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Denialism and Human Rights

Book | 1st edition 2016 | United Kingdom | Roland Moerland, Hans Nelen, Jan Willems

The safeguarding of human rights remains highly problematic, despite the proliferation of human rights instruments and the many actions taken by a variety of actors, such as governmental and non-governmental organisations, (individual) states and the international community over the past decades. Human rights violations do still occur on a large scale and injustice remains rampant.

Central to this problem appears to be that social, economic, cultural and political structures in societies provide denialist defence mechanisms. Such deeply embedded denialism causes and/or facilitates human rights violations, because the true nature of the problems involved remains fully or partly unacknowledged and as a result appropriate action remains absent. In order to safeguard the effectuation of human rights it is thus pertinent to acknowledge and address this problem of denialism and develop strategies to move beyond it.

To address the above-mentioned problem, an international conference was organised on the theme of Denialism and Human Rights by the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights in 2015, which brought together scholars, practitioners and students from various disciplines and fields to unearth and address denialism in the context of their own particular area of research.

The present volume contains a unique collection of papers that were presented during the conference. The content of the papers ranges from more general reflections on the theme of denialism and human rights to more specific areas of research that are relevant in terms of denialism such as genocide, children’s rights, the role of (inter)national organisations, penology, and social, economic and cultural rights.

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Paperback
EAN / ISSN 9781780683690
Series name Maastricht Series in Human Rights
Weight 790 g
Status Available
Number of pages xvi + 488 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Jun 24, 2016
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter I. Introduction
  • Chapter II. Denialism and the Problem of Indifference
  • Chapter III. Denial and Acknowledgement in Public Responses to Information about Human Rights Violations
  • Part I. Children's Rights
  • Chapter VI. Diagnosing and Dispelling Denialism Regarding Children
  • Chapter V. Too Close to Home? The Denial of Prejudice and Discrimination against Children
  • Chapter IV. Denial of Developmental Needs of Foster Children by Dutch Youth Care Services
  • Chapter VII. Crime in the Intercountry Adoption Industry: Towards a Broader Definition of Child Trafficking
  • Part II. Genocide
  • Chapter VIII. The BBC Documentary ' Rwanda's untold Story': Acknowledging Genocide or Denying It?
  • Chapter IX. Fighting NS Ideology and Holocaust Denial in Austria: Past and Present Perspectives
  • Chapter X. The Holocaust and its Denial: A Paradigm in our Historical Culture
  • Chapter XI. Can the Law Understand the Harm of Genocide Denial?
  • Chapter XII. On the Breaking of Consensus: The Perincek Case, the Armenian Genocide and International Criminal Law
  • Part III. (Inter)National Organisations
  • Chapter XIII. Denial of Genocide by Bystanders in International Politics
  • Chapter XIV. International Organisations and Denialism: The Case of the African Union
  • Chapter XV. Killing Through the State in the Colombian War and Getting Away with Murder: An Exploration of Organisational Crime and Its Denial
  • Part IV. New Penology
  • Chapter XVI. Jiw Crow 3.0: Denial, Human Rights, and American Racialised Mass Incarceration
  • Chapter XVII. Justifying Acts of Denialism: The Case of Prisoner Disenfranchisement in the UK
  • Part V. Social, Economic and Cultural Rights
  • Chapter XVIII. Poverty, Just World Thinking and Human Rights Law: A Study of the Relevance of Denial for Normative Legal Research
  • Chapter XIX. Genocide Denial and Refugees: A Lack of Protection in International Law?
  • Chapter XX. Climate Justice: Climate Change and Human Rights
  • Chapter XXI. A State in Denial: The 'Intentional' Sexual Transmission of HIV in South Africa
  • Chapter XXII. Olympic Idealism and Human Rights Infringements: How Athletes Cope with an Uncomfortable Reality
  • Chapter XXIII. Denialism and Human Rights: an Afterword
  • About the Authors