This year, the International Development Conference will highlight the theoretical development studies and policy research that play a predominant role in shaping development projects. When concrete, tangible policies and projects are implemented, theory and practice often fail to coincide. Development solutions and initiatives, as well as daily livelihood decisions, executed by an array of actors - from large development players to individual households - affect the lives of citizens and underdeveloped areas throughout the world. As such, critical reflections on ongoing development efforts, common consumption decisions and ingrained aspects of the world economy highlight that, while considerable victories have been attained to achieve a more just, prosperous and equitable world, attempts at reforms and aids are not without their drawbacks. 

The controversy surrounding the involvement of religious aid organizations may politicize and undermine efforts to eliminate poverty and obtain relief. Attempts to regulate small scale gold mining, while environmentally necessary, may fail to address the dilemma of gold demand in shaping the persistence of artisans gold mining. Efforts to democratize and increase the transparency of the international trade regime may succeed in incorporating sustainability as a core principal of global commerce, but tedious institutional reform may not reflect the urgency of climate change. Alongside the IDC 2017’s thematic discussions, which will explore these and more concrete development efforts through a critical lens, the conference will also host a selection of Canadian NGOs, businesses, and student researchers to showcase the diversity and innovation of new ideas and efforts shaping the development sectors today. 


Saturday, February 11 • 10:15 - 12:15
The Fist and the Gavel: Legal and Political Routes for the Advancement of Human Rights

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Since the Second World War, international human rights have been codified into treaties that are nearly universally ratified. Regional courts and other international institutions have emerged to interpret and attempt to enforce these treaties. Despite these structures and laws, widely recognized civil and political human rights continue to be violated throughout the world, and social, cultural and economic rights remain unenforced. As an alternative, political mobilization has taken precedence as the tool to defend and enhance fundamental rights throughout the world, calling into question the efficacy of the human rights regime as an avenue for development. In The Fist and Gavel, the IDC 2017 will compare and contrast political mobilization and legal tactics as means to development with a focus on how local students may engage in these levels to defend the human right to development abroad.



Fanta was born in Guinea but raised a little bit everywhere. Before moving to Canada, she had visited a number of African countries and lived a little bit of a transient childhood living in Guinea, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. As a result, Fanta gained an interest in conflict and development... Read More →


Philippe Tremblay is a Senior Legal Advisor at Lawyers without Borders Canada (LWBC). Prior to holding this position, he served LWBC first as Colombia Program Officer and then Legal Director. Before joining LWBC, Philippe Tremblay worked for the Geneva-based Association for the Prevention... Read More →


Cory Wanless is a lawyer at Klippensteins Barristers and Solicitors in Toronto. Cory represents clients nationally and internationally in the areas of corporate accountability, First Nations rights, environmental law, defamation and affordable housing.Along with Murray Klippenstein... Read More →


Sarah is a JD candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School, a senior editor of the Journal of Law and Social Policy, and a researcher with the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP). She holds a BA in Indigenous Studies & Hispanic Studies from Trent University, and has studied... Read More →

Saturday February 11, 2017 10:15 - 12:15
MW 160

Attendees (5)