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HUMAN RIGTHS

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On this Human Rights Day, it is my hope that we will all act on our collective responsibility to uphold the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration. We can only honour the towering vision of that inspiring document when its principles are fully applied everywhere, for everyone."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

We must work for the full implementation of human rights on the ground in a way that affects and improves the lives of the men, women and children who are all entitled, regardless of their race, sex, religion, nationality, property or birth, to realization of each and every right set forth in the Universal Declaratio.
High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay

Discussion Forum

Compassion for the Taliban's Child Soldiers

Started by Suzette Piparo Nov 19, 2009. 0 Replies

Please help us in attaining the peace

Started by Muhammad Khurshid Apr 16, 2009. 0 Replies

If we really want to see true changes in the world

Started by Beatriz Pereira. Last reply by Beatriz Pereira Apr 14, 2009. 1 Reply

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Comment by luisella valeri on July 23, 2009 at 11:05pm
Thanks David!
The Universal religion is Love and Brotherhood.
Can we also consider brotherhood as a of
Principles of Human Rights?
Compassion is essential in any relationship between beings
humans, between man and animal, man and creature, plant,
man and spirit.
Human Rights are the basis on which it is grafted
all the wonderful differences as a major puzzle in
which each participating country and be with his
wonderful uniqueness
Brotherhood is a natural event because we all are son and daughter of the same Mother Eart
Comment by David Sparenberg on July 23, 2009 at 7:14pm
GATHERING OF SHARDS

Compassion is the root and common thread. Compassion abides in the soul, as soul’s most natural offspring. It works through the heart and enters the world without doctrine or dogma. Compassion suffers for otherness, from that which one did not do. And compassion rejoices with the joy of that which is shared by all.

The differences of religions arise when compassion is broken apart, like a mirror dashed in a fit of anger. But the way of compassion is wholeness. And the cause of compassion is unity.

We need not abandon the differences, for they smell of human journeys and the gardens of many imaginations. But we must always remember compassion and the invitation to the banquet of reunion. For the “religious” purpose of compassion is to gather the shards of darkened glass and render them harmless.

Some might call this a miracle, other enlightenment. I am a humble person and I call it only Eden, the place of the Tree of Life.

David Sparenberg
22 July 2009
Comment by sasko on April 23, 2009 at 1:21am
Sri Lanka's Humanitarian Need
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Daily Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. The United Nations is gearing up efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the tens of thousands of people who had fled the fighting in the north of Sri Lanka. Humanitarian agencies were preparing to receive a growing number of displaced. With regard to financing for their operations, of the $155 million asked for, OCHA had only received $48 million, or only 30 per cent, of which some $10 million had been financed by the United Nations itself through its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Although food assistance is relatively well funded at 59 per cent, requirements were likely to increase. In addition, other sectors were not well financed at all: shelter stood at 18 per cent; water and sanitation at 16 per cent; and health at just 15 per cent. The World Food Programme (WFP) said that given population movements it was hard to be precise, but reportedly about 30,000 to 40,000 had fled the no-fire zone and would be arriving in camps for the displaced in Vavuniya over the next few days. The Government had requested that WFP extend food assistance for the incoming internally displaced persons, which would bring the total in the camps to between 90,000 to slightly over 100,000 persons. At the moment, WFP had enough food to feed 100,000 people for the next two weeks and more food was being sent from Colombo. Meanwhile, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) remains deeply concerned about the plight of the civilian population still trapped inside that conflict zone in that north-eastern coastal pocket, where the situation was reported to be dire. Yesterday, the Government informed UNHCR that an estimated 35,000, 40,000, or possibly slightly more, people had already fled areas where the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were engaged in heavy fighting. Of the anticipated 40,000 most recently displaced, so far UNHCR has confirmed reports that some 5,500 people had reached sites in Vavuniya, while another 2,000 new arrivals were recorded in Jaffna yesterday. UNHCR is still ascertaining the total number of the newly displaced in the two districts. UNHCR is providing emergency shelter support and non-food aid to the new arrivals and UNHCR staff are also present at the screening point or crossing point in Omanthai on a daily basis, but does not have direct access to the displaced.
Added: April 21, 2009, 02:18 PM
Comment by sasko on April 11, 2009 at 11:42pm
HELLO FRIENDS CELEBRATION OF EASTER WISH YOU ALL BEATEFAUL THE LIFE AND FAMILIE.
Comment by luisella valeri on April 10, 2009 at 8:43pm
Thanks my dear friend Muhammad," Thanks to you and to your wonderful tribal people! To honore oiur ded and to send prayer and so full of love thinks, is really to give the hope and concret step of Human Right in being! Thanks, thanks so much!
Comment by Muhammad Khurshid on April 10, 2009 at 5:22pm
Today a large number of people of tribal areas of Pakistan have taken part in the prayers for the victims of earthquake in Italy, the country of my friends. Actually the TV channels in Pakistan were telecasting the prayers. "I feel spiritually present in your midst and share your anguish," said a message read out from Pope Benedict. The people of tribal areas were saying Ameen when the Pope was praying for the victims of earthquake. May God the Great save Italy from further disasters, which is the country of my best friends. The people of tribal areas are with the people of Italy in this hour of trial. Actually the people of tribal areas have also went through great agony as their areas have been bulldozed by the security forces of Pakistan. They know the pain of all those, who lost their homes in the earthquake. They know the pain of all those who lost their nears and dear ones in the quake. I have read this report and sharing it with you.
Italy held a state funeral on Friday for victims of its worst earthquake in three decades, as the death toll climbed to 289 and survivors voiced anger that houses simply collapsed.

Thousands of mourners prayed before 205 coffins covered by flowers and photos of the dead, laid out on the parade ground of a police academy in the mountain city of L'Aquila, the worst hit by Monday's 6.3 magnitude quake, before being taken for burial.

Small white caskets with the bodies of children lay on their parents' coffins, some with a favorite toy placed on top. The youngest was a five-month-old boy, killed with his mother.

"These dead will always be with us, each one of them. The children, the students, all of them," said 59-year-old mourner Daniela. "I'm filled with pain but we must remain hopeful. We're a strong people here, I've seen lots of courage and solidarity."

Piero Faro, who came to pay his respects to family friend Paola Pugliesi, 65, who died with her son Giuseppe, 45, said the sadness was mixed with "a lot of anger. Their building simply disintegrated. This should not have happened."

Some mourners kissed and hugged coffins during a Catholic mass led by the second highest priest in the Vatican, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi appeared emotional as he offered comfort to bereaved relatives.

"I feel spiritually present in your midst and share your anguish," said a message read out from Pope Benedict.

Flags flew at half mast on a national day of mourning, shops lowered shutters, airports stopped take-offs for a minute's silence and traffic wardens removed their bright jackets.

"I feel bitter inside for the people crying for 300 dead so we have closed the shop for them, for what it's worth," said Rome shopkeeper Augusto Costa.
Comment by Beatrice LATEUR LACROIX on March 14, 2009 at 1:33am
http://www.humanrightsactioncenter.org/
Love and Peace.
Comment by sasko on February 21, 2009 at 11:27pm
People should be respected and your people basques the same as other people to exist and to exist.
Comment by sasko on February 14, 2009 at 1:04am
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADVISORY
COMMITTEE BEGINS DISCUSSION
ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD
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Human Rights Council Advisory Committee AFTERNOON

28 January 2009


Committee Concludes Debate on Human Rights Education and Training



The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee this afternoon started its discussion on the right to food, hearing from members of its drafting group on recommendations for possible further measures to enhance the realization of the right to food. The Committee also concluded its debate on human rights education and training.

Mona Zulficar, member of the drafting group on the right to food, said that in resolution 7/4 on the right to food, the Human Rights Council recommended that the Advisory Committee consider potential recommendations for approval by the Council on possible further measures to enhance the realization of the right to food, bearing in mind the priority importance of promoting the existing standards. In response, in August 2008, the Advisory Committee established a Working Group on the right to food to address this request. A number of meetings of the Working Group had taken place since then.

Jean Ziegler, member of the drafting group, introducing the draft recommendations on the right to food, said there were two kinds of hunger: there was structural hunger which was a daily massacre and implicit in underdevelopment; and there was sudden hunger, for example as a result of a sudden disaster. Mr. Ziegler also addressed the extreme volatility of food prices and said that it was a result of excessive speculation and the processing of staple foods to turn them into bio-fuels. Mr. Ziegler drew the Committee's attention to the fact that hunger refugees that crossed the Mediterranean and came to the shores of Italy did not have international protection because the Geneva Convention did not cover hunger as grounds for refugee status.

Jose Antonio Bengoa, member of the drafting group on the right to food, said a short and concise paper was drafted from the initial paper. This document aimed to summarize the recommendations in the form of nine core recommendations. For example, the first recommendation referred to speculation on food, which was a very complex subject area. The second recommendation focused on the processing of staple foods into bio fuels. The third recommendation addressed the violations of the human rights of poor peasants, particularly of the right to food, which included the consideration of the adoption of an international convention on the rights of peasants.

In the general debate on human rights education and training, which started in the morning meeting, speakers said that the right to education guaranteed the enjoyment of other rights as the right to freedom of expression. A good education based on human rights eliminated all kinds of racism that had been transmitted from generation to generation. Education in human rights was of great significance. The universal nature of human rights was not a dictate from one nation to one another, but rather a mutual understanding between all nations. Significant room should be given to the historic context when discussing education as a human right.

The Committee also heard from the Secretariat which was responding to an allegation from a representative of a non-governmental organization during the morning meeting that UN security officers had discriminated against him during a security check. The Secretariat said the UN security officers implemented the rules set by the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, and security checks for all meetings were the same.

Advisory Committee Experts speaking this afternoon included Miguel Alfonso Martinez, Emmanuel Decaux, Mona Zulficar, Jean Ziegler and Jose Antonio Bengoa.

Also speaking on human rights education were the non-governmental organizations Arab Commission for Human Rights and the Federation of Associations for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights.

The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 29 January to continue its discussion on the right to food. It is also scheduled to discuss rules of procedures and methods of work.

General Debate on Human Rights Education and Training

DAVID FERNANDEZ PUYANA, of Federacion de Asociaciones de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos, said that the right to education guaranteed the enjoyment of other rights as the right to freedom of expression. A good education based on human rights eliminated all kinds of racism that had been transmitted from generation to generation. Education should also provide all children to acquire basic knowledge. Schools had to be identified as neutral areas and be protected. Education and education towards peace and human rights had to be a clear priority for all United Nations agencies. Empathy, tolerance, diversity and peace should be the underlying principles of education. Regarding informal and non-formal education of women, the organization said that the participation of women had to be increased.

ABDELWAHAB HANI, of the Arab Commission for Human Rights, said that from the point of view of normative work the draft declaration should include international law and the work of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Education in human rights was of great significance. It was necessary to pay attention to the cultural wealth of humanity, taking into consideration all cultures and religions. The universal nature of human rights was not a dictate from one nation to one another, but rather a mutual understanding between all nations. Significant room should be given to the historic context when discussing education as a human right. It was also important that the draft declaration did not only look at human rights education in general, but it should look at specific cases. Furthermore, particular attention should be paid to minorities, girls, prisoners, and other marginalized groups which had been deprived of their right to education.

MIGUEL ALFONSO MARTINEZ, Advisory Committee Chairperson, said that in Cuba there had been a decision for the development of training in human rights at the university level. For the first time, there was enough funding for such a measure. In the setting up of the programme, questions could be contemplated such as what knowledge someone should have with a view to later work for example in journalism. Not only had a programme of lectures been developed but also seminars at the university level had been developed which proved to be extraordinarily useful. With this personal experience, the Chairperson wanted to emphasize the importance of the topic and the possibilities that existed.

EMMANUEL DECAUX, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the draft declaration on human rights education and training, in concluding remarks, thanked all who contributed to the discussion. He said that the representative of the Arab Commission for Human Rights had set the benchmark very high. All of the ideas presented needed to be considered, but the work must be kept simple. The Committee needed to take the time to formulate decisions, and it was difficult to see what the future would bring. It was important that all the working papers were made available to all stakeholders and observers. With regard to substance, the link between human rights and humanitarian law in the Geneva Conventions outlined specific conditions where States Parties were obligated to provide education on human rights. The State was the main body responsible for human rights education via curricula. It was important for projects for training and education in human rights to be developed. Going beyond the responsibilities of the State, individuals were also responsible for this training, as well as the family.

He stressed that it was important to adapt education to tackle the issue of relativism, drawing upon traditions and practices which were just as important as institutional monitoring. With the help of the Secretariat, he had complied a list of recommendations made by States on the right to education during the Universal Periodic Review. It was the hope that there could one day be a more systematic process to compiling that information. He welcomed all additional information pertinent to the topic to be submitted for consideration.

JOSE BENGOA, Advisory Committee Expert, said he wished to explain that he had been absent from meetings of the Committee because of other ongoing meetings.

MIGUEL ALFONSO MARTINEZ, Advisory Committee Chairperson, regretted that there was a considerable overlap of meetings. Several Experts could not take part in meetings of the Committee because they were participating in other meetings. The Chairperson would bring this fact to the attention of the Human Rights Council.

Document

The Advisory Committee has before it document A/HRC/AC/2/CRP.2 which is a preliminary report from Jean Ziegler to the drafting group of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on the right to food. The report states that in its resolution 7/14, the Human Rights Council requested the Advisory Committee to consider potential recommendations on possible further measures to enhance the realization of the right to food. The preliminary report presents, among other things, the causes and figures of structural hunger, the consequences of the rise of hunger due to the recent world food crisis, the States' legal obligations and recommendations on measures to be taken by States and the Human Rights Council. The report notes that in the last decade global hunger continued to increase. Structural hunger, like poverty, is still a predominantly rural problem. The current world food crisis is characterized by a rapid increase in food prices, but in fact the causes of the current food crisis are multiple, and include among others, speculation on food and agricultural commodities, and the production of agrofuels. The rapid increase in the prices of food crops also intensified competition over land and other natural resources.

General Discussion on the Right to Food

MONA ZULFICAR, Advisory Committee Expert, introducing the update on the work of the drafting group on the right to food, said that in resolution 7/4 on the right to food, the Human Rights Council recommended that the Advisory Committee consider potential recommendations for approval by the Council on possible further measures to enhance the realization of the right to food, bearing in mind the priority importance of promoting the existing standards. In response, in August 2008, the Advisory Committee established a Working Group on the right to food to address this request. The Advisory Committee outlined the structure for the report to be followed by the Working Group on the right to food. A number of meetings of the Working Group had taken place since then. Furthermore, the United Nations Refugee Agency and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development were invited to contribute to the work of the Working Group in completing its task to draft recommendations.

JEAN ZIEGLER, Advisory Committee Expert, presenting the analytical paper that would be sent to the Human Rights Council, said that there were two kinds of hunger. There was structural hunger which was a daily massacre and implicit in underdevelopment. Secondly, there was the sudden hunger, for example as a result of a sudden disaster. Every five seconds a child under 10 died of hunger. Agriculture would technically be able to feed many more people than there actually were. Mr. Ziegler explained that there were persons who produced food and those that bought food. Both groups suffered from different kinds of disasters. Those who produced food suffered from extreme external debt. There was no possibility for investment in poor countries, for example in fertilizers or irrigation. Further, the International Monetary Fund imposed policies that were designed to pay back debt that hurt the local producers. Mr. Ziegler also mentioned agricultural food dumping which was caused by internal agricultural subsidies by the European Union for example.

Mr. Ziegler addressed the extreme volatility of food prices and said that it was a result of excessive speculation. Why had the prices gone up? This was due to an illegal speculation and enormous profits. A second reason was the processing of staple foods to turn them into bio-fuels. Mr. Ziegler specified that the North-American situation was under discussion right now, not the Brazilian situation, since in Brazil sugar cane was used to produce bio-fuel. Sugar cane was not a staple food.

Mr. Ziegler drew the Committee's attention to the fact that hunger refugees that crossed the Mediterranean and came to the shores of Italy did not have international protection because the Geneva Convention did not cover hunger as grounds for refugee status. In the refugee camps that had the obligation to feed and protect refugees and internally displaced persons, insufficient food rations with less calories than recommended had to be distributed. This was due to insufficient funding for the World Food Programme and other aid agencies.

JOSE BENGOA, Advisory Committee Expert, also introducing the draft recommendation document of the drafting group of the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council on the right to food, said that the Working Group worked together and there was no Rapporteur of the group per se. The list of co-authors included Committee Expert Ms. Zulficar, Mr. Zeilgler, Mr. Huseynov, Mr. Mudho, and Ms. Chung. The Food and Agriculture Organization also helped greatly in drafting the paper. As a result a short and concise paper was drafted from the initial paper. This document aimed to summarize the recommendations in the form of nine core recommendations. For example, the first recommendation referred to speculation on foods, which was a very complex subject area. There were many organizations working on speculation of foods, specifically in Europe. The second recommendation focused on the processing of staple foods into bio fuels; and the third recommendation addressed the violations of the human rights of poor peasants, particularly the right to food, which included the consideration of the adoption of an international convention on the rights of peasants.
Comment by sasko on February 1, 2009 at 4:31pm
Forced evictions leave thousands homeless in Cambodia, says UN expert
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30 January 2009 – The forced evictions of tens of thousands of Cambodia’s poor constitute a “grave breach” of human rights, a United Nations independent expert said today, calling for damages to be paid for lost homes and the provision of alternative housing.
In the middle of the night last week, over 130 families were forced to leave their homes without prior notice in the capital, Phnom Penh, so that a private company could redevelop the site. The shelters in the poor community were destroyed, and there have been reports that before the eviction, the community suffered intimidation and that the area’s representatives were subject to criminal charges.

“It is regrettable that the ongoing negotiations with residents were abandoned, casting aside a valuable opportunity to reach a just and lawful solution to this longstanding dispute,” said Raquel Rolnik, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, in a statement. “It is now of utmost importance that the rights of the residents to fair compensation for their lost homes and property and the provision of adequate alternative housing are fully respected.”

She noted that last week’s evictions in Phnom Penh are not isolated, but are “[alarmingly]” on the rise, with tens of thousands of people losing their homes and becoming even more destitute.

In the South-East Asian nation, the expert said, there has been a “consistent pattern” of rights violations tied to forced evictions, including the systematic lack of due process, inadequate compensation, and the excessive use of force.

“Given the disastrous humanitarian situation faced by the victims of forced evictions, I urge Cambodian authorities to establish a national moratorium on evictions until their policies and actions in this regard have been brought into full conformity with international human rights obligations.”

Ms. Rolnik, who reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, took up her post last May and serves in an independent and unpaid capacity, as do all Special Rapporteurs.
 

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