNAIDS_Strategy_en.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">says</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> that “…[n]early two thirds of countries reported policies or laws that impede access to HIV services by certain populations.” There’s a clear baseline. What happened next?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The next year, in 2012, UNAIDS reported that 60% of countries had laws or policies that impeded access to services (so about two thirds?). But there was good news, as the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/document/2011/JC2215_Global_AIDS_Response_Progress_Reporting_en.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">report noted</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">: “Although these figures are clearly cause for concern, they are promising in another respect, since acknowledging the existence of such laws is a critical first step towards reforming them.” Or perhaps not, since the 2013 and 2015 reports had the same 60% statistic, without comment.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Human rights indicators don’t fix problems. They often bring bad news. But they do focus the mind on action. A good human rights indicator is an advocacy tool that promotes transparency, accountability and action – globally, regionally, and nationally.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A weak human rights indicator—or a good one that is under-resourced and buried in noise—is actually a barrier to accountability. This is something to think about for the next strategy.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>This is an edited version of a post that first appeared in June 2015 at “<a target="_blank" href="https://megontheinternet.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/unaids-human-rights-indicators-what-counts/">Meg Davis</a>”.</em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Evaluation and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/joel-r-pruce/human-rights-are-revolutionary%E2%80%94in-principle-not-practice">Human rights are revolutionary—in principle not practice</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation">Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-garc%C3%ADa-junco-machado/seguro-popular-mexico%E2%80%99s-progress-in-protecting-right-to-">Seguro Popular: Mexico’s progress in protecting the right to health</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dhananjayan-sriskandarajah-mandeep-tiwana/towards-multipolar-civil-society">Towards a multipolar civil society</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nafissatou-j-diop/eliminating-female-genital-mutilation-by-2030">Eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/inga-winkler-virginia-roaf/for-sanitation-human-rights-are-key-to-keeping-governmen">For sanitation, human rights are key to keeping governments accountable</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader/firm-yet-flexible-keeping-human-rights-organisations-relevant">Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Meg Davis Global Evaluation and Human Rights Mon, 27 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Meg Davis 94762 at https://opendemocracy.net The UN and children in armed conflict: playing politics? https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/charu-lata-hogg-veronica-yates/un-and-children-in-armed-conflict-playing-politics <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/SIT1QHgSafxCzxxEJPXbZK3h_r7FWh_rrwa_4Wri4RI/mtime:1437700553/files/Hogg.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on children in armed conflict is supposed to protect the most vulnerable, but some countries are effectively wielding political power to escape scrutiny.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/charu-lata-hogg-veronica-yates/l%E2%80%99onu-et-les-enfants-dans-les-conflits-arm%C3%A9s-petites" target="_blank">Français</a>,&nbsp;</strong></em></span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/charu-lata-hogg-veronica-yates/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%85%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%B7%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%A9" target="_blank">العربية</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">This month marks a decade since the <a href="http://www.un.org/press/en/2005/sc8458.doc.htm" target="_blank">UN Security Council Resolution 1612</a> was passed unanimously, establishing a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM) to gather accurate, timely and objective information on <a href="https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/effects-of-conflict/six-grave-violations" target="_blank">six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict</a>. In recent years, however, there have been signs that political interests of powerful states are increasingly threatening the integrity of this mechanism. Parties to conflict, which should be monitored, named and held accountable for committing egregious violations against children, are being let off the hook. </p><p dir="ltr">Conversely, scrutiny on contexts that should be monitored is being prematurely lifted. At a time when a growing number of complex conflicts around the world are posing new challenges to child protection, this ten-year anniversary marks an important opportunity to <a href="http://child-soldiers.org/research_report_reader.php?id=846" target="_blank">look back at some achievements and identify impediments</a>. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The MRM is formally triggered in a conflict situation when one or several parties to that conflict are added to the “list of shame” in annexes to the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict. In the past, only parties that recruited and used children were included in the annexes. Since 2009, other grave violations can “trigger” listing: killing and maiming, sexual violence, attacks on school and hospitals, and abduction of children.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Once established, the MRM has the mandate to monitor and report on all six grave violations, and on all parties to the conflict. Members of the UN Country Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) and their technical working groups also coordinate advocacy and programmatic responses to the violations that they document. This is often done through the signature of Joint Action Plans between the UN and the party listed. These Action Plans are time bound and commit a “listed” party to a series of legal, policy and practical measures.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/SIT1QHgSafxCzxxEJPXbZK3h_r7FWh_rrwa_4Wri4RI/mtime:1437700553/files/Hogg.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Eye Steel Film (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A former child soldier in South Sudan. Impressment into military action and violence is a grave violation against children's human rights. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The mechanism stops after violations have ended and the Action Plan (if any) has been fully implemented. But monitoring is meant to continue for at least one year after the delisting of all parties, to ensure there are no renewed violations.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Undoubtedly, the MRM has proved to be far more than a tool to “name and shame” parties that violate children’s rights. It plays an important role in pushing for accountability of parties to a conflict and ensuring their compliance with international law and child protection standards. So far, the 20 Action Plans signed with parties in 13 different country situations </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/press-release/secretary-generals-annual-report-on-children-and-armed-conflict-success-but-also-grave-danger-for-children-affected-by-new-and-ongoing-conflicts/" target="_blank">have resulted in the release of thousands of children from armed forces and groups</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Because countries affected by armed conflict face serious challenges in rule of law and justice, Action Plans have also triggered longer-term institutional reform in some contexts. These changes have been most notable in ensuring that laws criminalising violations against children, including on underage recruitment and use, are implemented. In some cases, practical barriers have been created, such as </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2015/336&amp;Lang=E&amp;Area=UNDOC" target="_blank">Child Protection Units</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in western Afghanistan that have rejected 418 underage applicants from joining the Afghan National Police and the Afghan Local Police since 2014.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The decision to “list “ or “delist” a party to the conflict is taken by the UN Secretary-General on the basis of recommendations by his Special Representative on children and armed conflict (SRSG), whose office coordinates all MRM information. Listing puts the country under scrutiny by the UN Security Council and opens up the possibility of punitive measures.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">Pressure exerted by states to influence the scope of the MRM is not only leaving certain situations ignored, it is also politicising the mechanism.&nbsp;</span>Unsurprisingly, governments are particularly wary about being listed in the annexes, or even being mentioned in the body of the Secretary-General’s annual reports. A small, but vocal, number of states consistently oppose listing, questioning the UN findings, arguing that the situation is not one of armed conflict, or that it is not formally on the agenda of the UN Security Council. Such pressure exerted by states to influence the scope of the MRM is not only leaving certain situations ignored, it is also politicising the mechanism.</p><p dir="ltr">This problem was recently illustrated by the decision of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon not to include the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Palestinian armed groups on his list after Israel and its allies exercised political pressure on his office. The decision was reportedly taken against the recommendation of the SRSG and despite UN-documented evidence of attacks on schools and hospitals, killing and maiming of children, and use of a child as a human shield by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge on Gaza in the summer of 2014. UN and NGO reports stating that Palestinian armed groups killed and maimed children, recruited and used children and used schools for military purposes were similarly disregarded. Arguably, criteria to determine which parties are recommended and included in the “list of shame” are not being applied consistently.</p><p dir="ltr">In other cases, governments have consistently blocked UN access to their country, or to certain areas of their country, to verify allegations of children’s rights violations. The government of Thailand, for example, has been <a href="http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/69/926&amp;Lang=E&amp;Area=UNDOC" target="_blank">criticised</a> by the UN Secretary-General for not allowing unimpeded access to UN agencies wanting to verify allegations of grave children's rights violations in the southern provinces. Yet, despite this consistent lack of cooperation, there is little that the UN has done to build pressure on the government of Thailand to comply. </p><p dir="ltr">The case of Chad also raises questions on whether delisting is a transparent process that verifies the implementation of all Action Plan commitments signed with the UN. After being delisted in 2014, the Chadian national army should have been monitored for at least another year. To remain off the list, parties must demonstrate their continued ability to comply with their Action Plan commitments and refrain from committing violations for which they were listed. Child Soldiers International recently expressed concerns about a number of recent examples of Chad’s non-compliance. However, in his <a href="http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/69/926&amp;Lang=E&amp;Area=UNDOC" target="_blank">2015 report</a> the UN Secretary-General determined that “the situation of Chad will be removed from the report as of 2016”, without any public assessment.</p><p dir="ltr">The perception of partiality can undermine the credibility of the mechanism. This comes with potentially significant political costs, as recently demonstrated by the number of governments criticising the <a href="http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sc11932.doc.htm" target="_blank">failure</a> to list Palestinian armed groups and particularly the IDF in the UNSG’s 2015 report. Crucially, it can deprive children affected by armed conflict of vital interventions. However, the fact that some governments spend so much political capital to avoid landing on the list is a good indication of the potential of the MRM system to protect children in armed conflict. But the UN and other actors must resist political interferences by ensuring that those who are responsible for grave violations of children’s rights are brought to task. At its tenth anniversary, strengthening the MRM should be the top priority of the UN. Children’s lives depend on it.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/mark-drumbl/ongwen-trial-at-icc-tough-questions-on-child-soldiers">The Ongwen trial at the ICC: tough questions on child soldiers</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/maina-kiai/un-forsakes-its-values-when-it-favors-%E2%80%98stability%E2%80%99-over-fundamental-right">UN forsakes its values when it favors ‘stability’ over fundamental rights </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marc-limon-subhas-gujadhur/human-rights-council-at-10-too-much-talk-too-little-acti">The Human Rights Council at 10: too much talk, too little action? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-kaner/death-penalty-is-commonwealth-problem">The death penalty is a Commonwealth problem</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/naseem-kourosh/time-for-us-to-reaffirm-its-commitment-to-children%E2%80%99s-rights">Time for the US to reaffirm its commitment to children’s rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/liam-mahony/improving-and-expanding-advocacy-efforts-on-ground-key-tasks-for-new-hi">Improving and expanding advocacy efforts on the ground: key tasks for new High Commissioner</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/kenneth-roth-peggy-hicks/encouraging-stronger-engagement-by-emerging-powers-on-huma">Encouraging stronger engagement by emerging powers on human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/eric-posner/twilight-of-human-rights-law">The twilight of human rights law</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/beth-simmons/twilight-or-dark-glasses-reply-to-eric-posner">Twilight or dark glasses? A reply to Eric Posner</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/michael-o%E2%80%99flaherty/human-rights-law-makes-difference">Human rights law makes a difference</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stephen-hopgood/human-rights-past-their-sell-by-date">Human rights: past their sell-by date</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jack-snyder/misunderstanding-mass-politics-of-rights-mission">Misunderstanding the mass politics of the rights mission</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage Veronica Yates Charu Lata Hogg Global Fri, 24 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Veronica Yates and Charu Lata Hogg 94706 at https://opendemocracy.net The death penalty is a Commonwealth problem https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/david-kaner/death-penalty-is-commonwealth-problem <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/5000HzQpEZ74GL4_dJZ9r5X3LaerACm2CDZweSTSdiY/mtime:1437589192/files/Kaner1.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The Commonwealth lags behind global trends on abolition, but taking an official stance against the death penalty would put it back on the international stage.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/david-kaner/la-peine-de-mort-est-un-probl%C3%A8me-li%C3%A9-au-commonwealth" target="_blank">Français</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Last year, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared: “The death penalty has no place in the 21st century.”</p><p dir="ltr">But it appears that many leaders of the 53 Commonwealth countries—who will gather in Malta for their biennial meeting in November—didn’t get that memo. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Nine of these leaders head governments that regularly execute their own citizens. Twenty-six more hail from states that are abolitionist “in practice” but retain capital punishment in their legal code. The organization’s most-populous countries—India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh—have all hanged prisoners in the past three years.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Commonwealth consists largely of former colonies of the United Kingdom—a nation that, while expanding its empire across the globe, sanctioned hundreds of executions under the infamous “Bloody Code”. Yet, while the UK itself abolished capital punishment in the 1960s, the brutal legacy of imperial justice lives on in the legal systems of dozens of now-independent countries.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This group of states has lagged markedly behind global trends towards abolition of the death penalty. While 19 countries have barred capital punishment in the past decade, bringing the total number of abolitionist states to 103, only two were members of the Commonwealth. The share of fully abolitionist countries is nearly 45% lower within the Commonwealth than outside it.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Commonwealth Caribbean is particularly at odds with regional norms. Nearly two-thirds of the countries with death penalty laws in the Western Hemisphere are members of the Commonwealth.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The picture is not exactly encouraging elsewhere in the world. In Asia, not a single member state has abolished the death penalty. In Africa, the region with the highest number of Commonwealth countries, only a third have abolished it.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/5000HzQpEZ74GL4_dJZ9r5X3LaerACm2CDZweSTSdiY/mtime:1437589192/files/Kaner1.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Demotix/Tahir Iqbal (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Pakistanis protest the death penalty in Islamabad. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This year may prove to be the deadliest in recent memory. Last December, in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre, Pakistan partially lifted its moratorium on executions for terrorism charges; in March, the ban was ended entirely. The country has executed more than 100 individuals since December, making it one of the </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.amnesty.org/press-releases/2015/04/pakistan-one-hundred-people-sent-to-the-gallows-since-death-penalty-moratorium-lifted" style="line-height: 1.5;">world’s most-frequent executioners</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In addition, the Maldives and Papua New Guinea, neither of which has executed a prisoner since the 1950s, have both taken legislative steps to resume hangings this year. The government of Trinidad and Tobago has also announced its desire to reintroduce executions.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But could there be a Commonwealth remedy to this disproportionately Commonwealth problem?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Anti-death penalty activists should look to the continent hosting the Heads of Government Meeting this autumn for inspiration. Europe leads the world in abolitionism: of its 49 independent states, all but one has ended the use of capital punishment.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This remarkable accomplishment is due in part to a decades-long effort to make opposition to the death penalty a pan-European value—and to enshrine that commitment at the intergovernmental level. In 1983, the European Convention on Human Rights was amended with a protocol barring the death penalty </span><a target="_blank" href="http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/114.htm" style="line-height: 1.5;">except in wartime</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. In 1998 this prohibition was made total. Abolition of the death penalty is a prerequisite for membership in the Council of Europe, which led directly to the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/hrpolicy/Others_issues/Death_Penalty/default_en.asp" style="line-height: 1.5;">moratorium on its use in Russia in 1996</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Additionally, EU members are now legally bound by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">refrain from capital punishment</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While Europe has led the way, intergovernmental efforts in other regions of the world have confirmed this growing global consensus. In the Americas, the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B9C2E/(httpNewsByYear_en)/B955182C2F9FE69CC1257DFE005F643F?OpenDocument" style="line-height: 1.5;">Inter-American Commission on Human Rights</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> has been a prominent pro-abolition voice, and was responsible for the removal of capital punishment from </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ipsnews.net/2008/08/rights-argentina-last-vestiges-of-capital-punishment-abolished/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Argentina’s military code</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. In Africa, where the use of capital punishment has declined markedly in recent years, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights is slated to propose a protocol to the African Union’s primary human rights document, which would call for </span><a href="http://www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B9C2E/(httpNewsByYear_en)/B955182C2F9FE69CC1257DFE005F643F?OpenDocument" style="line-height: 1.5;">full abolition on the continent</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class="mag-quote-right">Few abuses strike at the core of 'the dignity of all human beings' and the 'universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated' human rights outlined in the Commonwealth Charter like capital punishment.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Few abuses strike at the core of “the dignity of all human beings” and the “universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated” human rights outlined in the Commonwealth Charter like capital punishment. Moving towards an official Commonwealth stance against the death penalty would put it back in the vanguard of intergovernmental organizations and make it—for the first time in years—a bold, principled presence on the international stage.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This need not entail a demand for immediate abolition. Building on the approach of the UN General Assembly, the Commonwealth Secretary-General could instead encourage retentionist member states to take the intermediate steps of implementing a moratorium, reducing the number of offences eligible for death sentences and ensuring minimum due process in capital trials.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Commonwealth could also leverage its global platform and technical expertise in legal affairs and governance to help make abolition a norm for member states, much as it has done in recent decades for elections. In many countries, the death penalty debate suffers from a lack of information; in India, for instance, </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.deathpenaltyindia.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">the first major national study of capital punishment</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (which found extreme bias in the application of sentences) was only completed last year. The Commonwealth, in partnership with member states like the United Kingdom and New Zealand, that include abolition as a foreign policy goal, could provide both a forum and assistance for policymakers seeking justice system reform.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Finally, the organization needs to support and coordinate efforts among its most underutilized resource: civil society and professional organizations. The Commonwealth’s list of accredited organizations alone includes three broad-based human rights organizations, multiple NGO networks and associations of lawyers, magistrates, law reform agencies and legislative drafters.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These groups (</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.commonwealthlawyers.com/Deathpenalty.aspx" style="line-height: 1.5;">some of which are already engaged in anti-death penalty work</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">) would be natural partners in a pan-Commonwealth drive to end capital punishment. While the Commonwealth Secretariat often talks of a “Commonwealth Family”, it limits its own reach, capacity and relevance by—as CHRI finds in a forthcoming report for the Malta summit—failing to sufficiently engage the vibrant web of civil society actors in member states. This campaign would be an excellent opportunity to put its relationship with the “Commonwealth of the People” on a more productive footing.</span></p><p>Ultimately, the Commonwealth will not be the primary vehicle for anti-death penalty activism. This is a fight that will be fought and won at the domestic level. But as we’ve witnessed in Europe and in other regions, making capital punishment anathema at the intergovernmental level can have a profound effect. If the Commonwealth wants to be the values-driven organization it claims to be, one that earns the respect of citizens by standing for their human rights, it must work for a 21st century in which the death penalty truly has no place.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marc-limon-subhas-gujadhur/human-rights-council-at-10-too-much-talk-too-little-acti">The Human Rights Council at 10: too much talk, too little action? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/v-nagaraj/social-justice-in-penal-state-%E2%80%93-can-human-rights-help">Social justice in the penal state – can human rights help?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/eric-posner/twilight-of-human-rights-law">The twilight of human rights law</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/doutje-lettinga/how-revolutionary-are-global-human-rights">How revolutionary are global human rights?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/rachel-krys/in-uk-public-discourse-undermines-support-for-human-rights">In the UK, public discourse undermines support for human rights </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader-akwasi-aidoo/africa%E2%80%99s-social-movements-present-opportunities-not-threat">Africa’s social movements present opportunities, not threats, for rights groups</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/leilani-farha/cities-new-guardians-of-human-rights">Cities: the new guardians of human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/vijay-nagaraj/development-and-human-rights-%E2%80%93-plea-for-more-critical-embrace">Development and human rights – a plea for a more critical embrace</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/joel-r-pruce/human-rights-are-revolutionary%E2%80%94in-principle-not-practice">Human rights are revolutionary—in principle not practice</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/margot-salomon/human-rights-are-also-about-social-justice">Human rights are also about social justice</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage David Kaner Global Eyeing the 2015 CHOGM Thu, 23 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 David Kaner 94214 at https://opendemocracy.net Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation? https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/brian-root/can-rights-organizations-use-lowburden-selfreflection-for-evaluation <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/N6t1pW-DwGd44nols6s4Hj-V7Bp4-gw1nBz7LfcbOV4/mtime:1437454447/files/Root1.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Human Rights Watch generally avoids burdensome evaluations; instead, we’re looking for “light and agile” reflections on our work. A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights">Evaluation and Human Rights.</a>&nbsp;<em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/brian-root/les-organisations-de-d%C3%A9fense-des-droits-peuventelles-se-livrer-%C3%A0-un-exer" target="_blank">Français</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/brian-root/%D9%87%D9%84-%D8%AA%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B7%D9%8A%D8%B9-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B8%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A5%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%8A%D9%8A%D9%85-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%87%D9%88%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%B7%D8%9F" target="_blank">العربية</a>,&nbsp;</strong></em><span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/brian-root/%C2%BFpueden-las-organizaciones-de-derechos-humanos-usar-una-introspecci%C3%B3n-po" target="_blank">Español</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Recently in openGlobalRights, Emma Naughton and Kevin Kelpin <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour" target="_blank">wrote</a> that human rights work does not easily lend itself to quantifiable, results-oriented evaluations. Their comments echo those of another expert who examined evaluation at Amnesty International and others in 2014, and also <a href="http://www.rhondaschlangen.com/portfolio/monitoring-and-evaluation-for-human-rights-organizations-three-case-studies" target="_blank">found</a> that linear evaluations are ill-suited to their work.</p><p dir="ltr">Complexity at all levels is perhaps the greatest challenge. Human rights issues and problems are multi-faceted with numerous stakeholders, causes, potential solutions and outcomes. Human rights groups have multiple partners and coalitions, and are concerned with multiple types of victims. We work with these actors and more to influence the behavior of multiple stakeholders, policymakers and perpetrators. How we conduct our work is intricate, with many different types and methods of research, communications products designed for multiple audiences, and multiple advocacy strategies and targets. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Organizational culture, resources and prioritization concerns, along with the case-specific nature of much of our work, are among the other challenges to implementing standardized impact evaluation strategies at HRW.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/N6t1pW-DwGd44nols6s4Hj-V7Bp4-gw1nBz7LfcbOV4/mtime:1437454447/files/Root1.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Shutterstock/iQoncept (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> "Useful evaluation is not simply filling in boxes next to the impact objectives in a logical framework. Learning comes from taking the time to reflect on how work was done, what actions were successful and why, and whether these steps could, and should, be replicated."</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Although there is real consensus throughout HRW that evaluation is important, and that we must do a better job with it, we have yet to hit upon feasible and effective solutions. Our geographic and thematic Programs and Divisions have a high degree of autonomy and do not share a common view, language or methodology for evaluation. We are still working towards finding evaluative processes that work more broadly. Given this, here are some important themes that guide our current thinking:</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Pathway”</span></h2><p dir="ltr">Naughton and Kelpin described a “pathway to change”, which mirrors how we think about impact. The path may begin simply with gaining attention for an issue and getting it on the agenda of actors, and leads, along a series of steps, towards an ultimate goal—changes in the human rights conditions facing people on the ground. Objectives along the path might include setting conditions for international aid, instigating changes in legislation or policy, helping local rights defenders—the list goes on. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Then there are the activities and successes that move us a step further along the path, such as scheduling advocacy meetings, getting op-eds published, attending hearings, securing official statements, and so on. The work that goes into research, communication and advocacy is indeed an impact in and of itself, and deserves to be documented. It can be a relief to accept this—what is important isn’t just whether we have stopped extra-judicial killings in X country, but whether we have been effective in moving towards that ultimate goal.</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Quantification or proving causation</span></h2><p dir="ltr">The term “monitoring and evaluation” is deeply tied in people’s minds to the concepts of result-based management, randomized control trials, or expensive external consultants. Perhaps surprisingly, it can be difficult for people to conceive of a light, nimble and qualitative form of evaluation. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And yet, qualitative documentation is precisely the type of evaluation that is most suitable for much of our work. Simply changing the tone and paradigm of what “evaluation” is has been important for myself and my colleagues. We do not need to prove causation when evaluating impact. We do not work in a bubble and we do not need to generate empirical evidence that x activity resulted in y output. We simply need to document what we know, which includes our own activities, what was occurring external of our activities, and how we pushed further along the path towards the goals we were trying to achieve.</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Evaluation is about learning</span></h2><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right">We are currently framing our evaluation discussions to be more about 'learning' and less about 'impact'.&nbsp;</span>There is a very real perception that monitoring and evaluation of a research project might be used as an evaluation of staff, and this has a chilling effect, especially when people fear resources are at stake. Getting staff buy-in is essential, and there are no easy solutions. We are currently framing our evaluation discussions to be more about “learning” and less about “impact”. Every program staff member at Human Rights Watch wants to be more effective in his or her work, so this is not a hard sell. Useful evaluation is not simply filling in boxes next to the impact objectives in a logical framework. Learning comes from taking the time to reflect on how work was done, what actions were successful and why, and whether these steps could, and should, be replicated. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These reflections are already occurring daily at HRW. Our colleagues are consistently seeking avenues to better achieve higher and higher goals. We have insight into what we did, how it worked, and what we might have done differently. Our challenge is to get the most crucial pieces of information out of our heads and conversations and into a format that allows us to build institutional knowledge.</span></p><h2><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Simplify</span></h2><p dir="ltr">Complex and burdensome processes simply will not succeed for our organization. We are dispensing with the idea that evaluation necessitates some specific level of rigorous documentation. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Capturing some reflection is better than none. For the time being, we are trying to develop a method of learning and evaluation that is simple and has a low-resource burden, especially in terms of staff time. The idea is to document, in a light and agile way, the most important achievements and lessons. How do we turn short conversations into knowledge that is generalizable, accessible and useful? How do we do this consistently and in ways that do not distract from our substantive work?</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Rather than institute a mandatory process dictated by management, we are exploring ideas with enthusiastic staff. We seek to solidify a common language of impact and the “pathway to change”. We are attempting to develop tools to document reflective conversations in ways that will allow us to share relevant lessons with others. By simplifying the process of how we evaluate, we may be able to learn much more about how to succeed in our work.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/evaluation-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Evaluation_HR_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Evaluation and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/carrie-oelberger/how-does-professionalization-impact-international-human-rights-org">How does professionalization impact international human rights organizations?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/vincent-ploton/human-rights-and-resultsbased-management-adopting-from-different-wor">Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/annemeike-fechter/doityourselfaid-alternative-funding-sources-for-rights-work">Do-It-Yourself-Aid: alternative funding sources for rights work?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nicola-perugini-neve-gordon/human-rights-crisis-problem-of-perception">The human rights crisis: a problem of perception?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dhananjayan-sriskandarajah-mandeep-tiwana/towards-multipolar-civil-society">Towards a multipolar civil society</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lucia-nader/firm-yet-flexible-keeping-human-rights-organisations-relevant">Firm yet flexible: keeping human rights organisations relevant</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/fateh-azzam/in-defense-of-professional-human-rights-organizations">In defense of &#039;professional&#039; human rights organizations</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-archana-pandya/universal-values-foreign-money-local-human-rights-organiza">Universal values, foreign money: local human rights organizations in the Global South</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Brian Root Global Funding for Human Rights Evaluation and Human Rights Wed, 22 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Brian Root 94211 at https://opendemocracy.net Improving family income does not ensure women’s economic empowerment https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/improving-family-income-does-not-ensure-women%E2%80%99s-economic-em <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/24WExdKKdsuikV6vlrfGXn0wCp0Zg4CfiqnTw7DEr48/mtime:1436335437/files/Sanchez.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Increasing family income does not necessarily increase women’s empowerment. A multi-sector multi-pronged approach is necessary. A contribution to the <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate on <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/debating-economic-and-social-rights" target="_blank">economic and social rights</a>.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/mejorar-los-ingresos-familiares-no-garantiza-el-empoderamie" target="_blank">Español</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">In a recent contribution to openGlobalRights, Barb MacLaren <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights" target="_blank">argues</a> for advancing women’s economic and social rights, focusing her point specifically on employment and household income. She depicts education and health as ancillary to supporting income and employment, but not as a right in themselves or for the improvement of women’s capabilities. Unfortunately, her arguments overlook 30 years of research on gender inequality and the power dynamics inside households. She also replicates some of the shortcomings of the earlier WID (Women in Development) movement that ignored the interconnections between employment, income generation via agriculture, land ownership, the care of persons done on an unpaid basis by women, violence against women and the role of gendered social norms. MacLaren also reproduces <a href="https://www.ids.ac.uk/files/dmfile/Wp411.pdf" target="_blank">the common neglect of unpaid care in programming design in development agencies</a>, and the lack of gender mainstreaming in development approaches and debates. Lastly, although she mentions Colombia’s legislation addressing violence against women and on women’s human rights, she skips over it.</p><p dir="ltr">In the 1950s and 1960s, experts pretended that their development policies were gender neutral. They perceived women as reproducers, consumers and passive recipients of policy programs, but they saw men as productive workers and therefore agents of change. The 1970s Women in Development (WID) movement sought to change that by highlighting women’s active participation in the economy, especially their role in agricultural production. They tried to change how the development community engaged with women and to make them see women as productive agents in the monetised economy. However, the movement paid little attention to the role women played in unpaid productive roles—what would today be called unpaid labour and the care economy. WID also glossed over how women’s lack of access to economic resources, justice, education and health, along with the violence they suffered, allowed gender inequalities to persist. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span class="mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">Income and employment are but a few of the factors at play in women’s human development and wellbeing.&nbsp;</span>Out of this realisation emerged the Gender and Development (GAD) movement in the mid-1980s. GAD studies the economic, social and political structures that create gender inequality. It questions not only the asymmetry in power, but also in decision-making between men and women. GAD highlights how social norms on male and female roles influence the distribution of paid and unpaid labour, caring labour, income, assets, political participation, natural resource allocation and violence. In short, while WID assumed that the economic advancement of women would improve their status, GAD understands that income and employment are but a few of the factors at play in women’s human development and wellbeing. The factors at play have also come to be seen as women’s human rights. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">McLaren argues that women’s participation in the rural wage market is held back by the small holder family farm; therefore, supporting women’s economic empowerment can only be done by supporting family incomes in the aggregate. This assumes that families behave as cohesive units and that benefits are shared equally among family members. But women’s poverty and inequality relative to men’s is not only generated through the capitalist economy, but also through the dynamics and logistics of family life and patriarchy. The difference in power between men and women in a family affect each person’s choices and behaviour differently. As a consequence, resources and opportunities are unevenly distributed among family members.</span></p><p dir="ltr">To argue that women’s economic empowerment will come by improving total family income disregards not only decades of evidence to the contrary, but the gendered social norms reflected even in small coffee production, household decision-making and the division of paid and unpaid labour, and care activities between women and men, girls and boys. A few answers are in order. What percentage of women work without pay in family farms? Do women control a portion of the income once the coffee is sold? How do landless female day-labourers coordinate paid labour with care and domestic activities?</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/24WExdKKdsuikV6vlrfGXn0wCp0Zg4CfiqnTw7DEr48/mtime:1436335437/files/Sanchez.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Juan Alvarez (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A rural Colombian women teaches her son to read. The perceived feminine responsibilities of child-rearing, housekeeping, and providing seasonal agricultural labor are important considerations when discussing women's economic empowerment. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">More importantly, development programmes should not aim to increase the income of rural Colombian women so that they can pay for day care, as MacLaren suggests, since this would further reinforce the patriarchal assignment of care only to women. Instead, it should strive to find ways to involve men in care, to distribute care more evenly among men and women, and to make care visible and valued by men and boys, the community and the nation. All of this should be utilized to bolster local, national and instrumental and financial support for care. Agriculture extension personnel and planners need to realise that women miss trainings not because they merge their welfare with that of their children, as McLaren argues, but because rigid gendered social norms designate the care of children, housework and meal preparation to women and girls and they simply have no one else to take care of the tasks. Women are as poor of time as they are of money, and poorer on both fronts than men.</p><p dir="ltr">As important as income and employment are for wellbeing and capabilities, even in the best of cases, Colombian women are up against a patriarchal culture changing at glacial pace. Global capitalism, however, is moving at light speed. An emerging paradox for Colombia and other Latin American countries is women’s increased risk of being battered by their partners when <a href="http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/91/2/663" target="_blank">employed</a> and earning income. It appears that men use violence—physical, psychological and financial—to affirm masculine authority, and when they feel their role and identity as breadwinners is <a href="http://archivo.cepal.org/pdfs/NotasPoblacion/NP87Castro.pdf" target="_blank">threatened</a>.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Colombia’s 2012 National Policy on Gender Equity, and the 2008 legislation addressing all forms of violence against women, mentioned in the article but not discussed, are remarkable in their multidisciplinary, multi-sector approach toward addressing gender inequality. Women’s rights are raison d’etre of the policy and legislation, not “growth” and “efficiency”. They are also remarkable in recognising that violence against women inside and outside of the home is structural and affects where, how much, and how far women work for pay, if at all. Considering that the life-time prevalence of physical abuse by an intimate partner in Colombia is </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/91/2/663" target="_blank">40% (22% for the past 12 months</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">), Colombia’s laws, while insufficient, are a necessary first step and are important to improve the status of women in Colombia.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Local, national and international programs that take a multi-pronged approach—positioning employment, health, education, care and violence on the same plain, and as equally necessary and interrelated—are indispensable if we want to empower women. Policies that address care and violence cannot be satellite to employment policies, and women’s needs cannot be subsumed under those of their families.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/debating-economic-and-social-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_2.png '" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_1.png '"> <img src=" https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Social_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Debating economic and social rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights">To empower women, prioritize their social and economic rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/radhika-balakrishnan-and-ignacio-saiz/transforming-development-agenda-requires">Transforming the development agenda requires more, not less, attention to human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dimitrina-petrova/nationality-laws-%E2%80%93-new-battleground-for-women%E2%80%99s-equality">Nationality laws – a new battleground for women’s equality</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/angelika-arutyunova/from-aid-to-investment-funding-womens-rights-groups">From aid to investment: funding women&#039;s rights groups</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jean-h-quataert/making-womens-rights-human-rights">Making women&#039;s rights human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/moiyattu-banya/human-rights-for-whom-closer-look-at-elitism-and-women%E2%80%99s-rights-in-a">Human rights for whom? A closer look at elitism and women’s rights in Africa</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marsha-afreeman/leaving-struggle-for-women%E2%80%99s-rights-out-of-your-account">Leaving the struggle for women’s rights out of your account</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/rachel-kurian/one-step-forward-two-back-dalit-women%E2%80%99s-rights-under-economic-gl">One step forward, two back? Dalit women’s rights under economic globalisation </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/helena-hofbauer/winners-and-losers-how-budgeting-for-human-rights-can-help-poor">Winners and losers: how budgeting for human rights can help the poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stuart-wilson/without-means-there-are-no-real-rights">Without means, there are no real rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/virginia-mantouvalou/workers%E2%80%99-rights-really-are-human-rights">Workers’ rights really are human rights</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Greta Friedemann-Sánchez Central and South America, & the Caribbean Global Debating economic and social rights Tue, 21 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Greta Friedemann-Sánchez 94209 at https://opendemocracy.net Can we really eliminate FGM in Egypt by 2030? https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/amel-fahmy/can-we-really-eliminate-fgm-in-egypt-by-2030 <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/IgKcsNmFaCAt-_sWkMl-tWZO1m1MpLPLeCV0nKmG9yU/mtime:1437335334/files/FahmyJuly2015.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Without a full exploration of the relationship between sexual norms and FGM in Egypt, it will be difficult—if not impossible—to eliminate the practice. <em><strong>&nbsp;<span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/amel-fahmy/pouvonsnous-r%C3%A9ellement-%C3%A9liminer-les-mgf-en-%C3%A9gypte-d%E2%80%99ici-2030" target="_blank">Français</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/amel-fahmy/%D9%87%D9%84-%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%83%D9%86%D9%86%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%B9%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D9%85%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%A9-%D8%AE%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AB-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%AD%D9%84%D9%88%D9%84-%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%85-2030%D8%9F" target="_blank">العربية</a></span></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Despite the popular euphemism “female circumcision”, female genital mutilation (FGM) is widely acknowledged as being an extremely harmful—and sometimes life threatening—practice. But because of social, cultural and religious reasons, the challenges to ending this custom are significant. According to WHO and UNICEF respectively, around 125 million girls worldwide have undergone the practice, with an estimated 30 million girls at risk of FGM in the next decade. </p><p dir="ltr">Currently, the proposed new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a target focusing on the total elimination of FGM by 2030. Many agencies see this as an achievable target given the growing knowledge of best practices and effective versus non-effective strategies. A <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/nafissatou-j-diop/eliminating-female-genital-mutilation-by-2030" target="_blank">recent article</a> on openGlobalRights pointed to several key strategies, including building civil society support, enforcing anti-FGM legislation, involving health workers, and more, that if implemented, could make the goal attainable. However, most of the efforts in Egypt over the period of the last 20 years have used these strategies, but with rather modest results. </p><p dir="ltr">Advocacy to end FGM in Egypt started early in the 1970s and were intensified after the UN’s International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1996. In the beginning, most of these activities addressed FGM from a health perspective rather than a rights perspective. This resulted in a medicalization of the practice, but not a decrease in its prevalence. Currently, medical doctors perform more than 70% of FGM cases in Egypt (despite it being illegal). </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Anti-FGM activities received more visibility and funding in Egypt when FGM became a priority issue on the agenda of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM). In 2003, a joint partnership between NCCM, national NGOs, different UN agencies and other donors was established with the objective of ending FGM in Egypt. As a result, a national program entitled “FGM-Free Village Model” was designed to empower girls and families to make informed decisions against FGM. The program was implemented in 60 villages in six governorates in the first phase of implementation, and was increased to 120 villages in the second phase to cover 20 out of 27 governorates.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/IgKcsNmFaCAt-_sWkMl-tWZO1m1MpLPLeCV0nKmG9yU/mtime:1437335334/files/FahmyJuly2015.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Colin Manuel (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> A girl in rural Egypt goes to retrieve water.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Another nationwide program, “the UNFPA-UNICEF joint program on FGM”, was launched in 2008 and ran extensively for seven years promoting strategic approaches to end FGM. At the policy level, the Egyptian Ministry of Health in 2007 issued a ministerial decree banning health professionals from performing FGM. This was followed in 2008 by changes in the penal code to criminalize FGM. Furthermore, Dar al-Iftaa, the official entity issuing religious opinions, ruled that the practice is “un-Islamic”.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">The prevalence of the practice is simply not dropping fast enough.&nbsp;</span>Yet, these programs have had a limited impact. Recent data released by the Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS 2014) in May 2015, as well as data from the June 2015 Young People Survey in Egypt (SYPE), do not support the claim that FGM can be eliminated by 2030. The prevalence of the practice is simply not dropping fast enough.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In 2014, the EDHS data reported the prevalence of FGM among ever-married women between the ages 15-45 to be 92.3% with a drop of 4.7% over the past 20 years. The percentage of daughters aged 0-19 reported by their mother to be currently circumcised was 21.4% in 2014, dropping 6% over a period of ten years. Furthermore, 34.9 % of mothers intended to circumcise their girls in the future; dropping only 2.7% over a period of 20 years. The 2014 SYPE reported that 77.9% of youth between the ages of 15-29 reported themselves to be circumcised, dropping 7% over a period of five years. &nbsp;An alarming finding in the 2014 SYPE was that 70.7% of young female and 68.6 % of young male respondents intended to circumcise their future daughter(s).</span></p><p dir="ltr">Most of the programs on FGM during the past 12 years have been led by the government, and with two main messages: FGM is not part of the Islamic or Christian religious teachings; and FGM has negative health consequences. Most of these programs avoid addressing the issue from the perspective of women’s sexual rights and freedoms. Yet, without a full exploration of the relationship between sexual norms and FGM in Egypt, it will be difficult—if not impossible—to totally eliminate the practice. Female genital mutilation is a form of violence against women. It is used to exercise control over women’s bodies and maintain the current patriarchal system. The reasons for the continuation of FGM might be interpreted as cultural, social or even religious but, at the core of the matter, it is fundamentally an issue of control. Women’s sexuality is perceived as something that needs to be guided and restrained for the sake of society, and the belief in this practice is so entrenched, that even criminalizing it doesn’t seem to be a deterrent to future generations.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Although many studies point at women as the main decision makers when it comes to FGM, the few studies that investigated the role of men found that men’s perceptions of their roles within the family are strongly linked to the continuance of FGM. A </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.researchgate.net/publication/273440839_Men%27s_Perspectives_on_the_Relationship_Between_Sexuality_and_Female_Genital_Mutilation_in_Egypt" target="_blank">study conducted</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in 2010 in Egypt revealed that men stressed the concept of “quama” in Arabic, which can be translated as “responsibility”, “superiority” and “protection”. Men feel responsible for protecting their daughters and wives, and FGM is seen as an important aid in this role. The majority of men interviewed in this study believed that uncut women are “oversexed” and sexually demanding, which they believe can lead to extra-marital relationships.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Programs and community interventions need to work on breaking this perception and changing the strong association between norms of masculinity, power, sexual control and FGM. In this regard, men must be a primary target group in any activities undertaken. Even though women may support FGM, it is really the opinion of men and their position of power that perpetuate it. Younger generations of men will repeat what their fathers have done, unless the root of this issue is addressed in advocacy programs. Until the problem is approached from this angle, we will never see the end of this damaging practice.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/nafissatou-j-diop/eliminating-female-genital-mutilation-by-2030">Eliminating female genital mutilation by 2030</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dimitrina-petrova/nationality-laws-%E2%80%93-new-battleground-for-women%E2%80%99s-equality">Nationality laws – a new battleground for women’s equality</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/amel-fahmy/tackling-egypt%E2%80%99s-genderbased-violence-with-crowdsourcing">Tackling Egypt’s gender-based violence with crowdsourcing</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/naseem-kourosh/time-for-us-to-reaffirm-its-commitment-to-children%E2%80%99s-rights">Time for the US to reaffirm its commitment to children’s rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/rachel-kurian/one-step-forward-two-back-dalit-women%E2%80%99s-rights-under-economic-gl">One step forward, two back? Dalit women’s rights under economic globalisation </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/karoline-kamel/incorporating-religion-into-human-rights-bad-idea-for-egypt">Incorporating religion into human rights: a bad idea for Egypt</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jack-snyder/in-egypt-human-rights-need-religion">In Egypt, human rights need religion</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/emma-naughton-kevin-kelpin/when-evaluating-human-rights-progress-focus-also-on-jour">When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/meriem-el-haitami-shannon-golden-james-ron/partners-in-prayer-women%27s-rights-and-re">Partners in prayer: women&#039;s rights and religion in Morocco</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/greta-friedemanns%C3%A1nchez/improving-family-income-does-not-ensure-women%E2%80%99s-economic-em">Improving family income does not ensure women’s economic empowerment</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage Amel Fahmy Middle East & North Africa Mon, 20 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Amel Fahmy 94208 at https://opendemocracy.net Climate change poses an existential threat to human rights https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/stephen-humphreys/climate-change-highlights-fragility-of-human-rights-norms <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/mEwdNQOodWbVMkjlR8Cm4WQz79w7pH2qkb009uKIBd8/mtime:1436303406/files/Humphrey.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>It’s obvious climate change is a human rights issue. Less obvious is that saying so doesn’t necessarily help much, and indeed exposes the limitations of rights advocacy in achieving systemic economic reform.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/stephen-humphreys/el-cambio-clim%C3%A1tico-pone-de-relieve-la-fragilidad-de-las-normas-d" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/stephen-humphreys/le-changement-climatique-souligne-la-fragilit%C3%A9-des-normes-relativ" target="_blank">Français</a>,&nbsp;</strong></em></span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/stephen-humphreys/%D8%AA%D8%BA%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AE-%D9%8A%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%B2-%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%89-%D8%B6%D8%B9%D9%81-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%8A%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86" target="_blank">العربية</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">To grasp the immense human rights implications of climate change, read the series of reports produced by the Potsdam Institute, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange/publication/turn-down-the-heat">Turn Down the Heat</a>. Starting from the observation that, unless something extraordinary happens very soon, global average temperatures are likely to rise 4°C above preindustrial levels before 2100—well above the international target of 2°C—the reports document the ensuing carnage. These reports, like most climate change studies, do not refer to ‘human rights’ by name. But the story they tell is one of phenomenal hardship. Extreme heat waves (think Russia 2010) would become “the new normal summer”. In the tropics, the heat will be beyond “the historical range of temperature and extremes to which human and natural ecosystems have adapted and coped”. Indeed at a 4°C increase, say the authors, life in the tropics will cease to be liveable. </p><p dir="ltr">Rearticulated in human rights terms, the reports detail risks to: the right to food (productivity plummeting, export incomes hit, sudden price shocks); to health (vastly increased mortality, malnutrition, diarrheal diseases, and raging vector diseases—dengue, Chikungunya and malaria); to water (in the Middle East “the increase in demand for irrigation water will be difficult to meet due to the simultaneous decrease in water availability”); to work (“heat stress levels can approach the physiological limits of people working outdoors and severely undermine regional labor productivity”); to housing (“informal settlements on flood plains and steep hillsides … have been severely affected by floods and landslides in recent years”); to life. The poor are most vulnerable, and their numbers will grow: “shocks and stresses related to climate change can undermine poverty reduction and push new groups into poverty.”</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Over the last ten years or so, human rights groups, activists and scholars have plunged into climate change politics. We know a lot about the human rights dimensions of climate change today, but it is still unclear what, if anything, human rights law has to offer.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"></span><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">The overwhelming majority of climate victims will be—indeed, already are—found in countries that have contributed relatively little to the problem.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There may be a residual role for strategic litigation where climate victims are found in high-emitting countries with strong judicial systems. For example, human rights formed part of the argument, if not the judgement, of the recently successful </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.urgenda.nl/en/climate-case/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Urgenda case</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in the Netherlands. But there is little in the history of rights litigation that would give great cause for hope, even in these scenarios, given the political and scientific complexities. More to the point, the overwhelming majority of climate victims will be—indeed, already are—found in countries that have contributed relatively little to the problem. Courts there will not have authority to source compensation from where it's properly owed, much less to require major carbon emitters to desist.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Human rights activism has therefore sought other entry points to confront climate change. We hear a lot about the right to information on environmental impacts (as guaranteed in the </span><a target="_blank" href="http://ec.europa.eu/environment/aarhus/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Aarhus Convention</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">), and </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.un-redd.org/Launch_of_FPIC_Guidlines/tabid/105976/Default.aspx" style="line-height: 1.5;">some references to indigenous rights in the context of REDD+</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (a program to reduce emissions by paying to keep developing country forests intact). &nbsp;We have seen the United Nations human rights machinery swing into action. Climate change is increasingly </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15528&amp;LangID=E" style="line-height: 1.5;">raised within the Universal Periodic Review</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (UPR), numerous </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15393&amp;LangID=E" style="line-height: 1.5;">Special Procedures are paying attention</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, there is a brand new </span><a target="_blank" href="http://srenvironment.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and even the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESC) </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ciel.org/Publications/CESCR_CC_03May10.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">is apprised</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> of the issue. Inevitably, there is a concerted push to </span><a target="_blank" href="http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2010/cop16/eng/07a01.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">get ‘human rights language’</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> into the next climate treaty to be agreed at Paris in December.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This is all to the good, no doubt, but it does feel like tinkering around the edges. Human rights law has apparently little or nothing to say about the key problem facing climate change action: how are we going to bring carbon emissions down, dramatically and urgently, at a rate that will take us off the 4° path? States are not going to adopt binding emission reduction targets, potentially tanking their economies, merely in order to satisfy their peers at the UPR, scholars on the CESC or the various Special Procedures. They are not going to rein in the fossil fuel industries because of human rights language in the Paris agreement. A focus on indigenous rights may make the REDD+ programme more human rights friendly—but it says nothing about whether monetising forests is a good idea in itself.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/mEwdNQOodWbVMkjlR8Cm4WQz79w7pH2qkb009uKIBd8/mtime:1436303406/files/Humphrey.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Shutterstock/iurii (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> In order to keep more oil in the ground, as we must, concrete drastic action is needed: banning it; phasing it out; putting a moratorium on exploration; fining overproduction; criminalizing it.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And what about fossil fuels? Some recent headlines: </span><a target="_blank" href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/04/07/saudi-oil-record-idUKL2N0X426Q20150407" style="line-height: 1.5;">Saudi Arabia’s oil output has just reached record highs</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, Shell has been </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/12/us/white-house-gives-conditional-approval-for-shell-to-drill-in-arctic.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">given the go-ahead</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to drill in Alaskan offshore waters, </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/lamborghini-will-build-the-suv-official-announcement-2015-05-27" style="line-height: 1.5;">Lamborghini are designing a new SUV</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to come out in 2018; and </span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/416a0402-1a7f-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">Iran is in talks with Shell and Eni to double its oil production by 2020</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Oil production continues to increase year on year (</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.iea.org/aboutus/faqs/oil/" style="line-height: 1.5;">93m barrels a day to date in 2015</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, up from 91.5m in 2014); proven reserves stand at an all time high (</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/review-by-energy-type/oil/oil-reserves.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">1,700 billion barrels, according to BP</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">); and despite all this, we are supposed to be pleased when </span><a target="_blank" href="http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/major-oil-companies-letter-to-un/" style="line-height: 1.5;">six oil giants offer to “contribute” to the design of a carbon pricing tool</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Today’s proven oil reserves, if burned, would put us far beyond a 4° world. They would shoot an extra 3,000 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide into the sky, when the best estimates say </span><a target="_blank" href="http://gdrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/National-fair-shares.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">anything beyond 500Gt puts the 2° target out of reach</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. This is why Nicholas Stern, the British economist, refers to the $3 trillion invested in these reserves as “</span><a target="_blank" href="http://www.carbontracker.org/report/wasted-capital-and-stranded-assets/" style="line-height: 1.5;">stranded assets</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">”. Perhaps he’s right – but the market clearly doesn’t think so.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In order to keep 80% or more of this oil in the ground, as we must, concrete drastic action is needed: banning it; phasing it out; putting a moratorium on exploration; fining overproduction; criminalizing it. We would also need to be injecting massive public funding into renewable energy R&amp;D and into transferring technology to developing countries. Figuring out how to do this, under conditions of softly-softly neoliberalism and austerity, has become the core challenge of climate change.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Of course we might recast all these concerns too as human rights issues—but, if we want actual change, rather than, say, social media applause, why would we? The irony is that, faced with an extraordinary, indeed existential, threat to the fulfilment of supposed “internationally protected” human rights, on a global scale, human rights law and lawyers—and the human rights movement as a whole—</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">has little useful to say and no obvious role to play.</span></span></p><p>I hope I am wrong.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/usha-natarajan/human-rights-%E2%80%93-help-or-hindrance-to-combatting-climate-change">Human rights – help or hindrance to combatting climate change?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/john-knox/greening-human-rights">Greening human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/asuncion-lera-st-clair/corporate-concern-for-human-rights-essential-to-tack">Corporate concern for human rights essential to tackle climate change</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/praful-bidwai/modi-government-cracks-down-on-green-ngos">Modi government cracks down on green NGOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/c%C3%A9sar-rodr%C3%ADguezgaravito/decline-of-grand-treaties-thoughts-after-lima-clima">The decline of grand treaties? Thoughts after the Lima climate summit</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/steven-m-wise/struggle-for-nonhuman-rights">The struggle for nonhuman rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/naomi-hossain/why-food-riots-work-in-21st-century">Why food riots work in the 21st century</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/article/who_gains_from_global_warming">Who gains from global warming?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/globalization-climate_change_debate/politics_4486.jsp">A politics of global warming: the social-science resource</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jose-manuel-barreto/can-we-decolonise-human-rights">Can we decolonise human rights?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage Stephen Humphreys Global Thu, 16 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Stephen Humphreys 94202 at https://opendemocracy.net Crushing dissent: NGOs under threat in India https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/seema-guha/crushing-dissent-ngos-under-threat-in-india <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/49kqYxMFwdI69fRb0jnXp_sg_qjHCf1yvHAIhWoJI1U/mtime:1436300008/files/GuhaJuly15.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Can NGOs and India’s political opposition stop Modi’s civil society clampdown? A contribution to the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a> debate, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/funding-for-human-rights" target="_blank">Funding for Human Rights</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India have been put on notice. By recently <a href="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/asia/article4464038.ece" target="_blank">denying entry to Greenpeace</a> and <a href="https://nonprofitquarterly.org/policysocial-context/26029-india-puts-ford-foundation-on-notice.html" target="_blank">placing the Ford Foundation on its watch list</a>, the Modi government has sent a clear message to all NGOs: be very, very careful. “The target is not just Greenpeace,” says Anil Chaudhuri, coordinator of Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), “but also the thousands of smaller NGOs working with communities in tribal areas&nbsp;and forests.” </p><p dir="ltr">The effect has been profound. Locating the offices of smaller Indian NGOs is becoming more difficult as many remove their signage. “We don’t want to draw attention, as [we] never know when a policeman or … official [will] come and trouble us,’’ said the director of a small NGO in North Bengal that works closely with the police to rescue young girls from traffickers. His is not a foreign funded outfit, but the fear of being targeted has permeated the entire Indian NGO community.</p><p dir="ltr">Of course, neither the Ford Foundation nor Greenpeace will really be affected; they are too large and established. Instead, those feeling the most impact will be the smaller outfits who cannot defend themselves and can’t work without outside help. According to <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/lenin-raghuvanshi/in-india-pervasive-paranoia-blocks-progress-on-human-rights" target="_blank">Lenin Raghuvanshi</a>, founder and director of the Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) in Uttar Pradash, many smaller groups will shut down without foreign aid. Those most at risk are working against discrimination, a topic India’s upper castes typically refuse to support.</p><p dir="ltr">What is driving India’s civil society clampdown? Prime Minister Modi swept to power in May 2014 on an economic development platform, promising acche din (better days) for all Indians. He was massively funded by a corporate India tired of the previous government’s economic non-performance. With unwavering faith in Modi, Indian industry is looking to smooth the way towards land acquisition and subsoil mineral access, both of which are often found in tribal areas across the country.</p><p dir="ltr">Modi has travelled widely, exhorting foreign businessmen to “make in India” and turn the country into a manufacturing hub. Clearly, he ignores <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/medha-patkar/pure-hypocrisy-india%E2%80%99s-fear-of-foreign-funding-for-ngos" target="_blank">the hypocrisy of courting foreign investment</a> while restricting NGOs from doing the same. Still, <a href="http://www.tradingeconomics.com/india/foreign-direct-investment" target="_blank">foreign direct investment (FDI) has not increased significantly</a>, and overseas businesses say there is still no sign that doing business in India is getting much easier. Modi’s National Democratic Alliance knows that unless it creates sufficient jobs, its popularity will suffer, and so the government sees NGOs, especially those in the environmental sector, as an impediment to growth.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/49kqYxMFwdI69fRb0jnXp_sg_qjHCf1yvHAIhWoJI1U/mtime:1436300008/files/GuhaJuly15.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/Nishant Ratnakar (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> An Indian NGO highlights the environmental consequences of a commuter rail line project in Bangalore by holding a funeral for felled trees in the train's path. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">“This government…is driven by corporate interests and feels NGOs are against development,” explains NGO leader Raghuanshi. He rejects the claim, however; “We want development,” he says, “but not at the cost of marginalised communities or …the environment.” </p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">'We want development, but not at the cost of marginalised communities or …the environment.' &nbsp;</span>Indian officials are also pursuing action against activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand, both civil rights activists and journalists in charge of <a href="http://www.sabrang.com/" target="_blank">Sabrang Communications</a>, a group dedicated to fighting India’s societal divisions. Sabrang publishes a monthly magazine, Communalism Combat, and runs a program called Khoj, which teaches tolerance and secular values to Mumbai school children. Setalvad and Anand are also trustees of <a href="http://www.cjponline.org/" target="_blank">Citizens for Justice and Peace</a> (CJP), a group that offers free legal aid and is currently a co-petitioner seeking criminal charges against Modi and 62 other government officials for their involvement in the Gujarat violence of 2002. </p><p dir="ltr">In 2006, Ford Foundation gave $200,000 to Sabrang, and NGOs speculate that the government has targeted the New York-based donor because of this grant. Since 2010, the police have repeatedly charged Sabrang director Teesta Setalvad with all manner of legal violations. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Attacks on environmental NGOs are not entirely new, however. Prior to Modi’s election, the Congress-led government had a similar mind-set, especially when dealing with anti-nuclear activists. In fact, it was Congress that created the first laws restricting foreign donations to local NGOs in 1976, and Congress once again tightened that law in 2010. Over the years, all manner of governments have used these laws to harass local non-profits.</span></p><p dir="ltr">The government often catches NGOs out because many do not have the proper training or knowledge to fill out legal forms or file paperwork. As a result, official investigations typically do reveal violations. </p><p dir="ltr">And yet, former Congress leader Sonia Gandhi launched her government in 2004 by packing her National Advisory Council with NGO representatives. In fact, her son and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi met representatives of several NGOs this week, including Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai. Now that Rahul has declared his support for India’s NGOs, the Congress party is likely to challenge the Modi government. “This kind of crackdown on NGOs is neither acceptable in our democratic society, nor appropriate or healthy for democracy,” says Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjawala.</p><p dir="ltr">If India’s NGOs unite against official harassment, and if Congress parliamentarians lend their support, Modi’s government may find it increasingly hard to crush dissenting voices.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/funding-for-human-rights" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Funding_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src='http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Funding_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Funding_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Funding for human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/medha-patkar/pure-hypocrisy-india%E2%80%99s-fear-of-foreign-funding-for-ngos">Pure hypocrisy: India’s fear of foreign funding for NGOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/praful-bidwai/modi-government-cracks-down-on-green-ngos">Modi government cracks down on green NGOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lenin-raghuvanshi/in-india-pervasive-paranoia-blocks-progress-on-human-rights">In India, a pervasive paranoia blocks progress on human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-archana-pandya/universal-values-foreign-money-local-human-rights-organiza">Universal values, foreign money: local human rights organizations in the Global South</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/rachel-wahl/whats-funder-to-do">What&#039;s a funder to do?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/g-ananthapadmanabhan/going-local-0">Going local</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/mubin-s-khan/government-repression-and-bureaucratic-hoops-spell-gloom-for-rights-gr">Government repression and bureaucratic hoops spell gloom for rights groups in Bangladesh</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/saskia-brechenmacher-thomas-carothers/in-for-bumpy-ride-international-aid-and-closi">In for a bumpy ride: international aid and the closing space for domestic NGOs </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/ajaz-ashraf/to-raise-funds-indian-rights-groups-must-emulate-country%E2%80%99s-newest-polit">To raise funds, Indian rights groups must emulate the country’s newest political party </a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Seema Guha South Asia Funding for Human Rights Wed, 15 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Seema Guha 94199 at https://opendemocracy.net Greening human rights https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/john-knox/greening-human-rights <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dv-mwaIl9QwEa0Ps6vyfasByG-thvRYi9WBfGfyPDcA/mtime:1436291820/files/Knox_0.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The protection of human rights and a healthy environment are mutually reinforcing – a fact that is gaining increasing international legal recognition.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/john-knox/hacer-que-los-derechos-humanos-sean-m%C3%A1s-verdes" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/john-knox/rendre-les-droits-de-l%E2%80%99homme-plus-%C2%AB-verts-%C2%BB" target="_blank">Français</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/john-knox/%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%B6%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86" target="_blank">العربية</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">What does human rights law have to say about the environment? &nbsp;On the surface, the answer may seem to be—not much. &nbsp;The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, and the two International Covenants, both adopted in 1966, do not include a right to a healthy environment. &nbsp;International environmental law has developed, for the most part, along a different track than human rights law. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But the failure to include a right to a healthy environment in the seminal human rights instruments is due to timing, not substance. The modern environmental movement began in the late 1960s, just too late to be reflected in the foundational human rights treaties. &nbsp;It is nevertheless clear that human rights and environmental protection are dependent upon one another. &nbsp;Our ability to enjoy our rights to life and health, as well as a host of other rights, depends on our living in an environment that is healthy and sustainable. &nbsp;The international community recognized this connection in its very first major environmental conference, in Stockholm in 1972, which proclaimed that the natural environment is “essential” to the enjoyment of basic human rights, including the right to life itself.</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">The exercise of human rights helps to protect the environment, which in turn enables the full enjoyment of human rights. &nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In recent years, it has become equally clear that the converse is also true: &nbsp;the exercise of human rights is necessary, or at the very least highly important to, the enjoyment of a healthy environment. &nbsp;When the people who may be affected by proposed policies and activities can freely participate in the environmental decision-making process, their societies are much more likely to have strong environmental protections. &nbsp;In this way, human rights and environmental protection can form a virtuous circle: &nbsp;the exercise of human rights helps to protect the environment, which in turn enables the full enjoyment of human rights. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Many States have recognized this symbiotic relationship by codifying a right to a healthy environment in their national constitutions. &nbsp;</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Environmental-Rights-Revolution-Constitutions/dp/0774821612?&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=&amp;tag=ie-utf-20&amp;sr=&amp;keywords=" target="_blank">More than 90 countries have done so explicitly</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">; many more have joined regional human rights agreements, for example in </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/" target="_blank">Africa</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/treaties/a-52.html" target="_blank">Americas</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, that recognize the right to a healthy environment. &nbsp;Moreover, although it is still true that no global human rights agreement explicitly includes a right to a healthy environment, in the last two decades many human rights bodies have interpreted universally recognized rights, such as rights to life and health, to require States to take steps to protect the environment on which the enjoyment of such rights depends. &nbsp;The result has been a rapid “greening” of human rights law. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In 2012, the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Environment/SREnvironment/Pages/SRenvironmentIndex.aspx" target="_blank">UN Human Rights Council appointed me</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to serve as the first </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.srenvironment.org" target="_blank">Independent Expert on human rights and the environment</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. &nbsp;The Council asked me to study the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and to identify good practices in their use. To that end, I conducted a series of consultations with representatives of governments, civil society organizations, international organizations, and many others, in every region of the world. &nbsp;With the help of many pro bono volunteers, I also researched what human rights bodies had said about environmental protection. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I found a remarkable degree of convergence in their views. &nbsp;There was widespread agreement that environmental harms can interfere with human rights and that States have obligations relating to environmental protection based on their existing commitments under international human rights law. &nbsp;I summarized this emerging consensus in a “</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Environment/SREnvironment/Pages/MappingReport.aspx" target="_blank">mapping report</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">” to the Council. The report explains that States have procedural obligations to assess environmental impacts on human rights, to make environmental information public, to facilitate participation in environmental decision-making, and to provide access to remedies. The obligation to facilitate public participation includes obligations to safeguard the rights of freedom of expression and association against threats, harassment and violence—a particularly important set of obligations in light of </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.globalwitness.org/campaigns/environmental-activists/how-many-more/" target="_blank">the threats and harassment many environmental activists face</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">States also have substantive obligations to adopt legal and institutional frameworks that protect against environmental harm that interferes with the enjoyment of human rights, including harm caused by private actors. The obligation to protect human rights from environmental harm does not require States to prohibit all activities that may cause any environmental degradation; States have discretion to strike a balance between environmental protection and other legitimate societal interests. But the balance cannot be unreasonable, or result in unjustified, foreseeable infringements of human rights. In assessing whether a balance is reasonable, national and international health standards may be particularly relevant.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dv-mwaIl9QwEa0Ps6vyfasByG-thvRYi9WBfGfyPDcA/mtime:1436291820/files/Knox_0.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Friends of the Earth International (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> "The African regional human rights commission has held that the failure of the Nigerian government to protect the Ogoni people from massive oil pollution in the Niger delta violated their rights to health and to a satisfactory environment."</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For example, the African regional human rights commission has held that the failure of the Nigerian government to protect the Ogoni people from massive oil pollution in the Niger delta </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/africa/comcases/155-96.html" target="_blank">violated their rights to health and to a satisfactory environment</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. &nbsp;The Inter-American human rights tribunal held that by granting mining and logging concessions without the free, prior, and informed consent of the tribal people who lived on the land, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/casos/articulos/seriec_172_ing.pdf" target="_blank">Suriname had violated their rights to property</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. And the European Court of Human Rights has held that governments’ failure to take reasonable steps to protect against foreseeable threats from natural or human-caused disasters </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ecolex.org/ecolex/ledge/view/RecordDetails?id=COU-143827&amp;index=courtdecisions" target="_blank">can violate the victims’ right to life</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In 2015, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate for another three years and changed my title to Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment. &nbsp;In addition to continuing to clarify the human rights obligations relating to the environment, the new focus of the mandate includes assisting those working to put these principles into effective operation. &nbsp;Many actors around the world are already doing so—</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Environment/SREnvironment/Pages/GoodPractices.aspx" target="_blank">my most recent report to the Council</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> identifies more than 100 good practices in the use of human rights obligations relating to environmental protection. &nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr">But much more remains to be done. &nbsp;For example, <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16049&amp;LangID=E" target="_blank">I recently joined with 26 other UN human rights experts</a> to draw attention to the effects of climate change on a wide range of human rights, and to urge the State parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to take account of their human rights obligations as they negotiate a new climate agreement. &nbsp;With respect to these and other environmental threats, a human rights perspective helps to clarify both what is at stake and how governments should respond. </p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/usha-natarajan/human-rights-%E2%80%93-help-or-hindrance-to-combatting-climate-change">Human rights – help or hindrance to combatting climate change?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/asuncion-lera-st-clair/corporate-concern-for-human-rights-essential-to-tack">Corporate concern for human rights essential to tackle climate change</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/praful-bidwai/modi-government-cracks-down-on-green-ngos">Modi government cracks down on green NGOs</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/c%C3%A9sar-rodr%C3%ADguezgaravito/decline-of-grand-treaties-thoughts-after-lima-clima">The decline of grand treaties? Thoughts after the Lima climate summit</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/steven-m-wise/struggle-for-nonhuman-rights">The struggle for nonhuman rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/article/who_gains_from_global_warming">Who gains from global warming?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/globalization-climate_change_debate/politics_4486.jsp">A politics of global warming: the social-science resource</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/naomi-hossain/why-food-riots-work-in-21st-century">Why food riots work in the 21st century</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jose-manuel-barreto/can-we-decolonise-human-rights">Can we decolonise human rights?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage John Knox Global Tue, 14 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 John Knox 94197 at https://opendemocracy.net In Israel, intense combat experience decreases support for negotiations and human rights organizations https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/guy-grossman-devorah-manekin-dan-miodownik/in-israel-intense-combat-experience-decr <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/gCQz6usf-aGZIUCwNH8vMHoVmCoo2NUX2INE1oHyWAw/mtime:1436287005/files/Manekin.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>The formative years that many Israelis spend in combat service can have a negative impact on attitudes towards conflict resolution and human rights. A contribution to <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a>’ <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank">Public Opinion and Human Rights</a> debate. &nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/devorah-manekin-guy-grossman-dan-miodownik/en-israel-las-experiencias-de-combate-in" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/devorah-manekin-guy-grossman-dan-miodownik/en-isra%C3%ABl-l%E2%80%99exposition-%C3%A0-d%E2%80%99intenses-comb" target="_blank">Français</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/devorah-manekin-guy-grossman-dan-miodownik/%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%8C-%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D9%88%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%83%D8%AB%D9%81" target="_blank">العربية</a> ,<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/devorah-manekin-guy-grossman-dan-miodownik/%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%9C-%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%A7%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%99-%D7%90%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%98%D7%A0%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%91%D7%99-%D7%9E%D7%A4%D7%97%D7%99%D7%AA-%D7%90%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%AA%D7%9E" target="_blank">עברית</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">A wave of research has emerged in recent years exploring public attitudes towards human rights issues, from <a href="http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&amp;aid=8820666&amp;fileId=S0020818312000343" target="_blank">opinions on particular rights violations</a> to <a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&amp;type=summary&amp;url=/journals/human_rights_quarterly/v037/37.1.ron.html" target="_blank">attitudes towards human rights organizations</a>. </p><p dir="ltr">One perspective remains conspicuously absent, however: that of the members of state armed forces. Contemporary conflict is typically waged among civilians, in dense urban quarters or remote rural areas. Soldiers who participate in conflict are therefore at a heightened risk of witnessing or being implicated in human rights violations. How does the experience of combat affect soldier attitudes towards civilians, human rights groups and conflict resolution? </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">These questions are important, as former soldiers are often an influential group, whether due to their sheer number or to their greater political credibility on matters related to security.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Policymakers tend to view former combatants as a potentially destabilizing force, with access to skills, arms and networks that make them more likely to engage in violence. This perception has led to the proliferation of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programs, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/issues/ddr.shtml" target="_blank">viewed by the UN as a vital step in the initial stabilization of war-torn societies</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Yet evidence for this perception remains elusive. Assessing the effect of combat on attitudes presents a thorny methodological problem, as men who become combatants may differ systematically in their attitudes from those who do not. If such pre-existing differences exist, it becomes difficult to isolate the effects of combat on political attitudes.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&amp;aid=9796003&amp;fulltextType=RA&amp;fileId=S002081831500020X" target="_blank">study</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> published in International Organization, we investigate the effects of combat on attitudes towards conflict, conflict resolution and human rights organizations among veterans of the Israeli military. The attitudes of ex-combatants matter for Israeli politics, as mandatory conscription laws mean that former combatants form a substantial sector of the public.</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/gCQz6usf-aGZIUCwNH8vMHoVmCoo2NUX2INE1oHyWAw/mtime:1436287005/files/Manekin.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Israel Defense Forces (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Israeli soldiers drill for urban combat</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We conducted an original online survey of 2,334 combat and non-combat Israeli veterans who served between 1999 and 2012. We overcome the methodological issues associated with comparing combatant and non-combatant attitudes by using statistical techniques that employ an additional variable, in this case, the medical eligibility of individuals for combat service. Since medical eligibility predicts combat service but not political attitudes, we are able to isolate the effects of combat from that of other factors shaping soldiers’ decision to enter combat units in the first place.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We asked respondents for their attitudes on a variety of issues related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For example, we asked whether, in the context of a negotiated peace agreement, they would consider territorial withdrawal, division of Jerusalem, or reparations to Palestinian refugees. We also asked whether respondents believed Palestinians were partners for peace, what was their preferred solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and whether they supported Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Finally, we asked whether Israeli human rights monitoring groups, such as </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.btselem.org/" target="_blank">B’tselem</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and the </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.acri.org.il/en/" target="_blank">Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, which report regularly on violations of Palestinian rights in the Occupied Territories, should be legally restricted (</span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/daniel-sokatch/anti-ngo-legislation-in-israel-first-step-toward-silencing-dissent" target="_blank">as proposed recently</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in the Israeli parliament), or allowed to operate freely.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Our time frame included two very different types of combat exposure: the Second Intifada, and the years following the Israeli military’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2005. During the Second Intifada, Israeli troops spent nearly all of their deployment in the West Bank and Gaza, and were </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://cps.sagepub.com/content/46/10/1273" target="_blank">exposed to high levels of violence</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> as perpetrators, victims and witnesses. Combatants in subsequent years, by contrast, had far less prolonged and direct military engagement with Palestinians. According to data from Israeli rights group </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.btselem.org/statistics" target="_blank">B’tselem</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, Israeli casualties between 2006 and 2012 dropped by 90% from the previous period. Although numbers of Palestinian fatalities remained high, many were killed by Israeli air and artillery strikes rather than by ground troops operating in close quarters. The 1999-2012 timeframe thus allowed us to assess whether combat intensity shapes combatant attitudes.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We found that ex-combatants who served in the Second Intifada are, on average, substantially and significantly less supportive of peaceful conflict resolution than non-combatants from the same period. They are significantly less likely to support territorial withdrawal as part of a peace agreement, to believe that Palestinians are partners for peace, and to support conciliatory solutions to the conflict. They are also significantly more likely to support Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and rank themselves as more hawkish on a right-left scale. Finally, they appear more supportive of restricting NGO activity, though that effect does not quite reach statistical significance.</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">It was participation in intense, face-to-face military activities against Palestinians that led to increased skepticism of human rights-related themes.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In contrast, ex-combatants who served after 2005 do not for the most part differ from non-combatants in their attitudes. In other words, it was participation in intense, face-to-face military activities against Palestinians that led to increased skepticism of human rights-related themes.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We also found that ex-combatants from the Second Intifada were substantially and significantly more likely to vote for harder-line political parties. This effect is quite large, translating into a shift of nearly an entire party to the right on </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://en.idi.org.il/tools-and-data/guttman-center-for-surveys/2013-compass/" target="_blank">a left-right political scale of parties</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. It is also remarkably durable, persisting nearly a decade after release from service. We estimate that eight cohorts of combatants that served during all or part of the Second Intifada translate into five to six parliamentary seats, a number that can exercise considerable influence in Israel’s polarized political arena.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Why does intense combat exposure cause such a substantial hardening of political attitudes? We find suggestive evidence that former combatants are far more prejudiced against Palestinians than former non-combatants, and are also more likely to feel that ending the military occupation of the West Bank would pose an existential threat to Israel’s security. This is consistent with research in social psychology that links both prejudice and threat to exclusionary attitudes and </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-5907.2005.00144.x/abstract;jsessionid=29880949CB2DD4CACE25D2BBB4250DEE.f02t01?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&amp;userIsAuthenticated=false" target="_blank">support for aggressive behavior</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, providing some insight into why intense combat reduces, on average, support for negotiated solutions and compromise.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Our study has implications for both Israeli-Palestinian relations and for conflict resolution more generally. In the Israeli context, it suggests that mandatory conscription has had far-reaching political effects that are not yet well documented or understood. Individuals who are socialized into violent conflict at formative periods of their lives can be deeply affected by that experience in many ways, including in their political attitudes and behavior. Given the size and impact of the Israeli ex-combatant population, peace-building efforts should take its experiences into account.</span></p><p>More generally, our findings underscore the importance of combatant reintegration programs in reducing inter-group hostility, fostering respect for human rights, and creating the foundation for a viable, durable peace.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/public-opinion-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_2.jpg '" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg '"> <img src=" https://opendemocracy.net/files/Public_opinion_Inset_1.jpg" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Public opinion and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jessica-montell/let-pollsters-pick-navigating-public-opinion-in-israel">Let the pollsters pick? Navigating public opinion in Israel</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dahlia-scheindlin/in-israel-implementing-human-rights-feels-wrong">In Israel, implementing human rights feels wrong</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/noam-sheizaf/replacing-peace-process-with-civil-rights-0">Replacing the peace process with civil rights </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/james-ron-shannon-golden-david-crow-archana-pandya/datadriven-optimism-for-global-r">Data-driven optimism for global rights activists</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-e-mendelson/doubling-down-on-human-rights-data">Doubling down on human rights data</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sarah-kreps-geoffrey-wallace/international-law-and-us-public-support-for-drone-stri">International law and US public support for drone strikes</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/scott-d-sagan-benjamin-valentino/use-of-force-american-public-and-ethics-of-war">Use of force: the American public and the ethics of war</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/leslie-vinjamuri/palestine%E2%80%99s-accession-to-icc-may-strengthen-peacefirst-approach">Palestine’s accession to the ICC may strengthen peace-first approach</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/dahlia-scheindlin/strategic-choices-facing-israeli-rights-group-during-current-war">Strategic choices facing Israeli rights group during the current war</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jessica-montell/israeli-rights-groups-don%E2%80%99t-have-to-be-popular-to-be-effective">Israeli rights groups don’t have to be popular to be effective </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/mark-drumbl/ongwen-trial-at-icc-tough-questions-on-child-soldiers">The Ongwen trial at the ICC: tough questions on child soldiers</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Dan Miodownik Guy Grossman Devorah Manekin Middle East & North Africa Human rights resonance in Israel and Palestine Public Opinion and Human Rights Mon, 13 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Dan Miodownik, Guy Grossman and Devorah Manekin 94190 at https://opendemocracy.net Why food riots work in the 21st century https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/naomi-hossain/why-food-riots-work-in-21st-century <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/3GVZhuR29cBncjazgb3uEdQ5lr5moQl6wFfaMRCmrJM/mtime:1436214712/files/Hossain.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Countries might provide legal guarantees for the right to food, but research shows food riots remain a key means for forcing government action to ensure food markets work for all.<em><strong> &nbsp;<span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/naomi-hossain/%D9%85%D8%A7-%D9%87%D9%8A-%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D9%86%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AD%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%B6%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D8%B0%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B1%D9%86-21" target="_blank">العربية</a></span></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">The green revolution and globalized food markets were supposed to relegate food scarcity to the annals of history. Yet thousands of people across dozens of countries took to the streets when world food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011. Why, in the 21st century, do people feel compelled to risk life and limb to protest when food prices rise? What do they achieve, and is it more than can be won through constitutional or other legal guarantees of a right to food? </p><p dir="ltr">To answer these questions, <a href="http://www.ids.ac.uk/project/food-riots-and-food-rights" target="_blank">researchers studied the historical rupture in the global food system between 2007 and 2012</a>. Most studies of food riots in this period took a wide approach, studying correlations with price changes and regime types. We felt this risked treating these events as the spasmodic outbursts of hungry people. Studies of European food riots had established that historically these were ideological and strategic forms of political protest. We decided to go deep, to compare protests, movements and policy responses in selected cases—Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Mozambique. We talked to activists and protestors, studied newspaper coverage, and interviewed key policy elites. </p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We found that food riots still happen in the 21st century because they still perform important functions in influencing the policies and practices of governments towards subsistence—what we call </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ids.ac.uk/publication/food-riots-and-the-politics-of-provisions-in-world-history" target="_blank">the ‘politics of provisions’</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. A popular protest over price alerts governments to impending subsistence crises or the limits of popular tolerance to sudden food price rise. Such protests remind governments that they are responsible for protecting citizens against such crises; for most rulers, the shame of food riots hitting the headlines is incentive enough to elicit some kind of response. They also highlight the plight of groups who fall out of whatever social safety net is there to protect people (one reason Bangladeshi garments workers protested when food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011). Finally, food riots signal popular outrage about food market and food policy failures; for example, speculative hoarding, withdrawn subsidies (which </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ids.ac.uk/publication/hunger-revolts-and-citizen-strikes-popular-protests-in-mozambique-2008-2012" target="_blank">triggered riots in Maputo</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">), or corruption in public food schemes (which </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ids.ac.uk/publication/popular-actions-state-reactions-the-moral-and-political-economy-of-food-in-india" target="_blank">did the same in West Bengal</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">).</span></p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/3GVZhuR29cBncjazgb3uEdQ5lr5moQl6wFfaMRCmrJM/mtime:1436214712/files/Hossain.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Demotix/zakir hossain chowdhury (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Bangladeshi garment workers protest rising lunch prices in Dhaka. </p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Food riots work because—or to the extent that—a </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://understandingsociety.blogspot.com/2008/07/moral-economy-as-historical-social.html" target="_blank">shared moral economy</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> underpins the politics of provisions. By this is meant that elites share or at least acknowledge popular beliefs about how food markets ought to work—that there are limits to the rights to profit from food trade in times of scarcity, and that public authorities are responsible for policing food markets. But it is not obvious when this shared understanding exists. Further, the extent to which rights to food have been formally agreed may not be a reliable guide.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In Kenya, for example, </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ids.ac.uk/publication/the-constitution-lies-to-us-securing-accountability-for-the-right-to-food-in-kenya" target="_blank">even a constitutional guarantee of the right to food does not mean the policy elite shares such views with hungry Kenyans</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. By contrast, Bangladeshi elites resist talk of rights to food, and yet </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://foodriots.org/publication/view/the-food-riots-that-never-were-the-moral-and-political-economy-of-food-security-in-bangladesh" target="_blank">the moral economy functions to keep the government alert and responsive to food crises</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. The hard political lessons of history bind the elite to a commitment to protect against hunger in Bangladesh, and turn their attention to more politically important groups such as big farmers in Kenya. A committed active social movement organized around the right to food can make all the difference, as the Indian experience shows. But even that may not be immune to ideological shifts with political change.</span></p><p><span class="mag-quote-left" style="line-height: 1.5;">Not all hungry people protest and many food rioters are not hungry.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Not all hungry people protest and many food rioters are not hungry. From our work with activists and protestors across these contexts, we concluded that six shared beliefs create the conditions for a 21st century food riot (or subsistence protest, a term we prefer): &nbsp;hunger arises while—or because—others profit (it is about fairness, not just empty bellies); food is special—it is necessary for life but it also nourishes people’s cultural and social being, and is the single most important item of consumption; there are limits to injustice, exploitation and corruption, and food rights are one of them; the situation is deteriorating and there is no sign of authoritative action; the public authorities have power and can act if so motivated; and people believe they can organize to express their collective discontent. 
</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Twenty-first century conditions offer two reasons to believe food riots will remain an important mass political strategy in a globalizing era. First, the mass media has become a key player in the politics of provisions. Whether and how protests get reported shape how they are received and responded to by policy elites. But media bias and failings in reporting protest are so significant as to render the findings of many large studies of food riots suspect (as these deploy media coverage as data). Nevertheless, a sympathetic media, one that shares the basic principles of the moral economy, provides a vital platform for protestors.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Second, compared to the weak incentives of noblesse oblige operating under the best circumstances in historical Europe, even the poorest developing countries have at least the semblance of electoral democracy on which to pin their hopes. It seems clear enough that an elected government that fails to at least demonstrate an effort to respond to a 21st century food price crisis, will need to pull some impressive alternatives out of its hat to get re-elected. Whether or not it succeeds, it will have sacrificed some of the invisible power of any government: its legitimacy.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The </span><a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="http://www.ids.ac.uk/publication/them-belly-full-but-we-hungry-food-rights-struggles-in-bangladesh-india-kenya" target="_blank">Food Riots and Food Rights</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> research shows that protection against subsistence crises is the rock-bottom price of regime legitimacy. A government may do other things—build new roads and bridges, blame minorities for the problems of the majority, tackle corruption, preside over robust economic growth even, but if it does not at least try to intervene when food crisis strikes, all bets are off. This may be getting harder to do in globalizing times. But as of the global food crises of 2007-12, the food riot was still doing its job.</span></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="//www.opendemocracy.net/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/irene-khan-david-petrasek/beyond-courts-%E2%80%93-protecting-economic-and-social-rights">Beyond the courts – protecting economic and social rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/chris-jochnick/poverty-and-human-rights-can-courts-lawyers-and-activists-make-diffe">Poverty and human rights: can courts, lawyers and activists make a difference?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/vijay-nagaraj/development-and-human-rights-%E2%80%93-plea-for-more-critical-embrace">Development and human rights – a plea for a more critical embrace</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/helena-hofbauer/winners-and-losers-how-budgeting-for-human-rights-can-help-poor">Winners and losers: how budgeting for human rights can help the poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/lloyd-lipsett/illicit-financial-flows-poverty-and-human-rights">Illicit financial flows, poverty and human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sara-bailey/can-legal-interventions-really-tackle-root-causes-of-poverty">Can legal interventions really tackle the root causes of poverty?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/wade-m-cole/international-treaty-on-economic-and-social-rights-has-positive-impacts">The international treaty on economic and social rights has positive impacts</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/barb-maclaren/to-empower-women-prioritize-their-social-and-economic-rights">To empower women, prioritize their social and economic rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/niko-lusiani/let%E2%80%99s-get-fiscal-%E2%80%93-human-rights-advocates-are-tackling-tax-injustice">Let’s get fiscal – human rights advocates are tackling tax injustice</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage Naomi Hossain Global Thu, 09 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Naomi Hossain 94150 at https://opendemocracy.net Elevate the law in fight against atrocities https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kip-hale/elevate-law-in-fight-against-atrocities <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/L6ILKTitsFOzpvrAhHo7nDqygGBJR4yYsu9RVDBTyGU/mtime:1436205642/files/Hale.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>No one would argue the law should be subservient to politics when confronting domestic criminality, so why should this be the case for international crimes? A contribution to <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights" target="_blank">openGlobalRights</a>’ <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/international-criminal-court">ICC </a>debate. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kip-hale/elevar-el-derecho-en-la-lucha-contra-las-atrocidades" target="_blank">Español</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Frustrated by shortcomings at the International Criminal Court (ICC), commentators have increasingly questioned the utility of law in the fight against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (collectively, international atrocity crimes). Emblematic of this critique, Leslie Vinjamuri and Jack Snyder recently penned an </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/jack-snyder-leslie-vinjamuri/to-prevent-atrocities-count-on-politics-first-law-late" style="line-height: 1.5;">oGR article</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> with the provocative title, “To prevent atrocities, count on politics first, law later”. They contend that the positive deterrent effects attributed to the ICC by Professors Beth Simmons’ and Hyeran Jo’s research—partly the subject of an earlier </span><a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/geoff-dancy-bridget-marchesi-florencia-montal-kathryn-sikkink/icc%E2%80%99s-deterrent-impac" style="line-height: 1.5;">oGR article</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">—are instead better explained by politics. For them, the “centrality of politics” makes diplomacy and other non-legal means the best way to prevent and address international atrocity crimes.</span></p><p dir="ltr">However, Vinjamuri’s and Synder’s analysis overlooks the centrality of law to the maintenance of peace and stability in countries around the globe. This domestic truth best instructs how international atrocities should be addressed. To date, “peace over justice” advocates have failed to counter this point convincingly, and for good reason, given that it is widely accepted in both the Global North and South that the law is essential to lasting domestic peace and security. Informed by numerous decades of development, these countries have found that the first step in combatting crime is law enforcement, not politicians and mediators. </p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">The first step in combatting crime is law enforcement, not politicians and mediators.&nbsp;</span>Well-developed domestic legal systems rely on the law not only to preserve the peace, but to deter crime too. Regardless where one falls on the much debated law-deterrence spectrum, human beings are undoubtedly influenced by the threat of negative consequences. Further, few would advocate for the abolition or diminution of the law because domestic or transnational crime (e.g. corruption, trafficking) still occurs. </p><p dir="ltr">Of course, peaceful countries owe much to strong democratic institutions and vigorous political expression as well, and political entities do set the law. Yet, this does not subjugate law to politics. Rather, both play an equally important and mutually reinforcing role in addressing crime. Most crucially, in these countries, domestic political bodies support independent judicial institutions robustly and habitually, even when politically disagreeable. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the <a target="_blank" href="https://ciccglobaljustice.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/coalition-briefs-expert-body-on-icc-budget/">relationship</a> between the international community and the ICC. </p><p dir="ltr">It is also true that lessons learned from the way law operates in developed countries are not so easily applied at the international level. Nevertheless, because something is difficult does not mean it should not be done. All developed countries that are peaceful and secure due to a functioning and independent rule of law had judicial institutions that started out decades ago in a very similar position to that of today’s ICC. </p><p dir="ltr">The effort needed to establish the rule of law globally—including the ICC—is well-worth it when closely reviewing the historical failures of the politics-first approach. Before the emergence of international law as a viable means of addressing conflict and atrocities, diplomacy and politics were the only recourse available. In looking at this track record, history is littered with far more failed ceasefires and peace deals than successful ones, often at the cost of more lives and human suffering. While many factors contributed to these failures, one major reason is that the widespread crimes in these conflicts went unpunished, thus allowing unresolved injustices to stew and eventually boil over into renewed conflict. Without the real threat of criminal accountability, ruthless dictators were given little reason to stop the cycle of violence. This fact is why the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. <a target="_blank" href="http://972mag.com/a-reminder-to-israel-from-martin-luther-king/33133/img_4139r/">observed</a> that “true peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/L6ILKTitsFOzpvrAhHo7nDqygGBJR4yYsu9RVDBTyGU/mtime:1436205642/files/Hale.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Demotix/timothy ngumi (All rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> It would be disingenuous to believe that the ICC’s highly visible, ongoing cases against Kenyan leaders did not play a substantial role in deterring mass violence following Kenya's 2013 election. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p><hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">Vinjamuri and Synder cite continuing crimes in Libya and Sudan—after the UN Security Council referred both countries to the ICC—as evidence of the ICC’s ineffectiveness. However, this criticism misses the mark. The primary reason for prosecuting those who already broke the law is accountability, not deterrence. Yet, with successful prosecutions comes deterrence. If those who perpetrate atrocities are in fact prosecuted (not just indicted), would-be perpetrators have real reason to fear prosecution too. As a result, future atrocities by other leaders are averted through the concrete knowledge that commission of atrocities will weaken, not strengthen, their grip on power. This is not the case in either Sudan or Libya, where the Court’s work has not been adequately supported by the UN Security Council and ICC States Parties, specifically not helping turn indictments into prosecutions. Their failure to do so is a failure of politics and diplomacy, not of law. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Critics of justice often claim that peace is forsaken if legal accountability is pursued mid-conflict, because brutal despots will “<a target="_blank" href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/may/04/icc-arrest-warrants-libya-gaddafi">dig in their heels</a>” and prolong the conflict to avoid prosecution. Yet, Syria proves this claim thoroughly unconvincing. To date, the prospect that the Assad regime, rebel groups, or the Islamic State would ever be held accountable for their alleged atrocities in a court of law is extremely remote, yet the conflict drags on into its fifth year, making it one of the longest-running mass-atrocity crimes since Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge. Arguably, the lack of accountability (actual or threatened) in Syria has emboldened these actors despite a multitude of threatened political consequences. This point is substantiated by the fact the Assad regime has used chemical weapons once <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/world/middleeast/syria-chemical-weapons.html">again</a>, despite suffering political consequences for having previously <a target="_blank" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2013/09/06/president-obama-and-the-red-line-on-syrias-chemical-weapons/">crossed</a> the chemical weapon “redline”. </p><p dir="ltr">Other evidence supports the deterrent effect of the ICC. For the first time in a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2008/0114/p09s02-coop.html">long time</a>, the Kenyan election in 2013 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usip.org/events/why-were-kenya-s-2013-elections-peaceful">did not result</a> in mass violence. Certainly a range of factors led to this development, but it would be disingenuous to believe that the ICC’s highly visible, ongoing cases against Kenyan leaders did not play a substantial role in deterring mass violence. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Diane Orentlicher, former Deputy US Ambassador for War Crimes Issues, has <a target="_blank" href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/13/us-seeking-justice-for-syrians-idUSBRE98C03X20130913">recounted</a> that “then-President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade reportedly told aides in 2012 that he would not use violence to enforce what would have been a false claim of winning the presidential election lest he face charges before the ICC—which had happened to former Ivoirian president Laurent Gbagbo.” It is also likely the case that leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah are weighing their future behavior through the lens of legal accountability now that Palestine has joined the ICC. &nbsp;</p><p>Of course, to prevent and punish atrocity crimes, the law and politics should be mutually reinforcing, and their operation must be sequenced in a fashion tailored to the unique facts and circumstances of each conflict. However, before a coordinated effort between law and politics can succeed, the law must be bolstered. An important first step in this regard is to follow the recommendation of Elizabeth Evenson and Jonathan O’Donohue, whose recent <a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/elizabeth-evenson-jonathan-o%E2%80%99donohue/international-criminal-court-at-risk">oGR article</a> advocated for increased support by States of the ICC’s available resources, particularly its budget—a political movement upon which the success of both politics and law depends. &nbsp;</p><p><i>This article represents the views of the author and, except as specified otherwise, does not necessarily represent policy of the ABA or the ABA Center for Human Rights.</i></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/S2bnBGbzFvCN2wej0XUK1fRtoM-dg5ArTX6bF7mOO0Y/mtime:1431935954/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/dC7kM15HogVQn2hiq7xGVZNtqPoRyUGc9gNtqfKJBTg/mtime:1432110643/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/international-criminal-court" target="_blank" onMouseOver="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_2.png'" onMouseOut="document.Imgs.src=' https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_1.png'"> <img src="https://www.opendemocracy.net/files/ICC_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="The International Criminal Court – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/geoff-dancy-bridget-marchesi-florencia-montal-kathryn-sikkink/icc%E2%80%99s-deterrent-impac">The ICC’s deterrent impact – what the evidence shows</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/elizabeth-evenson-jonathan-o%E2%80%99donohue/international-criminal-court-at-risk">The International Criminal Court at risk</a> </div> <div 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class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Kip Hale Global The International Criminal Court Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Kip Hale 94147 at https://opendemocracy.net