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New U-M website traces global human rights history

University of Michigan's Human Rights History websiteANN ARBOR—A University of Michigan expert on global human rights policy has launched a new website that explores the development of human rights standards and advocacy.

"We conceived of this as a free textbook for anybody who wants to get familiar with human rights policy formation," said Susan Waltz, Ford School faculty member and practitioner in the field of human rights policy.

The Human Rights Advocacy and the History of Human Rights Standards website provides a valuable resource for students, instructors, researchers and advocates.

"We wanted to bring attention to the historical role of human rights organizations in building international human rights policy and to make information about the process more accessible," she said.

The website is a collaboration between Waltz and Carrie Booth Walling, assistant professor of political science at Albion College and a former postdoctoral fellow with the Michigan Society of Fellows. It extends from a conference Waltz and Walling organized at the Ford School in 2010 on the evolution of human rights policy.

The website contains five subject areas: recognizing new human rights problems; accountability for human rights abuses; research and advocacy methods; making human rights policy decisions; and the future development of human rights. Together, these subject areas constitute an online guide through the global human rights movement and its role in international policy.

The site also includes 14 topics, such as political rights, torture, government obligations, corporate accountability and women's rights. Topics will expand as the site continues to develop.

Waltz said she hoped the site would help a new generation of practitioners learn about the events and concerns that drove those who helped establish the international human rights movement.

 

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