New online tool outlines the evolution of human rights

By Jay Lemery, MD

The Council on Foreign Relations has just released an educational reference on the history and current state of human rights protection worldwide. Part of the Global Governance Monitor series, the interactive online guide tracks the progression of human rights around the world and offers a historical perspective on the current human rights regime.

Through videos, graphic timelines, matrices, and interactive maps, the guide outlines the evolution of human rights since the signing of the Magna Carta, reports on the state of human rights around the globe today, evaluates the scope and mandate of all the major institutions and initiatives related to human rights. One particularly interesting interactive map shows human rights hotspots throughout the world, including the struggle for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, political repression in Myanmar, and torture at Guantánamo Bay.

The guide also includes analysis from foreign policy pundits and activists who weigh in on some of the most pressing issues in the human rights dialogue, including legal protection, capacity building, response to atrocities, and women’s and children’s rights.

This latest addition to the Global Governance Monitor Series offers a thorough overview of information central to human rights work as well as valuable tools for the analysis of current foreign policy. It provides a thorough refresher for anyone involved in human rights work, and is a great tool to orient newcomers.

Dr. Jay Lemery is a contributing editor for Health and Human Rights, focusing on the effects of environmental degradation on health and human rights. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.