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The Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, is currently preparing a report on the legal framework governing the relationship between freedom of expression and the use of encryption to secure transactions and communications, and other technologies to transact and communicate anonymously online. This report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June, 2015. To prepare his study, Mr. Kaye is gathering information on national laws, regulations, policies or practices that permit or limit, directly or indirectly, the use of encryption technologies and services or the ability of individuals to communicate anonymously online. All States are being asked called to submit information on their relevant national norms and policies. Similarly, the Special Rapporteur would like to encourage all interested non-governmental stakeholders – including civil society, corporate actors, international and regional organizations, and national human rights institutions – to provide their views on the appropriate scope of the right to freedom of expression as applied to encryption and anonymity. He would particularly appreciate receiving comments addressing this matter from legal, state practice, or technical perspectives. Any available information should be sent electronically to freedex@ohchr.org, not later than 10 February 2015.

[Including this chapter, close to my heart:]

A Professional Kinship: Journalism and Advocacy

With media tools like video recording and Internet transmission now widely available, people and institutions all over the globe have the ability to commit journalistic acts.

Advocacy organizations such as Human Rights Watch and WITNESS have developed digital skills put to practice with the aim of informing the public—but also aggressively advocating for change.

Jessie Graham, formerly a public radio journalist and now senior media producer at Human Rights Watch, explores the shifting line between journalism and advocacy organizations. Advocates once depended on media to report on their research; now they can reach the public directly. Human Rights Watch and others also hire journalists, particularly photographers, to help with their work. The journalists’ reporting may end up on an advocacy website—and in the columns of mainstream media.

http://towcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/The-New-Global-Journalism-1.pdf

Contemporary debate about compensation for past wrongs turns on the assumption that state reparations benefits the victims of atrocity by acknowledging harm and ameliorating victim suffering. Indeed, much recent theoretical and practical work has concurred to establish reparation to victims of state crimes as a cornerstone of human rights. However, this article argues that reparation can also function to placate victim demands for criminal justice and to regulate the range of political and historical meanings with which the crimes of the past are endowed. This is most evident in transitional political contexts in which gestures of reparation are usually concomitant with the inauguration of new political orders, and formal investigations of past atrocity are conditioned by the balancing of the political demands of new and old regimes. This article argues that in such contexts, state reparation can work to control social suffering with the consequence that it sometimes intensifies rather than alleviates it. To evidence this claim, the article investigates the refusal of reparations by the victims towards whom it is addressed, with reference to Argentina’s Madres de Plaza de Mayo. This analysis of their refusal demonstrates how victim groups make important challenges to some of the core assumptions in the field, reveals internal inconsistencies within the analytical architecture of the scholarly and professional discourse, and indicates the ways in which reparations carry political, and not just palliative, significance.

Typically within existing academic debates, forensic databases are seen as tools of state surveillance and are deeply connected to issues of privacy. This project moves the debate beyond these themes to explore how citizen-led forensic databases can be used as a tool for reparation and truth finding. The project breaks with traditional (state-centric) ways of researching violence and disappearance, since it challenges the persistent boundary between victims and experts: between claims for justice by victims, and official practices of constructing ‘truth’ about the dead and disappeared. It is also fuses biogenetic and social research thus providing a tool to open novel avenues of academic inquiry, as well as grounded insights for humanitarian and political intervention.