Friday, February 3, 2012

Conference: Regional Human Rights Systems – Tools for Social Justice?

On March 16, 2012, the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) will host a thirtieth anniversary conference on the topic "Regional Human Rights Systems – Tools for Social Justice?" The program is here. Here's the idea:

Exclusion of Roma from adequate education in Europe, land-grabbing from indigenous peoples in the Americas, lack of jobs in the Middle East, violation of property rights in Asia or water pollution in Africa - all of these are serious challenges for social justice around the globe. Human rights have always been tools in social struggles, but how do they adapt to old and new forms of social injustice and exclusion? What role is there for the regional protectors of human rights: the courts, committees and commissions that were or are about to be set up and are in the process of major changes to promote and monitor basic guarantees of human rights and dignity? Are they equipped to deal with the challenges of social justice? Do they provide the best legal and political instruments to implement and guarantee justice for all? Do they function as de facto allies of civil society organisations or are they too detached from the realities on the ground? Through which channels and to what extent do the rulings of these mechanisms have an effect upon the states and societies in which the violations occurred? In addressing these questions, the conference aims to critically compare the impact of human rights mechanisms in the various regional contexts.

The speakers will focus on the question of effective social justice that is at the same time adaptive to regional specifics and complies with global human rights norms and standards.