International Organizations Fighting for Human Rights

International Organizations Fighting for Human Rights

  Are you interested in the fight for equality around the world? Do you want to work in the field of human rights? There are numerous non-profits that take up this important social issue, and here are the top five global organizations fighting for human rights. 1. Amnesty International More than 7,000,000 people are involved with Amnesty International, which works in human rights without any political-economic, or religious motivations. Activities include lobbying, research, campaigns, and advocacy that is based on science and factual information. The organization is among the most influential in the realm of human rights.   2. Physicians for Human Rights Physicians for Human Rights focuses on massive atrocities and human abuse that occurs in almost every part of the world. The organization is comprised of scientists, physicians, and other medical professionals are actively involved in regions where torture, sexual violence, and excessive use of force on civilians is common. They work directly with survivors to provide support and ensure that those guilty of human rights violations are held accountable.   3. International Federation for Human Rights Comprised of 184 independent organizations from more than 100 countries, International Federation for Human Rights champions efforts focused on rights that are defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including social, cultural, economic, political, and civil. They work towards righting the wrongs of international corporations, states, and armed opposition groups.   4. Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch is an investigative non-profit that works with armed groups, governments, and businesses through advocacy and research. They have a strong social media presence that brings issues to light for millions of...
Who Thinks Rights Are Respected in the US?

Who Thinks Rights Are Respected in the US?

What do ordinary Americans think about the state of human rights and civil rights in their country? How bad, or good, do they think things are, and why does it matter? Our Survey My colleague Howard Lavine and I surveyed US public opinion in fall 2018 with the help of YouGov, a leading survey firm. Through them, we recruited a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults who had signed up with the survey group to answer online questions. YouGov’s team contacted each respondent twice, interviewing each in two waves of 22 and 24 minutes, on average. The median response rate was 86%. To achieve a nationally representative sample, YouGov weighted the 2,000 strong sample by gender, age, race, and education. We split these 2,000 respondents into two equal parts and asked the first about their perception of respect for “human rights” in the U.S. and asked the second about their perception of respect for “civil rights.” We found no meaningful difference between the two, and thus report on both combined. For this question, the 0.95% confidence interval was +/- 1.4%. As Table 1 indicates, most (61%) of the general population sample – represented by the green bars – told us that human/civil rights were reasonably well respected, as these respondents told You Gov that civil/human rights in the U.S. were either respected “some” (38%) or “a lot” (23%). The remainder – 39% – said that rights were respected either “a little” (27%) or “not at all” (12%). We rescaled perceived level of respect for human rights to 0-1 for statistical purposes, in which 0 = “rights are not at...
How Telecom Mechanisms Have Impacted Polling, Part Two

How Telecom Mechanisms Have Impacted Polling, Part Two

Some populations are inherently difficult to survey. As a result, their voices rarely figure into studies of public attitudes, financial or medical needs, or consumer preferences. The most overlooked populations include people without access to the Internet; immigrants, refugees, and persons internally displaced within their own countries; homeless persons; and people living in low-income, repressive, or war-torn countries.  Some organizations have made significant steps towards addressing this problem, and one such group is RIWI, a publicly-traded company based in Toronto, Canada. In the intermediate future, my company, Azimuth Social Research, hopes to partner with RIWI on a cross-national survey project.  RIWI’s Random Domain Intercept Technology (RDIT) invites web users worldwide to participate in surveys in their own language. RIWI bypasses national or sub-national web restrictions by leveraging its ownership, or temporary control, of hundreds of thousands of unused, expired, or abandoned web domains. As RIWI explains, web users often stumble across one of these unused domains while surfing the Internet. Often, this stumble takes users to a “404” or similar error page, but when users run across one of RIWI’s sites, they are instead invited to take part in a quick, anonymous survey. RIWI’s system auto-detects the user’s geographic location, which allows them to offer the survey in a relevant language and to geolocate (whenever possible) the respondent’s position.  RIWI’s method is useful in part because it circumvents government restrictions, as no other agency has a list of RIWI-controlled domains. The RIWI domain inventory, moreover, is constantly changing. As a result, RIWI’s survey work is particularly useful in countries such as China, where the government keeps tight control over...
Global Reputation of the Belt and Road Initiative, Part Two

Global Reputation of the Belt and Road Initiative, Part Two

In an earlier post, I wrote briefly about public opinion in the developing world towards China’s Belt and Road initiative. Much more remains to be said, and I’m going through the literature carefully to summarize what we know. Eventually, my company, Azimuth Social Research, will write a report with our colleagues at OnGlobalLeadership, a consulting and thought leadership firm specializing in China.  For the moment, I want to talk about US expert opinion towards China’s massive infrastructural investment in low-and-middle-income countries, as well as the US government’s nascent response.  US Experts’ Ambivalence Although there is plenty of public opinion data from Pew and others on the American public’s attitudes towards China in general, I have yet to find substantial data on US public attitudes towards the Belt and Road Initiative in particular. I’m still looking, but there doesn’t seem to be much. And if my own social and professional circles are anything to go by, most Americans have never even heard of BRI, making it hard to ask for their views. People in this country know that China is on the move economically but think mostly about its investments in the US and Europe, rather than in Asia, the Middle East, or Africa.  The US foreign policy community is a different beast, of course, as it is both socialized and paid to have well-formed opinions about this kind of thing. In 2016, a report by the Institute for China-America Studies “on the attitudes of strategic studies and international political economy experts” towards the Belt and Road Initiative suggested that “the overall response [of these experts] to BRI” was at...

From Qual to Quant and Back

I started my research career as a research consultant for Human Rights Watch in Israel and the Palestinian territories. My “data” came from what qualitative research:  lengthy, face-to-face interviews with knowledgeable people such as politicians, lawyers, human rights activists and ordinary citizens who have either witnessed, or personally experienced, interesting events. (There are other kinds of qualitative research, of course – focus groups, ethnography, journal entries, and more). Interview-based research is physically and emotionally demanding. It requires building a network of contacts to gain access to the right people; persuading those people to trust and speak with you, often for hours; engaging in emotionally intense, face-to-face discussions; carefully building trust and rapport; and then analyzing piles of typed transcripts, scribbled notes, or taped conversations. You either furiously write during the interview while also trying to listen, engage, and come up with new questions, or desperately try to remember as many details as you can to record in writing later. Sometimes, you are lucky enough to tape the conversation and even hire someone to produce a written transcript. Then, however, you are faced with hundreds of pages to wade through. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s I did interviews of this sort in multiple countries. Often, I used a translator, which adds complexity to the rapport-building exercise but also gives you more time to take notes during the interview, a research companion to talk about the work, and someone to help you navigate the process of finding the right people to speak with. My first translator was a Palestinian journalist, Walid Battrawi, now an important media figure in Ramallah, capital...