The health effects of intra-ethnic conflict include hatred and fear among neighbors and friends who have become enemies. The dehumanization of specific groups through concomitant stereotyping does not stop when conflicts end. The inability to see former enemies as real people impedes reconciliation. While much attention has been paid to the reconstruction of infrastructure and the establishment of rule of law, little thought has been given to what is required at the day to day level in order to restore a sense of interpersonal security. To reverse the destruction of social and familial networks that normally sustain health and well-being, a process of rehumanization must occur. We suggest that the promotion of empathy is a critical component of reconciliation.
This article, while rooted in critical literature, is interdisciplinary, drawing upon political and social theory, history, law, and social sciences to address the problem of evil in an environment dominated by crimes against humanity: the Congo during the reign of the Belgian King Leopold. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, published in 1899, is based in part on the author's experiences aboard the steamship Roi des Belges on the Congo River in 1890. The narrative contains three representations of evil: the base, primitive, perverse allure of lust and greed in the deepest recesses of the human psyche; evil at the heart of civilization and modernity; and the banal complicity of ordinary people whose silence and denial allows evil to prosper.
Without impugning the quality or importance of Heart of Darkness, either as literature or as part of the global discourse on human rights, it is nevertheless argued that the primitive allure of evil is emphasized in the narrative to the detriment of representations of more subtle and civilized
manifestations of evil. By redirecting attention to background elements of the story, including the behavior of the Belgian regime and especially the banal complicity of the protagonist Marlow, this essay aims to contribute to the discourse on crimes against humanity and the advancement of human rights.
This article examines the development of international victim norms that could promote reform in the domestic administration of criminal justice to curtail impunity for state-sponsored crimes. Despite the proliferation of these norms, the author acknowledges that the implementation of greater victim standing to combat impunity also raises a host of concerns and challenges, largely unaddressed by these emerging norms. Thus, the article also identifies some of these implementation challenges and makes some preliminary observations about the types of questions and potential solutions that merit further study and increased attention by international organs and experts interested in promoting the effective implementation of these victim norms.
Diamond industry and trade -- Corrupt practices -- Africa.
Petroleum industry and trade -- Corrupt practices -- Africa.
Economic sanctions -- Africa.
What do oil and diamonds have in common (aside from the fact that one can never have enough)? They are the world's favorite carbon-based treasures and they also have sustained ferocious civil wars in parts of Africa. Coinciding with growing academic and political recognition that natural resources can play important roles in causing and sustaining conflict, human rights activists launched two campaigns in the late 1990s calling for targeted sanctions against oil and diamonds from several conflict regions in Africa. The coalitions involved in these two separate efforts overlapped very little in goals, methods and participant organizations. But a comparison of the two campaigns sheds light on a number of shared challenges, illuminating lessons for future activism promoting sanctions against "conflict commodities."
Religious minorities -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Middle East.
Women's rights -- Middle East.
Human rights -- Religious aspects -- Islam.
This article considers the human rights situation of religious minorities living in the Muslim Middle East. It notes the common thread of human rights abuses that they face, and analyzes this in the light of Muslim legal concepts and standards. The article then explores whether or not the improvement of the human rights situation of religious minorities in the Middle East could be attempted from within a Muslim religious framework. Can the emancipatory interpretation of Islamic traditions and laws be used to eliminate the obstacles to the realization of their rights? This examination is carried out in the light of the literature and activism on the promotion of the rights of women under Muslim and Middle Eastern rule.
The recent introduction of the full Sharia, the Islamic legal system, by some Northern states in Nigeria raises a number of constitutional questions and impacts the supremacy of the Nigerian Constitution. The Constitution prohibits the promotion of religion by either the federal government or any of its components states and also provides for the freedom of religion and the right of all citizens to practice their religion. At the same time, any law enacted in the country that conflicts with the Constitution is void to the extent of its inconsistency. The application of the Sharia in Nigeria prior to its recent configuration was limited to civil matters. The paper examines the constitutionality of the unilateral extension of the Sharia to crimes, and the human rights and other implications of such extension.