Thursday, March 15, 2012

Victory in the ICC, But Without More Signatories, How Much Can the Rome Statute Do?

Louis Michel, via WikiMediaCommo
By Andrew G. Mosher

Ten years after it was established, the International Criminal Court has announced its first verdict.

A three-judge panel unanimously convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, 51, a Congolese militia leader, of conscripting soldiers under the age of 15 and using them in an armed conflict in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2002 and 2003.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What #Kony2012 Should Have Asked For

Pierre Holtz, via Wikimedia Commons
by Kayleen Hartman

By now the story of #Kony2012 is growing old. The viral video on Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has received almost 80 million hits, and is famous in some circles more for the backlash against it than for its advocacy ask: to stop the LRA’s deplorable use of child soldiers, tell the Obama administration to continue to provide the support it’s already providing to the Ugandan military’s mission against the LRA.

There’s been loads of commentary about the concerns with a video like this, whether or not or it’s useful, and its questionable accuracy. There is also the fact that there are other organizations in Uganda, founded by former child soldiers and for child soldiers, that might be a great place to put your money if you’re feeling moved. But we've missed the fact that not only is simple maintenance of the status quo a wasted use of the advocacy power of millions, there is another, much more necessary, powerful, and on-point demand that those affected by the video could ask of their president.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fight for Human Rights in Alabama Recalls Civil Rights Movement 50 Years Ago

WikiMediaCommons, Abernathy Family Photos
by S. Amanda Shelton

     On New Year's Eve, 2011, I walked around downtown Montgomery, Alabama. The tranquil streets in this city of over 200,000 were so quiet that I saw more police officers than residents, a somewhat disquieting fact given the subject of my visit—the state’s often troubled history of public oppression of minorities.
     This history of struggle with racism and acceptance has come back into sharp focus in the last year; in June, Governor Robert Bentley signed into law HB 56, the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, which the ACLU called the “harshest immigration law in the country.”