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Human Rights

Event Recap: Islamic Law, the Nation State, and the Case of Pakistan

In recent decades, ambivalence toward modernity, along with the promise of justice and morality, have led to efforts in some Muslim-majority countries to partially “Islamize” the state. Pakistan presents an important case study. Pakistan’s Islamization program in the 1970s and 1980s promised increased justice and other public goods by virtue of laws purportedly rooted in revelation. This program has resulted in some controversial outcomes, such as Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

China’s Detention of Canadians Could Backfire

We don’t know where–or in what conditions–Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are being held. 

They were detained a week ago today, on Monday December 10, in different cities, in different regions of China, but on the same, serious allegations of “endangering national security.” 

Alexeyeva Passes Torch to Next Generation

BY MAXIM TRUDOLYUBOV

Russia has just bid farewell to the country’s most respected human rights campaigner and a veteran Soviet dissident, Lyudmila Alexeyeva. And Russia has just celebrated twenty-five years of its 1993 constitution, a document many consider pure decoration for a political system that creates its own rules. That the memorial events for Alexeyeva and a discussion of the state of the Russian constitution have coincided was a mere accident, but an ominous one.

Achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All

“The Guttmacher-Lancet Commission could not come at a better time,” said Patricia Da Silva, Associate Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation United Nations Liaison Office.

Argentina's Missing Bones: Revisiting the History of the Dirty War

Argentina’s Missing Bones is the first comprehensive English-language work of historical scholarship on the 1976–83 military dictatorship and Argentina’s notorious experience with state terrorism during the so-called dirty war. It examines this history in a single but crucial place: Córdoba, Argentina’s second largest city. A site of thunderous working-class and student protest prior to the dictatorship, it later became a place where state terrorism was particularly cruel. Considering the legacy of this violent period, James P.

The Struggle for Freedom from Fear: Contesting Violence against Women at the Frontiers of Globalization

How can we understand and contest the global wave of violence against women? In this book, Alison Brysk shows that gender violence across countries tends to change as countries develop and liberalize, but not in the ways that we might predict. She shows how liberalizing authoritarian countries and transitional democracies may experience more shifting patterns and greater levels of violence than less developed and democratic countries, due to changes and uncertainties in economic and political structures.

Fostering Greater Dialogue on the Rights of Traditional Populations in Brazil and the United States

On October 11, 2018, the Brazil Institute hosted five representatives of Brazil’s quilombola communities, including members of the National Coordination for the Articulation of Black Quilombola Rural Communities (CONAQ) and the Amazon Conservation Team of Brazil (Ecam).

Traditional Populations, Land Rights, and Environmental Justice: The Challenges of the Amazon

The concept of environmentalism has changed over time. Initially focused on flora and fauna, conservation efforts increasingly strive to include the populations who have traditionally inhabited these lands. The change was partially prompted by criticism of traditional conservation strategies, which tend to follow Yellowstone’s top-down approach to conservation that favors extremely limited land use by local populations.

Making it a Priority: Adolescents’ Health and Rights

“Adolescence is a time to support young peoples’ access to information, to education, to skills and to services that can result in a healthy and safe transition into adulthood,” said Sarah Barnes, Project Director of the Maternal Health Initiative, at a recent Wilson Center event on engaging youth and protecting their sexual and reproductive health and rights. “It’s time to make adolescents a priority,” said Barnes.

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