Who Knows About Human Rights? Survey Evidence from Four Countries
Sur: International Journal on Human Rights, Vol. 20, 2014
37 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2014 Last revised: 3 Sep 2014
Date Written: March 7, 2014
This article presents early results from the Human Rights Perception Polls, representative surveys on human rights attitudes conducted in 2012 in Mexico, Colombia, Morocco and India. We investigate statistical associations between two measures of human rights familiarity – exposure to the term, “human rights,” and personal contact with human rights workers – and four measures of socio-economic status (SES): education, income, urban residence, and internet use. Controlling for sex and age, we find higher SES is generally associated with more human rights exposure and contact. Interpretation of these results’ practical ramifications, however, depends on readers’ underlying view of the human rights mission. Should human rights groups engage chiefly with society’s poorest and most vulnerable populations? If so, our results suggest room for improvement. If readers instead believe human rights groups should focus on elites, advocate high level reforms, or link disparate groups, however, our results offer less cause for concern.
Keywords: Survey data, human rights, public opinion, Morocco, Mexico, India, Colombia, elites, grassroots
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