Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Ask the Experts: Human Rights

What is the primary human rights challenge today? Five experts respond.

Felipe Agüero Answers:

Over the last few decades, major strides have been made in enshrining human rights into international law, in creating accountability mechanisms and, to some degree, in encoding these laws and mechanisms into national policy. Despite this progress, however, the lives of the most vulnerable people in societies around the world remain much as they were. For these individuals and groups, the integration of human rights into the law books has changed very little in their day-to-day struggles. Closing this “implementation gap” and making these rights real for people is the challenge that all of us who work to advance human rights must address…

Alvaro Vargas Llosa Answers:

Persuading the many people who are not yet persuaded of this obvious truth, that human rights are a value unto themselves regardless of the nature of the power that threatens them. Everybody says they are for human rights, and yet many on the left are quick to denounce right-wing violations but slow to acknowledge them in their own camp, and vice versa…

    Paul Farmer Answers:

    As a physician who works in circumstances where human rights injustices typically go hand in hand with miserable health conditions, I have witness an increasing energy and creativity to link and address both issues simultaneously…

    Paul Hope Bryant Answers:

    I believe that the chief human rights issue today is dignity. The reality, quoting author Deepak Chopra, is that “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.” Now, this is the reality in a mainstream world that up until the time of the global economic crisis was increasingly secular, and in places throughout Europe, for example, increasingly without religion itself…

    Carroll Bogert Answers:

    Drug-related violence has taken the lives of more than 7,000 people in Mexico in the last eighteen months. Violent turf battles among powerful drug cartels, an influx of sophisticated weapons into the hands of criminals a rise in kidnapping and executions a several states have combined to create a crisis in public security that has put serious pressure on Mexican President Felipe Calderón. But his government’s response has also raised concerns about human rights…

     

     

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