The Future of Human Rights

The Future of Human Rights

  • Publications
  • Essay
January 52017
Alison Brysk
global-e journal

Far from the “end times” of human rights decried by Hopgood and Posner alike, it is time for a reboot that closes historic gaps and confronts emerging challenges. After several generations of measured success and unexpected shortfalls, the future of human rights lies in fostering the dynamic strength of human rights as evolving political practice. People all over the world—from Amazonian villages to Iranian prisons—use human rights to gain recognition, campaign for justice, and save lives. With all of its limitations, human rights have proven to be the most sustainable basis for solidarity in the face of violence and oppression. When human rights are viewed as evolving political practices rather than abstract legal principles, the future of human rights can expand these practices to meet the challenges of persisting and emerging threats to human dignity.