CHRCR has compiled a preliminary list of resources which examine the intersection between theories of and approaches to human rights and conflict resolution. We welcome the suggestion of articles, reports, books and other publications that should be added to the list.

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Conflict Resolution & Specific Rights Abuses

A. Children's Rights

Ilene Cohn, "The Protection of Children in Peacemaking and Peacekeeping Processes", 12 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 129 (1999).
"This study examines the protection of children during peacemaking and peacekeeping, and the regional and multilateral institutions that now play a role in palliating conflicts around the world. It identifies children's substantive needs, considers efforts made in some peace processes and proposes alternatives. The focus is on what might be done to better ensure that children's rights are considered from the moment mediation efforts begin until the peace-building agenda is fully hammered out. Although many of the issues, such as human rights and peacekeeping, the potential use of regional peacekeepers, and truth, justice and reconciliation, have produced a great deal of writing and debate, no one has yet examined the conflict resolution period from a children's rights perspective."

William Kriedler, "Educators For Social Responsibility, Creative Conflict Resolution: More Than 200 Activities For Keeping Peace In The Classroom" (1984).
Activities are designed to address root causes of conflict, deal with problem solving, anger management, and tolerance. The book includes lots of worksheets, and constitutes an excellent resource.

William Kriedler, "Educators For Social Responsibility, Elementary Perspectives: Teaching Concepts Of Peace And Conflict" (1990).
This Book Builds On Creative Conflict Resolution With More Exploration Of The Concepts Of Peace And Human Rights. It Actually Talks About Enemies And What To Do With Them, And Ends With Visioning Of Peace Activities.

B. Women's Rights

Center For Women's Global Leadership, "Testimonies Of The Global Tribunal On Violations Of Women's Human Rights" (1994).
The 1993 Vienna tribunal that is documented in this study through recounting 33 testimonials of participating women, is itself a means of preventing and resolving violations of women's human rights in times of conflict as well as peace. It provides a large, multilateral convention example of how to raise awareness of rights abuses. Particularly regarding war crimes against women in conflict situations, the conference underscored three major themes:

  • Women's bodies are figuratively and actually the site of combat in wartime;
  • Women's human rights are violated through the exploitation of familial relationships; and
  • Women suffer disproportionately from economic and social dislocations caused by conflict.

Cynthia Cockburn, "The Space Between Us: Negotiating Gender And National Identities In Conflict" (1998).
"The Space Between Us" is a simplified metaphor for tranversalism, a politics that replaces perceived unity and homogeneity between persons with dialogue. This study takes up the challenge of examining this space of conflict resolution, maintaining the scholar-practitioner dialectic that mirrors Cockburn's own life. She participated in three women's activist groups from three conflict regions: Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as part of her research for this book, and in the meanwhile held a workshop among these women that this book documents. In the course of attempting to answer such questions as: "Why are we women's groups? What are human commonalities? What do we mean by tradition, culture and ethnicity? How can we build democracy out of differences?" the women documented in this work address not only their experiences of human rights abuses during conflicts, but how to make human rights part of peace in the resolutions to their conflicts. At the same time, they are always aware of their role of women upholding their own rights in the realm of second track diplomacy.

Judith G. Gardam & Michelle J. Jarvis, "Women, Armed Conflict, And International Law" (2001).
This book provides a comprehensive description of the impact on women of modern armed conflict and compares that experience with the current legal framework for protection. It judges inadequate the pre-existing body of law regarding armed conflict, as it is based on a notion of formal equality which pays little account to the differential impact of armed conflict on women and men. By focusing on the deficiencies that the authors see as exacerbating violations of women's human rights, they hope to offer areas of the law ripe for re-interpretation.

Fabiola Letelier, "Chile: Response of Political Women to the Dictatorship, in Empowerment And The Law: Strategies Of Third World Women", M.A. Schuler ed., 1986).
Letelier documents the repression of women, and thereby the repression of their rights, under Chile's military dictatorship. She focuses on women who were imprisoned in the San Miguel prison in Santiago and the means they developed to survive during the conflict. The act of their imprisonment began the repression of their right of free speech, and the then during the tenure of the dictatorship they survived various kinds of torture. As a means to end their suffering and a means by which to confront the ongoing violence in Chile, they organized a popular movement called the Association of Victims of Repression that began to confront the regime about state violence. This movement spanned widespread public demonstrations against the violent regime.

Indai Lourdes Sajor, ed., "Asian Center for Women's Human Rights, Common Grounds: Violence Against Women In War And Armed Conflict Situations" (1998).
This book is a collection of articles from various conflict situations in which women's human rights are or were violated. Its strength is its breadth of perspective from the treatment of rape during war in Japan to the harm to the reproductive health of Vietnamese women on account of chemical weapons, to genocide against women in Bangladesh.

Donna J. Sullivan, "Gender Equality and Religious Freedom: Toward a Framework for Conflict Resolution", 24 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 795 (1992).
"In the absence of international consensus as to the standing of a particular right within a normative hierarchy, as is the case with a number of gender- specific rights, attempts to resolve conflicts between competing human rights values will present serious philosophical, legal, and political difficulties. Conflicts between women's human rights and religious rights set tenets of equality against values of liberty. International norms guaranteeing women's equality and delineating the scope of the freedom of religion do, however, offer a framework for resolving these conflicts. Guidelines for the process of conflict resolution can be developed by linking this framework to an analysis of how gender is constructed within specific historical contexts and how religion functions within those contexts. The necessary judgments are not inherently more difficult than those that governments must reach in restricting social and cultural practices for such purposes as promoting racial equality, or in regulating family life to protect minors. This article will propose a framework for resolving conflicts between women's human rights and the freedom of religion as manifested in religious law and practice. Part I will outline the normative parameters within which such conflicts might be addressed, focusing on the scope of gender equality and of the freedom of religion or belief in international law, as well as the social and political dimensions of both gender and religion in society. Part II suggests an approach to conflict resolution. In Part III, I will illustrate the far-reaching impact of gender discrimination in religious law with a focus on personal status law, a principal arena of conflict between religious rights and women's human rights. Part IV will explore several questions concerning the role of the state in effecting reform of religious law, including the role of secular courts."

C. Torture

Leonard Wantchekon & Andrew Healy, "The Game of Torture", 43 Journal of Conflict Resolution 596 (1999). "Emotions dominate the discussion of torture. The appalling practice of torture is contrary to the foundations of human dignity and naturally clouds judgment with anger. Finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems requires objective reasoning." This is where Wantchekon and Healy step in. They explain the prevalence of the human rights abuse of torture by modeling its institutional structure as a game of incomplete information involving the state, torture, and the victim. They explain why state torture has a tendency to spiral and posit that a "culture" of individual resistance is the only effective solution to torture.

D. Cultural Rights

R.P. Peerenboom, "What's Wrong with Chinese Rights? Toward a Theory of Rights with Chinese Characteristics, 6 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 29 (1993). "One constraint on the full realization of a highly articulated relational model of rights is the limited capacity of the formal legal system to take into account the particulars of the parties. Thus, a fifth aspect of Chinese rights culture will be the continued reliance on informal means for conflict resolution. Although far from perfect, traditional methods such as mediation offer many advantages. Both parties save face, fully participate in the proceeding, and shape the ultimate solution. The process, usually faster and cheaper than more formal methods, allows for a more particularized justice and for the restoration of social harmony, with both sides feeling they have received their due."

Robert B. Porter, "Strengthening Tribal Sovereignty Through Peacemaking: How the Anglo-American Legal Tradition Destroys Indigenous Societies, 28 Colum. Human Rights L. Rev. 235 (1997). "Most indigenous communities today now rely upon formal court systems modeled after the Anglo-American legal system as their mechanism for resolving disputes within their territories. ... Part III explains how these traditional dispute resolution mechanisms were affected by American colonization and how native people came to establish modern judiciaries based upon the American legal system... Thus, in every significant aspect, the American legal system is in conflict with the manner in which native people have traditionally resolved disputes."