Mary Robinson

Recent Articles

What We Expect From America

U.S. leadership was critical in building the global human-rights agenda from the ground up, beginning with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. More than half a century later, that agenda and the movement it inspired are in need of renewed U.S. leadership at every level, from grass-roots activism to government policy and actions, nationally and globally. The reluctance of the United States to fully embrace the international human-rights system it did so much to establish has weakened efforts to use these tools to promote democracy and social justice in the United States and abroad. This has become an acute concern following the terrorist attacks of September 11 and decisions made by the U.S. government since, such as to hold detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without Geneva Convention hearings; to monitor, detain, and deport immigrants against whom no charges have been made; and to restrict visitors and immigrants alike from many parts of the world. In lowering its own...