MINELRES: Call for Short Essays: Human Rights Dialogue

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.delfi.lv
Thu Jan 16 17:23:41 2003

Original sender: Andy Cunningham <andyc@cceia.org>


January 10, 2002

Human Rights Dialogue, a semiannual publication of the Carnegie Council
on Ethics and International Affairs, is seeking essays for its Spring
2003 issue. In the coming issue, Human Rights Dialogue explores the
effectiveness of the human rights framework in addressing the ethical
challenges posed by the process of increasing economic, cultural, and
political integration; phenomena commonly referred to as

Discussions of the relationship between human rights and globalization
have tended to emphasize the ways in which expanded global
communications have facilitated the formation of transnational networks
of activists, north-south NGO partnerships, and transborder linkages of
a broad spectrum of social movements. Thus, globalization has often been
credited with enhancing the popular legitimacy of human rights

Globalization, however, can also pose serious challenges for groups that
use a human rights framework. Increasingly, people's rights are being
threatened by problems that are often beyond the control of national
governments. And while the rights enunciated in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights were indeed universal - equally possessed by
and equally binding upon every human being-, the scope of these rights
was more restricted, in that they were interpreted as rights that people
held against their own governments. Individuals' rights against states
of which they are not citizens were far less extensive, and rights
against non-state actors are only vaguely alluded to. The extensive
legal human rights instruments that have been developed in recent
decades have further entrenched this understanding of human rights.

This state-based framework of human rights obligations has become quite
problematic in a world in which the fulfillment of rights in developing
countries often depends on the political and economic institutions of
developed states, powerful nonstate actors, and the structure of
international institutions. Many people suffer because their governments
lack the resources to provide them with access to basic health care and
education. These resource constraints are often caused by changes in
patterns of foreign investment, trade flows, world market prices,
interest rates, high external debts, or failure to gain access to
heavily protected markets in developed countries. Moreover, dependence
on foreign creditors and international institutions can limit the
capabilities of a country's citizens to participate meaningfully in the
choice of its policies and institutions.

Submissions should examine whether and how activists are choosing to use
the framework of human rights to address these challenges. Essays are
especially welcome from activists or practitioners in countries
grappling with financial crises, environmental degradation, severe
public health problems, inequitable resource extraction policies, human
trafficking, or abusive labor practices. Authors should address one or
more of the following questions by analyzing a concrete case study based
on firsthand knowledge:

- How have you addressed the problem of the increasingly complex causes
of human rights violations? Are you changing your tactics to fit
changing circumstances?
- Have you found the human rights framework a useful advocacy tool for
addressing the challenges posed by globalization?

- Has your understanding of specific human rights changed? How, for
example, have rights, such as the right to participation, been applied
to decision-making within international institutions?

- Are you increasing your focus on international institutions and
transnational actors and their role in causing human rights abuses? If
so, how are you attempting to hold them accountable?

- To what extent is your advocacy group working with other actors such
as anti-poverty groups, labor unions, and even national governments to
address problems related to globalization?

Submissions should be no more than 1,200 words and written in English.
We seek essays written in an engaging, informal, and testimonial style.
Footnotes are discouraged. Authors may use interviews in their essays.
For previous issues of Human Rights Dialogue, please visit

Publication in Dialogue is competitive. Authors whose submissions are
selected for publication must be prepared to respond to editorial
comments and queries. Due to space constraints, submissions that exceed
the stated word length will be shortened. The authors of the selected
essays will be asked to provide a biographical note, contact details for
the organizations that they are affiliated with as well as those
mentioned in their articles, and, if possible, a personal photograph.
Please also be prepared to provide photos or art to be considered for
publication with the article. There is a $100 honorarium awarded upon
publication. The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 28.

We encourage those planning to submit an essay to contact us about their
plans for their articles as soon as possible.  Interested parties should
direct their inquiries to: Erin Mahoney emahoney@cceia.org  
tel: 212-838-4120 or fax: 212-752-2432.