Human Rights Matters ePub, PDF Available

Human Rights Matters

Human Rights Matters [PDF]

Among human rights advocates, dominant wisdom holds that the promotion and protection of human rights relies not on international efforts, but on domestic action. International institutions may capture news headlines, but it is national groups that effectively shape local expectations and ultimately make human rights matter.

Through a series of case studies and an extensive range of interviews with the administrators and constituencies of national human rights institutions, Julie Mertus offers a close look at the day-to-day workings of these groups. She presents an unusual and lively set of European cases—examining Bosnia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, and Northern Ireland—to illustrate how local culture matters in promoting human rights.

But even with the obvious successes of these institutions, Mertus offers a cautionary tale. National institutions are incredibly difficult to design and operate, and they are only as good as the domestic political and economic factors will allow. It is too frequently seen that the countries most supportive of human rights on the world stage may prove to be highly disappointing back home.
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