RightsCast – A new podcast from the Essex Human Rights Centre  

We are delighted to launch RightsCast, a new podcast from the Essex Human Rights Centre, that is intended to bring you informed, interesting, and (relatively) informal discussion on contemporary and thematic human rights issues. Here’s what the blurb says:

RightsCast brings you discussion on a wide range of contemporary and enduring human rights issues from the University of Essex Human Rights Centre.

Bringing together diverse voices from all over the world, we apply a human rights lens to better understand current events, to discuss key and emerging issues, and to explore how to achieve social change.

From grassroots movements to major international affairs, join us each week as we talk to the people behind the stories and seek to create a dialogue around the role of human rights in our daily lives. Continue reading

Book Announcement

Routledge has just published a book by Dr. Raymond Smith directly based on his 2017 Essex LLM dissertation in IHR law, which was conducted with Dr. Julian Burger of the Human Rights Centre. The short e-book is entitled Extending International Human Rights Protections to Vulnerable Populations. A political scientist by training, Ray is an adjunct associate professor with the Center for Global Affairs at New York University(NYU) and a member of the affiliated faculty of the Program in Human Rights Practice at the University of Arizona, USA.  This blogpost provides the abstract to the book, which identifies key strategies being used to articulate the legal basis for the protection of vulnerable populations that are not specifically mentioned in the nine core IHR treaties.

Continue reading

HR & Tech Weekly News Circular

Each week the Human Rights, Big Data & Technology Project, based at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre, prepares an overview of related news stories from the week. This summary contains news articles from 7-14 June 2019.

You can follow the HRBDT Project on twitter: @hrbdtNews.

Algorithms and AI
Data Protection
Social Media

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are the author(s) alone.

Constructively Confronting Right-Wing Populism

By Andrew Fagan

This post addresses what may be identified as some of the more significant implications for human rights contained within two recent Ipsos global surveys. The first survey, conducted in 2018, studied attitudes towards human rights amongst over 23,000 adults in 28 countries. The second survey, conducted in 2019, sought to measure support for populism and nativism amongst over 18,000 adults across 27 countries. Taken together, these two surveys graphically illustrate some of the core challenges facing the human rights project today.

These are deeply troubling, anxiety-inducing times. The greatest cause for concern for many is the ongoing full-frontal attack upon the liberal rights-based paradigm, which, in so-called Western societies, has provided the institutional and conceptual scaffolding for the modern human rights movement. Right-wing “populism” has emerged as the single greatest political threat to liberal democracy and, it seems, human rights. Punctuated by the election of Trump, the manner in which the Leave campaign conducted itself during the UK’s EU referendum and a subsequent series of other right-wing populist electoral and political gains, a politics fuelled essentially by hate and fear seeks to lay claim to truly representing the majority sovereign will of the (no longer) silent majority.  Continue reading