Human Rights Quarterly

Human Rights Quarterly
Volume 25, Number 4, November 2003


Contents

Articles

    Nurser, John, 1929-
  • The "Ecumenical Movement" Churches, "Global Order," and Human Rights: 1938-1948
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ecumenical movement.
    • Human rights -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
    • United Nations. General Assembly. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Abstract:
      The political and cultural climate of the 1930s ignited an ecumenical movement of mainline Protestant churches across England, North America, and Europe. War and its accompanying chaos prompted Christian leaders to define a new global order, one based on a "just and durable" peace and centralized around human rights. Churches, missionary societies, and new Christian communities came together under the guidance of political and religious leaders to form the basis of a post-war world organization. This organization, strengthened by the United States commitment to a new global order, secured the establishment of a Commission on Human Rights, which later aided the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Rodley, Nigel S.
  • United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures of the Commission on Human Rights--Complementarity or Competition?
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    Subject Headings:
    • United Nations. Commission on Human Rights.
    • Human rights.
    • International relations.
Abstract:
    There are two broad clusters of United Nations human rights machinery: those set up under international human rights treaties (treaty bodies) and those established by the UN Commission on Human Rights (special procedures). They are compared and contrasted, in terms of their potential for duplication and the cooperation or competition attendant on it. The two clusters are distinguished from the perspective of their implicit purposes (mainly multilateral for special procedures, mainly bilateral for treaty bodies) and working methods (examined in terms of general country work, case-specific work, and general overview activity). The incidence of direct cooperation is also addressed. The article concludes that the possibilities of duplication are not as numerous as might be expected, they are generally avoidable or can be accommodated administratively where they exist and that, on balance, the clusters perform complementary functions.
    Ungar, Mark.
  • Prisons and Politics in Contemporary Latin America
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    Subject Headings:
    • Prisons -- Latin America.
    • Criminal law -- Latin America.
    • Human rights -- Latin America.
    Abstract:
      Despite democratization throughout Latin America, massive human rights abuses continue in the region's prisons. Conditions have become so bad that most governments have begun to enact improvements, including new criminal codes and facility decongestion. However, once in place, these reforms are undermined by chaotic criminal justice systems, poor policy administration, and rising crime rates leading to greater detention powers for the police. After describing current prison conditions in Latin America and the principal reforms to address them, this article explains how political and administrative limitations hinder the range of agencies and officials responsible for implementing those changes.
    Goodhart, Michael E., 1969-
  • Origins and Universality in the Human Rights Debates: Cultural Essentialism and the Challenge of Globalization
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    Subject Headings:
    • Human rights.
    • Globalization.
    • Cultural relativism.
    Abstract:
      Preoccupation with cultural relativism has until recently crowded out most other theoretical questions in the field of human rights theory; today globalization and other problems are receiving much more attention. The worry addressed here is that despite this timely broadening of the analytic focus we tend to view these new problems through the lens of cultural relativism. As a result, we are asking the wrong questions about globalization and human rights and looking for the wrong kinds of answer. This essay pleads for a critical reevaluation of contemporary approaches to globalization and human rights and proposes an alternative framework.
    Monshipouri, Mahmood, 1952-
    Welch, Claude Emerson.
    Kennedy, Evan T.
  • Multinational Corporations and the Ethics of Global Responsibility: Problems and Possibilities
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    Subject Headings:
    • International business enterprises -- Social aspects.
    • International economic relations.
    • Human rights.
    Abstract:
      Multinational corporations (MNCs) have provoked considerable debate about the issues of "efficiency" and "social justice." The simultaneous surge in economic growth and inequality has led to serious implications for economic rights in developing countries. Using a rights-based perspective, we argue that in the human rights area the responsible party is generally the state. In the context of neoliberal globalization, however, the wrongdoers are often corporations. Reliance on state duties alone may not be sufficient to broadly protect human rights. Certain corporate behaviors are detrimental to internationally recognized norms of human rights. Although private actions, media exposure, and lawsuits based on civil law appear to be the only practical way to put the pressure on MNCs, it is important to examine the possibility of an outside governing body to hold in check unfettered global capitalism and to bring accountability to MNCs' policies that are socially detrimental.
    Langlois, Anthony J., 1970-
  • Human Rights without Democracy? A Critique of the Separationist Thesis
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    Subject Headings:
    • Human rights.
    • Democracy.
    • International relations.
    Abstract:
      The internationalization of democracy and human rights since World War II is an achievement of great proportions and significance. However, while human rights are regularly seen as universally applicable, not all see democracy as the most appropriate form of government for all peoples. Some proponents of human rights have therefore come to the conclusion that insisting on a link between human rights and democracy will be harmful for the further acceptance of human rights within the international society. They claim that human rights and democratization should be separated. The author calls this claim the separationist thesis and examines this thesis and the various grounds which may be presented in its favor, before mounting a series of critical arguments against it. He concludes that human rights without democracy are standards or norms, but not rights as such.
    Hill, Ronald Paul.
    Dhanda, Kanwalroop Kathy, 1970-
  • Technological Achievement and Human Development: A View from the United Nations Development Program
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    Subject Headings:
    • United Nations Development Programme.
    • Technological innovations -- Social aspects -- Developing countries.
    • Human rights -- Developing countries.
    Abstract:
      The primary purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between technological achievement and human development so that the human rights community may better understand the impact of the digital divide worldwide. Using data collected by a variety of international organizations and in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme, this research explores the creation, diffusion, and utilization of technology within the context of vast socioeconomic inequalities among nations. The paper opens with a brief introduction to the technology revolution, followed by a discussion of the digital divide. Data descriptions are presented in the next section, along with findings that show comparisons across technology achievement categories. The paper closes with suggestions for abridging the digital divide, and policy implications for the global community.
    Schabas, William, 1950-
  • The Relationship Between Truth Commissions and International Courts: The Case of Sierra Leone
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sierra Leone. Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    • United Nations. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
    • Sierra Leone. Special Court.
    • Sierra Leone -- History -- Civil War, 1991-
    • Human rights -- Sierra Leone.
    Abstract:
      The Lomé Peace Agreement of 7 July 1999 officially ended Sierra Leone's eight-year civil war, granted amnesty to the combatants, and provided for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to facilitate the country's healing process. Following renewed fighting, the government of Sierra Leone, with the assistance of the United Nations, established a special tribunal to try the most culpable violators of international humanitarian law and the laws of Sierra Leone. This paper considers the relationship between these two organizations and will compare their legal mandates and jurisdictional scopes. This paper will also examine the admissibility before the Special Court of testimony delivered in a Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing.
    Howe, Robert Brian.
    Covell, Katherine.
  • Child Poverty in Canada and the Rights of the Child
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    Subject Headings:
    • Poor children -- Canada.
    • Children's rights -- Canada.
    Abstract:
      The purpose of this article is to examine the problem of child poverty in Canada in light of Canada's commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. By ratifying the Convention in 1991, Canada was obligated to advance the basic economic security rights of children under Article 27. A particular problem, as Canada recognized, was child poverty. In accord with the Convention, Canada took important measures to overcome the problem. However, child poverty has persisted as a serious problem, putting at risk the exercise of children's rights in ways that are more far-reaching than often thought.
    Borer, Tristan Anne, 1965-
  • A Taxonomy of Victims and Perpetrators: Human Rights and Reconciliation in South Africa
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    Subject Headings:
    • South Africa. Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    • Reconciliation -- Political aspects -- South Africa.
    • Human rights -- South Africa.
    Abstract:
      In human rights discourse, victims and perpetrators are usually referred to as two completely separate and homogenous sets of people. This article challenges this discrete and binary approach to these concepts. Through an analysis of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, especially its final report, the article demonstrates that the reality of many post-conflict situations is more complex. More often than not, within the group of victims, not all victims are the same. Similarly, within the group of perpetrators, not all perpetrators are the same; and the two groups are rarely separate and distinct: some individuals are both victims and perpetrators. The article concludes with some thoughts on the implications of this research for understanding the challenges of reconciliation in South Africa.
    Quinn, Joanna R.
    Freeman, Mark.
  • Lessons Learned: Practical Lessons Gleaned from Inside the Truth Commissions of Guatemala and South Africa
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    Subject Headings:
    • South Africa. Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    • Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico (Guatemala)
    • Human rights -- South Africa.
    • Human rights -- Guatemala.
    Abstract:
      The truth commissions of South Africa and Guatemala were important in bringing global attention to the subject of truth-seeking. This article presents some of the key observations and recommendations made by commissioners and staff directly involved in these commissions about the official truth-seeking process which evolved in both countries. These reflections provide practical lessons as to the structure and mandate of the truth commission, data collection and public hearings, information management and reporting to the public, from which future commissions might draw ideas.

Book Reviews

    Dorsey, Ellen.
  • Science in the Service of Human Rights (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Claude, Richard Pierre, 1934- Science in the service of human rights.
    • Science -- Moral and ethical aspects.
    Yamin, Alicia Ely.
  • Protecting Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Inter-American System: A Manual for Presenting Claims (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Melish, Tara. Protecting economic, social and cultural rights in the Inter-American system: a manual for presenting claims.
    • Human rights -- America.
    Dietrich, John W.
  • Kosovo and the Challenge of Humanitarian Intervention: Selective Indignation, Collective Action, and International Citizenship (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schnabel, Albrecht, ed. Kosovo and the challenge of humanitarian intervention: selective indignation, collective action, and international citizenship.
    • Thakur, Ramesh Chandra, 1948-, ed.
    • Kosovo (Serbia) -- History -- Civil War, 1998-1999.



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