Open call for blog posts: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 75: Human rights protection in a fragile multilateral order”

This is an open call for blog posts. The CHRLP invites as wide a diversity of voices as possible to submit posts on critical questions touching on the above theme. We also welcome submissions about human rights and (or) legal pluralism more broadly.

Some reflections on the theme:

With the year 2023-2024 marking the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, and the halfway point of the lifespan of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, there is a unique opportunity to reflect on the UN’s treaty-based and goal-based human rights frameworks and assess their effectiveness. The UN’s stated aims of promoting international peace and security and human rights seem as elusive as ever as humanitarian crises in several regions of the world worsen and democracy backslides internationally. Regional insecurity seems further likely to persist with deadlock at the UN Security Council, dynamics of great power politics returning in the international system, and weakening state capacity and willingness for multilateral humanitarian interventions, such as UN Peacekeeping Operations. This theme invites prospective authors to consider where the UN ought to go from here and whether, and in what form, organizational reform is required. Must the treaty-based human rights approach embodied by the UDHR be adapted for the inter-state dynamics of the current age? The theme also allows prospective authors to imagine new alternatives or discuss existing ones, independent of the UN system, which still serve to promote the UDHR’s aims.

How to submit a post:

Authors are asked to adhere to the following standards when submitting their piece. Anything not mentioned here is at the discretion of the author.

We accept original pieces on a rolling basis, and aim for publication within 3-4 weeks from reception, provided the submission requirements are respected. Please be mindful that we are not personal editors and will not accept partially edited pieces. Only advanced drafts will be accepted.

The primary purpose of a blog post is to further a new idea, present a news development, initiate a discussion, or engage in debate. A strong piece will contain original analysis that spurs a critical reflection or starts an interesting conversation. Blog posts do not have to adhere to an academic style of argumentation and can be more casual in tone. However, to be considered for publication, a blog post must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Short, incisive and argument-driven piece, 800-1200 words
  • 12-point, Times New Roman font with 1” or 1.5” spacing
  • Change in sections with a single line
  • Short subtitles, left-aligned in bold lettering
  • In-text hyperlinks encouraged
  • Sources as supporting evidence to the author’s claims, although citations are not necessary. If included, footnote form in adherence with the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 10th edition is preferred.

Recommended structure:

  • Brief introduction presenting the argument and necessary context for the reader;
  • 2-3 main body paragraphs working through a logical and reasoned succession of points. Headings are encouraged;
  • Conclusion summarizing the argument and calling the reader to action.

Examples of blog posts can be found here:

Editing process:

We receive submissions on a rolling basis. Submissions may be accepted or rejected at the discretion of the editors. Authors may also be asked to revise and re-submit their piece. This means that the piece needs substantially more work in order to be considered for publication, but we are interested in the general ideas presented by the author and would like to read another draft. Generally, editors will return all submissions with feedback within 2 weeks.

If accepted for publication, the piece will undergo the following editing process:

First read: The blog editors require 1-2 weeks to do a first read, after which the revised piece will be returned to the author with editorial comments and recommendations. These recommendations are intended to be constructive (rather than mandatory), and a collaborative approach is invited.

Second read: The author is then asked to submit a revised draft, at which time the editors will do a second read. If the editors find the piece ready, they will proceed with publication. If further drafts are requested, the editors will be in touch with the author.

Image to accompany the post: When submitting the first or second draft, the author is asked, if possible, to send a high-resolution evocative image (to which they have the rights; reference included, please) to illustrate the piece. If no such image is available, the editors, in consultation with the author, will procure one from the public domain.

Bio and photo of the author: When submitting the first or second draft, the author is asked to send a short bio of 2-3 sentences and, if comfortable, a high-resolution portrait-style photograph for posting on the web.

Note: The editors retain the right to refuse, at any moment in the above process, to publish a piece. Considerations for the refusal will be communicated to the author.

Submissions should be emailed to human.rights [at] ()

Past themes:

à 2022-2023: Collective emergence: re-imagining our civic and environmental futures

à 2021-2022 Theme: Solidarity in an Interconnected World

à 2020-2021 Theme: Inclusive Citizenship and Deliberative Democracy

à 2019-2020 Theme: Reclaiming Universal Human Rights in a Plural Global Order: Opportunities and Challenges

à 2018-2019 Theme: The UDHR at 70; Pasts, Presents and Futures

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