Human Rights and Law. What are the limits of international law as a framework for protecting the human and cultural rights as defined by the United Nations? What is the role of states in enforcing universal human and cultural rights? What is meant by the “selective application” of human rights law? How have colonialism and imperialism shaped both the implementation and enforcement of human rights law frameworks?
Are human and cultural rights in themselves a product of colonialism and/or are they in part the result of struggles against racism, colonialism, and imperialism? How did the Doctrine of Discovery and the policy of Manifest Destiny shape the world we live in today and the dominant understanding of rights, including who gets to make laws about rights? How does the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples protect human and cultural rights and why is it important? How does climate change threaten cultural rights and indigenous people’s rights?
What are some of the challenges and opportunities indigenous, Afro-descending, and colonized coastal and island-dwelling peoples face in adapting to new ecological conditions generated by climate disruption such as sea level rise? What do you think is the role of non-governmental transnational activism, inter-community solidarity organizing, and/or scholarly knowledge production in responding to and remediating the limits of human and cultural rights law as the dominant framework for addressing global inequalities in human communities?
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