19 December 2007 - Rights CRINMAIL 39
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CRIN REVIEW 21: A Generation On – Enforcing children’s rights [publication]
[LONDON, 19 November 2007] - The Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) has launched its latest review A Generation On: Enforcing children’s rights.
Children constitute half the population in many developing countries. Six hundred million children live in absolute poverty, on less than one US dollar a day. Over one billion children experience severe deprivation of the basic necessities of life. Many other children cannot access or complete schooling, are exposed to debilitating or life-threatening diseases, exploitation and violence in the home, school or workplace.
There is some cause for celebration. Marta Santos Pais quite rightly showcases positive improvements in legislation and policies as well as resource allocation, data collection and mechanism creation. Ragne Birte Lund speaks of Norway’s recent CRC inspired child rights based international development cooperation. There are stories of creative campaigns in Mongolia that have protected thousands of children from violence, of effective child rights lobbying in Central America and the UK, and of a model constitution which has strengthened court rulings on children’s rights in South Africa.
However, the general tone of this publication is clear; more needs to be done and we may need to think of new ways of doing it.
Yanghee Lee speaks of a lack of political will, the idea of children as passive victims rather than rights holders and of rights as luxuries that children have to earn.
Peter Newell and Thomas Hammarberg question the extent to which children really have access to judicial remedies with which to hold others to account and the extent to which those that exist are child-friendly.
Sara Austin argues that a complaints procedure for the CRC would make it more accountable to children and may contribute to enforcement. We are not a generation who can argue that there is a lack of resources, knowledge or capacity in this world - simply that they may need to be redistributed. The truth is there are no reasons for the current situation, only excuses.
Francisco Quintana presents strategic litigation as an under used resource with inspiring stories of change achieved in Latin America, whilst Dr. Assefa Bequele urges civil society to engage more with the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child as a tool for change.
There is no more room for excuses. Now is the time for enforcement. Now is the time for accountability. We cannot fail another generation of children.
Hard copies of the Review, formerly the CRIN Newsletter, will be sent to all CRIN members in the next few weeks. Those interested in receiving extra copies are invited to contact CRIN by email at email@example.com or download it at: http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=7009&flag=report
We regret that we can no longer cover the mailing costs for non-members. If you are not a member of CRIN but would like to receive a copy of the Review, please send a stamp addressed envelope to:
Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)
c/o Save the Children UK
1 St. John's Lane, London, EC1M 4AR, UK
CHILD RIGHTS LAW: Launch of international network and website [resource]
The International Network of Child Law Centres (INCLC), representing children’s rights organisations around the world who are using the law to protect and promote children’s rights, has announced the launch of the alliance and its new website: http://www.crplanet.org.
The International Network of Child Law Centre provides a forum to discuss major issues, obstacles, challenges and opportunities in child rights law around the globe. The goals of the network are to share and develop strategic approaches and innovative ideas to promote implementation of children’s rights, both through advocacy and representation in individual cases and through broader legislative reform.
The eight founding members of the INCLC, which include child law centres in Europe, Asia and Africa, are:
- The Children's Legal Centre (Colchester, England, United Kingdom)
- Children's Rights in Goa (Goa, India)
- The CRADLE - The Children's Foundation (Nairobi, Kenya)
- Public Fund "Legal Center" (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
- The Child Rights Centre (Chisinau, Moldova)
- The Children's Law Centre (Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom)
- Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria (Pretoria, South Africa)
- NGO Child Rights Centre (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)
The International Network of Child Law Centres will continue to expand in the coming year. Two affiliated members, Mkombozi (Moshi, Tanzania) and The African Child Policy Forum (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) are already in the process of gaining full membership.
The network and website were launched at an inaugural conference, held at the University of Pretoria, South Africa from 3-7 December 2007. The conference brought together founding and affiliated members to highlight best practices and lessons learned in using the law to promote meaningful change – both within borders and across them. The conference programme focused on developing effective strategic litigation programmes, communication strategies for promoting children’s rights, and frameworks for successful fundraising initiatives.
Members of the INCLC will be able to access resources and draw support and advice through the newly-launched website and members’ forum at www.crplanet.org. Many resources, including laws, court decisions, international standards and child rights publications will be available to all visitors to the website.
For more information, contact:
International Network of Child Law Centres
c/o Children’s Legal Centre
University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ, UK
Tel: +44.1206872466; Fax: +44.1206874026
CENTRAL AMERICA/ CARIBBEAN: Lessons learned from Save the Children programmes [publication]
[LONDON, 10 December 2007] - Save the Children has launched the first of a series of lessons learned in contributing to rights-based legal and policy frameworks for children. The first report is based on their work in Central America and the Caribbean; similar reports for Bulgaria and Egypt will be made available on the CRIN website in the coming months.
Save the Children UK’s programme in Central America and the Caribbean, established in 1974, has helped construct national child rights frameworks, leading to dramatic changes for children and young people. The programme closed in March 2007, and its legacy continues through Save the Children’s partners across the region.
This is a record of lessons learned, challenges identified, and recommendations which have come out of Save the Children’s experiences over the last five years.
Case studies: Honduras: Advocacy in public policy | Caribbean: Emergency preparedness | Jamaica: HIV and AIDS | Honduras: Commercial sexual exploitation | Cuba: Child participation | Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala: Juvenile justice | Honduras and Guatemala: Child labour and poverty reduction
For full summaries and reports, go here.
Send feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, contact:
Save the Children UK
1 St John's Lane, London EC1M 4AR, UK
Tel: + 44 20 7012 6400; Fax: + 44 20 7012 6963
DISABILITY: Action and advocacy on the rights of persons with disabilities [publication]
[MINNEAPOLIS, 3 December 2007] - In August 2006, the United Nations adopted the first global human rights treaty addressing the subject of disability, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. While this is a critical and historic step forward for the global disability movement, the adoption of a UN Convention alone will not ensure that the human rights of persons with disabilities will be respected and protected. Disability organisations, disability advocates and community leaders must launch and sustain a major educational and advocacy initiative in order to ensure that the rights in the convention are known to all and that governments fulfill their legal responsibilities. History has shown that the effectiveness of such Conventions is directly related to the capacity of civil society to promote their implementation and monitor governments’ performance in enforcing them.
Human Rights, YES! is a new human rights education tool, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The tool was developed to equip persons with disabilities and their representative organisations to integrate a comprehensive human rights approach in their advocacy work. The training in Human Rights, YES! is designed to enhance organisations’ advocacy at the national and community levels as well as to promote individual empowerment and self-advocacy initiatives. Human Rights, YES is also an essential resource for other human rights groups, such as women’s rights and children’s rights organisations, that want to understand disability rights and integrate a disability perspective into their human rights efforts.
While the UN has long encouraged the development and dissemination of disability rights education materials, such efforts are rare due to lack of attention to disability from large human rights groups and the historic de-prioritisation of disability among mainstream funders of human rights initiatives. At this crucial time in the history of international disability rights, a pioneering initiative is required to address the urgent need for disability and human rights education resources.
With support from the Shafallah Center, the Human Rights, YES! project team was finally able to pursue the vision to produce the core curriculum on disability that is missing from the global body of human rights education materials. Together we can work to ensure that the human rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are fully realised and integrated as part of the legal, political, social and cultural fabric of all societies.
Chapter 15 deals with the rights of children with disabilities.
For more information, contact:
University of Minnesota
N-120 Mondale Hall
229 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Tel: +1 (612) 626 0041
EDUCATION: A handbook for refugees and displaced communities [handbook]
Education is a human right. No matter where you live—no matter who you are—everyone is entitled to education. Even if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another town or village, a camp for displaced people or outside your country, you still have the right to go to school. The right to education is protected in many international agreements, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Developed with funding from the Pearson Foundation, the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children created Your Right to Education: A handbook for refugees and displaced communities to raise awareness of everyone's right to education.
For more information, contact:
Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children
122 East 42nd Street, 12th Floor, New York NY 10168 - 1289, USA
Tel: + 1 212 551 3140
PERU: Deadly Delays - Maternal Mortality in Peru, a rights-based approach to safe motherhood [publication]
[LIMA, 28 November 2007] - Peru's persistently high maternal mortality ratio, the second highest in South America, dramatically illustrates systemic inequalities in society and reflects systematic violations of human rights and vast disparities in the health care system, according to a new report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and CARE-Peru.
The report, Deadly Delays: Maternal Mortality in Peru, A Rghts-Based Approach to Safe Motherhood, reveals that deaths of largely rural and impoverished women are the result of policy, programming, and budgeting decisions as well as societal and cultural factors.
"Addressing maternal mortality requires increased funding to strengthen Peru's health system by both the Peruvian Government and international donors, with resources allocated equitably and without discrimination to poor women to access emergency obstetric care," said Alicia Ely Yamin, JD, MPH, the author and lead researcher of the PHR study. "Peru also needs a National Plan of Action to address human resources in health to ensure respect for both patients' and workers' rights and promote equitable allocation of services."
In Peru, over 1,200 women die in childbirth each year. Thousands of others come close to dying and are left with life-long debilitating complications. The interventions needed to treat obstetric emergencies and prevent a great majority of deaths are well-known and readily available to women with economic means and to most living in urban areas in Peru. Behind each death and near miss there is a woman with a story. In this report, PHR puts faces to the numbers.
In collaboration with CARE-Peru, PHR identified seven emblematic cases of women who died due to pregnancy-related complications (one woman who survived an obstetric emergency) in Puno and Huancavelica, two of the regions with the highest maternal mortality ratios in Peru (361 and 302 per 100,000 live births in 2000, respectively). This report tells their stories and gives a voice to their families.
The leading causes of maternal mortality in Peru are the same obstetric complications responsible for the great majority of maternal deaths around the world. They are haemorrhage, toxemia (pre-eclampsia/eclampsia), abortion-related complications, and infection. Obstetric complications, including those stemming from incomplete abortions, require access to Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC). In Peru, there are deep inequities in accessing the programmatic interventions necessary to prevent the majority of maternal deaths, which include access to EmOC, skilled birth attendants and referral networks.
Under international human rights law, Peru is obligated to provide available, accessible, acceptable and quality EmOC for all pregnant women. According to the PHR report, real availability, accessibility and quality EmOC requires more than structures and equipment, it require trained personnel - 24 hours a day - and adequate communications and transportation, as well as the elimination of laws and policies that discriminate against women.
Care also needs to be acceptable, which requires prioritisation of programmes and modifications in curricula to promote intercultural understanding and the rights of patients.
Finally, accountability - financial, political and legal - needs to be improved for the right to safe motherhood to become a reality in Peru, said PHR.
For more information, contact:
Physicians for Human Rights
Tel: + 617 301 4232
Peru: Poor and Excluded Women – Denial of maternal and infant health (Amnesty International, July 2006)
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