Posts Tagged ‘non-state actors’

Human Rights Accountability of Non-State Actors – lecture in Leuven

February 14, 2018

The Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies is organising the SPRING LECTURE SERIES 2018 under the theme: UNDER SIEGE: HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW.

On Monday 26 February 2018 – from 11h00 – 13h00 – (Tiensestraat 41, LeuvenDr. Kasey McCall-Smith will speak about “Human Rights Accountability of Non-State Actors (MNEs, NGOs, …): the Next Frontier”.

[The negative impact on human rights by business activity has been the focus of much academic and public policy debate. In no other field of law has the stubbornness of the public and private international law divide been exposed more starkly and with such devastating effects for individuals. Human rights law discourse has spent the last two decades debating the impact of business activity on human rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights was hailed as a great victory. But, as rightly noted by the Special Rapporteur on Business and Human Rights, the UN Framework and Guiding Principles was simply the end of the beginning of the debate. International law has yet to catch up with the realities of business activity and its impact on human rights and the environment. This lecture will look at the key soft law developments of the past decade, the push to ‘harden’ these soft law initiatives, and examine a case study on smartphone supply chain management to elaborate the difficulties of reconciling human rights accountability and abuse by non-state actors. The legal issues raised in respect to multinational enterprises will also be considered in light of increasing pressure to hold other non-state actors to account, such as international organisations and NGOs. Ultimately, the lecture will contribute ideas about how to move forward on the next human rights frontier.]

Dr. McCall-Smith is a lecturer in Public International Law and programme director for the LLM in Human Rights. She is a US qualified lawyer and holds a BA in Architectural Studies (1998) and Juris Doctor (2001) from the University of Arkansas. Dr McCall-Smith was awarded an LLM (2002) and a PhD (2012) for her thesis on ‘Reservations to Human Rights Treaties’ by the University of Edinburgh. She is currently the Chair of AHRI, the Association of Human Rights Institutes. McCall-Smith’s research focuses primarily on treaty law and how treaties are interpreted and implemented at the domestic and supranational levels. Ensuring clarity in the law of treaties, specifically in reference to reservations to human rights treaties, is a major theme that she has pursued. She interested in the role of the UN human rights treaty bodies as generators of law. The increasingly blurred distinction between public and private international law in terms of human rights protection is another of her research interests.

Participation is free, but register by Friday 23 February at the latest

see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/06/07/leuven-centre-for-global-governance-studies-organizes-new-mooc-on-human-rights-as-from-21-june/

https://mailchi.mp/kuleuven/event-414449?e=bf340a3bd5

Geneva Call: even armed groups can adhere to humanitarian standards

September 17, 2015

In this short video produced by True Heroes Films (THF) spokespeople for armed non-state actors explain why they feel they have to adhere to humanitarian standards. The definition of human rights defenders excludes those who advocate or use violence but the importance of them respecting basic standards is a crucial, long-term issue.

This Geneva Call short video features 13 high-level representatives of armed non-State actors (ANSAs) from 10 countries, including Syria, Burma/Myanmar and Sudan. In it, they explain why they think it is so important to enter into a dialogue with Geneva Call on humanitarian norms and the protection of civilian populations.  Although ANSAs are responsible for violations of humanitarian norms in many conflicts, it is possible to engage them in a dialogue about respecting those norms.

It is in ANSAs’ interests to respect humanitarian norms, not only to gain support from populations in the areas they control but also to maintain a good reputation. Complying with humanitarian norms often sits well with the political or religious values that are at the root of their struggle, and compliance can make them more credible interlocutors when peace negotiations take place.

These statements were filmed at Geneva Call’s Third Meeting of Signatories in November 2014. This meeting in Geneva brought together 70 high-level representatives of 36 ANSAs from 14 different countries.

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/fighter-not-killer-application-now-available-from-geneva-call/

The state of the States: understanding fragile states

February 22, 2013

On 22 February 2013 Dan Smith published a post on his blog on the ‘state of States’. While not directly touching on human rights defenders, it gives in few words an excellent overview of the formation and deformation of States which provide much of the power and abuse that human rights defenders struggle against. I summarize some of the  main issues here, but urge you to read the full text:

First he points out that most states are relatively new. By 1900 there were just 48 states in our modern sense of the term. In the years either side of World War I, with the break-up of the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires, there was considerable state-making. Even so, the UN was founded by just 51 states. Today, 193 states make up the UN, the newest being South Sudan in July 2011.

From 48 to 193 (recognised states, that is) - from The State of the World atlas

From 48 to 193 (recognised states, that is) – from The State of the World atlas Read the rest of this entry »