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PART I: THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVOLUTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1. KEY MILESTONES A. POST-WORLD WAR II AND THE NUREMBERG & TOKYO TRIALS The atrocities of World War II, particularly those committed by the Nazis, served as the main catalyst for the development of modern international human rights. Up until the end of World War II, States could only be held accountable for war crimes, i.e. crimes against soldiers or citizens of another country. There was no clear framework or procedure whereby government officials could be held accountable on the international stage for the treatment of their own citizens. The victorious Allied powers – notably the U.S., Great Britain, Soviet Union and France – established and authorized an International Military Tribunal to prosecute 24 high-ranking Nazi officials for such crimes, which included war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. Similar trials were in held in Tokyo for 25 suspected Japanese war criminals, under the jurisdiction of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. 1 The Nuremberg and Tokyo trials played an important role not only in the development of modern human rights law, but also in the evolution of international humanitarian law and international criminal law. B. THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS The roots of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) can be traced back to the declarations of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that gave rise to the modern language of rights: the British Bill of Rights of 1689, the U.S. Declaration of Independence of 1776 and the French Declaration on the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789. 2 The main catalysts for the drafting of the UDHR, however, were the atrocities that took place during World War II. In 1945, delegates from many States and non-governmental organizations pressed for the inclusion of an “International Bill of Rights” in the UN Charter during the San Francisco Conference. Although the effort was unsuccessful, the UN Charter referred to human rights in a number of its provisions, and delegates agreed that a Commission on Human Rights would be established to draft and present an International Bill of Rights to the UN General Assembly. Representatives from 18 nations 3 sat on the Commission and Eleanor Roosevelt served as its chair. During its first meeting in 1947, the Commission determined that the International Bill of Rights would consist of three documents: a non-binding human rights declaration, a binding covenant and an instrument relating to implementation or enforcement of human rights. The drafting process for the non-binding declaration, the UDHR, spanned two full years (January 1947 to December 1948). The members of the Commission faced numerous obstacles to 1

Globalization 101. Glendon, xvii. 3 Australia, Belgium, Byelorussia, Chile, China, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Lebanon, Panama, Philippines, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, USSR, Uruguay and Yugoslavia. Morsnik, 4. 2



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effective collaboration during the drafting process, including disagreements, misunderstandings, personal quirks, national rivalries, colonial resentments and events unfolding around the world at that time. 4 Despite these obstacles, the UN General Assembly adopted the UDHR without a single dissenting vote on December 10, 1948. In 1949, the Commission began drafting the second document, a binding covenant. In accordance with the principle of indivisibility and interdependence of human rights 5, the UN’s original intention had been to draft one covenant that would contain both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights. The Commission, however, split on the question of whether there should be one or two legally binding covenants. States that favored two separate covenants, which included the U.S. and other Western States, objected to placing the two sets of rights on equal footing. According to these States, civil and political rights were legally enforceable and immediately justiciable 6, while economic, social and cultural rights required State intervention and were therefore to be achieved progressively. 7 The group of States favoring the creation of one covenant, which included States adhering to the socialist line of thought, believed that civil and political rights would be purely theoretical in character without economic, social and cultural rights. Forming two separate covenants would sever the unity between the two groups of human rights. According to many scholars, Cold War politics played a central role in this debate. In 1950, the UN General Assembly called upon the Commission to adopt a single convention, emphasizing the interdependence of all categories of human rights. However, in 1951, Western States reversed the decision, directing the Commission to divide the rights contained in the UDHR into two separate legally binding covenants: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The UN General Assembly’s Separation Resolution, however, emphasized the interrelated and indivisible nature of all human rights, stipulating that both covenants be simultaneously submitted, adopted and opened for signature. 8 C. HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES The UN has adopted a total of nine core international human rights treaties, including the ICCPR and the ICESCR. The remaining core treaties are listed below: • • • •

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (CAT) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)


Glendon, 50. The UDHR Preamble states that “the civil and political freedoms and economic, social and cultural rights are interconnected and interdependent.” Arambulo, 15. 6 Rights that can be invoked before and applied by a court of law or a similar quasi-judicial entity. Arambulo, 17. 7 Arambulo, 17. 8 Arambulo, 18. 5



• • •

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International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and members of their Families (ICRMW) International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED) Convention on the Rights of Persons of Disabilities (CRPD)

Each of these treaties has established a committee of experts to monitor implementation of the treaty provisions by its State parties 9. Some of the treaties are supplemented by optional protocols that deal with specific concerns. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), for example, has two optional protocols, one on the involvement of children in armed conflict and one on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. 10 In addition to treaties, which are legally-binding upon State parties, the UN has developed a variety of international instruments relating to human rights that have no binding legal effect. For a complete list of these instruments, see the Office on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights website. 11 The development of international human rights treaties and other instruments inspired important developments in the protection of human rights at the regional level. The Council of Europe led the drafting and signing of the European Convention on Human Rights, which was adopted in 1950. The Organization of American States adopted the American Convention on Human Rights in 1969. Most recently, in 1981, the Organization of African Unity adopted the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. D. HUMAN RIGHTS CATEGORIES Despite the UN General Assembly’s attempts to emphasize the indivisible and interdependent nature of human rights, human rights are commonly organized into three categories or “generations” 12: civil and political (CP) rights, economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights and solidarity rights. Civil and Political Rights Civil and political (CP) rights, also known as “first generation” or “negative” rights, derive from the reformist theories associated with the English, French and American Revolutions. They are characterized as demanding freedom from State intervention and capable of immediate implementation by all States. As a result, CP rights have often been framed as justiciable legal obligations. 13 CP rights include the right to life and physical integrity, the ban on slavery and forced labor, the ban on torture, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of 9

“State parties” are States that have either ratified or acceded to a particular treaty, thereby becoming bound by its provisions. 10 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, International Law. 11 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, International Law. 12 Scholars argue that the notion of “generations” is problematic because it could suggest a hierarchy within human rights or imply that some rights can only be respected, protected and fulfilled after other rights. Ssenyonjo, 11. 13 Ssenyonjo, 10.



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opinion, information and press, the right to vote and the right to be free from discrimination. The ban on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, for example, prohibits the infliction of severe pain (whether physical or psychological) by a perpetrator who acts purposefully and on behalf of the State. 14 According to international human rights law, the prohibition of torture is absolute, meaning that it applies at all times and in all circumstances. The 1984 Convention against Torture, as well as a number of other international and regional human rights treaties 15, explicitly protect an individual’s right to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights, also known as “second generation” or “positive” rights, derive from the socialist tradition prevalent in early nineteenth-century France. They are characterized as demanding State intervention and capable of only gradual realization (subject to States’ available resources). Accordingly, ESC rights have traditionally been framed as programmatic objectives rather than justiciable legal obligations. 16 ESC rights include the right to work, the right to enjoy just and favorable conditions of work, the right to form and join trade unions, the right to social security and social insurance, the right of the family to protection and assistance, the right to enjoy an adequate standard of living, which includes adequate food, clothing and housing, the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the right to education and the right to cultural life and benefits of scientific progress. The right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, for example, encompasses the right to the “underlying determinants of health”, which help individuals lead healthy lives. They include access to health care services, health-related education and information, safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, safe food, adequate nutrition and housing, healthy working and environmental conditions and gender equality. 17 The right to health also contains both freedoms (the right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment and to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment) and entitlements (the right to prevention, treatment and control of diseases and equal and timely access to basic health services, among others). Numerous international and regional human rights treaties, most notably the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, protect the right to health. 18 14

Convention Against Torture. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the European Convention on Human Rights (1950), the American Convention on Human Rights (1978) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (1981). 16 According to some scholars, growing jurisprudence on economic, social and cultural rights makes this position untenable. Ssenyonjo, 10. 17 World Health Organization 18 The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Convention on the Protections of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 15



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The full realization of ESC rights imposes three types of obligations upon States. The obligation to respect requires States to refrain from actively interfering with the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to ensure that private non-State actors do not interfere with the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to fulfill requires States to take positive steps to ensure the full realization of human rights. 19 Solidarity Rights Solidarity rights, also known as “third generation” rights, refer to rights that cannot be exercised individually and therefore can only be exercised by a group of individuals. Various scholars, however, have argued that only human individuals can be the subjects of human rights according to classical theory. Some States, moreover, have articulated a fear that recognition of groups rights will serve to undermine the rights of individuals. As a result, solidarity rights have been characterized as “emerging” and therefore not yet a part of existing international law. Solidarity rights include rights that are asserted on behalf of all people, such as the right to development, the right to a healthy environment and the right to peace. In the context of rapidly emerging global interdependence, society confronts problems that cannot be addressed by the actions of a single State. Maintaining peace, protecting the environment and encouraging sustainable and equitable development of economies require cooperative action at the international level and, accordingly, rights that can be asserted on behalf of all people. 20 Solidarity rights also refer to the rights of specific groups of individuals, including the right to self-determination and the protection of minority groups within States. The right to a healthy environment, for example, recognizes that all individuals are entitled to live in an environment adequate for their health and well-being. The right to a healthy environment incudes both a substantive right to an adequate environment and procedural safeguards to ensure that it is fulfilled, including the rights to information, to participate in decision-making and to seek remedies for past, present or anticipated violations. While binding international human rights treaties do not currently provide for a right to a healthy environment, recognition of the relationship between a safe and healthy environment and the enjoyment of human rights has steadily increased since the dawn of the modern environmental era in the 1960s. 21 E. THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS The 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are international treaties that contain the core provisions of international humanitarian law, the body of international law that regulates armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects. In 1945, the International Committee of


King, 55; Ssenyonjo, 23. Wellman, 642. 21 Declaration from the 1971 Stockholm Conference; Declaration from the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. 20



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the Red Cross (ICRC) announced its intention to revise existing 1929 Geneva Conventions 22 and prepare a new convention that would extend protection to civilians in times of war. Representatives from 64 nations were present at the diplomatic conference hosted by Swiss authorities in 1949, which culminated in the adoption of the four Geneva Conventions. By 2000, a total of 194 States had ratified the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Convention I protects wounded and sick soldiers on land during war, as well as medical and religious personnel, medical units and medical transports. Convention II protects wounded, sick and shipwrecked military personnel at sea during war. Convention III protects prisoners of war, establishing the principle that prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after cessation of active hostilities. Convention IV takes into account the events of World War II, which highlighted the disastrous consequences of the absence of a convention on the protection of civilians during wartime, affording protections to civilians, including those living in occupied territories. 23 Article 3, which is common to all four of the Geneva Conventions, extends the principles of the Conventions to non-international armed conflicts. Non-international conflicts vary greatly, including traditional civil wars, internal conflicts that spill over into other States or internal conflicts in which third States or a multinational force intervenes alongside the government. 24 In the two decades that followed the adoption of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the world witnessed an increase in the number of non-international armed conflicts and wars of national liberation. In response, two Additional Protocols to the four Geneva Conventions were adopted in 1977. Additional Protocol I strengthens protections for victims of international armed conflicts, while Additional Protocol II strengthens protections for victims of non-international armed conflicts. In 2005, Additional Protocol III was adopted, creating an additional emblem, the Red Chrystal. 25 F. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW AND INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW International human rights law and international humanitarian law are two separate bodies of law. While both areas of law share certain objectives, such as protecting human life and prohibiting torture or cruel treatment, international human rights norms and international humanitarian norms also differ in a number of important ways.

How is it defined?

International Human Rights Law International human rights law is a set of international rules, established by treaty or custom, that recognize that basic rights and fundamental freedoms


International Humanitarian Law International humanitarian law, also known as the “laws of war�, is a set of international rules, established by treaty 27 or custom, which are

The two 1929 Geneva Conventions were drafted in the wake of World War I and dealt with the treatment of the wounded and prisoners of war. 23 International Committee of the Red Cross. 24 International Committee of the Red Cross. 25 The Red Chrystal has the same international status as the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems.



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are inherent to all human beings, inalienable and equally applicable to everyone. 26 When is it applicable?

Who is bound?

Who is protected?

intended to solve humanitarian problems directly arising from international or non-international armed conflicts. In theory, international human rights International humanitarian law is law applies at all times, i.e. during both applicable in times of armed times of peace and situations of armed conflict, both international conflicts conflict. (those involving two or more States and wars of liberation) and nonIn practice, some human rights treaties international conflicts (those in permit to derogate 28 from certain rights which government forces are during public emergencies or crises, so fighting against armed insurgents or long as the derogation is proportional rebel groups are fighting among to the emergency or crisis at issue, is themselves). not introduced on a discriminatory basis and does not contravene other Because international humanitarian rules of international law. Certain law only applies in exceptional human rights, including the right to situations, no derogations are life, the prohibition of torture or cruel, permitted. inhuman or degrading treatment and the prohibition of slavery, are never derogable. International human rights law is International humanitarian law is binding on governments in their binding on all actors to an armed relations with individuals. While conflict, which can include both individuals do not have specific duties State and non-State actors. While under international human rights individuals do not have specific treaties, they can be held responsible duties under international for violations that constitute humanitarian law treaties, they can international crimes, such as genocide, be held responsible for violations crimes against humanity and torture. that constitute international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and torture. International human rights law protects International humanitarian law all persons. protects persons who do not take part or are no longer taking part in the conflict, such as wounded and sick armed forces, prisoners of war and civilians (i.e. internally


The main treaty sources applicable in international armed conflict are the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocol I of 1977. The main treaty sources applicable in non-international armed conflict are article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II of 1977. 26 United Nations. 28 Derogations allow State parties to temporarily adjust their obligations under an international human rights treaty in exceptional circumstances, i.e. during a public emergency. Public emergencies include, but are not limited to, armed conflicts, civil and violent unrest, environmental and natural disasters, etc. Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.



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How is it The duty to implement international implemented? human rights law lies first and foremost with States. The United Nations has also developed a supervisory system that is composed of bodies charged with monitoring and reporting on the implementation of human rights treaties.

displaced persons, women, children, refugees, stateless persons, journalists, etc.). The duty to implement international humanitarian law lies first and foremost with States. The International Committee of the Red Cross States also plays a key role in ensuring that States fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law.

G. THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT AND OTHER CRIMINAL COURTS In response to the ineffective World War I war crimes prosecutions, scholars and States first proposed the establishment of a permanent international criminal court in 1926. Because the International Court of Justice at The Hague only handles cases between States, not individuals, proponents have characterized an international criminal court as the “missing link� of the international legal system. According to the UN, it would help to (1) achieve justice for all, (2) end impunity, (3) end conflicts, (4), remedy the deficiencies of ad hoc tribunals, (5) take over when national criminal justice institutions are unwilling or unable to act and (6) deter future war criminals. 29 However, it was not until 1998 that the UN General Assembly finalized and adopted the convention that established the first permanent international criminal court. In fact, ad hoc tribunals have addressed most large-scale grave breaches of international law that occurred during the twentieth century. After World War II, the Allies set up the Nuremberg Tribunal (1945-46), which tried and punished 24 individuals who were accused of committing crimes against the peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war. At the Tokyo Tribunal (1946-48), 28 major war criminals from Japan’s military were charged with the same range of offenses prosecuted at Nuremberg. 30 Reacting to the murderous conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the UN Security Council established ad hoc criminal tribunals under Chapter VII of the UN Charter as a measure to maintain international peace and security. In 1993, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was created to pursue individuals suspected of committing war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in the context of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. In 1994, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was


United Nations. Ideally, human rights and humanitarian law violations would be dealt with by the national authorities of the State in which they were committed. However, governments are rarely willing to punish their own citizens, particularly when the individuals involved are in positions of political or military authority. As a result, most perpetrators of gross human rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law are not punished by national bodies. Kim, 11-12. 30 See generally Nuremberg Human Rights Centre.



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established for the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Rwanda during the civil war. The successes of the ICTY and the ICTR encouraged then Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, to call the Rome Diplomatic Conference in 1998 to consider a statute for a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). On July 17, 1998, representatives from 120 States signed a treaty creating the ICC in The Hague, the world’s first permanent court with a mandate to bring justice to perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humankind – war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide – when national courts are unable to do so. The U.S. was one of only seven States to vote against the creation of the ICC. And while the Clinton administration eventually signed the treaty in December of 2000, the U.S. government has failed to submit it to the Senate for ratification, meaning that the U.S. is not currently subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction. 31 Since its establishment, the ICC prosecutor has opened investigations in various situations of instability or ongoing conflict, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Uganda, the Darfur region of Sudan and the Central African Republic. 32 The “internationalized” or “hybrid” criminal courts that have been established in East Timor (Special Panels of the Dili District Court, 1999), Kosovo (Kosovo War and Ethnic Crimes Court, 2000), Sierra Leone (Special Court for Sierra Leone, 2002), Bosnia-Herzengovina (War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2005), Cambodia (Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, 2006) and Lebanon (Special Tribunal for Lebanon, 2009) have a structure that is quite distinct from the ad hoc tribunals and the ICC. These courts are neither purely international nor national institutions, as they are comprised of local judges and internationally appointed judges in order to ensure the impartiality and independence of the judiciary. H. THE SOVIET COLLAPSE AND THE BERLIN WALL The human rights movement is one of a number of factors that contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. The incorporation of various provisions calling for respect for human rights in the 1975 Helsinki Accords (the EastWest peace agreement), in particular, laid the foundations for the fall of the Soviet empire. The members of the Moscow Helsinki Group seized on the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Accords to monitor the conduct of their government and issue a call for citizens in other Soviet Bloc countries to form similar groups. A number of human rights advocates from the U.S. and countries in Europe, moreover, rallied to the defense of the members of the Moscow Helsinki Group when they were persecuted for their efforts. 33 Human rights advocates in Soviet Bloc countries, however, endured numerous hardships, including ouster from their jobs, exclusion of their children from universities, the break-up of families through internal exile or expulsion from the country and long years of imprisonment at hard labor. 34


Amnesty International. See generally Human Rights Watch. 33 Neier, 14. 34 Neier, 147. 32



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The Berlin Wall served as a tangible symbol of the Soviet Union’s suppression of human rights, particularly the right to freedom of movement, during the Cold War. Following World War II, Berlin’s unique situation made it a focal point for tensions between the Allies and the Soviets. At the time, the city of Berlin was half-controlled by Western forces and half-controlled by the Soviet Bloc. As more and more people in the Soviet-controlled East Germany (the German Democratic Republic or GDR) grew disillusioned with communism and the increasingly oppressive economic and political conditions, an increasing number began defecting to West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany). Prior to the Wall’s erection, 3.5 million East Germans had avoided the GDR’s emigration restrictions by escaping into West Germany, many over the border between East and West Berlin. 35 The Wall, however, ended all such emigration between 1961 and 1989. On August 31, 1961, the GDR tore up the streets of Berlin, erected barricades made of paving stones, gathered tanks and interrupted subways and local railway services, in effect completely sealing West Berlin off from East Berlin in just 24 hours. In 1962, a second, parallel fence was built. The area between the two fences, also known as the “Death Strip”, contained anti-vehicle trenches and other defenses and offered no cover from the surrounding guard towers. 36 After several weeks of civil unrest during the fall of 1989, including an exodus of East Germans through Hungary and student protests in Leipzig, the GDR announced on November 9, 1989 that all East German citizens would be permitted to enter West Germany, including West Berlin. The Wall was physically destroyed in 1990. Ultimately, the fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990. The end of communism ushered in freedoms unthinkable during the Soviet era. For example, people could worship more freely, travel abroad, own property and express their ethnic identity in ways they could not under communism. 37 The local movements that emerged in communist countries and other parts of the world during the Cold War, moreover, contributed to the emergence of a worldwide human rights movement. 38 I. KEY HUMAN RIGHTS ACTORS For many years, the roles of the various human rights actors were clearly distributed among the main players, i.e. States, international organizations, NGOs and corporations. NGOs and international organizations were the “good guys”, advocating and promoting human rights, campaigning for protection of human rights, supervising compliance with human rights norms and identifying violations of human rights law. States and corporations were the “bad guys”, the primary targets of human rights scrutiny. 39 Today, however, other actors have begun to play key roles in the international human rights movement and the roles of traditional human rights actors have begun to change.


By 1961, an estimated 1,500 people were fleeing to West Germany each day. Forum Network. 37 Human Rights Watch. 38 Neier, 147. 39 Alston, 62. 36



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States Effective protection of human rights depends on States’ compliance with their human rights obligations. At the national level, many States have established governmental bodies or authorities that are charged with protecting and promoting human rights. These national institutions generally serve in an advisory capacity in the area of human rights policies, though some also have quasi-judicial powers regarding violations of citizens’ personal freedoms. At the international level, States are actively involved in the development of human rights standards, institutions and supervisory mechanisms. 40 International Organizations Internationals organizations are inter-governmental organizations created by States or other international organizations. A number of international organizations play a prominent role in advancing human rights, including the United Nations, international and regional court systems and treaty monitoring bodies, among others. Treaty monitoring bodies, for example, are committees of appointed independent human rights experts who monitor States’ compliance with the international human rights treaties to which they are a party. They are called ‘treaty bodies’ because each is committee is created in accordance with the provisions of the treaty that it oversees. 41 Although they receive support from the UN Secretariat and report to the General Assembly, the following nine committees are independent of the UN system: • • • • • • • • •

40 41

Human Rights Council (monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its optional protocols) Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its optional protocol) Committee against Torture (monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment) Committee on the Rights of the Child (monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols) Committee on Migrant Workers (monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families) Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Committee on Enforced Disappearances (monitors implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance)

Icelandic Human Rights Centre. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.



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International organizations, however, are increasingly subjected to human rights scrutiny. The UN, for example, has been scrutinized for its actions (or rather failure to act) during the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, during which UN peace-keeping forces failed to protect Muslim civilians from Serb forces in the UN-declared ‘safe-areas’ of the former Yugoslavia. 42 Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs are private non-profit-seeking organizations that are independent from governments, both financially and politically. NGOs have traditionally played and continue to play a variety of roles in the international human rights movement. First, NGOs are frequently involved in the drafting of international human rights treaties, resolutions and other non-binding instruments. Amnesty International, for example, played a prominent role in the drafting of the Convention against Torture. Second, NGOs support the UN’s treaty monitoring bodies in their monitoring of State compliance with core international human rights treaties. As it is impossible for the experts who serve on these committees to be knowledgeable about every country’s human rights situation, they rely on NGOs to counter-balance the information that is provided by States. Third, NGOs often assist victims of human rights abuses in bringing their cases before international and regional human rights courts. 43 Corporations In an era of privatization of public services, private entities are taking on roles previously held by States. Local and international companies, as a result, can wield immense power and directly impact government policies. This has led to the recognition that private entities have an obligation to participate in the promotion and protection of the human rights of their employees and those individuals who are affected by their operations. In the workplace, employees should have the rights to be free from discrimination, to life and security, to freedom of association and collective bargaining, to join and form trade unions, be free from slavery, to fair working conditions and to the abolition of child labor. The international community has both developed numerous international instruments 44 which set minimum human rights standards for the private sector and advocated for the implementation of voluntary corporate social responsibility initiatives. 45 J. SIGNIFICANT CAMPAIGNS Climate Change Since 2005 46, the international community has become increasingly aware of the human rights 42

Alston. Icelandic Human Rights Centre. 44 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; UN Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with regard to Human Rights; OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; UN Sub-Commission Norms on Business and Human Rights; and Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. 45 Icelandic Human Rights Centre. 46 In 2005, the Inuit squarely posed the linkage between climate change and human rights when they presented a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights alleging that climate change (caused substantially by the U.S.) has had a devastating effect on the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. 43



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implications of climate change. Manifestations of climate change include rising sea levels and storms, increasing temperatures, extreme weather events (such as droughts and cyclones), receding coastlines, melting permafrost and changes in precipitation patterns, all of which have direct impacts on human populations and their livelihoods. 47 The impacts of climate change, as a result, are threatening numerous international human rights, which are highlighted below 48: Climate Impact Sea level rise • Flooding • Sea surges • Erosion • Salination of land and water

• • • • • •

Temperature increase • Change in disease vectors • Coral bleaching • Impact on fisheries

• •

Extreme weather events • Higher intensity storms • Sea surges

• •

• • • • •

Changes in precipitation • Changes in disease vectors • Erosion 47 48

• • • •

Human Impact Loss of land Drowning, injury Lack of clean water, disease Damage to coastal infrastructure, homes and property Loss of agricultural lands Threat to tourism, lost beaches Spread of disease Changes in traditional fishing livelihood and commercial fishing Threat to tourism, lost coral and fish diversity Dislocation of populations Contamination of water supply Damage to infrastructure (delays in medical treatment, food crises) Psychological distress Increased transmission of disease Damage to agricultural lands Disruption of educational services Damage to tourism sector Massive property damage Outbreaks of disease Depletion of agricultural soils

The Center for International Environmental Law, 2. The Center for International Environmental Law, 6.


• • • • • • • • •

Rights Implicated Self-determination Life Health Water Means of subsistence Standard of living Adequate housing Culture Property

• • • •

Life Health Means of subsistence Adequate standard of living

• • • • •

• •

Life Health Water Means of subsistence Adequate standard of living Adequate and secure housing Education Property

• • •

Life Health Means of subsistence


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The campaign to introduce a rights-based approach to the development and implementation of an effective and equitable solution to climate change is occurring primarily at the international level. The Human Rights Council has passed a series of resolutions 49 recognizing that climate change has a range of implications for effective enjoyment of human rights and that human rights obligations, standards and principles have the potential to inform and strengthen international and national policy making in the area of climate change. 50 The UN has also adopted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, in order to channel international cooperation to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. Despite the fact that the Clinton administration was involved in negotiating the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the U.S. is not a party to the protocol. The Senate voted 95 to 0 against even considering ratification because of asymmetrical obligations that required major industrialized nations to meet targets on emissions reduction but imposed no mandates on developing countries (including emerging economic powers and sources of global greenhouse gas emissions like China, India, Brazil and South Africa). Since the late 1990s, the U.S. has frequently been criticized at gatherings on global warming, in part because of its rejection of the Kyoto framework and in part because it has not adopted a comprehensive domestic program for reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions. 51 The U.S. and China – the world’s two largest carbon emitters – are not covered by the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which was agreed to during United Nations climate talks in December of 2012. 52 Child Soldiers International law prohibits the participation of children under 18 years of age in armed conflict. 53 Unfortunately, in many countries 54, children continue to be recruited into government armed forces, paramilitaries, civil militias and a variety of other armed groups. Some are abducted at school, on the streets or at home, while others enlist “voluntarily”, usually because they see few alternatives. 
In addition to participating in combat, where they are frequently injured or killed, child soldiers are used as spies, messengers, porters, servants or to lay or clear landmines. 55


Resolution 7/23 (2008), Resolution 10/4 (2009) and Resolution 18/22 (2011). Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 50 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 51 New York Times. 52 National Geographic. 53 See Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts. 54 Between 2004 and 2007, children were recruited or used in hostilities in Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Ivory Coast, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Uganda. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. 55 Amnesty International.



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In May of 1998, a number of NGOs 56 formed the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, which has led efforts to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, both boys and girls, to secure their demobilization and to promote their reintegration into their communities. 57 The Coalition has since become Child Soldiers International, an independent NGO that continues to protect children from any form of military recruitment and involvement in armed conflict, as well as from other human rights abuses that occur in these environments. 58 The UN is also taking various actions to end the use of child soldiers. The UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child has begun to examine State party reports on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts. And the UN Security Council is documenting abuses against children and applying measures that target individuals who recruit or use child soldiers. 59 2. CASE STUDIES A. APARTHEID Apartheid 60 was a system of racial segregation established and enforced by the ruling party, the National Party, in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. The subordination of the black population to European settlers in South Africa began during the colonial conquest of the area in the midseventeenth century. However, the National Party went on to enhance, refine and institutionalize racism in South Africa when it came to power in 1948. 61 The Population Registration Act of 1950 established four racial categories, “white”, “black”, “coloured” and “Indian”, which served as the basis for the 300 laws passed by the South African legislature between 1948 and 1960 that segregated education, health care and other public services. These laws ensured that black South Africans had access to greatly inferior public services and denied them various economic, social and political rights altogether. Some scholars have argued that the apartheid system violates all of the rights protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights without exception. 62 The 1960s, the Sharpeville Massacre in particular, signaled the start of the armed resistance to apartheid in South Africa. On March 21, 1960, a crowd of roughly 5,000 unarmed South Africans gathered in Sharpeville, an urban black township fifty miles south of Johannesburg, to protest the government’s pass laws. 63 The crowd was confronted by 300 armed policemen and a scuffle broke out. Although no order to fire was given, a few policemen panicked and began shooting directly into the crowd, causing many of the protesters to turn and flee. In the 56

Amnesty International, Defence for Children International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation Terre des Hommes, International Save the Children Alliance, Jesuit Refugee Service, Quaker United Nations Office – Geneva and World Vision International. 57 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. 58 Child Soldiers International. 59 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. 60 Literally translated, apartheid means “separateness” or “the status of being apart”. 61 By 1940, the white minority regime had established a racially segregated society in which it controlled land ownership, the legal system, the political process, the distribution of wealth and social relationships. Hinds, 7 62 Hinds, 8. 63 Pass laws severely limited the movements of black South Africans, requiring that they carry pass books with them whenever they travelled outside their “homelands” or other designated areas.



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confusion, other policemen began shooting. Minutes later, 67 protesters lay dead or dying, many shot in the back while apparently running away, and another 186 protesters were wounded. In response to the Sharpeville Massacre, South Africa’s black population organized widespread demonstrations, protests, strikes and riots throughout the country. 64 The event also generated moral outrage at the international level and convinced many States that the South African government’s brutal implementation of apartheid constituted a threat to international peace and stability. There were three main phases of the UN’s work on apartheid in South Africa. During the first phase (1948-1966), the UN repeatedly appealed to South Africa to reassess its policies in order to ensure full equality for all South Africans. While the UN Security Council successfully adopted an arms embargo in 1963, its five permanent members disagreed over the need for wider economic sanctions, which had been repeatedly urged by the UN General Assembly. During the second phase (1967-1989), the UN launched an international campaign to isolate South Africa in most of its international relations. The UN promoted arms, oil and other economic embargos, as well as sports and cultural boycotts and other forms of public action. The UN also adopted the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in 1973, which declared that apartheid was both a violation of the UN Charter and an international crime. During the third phase (1990-1994), the UN encouraged South African authorities’ decision to legalize the liberation movements. The UN also played a crucial role in promoting negotiations and in helping ensure that free and fair elections took place in 1994. 65 Both local and international resistance movements also played crucial roles in ending apartheid. Within South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC), the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and other local groups actively resisted apartheid. These groups organized peaceful antiapartheid protests and demonstrations, which were often met with violent repression by the South African government. In 1960, the government outlawed many anti-apartheid groups and harassed or imprisoned leaders of the liberation movement, such as Nelson Mandela. 66 Other anti-apartheid leaders fled South Africa and led resistance efforts from supportive, independent African countries, including Guinea, Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique. Grassroots movements in other parts of the world, particularly in Europe and the U.S., also participated in the anti-apartheid movement, pressuring their governments into imposing economic and cultural sanctions on the South African government in the 1980s. In 1986, for example, the U.S. Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, which caused many large multinational companies to withdraw from South Africa. 67 B. THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT Approximately 43,000,000 Americans have one or more physical or mental disabilities, and this number is increasing as the population as a whole grows older. Individuals with disabilities living in the U.S. have suffered a long history of discrimination. Many continue to encounter


Stultz, 5. United Nations, 5-6. 66 Overcoming Apartheid. 67 U.S. Department of State Archive. 65



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various forms of discrimination today, including exclusion, segregation and limited access to various services, programs, activities, benefits, jobs or other opportunities. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, the disability rights movement relied heavily on the strategies used by the civil rights movement of the 1960s to address discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The disability rights movement employed three strategies: advocacy (i.e. public protests and acts of civil disobedience), litigation (i.e. various court actions) and legislation (i.e. the passage of several federal laws). Between 1973 and 1990, Congress passed several federal laws prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities, the most of important of these laws being the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in federal employment and in the employment practices of federal contractors. Section 504 of the Act, which was modeled after previous laws banning race, ethnic origin and sex-based discrimination by federal fund recipients, forbids discrimination against people with disabilities in any activity or program that receives federal funding. The Department of Health, Education and Welfare, however, did not issue regulations implementing Section 504 until 1977. 68 The disability rights movement also attempted to amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include people with disabilities, in order to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability outside the federal context. However, many traditional civil rights groups opposed these efforts, fearing that opening up the 1964 Act to any substantive amendments would risk opening the bill to other changes that might weaken it. Some disability rights advocates also argued that prior civil rights statutes were not the best vehicle for addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities. 69 The first proposal for a comprehensive federal statute prohibiting discrimination based on disability appeared in the 1980s and eventually developed into the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The final draft of the ADA garnered bipartisan support in Congress and was signed into law in July of 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. Titles I-IV of the ADA prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations 70, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications. 71 C. THE LANDMINE BAN TREATY Landmines are munitions designed to explode from the presence, proximity or contact of a person. Two characteristics distinguish landmines from other weapons and cause them to pose a unique threat to civilian populations, both during and after conflicts. First, they are indiscriminate weapons, which means that whoever triggers the landmine, whether a soldier or a child, becomes its victim. Second, landmines cause particularly egregious injuries, including surgical amputation. As a result, the use of landmines violates international humanitarian law 72, 68

See generally Shapiro. Burgdof, 426-429. 70 Public accommodations include all hotels, restaurants, retail stores, theaters, health care facilities, convention centers, parks and places of recreation. 71 See generally Shapiro. 72 The 1949 Geneva Conventions govern international humanitarian law. 69



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which prohibits the use of weapons that cause or result in indiscriminate injury and unnecessary suffering during armed conflicts. The use of landmines in military conflicts in the developing world increased dramatically during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, as mines became cheaper to produce and harder to detect. 73 Efforts to limit the use of landmines have been underway since at least 1981, when the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) was adopted. Protocol II of the CCW specifically addressed the use of landmines, including provisions stating that mines should only be used to achieve military objectives, that mine locations should be recorded and that parties in a conflict should attempt to remove mines following the end of a conflict. 74 Many who opposed the use of landmines, however, felt that the provisions included in the CCW were inadequate and began to seek other, more effective means of addressing the landmine problem. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) 75, established in 1991, led the global landmine ban movement. The ICBL developed a two-prong strategy for attaining its ultimate goal of adopting a global landmine ban: (1) educating the public, mobilizing domestic support and applying pressure on national governments and other relevant parties and (2) urging governments to work toward a complete ban through the existing 1980 CCW. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was also very involved in the global landmine ban movement, launching an international media campaign designed to mobilize the international community and stigmatize the use of landmines in 1995. In 1996, the Canadian government hosted a conference in Ottawa to discuss an international strategy for achieving an immediate, comprehensive landmine ban. The Canadian government, in collaboration with ICBL and ICRC, ultimately decided that a non-consensus negotiating forum outside the UN provided the best avenue to achieving a global ban quickly. The conference launched 14 months of government and NGO negotiations, also known as the “Ottawa Process.� The Ottawa Process culminated in the signing of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (the Landmine Ban Treaty) on December 3, 1997, which requires all signatories to destroy stockpiles of landmines within four years and mandates the removal of landmines in the ground within ten years. As of 2011, 156 countries had signed the Landmine Ban Treaty. 86 of those countries have completed destruction of their stockpiles, collectively destroying over 45 million stockpiled landmines. The use of landlines, moreover, has become rare. In 2009 and 2010, Human Rights Watch identified only one government (Myanmar) laying landmines. Use by non-State armed groups was confirmed in six countries, including three State parties (Afghanistan, Colombia and Yemen) and three States not party to the treaty (India, Myanmar and Pakistan). And despite the fact that certain major powers (China, Russia and the U.S.) have refused to sign the Landmine Ban Treaty, they appear to be acting in accordance with its regulations. 76 Countries like China 73

McDonald, in Matthew, 24 McDonald, in Matthew, 24 75 Members included Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Medico International, Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, Mines Advisory Group and Physicians for Human Rights. 76 See generally Human Rights Watch. 74



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and Russia did not sign the treaty because they rely heavily on landmines to protect their territories from aggressors. In late 1990s, the U.S. government decided not to sign the Landmine Ban Treaty because it was unable to secure certain exceptions, such as for the use of landmines by U.S. forces in Korea. 77 D. THE TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PROTECTION ACT Human trafficking is defined as 78: Process Recruitment or Transportation or Transferring or Harboring or Receiving


Way/Means Threat or Coercion or Abduction or Fraud or Deceit or Deception or Abuse of Power


Goal Prostitution or Pornography or Violence/Sexual Exploitation or Forced Labor or Involuntary Servitude or Debt Bondage 
(w ith unfair wages) or Slavery/Similar practices

Victims of trafficking are human beings who are forced to work, under threat of violence, for no pay beyond subsistence. 79 People are trafficked into a variety of settings, ranging from bonded labor to forced prostitution. The goal of traffickers is to exert total control over the victim in order to extract labor or services from him or her. Traffickers around the world use a common set of tactics to trap their victims in exploitative situations, including physical force, threats of physical force, deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, debt bondage, threats of deportation and threats to family members. Scholars and activists have identified a number of human rights that may be violated in the context of human trafficking, including the right to liberty, bodily integrity, freedom of movement, freedom from torture or other cruel and inhuman treatment, freedom from forced labor and slavery, favorable working conditions, heath, education and information. Women are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, largely due to gender inequalities that affect their economic and social status. Women account for at least 56% of all trafficking victims. 80 In the 1990s, the scale of human trafficking increased and a number of high-profile trafficking cases began to attract international attention. High-profile trafficking cases in California and New York highlighted the need to strengthen anti-trafficking legislation in the U.S. In 1995, police raided a garment factory in El Monte, California, discovering 72 workers who had been 77

Politis, 484. U.S. Department of State, Human Trafficking Defined. See also UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. 79 Skinner. 80 U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report. 78



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held in a compound behind fences tipped with razor wire and forced to sew garments in slavelike conditions. The owners forced the workers, most of them Thai women, to work 18-hour days for substandard wages and threatened the workers with deportation and physical violence in order to prevent them from escaping. In 1997, the New York City Police Department discovered 62 deaf-mute Mexicans who had been recruited in homes and schools for the deaf in Mexico for “well-paying” jobs in the U.S. Upon arriving in New York City, they were held against their will and forced to work 18-hour days, peddling key chains. Those who failed to meet their $600 weekly quotas were subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuses. Both cases prompted Congress to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), a bill with broad bipartisan support, in 2000. The TVPA of 2000 created the first comprehensive federal law to address human trafficking and modern-day slavery, targeting both domestic and international dimensions of the practice. The law provides for a three-pronged approach of prevention (of vulnerability), protection (of survivors) and prosecution (of traffickers). Prevention provisions include creating an office within the Department of State charged with monitoring and combatting human trafficking. Protection provisions include providing social services and legal benefits to survivors of trafficking, including employment authorization, housing and mental health services. Prosecution protections include establishing human trafficking as a federal crime with severe penalties and mandating that restitution be paid to survivors. 81 The TVPA has been reauthorized through the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2003, 2005, 2005 and 2011. Each time the TVPA has been reauthorized, additional provisions have been added to the original text of the bill. The TVPRA of 2003, for example, allows victims to sue their traffickers and permits the government to terminate international contracts with companies or individuals engaged in trafficking. In the U.S., support services are available to victims of trafficking, even if they choose not to or cannot afford to prosecute their traffickers. Trafficking victims have access to various benefits through the government (i.e. Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance, the Matching Grant Program, the Public Housing Program and Job Corps) and a wide-range of services through NGOs (i.e. food, shelter, clothing, health care, legal services, job training, education and transportation). 82 The needs of trafficking victims, however, are among the most complex of the needs of crime victims, often requiring a multidisciplinary approach to address severe trauma, medical needs, immigration and other legal issues, safety concerns, financial hardship, shelter and other basic daily needs. The Polaris Project has created a National Contacts Referral Database in an effort to consolidate information about the services that are currently available to victims of human trafficking in the U.S. and many other countries. 83 E. UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTIONS ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE The vast majority of casualties in today’s wars are among civilians, mostly women and children. Women, in particular, face devastating forms of sexual violence, which are sometimes deployed 81

World Vision. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1-3. 83 Polaris Project, website. 82



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systematically in order to achieve military or political objectives. Perpetrators of sexual violence against women during war can have various objectives, such as terrorizing the local population, deliberately infecting women with HIV or changing the ethnic make-up of the next generation by rendering women from the targeted community incapable of bearing children. Widespread and systematic sexual violence can also hamper sustainable post-conflict recovery by (1) undermining social stability through the destruction of families and communities; (2) restraining women’s mobility through fear of sexual violence, leading women to retreat from economic activity and girls to stay home from school; and (3) undermining the State’s ability to protect its citizens when perpetrators of sexual violence go unpunished. 84 Historically, sexual violence in conflict was considered unavoidable. During World War II, both sides of the conflict were accused of mass rapes, yet neither of the courts set up by the victorious Allies (in Nuremberg and Tokyo) prosecuted the crime of sexual violence. It was not until 1992, following the widespread sexual violence committed against women in the former Yugoslavia, that the international community recognized sexual violence as a stand-alone crime under international humanitarian law. That year, the UN Security Council declared the “massive, organized and systematic detention and rape of women, in particular Muslim women, in Bosnia and Herzegovina” to be an international crime that must be addressed. 85 Subsequently, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) became the first international court to find an accused person guilty of rape as a crime against humanity and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) became the first international court to find an accused person guilty of rape as a crime of genocide. The 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) states that rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity constitutes a crime against humanity when it is committed in a widespread or systematic way. 86 More recently, the UN Security Council has also passed a series of resolutions to help raise awareness and address the problem of conflict-related sexual violence: •

Resolution 1325 of 2000 requires parties involved in armed conflict to abide by international laws that protect the rights of civilian women and girls and to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict.

Resolution 1820 of 2008 urges parties to end the use of brutal acts of sexual violence against women and girls as a tactic of war and end impunity of the perpetrators.

Resolution 1888 of 2009 calls for detailed measures to further protect women and children from sexual violence in conflict situations, such as directing the Secretary-General to appoint a special representative to lead and coordinate the UN’s work on this issue and sending a team of experts to situations of particular concern.


See generally United Nations. See generally United Nations. 86 See generally United Nations. 85



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Resolution 1889 of 2009 reaffirms Resolution 1325, condemning continuing sexual violence against women in conflict situations and urging UN Member States and civil society actors to consider the need for protecting and empowering women and girls, including those associated with armed groups, through post-conflict programming.

Resolution 1960 of 2010 directs the Secretary-General to list those parties credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for patterns of sexual violence in situations on the Council’s agenda and calls for the establishment of monitoring, analysis and reporting mechanisms for conflict-related sexual violence.

In 2007, the UN established UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, which currently coordinates the UN’s work on conflict-related sexual violence. In 2010, the Secretary-General appointed Margot Wallström as Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, who has prioritized: (1) ending impunity; (2) empowering women; (3) mobilizing political leadership; (4) increasing recognition of sexual violence as a tactic and consequence of conflict; and (5) ensuring a more coherent response from the UN System. Ultimately, national governments are responsible for implementing the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council. According to the current Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, however, many governments currently lack the political will to develop the legal frameworks necessary to enforce the relevant Security Council resolutions. 87 Experts report that only a small number of war crimes cases involving sexual violence have been prosecuted. Victims of conflict-related sexual violence, moreover, remain socially and economically marginalized and have difficulty accessing affordable health care services. 88 F. JUVENILE LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE Nearly all countries in the world reject the punishment of life without the possibility of parole or release (LWOP) for juvenile offenders. A LWOP sentence – which means that there is no possibility of release during the prisoner’s lifetime – is the harshest sentence that can be imposed on an individual, short of execution. While incarceration may be proper for youth convicted of severely violent crimes, experts in the field are concerned that imposing LWOP sentences on children cannot be squared with modern understandings of children, international customary law or fundamental human rights norms. Many psychologists have argued that the conviction of children cannot be equated with that of adults in the criminal justice context, even when they commit the same crime. Children lack adult capacity to use reasoned judgment, to prevent inappropriate or harmful action generated as a result of high emotion and fear or to understand the long-term consequences of their actions. Harsh sentences dispensed in adult courts, such as LWOP, however, do not take into account the lessened culpability of juvenile offenders. They also fail to account for children’s ineptness at

87 88

UN News Centre, “Eradicating sexual violence in conflict not ‘a mission impossible’. UNFPA.



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navigating the criminal justice system or their potential for rehabilitation or reintegration into society. 89 On a global level, there is a near universal consensus that imposing LWOP sentences on children violates customary international law and international human rights law. Legal scholars argue that the prohibition against imposing LWOP sentences on children has achieved the status of customary international law 90 and is therefore binding upon all States. Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by every country except the U.S. and Somalia, expressly prohibits the practice. Many legal scholars have also argued that imposing LWOP sentences on children constitutes cruel, unusual or degrading treatment under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 91 and the Convention Against Torture. Damion Todd, for example, was 17 in 1986 when he and three friends were shot at outside a party in Detroit. Damion and his friends drove to a friend’s house, retrieved a shotgun and returned to the party. As they pulled up to the party, someone shot at them. Though Damion had never used a gun before, one of his friends pushed the gun into his hands and told him to shoot. Damion pointed the gun out the window at a 45 degree angle toward the sky and fired three times, hoping to scare the assailants. Unfortunately, one shot hit an attendee of the party, killing her, and another shot wounded another guest. Although Damion had no prior criminal record, he was automatically tried in the adult court system and sentenced to mandatory life without parole. Damion has served over 20 years in prison. 92 Accordingly, very few countries have imposed or continue to impose life sentences on juvenile offenders. In fact, only two countries continue to sentence child offenders to LWOP terms today: the U.S. and Israel. The U.S. has at least 2,381 children serving LWOP sentences, while Israel has just seven. In other words, the U.S. is responsible for more than 99.9% of all child offenders serving an LWOP sentence. 93 Of the children serving LWOP sentences in the U.S., a disproportionate number are children of color. Although significant racial disparities exist in the overall juvenile justice system, African American children are reportedly serving LWOP sentences at a rate that is ten times higher than white children. 94 In the U.S., 44 states and the federal government allow LWOP sentences to be imposed on juvenile offenders. 95 The chart below outlines state laws governing LWOP, as of 2007 96:


Leighton, i. There must be widespread, constant and uniform state practice compelled by legal obligation that is sufficiently long to establish the norm. 91 Articles 10.3 and 14.4 of the ICCPR also require that youth offenders be treated in accordance with their age and the desirability of promoting their rehabilitation. Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, 3. 92 ACLU, Second Chances: Shining a Light on Human Rights Violations in Michigan’s Child Sentencing Guidelines, 6. 93 Leighton, 2. 94 Leighton, 6-7. 95 No children are known to be serving LWOP sentences in 5 (ME, NJ, NY, UT, VT) of the 44 states that allow LWOP sentences to be imposed on juvenile offenders. Leighton, Appendix. 96 Leighton, Appendix. 90



Prohibits LWOP for children Allows LWOP sentences for children aged 16+ Allows LWOP sentences for children aged 15+ Allows LWOP sentences for children aged 14+ Allows LWOP sentences for children aged 13+ Allows LWOP sentences for children aged 12+ Allows LWOP sentences for children aged 10+ Allows LWOP sentences for children aged 8+ Allows LWOP sentences for children of any age

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In June of 2012, however, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the laws in 29 of the states that mandate LWOP for juveniles who commit murder were unconstitutional because they constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Judges are now required to consider the defendant’s youth and the nature of the crime before sentencing him or her to a LWOP. Even states that have laws governing LWOP that already comply with the requirements set forth by the Supreme Court have begun to revisit these laws. California’s Governor, for example, signed SB 9 in September of 2012, which allows people who have served 15 years of a LWOP sentence for crimes committed under the age of 18 to petition for reconsideration of their sentences. Judges then have the option to change a LWOP sentence to 25 years-to-life if the inmate shows remorse and is taking steps toward rehabilitation. 97


Fair Sentencing for Youth, website.



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PART II: THE CURRENT STATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1. MODERN-DAY SLAVERY & HUMAN TRAFFICKING Although all countries and a number of international human rights mechanisms 98 prohibit the practice, slavery still exists today. Because modern-day slaves are very well hidden, estimates of global slavery vary widely, ranging from 12 million to 30 million.99 The different types of slavery and slavery-like practice are listed below: •

Forced labor (also known as involuntary servitude) often results when unscrupulous employers exploit workers, who are vulnerable due to high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, discrimination, corruption, political conflict or even cultural acceptance of the practice. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable, but individuals also may be forced into labor in their own countries. Women who are victims of forced labor, particularly women and girls in domestic servitude, are often sexually exploited as well. 100

Bonded labor (also known as debt bondage) occurs when traffickers or recruiters unlawfully exploit an initial debt that the worker assumed as part of the terms of employment. The value of the work is invariably greater than the original sum of money borrowed. In more traditional systems of bonded labor, workers may also inherit intergenerational debt. 101

Forced marriage 102 refers broadly to cases where one or both spouses are married without their full and free consent. 103 Forced marriage can occur during conflict situations, i.e. when women are kidnapped by rebels or soldiers, raped, confined, forced to provide domestic services, impregnated and controlled during a war. At least one court 104 has distinguished the crime of forced marriage from that of sexual slavery in conflict situations. 105

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation includes, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. 106


Declaration Relative to the Universal Abolition of the Slave Trade (1815); Slavery, Servitude, Forced Labour and Similar Institutions and Practices of 1926 (1926) and its Supplementary Convention (1956); Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966); Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000) and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000). 99 Bales, Defining and Measuring Slavery. 100 U.S. Department of State. 101 U.S. Department of State. 102 There has been a great deal of inconsistency as to how “forced marriage” has been defined according to international human rights law. 103 Bunting, 168. 104 The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). 105 Bunting, 165-166. 106 Article 3, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.



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Other human rights violations often accompany the process of enslavement and the treatment of victims of slavery and forced labor, including violations of an individual’s rights to liberty, to security of person, to be free from torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and to freedom of expression, association and information, among others. 107 A number of NGOs that are based in the U.S. are working to end modern-day slavery worldwide. Many of these organizations, including Free the Slaves 108, International Justice Mission 109, Not For Sale Campaign 110, the Polaris Project 111, Vital Voices Global Partnership 112 and World Vision 113, among others, have joined the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST). ATEST advocates for lasting approaches that prevent labor and sex trafficking, hold perpetrators accountable, ensure justice for victims and empower survivors with tools for recovery. 114 Its member organizations employ various strategies for ending the practice of slavery, ranging from policy reform to local grassroots organizing and advocacy to provision of services to victims to research and education to training and capacity building. Other projects, like CNN’s Freedom Project, are joining the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on the horrors of the practice, amplifying the voices of victims, highlighting success stories and helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises that are trading in human life. 115 At the international level, efforts to end modern slavery often focus on the practice of “trafficking in persons” or “human trafficking” 116, which has become one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has documented the trafficking of humans from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries. 117 Although each human trafficking case is unique, most follow a similar pattern: people are abducted or recruited in their country of origin, transferred through transit regions and then exploited in the destination country. 118 Trafficking has been characterized as “the perfect business” because the supply of vulnerable people is constant and there are high, continual profits due to the fact that a victim can be exploited for years on end. 119 The International Labour Office estimates that trafficking generates close to $32 million in profits each year. 120


Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, 8-9. Free the Slaves, website. 109 International Justice Mission, website. 110 Not for Sale Campaign, website. 111 Polaris Project, website. 112 Vital Voices Global Partnership, website. 113 World Vision, website. 114 Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, website. 115 CNN Freedom Project, website. 116 It is important to note that some anti-slavery advocates use the terms trafficking in persons” or “human trafficking” as umbrella terms for all forms of modern-day slavery. For the purposes of this text, those terms will only be used for a specific form of modern-day slavery, as defined above. 117 UN Office on Drugs and Crime. 118 UN Office on Drugs and Crime. 119 World Vision, 10 Things You Need to Know about Labour in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region. 120 International Labour Office. 108



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In 1999, the UNODC, in conjunction with the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) launched the Global Programme Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GPAT). GPAT aims to shed light on the causes and processes of human trafficking and assist governments in their anti-trafficking efforts. 121 In 2000, moreover, the UN adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons to supplement the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. 122 Most recently, in 2007, a number of international bodies 123 launched the UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT). Acknowledging that human trafficking is a crime of such magnitude that it cannot be dealt with successfully by any government alone, UN.GIFT has developed a global, multi-stakeholder 124 strategy that builds on national efforts to end human trafficking throughout the world. 125 Human trafficking is also a crime at the national level. The U.S., for example, has both federal 126 and state anti-trafficking laws. Most recently, in November of 2012, California voters passed Proposition 35, the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act.127 Proposition 35 increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions, mandates training of law enforcement on human trafficking and requires convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders. 128 2. PRISON REFORM Imprisonment is increasingly the main recourse of the criminal justice system throughout the world. The U.S. continues to have the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with more than 2.1 million people now behind bars. While the correctional facilities in the U.S. are less turbulent and violent than they were in the latter half of the 20th century, prison reform advocates remain concerned about the current conditions of detention in the U.S. American prisons and jails are still too violent and overcrowded. Certain practices, including long-term solitary confinement and the use of restraints during childbirth and labor, constitute violations of prisoners’ human rights. 129 Moreover, denial of adequate physical and mental health care, basic sanitation and protection from physical and sexual assault are all too common. As a result, far too many prisoners are held in conditions that threaten their health, safety and human dignity. 130 Prison reform advocates are particularly troubled by three practices: long-term solitary confinement, sexual abuse and the death penalty. Reformers argue that the use of solitary


UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Kandathil, 97. 123 The International Labor Organization (ILO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Organization on Migration (IOM) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). 124 Stakeholders include governments, businesses, academia, civil society and the media. 125 Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, website. 126 Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). 127 A judge has temporarily blocked a provision in Proposition 35, which requires sex offenders to register their online screen names, e-mail addresses, and Internet service providers with law enforcement. 128 California Secretary of State. 129 King, 282-283. 130 ACLU, website. 122



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confinement 131 is counter-productive, often causing violence inside prisons and contributing to recidivism after release. 132 Solitary confinement causes prisoners, particularly young prisoners under the age of 18, to feel doomed and abandoned or, in some cases, suicidal, and can lead to serous physical and emotional consequences. 133 Unfortunately, the number of prisoners held in solitary confinement in the U.S. is increasing. 134 Sexual abuse is widespread in U.S. prisons, despite the federal government’s issuance of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in 2003. 135 Well over 200,000 adults and children in U.S. detention are sexually abused each year. 136 Incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse are at risk of suffering serious emotional and physical consequences, including developing posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and drug addictions, as well as contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. 137 Marginalized populations in prisons, such as LGBT prisoners and prisoners with mental or physical disabilities, are most vulnerable to sexual abuse in the U.S. prison system. In women’s prisons, the perpetrators are the corrections staff in most cases of sexual abuse. 138 The U.S. continues to permit the administration of the death penalty, a practice that over twothirds of the world’s countries (141) have now abolished. The U.S., moreover, is one of five countries (China, Iran, North Korea, Yemen and the U.S.) in which the overwhelming majority of all known executions took place in 2010. 139 Organizations that advocate for the abolition of the practice in the U.S., such as Amnesty International, argue that the death penalty: • Violates international human rights standards; • Is racially biased; • Claims innocent lives; • Is not a deterrent; • Costs more and diverts resources from genuine crime control; • Disregards mental illness; and • Is arbitrary and unfair. 140 While the number of death sentences in the U.S. has dropped dramatically since 2000, voters continue to defeat bills, like California’s Proposition 34, that would repeal state death penalty laws. 141 Prison reform advocates are also concerned about the disproportionate representation of people of color, particularly African Americans, in U.S. prisons and jails. African Americans are 131

Solitary confinement involves spending 22 or more hours each day alone, usually in a small cell behind a solid steer door, completely isolated both physically and socially, often for days, weeks, or even months on end. ACLU, Growing Up Locked Down. 132 The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons. 133 ACLU, Growing Up Locked Down. 134 Human Rights Watch. 135 Just Detention International, The Prison Rape Elimination Act. 136 Just Detention International, website. 137 Just Detention International, website. 138 Just Detention International, website. 139 Amnesty International. 140 Amnesty International. 141 Proposition 34 would have repealed the death penalty in California and replaced it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. California Secretary of State.



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disproportionately represented at all stages of the criminal justice system, including arrest, pretrial detention and court processing, prosecution, sentencing, incarceration, probation and parole, capital punishment and recidivism. African Americans make up 13% of the general U.S. population, yet they constitute 28% of all arrests, 40% of all inmates held in prisons and jails and 42% of the population on death row. 142 The mass incarceration of African Americans and other people of color has a destabilizing effect on their communities, skewing the male-to-female in those communities, increasing the likelihood that children will not be raised by both parents and contributing to the fragmentation of these neighborhoods. 143 Racial disparities in the criminal justice system also have the effect of compromising the legitimacy of the system, undermining its effectiveness and fostering racial divisions. 144 Because places of detention are inherently closed environments and house a politically powerless population, external oversight is critical to guard against these types of abuses. 145 Traditionally, external oversight of the U.S. prison system has been provided by civil rights litigation, which allows those individuals whose rights have been violated to seek redress and demand reforms in court. 146 The federal Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 and its state analogs, however, have significantly reduced judicial oversight of prisons, jails and juvenile facilities. 147 At the same time, the increasing privatization of detention, which creates financial incentives for both increased incarceration and harsher conditions of confinement, has made public accountability and external oversight even more important. 148 As a result, NGOs working to advance prison reform in the U.S., like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), are working to increase public accountability and transparency of jails, prisons and other places of detention. Unfortunately, protection and promotion of prisoners’ rights is rarely prioritized in the U.S., due to the fact that many Americans know very little about the conditions of confinement 149 or lack empathy for criminals, especially violent ones. 150 The governments of other countries around the world are engaged in prison reform as well. NGOs, as well as regional and international bodies, often support national governments’ efforts to align their practices with international standards on prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners. Penal Reform International (PRI), for example, has worked with local NGOs to reduce the size of the prison population in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal through the introduction of alternative sentencing. 151 In Russia and Ukraine, PRI is improving the treatment and living conditions of vulnerable populations, including children and women, in places of detention. 152 The Council of Europe153 has been working to improve the treatment of those 142

National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2. Weich, 205. 144 Weich, 206. 145 ACLU, website. 146 Just Detention International, The Need for Prison Oversight. 147 ACLU, website. 148 ACLU, website. 149 The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons. 150 Criminal acts violate sentiments and emotions which are deeply ingrained in most members of society – they shock their healthy consciences – and these violations call forth strong psychological reactions, even among those not directly affected. They provoke a sense of outrage, anger, indignation and a passionate desire for vengeance. International Council on Human Rights Policy, 37. 151 Penal Reform International, website. 152 Penal Reform International, website. 143



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imprisoned or otherwise deprived of their liberty in the region since the 1960s. The Council has been involved in a range of activities, including: • Adopting protocols 154 to abolish the death penalty; • Setting up a non-judicial committee 155 charged with assessing the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty; • Drafting a set of minimum standards 156 for prison staff, prisoners and pre-trial detainees; • Organizing conferences 157 to discuss research findings, proposals and priority topics in the area of prison administration; and • Setting up an advisory body158 to offer expertise and advice on penal policies. 159 The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was established to coordinate the UN’s work around criminal justice reform, as well as organized crime and trafficking, use of illicit drugs, corruption and terrorism. According to the UNODC, prison reform is necessary to protect the human rights of prisoners and increase their prospects for social reintegration. 160 Because a sentence of imprisonment constitutes only a deprivation of the basic right to liberty, it should not entail the restriction of other human rights. The UNODC supports countries 161 that are building and reforming their prison systems by helping them: • Improve legal safeguards for prisoners; • Introduce and widen the scope of alternatives to pre-trial detention; • Increase the scope of alternatives to imprisonment; and • Support offenders and ex-offenders address their social reintegration needs. 162 The UNODC has also supported the development of the Compendium of United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and numerous other prison reform-related standards that are intended to support the building of fair and effective criminal justice systems at the national level. 163 3. NATURAL RESOURCE RIGHTS The natural resources found in or near many local communities (i.e. land, water, forests, etc.) are typically their most important economic assets. Government and other powerful interests and industries, including mining, petroleum, logging, agribusiness, ranching and tourism, however, often claim exclusive access to these resources and their benefits. As large companies or agricultural settlers move into their lands and territories, entire communities are displaced or 153

The Council of Europe is an international organization in Strasbourg that was established to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe. 154 Protocols No. 6 and No. 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights. 155 European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 156 European Prison Rules. 157 Conferences of Directors of Prison Administration. 158 Council for Penological Co-operation. 159 Council of Europe. 160 UN Office on Drugs and Crime, website. 161 Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. 162 UN Office on Drugs and Crime, website. 163 UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention and Imprisonment, Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, etc. UN Office on Drugs and Crime, website.



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denied access to these important natural resources. 164 Even when communities have gained ownership or secure access to natural resources, they may be hampered by inadequate levels of public investment, inappropriate policies or competition from corporations that are unrestrained by regulation. 165 The loss of these resources, which form the basis of peoples’ lives and livelihoods, is devastating for these local communities, which are already living on the edge of poverty. Small-scale farmers, indigenous groups and tribal peoples throughout the world have been connected to their lands for generations and rely upon them for their basic needs. In the process of setting up and maintaining extraction projects and other megaprojects (such as large dams), companies and governments encroach on agricultural lands, engage in deforestation and contaminate local soil and water reserves. In effect, these projects threaten the food security of local populations and make traditional, agrarian lifestyles untenable. In many regions of the world, land is also the source and foundation of culture, language and spiritual belief systems. As a result, when land is confiscated or made uninhabitable by deforestation or the building of dams, many traditional communities lose a vital connection to their identities. 166 Competition for valuable natural resources is also fueling violent conflicts, including widespread human rights violations in countries such as Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 167 In Colombia, re-armed paramilitary groups remain a threat to many rural communities, particularly in the northeast and west, where they have traditionally hidden and exploited weak local governance. Paramilitary leaders in this part of the country use violence and intimidation to displace Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations from natural resourcerich lands. 168 While the violent conflict in the DRC has revolved around struggles for political control, recent research has highlighted the role that contested rights to land and natural resources have played in triggering and sustaining the conflict. Control over access to land, for example, is an important instrument of political and economic domination, which elites in the DRC use to disempower sections of the local community. 169 A growing body of international and regional instruments calls for the protection of local communities’ natural resource rights. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that “all peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources.” It also states that, “[i]n no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.” Similarly, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development provides that “local communities should have a vital role in environmental management and development and, as a result, their identity, culture and interests must be protected.” International instruments like the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of 1989 and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People highlight the importance of protecting indigenous communities’ right to the land that they traditionally occupy and other natural resources. The Declaration recognizes the right of indigenous communities to remain on their 164

Ford Foundation, Expanding Community Rights Over Natural Resources. Ford Foundation, Expanding Community Rights Over Natural Resources. 166 American Jewish World Service, Promoting Natural Resource Rights. 167 American Jewish World Service, Promoting Natural Resource Rights. 168 New Security Beat. 169 Huggins. 165



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ancestral lands, determine their own priorities and strategies for their development and assume management of the lands and resources they have possessed through traditional ownership. 170 Article 21 of the American Convention on Human Rights protects the right to property, which encompasses the use and enjoyment of its natural resources. 171 The Inter-American system 172, which oversees States’ compliance with the American Convention, has noted that this right has singular importance for indigenous and tribal peoples “because the guarantee of the right to territorial property is a fundamental basis for the development of indigenous communities’ culture, spiritual life, integrity and economic survival.” 173 The Inter-American system, moreover, has highlighted how natural resource rights enable communities to access a range of other basic human rights, especially the rights to life, personal integrity, a dignified existence, food, water, health and education. 174 The African Commission on Human Rights has also passed a Resolution on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Natural Resources, which calls upon State parties to ensure respect for human rights in all matters of natural resources exploration, extraction, toxic waste management, development, management and governance. 175 A number of international and national NGOs are also dedicated to promoting and protecting local communities’ natural resource rights. The American Jewish World Service (AJWS), for example, supports over 450 grassroots, community-based organizations in Africa, Asia and the Americas that promote ethical and sustainable approaches to the use of natural resources, advocate for development initiatives that benefit local populations and involve communities in decision-making processes. In Uganda, where the recent discovery of oil has the potential to generate billions of dollars in revenue, AJWS grantee National Association of Professional Environmentalists is educating and organizing grassroots groups to demand accountability and respect for human rights as the oil development proceeds. 176 Ford Foundation, similarly, has developed an initiative 177 to help communities that depend on natural resources in marginalized, environmentally fragile regions secure greater control over those resources and their benefits. It also encourages the kinds of public investments that will improve productivity and returns from those resources. The initiative focuses on forested landscapes in Brazil, southern Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala, the “forestlands” of Indonesia and the grasslands, dry lands and marginal farmlands in West China, central and eastern India, Kenya and Uganda. 178


American Jewish World Service, 2. American Convention on Human Rights (1969). 172 The Inter-American system refers to both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights. 173 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Rights Over Their Ancestral Lands and Natural Resources. 174 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Rights Over Their Ancestral Lands and Natural Resources. 175 African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. 176 American Jewish World Service, 3. 177 The Expanding Community Rights over Natural Resources Initiative. 178 Ford Foundation. 171



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4. SOCIAL MEDIA Social media, which include blogs, video and social networking sites, have become key forums for raising awareness about important human rights issues. Social media allow human rights advocates to disseminate information about human rights abuses more quickly and more broadly than ever before. Because social media sites tend to be free, they are widely accessible across socioeconomic classes. 179 Social media, moreover, expand access to evidence of human rights abuses beyond what is offered by the mainstream media and NGOs, penetrating the veils of secrecy that are often thrown up by repressive governments. The popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, also known as the “Arab Spring”, illustrate how social media can promote and prompt progressive political change. While social media alone did not cause the revolutions and uprisings that took place during this time 180, they played a number of important roles in the unarmed and largely peaceful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that overthrew long-standing dictators and unprecedented protests that arose in most other Arab countries. First, social media allowed seemingly leaderless movements to build momentum gradually. Participants could stand up to be counted (i.e. by signaling support on Facebook) without necessarily taking to the streets, until there was a sufficient sense of safety in numbers. 181 Second, while State-run media circulated government propaganda, social media functioned as a forum for honest political discourse. 182 Activists, for example, used YouTube to post mobile-phone videos recording military and police brutality. 183 Finally, around the time large-scale protests were initiated, activists began to use social media to communicate with one another (i.e. to organize and schedule protects). 184 The “Kony 2012” campaign also highlights the important role that social media can play in human rights advocacy. In March of 2012, the NGO Invisible Children released a 30-minute video about Joseph Kony and his rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The documentary video looks at Kony and the LRA’s use of brutal guerilla warfare tactics and forcible recruitment of child soldiers in East and Central Africa, an issue that Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other international NGOs have investigated extensively. 185 Ultimately, the video urges viewers to join Invisible Children in its efforts to arrest Kony. 186 While the video has been criticized for a number of reasons 187, it has also been characterized as a successful example of how social media can be used to raise awareness around a cause. In just 179

Joseph, 149. The underlying case of all the uprisings has been mass dissatisfaction with incompetent, corrupt and oppressive systems of government and growing gaps between rich and poor. Joseph, 157. 181 Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, Time to Abandon the Autocrats and Embrace Rights: The International Response to the Arab Spring. 182 Xu. 183 Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, Time to Abandon the Autocrats and Embrace Rights: The International Response to the Arab Spring. 184 Xu. 185 Human Rights Watch, Ida Sawyer, From Campaigning to Action on Joseph Kony and the LRA. 186 In 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Joseph Kony (along with four other senior LRA leaders) for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in northern Uganda. Human Rights Watch, Q&A on Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. 187 Critics, for example, have argued that the Kony 2012 campaign oversimplifies or misrepresents the LRA’s part in two decades worth of complex regional wars in East and Central Africa. 180



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72 hours, the video was viewed more than 43 million times on YouTube, becoming the fastest spreading “viral” video of all time. 188 This was due in large part to the campaign’s clever marketing strategy, which used a simplistic narrative, upbeat music and powerfully edited visuals to evoke an emotional response among a younger generation of viewers, motivating them to share the video via Twitter or Facebook. The campaign also benefitted from the involvement of Oprah, Katie Couric, Bill Gates, Justin Beiber and other high profile celebrities, who tweeted their support of Kony 2012. 189 International organizations, like the United Nations, have also begun to use social media to promote human rights. In December of 2011, inspired by the role that Facebook and Twitter played in the Arab Spring earlier that year, the UN launched a social media campaign aimed at expanding the reach of the global human rights movement. 190 As part of the campaign, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) initiated “30 Days and 30 Rights,” an online countdown to Human Rights Day on Facebook and Twitter. Each day, OHCHR posted about a different article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The High Commissioner also hosted a global human rights dialogue on the eve of Human Rights Day, which was both webcast and streamed live, to answer questions that poured in via different social media platforms. 191 More recently, OHCHR launched a social media campaign around Rio+20 (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development), which took place in June of 2012. The campaign invited people to add their voices to the conversations that were taking place at Rio+20, which had focused on determining how to build a green economy to lift people out of poverty without destroying the environment and to improve international coordination for sustainable development. #RightsRio, the hashtag created for the campaign, reached over one million Twitter users within 24 hours of the launch. 192 The use of social media in human rights advocacy, however, has provoked counter-responses from some repressive States. As the use of social media has become more common among political activists, authoritarian States are increasingly attempting to reduce political opposition by blocking and filtering websites, manipulating content, attacking and imprisoning bloggers, punishing ordinary users and coercing website owners to remove content. 193 In Iran, for example, authorities arrested at least ten journalists and bloggers, all of whom have been associated with reformist papers or websites critical of government policies, during January of 2012. 194 The wave of arrests appeared to be a brazen attempt by the authorities to exercise absolute control over information available to the citizens in advance of the March parliamentary elections. These practices constitute violations of the rights of freedom of opinion and expression 195 and freedom of information 196, since the international community has formally recognized that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online. 197 In 188

Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights. Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights. 190 UN News Centre. 191 UN News Centre. 192 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 193 Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe, Human Rights and a Changing Landscape. 194 Human Rights Watch, Iran: New Assault on Freedom of Information. 195 Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Article 19; and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 19. 196 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 19. 197 Human Rights Council, Resolution on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association. 189



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2012, the Human Rights Council, the body that oversees the enforcement of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, passed two landmark resolutions, one that supports freedom of expression on the Internet and one that recognizes the important role of information and communication technologies in protecting the rights to peaceful assembly and association. 198 5. TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE MECHANISMS After a period of brutal conflict or repression, societies often engage in transitional justice measures in order to ensure legal accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation. Transitional justice measures were first adopted in response to the political transitions taking place in Latin American and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when human rights activists developed processes that were aimed at both addressing the systematic abuses of former regimes and reinforcing the political transitions that were underway. 199 Today, transitional justice encompasses a full range of mechanisms with differing aims, ranging from the identification of the root causes of the conflict to the establishment of an accurate record of what happened to the provision of justice for victims to the creation of processes to hold perpetrators accountable to the prevention of future human rights abuses. 200 Transitional justice mechanisms can take a variety of forms, both judicial and non-judicial, including: •

Criminal prosecutions aim to ensure that the individuals who are responsible for committing crimes, including serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, are tried in accordance with international legal standards for a fair trial and, where appropriate, are punished. States have the primary responsibility of conducting these types of prosecutions within their national legal systems. However, States emerging from years of conflict or repressive rule are often unable or unwilling to conduct effective prosecutions. 201 Under these circumstances, international courts, such as the International Criminal Court, or ad hoc temporary tribunals, such as the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR), may prosecute the perpetrators of human rights and humanitarian law violations. Following some conflicts, as in the case of Cambodia in 2003, mixed or hybrid courts have been introduced to carry out criminal prosecutions. 202


Reparations programs refer to various measures that seek to redress past wrongs by providing a range of material and symbolic benefits to victims. Reparations can include the provision of goods or services, the granting of legal rights (i.e. citizenship and nationality), the disclosure of the truth, the commemoration of victims, public apologies or memorials. Reparations can be judicial or non-judicial and can be allocated individually or collectively. 203 Experience has shown that the most successful reparations programs are


Human Rights Council, Resolution on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association and Resolution on the Promotion, Protection and Enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet. 199 United Nations, What is Transitional Justice?. A Backgrounder. 200 The Advocates for Human Rights. 201 United Nations, Guidance Note of the Secretary-General: United Nations Approach to Transitional Justice. 202 Governance and Social Development Resource Centre. 203 Governance and Social Development Resource Centre.



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designed in consultation with affected communities. The government in Sierra Leone and a national NGO, for example, have conducted numerous consultations with local populations in order to inform the process of establishing a reparations program, which has committed to providing services to address the immediate needs of victims in the areas of health, education, psychological support and economic development. 204 •

Truth-seeking processes are undertaken by ad hoc non-judicial truth commissions or commissions of inquiry that are established by States to investigate and report on human rights abuses, usually those perpetrated by military, government or other State institutions. They seek to facilitate reconciliation by creating a more accurate historical record of human rights abuses and providing recommendations for addressing the root causes and outcomes of the conflict. 205 The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia was established in 2006, in the wake of a civil war that left 200,000 people dead and one million people displaced. The Commission was tasked with promoting national peace security, unity and reconciliation by investigating international human rights and international humanitarian law violations and other crimes that occurred between 1979 and 2003. The Commission’s final report recommended that Charles Taylor (former president of Liberia) be prosecuted for the gross human rights violations amassed during his dictatorial rule. Although Liberia lacked the political will and resources to set up a tribunal, the Special Court of Sierra Leone ultimately found Taylor guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes in 2012 for his role in the atrocities committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war in the 1990s. 206

Memorialization refers to forms of collective remembrance and public consciousnessraising, such as memorials, museums and places of memory. Unlike other transitional mechanisms, memorialization can involve large numbers of people over long periods of time. It can also be initiated by both communities and governments. 207 The Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Chile, for example, is dedicated to educating the public about the history of the Pinochet dictatorship and documenting its abuses.

Institutional reform is necessary to transform public institutions that helped perpetrate a conflict into institutions that sustain peace, protect human rights and foster a culture of respect for the rule of law. 208 Vetting (also known as lustration), for example, involves removing public employees who are personally responsible for human rights violations or who pose a threat to the State from office through processes such as dismissal, forced retirement or the establishment of criteria to be met by future public employees. 209 Unfortunately, it is possible for post-conflict governments to abuse the vetting process. For example, following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the Iraqi government dismissed an unknown number of Ba’ath Party members from government jobs and prohibited them from


UN General Assembly. Governance and Social Development Resource Centre. 206 New York Times. 207 Governance and Social Development Resource Centre. 208 UN General Assembly. 209 Governance and Social Development Resource Centre. 205



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future public sector employment in the early 2000s, with very little regard for due process or administrative, political and security consequences. 210 The United Nations has played an important role in helping war-torn and post-conflict societies come to terms with past large-scale abuses and re-establish respect for the rule of law. The UN has supported a range of transitional justice mechanisms in countries in Africa (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Liberia, Uganda and Sierra Leone), Asia (Afghanistan, TimorLeste), Europe (Bosnia and Herzgovina) and Latin American (Guatemala and Colombia). 211 The UN gives careful consideration to the particular needs of the post-conflict society when selecting and designing an appropriate transitional justice program. It takes into account various factors, including the root causes of the underlying conflict, patterns of discrimination, nature of the human rights violations and condition of the country’s security and justice sectors. 212 Transitional justice experts have noted that discussions around the design and implementation of transitional justice mechanisms should involve as many members of the affected communities as possible, particularly marginalized groups, in order to ensure that such efforts are successful and sustainable. 213 6. MASS ATROCITIES Mass atrocities, including both genocide and crimes against humanity, are human rights violations that are directed against a specific population. 214 The formal definitions of genocide and crimes against humanity are included below: Genocide Any of the following crimes when committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group: •

Killing members of the group;

Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

Crimes against Humanity Any of the following crimes when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population on national, political, ethnic, racial or religious grounds:

Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;








International Center for Transitional Justice. UN Economic and Social Committee. 212 UN Rule of Law. 213 Governance and Social Development Resource Centre. 214 Physicians for Human Rights, website. 211


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Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. 215


Persecutions on political, rational and religious grounds;

Other inhumane acts. 216

There are two main differences between genocide and crimes against humanity: intent and acts. With regard to “intent”, genocide must be committed with the specific intent to destroy a population, while crimes against humanity must be committed as part of a systematic or widespread attack against a civilian population. 217 With regard to “acts”, genocide encompasses only five specific acts 218, while crimes against humanity encompass a much broader group of acts 219. The major genocides of the 20th century include the Ottoman slaughter of the Armenians (1915-1916), the Nazi Holocaust (1939-1945), Pol Pot’s terror in Cambodia (1975-1979), Saddam Hussein’s destruction of the Kurds in northern Iraq (1987-1988), the Bosnian Serb’s eradication of non-Serbs (1992-1995) and the Rwandan Hutus’ systematic extermination of the Tutsi minority (1994). 220 Despite broad public consensus that genocide should “never again” be allowed, the final decade of the 20th century was one of the most deadly, during which Rwanda Hutus could systematically slaughter 8,000 Tutsi a day for 100 days without any foreign interference. Scholars, like Samantha Power, have noted that the U.S. has consistently refused to take risks in order to suppress genocide. In A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Power finds that the U.S. policy responses to genocide (namely, non-intervention) were astonishingly similar across time, geography, ideology and geopolitical balance. 221 It was only in the wake of World War II, when the UN adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) in 1948, that the international community developed standards for defining, punishing and preventing these types of mass atrocities. And even though the Convention officially came into force in 1951, it went untested and unused until the early 1990s, when civilian populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda became the targets of extreme violence. 222 In response to the international community’s failure to prevent the mass atrocities committed during both conflicts,


Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article II. Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Statute, Article 3. 217 Wald, 623-624. 218 Killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. 219 Murder; extermination; enslavement; deportation; imprisonment; torture; rape; persecutions on political, rational and religious grounds; other inhumane acts. 220 Powers, xv. 221 Powers, xvi. 222 US Holocaust Memorial Museum. 216



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the UN established the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, as well as the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect. The three pillars of the responsibility to protect are: •

The State carries the primary responsibility for protecting populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, and their incitement.

The international community has a responsibility to encourage and assist States in fulfilling this responsibility.

The international community has a responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other means to protect populations from these crimes. If a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations, in accordance with the UN Charter. 223

Today, the Special Advisers work together to strengthen the UN’s role in preventing genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity by: (1) collecting and assessing information on situations of concern; (2) advocating for appropriate preventive action; (3) raising awareness around the causes and dynamics of genocide and related crimes; and (4) identifying possible courses of action. 224 When genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity do occur, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has the power to investigate and prosecute those responsible, if the State in which the violence occurred is unwilling to do so. 225 Civilian populations continue to be the targets of extreme violence in many parts of the world today. In Burma (also known as Myanmar), a military junta controls all branches of the government and leverages its power to suppress ethnic groups. Abuses by the Burmese military against civilians include the widespread use of anti-personnel landmines, sexual violence against women and girls, extrajudicial killings, forced labor, torture, beatings, targeting of food production and means of civilian livelihood and confiscation of land and property. 226 Fighting between government forces and ethnic armed groups spread in Burma during 2011, when many longstanding ceasefire agreements unraveled. 227 The Burmese military directed attacks on civilians in numerous ethnic areas, particularly in Karen, Karenni and Shan states of eastern Burma and Chin and Arakan states of western Burma. Approximately 500,000 people are currently internally displaced due to conflict in eastern Burma, with an additional 140,000 refugees in camps in Thailand. 228 Since early 2003, the government of Sudan and Janjaweed forces (armed militia group composed of Arab Muslims) have led a massive assault on the non-Arab population in Darfur, Sudan. The assault has included sweeping destruction of homes, community structures, wells, crops, livestock and personal assets. According to Physicians for Human Rights, these crimes are distinctively egregious for two reasons: (1) the perpetrators have sought to kill people and 223

UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. 225 UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. 226 Human Rights Watch, World Report 2011: Burma. 227 Human Rights Watch, World Report 2012: Burma. 228 Human Rights Watch, World Report 2012: Burma. 224



Literature Review

destroy the livelihoods and life sources of entire communities that depend on land for survival; and (2) they have knowingly driven a large portion of non-Arabs into an environment in which survival would not have been possible without access to humanitarian aid and have then overtly restricted access to humanitarian aid. The repeated targeting of non-Arabs, destruction of villages, pursuing non-Arabs with intent to make them leave their villages, raping non-Arab women and forcing everyone out of their villages into hostile terrain are indicators of genocide. 229 Although the ICC issued an arrest warrant against Sudan’s President Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes in March of 2009, the warrant failed to include genocide charges. 230 Numerous NGOs have been involved in efforts to improve mechanisms for prosecuting perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity and develop strategies for preventing mass atrocities from occurring in the future. Physicians for Human Rights has documented the human rights abuses that are occurring in many parts of the world, including Burma and Darfur. The organization documents both objective evidence and compelling human stories, which often serve as evidence that is presented before courts, tribunals and commissions and testimony for international and national government bodies. 231 Enough has adopted the “3 P” approach, which focuses on making robust diplomatic and other investments that can lead to durable peace, taking the concrete actions required to provide protection for the innocent victims of genocide and crimes against humanity and punishing the perpetrators to create genuine accountability and break cycles of impunity. 232 Human Rights First has established the Crimes Against Humanity Program, which focuses on highlighting the problematic role played by third party actors who enable the commission of atrocities, including crimes against humanity and genocide. The enablers of mass atrocities are those countries, commercial entities and individuals that provide resources, goods, services, and other forms of practical support that are critical to the ability of perpetrators to commit their crimes. According to Human Rights First, countries like China, Russia and Chad have provided arms and ammunition to government forces and rebel groups committing atrocities against civilians in Darfur, Sudan. Burma’s military rulers also derive massive export earnings from their gem mines, which help to finance their brutal repression of that country’s citizens. 233 In 2010, the Crimes Against Humanity Program supported the introduction of a resolution (S.Con.Res.71) which direct the President and other top U.S. officials to review how sanctions and other financial tools could be used against State and commercial actors found to be directly supporting or enabling mass atrocities. 234


Physicians for Human Rights Report, Darfur Assault on Survival: A Call for Security, Justice, and Restitution. Human Rights Watch, Darfur: International Criminal Court’s Decision on Bashir Arrest Warrant. 231 Physicians for Human Rights, website. 232 Enough, website. 233 Human Rights First, Enablers of Mass Atrocities. 234 Human Rights First, website. 230




PART I: THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVOLUTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1. KEY MILESTONES A. POST-WORLD WAR II AND THE NUREMBERG & TOKYO TRIALS Websites • Globalization 101, “Courts and Justice in International Law: Post-World War II Military Tribunals”, •

US Holocaust Memorial Museum, “International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg”,

B. THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS Articles • Mary Robinson, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Hope and History Books • Gudmundur Alfredsson et. al., The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Common Standard of Achievement (1999) •

Mary Ann Glendon, A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2002)

Stephen James, Universal Human Rights: Origins and Development (2007)

Johannes Morsink, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1999)

Videos • Youth for Human Rights, “History of Human Rights”, •

Organisation for Peace and Human Rights, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”,

Open Society Foundations, “The International Human Rights Movement: A History”,

C. HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES Articles • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, The Major Regional Human Rights Instruments and the Mechanisms for Their Implementation




Websites • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “International Law”, D. HUMAN RIGHTS CATEGORIES Articles • Philip Alston et. al., The Nature and Scope of States Parties’ Obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2007) •

Fons Coomans, Application of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Framework of International Organisations (2007)

Jeff King, An Activist’s Manual on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2003)

Scott Leckie, Another Step towards Indivisibility: Identifying the Key Features of Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1998)

Theodore Meron, On a Hierarchy of International Human Rights (1986)

Allan McChesney, Promoting and Defending Economic, Social & Cultural Rights: A Handbook, (2000)

Kenneth Roth, Defending Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Practical Issues Faced by an International Human Rights Organization (2004)

Leonard S. Rubenstein, How International Human Rights Organizations Can Advance Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Response to Kenneth Roth (2004)

Natsu Taylor Saito, Beyond Civil Rights: Considering “Third Generation” International Human Rights Law in the United States (1996/1997)

Hans-Otto Sano, Development and Human Rights: The Necessary, but Partial Integration of Human Rights and Development (2000)

Carolin Sehmer, Report of the Parallel Event “Third Generation” Human Rights – Reflections on the Collective Dimension of Human Rights (2007)

Carl Wellman, Solidarity, the Individual and Human Rights (2000)

World Health Organization, The Right to Health (2008)




Books • Kitty Arambulo, Strengthening the Supervision of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, see Chapter II: The Development of the Protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the United Nations (1999) •

Mashood A. Baderin et. al., Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Action (2007)

Asbjorn Eide et. al., Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Textbook (1995)

Anthony George Ravlich, Freedom from Our Social Prisons: The Rise of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2008)

Manisuli Ssenyonjo, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in International Law (2009)

Videos • Human Rights Action Center, “The Covenants”, •

WissensWerte, “Human Rights” (covers different types of rights, UDHR, ICC, etc.),

WissensWerte, “Focus Human Rights: Violations, History, First Dimension” (covers, human rights violations, history of human rights and civil and political rights),

E. THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS Articles • Fancois Bugnion, The Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949: From the 1949 Diplomatic Conference to the Dawn of the New Millennium (2000) Websites • International Committee of the Red Cross, “The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols”, F. INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW V. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW Articles • Matthew Happold, International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law •

International Committee of the Red Cross, International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law: Similarities and Differences (2003)




Theodor Meron, Human Rights Law Marches into New Territory: The Enforcement of International Human Rights in International Criminal Tribunals (2008)

Alexander Orakhelashvili, The Interaction between Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Fragmentation, Conflict, or Convergence? (2008)

Websites • Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, “Derogations from human rights treaties in situations of emergency”, cy.php •

Harvard University Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, “Understanding Core Differences between Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict”,

International Committee of the Red Cross, “What is the difference between humanitarian law and human rights law?”,

United Nations, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”,

G. INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURTS Articles • J. Holmes Armstead Jr., The International Criminal Court: History, Development and Status (1998) •

Laura Barnett, The International Criminal Court: History and Role (2008)

Coalition for the International Criminal Court, The Road to Rome and Beyond: Moments in the Establishment of the International Criminal Court

Human Rights Watch, Courting History: The Landmark International Criminal Court’s First Years (2008)

Nuremberg Human Rights Centre, From Nuremberg to the Hague: The Road to the International Criminal Court

Andreas Zimmermann, The Creation of a Permanent International Criminal Court (1998)

Books • Olympia Bekou et. al., The International Criminal Court (2004) 4



Mark Ellis et. al., International Criminal Court (2008)

Errol P. Mendes, Peace and Justice at the International Criminal Court (2010)

Benjamin Schiff, Building the International Criminal Court (2008)

Dinah Shelton, International Crimes, Peace, and Human Rights: The Role of the International Criminal Court (2000)

Young Sok Kim, The Law of the International Criminal Court (2007)

Ronald C. Slye and Beth Van Schaack, Essentials: International Criminal Law (2009)

Videos • “International Criminal Court”, •

“Law or War: The Creation of the International Criminal Court” (none of the links to this video worked but it sounds very promising)

Websites • Amnesty International, “The USA and the International Criminal Court”, •

United Nations, “Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Overview”,

H. THE SOVIET COLLAPSE AND THE BERLIN WALL Books • Aryeh Neier, The International Human Rights Movement: A History (2012) Videos • Council on Foreign Relations, “Why 1989? The Fall of the Berlin Wall and the End of the Cold War”, Websites •, “The Berlin Wall”, •

Forum Network, “Fall of Berlin Wall Series”,

Human Rights Watch, “World Report 2012: After the Fall”, 5



UN Refugee Agency, “Human Rights Watch World Report 1989 – East Germany”,,,HRW,,DEU,,467bb48c1e,0.html

I. KEY HUMAN RIGHTS ACTORS Articles • August Reinisch, The Changing International Legal Framework for Dealing with NonState Actors (in Non-State Actors and Human Rights by Philip Alston) •

University for Peace, Human Rights Reference Handbook (2004)

Books • Israel De Jess Butler, Unraveling Sovereignty: Human Rights Actors and the Structure of International Law (2007) Websites • Icelandic Human Rights Centre, “Human Rights Actors”, ors/ •

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Human Rights Treaty Bodies”,

J. SIGNIFICANT CAMPAIGNS Articles • Center for International Environmental Law, Climate Change & Human Rights: A Primer •

Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008: Summary (2008)

Videos • Democracy Now, “Former Irish President Mary Robinson: Climate Change the Biggest Human Rights Issue of Our Time”, imate Websites • Amnesty International, “Children and human rights”, •

Child Soldiers International, website,




National Geographic, “Weaker Kyoto Protocol Extended at International Climate Negotiations”,

New York Times, “Kyoto Protocol News”, index.html

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Human rights and climate change”, geIndex.aspx

2. KEY MILESTONES 1. APARTHEID Articles • Lennox S. Hinds, Apartheid in South Africa and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1985) •

Newell Stultz, Evolution of the United Nations Apartheid Regime (1991)

Books • David Dyzenhaus, Truth, Reconciliation and the Apartheid Legal Order (1998) •

Ozdemir A. Ozgur, Apartheid: The United Nations & Peaceful Change in South Africa (1982)

United Nations, The United Nations and Apartheid 1948-1994 (1994)

Oliver F. Williams, The Apartheid Crisis (1986)

Videos • Liza Key, “Apartheid”, Websites • Overcoming Apartheid, website, •

U.S. Department of State Archive, “The End of Apartheid”,





Articles • Robert L. Burgdorf Jr., The Americans with Disabilities Act: Analysis and Implications of a Second-Generation Civil Rights Statute (1991) •

Matthew Diller, Judicial Backlash, the ADA, and the Civil Rights Model (2000)

Arlene Mayerson, The Americans with Disabilities Act – An Historic Overview (1991)

National Endowment for the Arts, Civil Rights for People with Disabilities: Framing the Discussion

Resist, Disability Rights are Human Rights (2010)

Books • Joseph P. Shapiro, No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement (1993) Websites • Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, “The History of the ADA: A Movement Perspective (1992)”, 3. LANDMINE BAN TREATY Articles • Human Rights Watch, Landmine Monitor Report 2010 •

Yvette Politis, The Regulation of an Invisible Enemy: The International Community's Response to Land Mine Proliferation (1999)

Kenneth Rutherford, The Evolving Arms Control Agenda: Implications of the Role of NGOs in Banning Antipersonnel Landmines (2000)

Kenneth Rutherford, The Hague and Ottawa Conventions: A Model for Future Weapon Ban Regimes? (1999)

Lesley Wexler, The International Deployment of Shame, Second-Best Responses, and Norm Entrepreneurship: The Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Landmine Ban Treaty (2003)

Books • The Arms Project of Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights, Landmines: A Deadly Legacy (1993) •

Stuart Maslen, Anti-Personnel Mines under Humanitarian Law: A View from the Vanishing Point (2001)




Stuart Maslen, Commentaries on Arms Control Treaties, Volume I: The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (2005)

Stuart Maslen, Banning of Anti-Personnel Landmines: The Legal Contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross, 1955-1999 (2000)

Richard A. Matthew et. al., Landmines and Human Security: International Politics and War’s Hidden Legacy (2004)

Kenneth R. Rutherford, Disarming States: The International Movement to Ban Landmines (2011)

Leon V. Sigal, Negotiating Minefields: The Landmines Ban in American Politics (2006)

4. TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PROTECTION ACT Articles • Theresa Barone, Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000: Defining the Problem and Creating a Solution (2003) •

Center for Women’s Policy Studies, Trafficking of Women: Policy and International Law

Jennifer Chacon, Misery and Myopia: Understanding the Failures of U.S. Efforts to Stop Human Trafficking (2006)

Wendy Chapkis, Trafficking, Migration, and the Law: Protecting Innocents, Punishing Immigrants (2003)

Molly Dragiewicz, Teaching about Trafficking: Opportunities and Challenges for Critical Engagement (2008)

Joan Fitzpatrick, Trafficking and a Human Rights Violation: The Complex Intersection of Legal Frameworks for Conceptualizing and Combatting Trafficking (2003)

Andrea D. Giampolo, The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005: The Latest Weapon in the Fight against Human Trafficking (2006)

Dina Haynes, Used, Abused, Arrested and Deported: Extending Immigration Benefits to Protect the Victims of Trafficking and to Secure the Prosecution of Traffickers (2004)

Human Rights Watch, U.S.: Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery (2004),




Kelly E. Hyland, Protecting Human Victims of Trafficking: An American Framework (2001)

Rosy Kandathil, Global sex trafficking and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000: Legislative Responses to the Problem of Modern Slavery (2005)

MaryAnne McReynolds, The Trafficking Victims Protection Act: Has the Legislation Fallen Short of its Goals? (2008)

Alice Miller, Sexuality against Women, and Human Rights: Women Make Demands and Ladies Get Protection (2004)

Kara C. Ryf, The First Modern Anti-Slavery Law: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (2002)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Services Available to Victims of Human Trafficking: A Resource Guide for Social Service Providers (2011)

U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report (2010)

World Vision, The Trafficking Victims Protection Act

Books • E. Benjamin Skinner, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern Day Slavery (2009) Videos • HUMANRIGHTS.GOV, “Conversations with America: U.S. Efforts to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons”, •

The White House, “President Obama Speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative”

Websites • U.S. Department of State, “Human Trafficking Defined”, 5. UN RESOLUTIONS ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE Articles • UN General Assembly, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (2012) •

UN Security Council, Resolution 1325




UN Security Council, Resolution 1820

UN Security Council, Resolution 1888

UN Security Council, Resolution 1889

UN Security Council, Resolution 1960

United Nations, Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict: United Nations Response (1998)

UNFPA et. al., Conference Report: Ensuring Justice, Reparations and Rehabilitation for Victims of Conflict Related Sexual Violence (2012)

Videos • Fox News, “Sexual violence in conflict: Preferred weapon of choice”, •

United Nations, “Security Council demands end to conflict-related sexual violence”,

UN in Action, “Rwanda: Sexual Violence”,

Websites • United Nations, “Background Information on Sexual Violence used as a Tool of War”, •

UN Chronicle, “Sexual Violence as a War Tactic – Security Council Resolution 1888: Next Steps”, ingwomen/sexualviolencewartacticscr1888

UN News Centre, “Eradicating sexual violence in conflict not ‘a mission impossible’”,

UN News Centre, “Security Council calls for ensuring women’s participation in building, sustaining peace” (see also video on the right-hand side of the website), KanjLRgPzJ

6. JUVENILE LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE Articles • American Civil Liberties Union, IACHR Brief (2012)




American Civil Liberties Union, Juvenile Life Without Parole Project: Using international law and advocacy to give children a second chance (2007)

American Civil Liberties Union, Second Chances: Shining a Light on Human Rights Violations in Michigan’s Child Sentencing Guidelines

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, A Just Alternative to Sentencing Youth to Life in Prison Without the Possibility of Parole (2010)

Amnesty International, The Rest of Their Lives: Life without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States (2005)

Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth et. al., Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council (2010)

Connie de la Vega et. al., Sentencing Our Children to Die in Prison: Global Law and Practice (2008)

Human Rights Watch, State Distribution Table

Michelle Leighton et. al., Report on Human Rights Violations: Sentencing Our Children to Die (2007)

Molly C. Quinn, Life without Parole for Juvenile Offenders: A Violation of Customary International Law (2007-2008)

Victor Streib et. al., Life without Parole for Children (2006-2007)

Andrea Templeton, Lost Potential: International Treaty Obligations and Juvenile Life without Parole in Edmonds v. State of Mississippi (2008)

Videos • Human Rights Watch, “Fighting Extreme Sentencing for Child Offenders”, •

PBS, “Juvenile Life Without Parole”,

PBS, “Juvenile Justice”,

Websites • American Civil Liberties Union, “Out of Step with the World, Juvenile Life Without Parole in the United States”,




American Civil Liberties Union, “Supreme Court Rules Against Mandatory Life Without Parole for Children (2012)”,

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, “Advocacy Resource Bank”,

Fair Sentencing for Youth, website,

Human Rights Watch, “US/California: New Hope for Youth Offenders”,

Juvenile Law Center, “Juvenile Life Without Parole”,

University of San Francisco School of Law, “International Human Rights Standards”,

PART II: THE CURRENT STATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1. MODERN-DAY SLAVERY & HUMAN TRAFFICKING Articles • Kara Abramson, Beyond Consent, Toward Safeguarding Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations Trafficking Protocol (2003) •

Kevin Bales, Defining and Measuring Modern Slavery (2007)

Annie Bunting, ‘Forced Marriage’ in Conflict Situations: Researching and Prosecuting Old Harms and New Crimes (2012)

Shelley Case Inglis, Expanding International and National Protections against Trafficking for Forced Labor Using a Human Rights Framework (2001)

International Labour Office, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking: Estimating the Profits (2005)

Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Combatting Trafficking as Modern Day Slavery: A Matter of Rights, Freedoms and Security (2010)




Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Abolishing Slavery and its Contemporary Forms (2002)

UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns (2006)

World Vision, 10 Things You Need to Know about Labour in the Greater Mekong SubRegion (2010)

Books • Kevin Bales, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy (2004) •

Kevin Bales, Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves (2008)

Kevin Bales, Understanding Global Slavery (2005)

Kevin Bales et. al., Modern Slavery (2011)

Kevin Bales et. al., The Slave Next Door (2010)

Kevin Bales et. al., To Plead Our Own Cause: Personal Stories by Today’s Slaves (2008)

Siddharth Kara, Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery (2009)

Rachel Masika, Gender, Trafficking, and Slavery (2002)

Jessica Sage, Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery (2006)

E. Benjamin Skinner, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face With Modern Day Slavery (2009)

Videos • Forum Network, “Modern Slavery: MIT-BBC Symposium”, •

Free the Slaves, link to library of videos,

National Institute of Justice, “Sex Trafficking in the United States”,

Not for Sale (see both videos included on this website)




PBS, “Benjamin Skinner on ‘Modern-Day Slavery’”,

Polaris Project, “Celebrating Ten Years”,

Pulitzer Center, “Discussion: Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery”,

TED Talks, “Lisa Kristine: Photos that bear witness to modern slavery”,

Worldwide Documentaries, “Not My Life” (this is the film’s website, you would probably have to purchase the full length version of the film),

Websites • The Advocates for Human Rights, “Defining Other Forms of Forced Marriage: Slavery, Sexual Slavery, Forced Labour and Debt Bondage”, exual_slavery_forced_labour_and_debt_bondage •

Alliance to End Trafficking & Slavery, website,

California Secretary of State, “Proposition 35: Official Voter Information Guide”,

The CNN Freedom Project, “Ending Modern-Day Slavery”,

European Commission, “Anti-trafficking day: Ending modern-day slavery”,

Free the Slaves, website,

Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, website,

International Justice Mission, website,

Not for Sale Campaign, website,

Polaris Project, website,




U.S. Department of State, “What is Modern Slavery?”

Vital Voices Global Partnership, website,

World Vision, website,

2. PRISON REFORM Articles • ACLU, Growing Up Locked Down: Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons Across the United States (2012) •

ACLU, In For a Penny: The Rise of America’s New Debtors’ Prisons (2010)

Amnesty International, Death Penalty Facts (2012)

Alvin J. Bronstien et. al., Using International Human Rights Laws and Standards for U.S. Prison Reform (2004)

Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, Confronting Confinement (2006)

Council of Europe, The Council of Europe and European Prison Reform

Jenni Gainsborough, Women in Prison: International Problems and Human Rights Based Approaches to Reform (2008)

Martin A. Geer, Human Rights and Wrongs in Our Own Backyard: Incorporating International Human Rights Protections Under Domestic Civil Rights Law – A Case Study of Women in United States Prisons (2000)

International Centre for Prison Studies, World Prison Population List (8th ed., 2008)

International Council on Human Rights Policy, Crime, Public Order and Human Rights (2003)

Just Detention International, The Need for Prison Oversight (2009)

Just Detention International, The Prison Rape Elimination Act (2009)

Ryan S. King, Statement of Ryan King on Behalf of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, the Open Society Policy Center, Prison Reform International, and The Sentencing Project (2006)




National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Created Equal: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the US Criminal Justice System (2009)

UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Handbook of Basic Principles and Promising Practices on Alternatives to Imprisonment (2007)

UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Prison Reform and Alternatives to Imprisonment (2011)

Ronald Weich et. al., Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System

Websites • ACLU, “ACLU National Prison Project”, •

ACLU, “Prisoners’ Rights”,

California Secretary of State, “Proposition 34: Official Voter Information Guide”,

Human Rights Watch, “US: Look Critically at Widespread Use of Solitary Confinement”,

International Centre for Prison Studies, website,

Just Detention International, website,

Penal Reform International, website,

UNODC, website,

Vera Institute of Justice, website,

3. NATURAL RESOURCE RIGHTS Articles • American Jewish World Service, Promoting Natural Resource Rights: Laying the Groundwork for Sustainable Community-Led Development (2011) •

Daniel Buckles et. al., Conflict and Collaboration in Natural Resource Management (2006)

Lorenzo Cotula, Legal Empowerment for Local Resource Control: Securing Local Resource Rights with Foreign Investment Projects in Africa (2007)




Ford Foundation, Expanding Community Rights Over Natural Resources (2010)

Global Program on Fisheries, The Political Economy of Natural Resource Use: Lessons for Fisheries Reform (2010)

Christopher Huggins, Preventing Conflict through Improved Policies on Land Tenure, Natural Resource Rights, and Migration in the Great Lakes Region (2004)

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Rights Over Their Ancestral Lands and Natural Resources: Norms and Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Human Rights System (2010-2011)

Ruth Meinzen-Dick et. al., Gender, Property Rights, and Natural Resources (1997)

Anthony Stocks, Too Much for Too Few: Problems of Indigenous Land Rights in Latin America (2005)

Books • Daniel Buckles, Cultivating Peace: Conflict and Collaboration in Natural Resource Management (1999) •

Nico Schrijver, Sovereignty over Natural Resources: Balancing Rights and Duties (1997)

Videos • European Parliament, “Subcommittee on Human Rights” (mineral wealth in the DRC), •

PBS, “The War We Are Living” (land rights of Afro-Colombian communities),

Websites • African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, “Declaration on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Natural Resources Governance”, •

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, “Resolution on a Human RightsBased Approach to Natural Resources Governance”,

Amnesty International, “Oil, Gas and Mining Industries”,




Global Rights, “Natural Resources and Human Rights Initiative”, ral_resources

New Security Beat, “In Colombia, Rural Communities Face Uphill Battle for Land Rights”,

Berkeley Law, “Soul of the New Machine”,

4. SOCIAL MEDIA Articles • Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe, Human Rights and a Changing Landscape (2011) •

Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe, Social Media and Human Rights (2012)

Human Rights Council, Resolution on the Promotion, Protection and Enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet (2012)

Human Rights Council, Resolution on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association (2012)

Sarah Joseph, Social Media, Political Change, and Human Rights (2012)

Project on Information Technology & Political Islam, Opening Closed Regimes: What Was the Role of Social Media During the Arab Spring (2011)

Tina Xu, The Arab Spring, Social Media, and Human Rights (2012)

Videos • “Analyzing the role of social media in unrest across the Middle East and North Africa”, •

Adam Schwarz and Lomeharshan Lal, “The Era of The Internet: Human Rights Through Social Media” (trailer for film),

Invisible Children, “Kony 2012”,

“Kayan Human Rights Social Media Video” (a short film that was produced in five days by Kayan youth during a social media training program in Northern Thailand near the Thai/Burma boarder),




United Nations, “A Live Global Conversation”,

UN Webcast, “Frank La Rue, Human Rights Day 2011-Social Media and Human Rights”,

UN Webcast, “Human Rights Day 2011-Social Media and Human Rights”,

Websites • Article 19, “Human Rights Council: Rights to peaceful assembly and association online recognized”, •

Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights, “Mapping the Kony 2012 Controversy: what does it mean for human rights advocacy”,

Foreign & Commonwealth Office, “Social media and human rights – a complex relationship”,–-a-complex-relationship/

Huffington Post, “Human Rights Day: How Social Video Changes the Game for Advocacy and Accountability”,

Human Rights Support, “How Social Media Has Affected Human Rights Movements”,

Human Rights Watch, “Iran: New Assault on Freedom of Information”,

Human Rights Watch, “Q&A on Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army”,

Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, “Time to Abandon the Autocrats and Embrace Rights: The International Response to the Arab Spring”,




Human Rights Watch, Ida Sawyer, “From Campaigning to Action on Joseph Kony and the LRA”,

Monash University Blog, Tim McMinn, “Social Media and the Arab Spring – Castan Center for Human Rights Law Conference 2012”,

Storify, “Social Media for Human Rights”,

UN News Centre, “Inspired by global events, UN launches social media campaign to celebrate rights”,

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Rio+20 and human rights on social media: ‘The Future We Want’”,

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Using social media to promote human rights”,

5. TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE MECHANISMS Articles • Advisory Council on International Affairs, Transitional Justice: Justice and Peace in Situations of Transition (2009) •

Centre for International Policy Studies, The Effects of Transitional Justice Mechanisms (2008)

Department for International Development, A Scoping Study of Transitional Justice and Poverty Reduction (2003)

Natalie Minev, The Chilean and South African Truth Commissions: A Comparative Assessment (2008)

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, DRC UN Mapping Report: Transitional Justice Options (2003)

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, The Relationship between Transitional Justice Mechanisms and the Criminal Justice System (2011)

Joanna R. Quinn, The Role of Informal Mechanisms in Transitional Justice (working paper) (2005) 21



Dawn L. Rothe et. al., Building Justice After War: The Use of Multiple Post-Conflict Mechanisms (2008-2009)

Laura C. Turano, The Gender Dimensions of Transitional Justice Mechanisms

UN Economic and Social Council, Study by the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights on Human Rights and Transitional Justice Activities undertaken by the Human Rights Components of the United Nations System (2006)

UN General Assembly, Analytical Study on Human Rights and Transitional Justice (2009)

UN Security Council, The Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and PostConflict Societies (2004)

United Nations, Guidance Note of the Secretary-General: United Nations Approach to Transitional Justice (2010)

United Nations, What is Transitional Justice? A Backgrounder (2008)

Books • Alexander Laban Hinton, Transitional Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence (2011) •

Hugo van der Merwe et. al., Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice (2009)

Videos • International Center for Transitional Justice, “Why Transitional Justice?”, •

The Nordic Africa Institute, “Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies”,

Websites • The Advocates for Human Rights, “Transitional Justice”, •

African Transitional Justice Network, website,

American Friends Service Committee, “Transitional Justice Mechanism: Lessons learned from Truth and Reconciliation Commissions”,




Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, “Transitional Justice” (see list of links to other resources on the right),

International Center for Transitional Justice, website,

UN Rule of Law, “Transitional Justice”,

6. MASS ATROCITIES Articles • Yavuz Aydin, The Distinction between Crimes against Humanity and Genocide Focusing Most Particularly on the Crime of Persecution •

Human Rights First, Enablers of Mass Atrocities (2010)

Human Rights Watch, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity: A Topical Digest of the Case Law of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (2010)

Human Rights Watch, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity: A Topical Digest of the Case Law of the Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2006)

Physicians for Human Rights, Darfur Assault on Survival: A Call for Security, Justice, and Restitution (2006)

Physicians for Human Rights, Life Under the Junta: Evidence of Crimes Against Humanity in Burma’s Chin State (2011)

William A. Schabas, Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, and Darfur: The Commission of Inquiry’s Findings on Genocide (2006)

Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Liberia, Final Report (2006)

Patricia M. Wald, Genocide and Crimes against Humanity

Books • Samantha Powers, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (2002) Videos • Forum Network, “Bystanders to Genocide”, •

Adam Jones, “Filmography of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity” (list of films with links),




PBS, “Worse than War”,

Websites • Amnesty International, “Guatemala: General’s court appearance over genocide raises hope for victims”, •

Amnesty International, “Sudanese President could face genocide charges after ICC reverses ruling”,,4565c22538,4565c25f44f,4b6aba151a,0,A MNESTY,,.html

Enough, website,

Huffington Post, “Taking on the Enablers of Mass Atrocities”,

Human Rights First, website,

Human Rights First, “New Congressional Resolution Urges Use of Sanctions and Other Financial Tools Against Enablers of Atrocities”,

Human Rights Watch, “Darfur: International Criminal Court’s Decision on Bashir Arrest Warrant”,

Human Rights Watch, “World Report 2011: Burma”,

Human Rights Watch, “World Report 2012: Burma”,

International Alliance to End Genocide, website,

New York Times, “Charles Taylor Sentenced to 50 Years for War Crimes”,

Physicians for Human Rights, website, 24



Time, “A Brief History of Genocide”,,8599,1865217,00.html

UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, website,

US Holocaust Memorial Museum, “International Law: Genocide and Crimes against Humanity”,


A3A Human Rights Literature Review  
A3A Human Rights Literature Review