strategy

Informing about human rights issues

Synonyms:
Reporting human rights issues
Providing citizens rights information
Disseminating information about human rights
Description:

Making available relevant information pertaining to rights of citizens. The effect is seen in providing rights information to the individual who is thereby enabled to articulate his position in community decisions concerning rights through popular consensus.

Context:

An integral part of upholding just participation through popular creation of free assemblies disseminating information on human rights and initiating universal citizen's franchise.

Implementation:

In 1982, the Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International (HURIDOCS) was established. HURIDOCS is a global network of human rights organizations. HURIDOCS seeks to promote the protection of human rights by facilitating and systematizing the storage and communication of information on human rights included in both international human rights covenants and in other related instruments in economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. HURIDOCS role is to establish a decentralized network in which participating organizations could exchange information, gain experience in handling information for the protection and promotion of human rights, and monitor violations. Its activities include developing tools for recording and exchanging information, organizing training courses and workshops, facilitating internships, and building a pool of trainers. Some positive result include the creation of a regional network on human rights NGOs following a workshop for Latin-American organizations, and the to be published Standard Formats for Documentation on Human Rights Violations ("EVENTS"), which provides guidelines to transfer human rights violations information faster and more cheaply to international NGOs and intergovernmental organizations.

In 1986, the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims founded the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). IRCT documents torture, consequences of torture, and possibilities for rehabilitating persons who have been tortured, and serves as an international clearing house for information, among other activities. IRCT coordinates the International Torture Documentation Network. One of its active members, for example, is Voices Against Torture's (VAT) Documentation Centre in Pakistan, which documents the medical aspects of torture, post-traumatic stress disorder, the holocaust, human rights laws, and cross-cultural psychiatry, among others. The Centre is acting as the base for HURIDOCS-ASIA.

Founded in 1961, Amnesty International (AI) is one of the better known human rights organizations. AI campaigns to free all prisoners of conscience who have not used or advocated violence, as well as for other human rights issues. Their campaigns rely in part on the dissemination of such information to the public, in order to foster support for the victims of human rights abuses.

The Regional Asian Secretariat for Rehabilitation of Organized Violence (RAS) based in Pakistan aims to encourages cooperation among affiliates in documentation, among others.

As well as coordinating activities of national and regional human rights organizations, the Latin American Association for Human Rights, founded in 1980, promotes and disseminates knowledge on rights and guarantees covered by human rights instruments.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights concerns itself with a wide variety of human rights issues, including its information dissemination. In the 1980s, the UN also undertook a World Public Information Campaign for Human Rights. Tactics include: providing information concerning citizen rights as they are handled through governmental services; developing citizen advocate services such as ombudsmen and communication networks; assuring the flow of factual information and opinions concerning citizen rights; seeking out community opinions concerning rights; recourse avenues to inform citizens of courses that might be taken to vitalize rights not fully exercised. ILO is especially concerned to disseminate information on the rights of women workers.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) published in 1993 the World Directory of Parliamentary Human Rights Bodies providing a comprehensive overview of parliamentary mechanisms dealing with human rights issues in over 100 national Parliaments, international parliamentary assemblies and institutions. It aims to promote contacts and stimulate exchange between Parliaments.

Subjects:
Information
Citizenship
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies