News

Robbing Reproductive Autonomy: Forced Sterilizations in the Americas and the Inter-American Human Rights System’s Response
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by Meredith McCain

Forced and coerced sterilizations, far from being a relic of the past, remain a widespread and troubling practice throughout the world. In the Americas, numerous countries have been accused of carrying out state-sponsored campaigns of forced sterilizations against indigenous, Afro-descendant, poor, and/or intellectually disabled women, in what amounts to an appalling act of violence and targeted erasure of marginalized communities. While international jurisprudence on forced sterilizations is limited, the Inter-American Human Rights System has been at the forefront of confronting this issue of reproductive justice. Through an analysis of two landmark cases at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, this paper explores the strides that have been made and the gaps that remain for survivors of forced sterilization to receive justice.

Legacy of the Troubles: The Role of Civil Society in Providing Justice for Victims in Northern Ireland
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by Celia C. Sawyerr

The Troubles period in Northern Ireland (1968 to 1998) left victims, their families, and the region with a legacy of trauma that has remained unaddressed for the past 24 years. Despite various legislative proposals to provide victims with forms of recourse, leaders have yet to implement justice provisions detailed in political agreements. As a result of government inaction, victims and survivors have lived without the truth of the past and without the ability to seek criminal charges against perpetrators who inflicted violence against them and/or their loved ones. This paper explores why civil society organizations are the best option to meet victims’ needs in the absence of government intervention.

Progressive Policy Versus Conservative Norms: A Paradox of LGBTQ+ Rights in Cuba
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by Melissa Wilk

LGBTQ+ rights are gaining attention in national and international political discourse and policymaking. Despite recent progress, complex challenges still stand in the way of establishing human rights for LGBTQ+ communities around the world. One such challenge is the uneven progress towards LGBTQ+ rights caused by conflicts between progressive policy and conservative norms, which poses a threat to the progress that has been made and may lead to worsening conditions for LGBTQ+ people. Within the context of Latin America and Cuba specifically, this paper explores whether progressive policy alone is sufficient for enabling change, and the relationship between policy and norms: does policy shift with norms? Or do norms shift with policy? With a unique history and culture, and some of the strongest pro-LGBTQ+ policies in the region, Cuba provides an opportunity to examine these questions and provides critical insights for literature that is otherwise underdeveloped.

The Future of Digital Evidence Authentication at the International Criminal Court
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by Chelsea Quilling

In the digital age, new technologies and advancements in computing power have transformed the nature of potentially relevant evidence of atrocities evaluated in international criminal law. The International Criminal Court is presently underprepared to meet the challenges of authenticating digital evidence.  This paper outlines the challenges and dangers of the ICC’s current approach to digital evidence authentication and verification, explores the debate among scholars over the analysis of scientific evidence as an analogous problem, and identifies policy recommendations for improving the Court’s capacity and capability to authenticate digital evidence.

Patents, Pandemics, and the Private Sector: The Battle Over Public Health Norms During COVID-19
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by Vartika Neeraj

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the influence that private pharmaceutical companies and philanthropic foundations have on global health governance. Private actors have been able to maintain the norm of intellectual property rights, despite opposition from developing countries and growing opposition from powerful actors in developed countries. This article examines how private actors have wielded  their material resources, expert authority, and discursive powers to overrule the wishes of governments. It concludes  by  exploring the  public health consequences of their growing hold on international governance and offers some policy recommendations to mitigate distorted public health outcomes. 

Renewing Growth in Puerto Rico: Evaluating the Island’s Transition to Distributed Solar Energy
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by Jia Jun Lee

As Puerto Rico emerges from bankruptcy after completing the largest public debt restructuring in U.S. history, it must revitalize economic growth to mitigate future debt situations. To achieve economic competitiveness, it should address the challenges facing its energy sector, including high costs, unreliable access, and unsustainable operations. Puerto Rico’s recent solar-focused renewable energy transition presents a unique opportunity for the island to attain affordable and reliable energy. However, the transition will likely face economic and policy barriers surrounding pricing, equity, governance, and financing. The policy recommendations discussed in this paper aim to mitigate these barriers and ensure that Puerto Rico’s renewable energy transition is economically sustainable and socially equitable.

Young, Gifted, and Black: Inequitable Outcomes of Gifted and Talented Programs
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by Krystal Cohen

Gifted and talented programs in the United States have been an object of controversy for decades, with many arguing that gifted education widens the gap between high achieving students and their peers, typically along racial lines. There is currently a large body of literature on underrepresentation in gifted programs for Black and Latinx students, as well as low-income students, however academic research on the impact of such programs, especially for disadvantaged populations, is a far less developed research space. Drawing on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth of 1979, this study utilizes propensity matching and OLS regression to examine racial and socioeconomic disparities in the long-term outcomes of participation in gifted programs. I find that: race and maternal education are significant predictors for gifted program participation, and gifted education is positively associated with achievement test scores, academic attitudes, and self-perception, with greater academic differences for non-Black/Hispanic students and students of higher socioeconomic status, and greater social-emotional differences for Black/Hispanic students and students of lower socioeconomic status.

Indigenous People’s Food Sovereignty in Ecuadorian Amazon
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by India Belgharbi

Accessing healthy and affordable food is highly intertwined with the biggest challenges of our century, such as climate change or conflict resolution. The United Nations has established eliminating hunger as one of the seventeen goals of the international community to achieve sustainable development. The largest part of the food the world consumes is produced by smallholders, peasants and Indigenous communities, but their own food sovereignty is not always practically implemented. This paper explores the extent to which Indigenous Peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon are able to practice food sovereignty, and traces colonialism’s continuous influence on the application of international law to this marginalized community. Though the Indigenous concept of Buen Vivir is linked to food sovereignty and was integrated into the Ecuadorian constitution since 2008, post-neoliberalism, land ownership issues, access to seeds, the use of chemical fertilizers within agriculture, and tourism in the Amazon are all elements impeding its realization.