Talk given at Leuven University (29 June 2017):
By way of preface, I’d like to echo Philip Alston in his LSE Human Rights Day lecture last year, that the human rights community is entering a watershed moment. We have a President of the US and the Philippines who openly support torture and killing with impunity. Civil society faces a major global crackdown. Unfettered capitalism is multiplying human rights and environmental crises. But to sound a slightly less gloomy note, this does not amount to the end times or the twilight of human rights. Continue reading The Tradecraft of Human Rights Politics
For all NHRI research hounds, the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) – which serves as a coalition of NHRIs in the region and is the longest-standing regional network of national institutions in the world – has recently launched an impressively exhaustive NHRI bibliography. The bibliography will continue to be updated, providing an invaluable entry point into the world of NHRI policy and research. Many thanks to Chris Sidoti, the APF and the various NHRI practitioners and researchers who have contributed to this fantastic resource.
On 9 May I participated in a workshop organised by my colleagues Kristin Bakke, Neil Mitchell and Hannah Smidt on State Restrictions of Civil Society and the Free Flow of Information. It was an excellent discussion, bringing activists, journalists practitioners, policy-makers and academics together to share their insights. Hosted by the UCL Global Governance Institute, the event formed part of a series of thematic activities on Global Security, led by our Thematic Director, Kristin Bakke. The event concluded with a keynote with Natalia Taubina, of Public Verdict, a Russian campaigning NGO. I was invited to reflect briefly on the relevance of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to the thematic. Continue reading State Restrictions on Civil Society and the Free Flow of Information
I have just returned from an express trip to Chile at the invitation of the Chilean Institute of Human Rights (INDH) and the Human Rights Programme at Diego Portales University (UDP) to join them on 12 May for an international conference on the Strengths and Limitations of Human Rights Institutionalization. We were joined by José Miguel Vivanco, Director of Human Rights Watch Americas, Amerigo Incalcaterra, regional OHCHR representative for the Americas, and many colleagues, observers and practitioners from the human rights community in Chile. Continue reading A new human rights architecture for Chile
Katerina Linos and I have published a working paper in the Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR) Matters of Concern Human Rights Research Paper Series – a working paper series focusing on new and emerging research on human rights across academic disciplines. The DIHR is one of the oldest NHRIs in the world and has a longstanding reputation for facilitating meaningful dialogue among academic, practitioner and policymaker communities.
The paper, Interrogating Form and Function: Designing Effective National Human Rights Institutions, examines the key question: what institutional features make NHRIs effective? It departs from the conventional assumption that formal design matters and speaks Continue reading Interrogating form and function: Designing effective national human rights institutions