Does Naming and Shaming China on Human Rights Work?


Date: Thursday, April 7th, 2022
Duration: 60 minutes via ZOOM

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This talk looks at the effectiveness of international organizations naming and shaming China when it comes to alleged human rights violations. It draws upon all publicly available human rights reports pertaining to China between 1991 and 2021, from Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It suggests that the OHCHR is more successful in influencing China’s human rights’ behaviour, followed by HRW and AI. Part of the reasoning for this is the fact OHCHR and HRW have adopted a broader conception of human rights centred along both political and civil rights, and economic, cultural and social rights; with AI focusing largely on political and civil rights’ issues. Since its foundation, the P.R. China has placed greater priority on economic, cultural and social rights, rendering less inertia for OHCHR and HRW to employ a naming and shaming strategy.



Reza Hasmath

Reza Hasmath

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Political Science Department

Reza Hasmath (Ph.D., Cambridge) is a Full Professor in Political Science at the University of Alberta. He has previously held faculty positions at the Universities of Toronto, Melbourne and Oxford, and has worked for think-tanks, consultancies, development agencies, and NGOs in USA, Canada, Australia, UK and China. His award-winning research examines how the behaviour of emerging Chinese state and non-state actors potentially affect salient theories, practices and assumptions in international affairs.