Additional Article on “Human Rights and Decolonization”

Additionally to my last post I would like to point to the article “’We Had Been Fooled into Thinking that the UN Watches over the Entire World’: Human Rights, UN Trust Territories, and Africa’s Decolonization” by Meredith Terretta, who is Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa. In her interesting article Meredith Terretta emphasizes the importance of international human rights in the context of decolonization. By focusing on the case of the British and French Cameroons she demonstrates  “that African nationalists and the Western anti-imperial human rights advocates who supported them viewed UN Trust Territories as the most politically and legally viable channel through which to address the human rights abuses particular to colonial rule.” In her article she challenges the notion prominently articulated by Jan Eckel ( and Sam Moyn (Chapter 3 “Why Anticolonialism Wasn’t a Human Rights Movement”, in The Last Utopia. Human Rights in History, Cambridge (M.A.) 2010, p. 84-119.), that human rights ideas only played an insignificant role in the anti-colonial struggle for independence.

You will find Meredith Terretta’s essay in:

Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 2, May 2012, p. 329-360


or online at:

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