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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Human Rights Day event on Tuesday, December 10

The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change is hosting a Human Rights Day event on Tuesday, December 10 at 4:00pm in 1210 Heller Hall. Kathryn Sikkink will give a talk entitled "Latin America as a Protagonist of the Idea of International Human Rights."

Professor Jaime Yaffe and Professor Patrick McNamara.
Latin American governments, social movements, and regional organizations have made a far bigger contribution to the idea and practice of international human rights than has previously been recognized. Most discussions of the global human rights regime stress its origins in the countries of the Global North. This article explores the role of Latin America states as early protagonists of the international protection of human rights, focusing in particular on the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. Histories of human rights in the world emphasize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), passed by the UN General Assembly of December 10, 1948, as the founding moments of international human rights. Few know that Latin American states passed a similar American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man a full 8 months before passage of the UDHR. The American Declaration was thus the first broad enumeration of rights adopted by an intergovernmental organization. I will explore the American Declaration as an example of often over-looked Latin American human rights protagonism that has continued to this day, and that calls into question the idea that human rights originated only in the Global North.