Hivos International

Human Rights

Human rights organisations in India have consistently felt unable to respond to religious polarization and communal violence. While their efforts in combating the Hindu revivalist extremism did result in occasional ‘success stories’, more often they were too little to the enormity of the challenge. Sitharamam Kakarala, associated with the Pluralism Knowledge Programme, analyses the challenges to human rights activism in India and offers some ideas for new strategies.

The Arab Spring: Common Roots, Common Challenges

Article By Mohamed Elagati

Ongoing revolutions in the Arab world signify another iteration of a process the world has witnessed before in various regions, including Southern and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Observers were wondering why the cloud of democracy passed over the Arab World without raining. This question led analysts to believe in what was called “Arab exceptionalism,” or the alleged incompatibility of the societies of the region with democratic development. This claim resonated with the conventional argument that Arab ruling elites used to justify their repressive policies against their own citizens on the grounds that ‘people are not ready for democracy.’ The Tunisian revolution came in early 2011 to refute these allegations and prove that the Arab peoples desire dignity and freedom as much as any other people.

Transparency and Accountability vs. Privacy

by Malavika Jayaram

“Big data” projects generally, and biometric schemes in particular, have faced intense scrutiny and opposition the world over. Apart from posing fairly obvious threats to civil liberties and constitutional freedoms, they are prone to more practical errors around reliability, security, accuracy and access. India is one example of a country on the cusp of a radical shift towards increasing digitisation and e-governance, seemingly without much thought being given to the potential dangers of such technocratic ambitions.

The protection of human rights defenders

Special issue Journal of Human Rights Practice

Marking the 15th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Journal of Human Rights Practice has launched a special issue on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. The issue has a unique focus on the issues and challenges that human rights defenders face and provides a critical analysis of protection initiatives and gaps.

مع  تفجّر حكومات أوروبا الوسطى والشرقيّة المتسلطة من الداخل عقب العام 1989، أصبحت  المنطقة قبلة لشتّى أنواع المساعدات التي بذلتها الجهات المانحة الغربيّة العامة  والخاصة التي تتخذ من الولايات المتحدة وكندا وأوروبا واليابان مقرّاً لها. وغداة  تغيّر الأنظمة في الجمهوريّتين التشيكيّة والسلوفاكيّة، بادرت الجهات المانحة في  الدول الغربيّة إلى إنشاء مشاريع جديدة لتقديم الهبات مع مراعاة عمليّة إرساء  الديمقراطيّة وهي بادرة اكتسبت زخماً حين شارفت الدولتان على الاندماج في الاتحاد  الأوروبي ومنظمة حلف شمال الأطلسي.