Human Rights

Global Urban Poverty Research Agenda: The African Case

Akin L. Mabogunje, Chairman of the Presidential Technical Board of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, presented a paper entitled "Global Urban Poverty Research Agenda: The African Case" at a February 1 seminar organized by the Comparative Urban Studies Project (CUSP). A preliminary copy of the paper is available at the CUSP website.

A Blow to Democracy: Election Fraud, Corruption and Political Violence in Albania

Erion Veliaj, a former civil society activist and coordinator of the Albanian opposition parties, discussed the demonstration held on January 21, 2011. The demonstration ended in violence, with four shot and killed by the Republican Guard. Prime Minister Sali Berisha characterized the event as an attempted coup d'état in an attempt to justify the violent response, and said that the demonstrators had been carrying weapons disguised as umbrellas.

Strategies to Fight Discrimination: Reports from Frontline Activists in Europe and Africa

Viktória Mohácsi, Roma rights defender and former E.U. Parliamentarian from Hungary;
Julius Kaggwa, Co-founder, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, and Director, Support Initiative for People with Atypical Sex Development (SIPD);
Christian Ostermann, Director, European Studies, Woodrow Wilson Center;
Tad Stahnke, Director of Policy and Programs, Human Rights First;
Dan Baer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor)

Human Rights in Post-Communist Transitions: Fulfillment or Betrayal?

Human Rights and Their Limits shows that the concept of human rights has developed in waves: each call for rights served the purpose of social groups that tried to stop further proliferation of rights once their own goals were reached. While defending the universality of human rights as norms of behavior, Osiatynski admits that the philosophy on human rights does not need to be universal. Instead he suggests that the enjoyment of social rights should be contingent upon the recipient's contribution to society.

Banning Headscarves in Bulgaria: Reflections on the Debate over Religious Symbols in Public Schools

In Europe, the issue of headscarves has the power to expose a variety of social cleavages because it instantly provokes strong stances on matters such as national identity, religion, gender and human rights. This issue also reflects the way in which states set priorities within the broad category of human rights they are obliged to protect.

Gender and Islam in Africa: New Book from Wilson Center Senior Scholar Margot Badran

Wilson Center Senior Scholar Margot Badran is the editor of a new book published jointly by the Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Stanford University Press. Gender and Islam in Africa: Rights, Sexuality, and Law examines ways in which women in Africa are interpreting traditional Islamic concepts in order to empower themselves and their societies.

Certification: The Path to Conflict-Free Minerals from Congo

The Woodrow Wilson Center's Africa Program in co-sponsorship with the Enough Project assembled a panel of experts from American, British and Congolese governments, private industry, and the non-governmental community to discuss the deplorable situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo involving conflict minerals and the way forward.

Crime and Violence in Central America

The dimensions of the citizen security crisis in Central America cannot be understated.  Fifteen to twenty years after the end of brutal armed conflicts in the region, levels of criminal violence in Central America exceed levels of violence during the wars.  As the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and others have noted, the seven countries of Central America—Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama—suffer from the highest levels o

Gender and Islam in Africa: Rights, Sexuality, and Law

Gender and Islam in Africa examines ways in which women in Africa are interpreting traditional Islamic concepts in order to empower themselves and their societies. African women, it argues, have promoted the ideals and practices of equality, human rights, and democracy within the framework of Islamic thought, challenging conventional conceptualizations of the religion as gender-constricted and patriarchal.

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