Who Trusts Local Human Rights Organizations? Evidence from Three World Regions
Human Rights Quarterly, 2015, Forthcoming
65 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2014 Last revised: 15 Feb 2015
Date Written: March 10, 2014
Local human rights organizations (LHROs) are crucial allies in international efforts to promote human rights. Without support from organized civil society, efforts by transnational human rights reformers will have little effect. Despite their importance, we have little systematic information on the correlates of public trust in LHROs. To fill this gap, we conducted key informant interviews with 234 human rights workers from 60 countries, and then administered a new Human Rights Perceptions Poll to representative public samples in Mexico (n=2,400), Morocco (n=1,100), India (n=1,680) and Colombia (n=1,699). Our data reveal that popular trust in local rights groups is consistently associated with greater respondent familiarity with the rights discourse, actors, and organizations, along with greater skepticism towards state institutions and agents. The evidence fails to provide consistent, strong support for other commonly held expectations, however, including those about the effects of foreign funding, socioeconomic status, and transnational connections.
Keywords: Human rights; NGOs; public opinion; Mexico; Colombia; India; Morocco
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