Global Good Samaritans: Human Rights as Foreign Policy

By Alison Brysk | Go to book overview

9
Coalitions of the Caring

Interstate Networks for Human Rights

The member countries of the Development Assistance Committee spend
about $60 billion dollars each year for official development assistance.
There are three principal motivations for their efforts. The first motive
is fundamentally humanitarian.… The second reason… is enlightened
self-interest.… The third reason for international support for development
is… sustainable development expands the community of interests and
values necessary to manage a host of global issues
.

—DAC, OECD, “Shaping the 21st Century: The Contribution
of Development Co-operation,” 1996

Although we have seen that the individual policies of global Good Samaritans have a significant effect on global human rights conditions, that contribution is multiplied when they join together. The cumulative efforts of like-minded human rights promoters add an additional layer to the construction of the international human rights regime. The emergence of this genre of value-oriented interstate organizations also suggests the evolution of a new, specialized mechanism for global governance.

Although multipurpose, universal international organizations like the United Nations have come to play a central role in promoting human rights, and transnational nongovernmental movements usually catalyze and underpin human rights campaigns, this chapter will focus on a third sector of the human rights architecture: purposive, interstate organizations established specifically to promote rights, democracy, and the rule of law. Such organizations currently include regionally based organizations like the OSCE and at times the OAS; promotional coalitions such as the Community of Democracies, the Human Security Network, and IDEA; democratic governance networks including the Network of National Human Rights Institutions and the Inter-Parliamentary Union; and functional humanitarian organizations like the International Organization for Migration and the OECD Donor Action Committee. All are composed of member states, have an explicit human rights mandate, and the purposive

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