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Human rights-based service delivery

Assessing the role of national human rights institutions in democracy and development in Ghana and Uganda

Richard Iroanya, Patrick Dzimiri, and Edith Phaswana

The human rights-based service delivery approach emphasizes that sustainable democracy and development cannot be divorced from recognition, respect, and protection of fundamental human rights of people in any given sociopolitical space. This

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Improving and protecting human rights

A reflection of the quality of education for migrant and marginalized Roma children in Europe

Silvia-Maria Chireac and Anna Devis Arbona

emergent immigrant communities that this study aims to identify and analyze emergent barriers and opportunities for improving and protecting human rights in the EU education system. It proposes specific measures and a series of recommendations that

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Peter Herrmann

The main debates on human rights are caught in their stasis—and they remain perhaps even more static if they aim on developing a dynamic view. Instances of “dynamizing” such thinking are very much coined by the developmental thinking à la W. W

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The Human Rights Dialogue

Foundationalism Reconsidered

Maria Granik

In this article, I defend the need for meaningful dialogue about the foundations of human rights. The article consists of four main parts. Part I provides context for the argument by discussing the status of foundations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and several other human rights legal instruments. Part II outlines the main criticisms of foundationalism by Michael Ignatieff and Richard Rorty. Part III deals with two main problems raised by anti-foundationalist positions. First, the motivation to defend and implement human rights is often tied to a rational understanding of why these rights are worthy of protection. Second, rejecting the search for rational foundations can itself lead to ideological problems, even if this search cannot ultimately succeed. Silence concerning justifications for rights informs our conversation about them, and making any concealed underlying assumptions explicit can be valuable. Finally, Part IV discusses ways in which a genuinely dialogical foundationalism can be possible - one that does not fall into the trap of dogmatism. More specifically, this section addresses the possibility of a secular foundationalism by examining Michael Perry's critique of this approach.

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Roger Deacon

Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, by Michael Ignatieff. Edited and introduced by Amy Gutmann, with comments by K. Anthony Appiah, David A. Hollinger, Thomas W. Laqueur and Diane F. Orentlicher, and a response by Ignatieff. Princeton University Press: Princeton and Oxford, 2001. ISBN: 0691114749.

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Transnational Human Rights Litigation

A Means of Obtaining Effective Remedy Abroad?

Angela Lindt

In recent years, various transnational corporations (TNCs) have faced legal proceedings in their home states for human rights violations and environmental damage committed abroad. These transnational lawsuits are an attempt to overcome corporate impunity and establish transnational chains of responsibility. At the same time, the individual legal cases are marked by procedural and legal hurdles and may entail the risk of social costs for claimants. In this article, I explore what such transnational lawsuits can contribute from the perspective of social movements in the Global South. Taking the Monterrico case from Peru as an example, I discuss the expectations of human rights lawyers in such cases and the relevant legal mechanisms. By focusing on out-of-court settlements, I argue that, from the perspective of the Global South actors involved in the case study, adjudication and the related judicial practices are fundamental to making the law effective.

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African Communitarianism and Human Rights

Towards a Compatibilist View

Munamato Chemhuru

That human rights are new, alien, and incompatible with African social and political reality is pervasive in much of African social and political thinking. This supposition is based on the assumption that African societies are inherently communitarian, and hence inconsiderate to the guaranteeing and safeguarding of individual human rights. However, I seek to dispel this essentialist notion in African social and political thinking. I consider how the human rights discourse could be reasonably understood in the African traditional context if the thinking that is salient in the African communitarian view of existence is properly understood. After considering the way in which human rights are guaranteed within an African communitarian framework, I give reasons why the quest for individualistic human rights in Afro-communitarian society could be considered to be an oxymoron. Overall, I seek to establish that an Afro-communitarian model is compatible with the quest for the universality of human rights.

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Helmut Graupner

The basic human right to sexual autonomy and self‐determination encompasses two sides: it enshrines both the right to engage in wanted sexuality on the one hand, and the right to be free and protected from unwanted sexuality, from sexual abuse and sexual violence on the other. This concept elaborated by the European Court of Human Rights, in the light of European legal consensus, suggests that the age of consent for sexual relations (outside of relationships of authority and outside of pornography and prostitution) should be set between 12 and 16 years. In any event the age of criminal responsibility should be the same as the age of sexual consent.

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Pierre Makhlouf

, deserving of hostility by ‘abusing our hospitality’. Alongside this perception is the charge that human rights campaigners have in the past suppressed discussion of immigration. In my experience, there has seldom been a time when immigration has not been

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A human rights-based approach

A gate to development of African women's land rights?

Karin Tengnäs

The global competition for African land is at a historical peak. Local effects of large-scale land acquisitions depend on multiple factors, but women's rights and livelihoods are generally very fragile due to historical and contemporary injustices. Good land governance is important for turning the land acquisitions into equal and equitable development opportunities. The human rights-based approach promotes good governance by adding strength and legal substance to the principles of participation and inclusion, openness and transparency, accountability and the rule of law, and equality and nondiscrimination. By empowering rights-holders and enhancing duty-bearers' capacity, international development cooperation can lead to wider and more gender-balanced inclusion of civil society in negotiations of large-scale land acquisitions and greater adherence of duty-bearers to the rule of law. This is especially important in African countries with large amounts of land and weak legal and institutional frameworks to protect rights, especially those of women.