What Do Human Rights Mean to You?

What do human rights mean to you? Unfortunately, far too many people see human rights as some far off ideas discussed at the UN — words that have no meaning and no impact on their lives. I could give a definition and list all of the international treaties. I could describe the obligations that states…

Learning From the Torture Memos

Photo credit:takomabibelot flickr stream Around the world, human rights lawyers and activists know about the “Torture Memos” – a series of memos prepared from 2001 to 2007 by lawyers for the US Office of Legal Counsel advising the US military and CIA that they were not bound by the plain meaning of the Geneva Conventions.  When…

What Now for Myanmar?

Photo from Oxlaey.com photo stream: It has been slightly more than a month since the landmark parliamentary elections were held in Myanmar. In this personal dispatch, Sue Anne Teo, RWI’s programme officer in Myanmar, shares some thoughts about the situation in the country. Newspapers worldwide reported widely on the November 8 elections, its freest and…

“History Tells Us These Lessons Must be Learned Again and Again”

Photo caption: The main gate at Falstad shortly after Liberation. Above the gate it still says “Strafgefangenenlager”, but “SS” has been removed. The rail track passes through the gate. Credit: The Falstad Centre. Schrøder: 1945 At the end of October, I visited the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (“NTNU”) in Trondheim, Norway. The occasion for…