Against Superlatives: Canada, Rankings, and the Buzzfeed-isation of Human Rights Reporting

By Tim Wyman-McCarthy, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University ___________________________________________ As a recent NYT article title suggests, Canada's current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has contributed to "The Closing of the Canadian Mind." (Image from The New York Times) I confess: I AM
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Helsinki, KSZE-Konferenz, Schlussakte

On their 40th Anniversary, the Helsinki Accords retain a powerful legacy

By Raymond A. Smith, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia and NYU ___________________________________________________________________________ The signing of the Helsinki Accords on August 1, 1975 has little of the resonance today of such landmark events of the Cold War as the fall of
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Giorgos Chatzifotiadis, 77, broke down in tears after visiting four banks in an attempt to withdraw his wife's pension of 120 euros. He became a symbol of the distress of the Greek people (AFP: Sakis Mitrolidis)

#ThisIsACoup: Greece, a dangerous precedent for human rights in Europe

By Alexis Comninos, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University ___________________________________________________________________________ This past weekend has been decisive for the future of Greece—perhaps, as some say, the most important few days in the country’s recent history. Through the Greek deal, this weekend saw
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Disability Pride Month

By Tim Wyman-McCarthy, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University ___________________________________________________________________________ The Americans with Disabilities Act was became law in the United States in 1990. At least as far as UN Conventions are concerned, disability rights are the new kid on the
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Sheree Bennet and Zeke Johnson responding to questions at the Human Rights Career Panel.

Human Rights Career Panel

By Tim Wyman-McCarthy, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University ___________________________________________________________________________ As students across Columbia—both graduate and undergraduate—settle into the Spring term a series of questions echo around campus: What are your plans for the summer? Have you begun your dissertation? And,
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Voices of Defiance: A Reflection on Music in the Pursuit of Human Rights

By Justin Jalea, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University ___________________________________________________________________________ An important lesson I have learned from my time at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights is that the work of advancing human rights must appeal to every available
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West Africa LGBT

On Being LGBT in West Africa

By Philip Rodenbough, doctoral candidate in chemistry at Columbia University.  Twitter: @prodenbough ___________________________________________________________________________ The Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) is a program organized by the US Department of State through which students work part time on a project under the direction of
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The Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) was established in 1978 at Columbia University as the Center for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR). In Spring 2010, Columbia University elevated CSHR to the level of an institute. ISHR is committed to its three core goals of providing excellent human rights education to Columbia students, fostering innovative interdisciplinary academic research, and offering its expertise in capacity building to human rights leaders, organizations, and universities around the world.


RightsViews is an ongoing conversation about developments in the human rights field amongst students and faculty from within Columbia University. It is a forum for opinion pieces, individual research, and perspectives from the field on a wide range of subjects related to human rights practice and policy. It is published by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) and is managed by our graduate student editor Tim Wyman-McCarthy.

How to Contribute

RightsViews is an initiative of graduate students at the ISHR, but is a space for all Columbia faculty and students to share, discuss and debate human rights issues. Get involved, have your own research published, cover an event, or simply write about a human rights issue that interests you! To make a contribution to RightsViews, please contact our editor, Tim Wyman-McCarthy,