The Oxford Human Rights Hub is delighted to launch the Second Edition of our Global Perspectives on Human Rights: Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog 2014-2015. Inspired by the success of the First Edition, we have sought once again to collect, review and reflect on the posts contributed to the OxHRH Blog. This edition spans from January 2014 to March 2015 and showcases 262 original contributions, structured around 16 central topics, which form the chapters.
You can download the anthology from the Publications section on our website, either in its entirety as a single PDF, or each individual chapter as a separate PDF:
Our ambition for Global Perspectives on Human Rights has been to offer our readers and contributors, as well as those who are perhaps new to the OxHRH Blog, another forum in which the ideas and curiosities, the concerns and aspirations raised over the last year could be collected, reviewed and reflected upon. This creative process has found expression in the how the posts have been selected, categorised into chapters, analysed in their individual introductions and ordered within them.
This year, we encouraged those connected with the OxHRH and human rights at the University of Oxford to return to the posts on their areas of interest and expertise and to re-engage with them in the form of chapter introductions. In casting their critical eye over the posts in each chapter and the topics they raise, the authors of the anthology’s sixteen chapter introductions have produced authoritative overviews, outlining the issues and central questions that lie ahead for the reader.
Similar to last year, it serves primarily as an e-resource, allowing the ideas and thinking contained within to be freely accessible to the widest possible audience. Chapters in this latest edition, though, vary from last year’s, reflecting changes in themes discussed, as well as the editors’ own preferences for identification and demarcation of posts. Nonetheless, we hope that each of these chapters will prove useful to readers by organising, in some logical way, this rich and diverse body of work and enable common themes to emerge both within and across the chapters.
The global perspective and the comparative analysis the Anthology promotes is demonstrated well both within and across chapters. Posts in the migration, asylum and trafficking chapter, for example, describe the journeys of irregular migrants in the UK, other parts of Europe, Mexico, Israel and Syria, and courts and governments responses to their treatment and detention. Similarly, posts collected under the topic of criminal justice allow direct comparisons of how appeal courts and prosecutors have dealt with the issues of assisting dying (UK and Canada), the death penalty (US, India, China) and whole life sentences (UK, Europe and Canada). On the topic of institutional frameworks, the collection of posts encourages the author of the chapter’s introduction to identify those organisations across the world that serve noble purposes, but require greater support of some form, and those that make a more radical case for reform of specific human rights-related institutions.
There are also central themes that rumble below the surface of many of the chapters and serve as the links to topics that may initially appear comfortably settled within their own chapter. Perhaps the most obvious are economic policies (particularly the squeeze on public funding), citizenship, gender and race, each impacting in their own way on topics falling within, for example, chapters on access to justice, socio economic rights, labour, business and transitional justice.
While this second anthology is certainly more than the sum of its collected posts, unsurprisingly much of what makes it a uniquely valuable resource reflects the very strengths of the OxHRH Blog itself. With help and guidance from the editorial team in Oxford and Regional Correspondents, contributions regularly arrive in our inboxes from across the globe. Since its inception in 2012, the OxHRH Blog has posted an impressive 792 posts. These are written by more than 325 expert contributors, situated in over 40 different countries ranging from the UK to Thailand, Romania to Uruguay, Mexico to Qatar, Rwanda to Spain, Papua New Guinea to Bangladesh, India to Australia, and many, many more.
We would also like to take the opportunity that the launch of the Anthology provides to reiterate our thanks to the contributors to the OxHRH Blog whose posts form the very basis of this collection (many of whom who continue to write for us). Their commentary, analysis and insight ensures the OxHRH Blog continues to offer a high quality, diverse and dynamic forum for human rights researchers, practitioners and policy- makers from around the world. Many thanks also, to Professor Sandra Fredman, Founder and Director of the OxHRH. Her daily involvement with the OxHRH Blog and her endless support for the editorial team allows the OxHRH Blog to be what it is. Without her, none of this would be possible.
We hope you enjoy reading the posts and reflecting upon the issues captured in this Second Edition of Global Perspectives on Human Rights.
Laura Hilly & Richard Martin