Webinar 9: Human Rights: a system in crisis? (panel discussion)

This webinar is part of a series of webinars organised by the SCSC with scholars from around the world. The themes of the webinars will be centered around the topic of the polarities of crisis in the global world, where crisis is simultaneously understood as an area of contestation and control. The prospective themes include “health and crisis”, “climate and crisis”, “corruption and crisis”, “universities and crisis”, gender and crisis”, and others.

This webinar will be held on 1 June 2021, 14-16 (CET).

Seventy years on from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), human rights are part of the international, regional and national legal and institutional landscapes. Human rights are claimed by individuals and groups worldwide in challenges against state (in cases relating to reproductive rights, children’s rights, environmental rights, refugee rights and so forth) as well as corporate power. However, with the rise of populism and authoritarianism, enabled and exacerbated by digital technologies and economic opportunities in the global markets, combined with the catastrophic and  socially disruptive impacts of climate change, this early period may come to be considered a golden age for human rights. Key institutions and the substantive rights they uphold are under threat, calling into question the future of the human rights system as we know it. Andrew Gilmour, the outgoing assistant secretary-general for human rights, said the regression of the past 10 years hasn’t equaled the advances that began in the late 1970s – but it is serious, widespread and regrettable.

The webinar will attempt to understand how two mega trends, namely the Anthropocene and Digitalization challenge human rights in ways that the law and legal studies are unable to address when they interact with and influence three critical nexus points – Corporatization, Migration and Authoritarianism. Although sovereignty remains a concept that states cling to, corporate actors are increasingly involved in global as well as national processes from shaping responses to climate change to digitizing border control and migration management. Securitization of human mobility stigmatizes migrants with the state outsourcing operations to corporate entities thus distancing itself from adverse and undesirable impacts on human rights. The perceived failure of the state to control the entry and stay of non-citizens has provided fertile ground for populist movements hostile to the ‘cosmopolitan and globalist’ vision reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fueling these fears are concerted disinformation campaigns that use digital technologies to sew discord through creating visions of social life that amplify perceived security threats.

Panel:

Annika Bergman-Rosamond, Associate Professor of Political Science, Lund University

Jessica Whyte, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales

Moderator:

Mo Hamza, Professor of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Lund University

To attend, please join the zoom event at the date and time of the webinar:

January 24, 2021

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