64th Human Rights Day of United Nations on 10. Dec 2012: “My voice, My right, My voice counts”
Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 10, 2012
Die Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission e.V. ist eine vom Auswärtigen Amt geförderte Mittlerorganisation der deutschen Auswärtigen Kulturpolitik und eine von weltweit über 190 UNESCO-Nationalkomissionen.
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission e.V. – Pressemitteilung, 7. Dezember 2012
Menschenrechtsbildung stärker in Schule und Beruf verankern
– Kinder und Jugendliche lernen zu wenig über ihre Rechte
Anlässlich des Welttags der Menschenrechte am 10. Dezember 2012 fordern die Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission und das Deutsche Institut für Menschenrechte, bundesweit in Kindergärten, Schulen, Berufsschulen und Universitäten die Menschenrechte stärker zu vermitteln. Jeder hat das Recht darauf, seine Menschenrechte so früh wie möglich kennen zu lernen. Auch in Berufsfeldern wie der Polizei, den Strafvollzugsbehörden und dem Pflegepersonal müssen die Menschenrechte intensiver in der Aus- und Fortbildung behandelt werden.
Die UN-Generalversammlung in New York hatte dieses Recht im vergangenen Jahr erstmals in der “Erklärung über Menschenrechtsbildung und -training” festgehalten. Die Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission und das Deutsche Institut für Menschenrechte haben jetzt die deutsche Übersetzung der Erklärung mit Fachinstituten aus der Schweiz und Österreich veröffentlicht. Sie soll neue Impulse für die Umsetzung des Rechts auf Menschenrechtsbildung in Schule und Beruf in Deutschland geben.
Weltweit, auch in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz, haben die Menschen zu geringe Kenntnisse über die Menschenrechte. Bekannt sind meist grundlegende Rechte wie Folterschutz, Meinungsfreiheit und Gleichberechtigung. Kinder und Jugendliche erfahren im Schulunterricht nur wenig über die Menschenrechte und lernen diese zu selten als ihre eigenen Rechte kennen. Die Vereinten Nationen betonen deshalb, dass die Staaten die Fähigkeit der Menschen fördern sollen, ihre Rechte wahrzunehmen und die Rechte anderer zu achten.
Seit Jahrzehnten setzen sich die Vereinten Nationen dafür ein, die Bildungssysteme an den Menschenrechten auszurichten. Bereits die Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte von 1948 betont die Rolle der Bildung für ein gerechtes und friedliches Zusammenleben. Zwar ist auch die im vergangenen Jahr verabschiedete Erklärung für die Staaten rechtlich nicht verbindlich. Aber sie bietet eine wichtige Grundlage, um den Stellenwert der Menschenrechtsbildung im Bildungssystem zu fördern.
Die nun vorgelegte deutsche Übersetzung der Erklärung haben Experten des deutschsprachigen Netzwerks der Menschenrechtsbildung aus Deutschland, der Schweiz und Österreich übersetzt. Beteiligt waren die Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission in Bonn, das Deutsche Institut für Menschenrechte in Berlin, das Zentrum für Menschenrechtsbildung an der pädagogischen Hochschule Zentralschweiz in Luzern, das Zentrum polis – Politik Lernen in der Schule in Wien und das Europäische Trainings- und Forschungszentrum für Menschenrechte und Demokratie in Graz.
Human Rights Day @ Wikipedia…
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.
The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly‘s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations. The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.
The day is normally marked both by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition, it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rightsand Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day, as do many civil and social-cause organisations.
The theme for 2006 was the struggle against poverty, taking it as a human rights issue. Several statements were released on that occasion, including the one issued by 37 United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders
|“||Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world. Combating poverty, deprivation andexclusion is not a matter of charity, and it does not depend on how rich a country is. By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation, the world will have a better chance of abolishing this scourge in our lifetime… Poverty eradication is an achievable goal.||”|
|—UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, 10 December 2006|
The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights occurred on 10 December 2008, and the UN Secretary-General launched a year-long campaign leading up to this anniversary. Because the UDHR holds the world record as the most translated document (with more than 360 language versions available), organizations around the globe used the year to focus on helping people everywhere learn about their rights.
Human Rights Day 2012 – Information Note
The right of every citizen to participate in the conduct of public affairs, to vote and to be elected, and to have equal access to public service, is established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and legally guaranteed and protected under article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
These principles, commonly known as “participation rights” have been further defined by the UN Human Rights Committee, a group of experts which oversees the implementation of the Covenant. The Committee has set down explicitly the core components of article 25, how it should be implemented, its importance for a democratic society, and who has responsibility for its implementation.
What does the right to participate involve?
- The Human Rights Committee says that the right to participate in public life “lies at the core of democratic government”. Article 25 of the Covenant recognizes and protects the right and the opportunity of every citizen to take part in the conduct of public affairs, the right to vote and to be elected and the right to have access to public service.
- It grants people the right to choose their own political affiliations, their official representatives, their government, and a constitution. These choices and “the right of individuals to participate in those processes… constitute the conduct of public affairs,” the Committee says.
- The conduct of public affairs relates to the exercise of political power, in particular the exercise of legislative, executive and administrative powers. It covers all aspects of public administration, and the formulation and implementation of policy at international, national, regional and local levels.
Who does this right apply to?
It applies to every citizen without distinction on the “grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
Are there conditions attached?
There may be conditions attached to the exercise of this right but the Committee is quite clear that they must be based on “objective and reasonable criteria”. For example, the Committee points out that it may be reasonable to require a higher age for election or appointment to particular offices than for exercising the right to vote.
What does participation in public life mean in practice?
- People participate directly in the conduct of public affairs when they exercise power as members of legislative bodies or by holding executive office.
- They also participate directly or indirectly in the election of local representatives, the parliament, the head of State and in national consultations or referenda, for instance, to adopt or change the constitution. .
- Popular assemblies established to make decisions on local issues and to represent the interests of a particular community in consultation with government involve direct participation by citizens.
- People also participate through public debate and dialogue.
Who ensures people have this right and are included?
The right to participate, including the right to vote at elections and referenda must be established by law. “The allocation of powers and the means by which individual citizens exercise the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs… should be established by the constitution and other laws”, according to the Committee.
It is unreasonable, the Committee found, to restrict the right to vote on the ground of physical disability or to impose literacy, educational or property requirements.
The Committee also made clear that freedom of expression, assembly and association are essential conditions for the effective exercise of the right to vote and must be fully protected.
Patterns of exclusion and measures to guarantee inclusion
Some groups encounter difficulties in voicing their opinion or taking part in the public life of their communities. For reasons of discrimination on the basis of race, gender and religion among others and because of a lack of access to education, and appropriate facilities, many people have not been able to exercise their right to participation at all or as fully as others.
Women in many communities continue to be ‘silent’ in decisions affecting their societies. This is despite specific provisions in the Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women requiring States to take measures “to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country”, in particular ensuring their right to vote, to participate in formulating government policy and to participate in organisations concerned with the public and political life of the country.
Globally, 19.5 percent of parliamentary seats turned over in 2011 were taken by women, an increase of half a percent over the year before. The figures from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) show a slow but steady increase in the number of women parliamentarians but with marked disparities between countries and regions. According to the IPU there are just not enough women running for office to have the same electoral impact as men.
Disabled people, long excluded from full participation in the public lives of their communities are now campaigning for inclusion. A ground-breaking study by the UN Human Rights Office in 2012 found that “persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities continue to be deprived of their right to vote and be elected”. The report recommended that the Human Rights Committee consider reviewing its General Comment on Article 25 “so as to reflect the progressive evolution of international human rights law in this field.”
Indigenous peoples and minorities often find themselves relegated to ‘outsider’ status unable to exercise their right to participate. Societies whose indigenous and minority groups are marginalised, struggle with poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and conflict resolution. The UN Human Rights Office supports and advocates for the rights ofindigenous and minority groups at international and national levels, including through the efforts of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Independent Expert on Minority issues.
Children may legitimately be excluded from voting but according to the Convention on the rights of the Child they still have a right to participate in their communities. Article 12 of the Convention says children have the right to participate in decision-making processes that may be relevant in their lives. In its General Comment (12) on the right of the child to be heard the Committee on the Rights of the Child explains that, “the concept of participation emphasizes that including children should not only be a momentary act, but the starting point for an intense exchange.”
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- General Comment No 25: The right to participate in public affairs, voting rights and the right of equal access to public service.
- The Convention on the Rights of the Child
- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
- Committee on the Rights of the Child: General Comment No 12
- Study on the Participation of People with Disabilities in Public and Political Life
- The UN Human Rights Committee
- OHCHR – Indigenous peoples
- OHCHR – Minorities
(Source: Office of the High Commisioner for Humans Right | Human Rights Day 2012 – Information Note)
- Let Us Celebrate the 64th Annual Human Rights Day on December 10, 2012 (tvaraj.wordpress.com)
- Thousands of Israelis mark International Human Rights Day (timesofisrael.com)
- I Support Palestinian Human Rights! by US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (socialactions.net)
- Human Right Day (learningenglishmyway.wordpress.com)
- Your Voice Does Count, But Only if You Use It: How to Participate in Human Rights Day 2012. (elephantjournal.com)
- Calling Caring Citizens to Celebrate 64th Annual Human Rights Day December 10th (empathysurplus.com)
My voice, my right, my voice counts…
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