Open Conversations

Human rights are everyone’s concern. While specific conditions may vary there is nowhere in today’s world where citizens do not need to pay attention to the defense of rights.

Amid the high idealism of the post-war mid-twentieth century, a range of international statutes and conventions were put in place to be upheld by the UN and other multilateral governance and justice systems. But while some states continue to assert their commitment to those standards, as decades have passed, numerous states have sought to dilute, repudiate or simply ignore their human rights obligations.

Some analysts argue that authoritarian leaders have undermined the cause of human rights by abandoning their commitments to international conventions. Others argue that non-governmental organizations have fallen short of their own obligations to safeguarding rights; and still others point to geopolitical power asymmetries and a weakening global governance system in order to explain the systemic failures of human rights. Meanwhile, for those fighting for rights at front lines all over the world, such debates may seem somewhat academic – the practical questions of how to prevail are the priority. You will find plenty of resources on these and other perspectives on our Ideas page.

Whatever your point of view, the Symposium’s public program aims to make the arguments and evidence visible, and give thoughtful activists and observers a new platform to discuss the well-being of rights. We invite you to join our conversations by attending an upcoming webinar, following our blog or listening to our podcast. Sign up so that we can keep you updated on our activities.