Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations and the Problems of Transition

Christine Bell, J. Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human rights protections are often a key dimension in peace agreements and settlements. One would expect the human rights nongovernmental organizations who worked to ensure such protection, to play a primary role in ensuring the implementation of human rights commitments. However, the same transitional landscape which holds out opportunities for improved human rights enforcement, also gives rise to problems for domestic human rights NGOs. Post-agreement, patterns of conflict, the human rights mechanisms available, and the human rights “players,” all mutate. This can create difficulties for human rights NGOs with respect to their mandate, priorities, funding, recruitment, and their relationships with other groups. This article describes and analyzes how transition affects domestic human rights NGOs using examples from different countries. In conclusion, a number of recommendations are made to improve human rights protection post-conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-74
Number of pages44
JournalHuman Rights Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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