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International Human Rights

Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms

Citation:

Hesford, Wendy. 2011. Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. https://www.dukeupress.edu/spectacular-rhetorics.

Author: Wendy Hesford

Abstract:

Spectacular Rhetorics is a rigorous analysis of the rhetorical frameworks and narratives that underlie human rights law, shape the process of cultural and legal recognition, and delimit public responses to violence and injustice. Integrating visual and textual criticism, Wendy S. Hesford scrutinizes “spectacular rhetoric,” the use of visual images and rhetoric to construct certain bodies, populations, and nations as victims and incorporate them into human rights discourses geared toward Westerners, chiefly Americans. Hesford presents a series of case studies critiquing the visual representations of human suffering in documentary films, photography, and theater. In each study, she analyzes works addressing a prominent contemporary human rights cause, such as torture and unlawful detention, ethnic genocide and rape as a means of warfare, migration and the trafficking of women and children, the global sex trade, and child labor. Through these studies, she demonstrates how spectacular rhetoric activates certain cultural and national narratives and social and political relations, consolidates identities through the politics of recognition, and configures material relations of power and difference to produce and, ultimately, to govern human rights subjects.

(Duke University Press)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Genocide, International Law, International Human Rights, Rights, Human Rights, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Year: 2011

Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence Against Women: An Inevitable Accompaniment?

Citation:

Gökalp Kutlu, Ayşegül. 2014. “Armed Conflicts and Sexual Violence Against Women: An Inevitable Accompaniment?” Kosbed 28: 1–20.

Author: Ayşegül Gökalp Kutlu

Abstract:

Violence against women – rape and all kinds of sexual assault – during armed conflicts is a practice which was known but ignored by human rights discourse and humanitarian law for many years. When states and ideals legitimize killing and other acts of violence, rape is seen as an unfortunate by-product. Therefore, it is common to think about sexual violence against women in armed conflicts as “coincidental”. However, normalizing rape and sexual assault contains the risk of permitting sexual violence and legitimizing its use as a weapon of war. This article will analyse the development and mechanisms of International Humanitarian Law, which is also known for the law of war, with a feminist perspective. It will be argued that International Humanitarian Law lacks effective measures to counter sexual violence.

Keywords: feminism, International Humanitarian Law, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against Women

Year: 2014

The Nairobi Declaration: Redefining Reparation for Women Victims of Sexual Violence

Citation:

Couillard, Valérie. 2007. “The Nairobi Declaration: Redefining Reparation for Women Victims of Sexual Violence.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1 (3): 444–53. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijm030.

Author: Valérie Couillard

Abstract:

This paper explores the contribution of the Nairobi Declaration on the Right of Women and Girls to a Remedy and Reparation to the problem of delivering justice through reparation programmes for women victims of sexual violence in conflict situations. It highlights that this civil society initiative is particularly significant because it gives voice to women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence. Placed in the context of the recent adoption by the United Nations' General Assembly of the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, the Nairobi Declaration redefines reparation and guides policy-making to implement the right to reparation specifically for victims of sexual violence. The concept of reparation as a transformative and participative process put forward in the Nairobi Declaration constitutes its most innovative and inspiring contribution.

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Justice, Reparations, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2007

New Perspectives on Gender and Migration: Livelihood, Rights and Entitlements

Citation:

Piper, Nicola. 2013. New Perspectives on Gender and Migration: Livelihood, Rights and Entitlements. London: Routledge.

Author: Nicola Piper

Abstract:

"Discussing recent theoretical and empirical developments in international migration from a gender perspective, this title discusses all major regions and highlights the broader social factors that influence migrating women's and men's roles as well as their access to resources, facilities and services." -WorldCat

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, International Law, International Human Rights, Livelihoods

Year: 2013

Sex in Peace Operations

Citation:

Simm, Gabrielle. 2015. Sex in Peace Operations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Gabrielle Simm

Annotation:

Summary: 
Gabrielle Simm's critical re-evaluation of sex between international personnel and local people examines the zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and its international legal framework. Whereas most preceding studies of the issue have focused exclusively on military peacekeepers, Sex in Peace Operations also covers the private military contractors and humanitarian NGO workers who play increasingly important roles in peace operations. Informed by socio-legal studies, Simm uses three case studies (Bosnia, West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to illustrate the extent of the problem and demonstrate that the problems of impunity for sexual crimes are not just a failure of political will but the result of the structural weaknesses of international law in addressing non-state actors. Combining the insights of feminist critique with a regulatory approach to international law, her conclusions will interest scholars of international law, peace and conflict studies, gender and sexuality, and development.(Summary from Cambridge University Press)

Topics: International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, Justice, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, NGOs, Peacekeeping, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2015

Reproductive Freedom, Torture and International Human Rights: Challenging the Masculinisation of Torture

Citation: Sifris, Ronli. 2013. Reproductive Freedom, Torture and International Human Rights: Challenging the Masculinisation of Torture. Routledge Research in Human Rights Law. London: Routledge.

Author: Ronli Sifris

Abstract:

This book contributes to a feminist understanding of international human rights by examining restrictions on reproductive freedom through the lens of the right to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Ronli Sifris challenges the view that torture only takes place within the traditional paradigm of interrogation, punishment or intimidation of a detainee, arguing that this traditional construction of the concept of torture prioritises the experiences of men over the experiences of women given that the pain and suffering from which women disproportionately suffer frequently occurs outside of this context. She does this by conceptualising restrictions on women’s reproductive freedom within the framework of the right to be free from torture.
 
The book considers the gendered nature of international law and the gender dimensions of the right to be free from torture. It examines the extension of the prohibition of torture to encompass situations beyond the traditional detainee context in recent years to encompass situations such as rape and female genital mutilation. It goes on to explore in detail whether denying access to abortion and involuntary sterilization constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under international law. The book looks at whether limitations on reproductive freedom meet the determining criteria of torture which are: severe pain or suffering; being intentionally inflicted; being based on discrimination; linked in some way to a State official; whether they constitute lawful sanctions; and the importance of the concept of powerlessness. In doing so the book also highlights how this right may be applicable to other gender-based abuses including female genital mutilation, and how this right may be universally applied to allow women worldwide the right to reproductive freedom.
 
(Routledge)

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Reproductive Health, International Law, International Human Rights, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Torture

Year: 2013

Feminist Strategies in International Governance

Citation:

Caglar, Gülay, Elisabeth Prügl, and Susanne Zwingel, eds. 2013. Feminist Strategies in International Governance. London: Routledge.

Authors: Gülay Caglar, Elisabeth Prügl, Susanne Zwingel

Abstract:

The struggle for women’s rights and to overcome gender oppression has long engaged the efforts of inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. Feminist Strategies in International Governance provides a new introduction to the contemporary forms of this struggle. It brings together the voices of academics and practitioners to reflect in particular on the effectiveness of human rights strategies and gender mainstreaming. It covers three international issue areas in which feminists currently seek change: women’s human rights and violence against women; the participation of women in peace-making and their protection during conflict; and the gendered effects of development, economic and financial governance. The book combines a critical reflection on the current state of feminist politics with an introduction to urgent issues on the contemporary international agenda. In addition, the book draws on innovative conceptualizations from constructivism in international relations, legal anthropology and discourse theory to provide new framings of current feminist struggles. Offering an accessible guide to the engendering of international governance and examining the challenges for international feminist politics in the future, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of international organizations, gender politics and global governance. (Routledge)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Governance, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, NGOs, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2013

Queer Intellectual Curiosity as International Relations Method: Developing Queer International Relations Theoretical and Methodological Frameworks

Citation:

Weber, Cynthia. “Queer Intellectual Curiosity as International Relations Method: Developing Queer International Relations Theoretical and Methodological Frameworks.” International Studies Quarterly 60, no. 1 (March 1, 2016): 11–23. doi:10.1111/isqu.12212.

Author: Cynthia Weber

Abstract:

This article outlines two theoretical and methodological approaches that take a queer intellectual curiosity about figurations of “homosexuality” and “the homosexual” as their core. These offer ways to conduct international relations (IR) research on “the homosexual” and on international relations figurations more broadly, for example, from “the woman” to “the human rights holder.” The first approach provides a method for analyzing figurations of “the homosexual” and sexualized orders of IR that are inscribed in IR as either normal or perverse. The second approach offers instructions on how to read plural figures and plural logics that signify as normal and/or perverse (and which might be described as queer). Together, they propose techniques, devices, and research questions to investigate singular and plural IR figurations—including but not exclusively those of “the homosexual”—that map international phenomena as diverse as colonialism, human rights, and the formation of states and international communities in ways that exceed IR survey research techniques that, for example, incorporate “the homosexual” into IR research through a “sexuality variable.”

Topics: Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexuality

Year: 2016

Revealing and Concealing: Islamist Discourse on Human Rights

Citation:

Carle, Robert. 2005. “Revealing and Concealing: Islamist Discourse on Human Rights.” Human Rights Review 6 (3): 122–37. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02862219.

 

Author: Robert Carle

Abstract:

Historically as well as contemporarily, the relationship between religion and democratic pluralism in the Muslim world has been problematic. In the Muslim world, both governments and popular movements are using religious documents (the Qur'an and the hadith) to inspire political and social change. In the process, the fusion of religion and politics that characterizes revivalist Islam has impeded the development of both democracy and religious pluralism. An area of particular concern has been the reluctance of Muslim countries to implement international standards of human rights as defined in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Since the adoption of the UDHR in 1948, there has been disagreement in the Muslim world about the relevance of this document for Islamic countries. The reactions have ranged from an angry rejection of human rights as destructive to Islam to claims that Islamic law guarantees the same rights as those embodied in the United Nation's documents. The two most influential international Islamic statements on Human Rights (the Universal Islamic Declaration on Human Rights and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights) attempt to reconcile Islamic law and modern norms of human rights. These documents claim that human rights are an inherent part of Islam. Such arguments are cause for concern because since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, documents proposing regional alternatives to international law almost always entail the weakening of international standards. The incorporation of the Cairo Declaration into the UN corpus means that what were once informal, regional obstacles to implementing the protections guaranteed by the UDHR have become formal, regional norms that legitimate Islamist restrictions on rights.

Topics: Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2005

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