Rethinking International Human Rights Law

By Ankit Malhotra*

Introduction

In the year 1983, Argentina saw the end of a brutal military dictatorship that had killed and led to the disappearance of up to 30,000 people. In the years that followed, forensic anthropologists worked with the families of the disappeared to exhume and identify human remains from mass graves. This operation was momentous. The forensic anthropologists were investigating serious abuses of human rights through the analysis of remains, with the hope of one day bringing the perpetrators to trial. But, they had another goal: to ease the suffering of the living by identifying and returning the remains of the dead to their families. It was from that time that the work of forensic anthropologists began to take on a humanitarian function

Image credit: The New Humanitarian

Since the operation in Argentina, forensic investigations of mass graves have become an almost standard response to mass violence. Similar investigations have taken place in Rwanda, Guatemala, South Africa, and the former Yugoslavia. The common denominator of these countries in terms of their recent history has been that they all have witnessed mass killings. The Argentinian investigation marked the beginning of this era. But, these events are part of a much bigger story about the humanitarian interest in mass deaths. 

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ECtHR Mozer c/Moldova & Russia : a final round?

By Jacques Bellezit

Yesterday, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR has issued a judgement in the case Mozer c/Moldova &flag_moldova Russia.

The facts of the case are “unfortunately” common  (a detainee with precarious health, detained in poor conditions). The main issue was dealing with the jurisdiction of Moldovan and Russian governments in relation to a number of alleged violations of the applicant’s rights. Mr  Boris Mozer was arrested for fraud by police officers of ‘Moldovian Republic of Transniestria’ (MRT).Read More »

Business and Human Rights: Challenges in International Law

By Stuti Subbaiah Kokkalera*

International human rights standards have traditionally been the responsibility of governments, aimed at regulating relations between the State and individuals and groups. phpThumb_generated_thumbnailBut with the increased role of corporate actors, nationally and internationally, the issue of businesses’ impacts on the enjoyment of human rights has been placed on the agenda of the United Nations. Over the past decade, the United Nations human rights machinery has been considering the scope of businesses’ human rights responsibilities and exploring
ways for corporate actors to be accountable for the impact of their activities on human rights. As a result of this process, there is now greater clarity about the respective roles and responsibilities of governments and business Read More »