This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: Source: www.bendib.com/newones/2004/ Source: www.bendib.com/newones/2004/ Human Rights & Humanitarian Intervention This week
1. Human rights The enforcement of human rights Humanitarian intervention 2. 2. International human rights
http://www.hrweb.org/legal/undocs.html What are human rights? Rights due to all human beings An intuitive idea Bare necessities Exceptions The need for international human rights Philosophical origins: political liberalism Traditionally in Europe: obligation to rescue shipwrecked crews Late 19th century onward: laws of war The 1940s, a defining moment States can't be trusted
The Nuremberg Trials of 1945 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) A simple General Assembly resolution Based on two famous documents French
Click for full text Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789, 1793) US Bill of Rights (1791) Seemingly uncontroversial principles Two international covenants derived from the UDHR
Int'l Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Signed in 1966 Promoted by democratic states Main goal: restrain gov. powers Emphasizes individual rights Summary here; full text here Int'l Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Signed in 1966 Promoted by communist & developing states Main goal: promote economic equality & social cohesion Emphasizes collective rights Summary here; full text here Signed but not ratified The need to be precise A problem of interpretation Clarifying the covenants' provisions Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination ag (CEDAW) UN Convention against Torture
... and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Ge G Convention of the Rights of the Child Slavery Convention Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (covers human trafficking) The problem of coherence Universalism vs. relativism
Universal rights... ... and diverse cultures & experiences A product of Western history & a projection of Western culture Some possibilities a genuine philosophical disagreement a political necessity a pretext for power The enforcement of international human rights Obstacles to enforcement Human rights law is international law UN Charter art. 2(1) States' national interests: the priority States' shaky moral authority Few effective options The UN Human Rights Council 47 members elected by the General Assembly of the UN Regional make-up
7 Eastern Europe Africa Western Europe & Others 6 13 Universal Periodic Review (peer review) Latin America & Caribbean 8 Asia 13 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Administrative & logistical support Research Capacity-building Complaints and Special procedures
Photo: Agence France-Presse Current UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem (Navi) Pillay The importance of human rights NGOs
Not the inventors human rights but... The biggest promoters of human rights High profile NGOs are influential: Anti-Slavery Society (1823, 1839) Anti-Slavery International (today) International Committee of the Red Cross (1863-) Amnesty International (1961) Human Rights Watch (1978) From engagement to isolation and sanctions Diplomatic representations & constructive engagement Stepping up pressure cancellation of foreign aid arms embargo trade embargo rupture of diplomatic ties Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian Foreign Affairs minister, was a proponent of constructive engagement with China. Suspension and expulsion Suspension from international organizations Some cases South Africa & Apartheid Nigeria, the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa & the British Commonwealth Zimbabwe & the British Commonwealth Human security: A 1990s innovation Recall: the traditional definition of security A broader definition of security Human security the security of the person freedom from fear freedom from want
See the UN Development Program's definition at http://hdr.undp.org/en/humandev/ Achieved through human development The Human Security Network Bolstering international organizations The word mightier than the sword?
The goal of the drafters of the UDHR: "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories." Humanitarian intervention 2 types of interventions
Humanitarian assistance non-military* emergency assistance less controversial often in cases of natural disasters e us f on c ot n do : NB o tw e es th Humanitarian military intervention Involves use of force UN Security Council approval some unilateral interventions, too Humanitarian assistance in natural disasters Natural disasters & emergencies UN planning & coordination 2008 and 2009 2008 and 2009 disasters in numbers disasters in numbers Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs UN Strategy for Disaster Reduction High Commissariat for Refugees World Food Program tsunami in Southeast Asia, 26 Dec. 2004 hurricane Katrina in the US, Aug. 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, 8 Oct. 2005 cyclone Nargis in Myanmar/Burma, May 2008 Haiti earthquake, 12 Jan. 2010 Pakistan floods, July 2010 Examples "Gross violations of human rights" Humanitarian military intervention for crimes against humanity & genocide Negotiating the precise label: a political act Examples Sudan/Darfur, 2003- (BBC Q&A) Rwanda, 1994 Wars in the Balkans (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia- Herzegovina, 1991-1995; Yugoslavia/Kosovo, 1999) Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1996- (BBC Q&A) The responsibility to protect (R2P) An emerging norm an idea of what's desirable shared by some states ... not settled from a legal point of you no clear legal authority Measures up to military intervention prevent: aid & support react: from diplomatic measures to armed intervention rebuild: post-conflict reconstruction Not a straightforward matter A complex reality The luxury of academics & people on the street Necessary sacrifices Unpredictable outcomes The "mission creep" problem
Government national interest costs & benefits money & troops will the people go along? For how Population lack of attention initial support long-term support compassion fatigue (maybe) Conclusion Detailed set of rights ... with supposed universal validity ... but that are much contested ... with very imperfect enforcement mechanisms ...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 01/31/2012 for the course POL 2107 taught by Professor Bourgault during the Spring '08 term at University of Ottawa.
- Spring '08
- Political Science