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This chapter summarizes the core human rights and social justice functions of libraries.
After reviewing how each chapter of this edited volume offers evidence of libraries’ clear contributions in the area of human rights and social justice, this chapter explores in greater detail how the current environment in which libraries operate impacts their ability to promote human rights and social justice.
In many communities, libraries are the only institution capable of fulfilling a wide array of social justice and human rights roles. As they seek to fulfill these roles, however, libraries face significant challenges related to the lack of emphasis on considerations of human rights and social justice within the pedagogy, research, and practice of our field.
This chapter serves as a call to action for library practitioners, educators, and researchers to better articulate the social justice and human rights roles of libraries to policy-makers, funders, politicians, and community members.
This chapter focuses on the development of corporate human rights standards since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, better known as the Earth…
This chapter focuses on the development of corporate human rights standards since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, better known as the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. One of the important agendas for this Summit was human rights (apart from the climate change issue). This chapter provides a critical evaluation of institutional change in human rights guidelines and associated corporate (non) accountability in relation to human rights in line with the RIO summit. Based on a review of the media reports, archival documents and a case study, we argue that while there are a number of international organisations working towards the creation of corporate accountability in relation to human rights, there is limited real change in corporate action when faced with no government regulation. A radical (reform-based) approach, such as mandatory monitoring (compliance audit) and disclosure requirements is necessary to ensure corporate accountability in relation to human rights.
What is the relationship between human rights and corruption? This question can take different forms, including moral, legal, socio-political and economic variants. This…
What is the relationship between human rights and corruption? This question can take different forms, including moral, legal, socio-political and economic variants. This paper focuses on two key moral questions, asking whether corruption can violate or impact on people’s natural rights (on the one hand) or human rights (on the other). In answer, I aim to establish a strong conceptual link between (a) corruption’s ‘abuse of entrusted power’; (b) the ‘arbitrary power’ targeted by natural rights theorists like John Locke and the broader republican tradition and (c) the ‘arbitrary interference’ with protected freedoms prohibited by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I argue that the deep thematic links between systemic corruption and violations of human rights are stronger than have hitherto been recognized. In the twenty-first century, corruption should be recognized as a ‘standard threat’ (in Shue’s sense) to human flourishing and protected freedoms, vindicating the human right to freedom from systemic corruption.
A sociology of human rights is a modern challenge, and this study draws on the universalizing codification in the history of human rights documents from ancient societies to the present challenges of modern society. Power contradictions and conflicts are analyzed in the case study of historic inequalities and the modern deprivation of human rights of the People of Indian Origin in their diaspora in the modern world. Insider perspectives are posed to increase awareness and knowledge to the forming of community identity and to challenge others to study these complex social conditions. A public sociology is assumed in this chapter, derived from the author's public speech to further the development of a sociology of human rights, one that will reflect the complexity, universality, and inclusiveness protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Established methods and theories may be augmented by challenging their bases and working collaboratively to research contemporary human rights.
This chapter examines how international human rights law is shaping the politics of immigration. It argues that migrant human rights are neither conceptually nor…
This chapter examines how international human rights law is shaping the politics of immigration. It argues that migrant human rights are neither conceptually nor practically incompatible with an international order premised upon state territorial sovereignty, and that the specific aesthetics of the contemporary international human rights system, namely its formalistic and legalistic tendencies, has facilitated its integration with a realm of policymaking traditionally reserved to state discretion. An exploration of two areas in the emerging field of migrant human rights traces the multi-scalar transnational legal processes through which these norms are formulated and internalized.
The global Clinical Legal Education (CLE) movement transcends borders as law teachers worldwide try to inculcate law students and future legal practitioners with social…
The global Clinical Legal Education (CLE) movement transcends borders as law teachers worldwide try to inculcate law students and future legal practitioners with social justice values. One method of achieving this is through developing reflective practitioners. Kolb, finding common ground in the work of Lewin, Dewey, and Piaget, formulated the four stages in the experiential development of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experiment. Although Kolb’s model is used in legal education literature, students may not be provided with the relevant conceptual tools required to engage in reflective practice. This often results in students providing subjective analysis of their work, which fails to fully contribute to their educational experience. One of the reasons for omitting analytical tools is that reflective practice suffers from a lack of conceptual clarity. According to Kinsella, the “concept remains elusive, is open to multiple interpretations, and is applied in a myriad of ways in educational and practice environments”. A further issue hindering reflective practice relates to Donald Schön’s critique of the positivist approach adopted by law schools.
This chapter will apply a human rights framework to CLE to develop reflective practitioners. The two main reasons for this are, first, human rights as formulated by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights are universal, interrelated, and indivisible and, second, reflection based on these universal human rights values will benefit cross-jurisdictional societies in assisting vulnerable clients affected by emerging implied and direct human rights challenges.
Using a critical perspective, this study reviews human rights and media in the context of capitalist empire, using Habermas' notion that capitalism offers formal but not…
Using a critical perspective, this study reviews human rights and media in the context of capitalist empire, using Habermas' notion that capitalism offers formal but not substantive democracy. The author draws the reader into an impassioned discussion of the failure of government and media to address the significant inequalities in the world and the resulting human rights violations to demonstrate that human rights encompass concerns about economic and social inequalities as well as political and civil rights. Criticism of how capitalism treats rights has been part of the international human rights conversation since World War II.
Increasing human rights violations in the world today and the mass media's evidentiary lack of interest in the sources of these social problems underlie the author's earnest search for a better way. The study draws from the social science literature, while observing and gathering data on media coverage. Data limitations on media human rights indicate further research by the author that would explain the ideology and rhetoric as well as historic shifting patterns.
Scholarly excellence in higher education depends in part on the ability of members of the academic community to be able to travel abroad, to return home and to move freely…
Scholarly excellence in higher education depends in part on the ability of members of the academic community to be able to travel abroad, to return home and to move freely within a state for the purposes of study, teaching and research. Articles 12 and 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 protect the right to freedom of movement and the right of aliens not to be arbitrarily expelled from a state, respectively. Any person may rely on these provisions to claim various stated entitlements related to freedom of movement. International human rights law does not, however, offer (clear) protection where an alien wishes to enter a state. It appears, however, that Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, prohibiting discrimination on the ground of, amongst other things, ‘political or other opinion’, may be relied on to prevent states from restricting the entry of scholars solely on the basis of the academic opinions they hold or views they have expressed. The right to freedom of movement of scholars – conceived as a right to academic mobility – forms a part of the right to academic freedom. International human rights law does not accord express protection to this right. Whereas the right to freedom of opinion and expression in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights may be relied on to protect a multitude of facets covered by the right to academic freedom, Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 on the right to education may, in fact, be seen to constitute a complete locus for the right to academic freedom.
China’s social credit system features a central database, the assignment of social credit scores for individuals and businesses, and the meting out of rewards and…
China’s social credit system features a central database, the assignment of social credit scores for individuals and businesses, and the meting out of rewards and punishments, including a form of public shaming. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to develop the system in an effort to promote virtue and trustworthiness. While the idea that a government can ‘legislate morality’ is often scorned, it is not one that we dispute. Our focus is on how the social credit system promotes virtue, how the CCP’s thinking compares with that of certain relevant philosophers, and whether the system is in violation of human rights. As we readily acknowledge, there is a sense in which practically all of us face an informal kind of social credit system; as individuals in society, we expect to be subject to a kind of feedback loop in which good behaviour is rewarded and poor behaviour is punished. Yet China’s social credit system is a remarkably centralised kind of effort, and it enables the CCP to play an extraordinarily dominant role in both controlling and contributing to the feedback loop that people and businesses in China face. In harmony with a chorus of human rights groups, we argue that China’s social credit system is indeed in serious danger of violating certain human rights, particularly certain rights relating to freedom of opinion and expression. Moreover, we contend that this human rights critique of the system is reasonably robust because the kind of human rights involved are liberty rights as opposed to rights to goods and services. As we explain, liberty rights tend not to impose a material burden on others, which helps to give them an especially strong claim for recognition as human rights.