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Advocates within the human rights movement have had remarkable success establishing new international laws, securing concrete changes in human rights policies and practices, and transforming the terms of public debate. Yet too often, the strategies these advocates have employed are not broadly shared or known. Campaigning for Justice addresses this gap to explain the "how" of the human rights movement. Written from a practitioner's perspective, this book explores the strategies behind some of the most innovative human rights campaigns of recent years. Drawing on interviews with dozens of experienced human rights advocates, the book delves into local, regional, and international efforts to discover how advocates were able to address seemingly intractable abuses and secure concrete advances in human rights. These accounts provide a window into the way that human rights advocates conduct their work, their real-life struggles and challenges, the rich diversity of tools and strategies they employ, and ultimately, their courage and persistence in advancing human rights.
Advocates within the growing field of children's rights have designed dynamic campaigns to protect and promote children's rights. This expanding body of international law and jurisprudence, however, lacks a core text that provides an up-to-date look at current children's rights issues, the evolution of children's rights law, and the efficacy of efforts to protect children. Campaigning for Children focuses on contemporary children's rights, identifying the range of abuses that affect children today, including early marriage, female genital mutilation, child labor, child sex tourism, corporal punishment, the impact of armed conflict, and access to education. Jo Becker traces the last 25 years of the children's rights movement, including the evolution of international laws and standards to protect children from abuse and exploitation. From a practitioner's perspective, Becker provides readers with careful case studies of the organizations and campaigns that are making a difference in the lives of children, and the relevant strategies that have been successful—or not. By presenting a variety of approaches to deal with each issue, this book carefully teases out broader lessons for effective social change in the field of children's rights.
"We are living through the endtimes of the civilizing mission. The ineffectual International Criminal Court and its disastrous first prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, along with the failure in Syria of the Responsibility to Protect are the latest pieces of evidence not of transient misfortunes but of fatal structural defects in international humanism. Whether it is the increase in deadly attacks on aid workers, the torture and 'disappearing' of al-Qaeda suspects by American officials, the flouting of international law by states such as Sri Lanka and Sudan, or the shambles of the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh, the prospect of one world under secular human rights law is receding. What seemed like a dawn is in fact a sunset. The foundations of universal liberal norms and global governance are crumbling."—from The Endtimes of Human Rights In a book that is at once passionate and provocative, Stephen Hopgood argues, against the conventional wisdom, that the idea of universal human rights has become not only ill adapted to current realities but also overambitious and unresponsive. A shift in the global balance of power away from the United States further undermines the foundations on which the global human rights regime is based. American decline exposes the contradictions, hypocrisies and weaknesses behind the attempt to enforce this regime around the world and opens the way for resurgent religious and sovereign actors to challenge human rights. Historically, Hopgood writes, universal humanist norms inspired a sense of secular religiosity among the new middle classes of a rapidly modernizing Europe. Human rights were the product of a particular worldview (Western European and Christian) and specific historical moments (humanitarianism in the nineteenth century, the aftermath of the Holocaust). They were an antidote to a troubling contradiction—the coexistence of a belief in progress with horrifying violence and growing inequality. The obsolescence of that founding purpose in the modern globalized world has, Hopgood asserts, transformed the institutions created to perform it, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and recently the International Criminal Court, into self-perpetuating structures of intermittent power and authority that mask their lack of democratic legitimacy and systematic ineffectiveness. At their best, they provide relief in extraordinary situations of great distress; otherwise they are serving up a mixture of false hope and unaccountability sustained by “human rights” as a global brand. The Endtimes of Human Rights is sure to be controversial. Hopgood makes a plea for a new understanding of where hope lies for human rights, a plea that mourns the promise but rejects the reality of universalism in favor of a less predictable encounter with the diverse realities of today’s multipolar world.
The Rise and Fall of Human Rights provides a groundbreaking ethnographic investigation of the Palestinian human rights world—its NGOs, activists, and "victims," as well as their politics, training, and discourse—since 1979. Though human rights activity began as a means of struggle against the Israeli occupation, in failing to end the Israeli occupation, protect basic human rights, or establish an accountable Palestinian government, the human rights industry has become the object of cynicism for many Palestinians. But far from indicating apathy, such cynicism generates a productive critique of domestic politics and Western interventionism. This book illuminates the successes and failures of Palestinians' varied engagements with human rights in their quest for independence.
Conflicts in Africa, Asia and Latin America have become a common focus of advocacy by Western celebrities and NGOs. This provocative volume delves into the realities of these efforts, which have often involved compromising on integrity in pursuit of profile and influence. Examining the methods used by Western advocates, how they relate to campaigns in the countries concerned, and their impact, expert authors evaluate the successes and failures of past advocacy campaigns and offer constructive criticism of current efforts. Taking in a range of high-profile case studies, including campaigns for democracy in Burma and Latin America, for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza, and opposing the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, the authors challenge the assumptions set forth by advocacy organizations.
In the spring of 1994, eight-hundred thousand Rwandan Tutsis and Moderate Hutus were killed in a horrific genocide. One Hundred Days of Silence is a scathing look at the challenges of humanitarian intervention, the history of U.S. policy toward the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and the role of genocide in the larger context of strategic studies. It looks at the principal questions of what the U.S. knew, and why it didn't intervene, and how non-intervention was justified within the American bureaucracy.
Decades of military oppression in Burma have led to the systematic destruction of thousands of ethnic minority villages, a standing army with one of the world’s highest number of child soldiers, and the displacement of millions of people. Nowhere to Be Home is an eye-opening collection of oral histories exposing the realities of life under military rule. In their own words, men and women from Burma describe their lives in the country that Human Rights Watch has called “the textbook example of a police state.”

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