The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy serves as the hub of the Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training in the human rights domain. The center embraces a dual mission: to educate students and the next generation of leaders from around the world in human rights policy and practice; and to convene and provide policy-relevant knowledge to international organizations, governments, policymakers, and businesses.

 

News and Announcements

Guantanamo

Guantánamo: Bush-era Officials Warn Keeping Prison Open May be $6bn Error

February 2, 2018

Article features Carr Center Senior Fellow Alberto Mora
 

Alberto Mora, general counsel of the Department of the Navy from 2001 to 2006, expressed hope that Mattis, who persuaded Trump not to resume the use of torture, may also convince him not to send more inmates to Guantánamo, which Mora called “a ludicrous and extravagant waste of military manpower”.

But even if no more prisoners are sent there, Trump’s...

Read more about Guantánamo: Bush-era Officials Warn Keeping Prison Open May be $6bn Error
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Latest Publications

Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective

Citation:

Siddharth Kara. 10/2017. Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective, Pp. 360. Colombia University Press. See full text.
Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective

Abstract:

Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective book by Siddharth Kara
 

Siddharth Kara is a tireless chronicler of the human cost of slavery around the world. He has documented the dark realities of modern slavery in order to reveal the degrading and dehumanizing systems that strip people of their dignity for the sake of profit—and to link the suffering of the enslaved to the day-to-day lives of consumers in the West. In Modern Slavery, Kara draws on his many years of expertise to demonstrate the astonishing scope of slavery and offer a concrete path toward its abolition.

From labor trafficking in the U.S. agricultural sector to sex trafficking in Nigeria to debt bondage in the Southeast Asian construction sector to forced labor in the Thai seafood industry, Kara depicts the myriad faces and forms of slavery, providing a comprehensive grounding in the realities of modern-day servitude. Drawing on sixteen years of field research in more than fifty countries around the globe—including revelatory interviews with both the enslaved and their oppressors—Kara sets out the key manifestations of modern slavery and how it is embedded in global supply chains. Slavery offers immense profits at minimal risk through the exploitation of vulnerable subclasses whose brutalization is tacitly accepted by the current global economic order. Kara has developed a business and economic analysis of slavery based on metrics and data that attest to the enormous scale and functioning of these systems of exploitation. Beyond this data-driven approach, Modern Slavery unflinchingly portrays the torments endured by the powerless. This searing exposé documents one of humanity’s greatest wrongs and lays out the framework for a comprehensive plan to eradicate it.

: Siddharth Kara | Oct 2017
: Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective book by Siddharth Kara
Last updated on 01/24/2020

New UN Team Investigating ISIS Atrocities Raises Questions About Justice in Iraq and Beyond

New UN Team Investigating ISIS Atrocities Raises Questions About Justice in Iraq and Beyond

Abstract:

New UN Team Investigating ISIS Atrocities Raises Questions About Justice in Iraq and Beyond: 

 

On September 21, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously passed resolution 2379 to pursue accountability for atrocity crimes perpetrated in Iraq by the Islamic State (also called ISIS, ISIL or Da’esh). The resolution, in paragraph 2, requests the UN Secretary-General "To establish an Investigative Team, headed by a Special Adviser, to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL (Da’esh) accountable by collecting, preserving, and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the terrorist group ISIL (Da’esh) in Iraq . . . to ensure the broadest possible use before national courts, and complementing investigations being carried out by the Iraqi authorities, or investigations carried out by authorities in third countries at their request."

The desirability of such an investigative team is well understood. ISIS has perpetrated widespread and systematic murder, kidnapping, sexual violence (including forced marriage and sexual slavery), and destruction of cultural heritage. The creation of this investigative team is thus a welcome, even if belated, development. However, this initiative prompts questions about the body’s scope, use of evidence, comparison to Syria, and precedential value. 

 

Suggested Citation:

Kaufman, Zachary D., New UN Team Investigating ISIS Atrocities Raises Questions About Justice in Iraq and Beyond (September 28, 2017). Just Security, September 28, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3044527

: Zachary D. Kaufman | Sept 28 2017
: New UN Team Investigating ISIS Atrocities Raises Questions About Justice in Iraq and Beyond
Last updated on 01/24/2020

(Re)discovering duties: individual responsibilities in the age of rights

Citation:

Kathryn Sikkink and Fernando Berdion Del Valle. 2017. “(Re)discovering duties: individual responsibilities in the age of rights.” Minnesota Journal of International Law, 26, 1, Pp. 189-245. See full text.
(Re)discovering duties: individual responsibilities in the age of rights

Abstract:

Kathryn Sikkink and Fernando Berdion Del Valle publish new article in Minnesota Journal of International Law: "(Re)discovering Duties: Individual Responsibilities in the Age of Rights."

“There cannot be ‘innate’ rights in any other sense than that in which there are innate duties, of which, however, much less has been heard.”

Their article seeks to recover the tradition of individual duties that is integral to the historical origins of international human rights, arguing that increased attention to duties and responsibilities in international politics can be necessary complements to promoting human rights, particularly economic, social, and cultural rights.

 

 

: Kathryn Sikkink et al. | 2017
: Rediscovering Duties: Individual Responsibilities in the Age of Rights
Last updated on 01/24/2020
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“The Carr Center is building a bridge between ideas on human rights and the practice on the ground. Right now we are at a critical juncture. The pace of technological change and the rise of authoritarian governments are both examples of serious challenges to the flourishing of individual rights. It’s crucial that Harvard and the Kennedy School continue to be a major influence in keeping human rights ideals alive. The Carr Center is a focal point for this important task.”

 

- Mathias Risse