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This volume constitutes a substantial contribution to the elaboration of the parameters of the professional identity of the human rights field officer. It comprises what may be considered the second and final of two volumes on the topic of human rights field work. The first volume, The Human Rights Field Operation: Law, Theory and Practice (Michael O'Flaherty, Ed., 2007) comprised a wide-ranging survey and critique of the historical development of human rights field work and its current situation. The second volume builds on this material to construct normative and prescriptive frameworks for field work: there is a shift from critical analysis to the construction and justification of professional guidance. Also, the focus moves from the general situation of the work of organizations to the specific responsibilities of the individual human rights officer. This approach allows the book to concentrate on issues of professionalism and to have relevance beyond the confines of the United Nations or any other specific organization. The applied approach of many of the chapters expands the analysis in the case studies section of the first volume, allowing for a more up to date and global review of practice.
This volume draws in part from the proceedings and outputs of a major international and inter-institutional research project on the topic of the professionalisation of human rights field work, that was implemented during 2004 to 2008.
This book is unique in its scope and ambition. No such effort has been undertaken before with regard to the work of the individual human rights field officer. It is intended to make a significant contribution to the construction of a new profession.