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  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Contents News from the Director Fall 2020 Lecture Series ……………2 Fall 2020 Prizes …………………….3 Funding and the Immerman Fund ….3 Note from the Davis Fellow …………4 Temple Community Interviews Dr. Joel Blaxland …………………5 Dr. Kaete O’Connell ……………….6 Jared Pentz ………………………….7 Brian McNamara …………………8 Keith Riley …………………………9 Book Reviews Kissinger and Latin America: Intervention, Human Rights, and Diplomacy Review by Graydon Dennison …10 America’s Middlemen: Power at the Edge of Empire Review by Ryan Langton ……13 Anthropology, Colonial Policy and the Decline of French Empire in Africa Review by Grace Anne Parker ...16 Latin America and the Global Cold War Review by Casey VanSise ……19
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Military Intervention, Empire
  • Political Geography: United States, France, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Eleanor Acer
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The Trump Administration has purposefully mismanaged the refugee and humanitarian challenges pushing people to flee political repression, human rights abuses, economic deprivation, and climate displacement in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Trump Administration policies have actually made things worse, cutting programs countering displacement, turning a blind eye to human rights abuses, encouraging crossings between official ports of entry, and punishing people seeking U.S. protection through punitive and traumatizing family separations and detention. These harmful policies have aggravated humanitarian challenges—deliberately provoking disorder, chaos, and confusion. Congress must take swift action to push real solutions, and over the longer term the next administration will need to ensure these solutions are enduring. Congress should champion a new initiative to strengthen protection across the region. This initiative must truly tackle the rights abuses and deprivations pushing people to flee, greatly enhance the capacity of Mexico and other countries to provide asylum and host refugees, and set a strong example at home by upholding America’s own refugee protection commitments. Upholding human rights commitments is not only the right thing to do, it is also in the U.S. national interest. These commitments have saved millions of lives and encourage countries around the world—including front-line countries that host the vast majority of the world’s refugees—to continue hosting refugees. The heroic work of many Americans—working and volunteering with faith-based shelters, community groups, legal representation, and other organizations—should be supported. They are, and always have been, an essential part of the solution. The measures outlined below would restore order to the region and the U.S. border while upholding the United States’ legal and humanitarian commitments. Key steps include: 1. Address the actual causes of displacement in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The United States should increase support for effective programs that counter violence, strengthen justice systems, spur economic opportunities, and safeguard communities from climate displacement, so that people do not need to flee in search of safety or survival. In addition, U.S. diplomats must press the leaders of these countries to safeguard rights, support anti-corruption efforts, and address abuses from security forces. 2. Strongly support increased asylum and refugee-hosting capacity in Mexico and other Latin American countries, so that these countries—which are already hosting growing numbers—have the ability to continue accepting refugees. Asylum filings in Mexico, for example, have increased by over 700 percent since 2014. The United States should sharply increase support for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to increase regional capacity, to develop strong asylum and refugee protection systems, and to better integrate refugees in Mexico and the region. U.S. diplomacy, law enforcement cooperation, and rule of law assistance should be leveraged to reduce violence against refugees and migrants in Mexico. In addition, the United States should launch a regional resettlement effort, providing some refugees with routes to safety in the United States as well as other countries, and relaunch the Central American Minors (CAM) program to allow some children with family in the United States to come to our country safely. 3. Combat smuggling in the region while safeguarding access to protection. U.S. agencies must ensure anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking efforts do not block escape from dangerous countries and include measures to safeguard human rights and access to asylum. By strengthening asylum, resettlement, and work visas in the region, more refugees and migrants will have alternate routes to protection. 4. Manage U.S. asylum arrivals effectively through a genuine humanitarian response that upholds U.S. law and provides order, including: Restore timely and orderly asylum processing at ports of entry and ensure humane conditions at all Department of Homeland Security (DHS) facilities; End the Remain in Mexico scheme and “metering” policies that push people to cross between ports of entry and put the lives of asylum seekers at risk as they wait in danger in Mexico; Support and fund NGOs and shelters in the United States—including faith-based groups that have been effectively partnering with DHS in U.S. cities along the border—to address humanitarian needs, a typical and necessary move in managing refugee arrivals; and Launch a community-based case management program that supports appearance, as recommended by ICE’s own advisory group, rather than jailing asylum seekers for even longer. 5. Restore order through measures providing timely, fair, and effective U.S. adjudications, including: Increase, rather than “get rid of,” immigration judges and interpreters. In order to understand what is being said in their courtrooms and ensure due process, judges must be supported by interpreters. And, since a judge set on furthering a politicized agenda is worse than no judge at all, safeguards against politicized court hiring must be immediately restored. Additional measures to support judges include: increased recruitment of interpreters who speak indigenous dialects to assure accurate hearings and prevent continued adjournments, ensuring the time necessary to gather evidence to prove cases, and rejecting absurd schemes that would entrust protection determinations to border agents or rush cases through adjudications; Support a major legal representation initiative to ensure eligible refugees receive protection at the earliest stages of the process and institute universal legal orientation presentations (LOPs)—including for families released from DHS/Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody—to explain appearance obligations, the legal system, and how to secure counsel; Enable more cases to be granted efficiently at the USCIS asylum office by providing initial decision-making authority to the asylum office in all asylum cases, changing policies and practices that have prompted asylum officers to refer, rather than grant, cases that meet the asylum criteria— unnecessarily adding them to the immigration court caseload—and assure the availability of an application process for “cancellation of removal” relief so these cases do not clog the asylum system; Make the immigration courts independent, as the American Bar Association recommends, to secure due process and judicial independence, ensuring that political appointees can no longer attempt to improperly influence the courts’ decisions in asylum and other cases; and Reverse Trump Administration efforts to prevent refugees from receiving asylum in the United States—including former Attorney General Sessions’ ruling attempting to deny protection to women who have fled domestic violence and families escaping from deadly gangs. The measures outlined above would restore order and bring about real and enduring solutions. As the president and top Trump Administration officials are doubling down on punitive policies and political rhetoric that fail to solve these challenges, Congress must demand effective strategies that are consistent with America’s ideals.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Prisons/Penal Systems, Border Control
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, North America, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador
  • Author: Rachel Locke, Andrew Blum
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace Justice, University of San Diego
  • Abstract: Globally, violence is on the rise with trend analysis suggesting that urban violence will continue to push rates up if we do not take action to shift the status quo. Urgent situations merit urgent, yet strategic responses. In the fourth installment of our Kroc Insight series, we present important knowledge on how Impact:Peace and the Peace in Our Cities campaign can help drive change by putting evidence behind city efforts to support integrated approaches to violence reduction.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Violence, Urban, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, California, North America, San Diego
  • Author: Ric Smith
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Ric Smith has masterfully woven archival material, memories of his own time as a foreign service officer, and conversations with other officers of the then Department of Foreign Affairs to recount the crisis in East Pakistan in 1971 and the difficult birth of Bangladesh. Smith highlights the Cold War incongruities of the crisis, including the Soviet Union’s support for democratic India’s position during the crisis, while the United States supported the military regime in Pakistan. The episode also stands as an example of Canberra diverging from Washington on an issue that was garnering political and media attention in Australia. Australia was able to pursue a policy toward the region that was independent from the United States, accepting early that East Pakistan was “finished” and that there was a need to address an unfolding humanitarian crisis. Smith’s book imparts important lessons about diplomacy for Australia: It is not only possible for Australia’s politicians and diplomats to take independent positions on major international problems, but they are sometimes respected by their allies when they do so.
  • Topic: Cold War, Human Rights, Democracy, Geopolitics, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Europe, India, Asia, Soviet Union, Australia
  • Author: Nicholas Crawford
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China has become the largest lender to developing countries, and a major investor there too. As a result, it has a major stake in many countries facing political and economic instability. Western policymakers involved in responding to instability and crises overseas need to understand how China navigates these situations. China’s approach is similar in some respects to that of Western states, but there are also important differences. China’s policy towards countries facing political and economic instability is driven by four main concerns: It seeks to strengthen and maintain its partnerships with those countries to ensure they remain open to and supportive of the Chinese government and its businesses. China is determined to protect its financial interests, businesses and citizens from the harms that result from instability. It is concerned to see its loans repaid, its investments secure, its workers safe and its supply chains undisrupted. It wants to maintain its narrative of non-interference. Any intervention in the politics or policies of its partner states must be seen as being at the invitation of their governments (although China may pressure its partners for consent). China wants to increase its influence in the world, independently and distinctively. It is increasingly proactive in its response to instability in partner countries. Some responses seek to address the instability directly; other responses are intended to protect Chinese interests in spite of the instability. This paper analyses the political economy of China’s responses to instability, identifies the types of responses China undertakes, and assesses these responses.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Developing World, Political stability, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Europe, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: To win the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan did something for which he is never credited: he dramatically increased the budget of the United States Information Agency, the public diplomacy arm of our struggle against communism. Senegal, in September of 1999, was about to hold a presidential election. Because of USIA's long history of promoting journalism in Senegal, the embassy decided to work in partnership with the local Print, Radio and Television Journalists Federation to hold a series of workshops on the role of journalists in covering elections. USIA was uniquely organized to promote democratic development through the long term support of human rights organizations, journalism, programs that helped build the rule of law, educational programs that encouraged the acceptance of diversity in society and, perhaps most importantly, through partnering with and supporting local opinion leaders to help them promote democratic values that stand in opposition to ideologies hostile to the West.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Elections, Democracy, Rule of Law, Ideology, Networks, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Soviet Union, West Africa, Syria, Senegal
  • Author: Karina Santellano
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: Law pertaining to immigrants is conceptualized as legal violence (Menjívar and Abrego 2012). Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an executive policy with an uncertain future under the Trump administration. In California, many DACA beneficiaries are students at public colleges and universities. This paper conceptualizes DACA as another form of legal violence and draws from 30 in-depth interviews with undocumented students to explore the ways in which undocumented students believe the role of their college/university is to mitigate the legal violence stemming from the liminality of DACA. Some participants believe their colleges/universities should provide safety, specifically via the designation of sanctuary campus status for its symbolic importance, others believe their colleges have a responsibility beyond intellectualism sharing they should be progressive leaders against xenophobia, while others expressed cynicism, describing institutions of higher education as corporations interested in their brand rather than in being immigrant rights advocates on behalf of their students. This study serves as a way for institutions of higher education to learn how undocumented students perceive their roles and duties. At the end of this paper, the author suggests how colleges and universities can work towards mitigating legal violence in the lives of undocumented students.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Immigration, Law, Immigrants, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Melissa Dalton, Hijab Shah
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With the range of security challenges confronting the United States in the 21st century, characterized by competition by both state and nonstate actors, the importance of working with allies and partners to address common challenges is paramount. Deeper examination of the relative effectiveness of U.S. security sector assistance and how it must nest in a broader foreign policy strategy, including good governance, human rights, and rule of law principles, is required. Improving oversight and accountability in U.S. security sector assistance with partners are at the core of ongoing security assistance reform efforts to ensure that U.S. foreign policy objectives are met and in accordance with U.S. interests and values. This report examines key areas in security sector programming and oversight where the U.S. Departments of Defense and State employ accountability mechanisms, with the goal of identifying ways to sharpen and knit together mechanisms for improving accountability and professionalism into a coherent approach for partner countries.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Melissa Conley Tyler, John Robbins
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) is pleased to present the latest book in the Australian Ministers for Foreign Affairs series. In May 2016 the AIIA held a one-day forum to examine the achievements of Australia’s foreign ministers between 1972-83. This forum and publication is the third book in the AIIA’s Australian Ministers for Foreign Affairs series following on from Ministers for Foreign Affairs 1960-72 and R.G. Casey: Minister for External Affairs 1951-60.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Human Rights, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Indonesia, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Tom Keatinge, Emil Dall
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), Columbia University
  • Abstract: Sanctions are a key tool of foreign policy but have taken on greater salience over the last 20 years as governments have reached for leverage in negotiations but foregone the use of force. During this period, the alignment of the design and implementation of sanctions by the European Union and the United States has, on the whole, been an article of faith as the transatlantic allies have pursued mutual foreign policy objectives. Yet despite the consistency of objectives, the bureaucratic structures, technical mechanisms, and processes by which the European Union and the United States design and implement sanctions differ significantly. These differences—always present—have been amplified by the current stresses in transatlantic relations and may be further exacerbated when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in March 2019. The reasons behind these differences are myriad and touch upon both structural matters (such as the construction of the European Union and the manner in which its member states can enact policy) and more philosophical matters, as the focus on due process and human rights in EU sanctions policy demonstrates. But given the importance of transatlantic ties and cooperation in managing the sorts of problems that sanctions are usually developed to address, it is important for both the United States and the European Union to work through these differences. Toward that goal, this paper provides a European perspective on US sanctions activity, where there are differences in approach, in particular EU attitudes toward secondary sanctions put in place by the United States, and it explains the complications that may result from the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. The paper concludes with recommendations for how the European Union can address the challenges it faces in achieving an effective sanctions policy. In short, it recommends the following: The European Union should work through its structural issues to create a more decisive and effective EU sanctions policy. The implementation and enforcement of sanctions at the member state level must be improved, and a formal EU-level sanctions body is needed to independently monitor compliance with sanctions across the European Union. A clear mechanism for ensuring the coordination and effectiveness of EU-UK post-Brexit sanctions policy must be established. The global centrality of both the European Union’s economy and the United Kingdom’s financial sector combine to present a powerful sanctions force and must thus be closely coordinated to ensure maximum effectiveness. The European Union should directly address the matter of human rights exemptions by incorporating it as a key consideration of the EU-level sanctions body identified in the first recommendation. The European Union should establish a clear channel for human rights exemptions throughout the lifetime of sanctions regimes. The European Union should consider its options to address the ability of non-EU actors to abuse EU-originating supply chains and financial services, which represents a considerable sanctions implementation vulnerability. Finally, though US-EU misalignment on sanctions is growing, policy makers must stay seized of the necessity to maintain and improve communications and coordination to prevent current schisms from having serious long-term effects on international security.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Sanctions, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Jamille Bigio, Rachel Vogelstein
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Armies and armed groups often subject noncombatants—particularly women and children—to conflict-related sexual violence, such as rape, sexual slavery, and forced marriage. Despite international recognition of this devastating abuse as a crime against humanity, sexual violence continues to plague conflicts from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Syria. This practice has also proliferated among extremist groups, including Boko Haram in Nigeria and the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Additionally, sexual violence has tarnished the operations of peacekeepers charged with protecting civilians, thereby undermining the integrity and effectiveness of international peacekeeping institutions across the globe. Sexual violence in conflict is not simply a gross violation of human rights—it is also a security challenge. Wartime rape fuels displacement, weakens governance, and destabilizes communities, thereby inhibiting postconflict reconciliation and imperiling long-term stability. Combating conflict-related sexual violence merits a higher place on the U.S. foreign policy agenda. Although the U.S. government has taken modest steps to address sexual violence in conflict under successive Republican and Democratic administrations, more action is needed. To counter such violence, the Donald J. Trump administration should require training on conflict-related sexual violence in U.S. security cooperation efforts; expand the number of women serving in militaries, police, and peacekeeping forces around the world; increase accountability for the crime of sexual violence; and undermine terrorist financing streams raised through the abduction of women and children. These steps will help the United States and its allies respond effectively to the security threat posed by conflict-related sexual violence and advance U.S. interests in peace and stability.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Gender Based Violence , Conflict, Sexual Violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Congo
  • Author: Monica Salmon Gómez
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: The human rights crisis in Mexico and particularly the one with migrants in transit through Mexico is not coincidental. The increased securitization of migration has transformed it into a security issue, causing it to be a threat to the national security. The mechanisms and strategies to fight against this crisis has led to terrible consequences to the thousand of migrants that pass through Mexico every year. As stated by David Harvey, the conceptualization of the irregular migration as a threat to the Nation-States has occurred as a consequence of the “global unequal capitalist integration”. This is a structural process that promotes global inequality in a parallel way, creating the undocumented as the others unwanted (Álvarez and Guillot, 2012:24). We then have migration as a phenomenon characterized by the economic globalization and the predominance of the logic of social exclusion, that it reveals itself as a feature for nations and families in their need to seek, among other things, improved living conditions in places that are different from their place of origin
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Migration, United Nations, Inequality
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Sergio Miranda Hayes
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the academic world, scientific literature comes mainly from the western part of the globe. Ramón Grossfoguel believes that knowledge is determined by power relations in the "post-colonial" era (Grossfoguel, 2002: 16). This means that Western powers dominate the academic world. In constitutional law, this is not the exception. However, while we can accept that it is true that many constitutional provisions, doctrine, jurisprudence and theories of Western constitutional law have influenced Latin American countries, most of these countries have also developed their own constitutional systems that have specific and new features, whose unique identity differentiates them from other systems in the world. In this paper, I will try to study the special features that Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia have in the recognition of indigenous rights and legal pluralism, whose discursive axis entails a “decolonizing” spirit which is the retrieval of their own institutions against the trends of hegemonic governance of the western culture as I will explain later. Latin America has faced numerous problems concerning social differentiation. In the opinion of one of the most cited authors in Latin American constitutional law, Raquel Yrigoyen, the disadvantaged were left behind from the social, economic and political issues through legal measures created by people of a favored minority, in order to maintain privileges (Yrigoyen, 2011: 139). In the case of Latin America, many of the disadvantaged match to be those survivors of the brutal Spanish conquest; the native Indians. I have chosen these three countries since they have a significant indigenous population; more than 36.6 million indigenous people in the region. In Bolivia, the number rises to 4,115,222 natives, in Ecuador 1018176,and in Colombia 1392623. (World Bank, 2014: 24-25) The Constitutions of Colombia (1991), Ecuador (2008) and Bolivia (2009) reflect the new “decolonizing” ideology; Colombia through its jurisprudence, on the one hand, and Bolivia and Ecuador, proclaiming themselves "Plurinational”countries on the other. All made great strides in recognizing indigenous rights and, consequently, in gaining their social inclusion. (Gargarella, 2014: 175) Constitutional systems are a product of history and the struggle of peoples. In these cases, the effort to include indigenous peoples in the economic, political and social spheres resulted in these new constitutional models which can be understood through a comparative study.By understanding this, advantages and disadvantages of each country to improve social inclusion of indigenous peoples in all the mentioned spheres can be found. In the first title, I will talk about the meaning of legal pluralism. In the second, I will discussthe new models of statewhich are conditioned by legal pluralism and indigenous rights. In the third, I will address indigenous autonomies and jurisdictions that are the subject of our study. And in the remaining two titles, I will discuss the most distinctive features, and rights arising from the recognition of this unique legal pluralism. All this with the purpose of exposing the new constitutional spirit of "decolonization" of these countries.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Post Colonialism, Legal Theory , Colonialism, Decolonization, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America, North America, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: Daniel Kanstroom
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This article considers the relationship between two human rights discourses (and two specific legal regimes): refugee and asylum protection and the evolving body of international law that regulates expulsions and deportations. Legal protections for refugees and asylum seekers are, of course, venerable, well-known, and in many respects still cherished, if challenged and perhaps a bit frail. Anti-deportation discourse is much newer, multifaceted, and evolving. It is in many respects a young work in progress. It has arisen in response to a rising tide of deportations, and the worrisome development of massive, harsh deportation machinery in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Australia, and South Africa, among others. This article’s main goal is to consider how these two discourses do and might relate to each other. More specifically, it suggests that the development of procedural and substantive rights against removal — as well as rights during and after removal — aids our understanding of the current state and possible future of the refugee protection regime. The article’s basic thesis is this: The global refugee regime, though challenged both theoretically and in practice, must be maintained and strengthened. Its historical focus on developing criteria for admission into safe states, on protections against expulsion (i.e., non-refoulement), and on regimes of temporary protection all remain critically important. However, a focus on other protections for all noncitizens facing deportation is equally important. Deportation has become a major international system that transcends the power of any single nation-state. Its methods have migrated from one regime to another; its size and scope are substantial and expanding; its costs are enormous; and its effects frequently constitute major human rights violations against millions who do not qualify as refugees. In recent years there has been increasing reliance by states on generally applicable deportation systems, led in large measure by the United States’ radical 25 year-plus experiment with large-scale deportation. Europe has also witnessed a rising tide of deportation, some of which has developed in reaction to European asylum practices. Deportation has been facilitated globally (e.g., in Australia) by well-funded, efficient (but relatively little known) intergovernmental idea sharing, training, and cooperation. This global expansion, standardization, and increasing intergovernmental cooperation on deportation has been met by powerful — if in some respects still nascent — human rights responses by activists, courts, some political actors, and scholars. It might seem counterintuitive to think that emerging ideas about deportation protections could help refugees and asylum seekers, as those people by definition often have greater rights protections both in admission and expulsion. However, the emerging anti-deportation discourses should be systematically studied by those interested in the global refugee regime for three basic reasons. First, what Matthew Gibney has described as “the deportation turn” has historically been deeply connected to anxiety about asylum seekers. Although we lack exact figures of the number of asylum seekers who have been subsequently expelled worldwide, there seems little doubt that it has been a significant phenomenon and will be an increasingly important challenge in the future. The two phenomena of refugee/asylum protections and deportation, in short, are now and have long been linked. What has sometimes been gained through the front door, so to speak, may be lost through the back door. Second, current deportation human rights discourses embody creative framing models that might aid constructive critique and reform of the existing refugee protection regime. They tend to be more functionally oriented, less definitional in terms of who warrants protection, and more fluid and transnational. Third, these discourses offer important specific rights protections that could strengthen the refugee and asylum regime, even as we continue to see weakening state support for the basic 1951/1967 protection regime. This is especially true in regard to the extraterritorial scope of the (deporting) state’s obligations post-deportation. This article particularly examines two initiatives in this emerging field: The International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on the Expulsion of Aliens and the draft Declaration on the Rights of Expelled and Deported Persons developed through the Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project (of which the author is a co-director). It compares their provisions to the existing corpus of substantive and procedural protections for refugees relating to expulsion and removal. It concludes with consideration of how these discourses may strengthen protections for refugees while also helping to develop more capacious and protective systems in the future.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Border Control, Refugees, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, France, South Africa, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Kirchhoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: We are living in a tremendously important time in history, and the decisions being made by our social, economic, and political leaders today will go on to affect the trajectory of our societies for generations. With this in mind, the protection and promotion of human rights are even more crucial. And yet, while the Trump Administration’s cabinet already contains many problematic figures, Trump’s choice for U.S. Secretary of Labor is especially disturbing. Simply put, from a human rights perspective, there are many reasons why the Trump Administration’s nomination of Andrew Puzder as U.S. Secretary of Labor is the wrong choice.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Labor Issues, Domestic politics, Socioeconomics
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Morgan McDonald
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: According to Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”, meaning that freedom of expression is guaranteed globally by international human rights laws. Therefore, journalists and news sources are, or rather, should be protected by these international laws to form opinions and report stories to share publicly. Both globally and nationally freedom of the press is threatened daily as journalists and news outlets are continually reprimanded for their reporting. In the US, journalists and the media are protected by the First Amendment, a right that allows individuals and institutions to freely report and present the news. This freedom of the press is essential to a democracy, contributing to a transparent, accountable government, giving the press the right to produce high-quality stories, without fear of retribution from the government. But what does this mean for the responsibility of journalists and what role does, or should, the government play in this freedom of the press?
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations, Journalism, Freedom of Press
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Fawn Bolak
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: Last September, thousands of incarcerated individuals in the United States launched an organized protest on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison Uprising, in an effort to protest racial discrimination, excessive force, and demand an end to the current state of legalized slavery within the U.S. prison system. Across the nation, prisoners in state and federal correctional facilities are exploited for their labor in industries related to agriculture, clothing production, machinery, and technology. While prison officials who strike up deals with large corporations like AT&T and Walmart share in the profits of cheap production, the incarcerated laborers themselves make mere cents per hour for full time work. Additionally, those locked up in federal institutions, who are physically capable of full time work, are mandated to do so as prescribed by Title 29 of the Crime Control Act of 1990. Over 2 million people are currently incarcerated in the United States, making the U.S. the #1 jailer in the world, surpassing Cuba, Russia, and China. Moreover, inmates in the U.S. are disproportionately people of color. According data from the Sentencing Project, black men are incarcerated at a rate 5.1 times the rate of white men, and in 12 states, predominately in the south and east coast, more than 50% of the total state prison population is black. There is a prevailing conservative narrative that asserts that the disproportionate incarceration of black individuals in our criminal justice system is a product of a “culture of violence” centered in “inner cities” and predominately black neighborhoods, rather than a product systemic institutional racism. However, a quick glance at U.S. history indicates that the mass incarceration of black men, current use of exploitative prison labor, and our past economic system built on slavery, is not a mere coincidence.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Race, Labor Issues, Prisons/Penal Systems, Slavery
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Joanna Beletic
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: US economic strategy has been rooted in the belief that the benefits of liberal policies outweigh the associated growing pains. The new Administration’s stance on dismantling trade deals will have a ripple effects throughout society. Global trade has allowed lower income consumers in the US to purchase cheaper goods. Goods are now produced across the globe; without trade deals the costs of inputs needed for US exports will increase, threatening US competitiveness. As global consumers purchase products elsewhere this may lead to further job loss and economic destabilization. Therefore, liberalized trade is fundamental to the US economy. From the get-go liberal economic strategy should have been coupled with efforts to redistribute the benefits to counter the impact on the ‘losers’. This is where the US has failed. There is not only an economic need but a rights obligation to tackle these challenges. Across the aisle ideas have included: the implementation of apprenticeship programs, fortifying workers’ unions, and worker relocation assistance. Hilary Clinton’s plan was rooted in the creation of a clean energy economy in locations that were previously manufacturing heavy, including infrastructure expansion and job training. None of these options have managed to pick up steam because none of them are easy and none of them act as a ‘cure-all’. What is needed is a thorough discussion on how to utilize a combination of such strategies. The Trump Administration introduced an easy solution: bring back exported jobs. Sadly, it is unrealistic for several reasons. First, many manufacturing jobs are not exported, rather disappear due to increases in automatization. Further, as companies consolidate, jobs are often relocated within the US rather than abroad.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Labor Issues, Employment, Labor Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Claudia Castillo
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: Colorado’s need for a flexible labor force capable of surging during certain seasons without creating a significance increase in the immigrant population is the crux of the problem for the state. The realization that there may be trafficked laborers into forced labor on Colorado farms is not a novel idea but the difficulty of obtaining evidence that proves to what extent these human rights violations occur has proven to be extremely challenging. With such a huge population of undocumented agricultural laborers and the lack of oversight throughout Colorado, one can only surmise that violations of the Colorado immigration, human trafficking and forced labor laws implemented in 2006 exist. The lack of research and data of Colorado’s agricultural labor force coupled with the scarce numbers of prosecuted human trafficking and forced labor cases in the agricultural sector is not indicative that the problem does not exist; it just makes the argument for developing a research initiative to determine the extent of the problem. It is not enough to extrapolate human trafficking and forced labor data from national reports or adjacent states to try and identify Colorado’s level of trafficking and forced labor activity in the agriculture sector.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Human Rights, Labor Issues, Labor Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Colorado
  • Author: Joey White
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: ver the past 20 years, marijuana talk has been a hot subject for law makers in the United States with 21 states decriminalizing marijuana, 29 allowing medical marijuana, and 8 states having legalized the recreational use of cannabis products. Illinois may be next to join the ranks of recreational marijuana, as lawmakers have introduced a bill late last month proposing the legalization of recreational cannabis. Based on sales trends in Colorado, it is estimated that for Illinois, legal cannabis could generate between $350 million to $700 million per year in revenue.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Finance, Drugs, Marijuana
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Eli Banghart
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: The human rights laws in the realm of rape within the United States have come under higher scrutiny recently. Perhaps most notably, the case of pop-singer Kesha (formerly known as Ke$ha, real name Kesha Rose Seibert) against producer Dr. Luke. The singer wishes to be released from her contract that requires six albums with Dr. Luke’s work featured in at least six songs per album. An appeal for a legal injunction was denied on 19 February 2016, striking rallying movements under the #FreeKesha tagline and an outpouring of celebrity support. This case’s impact has moved beyond Kesha, in her own words, turning into a movement against staying silent towards abusers.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Reform, Sexual Violence
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Kate Morgan
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: In the United States modern prison industrial complex (PIC), there are about 2 million inmates, marking the U.S. as the largest prison population in the world and the second highest incarceration rate per capita. The U.S. has 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s population. With historical roots involved in using inmates as labor for agriculture, textiles, and other manufactured goods, this practice still continues by means of privatizing labor. Under the 13th amendment, forced labor is legally allowed when a person is imprisoned. Prisoners will never have “family emergencies”, ask for a pay raise, or refuse work without the threat of solitary confinement. This makes them the ideal economically conservative employee. Private companies and organizations will lease work out to prisons, and the prisons will then use their inmates to perform the needed work, whether it be mining, agricultural work, making military weapons, or making garments and clothing for Victoria’s Secret. The pay grade for an inmate doing this work can range from nothing to $3 per hour varying per state, with Texas and Georgia legally not having to pay anything to their inmates/employees.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Privatization, Labor Issues, Prisons/Penal Systems, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Briana Simmons
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: All the processes leading to pregnancy, from maturation of the reproductive organs during puberty for males and females, to menstruation, and sex, are normal experiences within the life cycles of many. Yet, puberty is rarely fully explained, menstruation is “taboo” and well does sex education exist anymore? To make matters worse, women and their babies are still dying from preventable causes during or shortly after childbirth. About 99% of maternal deaths occur in the “developing” world with a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in 2015 at 239 per 100,000 live births versus 12 per 100,000 in “developed” countries. The U.S. spends the most on pregnancy and childbirth, but women still have a greater risk of dying to pregnancy related complications than women in 40 other countries, according to Amnesty International. Within the U.S. race increases the likelihood of disparities in pregnancy outcomes no matter educational or economic status.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Reproductive Rights, Sex Education
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Jo Beletic
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: The cover story of The Atlantic’s June 2017 issue, “My Family’s Slave”, has flurried around social media over the last couple of weeks. The heart wrenching story sheds light on the enslavement of Eudocia “Lola” Tomas Pulido. If you haven’t already done so, do yourself a favor and click through on the link above to read it. Most stories of this sort do not have such a warm ending. Most stories of this sort are never written. What is most disheartening of Lola’s situation is the fact that her story is more common than many Americans realize. Lolas are hidden in urban centers and tucked away within organized suburbia across the US. Domestic workers—people engaged in an employment relationship for work performed within a household—are vulnerable in their invisibility. In the US, over 2 million individuals are engaged in domestic work. Nannies, housekeepers, and healthcare workers are cooking, cleaning, ironing, caring for children, the sick, and the elderly behind closed doors. Many of these workers, generally women and girls, are immigrant women and women of color. As advocates for improved rights of these workers attest: domestic work makes all other work possible.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Labor Issues, Health Care Policy, Labor Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Ally Walker
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: The experience of homeless individuals, youth or adults, is as multifaceted and unique as each person. There is not one type of young person who is homeless or one cause for their homelessness. COHRE had the pleasure of sitting down with Cheryl Secorski, Homeless Programs Specialist for Youth at the state of Colorado’s Office of Homeless Youth Services, to get a better understanding of youth homelessness, how the State of Colorado works to prevent homelessness and what people can do to help.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Poverty, Youth, Homelessness
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Colorado
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: On the fifth anniversary of the mass Tahrir Square protests that ousted former President Mubarak, Egyptians are suffering severe repression and political instability. As this crisis deepens, Washington continues to send troubling mixed messages about its commitment to trying to resolve it. The U.S. government should, at long last, use its considerable influence to support civil society and advance human rights in Egypt. Such an approach would both help Egyptians and serve U.S interests. This blueprint draws on dozens of interviews with Egyptian human rights defenders, civil society activists, journalists, academics, families of detainees, lawyers, government officials, and others, conducted during a research trip in January 2016. It examines conditions in Egypt, the strengths and shortcomings of the U.S. response, and potential opportunities for the U.S. government to support civil society and strengthen respect for human rights. This year will be a defining one as violent extremism, regional conflicts, and political and economic mismanagement threaten Egypt—and as President Obama shapes his legacy in the Middle East. In 2009, he delivered a message of hope in Cairo: “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.” Much has changed in the intervening years. In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September 2015, President Obama opted for analysis rather than exhortation, noting that: “repression cannot forge the social cohesion for nations to succeed. The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable. The strongmen of today become the spark of revolution tomorrow.” He continued: “I believe a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength; it is showing weakness and it is showing fear. History shows that regimes who fear their own people will eventually crumble, but strong institutions built on the consent of the governed endure long after any one individual is gone.” Yet the U.S. government’s handling of the enduring crisis in Egypt has too often failed to draw obvious conclusions from the Administration’s analysis of the detrimental impact of human rights violations on stability and progress. As a result, many Egyptians view the Obama Administration as supportive of the repressive leadership in Cairo. This support for the dictatorship will render Egypt less stable, undermine U.S. efforts to prevent violent extremism, and further damage Washington’s credibility in the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, United Nations, Social Movement, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, North Africa, Egypt, Cairo
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: On the fifth anniversary of the mass protests in Bahrain that threatened to bring down the country’s autocratic regime, Bahrainis continue to suffer severe repression and political instability. Although the scale of mass arrests and torture the government used to suppress the uprising in March, April, and May of 2011 has diminished, and there have been some largely cosmetic reforms introduced since then, arbitrary arrests and torture in custody continue. Leading human rights activists and peaceful opposition leaders who were able to work relatively unimpeded since 2011 are now in jail, forced into exile, or facing trumped-up charges. The leading civil society and nonviolent political opposition figures arrested and tortured in 2011 remain in prison and there seems to be no prospect of any political dialogue between the government and opposition groups. The protests have not stopped, and a minority have taken on a violent edge, with over a dozen policemen killed since 2011. The country’s prisons are bulging with political detainees, many of whom were sentenced in mass trials after an unfair judicial process. This blueprint draws on dozens of interviews with Bahraini human rights defenders, civil society activists, journalists, academics, families of detainees, lawyers, U.S. government officials, and others. Despite repeated requests for permission to access Bahrain, Human Rights First has been denied entry to the country since 2012. This report examines conditions in Bahrain, the strengths and shortcomings of the U.S. response, and potential opportunities for the U.S. government to support civil society and strengthen respect for human rights. Though the smallest country in the Middle East, Bahrain exemplifies several of the major challenges for U.S. policy in the region. 2016 promises to be a defining year as a series of issues converge to threaten Bahrain, including: sectarian tensions exploited by ISIL and other Sunni extremists and by Shi’a-dominated Iran; economic vulnerability linked to sharply falling oil prices; corruption and political instability; a lack of reform leaving the root grievances of the large scale public protests unresolved; and U.S. government support for an authoritarian status quo seen as the best way of protecting major military investments—in Bahrain’s case, the U.S. Naval Fifth Fleet base. This year will also be important as President Obama shapes his legacy in the Middle East. In 2009, at the start of his presidency, he delivered a message of hope in Cairo: “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.” Much has changed in the intervening years. In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September 2015, President Obama opted for analysis rather than exhortation, noting, “repression cannot forge the social cohesion for nations to succeed. The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable. The strongmen of today become the spark of revolution tomorrow.” He continued: “I believe a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength; it is showing weakness and it is showing fear. History shows that regimes who fear their own people will eventually crumble, but strong institutions built on the consent of the governed endure long after any one individual is gone.” Yet the U.S. government’s handling of the enduring crisis in Bahrain has too often failed to draw obvious conclusions from the administration’s own analysis of the detrimental impact of human rights violations on stability and progress. As a result, in the absence of actions and policies that would suggest the contrary, many in Bahrain and across the region view the Obama Administration as supportive of the repressive leadership in Manama. This support for the dictatorship is rendering Bahrain less stable, undermining U.S. efforts to prevent violent extremism, and further damaging Washington’s credibility in the region.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Foreign Aid, Reform, Protests
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Bahrain, Manama
  • Author: Chris Kolenda, Chris Rogers
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: During the early years of the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan, the U.S. military was killing too many civilians and depriving too many others of basic rights and liberties. By 2008, nearly 40 percent of civilian deaths in Afghanistan resulted from U.S. military operations. The level of “civilian harm”—the military’s term for killing innocent civilians and causing major political, social, and economic disruption—was adversely impacting the United States’ efforts to defeat the Taliban and weakening the legitimacy of the U.S. and Afghan governments. The report, The Strategic Costs of Civilian Harm: Applying Lessons from Afghanistan to Current and Future Conflicts, examines how the U.S. military learned from its early mistakes in Afghanistan and applied lessons to mitigate civilian harm. In fact, starting in 2009, the U.S. military recognized its mistakes and started to understand the high strategic cost of civilian harm. The military’s changes led to a significant reduction in civilian deaths during the next few years. The report argues that the United States should develop a Uniform Policy on Civilian Protection. The new standards would apply to all U.S. military operations in current and future conflicts and, hopefully, better protect civilians caught in conflict.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Conflict, War on Terror, Civilians, Casualties
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The United States is not taking Saudi Arabia’s outsized responsibility for human rights abuses within or beyond the kingdom’s borders seriously enough. President Barack Obama did not raise the issue in his meeting last year with the late King Abdullah. On his way to meet the new Saudi monarch, King Salman, in January 2015 the President remarked, “Sometimes we have to balance our need to speak to them about human rights issues with immediate concerns that we have in terms of countering terrorism or dealing with regional stability." He did not mention that Saudi Arabia’s policies (denying rights and freedoms at home while leading a vigorous, region-wide effort to push back against popular calls for better governance) have themselves contributed to regional instability and undermined counterterrorism efforts. Such policies harm U.S. interests and those of the people of Saudi Arabia and the region as a whole.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Terrorism, Repression
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: “First, for civil society to continue to succeed it must have open, free, democratic space. I have followed closely the ongoing debate in Kenya around civil society and its regulation…. [A]ccountability and transparency are important for civil society organizations, just as they are for all others. But there are ways to achieve accountability and transparency that do not restrict or impede the vital work of civil society.… Regulation should embrace diversity. Regulation must not be used to silence opinions or stifle views that the powerful do not share…. We carry out extensive due diligence on all the organizations we partner with, to ensure that they are not being used for illicit purposes, such as terrorist financing. We have not seen any evidence to suggest Haki Africa’s activities pose a threat to national security or jeopardize Kenya’s efforts at combating terrorism.” –U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Robert F. Godec, June 5, 2015 The visit of President Obama to Kenya in July 2015—the first by a sitting U.S. president—is much anticipated in the country, which faces serious challenges, including poverty, terrorism, corruption, and abuses by state security forces. Kenya has yet to fully recover from large-scale violence following the 2008 election, when around 1,300 people were killed—including hundreds by the police—and half a million were displaced during a six-week period. Kenya also hosts around half a million refugees fleeing war in Somalia. The U.S. government has sought to help Kenya address its human rights problem with humanitarian, good governance, and security initiatives. Kenya is routinely among the top seven recipients of U.S. aid, getting hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Yet the United States should strengthen and sharpen its efforts to support Kenya. A reinvigorated approach, initiated by the President’s visit, would both improve the lives of Kenyans and serve U.S. interests by combating violent extremism. This report recommends actions the U.S. government should take to promote greater stability in Kenya and the region, and outlines in particular how the U.S. government should support Kenyan civil society. In 2010 Kenyan voters approved a new constitution, which contains strong human rights safeguards, protections for civil society, and judicial reforms. And it is in many ways a model of legal protection for human rights. It provides for the creation of several important bodies, including the National Gender Equality Commission—which is pushing for the implementation of article 81b of the constitution: “not more than two thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender”—and the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights. Unfortunately, these and other official entities set up under the constitution to protect rights are insufficiently resourced and politically weak. The government’s implementation of the constitution has generally not matched the promise of its text. It has attacked civil society groups and attempted to muzzle dissent, often in the name of counterterrorism. The 2013 Public Benefit Organizations (PBO) Act, a law designed to regulate and protect civil society, has yet to be implemented. On the positive side, parts of the Kenyan judiciary remain defiantly independent of government interference, something President Obama should praise during his trip. The Kenya section in the U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 states: “The most serious human rights problems were security force abuses, including alleged unlawful killings, forced disappearances, torture, and use of excessive force; interethnic violence; and widespread corruption and impunity throughout the government…. Widespread impunity at all levels of government was a serious problem, despite public statements by the president and deputy president and police and judicial reforms. The government took only limited steps to address cases of unlawful killings by security force members.” That crackdown runs counter to President Obama’s insistence that stability and security require “freedom for civil society groups.” During his visit, President Obama should discuss the crackdown on civil society along with other pressing and sensitive issues: security cooperation, corruption, refugee protection, and the human rights of LGBT people.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, United States, Nairobi, East Africa
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: On the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting, the United States is sponsoring briefings and meetings with allies to develop strategies to counter the spread of violent extremism. These activities will build on the February 2015 White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism (CVE). The CVE initiative is designed to advance a more preventive and proactive approach to countering violent extremism. It takes into account the lesson of the past decade that addressing the threat of violent extremism requires a truly comprehensive strategy that goes beyond military intelligence and law-enforcement tools. The United States government has played a leading role in moving forward a global conversation on countering violent extremism since convening the White House Summit. If this process is to yield results, the United States will have to continue to provide leadership in close coordination with the efforts of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations, notably the U.N. Secretary General’s Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism to be presented to the U.N. General Assembly later this year. While sustained U.S. engagement with this multilateral process will be essential, just as important will be a clear demonstration from the United States that it is putting the principles of its CVE approach into practice. The United States must show its commitment to the principles it has been championing through its more comprehensive, preventive CVE strategy in each of its bilateral relationships, particularly those with states facing challenges from the threat of terrorism, which also engage in systematic violations of human rights. It is no accident that these two conditions often coincide. This blueprint brings together examples of existing bilateral relationships with some U.S. allies that fit this category. The material collected here illustrates the vital importance for the United States to encourage its allies to implement security policies rooted in the reality that good governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights are essential tools in countering violent extremism. This blueprint compiles and summarizes previous Human Rights First blueprints. For more information on a specific topic or country, please refer to the following documents: How to Conduct Effective Counterterrorism that Reinforces Human Rights (December 2014); How to Bring Stability to Bahrain (December 2014); How to Prevent Egypt Slipping into a Deepening Crisis (December 2014); How to Build a More Sustainable and Mutually Beneficial Relationship with Saudi Arabia (March 2015); How to Counter Terrorism by Supporting Civil Society in the United Arab Emirates (May 2015); How the United States Can Help Counter Violent Extremism and Support Civil Society in Kenya (July 2015).
  • Topic: Human Rights, Terrorism, United Nations, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Amy Sobel
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: This year marks the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. Yet in the world today there are an estimated 20.9 million people enslaved, and the United States is both a source and destination of victims. While the United States would have a moral responsibility to address this problem even without its history of slavery, its legacy heightens this imperative. Contemporary slavery manifests in various ways. Many trafficking victims are forced to toil in fields, factories, and fishing boats for little or no pay. Others are held captive in private homes. Forced prostitution rings imprison women, girls, and boys in brothels or force them to work in the streets under threat of abuse. What links all these forms—as well as historic American slavery—is the profit motive. Human trafficking is a lucrative criminal enterprise, generating $150 billion annually in profits worldwide. The United States should seek to reduce substantially the number of victims by implementing policies and practices that dismantle the business of trafficking. Since passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000—and its subsequent reauthorizations—the U.S. government has undertaken significant steps to build an anti-human trafficking infrastructure. Through annual publication of the Department of State’s (DOS) Trafficking in Persons report (TIP report), it has called worldwide attention to this blight. The DOS Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) provides grants to U.S. and foreign institutions involved in prevention/awareness, protection/services, law enforcement/prosecution, research and data collection, and evaluation. J/TIP also coordinates U.S. agencies both at home and abroad, including agencies on the President’s Interagency Task Force (PITF). Despite these efforts, human trafficking continues to be a horrific human rights problem both in the United States and around the world. The 2014 DOS TIP report used law enforcement data to determine that 44,738 survivors were reported globally in 2013 —a paltry figure considering the number of victims. It is clear that far more needs to be done.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations, Slavery, Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Mark R. von Sternberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Both geographic and normative constraints restrict access to surrogate international human rights protection for those seeking a haven from serious human rights abuses. Primary among territorial restrictions has been the fall-out from the US Supreme Court's decision in Sale v. Haitian Council Centers in which the court explicitly ruled that nothing in US statutory law, or in the 1951 Convention on Refugees or its 1967 Protocol, precluded the interdiction of Haitian refugees in international waters and their return to the country of origin without an effective interview on their protection clams. This ruling is in transparent contradiction to the general international law norm of non-refoulement according to modern scholarship and emerging case law. This paper concludes that Sale should be overturned by statute as should related pre-screening practices. A new standard of “jurisdiction” should be adopted which does not depend on territorial access to a signatory state but on whether the state is exercising power in fact. Similar concerns exist with respect to safe third country agreements which often offend the international customary right of the asylum seeker to choose where his or her claim will be filed. This paper argues that the right of choice should be recognized and onward travel and admission to the country of destination allowed. This result is especially called for where return of the alien by the country of first contact raises serious concerns under the law of non-refoulement. Imbalances noted in this paper include those generated by the new terrorism related grounds of inadmissibility in the United States and the summary denial of children's asylum claims flowing from gang violence. Other questions are raised in this paper concerning work authorization and detention of asylum seekers. Access to an employment authorization Journal on Migration and Human Security document for those filing colorable claims should be recognized by statute to render US practice consistent with that of most other states. Release from detention, on the other hand, for asylum seekers has now been broadly recognized by the US Department of Homeland Security where the asylum seeker's identity can be ascertained and the claim is non-frivolous in nature. This approach is largely consistent with international law, although there have been unnecessary delays in implementing it. On the substantive law, the international customary norm of non-refoulment has been expanded considerably through the development of opinio juris by scholars and the practice of states. This paper traces efforts in Europe to develop a law of temporary refuge for those fleeing civil war situations characterized by humanitarian law violations. Similarly, case law under the European Convention of Human Rights has now come to focus on the harm the claimant would suffer as the result of conditions in the country of origin without identifying an explicit agent of serious harm. Related to these developments has been the notion of complementary protection under which relief can be conferred where the alien would suffer serious harm upon return to the home state but not for a Convention reason. These approaches have now received approval in the European Union Asylum Qualification Directive so that international protection may now be conferred either because the alien would suffer serious harm on account of the intensity of human rights violations taking place in the country of origin, or those conditions, taken in conjunction with the claimant's personal situation, support a finding that the claimant would be impacted. This paper argues that this latter standard has now been made a part of the customary norm of non-refoulement and that it should be recognized by statute as a basis for non-return and coupled with status where the new standard can be met. Such a measure would help restore the nation's commitment to human rights and humanitarian concerns.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Marianna M. Yamamoto
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The OSCE security concept is a theoretical and operational framework based on the idea that international and domestic security depend on principles guiding three areas: how States deal with each other and resolve problems; the protection and promotion of individual rights within States; and the processes to develop, implement, and advance agreements regarding the principles. The OSCE security concept is based on principles that OSCE States began to develop in 1975 with the Helsinki Final Act, and continued to develop over the next decades and into the 21st century. This brief identifies and articulates the OSCE security principles by analyzing a series of official documents adopted by the OSCE States from 1975 to 2001. The concept was described in greater length in the CISSM monograph, OSCE Principles in Practice, which also tested the practical application of the principles in three case studies. The monograph then extended the research on OSCE principles to express an OSCE security concept. As a concept based on principles developed by democratic States, the OSCE security concept has significant policy implications. One highlighted in this brief is that international security cannot be achieved without the protection and promotion of individual rights and freedoms.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Many countries are interested in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that Brussels and Washington are negotiating. But the United States and the European Union (EU) began talks without devising a way to involve their main trade partners. This approach, understandable given the complexity of the negotiations, could produce a bilateral agreement that is difficult to multilateralize. To influence the negotiations, third countries interested in eventually joining TTIP should pursue an agenda centered on the accession mechanism, the elimination of nontariff barriers, and dispute settlement.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: James W. Nickel
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Like people born shortly after World War II, the international human rights movement recently had its sixty-fifth birthday. This could mean that retirement is at hand and that death will come in a few decades. After all, the formulations of human rights that activists, lawyers, and politicians use today mostly derive from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the world in 1948 was very different from our world today: the cold war was about to break out, communism was a strong and optimistic political force in an expansionist phase, and Western Europe was still recovering from the war. The struggle against entrenched racism and sexism had only just begun, decolonization was in its early stages, and Asia was still poor (Japan was under military reconstruction, and Mao's heavy-handed revolution in China was still in the future). Labor unions were strong in the industrialized world, and the movement of women into work outside the home and farm was in its early stages. Farming was less technological and usually on a smaller scale, the environmental movement had not yet flowered, and human-caused climate change was present but unrecognized. Personal computers and social networking were decades away, and Earth's human population was well under three billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Judyth L. Twigg
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, Russia's relationship with the United States has traveled a swift and seemingly deliberate arc from partner to pariah. The current turmoil in Ukraine and near-certain resulting isolation of Russia culminate several years' worth of deteriorating ties. The Edward Snowden mess, disagreements over Syria and Iran, dismay over the eroding human rights environment in Russia, and now Russian annexation of Crimea have led the previously heralded "reset" to an unceremonious end. What are the implications of these and related developments for U.S.-Russia collaboration in medicine and public health? Should avenues of partnership remain open, even in such a frosty political context? Should the international community support Russia's health sector when ample resources exist within Russia itself? Is it even possible anymore?
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, North America
  • Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: An estimated one-third of girls around the globe become brides before the age of eighteen and one in nine do so before the age of fifteen. In recent decades, the issue of child marriage has grown in profile and priority for many policymakers. The Elders, a group of global leaders including former United Nations (UN) secretary-general Kofi Anna n and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, have taken on the issue and opted to use their platform to speak out against the practice, as have other prominent international organizations. The UN estimated that in 2011, nearly seventy million women ages twenty to twenty-four had married before they turned eighteen. If current trends continue without pause, in the next ten years, more than 140 million girls will be married before their eighteenth birthdays. In order to design interventions that can scale to match the level of the challenge, it is critical to understand the drivers of child marriage and the factors that can curb it.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Catherine Powell
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The significant gains that Afghan women and girls have made since the 2001 U.S.-led military invasion and overthrow of the Taliban are endangered. Presidential elections and possible peace efforts with the Taliban raise uncertainties about whether the future leadership in Afghanistan will protect gender equality. Further, President Barack Obama's plan to completely draw down U.S. troops in the country by the end of 2016 risks withdrawing critical security protection, which has provided Afghan women and girls with increased safety and opportunities to participate in education, employment, the health system, politics, and civil society. With these political and security transitions underway, the United States should act now, in coordination with Afghanistan and its partners, to cement and extend the gains and prevent reversal.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Human Rights, Islam, Culture, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Chinese foreign investment declined through mid-2014 for the first time since the financial crisis. By sector, energy draws the most investment, but a slump in energy spending means that metals and real estate have been more prominent so far in 2014. The United States has received the most Chinese investment since 2005, followed by Australia, Canada, and Brazil. China invests first in large, resource-rich nations but has also diversified by spending more than $200 billion elsewhere. Chinese investment benefits both China and the recipient nation, but host countries must consider thorny issues like Chinese cyberespionage and subsidies.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, Brazil, Australia
  • Author: Steven Ditto
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic has added to its nuclear negotiating team a law professor who has extensive experience making Iran's case in international disputes. On April 9, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States, plus Germany) concluded the latest two-day round of talks on a nuclear deal, setting the next round for May 13. Earlier in the week, on April 7, Iranian media reported the appointment of Dr. Jamshid Momtaz as head of a "legal advisory group" to the Iranian negotiating team. A French-educated expert on sanctions, disarmament, and UN procedure, Momtaz has represented the Iranian government in some of its highest-profile international legal proceedings, including in claims against the U.S. government at the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ). Momtaz's familiarity with the United Nations, his extensive practice in Europe, and his proven history of leveraging complex legal arguments to advance Iran's international interests indicate that in these latest rounds of P5+1 talks Tehran is likely looking for unconventional ways to "address" and "bring a satisfactory conclusion to" the UN Security Council resolutions against it, as called for in the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) agreed to in Geneva last November.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, France
  • Author: Michael Shifter
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: At first glance, perhaps the most notable feature of Plan Colombia has been its longevity. Given the current divisiveness in Washington, the bipartisan support it has received across three administrations now seems remarkable. After 12 years, the plan is gradually winding down, but the U.S. allocated more than $300 million under the program in 2012 alone. Although the Plan has evolved considerably since it was approved by the U.S. Congress in July 2000, it has become shorthand for wide-ranging U.S. cooperation with Colombia to assist that country in combating drugs, guerrilla violence, and related institutional and social problems. All told, the U.S. has spent nearly $8 billion on the initiative—more than anywhere outside of the Middle East, and Iraq and Afghanistan since the end of the Cold War. Although the effort gave priority to counter-narcotics operations—and specifically the eradication of coca in southern Colombia—from the outset it also encompassed assistance for the judiciary and economic development.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Development, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Tanya K. Hernandez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The Americas present many contrasting approaches to affirmative action. In the United States, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its constitutionality, while at the same time narrowing the ability to use race in the Fisher v. Texas case. In contrast, several Latin American countries are beginning to explore more dynamic affirmative action policies. While many of these policies are recent and still developing, the new Latin American interest in affirmative action programs indicates how useful such programs can be in pursuing racial justice. In fact, Latin America has in some ways gone much further in broadly embracing affirmative action as a human right-a key, perhaps, to the growing support for the concept.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany, Latin America
  • Author: Susan Gzesh
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: International human rights are "inalienable, indivisible, and universal." One cannot bargain away one's rights ("inalienable"); human rights are a whole with economic rights and civil rights being inter-dependent ("indivisible"); and human rights do not depend on citizenship or membership in a nation state ("universal"). A human being does not lose his or her human rights by crossing a border. However in state regulation of the entrance and stay of temporary migrant workers, the ideal of universal human rights clashes with the prerogatives of sovereignty and power.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Susan Ginsburg
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirmed in Article 13 that "[e]veryone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." In response to the Soviet Union's and China's prohibitive controls over the travel of their citizens, Article 13 recognized the right of individual citizens to take trips to other countries willing to receive them, knowing that they may return home at the end of their foreign stays.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Rachel B. Vogelstein
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The practice of child marriage is a violation of human rights. Every day, girls around the world are forced to leave their families, marry against their will, endure sexual and physical abuse, and bear children while still in childhood themselves. This practice is driven by poverty, deeply embedded cultural traditions, and pervasive discrimination against girls. Yet in many parts of the world, this ancient practice still flourishes: estimates show that nearly five million girls are married under the age of fifteen every year, and some are as young as eight or nine years old.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Daniela Huber
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The momentous changes in the Middle East and North Africa have brought the issue of human rights and democracy promotion back to the forefront of international politics. The new engagement in the region of both the US and the EU can be scrutinised along three dimensions: targets, instruments and content. In terms of target sectors, the US and EU are seeking to work more with civil society. As for instruments, they have mainly boosted democracy assistance and political conditionality, that is utilitarian, bilateral instruments of human rights and democracy promotion, rather than identitive, multilateral instruments. The content of human rights and democracy promotion has not been revised.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: David E. Brown
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The frenetic search for hydrocarbons in Africa has become so intense and wide ranging that there is planned or ongoing oil and gas exploration in at least 51 of the continent's 54 countries. Knowledge about Africa's geology is improving rapidly, generating great optimism about the continent's energy future. Onshore and offshore rifts and basins created when the African continent separated from the Americas and Eurasia 150 million years ago are now recognized as some of the most promising hydrocarbon provinces in the world. Offshore Angola and Brazil, Namibia and Brazil, Ghana and French Guyana, Morocco and Mexico, Somalia and Yemen, and Mozambique and Madagascar are just a few of the geological analogues where large oil fields have been discovered or are be-lieved to lie. One optimistic but quite credible scenario is that future discoveries in Africa will be around five timestheir current level based on what remains un-explored on the continent versus currently known sub-soil assets. If proven true, this could have a pro-foundly positive impact on Africa's future growth and strategic position in the global economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, America, Eurasia, Asia, Brazil, Yemen, Mozambique, Mexico, Morocco, Somalia, Angola, Ghana, Namibia, Guyana, Moldavia
  • Author: Victoria Christensen
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Since the summer of 2011, the country of Myanmar has been experiencing rapid democratic reform. Headlines lauding these positive changes have become common-place in the international media. However, experts and academics who have been involved in the decade-long campaign to bring peace and democracy to Myanmar remain divided over how sincere these changes are. Some accuse the Government of carrying out “window-dressing” reforms to please the Western governments and enable the lifting of sanctions. They argue that the Government has a vested interest in maintaining the reins of power and that there is no incentive to make true democratic reforms. During a speech in Oslo in June 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmarese Pro-democracy leader described the recent reforms as positive but warned against blind faith in the process and pointed out the main challenges that remain unresolved – namely the ethnic issues and the ongoing imprisonment of political prisoners.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Political Economy, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United States, China, Tehran, Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Successive administrations have recognized that preventing genocide and crimes against humanity is in the national interest of the United States. The Obama Administration put this rhetoric into action in 2011 by issuing Presidential Study Directive 10, which elevated mass atrocities prevention to a "core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States" and ordered the creation of a standing atrocities prevention structure in the U.S. government. With far- reaching atrocities prevention efforts now underway in the U.S. government, Human Rights First offers an additional, innovative approach that broadens the scope of current atrocities prevention efforts and opens up new avenues for tackling this persistent and complex problem.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Genocide, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States