Why a Human Rights Framework
Building Human Rights is a compelling master frame for movements supporting social, economic, cultural, civil, and political rights
Democracy thrives where human rights are defended
and justice is honored as a collective goal of society
Any definition of "Human Rights" must be grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recognizes the inherent dignity of all members of the human family. Human Rights are those rights that are universal and inalienable; and which provide the foundations for freedom, justice, and peace in the world.
Human rights include specific social, economic, cultural, civil, and political rights for people of all ages; races; ethnicities; religious, spiritual, or ethical beliefs; gender; sexual orientation; or ability. A progressive human rights perspective sees liberty, freedom, laws, and rights as an essential framework, but envisions justice as the goal.
From Human Rights Program Executive Director Susan Gzesh
PUBLISHED ON DEC 10, 2013
Today is Human Rights Day, the 65th Anniversary of the United Nations’ approval of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights – and the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, one of the great human rights statesmen of his era. Mandela and the African National Congress waged one of the largest-scale successful fights for human rights of the 20th Century. For my generation of American activists committed to anti-racism and justice, Mandela and the African National Congress provided us inspiration. Mandela’s ideals will serve as a model for advocates for human rights and human dignity for generations to come.
I have a few personal reflections about what my generation and yours might learn from Mandela’s example [Read More Here]
The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) is at the center of the School of Law’s human rights efforts and works closely with scholars, institutions and advocates nationally and internationally to address issues of human rights and economic development. Reflecting our faculty’s interests, PHRGE is particularly engaged with the international movement to promote economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights.
Building human rights requires attention to inequalities of race, gender, and class linked to bridge-building in the spirit of "no hierarchy of oppression" (Audre Lorde); coalition work (Bernice Johnson Reagon), patience ( Suzanne Pharr) and long-term strategic vision for building a global human rights movement (Jean Hardisty).
Democracy is not a specific set of institutions but a process that requires dissent.
Democracy is a process that assumes the majority of people,
over time, given enough accurate information, and the ability to participate in a free and open public debate,
reach constructive decisions that benefit the whole of society, and
preserve liberty, protect our freedoms, extend equality, and defend democracy.
Without dissent there is no progress in a society: Dissent is Essential!