How do we bridge the gap between the theory of human rights and the complex social, political and economic realities of a turbulent and interconnected world?
Anti-government protestors massacred in Yemen during the Arab Spring; pre-election intimidation in Angola this past August; Shia clerics tried and imprisoned for blasphemy by Sunni-controlled courts in Indonesia in recent years. The list goes on. The problem with defending international human rights through legal means is one of logistics: who does it, when, and how? Currently, it is up to the state to define and implement human rights norms for its citizens. But when it is precisely the officials of the state who are violating these norms, is it not paradoxical to also expect the state to enforce them?