Category Archives: Human rights

A new human rights architecture for Chile

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

Narcotics, criminal violence and human rights in Mexico

I am just coming to the end of a fascinating and sobering three-week stay at Colegio de Mexico (COLMEX), courtesy of the British Academy’s Newton Mobility Grants scheme, to advance research on transnational narcotics governance in collaboration with my colleague Professor Monica Serrano, one of the leading authorities on drug policy in Latin America. As part of the grant, on 14 January we hosted a workshop on the relationship between the International Drug Control Regime and the International Human Rights Regime and its implications for drug policy in Mexico and the region. Continue reading Narcotics, criminal violence and human rights in Mexico

Interrogating form and function: Designing effective national human rights institutions

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

The effects of international human rights soft law

Katerina Linos and I have just finished putting the final touches to our paper ‘The Language of Compromise in International Agreements’ and we’re excited about its journal publication shortly. We hope it will make a significant contribution to debates surrounding international law, organizations and human rights. Using an original dataset from the 1991 Paris Principles on the Design of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in addition to several sources of qualitative evidence, we find that the degree of flexibility in soft law agreement language influences state behaviour. Continue reading The effects of international human rights soft law

What is the functional need/specific benefit of global human rights governance?

The actors, mechanisms, and processes of contemporary global human rights governance have their antecedents in a desire to prevent massive violence and warfare. However, the remit has rapidly evolved to encompass a range of global policy challenges, from universal health provision to sustainable development. Human rights provides one normative bedrock upon which to anchor a conception of governance in the service of the global common good. Notwithstanding debate over their meaning and conceptual parameters, there is widespread acceptance that human rights norms are substantially important, reflecting pragmatic, deeply-held shared concerns. Continue reading What is the functional need/specific benefit of global human rights governance?