This area of work aims to advance the use of the rights-based framework as a meaningful organizing tool for marginalized communities and social movements to articulate claims of social, cultural, political rights, and belonging. Toward this goal, and consistent with the Othering & Belonging Institute’s structural inclusion and circle of human concerns framing vis-à-vis othering, the Human Rights Agenda project collaborates, under the umbrella of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN), with several other human rights organizations to contribute to shadow reporting compiled by the USHRN. These reports are reviewed by the United Nations Human Rights Commission in relation to the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). In addition to these shadow reports, the Human Rights Agenda will embark on other projects related to the larger set of human rights issues, such as the rights of global non-citizens, the global crisis of water, and the activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
The UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
In collaboration with the USHRN’s shadow reporting, the GJP contributes to, and participates with other US human rights groups, in reviewing the US Government’s record in upholding the human rights protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Treaty (ICCPR), and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). (See our January 2019 report to the UN Human Rights Council on the ICCPR here) The review of the US Government records comes every five years through the process of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which is a full review of the human rights records of all countries that are members of the United Nations. Our contribution to the next UPR of the US Government is yet to be determined. We are inclined to focus on the nexus of xenophobia (anti-Sharia legislation and refugees resettlement program in the US), however, we remain flexible on the topic based on the USHRN's UPR Taskforce’s suggestion. Our 2013 report on the ICCPR, titled Structural Racialization and Food Insecurity in the US, addressed the ongoing racial/ethnic inequalities and disparities that inhabit US food policy. The report underscores that while structural racialization does not require racist actors, its outcomes generate and perpetuate preexisting racial and ethnic inequalities. Such inequalities and disparities stem from structural racialization embodied within the design of our political, economic and cultural institutions.
The Rights of Non-Citizens (forthcoming)
In a global society, where capital and information move freely across borders, the salience of those borders gain renewed significance. Borders still exert coercive force on human beings, through either excluding some people or preventing those within them to seek safe haven. Citizenship, which plays a critical role in delineating a group’s particular relationship to borders, is thus an important axis through which to analyze how some groups receive illicit advantage and how many social groups and communities are placed outside the scope of legal, and by extension moral, concerns.
This research report aims to focus on the dimensions through which people are differentially treated based on identity category, which are treated as “othering” and labeled as “non-citizens” or “stateless” and study cases from around the globe to illuminate, raise awareness and perhaps elevate strains of belonging while generate hope for a more inclusive world where everyone belongs.
Global Water Crisis (forthcoming)
In last several years water access and sanitation became a an alarming crisis in relation to gender, economic, health, children education, and has positive feedback loop between water crisis and other crises facing local and global climate, food, forests, cities, and energy, among other social settings and sectors. For example, 844 million people living without access to safe water, and 2.3 billion people living without access to improved sanitation worldwide. However, the global poor and marginalized communities suffer the most.
Our research and report, which will be accompanied with several case studies from around the world and the US, set to outline and investigate the causes and origins of water crisis, account for the ways in which water crisis has shaped resource grabs, dispassion, displacement, and even intrastate and interstate conflicts, and envision a set of policy interventions that can help establish a more equitable access to water and sanitation, but also to help prevent the future dispassion, displacement, and even intrastate and interstate conflicts.