call for paper - Sur Journal

Call for Papers – Sur Journal Special Issue:

Perspectives on the future of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Challenges ahead
New deadline 15 June, 2008

Sur – Human Rights University Network and the International Service for Human Rights invite contributions to be published in a Special Issue on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Sur – International Journal on Human Rights (n. 9, second semester 2008).

The Sur Journal is published twice a year, distributed free of charge to approximately 2,700 readers in over 100 countries. It is edited in three languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish and can also be accessed online at http://www.surjournal.org.

The Journal aims at disseminating a Global Southern perspective on human rights and to facilitate exchange among professors and activists from the Global South without disregarding contributions from other regions.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted in 1948 was the first comprehensive and universal human rights instrument in the international arena. It is a milestone in mankind's struggle for freedom and human dignity. Since the adoption of the UDHR, a complex human rights system has been created at the international, regional and national levels, new treaties have been adopted, and new mechanisms for protection created. Furthermore, a large number of States have become, at least in formal terms, democratic. At the same time a number of challenges are facing the full realization of human rights. The vision of human rights as a "Northern and Western ideal" still persists along with other divisions among States, communities, groups and individuals regarding how to take a global human rights agenda forward.

This special issue will focus on the challenges ahead as a way to commemorate the adoption of the UDHR. We will therefore prioritize articles which, preferably but not exclusively, address the following topics about the future of the UDHR:

Human rights theory
§ The creation of the UDHR: How did the state of the world at the time of the adoption of the UDHR influence its development? What was the particular relevance of the UDHR to that time, and its continued relevance today.
§ UDHR as customary international law: Most authors agree that the prohibition of torture is one of the clauses of the UDHR that have become customary international law. Besides the right not to be tortured, would there be other rights recognized by the UDHR that have become customary international law? Why would it be relevant to recognize the UDHR as customary law?
§ Human rights in the private sphere: International human rights law developed after the adoption of the UDHR has had a preeminent focus on the relation between governments and individuals, often leaving the relation between individuals outside its realm. The feminist movement in particular has questioned this division, because, among other issues, it discriminates against women by accepting or reinforcing an unequal distribution of power. Are we facing an extension of international human rights law to private relations? What are the consequences of this change?
§ Human Rights and Poverty: Some authors maintain that poverty itself is a violation of numerous basic human rights; others consider poverty a cause and/or consequence of the violation of several human rights. Despite efforts to clarify this issue, there is still a lack of conceptual precision regarding poverty and human rights. What would be the consequences of considering poverty a human rights violation? Who would be the duty-bearers? How do human rights contribute to reduce inequality?
§ Multinational corporations: Much of the human rights debate was initially focused on the role of the State as the main violator and the main protector of human rights. However, the growing political and economic power of multinational corporations has changed such a focus. How will the human rights discourse adapt itself to the new role multinational corporations have nowadays?
§ Emerging issues: What human rights issues have emerged since the drafting of the UDHR (including collective rights discourse, responsibilities of non-state actors, etc.) and how is the UDHR relevant for addressing these issues.

International mechanisms
§ Human Rights Council: The creation of the Council aimed at improving the machinery of human rights protection. Is it possible to identify positive outcomes in the transition from the UN Human Rights Commission to the Council? How can the UDHR become more relevant to the work of the Council? The Council has established a new universal periodic review (UPR) mechanism that will review the human rights record of all UN member States. How do you evaluate the UPR so far?
§ Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR): The principle for the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights brings a special challenge for the evaluation of States' performance. The indivisibility and interrelatedness of human rights were reflected in the UDHR and recognized at the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights. How has the divisions in the human rights system between civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights affected the understanding of human rights as universal and indivisible. Will the adoption of the new Optional Protocol to the ICESCR bring greater coherence to the human rights system?
§ OHCHR: One of the most important outcomes of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights was the creation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, an Office that has received a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights. Has the role of the OHCHR changed since its creation? How? What are the main challenges faced by the Office today? What should be the role of the Office in the protection of human rights?

These issues are mere suggestions of some of the challenging issues related to the UDHR and to the international human rights system. Other innovative related questions and discussions will also be welcome.

Contributions should be sent in electronic form (MS Word format) to surjournal@surjournal.org and should follow these guidelines:
-Between 7,000 and 10,000 words.
-Concise footnotes. (Please find at the end of this text the rules for citation.)
-Short biography of author (maximum of 50 words).
-Abstract (no more than 150 words), including keywords for the required bibliographical classification.
-Date when the paper was written.

Only submissions received by June 15, 2008 will be considered for issue No. 9 (second semester 2008). Articles received after that date will be considered for subsequent issues.

Ideally, articles should be original and unpublished. Exceptionally, however, relevant contributions already published elsewhere may be accepted, provided that the required authorizations are granted. Please inform if, where and when the paper has been published before.
As the Journal is distributed free of charge, we are unfortunately unable to remunerate our contributors. Sur Journal uses Creative Commons license 2.5.


Rules of Citation/Regras de Citação/Reglas para notas al pie de página
Please include all references in footnotes. We do not publish bibliographies.
Habermas, J. Die neue Unübersichtlichkeit. Frankfurt: Editora Suhrkamp,120 p., 1985, p. 1.
Papers published in books/Artigos publicados em livros/Artículos publicados en libros:
Dalari Bucci, M. P. Buscando um conceito de políticas públicas para a concretização dos direitos humanos. In: Bucci et al (org.). Direitos humanos e políticas públicas. São Paulo: Pólis, 120 p., 2001, p. 5-13.
Howse, R. The legitimacy of the World Trade Organization. In: Coicaud, J. and Heiskanen, V. (org.). The legitimacy of international organizations. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 120 p., 2001, p. 355.
Papers published in journals/Artigos publicados em periódicos/Artículos publicados en revistas:
Piovesan, F. Direitos econômicos, sociais e culturais e direitos políticos. Sur: Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos, São Paulo, v. 1, n. 1, p. 21-47, 2005, p. 23.
Charnovitz, S. & Wickham, J. Non-governmental organizations and the original international trade regime. Journal of World Trade, v. 29, n. 5, p. 111-22, 1995, p. 115.
Eletronic resources/Documentos retirados da internet/Documentos extraídos de internet:
Dunoff, J. Mission impossible: resolving the WTO's trilemma, 2003, p. 3. Available at: <http://www.law.berkeley.edu>. Access on: 23 Jan. 2005.
Dunoff, J. Mission impossible: resolving the WTO's trilemma, 2003, p. 3. Disponível em: <http://www.law.berkeley.edu>. Acesso em: 23 de jan. de 2005.
Dunoff, J. Mission impossible: resolving the WTO's trilemma, 2003, p. 3. Disponible en: <http://www.law.berkeley.edu>. Acceso en: 23 de enero de 2005.
Governmental resources/Documentos governamentais/Documentos governamentales:
Brasil. Secretaria de Direitos Humanos. Relatório sobre Educação em Direitos Humanos. Brasília: SEFOR, 1995, p. 3.
United States of America. Bureau of African Affairs. Niger: Background notes. Available at: <http://www.state.gov/p/af/ci/ng/>. Access on: 23 Mar. 2006.
Ikawa, D. Concepção de ser humano e direito à redistribuição: O caso da ação afirmativa (Tese de Doutorado). São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo, 2006, 203 p.
Brasil. Constituição da República Federativa do Brasil de 5 de out. de 1988. São Paulo: Saraiva, 1990, art. 5º.
Brasil. Lei n. 7716, de 5 de jan.de 1989. Disponível em: <https://legislacao.planalto.gov.br>. Acesso em: 21 de mar. de 2006.
Brazil. Act n. 7716, 5 Jan. 1989. Available at: <https://legislacao.planalto.gov.br>. Access on: 21 Mar. 2006.
Judicial cases/decisões judiciais/Decisiones judiciales:
Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Velásquez Rodríguez v. Honduras. Sentence, 29 July 1998, par. 7.
Brasil. Superior Tribunal de Justiça, Acórdão em ação recisória n. 12. José Silva v. Estado de São Paulo. DJ, 20 de nov. de 2004, par. 10.
Schwartz, J. Big, maybe ugly, but their role heroic. New York Times, 23 Mar. 2006, National, p. 3.