Human Rights

Many global governance challenges can also be understood as human rights challenges. Climate change affects the right to food, adequate housing, and health. War and counterterrorism threaten absolute rights, such as the right not to be tortured. The worldwide enjoyment of human rights remains a distant goal despite an array of international treaties and global institutions created to promote, monitor, and enforce them. There is, in short, a compliance gap.

Non-compliance is not the only obstacle. Human rights were originally codified to regulate state conduct, but today non-state actors such as international organizations, multinational corporations, and transnational NGOs have unprecedented influence on individual lives. State and non-state actors interpret, adapt, refine, and review human rights norms continuously. While this is welcome, challenges to core features of the universal human rights regime are on the rise.

At GPPi, we consider human rights pertinent to global governance across the board. With our research, consulting and debate, we seek to contribute to effective human rights policies that foster international standards and concretely help individuals at risk.

Funding & Clients

In addition to a five-year grant from the Volkswagen Foundation as well as a grant from the Mercator Foundation, our work on human rights has been supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. For past and current doctoral projects, we have received funding from the Villigst Foundation and the German National Academic Foundation. We are also engaged in advisory work for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the German Federal Foreign Office.

Featured Publications

Commentary

Better Data Can Counteract Soft Repression

by Katrin Kinzelbach, Janika Spannagel
OpenGlobalRights

Report

Corporate Strategic Evaluation on (Forced) Migration

by Katrin Kinzelbach, Julian Lehmann, Alexander Carius, Lukas Rüttinger, Victoria Rietig
GIZ

Report

Forbidden Knowledge: Measuring Academic Freedom

by Katrin Kinzelbach, Felix Hoffmann
GPPi

Article

New Ways to Address an Old Problem: Political Repression

by Katrin Kinzelbach, Janika Spannagel
Dejusticia

Policy Paper

Chasing Shadows: UN Communications on Human Rights Defenders

by Janika Spannagel
GPPi

Research Paper

Reinforcing Border Control: What’s at Stake for Migrants?

by Jonas Bergmann, Julian LehmannThomas Munsch, William Powell
GPPi

Commentary

How Interpol Can Be Protected From Despots

by Katrin Kinzelbach
GPPi

Commentary

Here is How German Courts Are Planning to Prosecute Syrian War Crimes

by Pauline Brosch
The Washington Post

Commentary

Without Democracy, No Human Rights and No Peace

by Katrin Kinzelbach
GPPi

Article

German Human Rights Policy in a Multipolar World

by Katrin Kinzelbach, Garima Mohan
Amnesty International Netherlands