The classification of political prisoners affects the treatment they receive, the charges made against them, and measures that can be taken in their defence. Prisoners may be classified in a way that ensures their continued detention or conviction if they are brought to trial, and they may be reclassified if these classifications are found to be insufficient. Classifications may be used to cut off access from outside organizations working for international justice. Political prisoners may be classified as common criminals; and the distinction may or may not be accurately drawn between military and civilian detainees. Prisoners charged with acts of violence are accorded a different status; ideological deviants may be classified insane (such as in USSR) and charges of espionage may be produced in order to make intervention for the defence very difficult.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.