In a series of tweets on New Year’s Eve, President Donald Trump expressed strong support for Iranians protesting against their autocratic regime. He added that the United States would be “watching very closely for human rights violations!” The president’s pronouncements have been valuable in emphasizing the importance of human rights in Iran.
Latest in human rights
On Lawfare's feed at Foreign Policy, I wrote about how China has aggressively undermined key U.N. human rights mechanisms and how the Trump administration is enabling China's efforts. The piece begins:
A review of Joe Renouard, Human Rights in American Foreign Policy: From the 1960s to the Soviet Collapse (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).
Barrie Sander reviews Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda, edited by Karen Engle, Zinaida Miller and D.M. Davis (Cambridge, 2016).
The Trump presidency will have a significant impact on international law, including a potential withdrawal from or re-negotiation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Iran nuclear deal.
A review of Mark Bradley's The World Reimagined: Americans and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
This week, Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law and History at Harvard University, closed out a one-day conference on “The Next President's Fight Against Terror” at New America with a talk on “How Warfare Became Both More Humane and Harder to End.”
In the more than five years since Syrian calls for self-determination first began, the world has witnessed the most egregious humanitarian crisis since World War II unfold. Over 400,000 people have been killed, 14 million people have been driven from their homes, and more than 50 percent of Syria’s critical infrastructure has been destroyed.
Whatever economic problems China and Russia may be experiencing, the foreign policy of both countries of growing importance to global peace and security. Russia’s military intervention in Syria and Ukraine have changed the political and military calculus in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. China’s land reclamation in the South China Sea has made that region into a global hotspot of interstate conflict, one that is unlikely to be diffused by the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s decision in Philippines v. China.
There is a downturn in civil and political rights in many of the world’s largest and most geopolitically significant countries, especially Russia, China, and Turkey, but also other countries such as Venezuela. These developments have broad potential consequences for international law. In particular, they have implications for: the success of regional human rights treaties and courts; the “right to democracy”; the meaning of sovereignty; and the overall effectiveness of international law.