Human Rights and NGOs

I've been working recently on quite a few projects that deal with human rights and NGOs, and today's BBC podcast has quite a bit of material that is relevant to these topics. 

First, there's a story regarding a new law that is being debated in Russia that would require NGOs receiving funding from external sources to label themselves as "foreign agents" in all of their state documentation and internet materials. The law would also increase the amount of bookkeeping required by the Russian government to allow NGOs to operate within Russia. Failure to abide by the new law's requirements would result in fines and a possible two-year jail sentence. This measure comes on the heals of more of Putin's shenanigans (see here and here). The BBC segment has some interesting interviews with Russian MPs, who justify the legislation on the grounds that NGOs are acting at the behest of Western and US interests in an effort to undermine Russian democracy. 

The second segment of interest concerns the disappearance and execution of people during the 1970s by the military government in Argentina. I've just spent a bit of time reading Keck and Sikkink's 1998 book, Activists Beyond Borders. It just so happens that the authors have a nice and concise account of the role played by NGOs in exposing the activities of the military government during this time period—one that I found myself drawing upon only yesterday. The BBC segment expands a bit upon the details concerning disappearances involving young pregnant women, and the details are both interesting and appalling. Essentially, women were kidnapped, but the authorities often waiting until the women gave birth before executing them. The babies were subsequently handled in a variety of ways, but apparently many children were dropped off at hospitals, while many others were adopted by military families. 

Michael Flynn

About Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Binghamton University in 2013. His research focuses on the political and economic determinants of foreign economic and security policy, security issues, and state repression.

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