College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Human rights vital for lasting peace, report says

Fragile peace processes can be protected by using a more political approach to human rights, a major new report says.

Professor Christine Bell, co-director of the University’s Global Justice Academy, is the lead author of the report, Navigating Inclusion in Peace Settlements, published by the British Academy.

Unresolved issues

With many peace processes faltering and leading to renewed violence, the report argues that while peace settlements are usually successful in resolving immediate violence, they often produce compromises between parties to the conflict.

This can lead to an uncertain peace in which the root causes of the conflict are not resolved but are carried into the new political and legal institutions.

Common good

With a focus on the experiences of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal and Burundi, the report recommends a more political approach to human rights implementation, one which takes account of both the challenges and the opportunities of post-agreement environments.

As we debate the tragedy of terrorist attacks in the UK, understanding how deeply divided societies manage their deep disagreements so as to resolve and prevent conflict is very important. The UK has played a major role in supporting peace processes at home and abroad, and important lessons can be learnt from this experience. In the last few years, global conflict – having dropped since the end of the cold war – is on the rise again. This report talks about ways in which protection of human rights play a role in ensuring an inclusive peace and a society with a common commitment to the common good.

Prof Christine BellCo-director of the Global Justice Academy

Related links

Navigating Inclusion in Peace Settlements - full report (PDF document)

Global Justice Academy