To Our Readers: Human Rights for All? The Problem of the Human Rights Box
Human Rights Dialogue 2.1 (Winter 1999) "Human Rights for All?"
December 5, 1999
In 1999 Cambridge University Press published The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights, marking the finale of the first phase of the Carnegie Council’s Human Rights Initiative. The centerpiece of the Initiative was a multiyear research and dialogue project entitled “The Growth of East Asia and Its Impact on Human Rights,” which was structured around a series of three international workshops held in Asia. Drawing upon ideas raised at these workshops, the Council produced eleven issues of Human Rights Dialogue.
With this issue of Dialogue, we launch the second phase of our Human Rights Initiative, as we move from a regional focus on East Asia to a global one. In this issue we examine the barriers that prevent a broad cross-section of people from embracing and benefiting from human rights. Subsequent installments in this series will probe these barriers in detail and suggest ways to overcome them.
Human Rights Dialogue is distinctive in that it addresses topics through the eyes of actors around the world who have the greatest stake in the future of the human rights movement. It features local voices that are rarely heard, providing testimony of what happens when international human rights law confronts realities on the ground. Dialogue is designed not to impose a particular point of view, but to provide opportunities for constructive debate and scholarly exploration of human rights around the world. Dialogue aims to fill a crucial gap in human rights analysis: the need for empirical information that illuminates how people prioritize and give meaning to human rights in varied cultural, political, and socio-economic contexts. Each issue focuses on a particular topic framed by an introduction by the editors.
Articles in Dialogue will also highlight the implications of the testimonies featured within its pages for human rights policy, advocacy, and scholarship. In the new Responses section, academics, policymakers, practitioners, locally based actors, and other readers concerned with human rights are invited to engage in active dialogue with the contributors, debating ideas, responding to experiences, and introducing approaches. In this way Dialogue provides an international forum for a lively and evolving discussion of the human rights framework and how it can better serve people everywhere.
We look forward to your participation.