Handbook of Research on NGOs
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Handbook of Research on NGOs

Edited by Aynsley Kellow and Hannah Murphy-Gregory

This volume provides a critical overview of research on Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs). While it notes that the definition of NGOs is contested, and can include both business and national groups, it focuses primarily on international NGOs engaged with human rights, social and environmental concerns, and aid and development issues. With contributions by Peter Willetts, Tom Davies, Bob Reinalda and other leading scholars, it provides a series of critical essays on both general aspects of NGOs and significant issues of particular concern.
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Chapter 10: NGOs and human rights

Anja Mihr


Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the field of human rights are seen as gatekeepers, watchdogs, lobbyists and even relief agents. Thus they often claim to make the world a less wicked place, and instead one that stands up against oppression. But today’s world of NGOs has changed, too, when promoting and advocating for human rights. Not only international human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, but also more so the millions of local donor- and issue-driven smaller organizations in the field – the human rights defenders, whistle-blowers and bloggers, and other non-governmental or civil society agents and actors – act global when referring to international human rights norms and standards, and act local when implementing them. This ‘glocal’ approach determines the success, failure and outcome of NGO’s works.

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