Issue date: 23 January 2001

Recent atrocities in places such as Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo mean that human rights is a critical issue for current debate. World attention has been drawn to mankind’s potential for inhumanity, and events underline the lack of international justice systems to enforce human rights on a worldwide basis.

“There is a pressing need, therefore, for a globally coherent policy on human rights, ethics and justice to counteract the vulnerability of the individual,” says Professor Anthony Elliott, who is organising a conference on the subject in Bristol.

The University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) is joining for the first time with Cambridge University to stage an international interdisciplinary conference entitled Human Frailty: rights, ethics and the search for global justice. The conference’s co-organiser at Cambridge, Professor Bryan Turner, is a world authority on human rights and citizenship. Professor Elliott is hoping to attract sponsorship for the conference, to assist delegates to attend who would otherwise be unable to afford it.

“The accelerating trend towards globalisation means that countries - and the worldwide corporations that do business in them - can no longer operate in isolation as far as human rights are concerned,” he commented. “Yet some countries argue that individual nation states should be allowed to act as they wish. There is a need to find a definition of human rights that can reach consensus across all boundaries and which is free from charges of interference by the developed world.”

The conference is aimed at a wide audience of academics, non-governmental organisations and policy makers. Professor Thomas Cushman, editor of the Human Rights Review, said that the conference promised to be a unique and important event.

“The conference feature keynote speakers Zygmunt Bauman, Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Jacqueline Rose, all of whom have made stellar contributions to a morally informed inquiry into human frailty in all of its many manifestations,” he said.

Broad media attention is likely and the organisers are now seeking companies, organisations and individuals to sponsor this important and timely event.


Editors Notes:
1. Sponsorship opportunities include:
 Contributions of £250 to assist individuals who would not otherwise be able to attend
 Sponsoring a reception at the conference
 Other options available on request
2. The conference will take place at Jury's Hotel in Bristol on 6/7 September 2001.
3. All conference papers will be published in the influential American journal Human Rights Review, and selected papers will be published in volume form by Cambridge University Press, edited by Conference convenors Professor Anthony Elliott (Bristol UWE) and Professor Bryan Turner (Cambridge).
4. Keynote speakers include:
 Professor Zygmunt Bauman of Leeds and Warsaw Universities, regarded by many as the leading sociologist in the world today
 Professor Jacqueline Rose of London University, a cultural critic and expert on feminism
 Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes of the University of California at Berkeley, whose expertise include anthropology, political science and Human Rights abuses in Latin America

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