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Breaking Silence

Author: Richard Alan White
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589012813
Size: 74.33 MB
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Young seventeen-year-old Joelito Filártiga was taken from his family home in Asunción, Paraguay, brutally tortured, and murdered by the Paraguayan police. Breaking Silence is the inside story of the quest for justice by his father—the true target of the police—Paraguayan artist and philanthropist Dr. Joel Filártiga. That cruel death, and the subsequent uncompromising struggle by Joelito's father and family, led to an unprecedented sea change in international law and human rights. The author, Richard Alan White, first became acquainted with the Filártiga family in the mid-1970s while doing research for his dissertation on Paraguayan independence. Answering a distressed letter from Joelito's father, he returned to Paraguay and journeyed with the Filártiga family on their long and difficult road to redress. White gives the reader a compelling first-hand, participant-observer perspective, taking us into the family with him, to give witness to not only their agony and sorrow, but their resolute strength as well—strength that led to a groundbreaking $10 million legal decision in Filártiga v. Peña. (Americo Norberto Peña-Irala was the Paraguayan police officer responsible for Joelito's abduction and murder, whom the Filártigas had arrested after finding him hiding in Brooklyn.) That landmark decision, based on the almost obscure Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789, ruled that U.S. courts could accept jurisdiction in international cases—recognizing the right of foreign human rights victims to sue—even though the alleged violation occurred in another country by a non-American and against a non-American. So fundamentally has the Filártiga precedent changed the landscape of international human rights law, that it has served as the basis for nearly 100 progeny suits, and grown to encompass not only human rights abuses, but also violations of international environmental and labor rights law. Today, there are dozens of class action suits pending against corporate defendants ranging from oil conglomerates destroying the Amazon rainforest to designer clothing companies running sweatshops abroad. Breaking Silence is a remarkable, consuming story, documenting not only the most celebrated case in the international human rights field—but also the tragic and touchingly human story behind it that gives it life. In 2001, Dr. Filártiga was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Alien Tort Claims Act continues to be hotly debated among politicians and lawmakers.

Freedom From Want

Author: George Kent
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013254
Size: 13.81 MB
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There is, literally, a world of difference between the statements "Everyone should have adequate food," and "Everyone has the right to adequate food." In George Kent's view, the lofty rhetoric of the first statement will not be fulfilled until we take the second statement seriously. Kent sees hunger as a deeply political problem. Too many people do not have adequate control over local resources and cannot create the circumstances that would allow them to do meaningful, productive work and provide for themselves. The human right to an adequate livelihood, including the human right to adequate food, needs to be implemented worldwide in a systematic way. Freedom from Want makes it clear that feeding people will not solve the problem of hunger, for feeding programs can only be a short-term treatment of a symptom, not a cure. The real solution lies in empowering the poor. Governments, in particular, must ensure that their people face enabling conditions that allow citizens to provide for themselves. In a wider sense, Kent brings an understanding of human rights as a universal system, applicable to all nations on a global scale. If, as Kent argues, everyone has a human right to adequate food, it follows that those who can empower the poor have a duty to see that right implemented, and the obligation to be held morally and legally accountable, for seeing that that right is realized for everyone, everywhere.

Historical Dictionary Of The Dirty Wars

Author: David R. Kohut
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0810858398
Size: 31.84 MB
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Unlike a conventional war waged against a standing army, a "dirty war" is waged against individuals, groups, or ideas considered subversive. Originally associated with Argentina's military regime from 1976-1983, the term has since been applied to neighboring dictatorships during the period. Indeed, it has become a byword for state-sponsored repression anywhere in the world. The first edition of this reference illustrated the concept by describing the regimes of Argentina, Chile (1973-1990), and Uruguay (1973-1985), which tortured, murdered, and disappeared thousands of people in the name of anticommunism while thousands more were driven into exile. The second edition expands the scope to include Bolivia (1971-1982), Brazil (1964-1985), and Paraguay (1954-1989). Includes a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 400 cross-referenced dictionary entries on the countries; guerrilla and political movements; prominent guerrilla, human-rights, military, and political figures; local, regional, and international human-rights organizations; and artistic figures (filmmakers, novelists, and playwrights) whose works attempt to represent or resist the period of repression.--Publisher.

New Rights Advocacy

Author: Paul J. Nelson
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589012054
Size: 76.67 MB
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After World War II dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emerged on the global scene, committed to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable people. Some focused on protecting human rights; some were dedicated to development, aimed at satisfying basic economic needs. Both approaches had distinctive methods, missions, and emphases. In the 1980s and 90s, however, the dividing line began to blur. In the first book to track the growing intersection and even overlap of human rights and development NGOs, Paul Nelson and Ellen Dorsey introduce a concept they call "new rights advocacy." New rights advocacy has at its core three main trends: the embrace of human rights-based approaches by influential development NGOs, the adoption of active economic and social rights agendas by major international human rights NGOs, and the surge of work on economic and social policy through a human rights lens by specialized human rights NGOs and social movement campaigns. Nelson and Dorsey draw on rich case studies of internationally well-known individual NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, CARE, ActionAid, and Save the Children, and employ perspectives from fields of human rights, international relations, the sociology of social movements and of complex organizations, and development theory, in order to better understand the changes occurring within NGOs. In questioning current trends using new theoretical frameworks, this book breaks new ground in the evolution of human rights-development interaction. The way in which NGOs are reinventing themselves has great potential for success--or possibly failure--and profound implications for a world in which the enormous gap between the wealthiest and poorest poses a persistent challenge to both development and human rights.

Protecting Human Rights

Author: Todd Landman
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013988
Size: 71.64 MB
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Ours has been called a global "age of rights," an era in which respect for human rights is considered the highest aspiration of the international democratic community. Since the United Nation's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a wide variety of protections—civil, political, economic, social, and cultural—have been given legal validation as countries ratify treaties, participate in intergovernmental organizations, and establish human rights tribunals and truth and reconciliation commissions. Yet notable human rights failures have marred the post-Declaration era, including ongoing state violence toward citizens, the selectivity of humanitarian intervention (evidenced by the international community's failure to respond in Rwanda), and recent legislation in advanced democracies that trades some rights for protection against the threat of terrorism. How are we to reconcile the language of rights with the reality? Do we live in an age of rights after all? In Protecting Human Rights, Todd Landman provides a unique quantitative analysis of the marked gap between the principle and practice of human rights. Applying theories and methods from the fields of international law, international relations, and comparative politics, Landman examines data from 193 countries over 25 years (1976-2000) to assess the growth of the international human rights regime, the effect of law on actual protection, and global variation in human rights norms. Landman contends that human rights foreign policy remains based more on geo-strategic interest than moral internationalism. He argues that the influence human rights ideals have begun to have on states cannot be separated from the broader impact of socioeconomic changes that swept the globe in the late twentieth century. Landman concludes that international law alone will not suffice to fully protect human rights—it must be accompanied by democratic government, effective conflict resolution, and just economic systems.

The Second Reconstruction

Author: Gary Donaldson
Publisher: Krieger Publishing Company
ISBN:
Size: 45.30 MB
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This text traces the history of the civil rights movement in the years following World War II, to the present day. Issues discussed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights of 1965, and the Northern Ireland ghetto's.

Human Rights And A Changing Media Landscape

Author: Council Of Europe
Publisher: Council of Europe
ISBN: 9287171998
Size: 15.57 MB
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The media play a crucial role in the protection of human rights. They expose human rights violations and offer an arena for different voices to be heard in public discourse. Free, independent and pluralistic media are a core element of any democracy. However, the power of the media can also be misused to the extent that the very functioning of democracy is threatened. Some media outlets have been turned into propaganda megaphones for those in power. Others have been used to incite xenophobic hatred and violence against minorities and other vulnerable groups.Now the phenomenon of social media presents us with a range of fresh challenges. Blogs, video and social networking sites have become a key forum for political debate and organisation - so much so that they have provoked counter-responses from some repressive states. While there is a need to ensure better protection of personal integrity in social media, the right to freedom of expression must not be undermined.The purpose of this publication is to contribute to a more thorough discussion on media developments and their impact on human rights in a constantly changing media landscape. Eight experts were invited to contribute their personal assessments of trends and problems. They have not shied away from addressing controversial issues or providing far-reaching suggestions. Together their texts indicate that there is a need for stronger protection of media freedom and freedom of expression in Europe today. These are clearly topics of paramount importance which demand serious public debate.