New site on the development of human rights standards and advocacy launches

October 17, 2013

"Working on this site has been a labor of love," said Susan Waltz, Ford School faculty member and practitioner in the field of human rights policy. The Human Rights Advocacy and the History of Human Rights Standards website provides a valuable resource for students, instructors, researchers, and advocates.

"We wanted to bring attention to the historical role of human rights organizations in building international human rights policy," Waltz continued, "and we wanted to make information about the policy process more accessible."

The Human Rights Advocacy and the History of Human Rights Standards website is a collaboration between Waltz and Carrie Booth Walling, assistant professor of political science at Albion College and a former postdoctoral fellow with the Michigan Society of Fellows. It extends from a conference Waltz and Walling organized at the Ford School in 2010, which brought together human rights scholars, practitioners, and advocates and is part of a larger project exploring the evolution of human rights policy.

The website contains five subject areas: recognizing new human rights problems; accountability for human rights abuses; research and advocacy methods; making human rights policy decisions; and the future development of human rights. Together, these subject areas constitute an online guide through the global human rights movement and its role in international policy. The site also currently includes 14 topics, such as political rights, torture, government obligations, corporate accountability, and women's rights. Topics will expand as the site continues to develop.

Waltz explained that, "through the site we hope that a new generation of practitioners will gain insight into the evolution of international human rights standards, the historical work of human rights organizations, and the events and concerns that drove the practitioners who helped establish the international human rights movement."