At my karate club people call me Sensei, and my friends just call me Richard.

2013/04/26

Future of human rights video 人権の将来ビデオ



On April 2, Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), gave the key note speech Stanford Law School's Human Rights Center to begin their year-long series regarding the future of human rights.

Mr. Roth's explanation about HRW's efforts to engage with non-Western democracies - from Japan to South Africa - as a reflection on the change in political power is quite interesting.

Also, he clearly explained the power of social media to allow people to feel empowered to join social rights movements. For example, there were over one hundred thousand people who supported on Facebook the plan to protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square in early 2011 by stating they would show up. As more people signed up, this in turn encouraged even greater numbers of people to support the protest plan, the exact opposite type of organization to what a dictator wants to see. And then even if on the day of a protest only 10% of the Facebook supporters actually showed up, at least the social media platform had allowed for people to feel safe enough to support the idea. And of course, many more people did protest, eventually leading to a regime change.

Of the many points he brings up, the new idea being floated by Brasil 'responsibility while protecting' - a variation of responsibility to protect - was something I actually covered in my PhD international humanitarian law class this week. It means it's one thing to intervene for humanitarian reasons, but there may be a need to monitor those who are doing the supposed protecting.

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