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Unintended Consequences: The Effect of Advocacy to End Torture on Empowerment Rights Violations

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Abstract

In a globalized world replete with international organizations (IOs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and 24-hour news media, human rights abuses like torture are increasingly difficult to hide. Because there are few international mechanisms to address violations of human rights law (Neumayer 2005), actors like IOs and NGOs engage in naming and shaming campaigns with the hope that negative publicity pressures repressive regimes to better respect human rights. A great deal of resources support these international advocacy campaigns. Between April 2009 and March 2010, Amnesty International (AI) spent $ 21,451,000—about 98 percent of its expended resources—on activities in furtherance of the group’s objectives, including research into rights violations and advocacy campaigns publicizing the results of that research (AI 2010, 8, 13). 1 And in its 2010–2011 spending plan, the United Nations (UN) earmarked $24,520,400—5.9 percent of its operating budget—for human rights and humanitarian affairs (United Nations 2010, 2). 2 Clearly, international advocacy organizations invest resources in the naming and shaming of human rights violations like torture. But does it work?

Keywords

  • United Nations
  • Unintended Consequence
  • American Political Science Review
  • State Repression
  • Peace Research

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2014 Tracy Lightcap and James P. Pfiffner

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Conrad, C.R., DeMeritt, J.H.R. (2014). Unintended Consequences: The Effect of Advocacy to End Torture on Empowerment Rights Violations. In: Lightcap, T., Pfiffner, J.P. (eds) Examining Torture. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137439161_7

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