Human Rights and Conflicts

By invitation only

Fri 28.10.2011 at 9:00-12:00
Tieteiden Talo lecture room 505
Kirkkokatu 6, 00170 Helsinki

Human Rights and Conflicts

Organizers: The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, The Academy of Finland Venture ‘Human Rights: Law, Religion & Subjectivity’, The Finnish Institute of International Affairs, The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Global Governance Research and Ius Gentium (The Finnish Society of International Law)

Time: Friday 28.10.2011
Venue: Tieteiden talo, Lecture room 505

Since the end of the Cold War, human rights have become an integral part of international collaboration and politics. Respect for human rights is a central requirement for aspiring EU members, and human rights have been one of the foundations of Finnish foreign policy since the early 1990s. Recently fight for human rights has been highlighted as a decisive motivation for the popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle-East.

Yet in practice the role of human rights remains ambiguous. While they form a staple of political rhetoric, human rights concerns have been repeatedly cast aside – for example in the global fight against terrorism – for other, ‘greater’ goals such as peace and security. This gives rise to questions such as: What concrete roles do human rights have in foreign policy and especially the resolution of international conflicts? Are they a prerequisite for peace, or mere rhetorical embellishment to be forgotten when convenient, or is their meaning always a matter of context and perception?

This seminar brings together scholars of international law and politics to discuss these issues both in light of current international developments as well as more general historical and theoretical perspectives.

9:00-9:20 Opening words, Miia Halme-Tuomisaari (Post-doctorate scholar, Erik Castrén –Institute, University of Helsinki): Human Rights and Conflicts in the Past and Present
9:20-9:40 Lynn Hunt (Professor of Modern European History, UCLA): Human Rights and Conflicts: An Historical View
9:40-10:00 Conor Gearty (Professor of Human Rights Law, London School of Economics): Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights
10:00-10:20 Reetta Toivanen (Senior Researcher, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Global Governance Research): Translating Human Rights in Conflicts (topic to be confirmed)
10:20-10:40 Touko Piiparinen (Researcher, The Finnish Institute of International Affairs): Generating Compliance Pull to Human Rights Norms: The Case of Libya
10:40-11:00 Coffee
11:00-12:00 Panel Discussion (Hunt, Gearty, Toivanen, Piiparinen)

Registrations by 26 October to