No. 15 Sur Journal also discusses implementation of international decisions and celebrates 10 years of Conectas
Empowering activists, at both theoretical and practical terms, to bring about legal reforms to reconcile the principles of Islam and human rights in countries where zina laws still exist - a mechanism that regulates and punishes any sexual intercourse outside marriage. This is one of the objectives of the article "Criminalization of Sexuality: Zina Laws as Violence Against Women in Muslim Contexts" by Ziba Mir-Hosseini, an legal anthropologist and activist, published in the Sur Journal N. 15, available online.
Combining a critical perspective of feminism and Islamic tradition, the author underlines in Muslim contexts the importance of human rights, which, for many scholars, are seen "as alien to Islamic tradition." "These blind spots must be eliminated; approaches from Islamic studies, feminist and human rights perspectives, far from being mutually opposed, can be mutually reinforcing, particularly in mounting an effective campaign against revived zina law”, said Mir -Hosseini.
The article continues outlining the historical context that lead to changes in policies regarding gender, law and religion which allowed the recent resurgence of zina laws and punishments, while there is still a clash between the values of international law and Islamic legal tradition on human rights. Yet, Mir-Hosseini finds that zina laws and punishments "can be challenged on legal and religious grounds within the Islamic legal tradition” – which, she adds, “are in harmony with human rights law”.
Additionally, this Sur Journal issue presents two dossiers. The first brings gathers case studies from Brazil, Argentina and Russia about implementation of decisions of international and regional human rights mechanisms. This set of articles highlights the importance of regional and international human rights mechanisms, which constitute a locus for human rights defenders to mobilize their causes, calling up attention to issues that are neglected at the national level. In addition, those articles point out the difficulties of translating successful stories in international fora into legal and political gains at the local level.
The second dossier celebrates the 10th anniversary of Conectas Human Rights and revisits the history and work of the organization in the last decade. Through memories and accounts by current and former directors and coordinators of the organization, this dossier summarizes and discusses the successes and challenges of Conectas as a contribution to the dialogue between human rights organizations from the Global South. As part of this contribution, this issue also brings an interview with Denise Dora, former Ford Foundation’s Human Rights Officer in Brazil (2000-2011).
Finally, this number reflects on theoretical foundations of human rights obligations of companies and their practical implications as a contribution to this emerging field.
These articles are available in the 15th Issue of the Sur Journal, a publication by Conectas aimed at promoting a critical debate about the practice of human rights activists from the Global South. Published since 2004, Sur - International Journal of Human Rights is a trilingual publication (Portuguese, Spanish and English) fully available online at: www.surjournal.org.