Solutions to Violent Conflict

Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Whither the War in Syria?

In Human Rights, Syria on December 14, 2016 at 10:18 am

David Cortright is the Director of Policy Studies and the Peace Accords Matrix at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

The Trump administration will face one of its most difficult foreign policy tests in Syria, with a high likelihood of failure.

There are no good options for U.S. policy. On one side is the brutal Assad regime which sparked the revolt five years ago by massacring peaceful protesters and has committed countless atrocities since. With military support from Iran and Russia, the regime has regained military ground in recent months and now clings to remnants of power in a shattered country.

Opposing Assad are Kurdish forces, backed by the U.S. but opposed by Turkey and other states in the region, and a vast network of extremist militias and insurgent groups including Jahbat al-Nusra, Al Qaida, and the so-called Islamic State—all sworn enemies of the West. ISIS and other insurgent groups still control wide swaths of territory in Syria. Read the rest of this entry »

Reflections on Human Rights in the New Administration

In Human Rights on December 14, 2016 at 10:17 am


Jennifer Mason McAward is associate professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and director of the University’s Center on Civil and Human Rights.

I’m often asked what the difference is between civil and human rights. My response is that they are, in large part, overlapping concepts and the difference is context. The treatment of Muslims and immigrants in the United States, for example, is both a civil and human rights issue that plays out against the backdrop of American law and politics. Read the rest of this entry »

The War on Terror and Muslim Registry: Between Continuity and Change

In Human Rights, Religion and Conflict on December 14, 2016 at 10:17 am

Perin Gurel is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Concurrent Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

The global and local fronts of our endless “War on Terror” intersect around the suspect figure of the Muslim. What might this mean under a president-elect Trump? The structures kept intact, and in some cases expanded, by President Obama provide some clues.

First, there is the Muslim registry. Right after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Bush administration implemented a special registration program that used immigration law to register, interview, fingerprint, detain, and deport males from 24 Muslim-majority countries (and North Korea) who were in the United States on student, tourist, or work visas, particularly punishing those who had fallen “out of status” because of glitches with the system. Read the rest of this entry »

Afghan Women at the Table

In Afghanistan, Human Rights, Peace, Women on September 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

Photo: DVIDSHUB (Flickr)

David Cortright and Kristen Wall

The U.S. is set to withdraw the bulk of its forces from Afghanistan by 2014. This transition period is fraught with risk for Afghan women, many of whom have benefited during 10 years of improved access to education, health care, and political participation.

International aid programs have funded schools, trained health care workers, and supported development projects. There are now more than 3 million girls in school and 50,000 female teachers. Infant and maternal mortality rates have dropped significantly. Read the rest of this entry »

Afghan Women in the Transition Process

In Afghanistan, Human Rights, Peace, Women on September 5, 2012 at 9:55 am

The Afghan Women’s Network

The Afghan Women’s Network is a non-partisan network of women and women’s groups working to empower Afghan women and ensure their equal participation in Afghan society. This post summarizes the Network’s presentation at the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012.

We recently consulted with more than 300 women leaders throughout Afghanistan to assess the transition of security from U.S.-led to Afghan-led forces and to develop ideas for protecting the rights of women during the transition process.

The Network found that women do not feel they have participated meaningfully in the transition process. They are unsure of how they will fare in the transition and frustrated by the lack of clarity from the Afghan government and international community about what will happen after 2014. Women across the country are calling for greater transparency and accountability in the Afghan government and international community. Read the rest of this entry »