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Policy Brief Proposal:

Proposals should not exceed 1 page (single spaced) and should simply list the following components, 1 – 7. (Bibliography may be on a second page.)

  1. Brief statement of a specific contemporary human rights policy problem of great interest to you, and country case study in which you’ll study this problem. Key consideration:
    • The problem should be sufficiently narrow in scope that it can be persuasively addressed in an 2400 – 3000 policy paper
  1. Brief statement of why this human rights problem is of personal interest or importance to you.
  2. Reference to the specific human rights covenant, including the article that protects this right under international human rights law. (For example: ICCPR, Article 8.3 (a) “No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour”) (Try to limit to one, even though multiple violations may be involved.)
  3. Name of the organization you’ll represent. Examples include:
    • a domestically-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) doing human rights work in your country case study of choice. (Regardless of which org. you ultimately represent, you should become familiar with what domestically-based orgs are working on, their approaches, impacts, challenges, politics, etc.)
    • an internationally-based nongovernmental orgs (NGOs): Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, Freedom House, Oxfam, Center for Global Governance, Global Fund for Women, International Rescue Committee, etc.
    • an intergovernmental org: United Nations agencies: OHCHR, UNICEF, UNEP, UNDP, UN WOMEN, UN-HABITAT, etc.
    • a regional orgs (e.g. specific offices within the EU, OAS, OAU, etc.)
    • a government org: for example, in the U.S. could include: U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; U.S. State Department; U.S. Department of Labor; U.S. Agency for International Development (US AID), or the Democracy, Human Rights and Governance group within the US AID. Other countries have similar types of agencies.
  1. Name of the policymaker(s) to target. Common policymakers include:
  • head of legislative committee or subcommittee in country case study
  • head of a particular government agency, ministry, or department in country case study
  • head of a specific agency within an inter-governmental org. (a specific UN agency – OHCHR, UNICEF, UNEP, UNDP, UN WOMEN, UN-HABITAT, etc.

The more specific or precise you can be about the specific actor, committee, agency head, minister, etc., the better. You’ll need to research both the organization you’ll represent (governmental, nongovernmental, inter-governmental, etc.) as well as the policymaker(s) you’ll target in order to understand organizational/institutional histories, perspectives, and policy stances.

  1. Bibliography: preliminary list of sources consulted –7 minimum: 3 should be academic sources (peer reviewed journal article, or book by academic press); remainder may be organizational reports from authoritative websites (NGOS, GOs, INGOS, UN, etc.), court cases, legislative reports, etc. You’re also encouraged to consult newspaper and news journal articles, but these should be in addition to your seven main sources. Please APSA bibliographic style.

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