Re: What is the human rights movement?

Question: What is the human rights movement?

Transcript:Well the purpose of the human rights movement is to increase the cost of human rights abuse. The human rights movement tends to operate in countries where there is no functioning legal system. If you can go to court and sue the bastards, you will call in the local version of the ACLU, and they’ll bring you to court and vindicate your rights that way. But in most of the places where Human Rights Watch works, or where groups that are, you know, part of the international human rights movement work, there is no legal system to speak of. The judges have been killed, or compromised, or corrupted, and so you can’t go to court to vindicate your rights. And so as a result, the human rights movement has had to develop a methodology aimed at forcing the political branches of government – the executive and the legislative branches – to respect the rights that they’re . . . they vowed to uphold. Because after all it’s not the judges that . . . that subscribe to the . . . the human rights. It’s the entire government. But we’re used to, in the United States, thinking about going to court to vindicate our rights. And the human rights movement really goes to the political branches. And we essentially say, you know, you may have your reasons for violating rights. It may be a convenient way to get rid of that pesky opposition, or to . . . to repress that troublesome ethnic group. But we’re gonna raise the cost, and we’re gonna do that by exposing your abuses so that we harm your reputation. We’re gonna do it by going to powerful governments and getting them to enlist . . . to use their diplomatic or their economic pressure; to . . . to make it more costly for you to violate human rights; and in extreme cases – in cases like genocide or crimes against humanity – we’re actually gonna get you guys prosecuted. We’re gonna go to an international tribunal and get you indicted, and potentially spend a lot of time in jail for committing these atrocities. And those methods of raising the cost of human rights abuse are the way that the human rights movement forces governments that might not otherwise be inclined to respect rights to, in fact, do what they should do and uphold the rights to which they formally subscribe.

Roth talks about the dangerous work of human rights workers.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

ACLU urges Amazon, Microsoft & Google not to sell face recognition tech to government

"Companies can't continue to pretend that the 'break then fix' approach works."

Photo credit: Ian Waldie / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The coalition argues that government agencies might abuse facial recognition technology.
  • Google and Microsoft have expressed concern about the potential problems of facial recognition technology.
  • Meanwhile, Amazon has been actively marketing the technology to law enforcement agencies in the U.S.
Keep reading Show less