Never stop learning with Curiosity Learning Paths!

  • Get inspired with the web’s best bite-sized learning content, curated for learners like you.
  • Learn more—quickly and easily—by exploring our dynamic Learning Paths.
  • Spread quick knowledge to friends with our original Smart Memes!

Re: Technology and Human Rights

This learning path has been created for you.
01:50
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video

Paths are the best way to keep exploring content you're interested in. We'll create a stream of content for you filled with the best videos related to “Re: Technology and Human Rights”.

Better communication gives us a greater global perspective and a greater ability to empathize with those in danger. I think one thing that you could say the world is doing right today is that there is a more global perspective. People are, because of the communications revolution, better able to understand and potentially identify with people on the other side of the world. Certainly that process of identification has been absolutely key to the human rights movement. You know if you go back 100 years, the only thing you could have a human rights movement about were great big trends. You know you could talk about, you know, slavery or colonialism -- some of the . . . the big kind of abuses that didn't really change day to day, and therefore you could really build a movement about. But the idea of generating pressure to stop this particular war or that atrocity was impossible because you wouldn't even know about it until it was too late. Today, because of communication, there is this greater capacity to . . . to see the person on the other side of the world both literally, but I think more importantly to figuratively identify with that person. And I do think that there is a growing globalization spirit which we are doing right. There's a long way to go. Still many Americans don't even have a passport. They've never traveled abroad. It's a big country, and there's often a feeling that, you know, why do you need anybody else? You can travel for 1,000 miles and still only find Americans. But that's beginning to change, and I think that's for the best because it will make America a better global citizen; perhaps a more humble citizen, but one that is more willing to live according to the values that it's preached for many years.Recorded on: 8/14/07 I think one thing that you could say the world is doing right today is that there is a more global perspective. People are, because of the communications revolution, better able to understand and potentially identify with people on the other side of the world. Certainly that process of identification has been absolutely key to the human rights movement. You know if you go back 100 years, the only thing you could have a human rights movement about were great big trends. You know you could talk about, you know, slavery or colonialism -- some of the . . . the big kind of abuses that didn't really change day to day, and therefore you could really build a movement about. But the idea of generating pressure to stop this particular war or that atrocity was impossible because you wouldn't even know about it until it was too late. Today, because of communication, there is this greater capacity to . . . to see the person on the other side of the world both literally, but I think more importantly to figuratively identify with that person. And I do think that there is a growing globalization spirit which we are doing right. There's a long way to go. Still many Americans don't even have a passport. They've never traveled abroad. It's a big country, and there's often a feeling that, you know, why do you need anybody else? You can travel for 1,000 miles and still only find Americans. But that's beginning to change, and I think that's for the best because it will make America a better global citizen; perhaps a more humble citizen, but one that is more willing to live according to the values that it's preached for many years.Recorded on: 8/14/07
01:57
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Roth does not necessarily see it as an advantage. Well I tell you. I mean I'm thinking these days, as many people are and ought to be, about the impending collapse of the climate. And what's really worrying me is that the human rights movement is not in the game, is not in the conversation. And I really think we must be because in fact if you look at the human rights implications of climate collapse, as I prefer to call it because global warming is far too gentle a term to describe what's actually happening . . . If you look at the human rights implications of what has already happened and what we predict will happen in the very near term, they are enormous. I mean we are going to have, and already do have, tens of thousands, and will ultimately have millions of eco refugees. A country like Bangladesh, a low lying country, much of it will be under water, and all of those residents of the low lands will need to find other places to live. We saw that happen in New Orleans, and of course there's lots of very credible speculation about the contributions that climate change had to that particular storm. We are going to see of course the poorest and the most marginalized groups on our planet most disproportionably affected by what's happening with the climate. Massive bacterial spread of diseases heretofore unknown which couldn't exist in the climates in which . . . in which they are now thriving. We're going to see, of course, massive drought. We're going to see increased wars over fossil fuels. And of course they are very much driving the conflict right now in the Middle East as we're all aware. At a geopolitical level, you know, the underlying challenges we're facing in terms of climate and our fossil fuel dependence are front and center in terms of very, very tense relationships that the United States now has with many other countries around the world, and of course what's happening in the Middle East. So in terms of where we are right now, and what's on my mind, and what I'm thinking about, is why we're not having a much more focused, collective conversation about how we will survive; how this species will survive on this planet in this ecosystem.I mean there's already, in the context of discussions about health or access to clean water, you know, or people displaced by the wars over natural resources in various countries particularly in Africa . . . Human rights organizations are often dealing with these issues, but they aren't framing them within the broader lens and the broader understanding of what's happening to the ecosystem. And they aren't actively allying themselves with the environmental movement as I think they . . . as I think they must. And I think the environmental movement has something to gain here too, because the environmental movement has been historically been understood, particularly in this country, as the province of a few elite, white men who are focused on the preservation of habitat for the spotted owl, when in fact what we're talking about is again our survival as a species. Take a look at communities of color throughout the United States who are facing what are now slowly being described as environmental justice threats -- toxic waste dumps for example -- in their communities. The big players in the environmental movement have been very slow to inch towards those kinds of issues which are exactly the kinds of issues that will enable a much broader base of support and engagement in the movement they are talking about.Recorded on: 8/13/07
02:40
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Shaming government leaders into doing the right thing.
01:08
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Where do human rights come from? Question: Where do human rights come from? Mary Robinson: It's an old idea, but the modern roots are in the French Constitution, the Constitution of the United States.  But from an international point of view, the great document is the universal declaration of human rights.  And that was the work of a small team of lawyers who came from China, the Netherlands, from France, from Canada under the chairmanship of Eleanor Roosevelt.  At the time she was already the widow of President Roosevelt.  And she was quite bossy.  She wasn't herself a lawyer, but she bossed this team of eminent lawyers to write it in straightforward, simple language.  There are only 30 articles.  It's quite short.  But the first article sums it all up.  It says "All human beings are born free and equal in indignity and rights."  And that's very interesting that dignity comes before rights.  That sense of identity, of self-worth; the fact that if somebody is sleeping in a cardboard box in a doorway, the worst thing for them is if we don't see them.  It's that utter self, you know, elimination.  And the Universal Declaration also talks of Article 29, the second to last article, about duties to the community.  It's like the ________ Principles.  Or indeed, most great religions talk about that we are connected with each other, that we should reach out to community.  It's very important at the moment that we're coming up to the 60th anniversary of when that was adopted in Paris on the 10th of December 1948.  So part of my work in realizing rights, and more recently, since I've become an elder of Nelson Mandela and ________, the elders have adopted the Declaration of the Universal Human Rights as part of our framing constitution.  And we're going to be trying to get people to reread it, to think about it, and to say "This is the birthright of children."  It includes rights to food, and safe water, and health, and education.  So we need to get on with these millennial development goals.  It's a whole framing of values which is universal.  I say we just wouldn't get as good a text today if we brought people together to write it.  We would be so compromised by all the things that have happened, including the emphasis on security, the post 9/11 world, the ideological divide; but we don't have to re-write it because every government has accepted it.  They just haven't implemented it.
01:46
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Darfur, Eastern Congo, North Korea, Burma to name a few. There are many big human rights challenges today. On the one hand there are the mass atrocities -- places like Darfur or Eastern Congo where . . . where many, many people are killed and displaced. There are highly repressive governments -- say North Korea, or Burma, or Uzbekistan, or Turkmenistan -- where just the severity of the government repression deserves attention. There are places where wars have become so chaotic that . . . that the lack of government is a problem. I think Iraq is an example of that. So in that sense there are many situations where . . . where violence and repression call out for urgent attention. But there are other, you know, quieter forms of abuse that we tend not to . . . you tend not to see in the headlines, but that nonetheless affect many, many people quite severely. And here I think about, say, the severe restrictions on the rights of women that exist in many parts of the world. I think about migrant workers who are forced to travel long distances, and in a foreign environment often are . . . exist completely without respect for rights, wholly at the whim of their employer. I think about, you know, children who may be drafted to be soldiers -- you know physically seized and coerced to become soldiers. Or who have to serve as . . . as domestics in lieu of going to school. So there are many of these quieter issues that don't get into the headlines, but that are also acute problems as well.Recorded on: 8/14/07 There are many big human rights challenges today. On the one hand there are the mass atrocities -- places like Darfur or Eastern Congo where . . . where many, many people are killed and displaced. There are highly repressive governments -- say North Korea, or Burma, or Uzbekistan, or Turkmenistan -- where just the severity of the government repression deserves attention. There are places where wars have become so chaotic that . . . that the lack of government is a problem. I think Iraq is an example of that. So in that sense there are many situations where . . . where violence and repression call out for urgent attention. But there are other, you know, quieter forms of abuse that we tend not to . . . you tend not to see in the headlines, but that nonetheless affect many, many people quite severely. And here I think about, say, the severe restrictions on the rights of women that exist in many parts of the world. I think about migrant workers who are forced to travel long distances, and in a foreign environment often are . . . exist completely without respect for rights, wholly at the whim of their employer. I think about, you know, children who may be drafted to be soldiers -- you know physically seized and coerced to become soldiers. Or who have to serve as . . . as domestics in lieu of going to school. So there are many of these quieter issues that don't get into the headlines, but that are also acute problems as well.Recorded on: 8/14/07
01:49
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Larry Summers believes that technology enabled by sense has shaped history more than any other single force. Lawrence Summers: So it seems to me that technology that is brought by science, and the way in which that technology is organizes and applied, is the central force that drives history. And that has both a scientific and a technological dimension. And it also has the social scientific dimension; the domain of economics; the domain of politics; the domain of sociology, of how society organizes itself as all of this changes. And I emphasize the importance of this in part not to say that human nature doesn't in a profound way shape history; not to say that the forces of jealousy and anger and love and greed and the stuff of great tragedy aren't central in shaping history. But they are relatively constant, it seems to me, the range of human emotion, the response to provocation of human beings. I doubt these things are fundamentally different today than they were in the times of the classics. And yet the world is hugely different today.   Recorded On: June 13,  2007
04:38
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
While there has been evolution in China, tremendous growth is needed. China represents an enormous human rights challenge in part through its domestic practices. Because it still is doing everything it can to prevent the emergence of any kind of organized political opposition. So while there's been tremendous evolution in China, and tremendous growth in what you might call "personal freedom", today people do have the right to choose where they work, where they live, where they send their kids to school. There's much greater personal freedom; but when it comes to political freedom, there still is very little. You can speak out in certain circumstances; but anything you do that begins to look like organized opposition is likely to face a government reaction. So expanding the scope of civil society in China is an enormous challenge. And because China is so big, and thus so immune to some of the traditional forms of pressure, it's a particular challenge. But the other challenge that China presents is in its foreign policy, because China today is looking foremost for natural resources to fuel its economic growth. And it . . . because it is so sensitive about people interfering in its domestic affairs, it has adopted an ideology in its dealings with other countries of non-interference. So it will enter into contracts to purchase oil, or to explore for minerals with so called "no strings attached". It will make these purchases or enter into contracts without regard to the conduct of its partner government. And the result of that is it tends to (01:03:04) undermine pressure being exerted by the World Bank, or the IMF, or western governments to try to improve the practices of some of these governments -- whether it's in the area of corruption, or in the area of repression. And so you take a country like Sudan where China has been the principle purchaser of Sudanese oil. And while western governments have slowly pulled out of Sudan because they don't want to be underwriting the slaughter in Darfur, China has gone in and bought away, and indeed for a long time was fighting off pressure to . . . being put on Khartoum to stop the murder in Darfur. Now that has slowly begun to change, and this is one place where I am guardedly optimistic. Because China seems increasingly not to want to be seen as the supporter of thugs and murderers around the world. It wants to be seen, it appears, as a responsible global citizen. And it increasingly was getting a black eye. Its reputation is getting tarnished because of its behavior in places like Sudan, or Burma, or Zimbabwe, or Angola. And particularly with the Olympics approaching -- a particularly sensitive moment for China in public relations terms -- we've begun to see some modest changes -- foremost in Darfur where the Chinese government has begun to play a useful role in convincing Khartoum to consent to the deployment of a hybrid, United Nations, African Union Peacekeeping Force in Darfur. A year ago, say in . . . in 2006, China was resisting that kind of pressure. But beginning in roughly December 2006 and on throughout 2007, China has been playing a modest but useful role in convincing Khartoum to allow this peacekeeping force to go forward. And I think the reason for that is simply that China didn't like the tarnishing of its reputation because of its tacit support for this mass murder. And indeed there's no reason for China to be indifferent to mass murder. You don't expect China to be actively supporting civil society or the rule of law around the world when these are not rights that are respected at home. But at least since Tiananmen Square, China is not in the business of committing mass murder. And so it can quite safely oppose mass murder around the world without . . . for fear of . . . of this, you know, boomeranging back and somehow impinging on its own latitude at home. And so this is an area where I think we can get China operating on a more constructive level. But any dealing with China is . . . is slow, long term and challenging.Recorded on: 8/14/07