Northwestern University

Tue 5:00 PM

Insincere Commitments: Human Rights Treaties, Abusive States and Citizen Activism

When: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM  

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public

Contact: Krzysztof Kozubski  

Group: Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Paradoxically, many governments that persistently violate human rights have also ratified international human rights treaties that empower their citizens to file grievances against them at the United Nations. Therefore, citizens in rights-repressing regimes find themselves with the potentially invaluable opportunity to challenge their government's abuses. Why would rights-violating governments ratify these treaties and thus afford their citizens this right? Can the mechanisms provided in these treaties actually help promote positive changes in human rights? Heather Smith-Cannoy examines post-Soviet states such as Slovakia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Heather Smith-Cannoy is an assistant professor of Political Science at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She earned her PhD at the University of California, San Diego. Her work focuses on human trafficking and international law. She has published on the UN’s treatment of human trafficking in Haiti, as well as the relationship between abusive states and international law.

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