Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a relatively new concept in political theory. Basically, it is the idea that governments everywhere have a responsibility to uphold and protect the human rights of their citizens. And, if a state is unwilling or unable to do so, it is the duty of the international community to step in and end human rights violations. Given the recent interventions in Libya, the uprisings in the Middle East and Africa, and the general state of the world over the past twenty years, R2P has become more and more relevant. This video provides a brief history of the concept, and details some of the ways in which it is being used or misused today, and the hope it creates for the future.
Stephen Thompson is a graduate of Drew University with a focus in International Relations. With a great deal of experience related to the United Nations both from coursework and an internship in the UN Secretariat, Stephen’s research focused on the international legal system (the International Criminal Court, the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies), women’s and gender equality (Female Genital Mutilation, women’s political participation, LGBT rights), peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations (effectiveness, lessons learned), and the One UN program aimed at enhancing system-wide coherence for UN programs implemented domestically. A future law student, Stephen hopes to have the opportunity to enact systematic changes in the international legal system that will better protect and represent all of the peoples of the world and make justice a universally accessible ideal.
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