The UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted 65 years ago paved the way for decades of progress. The picture of human rights today is hardly as encouraging. But changing norms takes time and doesn't follow a linear path. From this view, 2013 brought some notable advances.
Setting up services at an Afghan refugee camp meant creating some kind of rules. Sakena Yacoobi looked at 'what was fair, moral, and just – what we could want for ourselves. I now know that these are sometimes called universal principles of law.'
Free speech and freedom of religion are widely recognized as inalienable human rights. But there are other freedoms as well -- from want and fear, for instance. Determining the extent and limits of these freedoms is a never-ending job in a democracy.
At John Brennan's Senate confirmation hearing, the candidate for CIA director should be asked about the killing of Americans, civilian victims of drone strikes, extraordinary renditions, and torture. Do those actions make us safer? Are they consistent with US laws and values?
Eduardo Saverin's timely renunciation of his American citizenship is no reason to keep him out of the US. People should be able to move where they want, when they want, for any reason.
Nokia says it will not buy mineral products that benefit armed groups or those engaging in human rights abuses. Guest blogger Curt Hopkins asks how they will implement their policy.
As Human Rights Day 2011 approaches, skeptics say the new UN Human Rights Council has not lived up to its mandate. Some suggest democratic nations should abandon it. At a time when we should be making it stronger, forsaking the Council is the wrong way to advance human rights.