The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) comes at a time of great turbulence for international human rights law.
The universality of human rights has traditionally been contested as a product of the West, unable to take into account cultural and religious diversity. More recently, the relevance of certain rights previously considered as essential and inalienable in vast areas of the world has become an issue. These older and more recent challenges grow alongside visions of a world order based upon the law of force rather than the force of the law. Historian Eric Weitz, referring to the work of Samuel Moyn, qualified human rights as ‘the last ideology left standing’. This last ideology is now wavering. For this reason, it is timely and appropriate to look carefully at the origins, context, debates, and personalities that, in 1947 and 1948, shaped and eventually endorsed the UDHR.
This symposium, co-organized with the Department of International History of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Republic and State of Geneva, brings together jurists and historians to discuss these issues and topics.
Presentations will provide insights based on recent and ongoing research, with historians and jurists debating and confronting their critical approaches and views.
The conference is open to anyone wishing to know more about the state of knowledge on the UDHR.
It will be followed, in the evening, by a public lecture by Philippe Sands.
You need to register to attend this event by filling the form on the website of the Graduate Institute.
Students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights (LLM) and MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) spent a week in the Balkans – Belgrade, Sarajevo and Srebrenica – where they met experts and institutions who work in the fields of IHL, human rights and transitional justice.
The report of the first focused review pilot conducted in Sierra Leone shows the benefits that such a mechanism could bring to the work of UN treaty bodies and the implementation of their recommendations.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform collaborates with a series of actors to reflect on the implementation of international human rights norms at the local level and propose solutions to improve uptake of recommendations and decisions taken by Geneva-based human rights bodies at the local level.