Human Rights Diplomacy: Contemporary Perspectives


This collection of essays explores the notion, tools and challenges of human rights diplomacy, which is understood as the utilisation of diplomatic negotiation and persuasion for the specific purpose of promoting and protecting human rights. Theoretical reflections are combined with first-hand accounts from a range of policy-makers involved in human rights diplomacy at the bilateral, regional and multilateral (UN) level. Contributors include inter-governmentally appointed office-holders, human rights ambassadors, members of UN human rights treaty bodies and representatives of inter-governmental organisations, national human rights organisations and non-governmental organisations. Their analysis shows that skilful and principled diplomacy can become a crucial part of a holistic approach to human rights protection, complementing other means such as legal remedies, public advocacy, political pressure and technical assistance. This book builds on discussions at a high-level workshop on the topic, organised by the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre, the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation and the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań.

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Michael O’Flaherty is Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and holds the Chair in Applied Human Rights at the University of Nottingham. He serves as Vice-chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Previously he held a number of senior positions with the United Nations, both at headquarters and in the field.

Zdzisław Kędzia holds the Chair of Constitutional Law, Faculty of Law and Administration, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań, and is a Vice-Chairperson of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. He previously worked for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Polish diplomatic service. His teaching and publications focus on international human rights law and constitutional law.

Amrei Müller is a research assistant at the University of Zürich, School of Law. She recently obtained a PhD degree from the University of Nottingham. She was project officer for the project on Human Rights Diplomacy at the Human Rights Law Centre and has previously worked for the German Institute for Human Rights.

George Ulrich is Rector of the Riga Graduate School of Law. He previously served as Secretary General of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation and as a Senior Researcher at the Danish Centre for Human Rights. His publications cover the philosophy of human rights, international medical ethics and professional ethics.
Foreword Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;
Notes on Contributors; Acknowledgments;
1 Introduction;
2 Framework for the Analysis of Human Rights Diplomacy George Ulrich;
3 A Short Reflection on Human Rights Diplomacy Robert Archer;
4 The Role of Human Rights Ambassadors in Human Rights Diplomacy – Perspectives from Spain Silvia Escobar;
5 The Human Rights Diplomacy of Small States Éamonn Mac Aodha;
6 The European Union as a Human Rights Actor Toby King;
7 Human Rights Diplomacy and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg and Isil Gachet;
8 Human Rights Diplomacy from a UN Perspective: A Complement to Advocacy Ibrahim Salama;
9 The United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies as Diplomatic Actors Michael O’Flaherty;
10 Human Rights Diplomacy of the UN Secretary-General Bertrand Ramcharan;
11 Human Rights Diplomacy of the United Nations Security Council Joanna Weschler;
12 Conference Diplomacy and Human Rights Zdzisław Kędzia;
13 Human Rights Diplomacy: The NGO Role Peggy Hicks;
14 National Human Rights Institutions as Diplomacy Actors Kirsten Roberts;
15 The Relevance of the Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Multi-Track Diplomacy for Human Rights Diplomacy Wolfgang Benedek;
Annex: Report on the High-Level Workshop on Human Rights Diplomacy, Venice, 30-31 January 2009;
Select Bibliography.
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