Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Call for Contributions: “Consolidating the field of Human Rights from the Perspective of the countries of the South: Actions and Reflections on a) sexual rights, b) access to medicine and intellectual property and c) religious freedoms”

Source: Sur

Topics: Sexual & reproductive rights

The Interdisciplinary Human Rights Observatory of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and Sur - University Human Rights Network invite all who are interested to submit contributions regarding a) sexual rights, b) access to medicine and intellectual property and c) religious freedoms, under the lens of human rights and from the perspective of the countries of the South, to be published in the upcoming editions of Sur - International Journal on Human Rights (Revista Sur). Deadline for contributions: March 10, 2010.

Revista Sur is published twice a year and distributed free of charge to approximately 2,700 readers in more than 100 countries. It can be accessed online and is available in three different languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Revista Sur aims at opening channels of communication between and among professors and human rights activists, as well as disseminating the perspectives of the southern hemisphere, though not excluding contributions from other regions.

This invitation to submit contributions to Revista Sur comprises part of the project “Consolidating the field of Human Rights from the perspective of countries of the South: Actions and Reflections on a) sexual rights, b) access to medicine and intellectual property and c) religious freedoms”, financed by the Ford Foundation and executed by the Interdisciplinary Human Rights Observatory of UFRGS, between 2007 and 2009.

The goal of this project is of both an academic nature – requiring theoretical-conceptual and interdisciplinary reflections on selected subjects – and a political nature, as indicated by a need to intervene into the national and international debates surrounding these topics. Of particular interest to the project is the development of plans of action and cooperation for countries of the southern hemisphere, on various human rights themes. It is for this reason that the Journal seeks contributions that discuss the following subject areas:

a) Sexual Rights:

The discussion of sexual rights raises a question that is central to the equality of rights and corporal autonomy, independent of sex, gender or sexual orientation. If, on the one hand, it is possible to identify significant advances in terms of overcoming this inequality, on the other hand, one can observe that such advances are restricted to certain social groups, cities or countries.

In this way, sexual rights can be perceived as one more element of inequality, existing both: among the countries of the Global South; and between the countries of the Global South and those of the North.

For this reason, the editors propose bringing insights from countries of the south to the debate on sexual rights, in order to underscore the problems associated with the dichotomies and classifications traditionally addressed within this debate, such as: heterosexual/homosexual, masculine/feminine, health/pleasure, right/responsibility, sex/gender.

b) Access to Medicine:

The belief that individuals have the right to certain goods and services is relatively new, resulting from a series of discussions that have been carried out with the aim of including certain segments of society, in cases relating to health and education, among others, that had formerly been excluded.

Practically speaking, it can be said that access to certain goods and services constitutes an object of political debate and is in a place of tension in different fields, such as society, law, economics, health and politics. On the theoretical side of this discussion, we think it prudent to articulate, within the scope of the Journal, three concepts that are found on the interface of human rights, law and health: accessibility,
vulnerability and necessity.

c) Religious Freedoms:

This topic refers specifically to articulations between the field of human rights and the field of reflections and actions surrounding religious freedoms, the processes of secularization and the secularity of the State. To think of the subject of religious freedoms from the historical perspective of the countries of the Global South is to imply: (i) on the one hand, taking into account colonization by European nations,
special importation of Catholicism, and subsequent mixing with the local religions; and (ii) on the other hand, connecting the deepening of democratic experiences in the countries of the South to the strengthening of human rights, societal secularization movements and the constitutional demand of secularization of the State. For this reason, some subjects appear as priorities, including: the construction of inclusive and secular public policies, which are especially important in the areas of health and education (within which are several sensitive subjects, such as: abortion, religious education in public schools, homosexuality, assisted conception, stem cell research, etc.); and the effects of religious representation in local and national governments and religious coalitions and their forms of political pressure.
Articles discussing the topics proposed above, which are submitted by March 10th 2010 will be considered for selection in the 12th edition of the Journal (to be published in the first semester of 2010). Only original articles will be evaluated. All contributions will be evaluated by at least two members of Revista Sur’s Editorial Council or Consultative Council and, as often as necessary, by outside specialists. Any suggested changes will be sent to the respective author, and the incorporation of such changes will be subject to the express authorization of the author. Because distribution of the Journal is free of charge, the Journal unfortunately cannot remunerate its collaborators. In terms of authors’ rights, the Revista Sur uses the Creative Commons 2.5 license to publish its articles (


Contributions should be sent in electronic form (MS Word format) to and should follow these guidelines:

* Between 7,000 and 10,000 words or up to 70,000 characters.
* Concise endnotes. The Rules for Citation can be found at:
* Short biography of author (maximum of 50 words).
* Abstract (no more than 150 words), including keywords for the required bibliographical classification.
* Date when the paper was written.

Important: The guidelines for authors have changed and will be in force from the Sur Journal issue 10 on. If you have any doubt, do not hesitate to contact the editorial board at

For further information, please go here
Article License: Copyright - Article License Holder: Sur

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