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Friday, February 7, 2014

February Lunch N Learn: Is it Right to Intervene on Behalf of Human Rights?

At what point are violations of human rights so heinous as to spur action from outside a state’s borders? How do acts committed in the name of humanitarian concerns influence the offending state’s sovereignty and the legitimacy of its leaders? Is it the responsibility of powerful states to interfere in the humanitarian affairs of other nations? The concept of humanitarian intervention -- diplomatic or military involvement to end human rights violations across international borders -- raises many questions with no easy answers. For this month’s Red Cross International Services Lunch and Learn event, University of Denver professor Dr. Jack Donnelly will discuss some of these questions, and will explore the ways that the concept of humanitarian intervention applies to current and recent conflicts.
Dr. Jack Donnelly

Dr. Donnelly has written throughout his career on the complex, multifaceted subject of humanitarian intervention, contending with the historical, political, legal and moral dimensions of the issue. In 2002, he wrote on the issue of genocide and humanitarian intervention, asserting that “International human rights are undeniably a matter of legitimate international concern,” but, “this does not make the human rights practices of states a matter of international jurisdiction.”

Dr. Donnelly’s background is primarily in the field of human rights, the driving concept behind humanitarian intervention. He has written in support of universal and internationally-recognized codes of human rights, and is working on a volume that uses case studies to compare notions of human dignity throughout history and around the world. He is currently the Andrew Mellon Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

The Lunch and Learn lecture will be presented Wednesday, Feb. 19, from noon to 1 p.m. at the American Red Cross, 444 Sherman St. RSVPs are requested by 5 p.m. Feb. 14 to Tim Bothe at Tim.Bothe2@redcross.org. WebEx options are also available for remote audiences. For more information, contact Tim Bothe.

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