Methodological challenges in developing an evidence base, and realizing rights

Ferrie, J. and Hosie, A. (2018) Methodological challenges in developing an evidence base, and realizing rights. International Journal of Human Rights, 22(1), pp. 5-21. (doi: 10.1080/13642987.2017.1390300)

149436.pdf - Accepted Version



This paper focuses on the methodological challenges for a small nation, with a view to reforming and realizing human rights. The paper begins with a review of traditional measures that seek to capture comparative data and the limitation of indicators both generally and as a tool for capturing violations in Scotland. Capturing violations, particularly those that are hidden (because they happen in private spaces or to those without power or status) are necessary to clearly understand what reform is required. This creates methodological challenges in collecting data that is perhaps not understood within a human rights framework and so is not reported adequately. The paper will focus on national action plans (NAP), using the example of Scotland’s NAP (SNAP) as vital for creating a space allowing for data collection and solution generation, shared by those who experience violations and those with the power to challenge. Diffusing responsibility for action to Rights Holders and Duty Bearers engaged in creating the space facilitates reform. Further this approach can lend legitimacy to those who are violated, because they appear in spaces where their experiences are recognized within a human rights framework. This evidence can be used to demonstrate the prevalence of rights violations in a small nation, and thus can feed into debates about the need for human rights legislation and measures that go beyond comparative indicators. It also highlights that a State must be committed to reform regardless of methodology used if it is to realize rights.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Methodology, indicators, qualitative, collaborative, participatory, human rights, Scotland.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ferrie, Professor Jo
Authors: Ferrie, J., and Hosie, A.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:International Journal of Human Rights
Journal Abbr.:IJHR
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1744-053X
Published Online:08 November 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in International Journal of Human Rights 22(1): 5-21
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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