Human Rights | Wilson Center

Human Rights

Beyond the Magic Bullet: African Women and Their Long and Complex Quest for Gender Justice

Summary of a meeting with Zenebeworke Tadesse, Director of Publications, Forum for Social Sciences, Ethiopia, and Founding Member of the Association of African Women for Research and Development

Captive in the Congo: A Consul's Return to the Heart of Darkness

Summary of a meeting with Michael P. Hoyt, Former Consul in the Congo.

China Exim Bank in Africa

China Export-Import Bank

China's trade, investment and aid activities in Africa have been growing rapidly over the past decade. Chinese aid to Africa totaled $5.75 billion in 2006, and China the world's third largest food aid contributor. Trade between China and Africa has grown tenfold since 1999, reaching $56 billion in 2006. China's export credit and guarantee agencies—China Exim Bank in particular—have played an important role in fostering the rapid expansion of Chinese trade and investment in Africa.

Environmental Film Festival Screening: The Blood of Yingzhou District

For the eighth year in a row, the China Environment Forum hosted a screening of a film in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital. This year's film—The Blood of Yingzhou District—won best documentary short subject at the 2007 Academy Awards® for its portrayal of HIV/AIDS orphans in China.

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.

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