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Divisible, Not Incompatible: Strengthening Human Rights by Preventing Their Politicization

Dr. Aaron Rhodes’ book, The Debasement of Human Rights: How Politics Sabotage the Ideal of Freedom, identifies a dangerous trend in the international human rights movement. Increasingly, the natural rights of individuals, like religious freedom and freedom of speech and conscience, are being conflated with manufactured rights that are the social and economic policy priorities of particular groups and governments. Natural rights protect the fairness of the political process by ensuring that individuals are free to think, speak, and act according to their convictions. However, when governments and social groups can transform their economic and social policy goals into “human rights,” this undercuts the moral legitimacy and persuasive power of natural rights.

Join us for a discussion on the future of the human rights movement and suggestions as to how the U.S. can best shape human rights policy and strategy. Our panelists will discuss how robust protection of natural rights, such as religious freedom, can ultimately lead to economic and social prosperity and why natural rights are best protected when they are protected for all, not for members of particular identity groups.