Doctoral Research Forum Blog Series: Part II

'On the brink of a catastrophic moral failure' - not the time to abandon international law

by David Patterson
source: by via ccsearch

In January 2021 the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, delivered a blunt message at the opening of the 148th session of the WHO Executive Board: ‘The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with the lives and livelihoods of the world’s poorest countries.’ Dr Tedros was referring to the rich countries’ decision to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine access for their own younger, healthier adults over health workers and older people in poorer countries. He further stated, ‘Vaccine equity is not just a moral imperative, it is a strategic and economic imperative.’ These points are well-taken – a world divided between the COVID-19 vaccine ‘haves and have-nots’ will likely be less safe and less economically secure and productive. More...

Doctoral Research Forum Blog Series: Introduction

Doctoral Research Forum Blog Series: Introduction

by Stephanie Triefus
Source: Shutterstock
In February 2021, eighteen PhD researchers based around the Netherlands gathered online to share their research. Despite the inevitable ‘Zoom fatigue’ faced by all after nearly 12 months of pandemic living, these diligent researchers dedicated a colossal two full days of screen time to supporting their colleagues, listening intently to one another’s presentations and asking insightful questions. They were joined by several senior members of the Network, who provided their wise reflections on the topics discussed while gently and genially pushing the participants onwards in their research journeys. Participants reported that the Forum provided ‘useful feedback, a safe environment and inspiration’ in an otherwise isolating time. This blog series details the research of some of these participants, and covers a wide range of current topics related to human rights. 

Blog Series - Human Rights and Vulnerability - NNHRR 2020 Annual Research Day (Toogdag)

Dear Reader of Human Rights Here,

We are delighted to announce and introduce our first blog series with posts from the organisers and presenters of the 2020 Annual Research day of the Netherlands Network of Human Rights Research (NNHRR Toogdag 2020). The theme of this Research Day, which was an online event that took place on 30 June and 1 July, was Human Rights and Vulnerability. Our first two blog posts from this series are now online simultaneously.

The first piece, authored by Tihomir Sabchev, a PhD researcher from the Cities of Refuge Project of Utrecht University, is based on the panel he organized with Lynn Hillary and the NNHRR Migration and Borders Working Group. His contribution focusses on alternatives to the State-centric and exclusion-based migration policies of the EU and their underlying philosophies of deterrence and pushback. These alternatives are projects of “Humanitarian Corridors” developed by religious institutions and “University Corridors” set up by universities.

The second contribution, by members of the NNHRR Business and Human Rights Working Group Benjamin Grama (PhD researcher at Tilburg University) and Lottie Lane (Assistant Professor of Public International Law at Groningen University) focusses on mandatory EU due diligence trends. The piece discusses the potential, the pitfalls and the way forward on trends, particularly at the EU level and in Switzerland, in developing legislation for mandatory due diligence (a legal standard of care) as opposed to the previous incentive-based and private-led initiatives.

We will be publishing further contributions in this Blog Series, including a post by keynote speaker of the NNHRR Annual Research Day 2020 Israel Butler, on Values-Based Human Rights Communication.

We hope you will enjoy the series!

Keep the Human Rights fire burning!

Editors of Human Rights Here.

Local remedies for the EU’s protracted migration policy crisis

Painting by the children of the 13th Primary School in Trikala (Greece), which won the 1st prize in the contest 'Opening hearts and minds to refugees' organised by UNESCO Associated Schools Network. Source: Municipality of Trikala


Tihomir Sabchev

Utrecht University/University College Roosevelt

In the context of recent failures to protect refugees’ human rights, how can EU Member States develop a more effective approach to manage the consequences of forced migration?

In the very beginning of his book ‘The Global Migration Crisis: Challenge to States and Human Rights’, the political scientist Myron Weiner notes that “the number of people fleeing to escape violence or persecution, to find employment, or to improve their own lives and those of their family members is greater than it has ever been” (pp. 1-2). The author describes some of the major migration policy changes in Europe in light of the “recent massive influx of migrants and refugees from the east” (p. 47). More concretely, he argues that “with the rise of antimigrant right-wing parties […], European governments have virtually halted migration and made entry difficult for refugees from Third World countries” (p. 145).


The Feminization of Human Rights?

Felisa Tibbitts

Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Some years ago, when teaching a human rights course at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, I noticed that the composition of my students was overwhelmingly female. I made a mental note of this and began asking colleagues who were teaching human rights in other higher education institutions about the gender balance in their classrooms. It was the same story: mostly women.