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660 - ¿Human rights and policing: who protects the rights of the poor?¿

16.07.2012 | 08:00 - 13:30

Convener 1: Glanc, Laura (University of Essex , Manchester, United Kingdom/Ver Königr)
Convener 2: Taylor, Lewis (University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom/Ver Königr)

The restoration of democracy in many Latin American countries was signalled by the mission of condemning past human rights abuses alongside the challenge of redefining the domestic security system. The return of Latin American democracies was an attempt to make the promise of the famous sentence ‘Never Again’ a reality. However, long years of dictatorial rule and authoritarian tradition would not make delivering this promise an easy project. In effect, today the fundamental rights of selected social groups continue to be vulnerable. For many, their vulnerability is justified in the name of public security. Current widespread concerns over violence and crime have often legitimised practices of police brutality to protect the region from criminality. The primary aim of this panel is to investigate the nature of policing under novel democracies as well as to explore to what extent its logic is favourable or detrimental for the protection of human rights in the Americas region. To that end, the panel specifically seeks to investigate the following substantive questions: Does regime-change presuppose a change in the nature of policing and in the general understanding of ‘security’? Is policing a state mechanism to protect the citizens just from criminality or also from human rights abuses? Are human rights really protected under novel democracies? How is policing understood and perceived in the region? The panel welcomes papers that address the topics of human rights and policing in a comparative perspective and in specific country studies in the Americas region.

Keywords: Human Rights, Policing, Police Brutality, Criminality, Democracy

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