International law

Protesters hold a banner with a message that reads in Spanish: "Duque, stop the massacres," directed at Colombia's President Ivan Duque, as they march to Bolivar Square in Bogotá, Colombia, Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

Discourse of justice: Part I

Critical State

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the ways in which human rights discourse is politics by other means.

People protest in front of Ukraine’s embassy to Romania in Bucharest on Feb. 24, 2022.

International law says Putin’s war against Ukraine is illegal. Does that matter?

Conflict & Justice
Advocates gather outside the county building in McHenry County, Woodstock, Illinois, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

ICE contracts at local, regional level spark contentious debate

A woman weeps while holding a picture of her dead son, with a hand to her cheek, and eyes closed.

The stuff of life and death: Part I

Critical State
A man waves a machete in the air as he rides on the back of a motorcycle amid other protesters on foot on a long, dirt road.

Civilian decisions in conflict: Part II

Critical State
Three men wearing orange prison suits fold their hands in their laps and wear blue shoes.

ICE detainees go on hunger strike to press for COVID-19 protections


More than 2,000 immigrants at ICE facilities in California, Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, and other states have refused meals in protest since March, according to Detention Watch Network, an advocacy group.

With Canadian and Haitian flags hoisted, marchers take part in demonstration in support of asylum-seekers working in Quebec's long-term care homes in Montreal, Canada, in June.

Canada is granting residency to some asylum-seekers working in pandemic health care


Earlier this month, Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino announced that the country will grant permanent residency to some asylum-seekers who have been working in institutions hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic: hospitals and long-term care homes.

A woman stands at a memorial.

25 years after Srebrenica massacre, int’l crimes are still difficult to prosecute


In 1990, Bosnian Serb forces killed about 8,000 Muslim men and boys during the Balkan conflict in what’s now known as the Srebrenica massacre. It was the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II. But 25 years on, war crimes and crimes against humanity are rarely prosecuted. David Scheffer, who was the US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues from 1997 to 2001, explains why.

Trees in the Amazon on fire.

Are the Amazon fires a crime against humanity?

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest can have global ramifications and some are arguing that those responsible should be prosecuted.

A member of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) talks with Venezuelans as they queue in line to receive a vaccine after showing their passports or identity cards at the Pacaraima border control, Roraima state, Brazil, on Aug. 8, 2018.

US leads global ‘race to the bottom’ in shutting door on refugees and asylum-seekers

Between the “asylum ban” and cuts to refugee resettlement, advocates say the White House is succeeding in preventing vulnerable people from seeking refuge in the US.