Equality & Discrimination

PolicyCast - The Challenges Faced by Human Rights Organizations with Sushma Raman

PolicyCast - The Challenges Faced by Human Rights Organizations with Sushma Raman

December 21, 2016

While human history is replete with examples of repression and the struggle against it, it wasn’t until 1948 that the world came together to declare in one voice the sanctity of each individual’s dignity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a triumph of the post-war period, and while the world is by most measures a far better place today than in 1948, the declaration’s adoption was not the end of the fight for human rights, but the beginning.

International pressure on US human rights matters now more than ever

International pressure on US human rights matters now more than ever

November 11, 2016

These are dangerous times.  Never has it been so important for domestic and international human rights advocates and scholars to collaborate.  Such action must be guided by past successes in promoting human rights, based on our best history and social science. I share Stephen Hopgood’s sense of urgency, but I disagree with his recommendation that we should only engage in domestic politics and abandon international human rights norms and law. 

Announcing the 2016-17 Carr Center Emerging Human Rights Leaders Program

Announcing the 2016-17 Carr Center Emerging Human Rights Leaders Program

November 7, 2016

In 2016-17, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy is pleased to launch its Emerging Human Rights Leaders Program, which seeks to build a strong, sustainable community of current Harvard Kennedy School students—and future alumni—who demonstrate a clear and passionate commitment to the study, practice, and advocacy of human rights.

Dara Kay Cohen. 8/2015. “Do States Delegate Shameful Violence to Militias?.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 5, 59: 877-898. Publisher's Version Abstract

Existing research maintains that governments delegate extreme, gratuitous, or excessively brutal violence to militias. However, analyzing all militias in armed conflicts from 1989 to 2009, we find that this argument does not account for the observed patterns of sexual violence, a form of violence that should be especially likely to be delegated by governments. Instead, we find that states commit sexual violence as a complement to—rather than a substitute for—violence perpetrated by militias. Rather than the logic of delegation, we argue that two characteristics of militia groups increase the probability of perpetrating sexual violence. First, we find that militias that have recruited children are associated with higher levels of sexual violence. This lends support to a socialization hypothesis, in which sexual violence may be used as a tool for building group cohesion. Second, we find that militias that were trained by states are associated with higher levels of sexual violence, which provides evidence for sexual violence as a “practice” of armed groups. These two complementary results suggest that militia-perpetrated sexual violence follows a different logic and is neither the result of delegation nor, perhaps, indiscipline.

More Than Blood

Blog by Tim McCarthy.

Original Post Here.

We awoke to news of the carnage in Orlando. I had slept in — the first long, good night’s sleep after a hell of a week: a funeral, my 45th birthday, graduation, another funeral, and a graduation party. I woke up refreshed, but not for long. Several friends had already texted or sent me Facebook messages warning of the pain that was to come, the massacre that had already taken place.

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