Human Rights Center Publications

Document Type

Promotional Material

Publication Date


Publication Source

The Social Practice of Human Rights: Charting the Frontiers of Research and Advocacy


Why must we explore the social practice of human rights?

In the 65 years since the U.N.’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the human rights community has become a standard-bearer of normative behavior, influencing development and humanitarian organizations, multinational corporations and philanthropists. Though the movement is viewed as honorable and admirable, the certainty of its mission can inhibit introspection; a natural tendency is to prioritize rather than challenge prevailing assumptions.

Are the good intentions of human rights advocates enough? No. Research and dialogue can help propel the human rights community forward by facilitating introspection to improve both advocacy and action:

  • Facilitating an exchange of ideas
  • Encouraging analysis of methods
  • Connecting research to practice
  • Building collaborative relationships


University of Dayton

Place of Publication

Dayton, OH