When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted fifty years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt, its principal architect, predicted that a "curious grapevine" would carry its message behind barbed wire and stone walls. This volume tells the extraordinary story of how NGOs became the "grapevine" Mrs. Roosevelt anticipated, sensitizing mankind’s conscience about violations of human rights, "shaming" the most notorious abusers, creating the international machinery and mechanisms to bring about implementation of the Declaration, laying the groundwork for the destruction of the Soviet empire, as well as of the apartheid system in South Africa, and establishing the principle of accountability for crimes against humanity. By no means is the struggle at an end, yet the notion of human rights has progressed from being a marginal part of international relations a half century ago to stand today as a critical element in diplomatic discourse. This book proves that it is the NGOs that have placed human rights at the heart of humankind’s present and future agenda.
Law, Constitutional-Law, Human-Rights,