For the past years I have been working on the issue of translating human rights, in which I become fascinated with social processes of connecting grievances into human rights discourses and terms. Middle actors, such as non-governmental organizations or semi governmental bodies play a crucial role.
My latest publication from last year, which I wrote for the special volume on Human Rights and Conflict, published in honour of Professor Bas de Gaay Fortman, addresses the effort done by Indonesian Human Rights Commission to address the negative impacts of development.
Here is the abstract of the article:
The contestation for an implementation of international human rights battling against development hazards is the deficit in legal enforcement at the country level. The inadequacy in law as a check of power and the reception of human rights ideas in cultural and/or politico-economic contexts are identified as the factors contributing to this dynamic. The article draws out this contestation by charting the upstream approach of human rights as a strategy to combat development hazards. Particularly it aims to analyse the negotiation of economic, social and cultural rights in Indonesia in human rights activisms conducted by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation and the National Commission in the case of Sidoardjo Mudflow. The article questions whether upstream human rights activism compensate the persistent enforcement deficit.