Torture, US and Human Rights

Torture, US and Human Rights

Torture, US and Human Rights

By Reginald Ramos from Perth USAsia Centre | 22 Aug 2017

Torture, US and Human Rights teaser Dr Jamal Barnes, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Edith Cowan University, hosted a Big Think Breakfast event to explore the significance of torture prohibition (also known as torture taboo), the Trump administration's support for torture and its implications on international politics.

Key Takeaways
  • The concept of the 'torture taboo' is important and cannot be understated. Torture taboo has significant effects in world politics particularly constraining states and pushing the behaviour of torture underground while also stigmatising states.
  • President Trump has publicly endorsed the use of torture believing it is effective. The United States (US) under President Trump has signified a decline in the leadership of the US for human rights in international politics, particularly with President Trump's public support for the use of torture.
  • The power of civil society and the private sector holds governments to account, particularly when it comes to human rights abuses. The civil society organisations and private sector have the authority to undermine state legitimacy and set the international agenda holding governments to account.
  • Although it seems the torture taboo is in regression, it remains important as it continues to shape nation-state's behaviours. Despite potential regression in human rights and torture taboo in the US, torture taboo remains resilient and legitimate in international politics.

Reginald Ramos is a Research and Progam Assistant at the Perth USAsia Centre.
 

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