Human Rights Day 2013 is of particular significance, as it ends the year-long commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
To mark this very special Human Rights Day, we present a small selection of the many Carnegie Council resources on the subject. They cover a wide range of issues, including exposing abuses; women's rights; workers' rights in South Asia; human rights in North Korea and China; and lastly, a classic article on world poverty and human rights.
Defending Human Rights by Exposing Abuses
The Constitution Project: Task Force Report on Detainee Treatment
David Gushee, Mercer University; David R. Irvine, Former Legislator, Utah House of Representatives
In many instances, U.S. forces used interrogation techniques which constitute torture; the nation's most senior officials bear ultimate responsibility; and there is no evidence that torture produced significant information of value. These are the unanimous conclusions of the task force on detainee treatment, as discussed here by two of its members.
(Public Affairs, November 2013, transcript, audio)
Human Rights Watch: Promoting Ethical Behavior When It's Contested
Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch
It's the job of Human Rights Watch to shine a spotlight on human rights abuses worldwide, including in the United States, says its executive director Ken Roth. We speak not for the public conscience, but to it, "and if we have hit that conscience accurately, it’s reflected in shame, and governments then have to respond to that."
(Carnegie Council Centennial, November 2012, transcript, audio, video)
Gender and Human Rights
Ethics Matter: Zainab Salbi on Women, War, and Self-Empowerment
Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International
Zainab Salbi discusses her personal journey from growing up in Saddam Hussein's Iraq to becoming a global champion of women's rights. She also focuses on the realities of women's lives across the Middle East and proposes constructive ways to change negatives to positives.
(Ethics Matter, April 2013, transcript, audio, video, TV show)
Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice
Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland
In this inspiring talk about her extraordinary life so far, Mary Robinson tells us of her early years and how she became president of Ireland, even though the odds were 100-1; her work as a champion of human rights, especially those of women; and about her current work as president of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice.
(Public Affairs, March 2013, transcript, audio, video, TV show)
The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World
Michelle Goldberg, journalist and author
Goldberg exposes the global war on women's reproductive rights and its disastrous and unreported consequences for the future of global development. (Carnegie New Leaders, May 2009. Video, audio, transcript)
Human Rights in Asia
Some Thoughts on the Ethics of China's Rise
Ali Wyne, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
In this nuanced and knowledgeable piece, Wyne analyses China's changing values and challenges as the country takes a more prominent role on the world stage, from human rights, to humanitarian intervention, to the environmental cost of its breathtaking growth over the last few decades. He concludes with some thoughts on U.S. policy towards China.
(Carnegie Ethics Online, August 2013, article)
The World of Walmart
S. Prakash Sethi, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York
With the deadly April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, once again the spotlight is on multi-national companies like Wal-Mart, whose production is often out-sourced to factories with substandard conditions. As usual, there are promises of reforms, along with denials of culpability. But will the world of Wal-Mart ever change?
(Carnegie Ethics Online, May 2013, article)
North Korea: The World's Principal Violator of Responsibility to Protect
Robert Park, Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea
The 2005 UN World Summit made a landmark commitment to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. Has North Korea violated this norm to the degree that intervention is warranted? The answer is an unequivocal yes.
(February 2012, article)
The Internet and Human Rights
Yahoo! and YouTube: Balancing Human Rights and Business
Rachel Davis, Harvard Kennedy School; Susan Morgan, Global Network Initiative; Ebele Okobi-Harris, Yahoo! Inc.; Abbi Tatton, Google/YouTube
How do companies such as Yahoo! and YouTube decide on whether disturbing material should be banned from their sites? What are the free speech and human rights issues involved? What guidelines do they use? This fascinating workshop discusses specific cases.
(Workshops for Ethics in Business, September 2011, transcript, audio, video, TV show)
The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom
Evgeny Morozov, The New Republic.
Amid the euphoria about the power of the Internet and social media, Morozov sounds a note of caution. He reminds us that these tools can also entrench dictators, threaten dissidents, and make it harder—not easier—to promote democracy.
(Public Affairs, January 2011, transcript, audio, video, TV show)
The Human Rights of the World's Poor
World Poverty and Human Rights
Thomas Pogge, Yale University
Despite a high and growing global average income, billions of human beings are still condemned to lifelong severe poverty, with all its attendant evils of low life expectancy, social exclusion, ill health, illiteracy, dependency, and effective enslavement. This problem is solvable, despite its magnitude. (Ethics & International Affairs, Spring 2005, lead article in Symposium)