CRINMAIL 726

01 November 2005 - CRINMAIL 726

 

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- OFFICE OF THE UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: Online Discussion on Treaty Body Reform [call for participation]

- CHILD LABOUR: Companies Responsible for Child Labour in India [publication]

- CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW: Policy Analysis [publication]

- PARTICIPATION: Children's Participation in Decisions Affecting Them [publication]

- HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: Law and Practice of Human Rights Fieldwork [event]

- EMPLOYMENT: RETRAK - ECPAT International [job postings]

- IMPORTANT NOTICE: Fraudulent Conferences [information]

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Your submissions are welcome if you are working in the area of child rights. To contribute, email us at info@crin.org. Adobe Acrobat is required for viewing some of the documents, and if required can be downloaded from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html If you do not receive this email in html format, you will not be able to see some hyperlinks in the text. At the end of each item we have therefore provided a full URL linking to a web page where further information is available.

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- OFFICE OF THE UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: Online Discussion on Treaty Body Reform [call for participation]

[GENEVA, 1 November 2005] - The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is hosting a five-week dialogue on treaty body reform and proposals for a unified standing treaty body. The discussion will begin on Tuesday, 1 November 2005 and will conclude on 6 December 2005.

Those who wish to participate in the discussion must register. Participants may contribute to the discussion in English, French or Spanish, though there will be no translation of contributions posted on the discussion page. Each week, the online discussion forum will be devoted to a specific question. The questions are:

Week 1 (1-8 November)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current system?

Week 2 (9-15 November)

What should be the form, composition and functions of a unified standing treaty body?

Week 3 (16-22 November)

How can the effective protection of specific rights, such as those guaranteed under CEDAW and CRC be ensured under a unified standing treaty body?

Week 4 (23-29 November)

How can a unified standing treaty body enhance implementation at the national level? How would non-governmental organisations (NGOs), National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), UN agencies, funds and programmes, and other stakeholders interact with such a body to achieve this objective?

Week 5 (30 November - 6 December)

What are the legal issues to be addressed vis-à-vis the creation of a unified standing treaty body?

With respect to each question, the moderator will provide a brief introduction to the topic to be discussed. At the end of each discussion, an analytical summary of the main issues raised will be posted by the moderator. A summary of all issues raised in the course of the dialogue will be posted.

To register for the online discussion, visit:

http://portal.ohchr.org/tbforum

For more information, visit:

http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=6471

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- CHILD LABOUR: Companies Responsible for Child Labour in India [publication]

[UTRECHT, 31 October 2005] - Multinational and Indian seed companies are paying Indian farmers who are producing their cotton seed almost 40 per cent too little to enable them to hire adults for the local minimum wage of Rs.52 (1 Euro) instead of children. The companies are multinationals but also Indian companies.

At present the farmers working for these companies mainly hire children and young people below 18. At least 100,000 of them work 13 hours a day in cottonseed production in Andhra Pradesh for less than half a Euro per day. They are often bonded by loans given to their parents.

These are some findings from the report 'The Price of Childhood' released by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), the International Labour Rights Fund (USA) and OneWorld Net Germany. The report states that the seed companies are responsible for large-scale child (bonded) labour and for evading India's minimum wage laws. The parents of the working children are often un(der)employed. If they do have work in the sector, it is usually for a wage which is not much more than half of the official minimum wage.

Companies like Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta do acknowledge that there is substantial child labour in their supply chain and that they are at least partly responsible for that. They do however deny that there is a relation with the price they are paying to cottonseed farmers. According to the companies farmers are to blame for the high incidence of child labour and say farmers have to improve their productivity to make the shift from child to adult labour.

A consequence of this is that the activities against child labour undertaken by the companies had a limited effect thus far. The report 'The Price of Childhood' shows that there has been a decrease in the number of working children between 6 and 14 years to roughly half of all labourers. However, the other half now consists for 70 per cent of young people between 15 and 18 years of age. They have generally worked as a child before and are now kept on. But like the younger children they work around 13 hours a day and hardly earn more than they do.

For more information, contact:

Gerard Oonk, India Committee of the Netherlands

Mariaplaats 4, 3511 LH Utrecht, Netherlands

Tel: + 31 30 2321340; Fax: + 31 30 2322246

Email: g.oonk@indianet.nl

Website: http://www.indianet.nl/english.html

Visit: http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=6470

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- CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW: Policy Analysis [publication]

Save the Children UK has recently published a report, "The Right Not to Lose Hope", which addresses the issues facing children who are in conflict with the law.

The first part analyses the experiences and situation of these marginalised children. Rather than focusing solely on children in the justice system, it looks at the broader context of these children's lives - in particular, the failure of care and protection systems and criminalisation of children's coping strategies.

The second part of the report looks at eight projects around the world that are working to support children in conflict with the law. It contains detailed case studies of community-based responses in Honduras, Laos, the Philippines, Kenya, Ethiopia, China, Uganda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This report was written as a contribution to the UN Study on Violence against Children. Its recommendations to governments and other agencies look at the broad context of issues affecting children in conflict with the law, covering prevention, decriminalisation, diversion, the justice system, and reintegration and rehabilitation.

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

Email: supporter.care@savethechildren.org.uk

Website: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk

Visit: http://www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=6465

To read more NGO submissions to the Study, visit CRIN's website: http://www.childrenandviolence.org

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- PARTICIPATION: Children's Participation in Decisions Affecting Them [publication]

Number 36 in the Bernard van Leer foundation's Working Papers series has recently been published: "Can you hear me? The right of young children to participate in decisions affecting them" emphasises that participation enhances children's self-esteem and confidence, promotes their overall capacities, produces better outcomes, strengthens understanding of and commitment to democratic processes and protects children more effectively. Participation provides the opportunity for developing a sense of autonomy, independence, heightened social competence and resilience.

The benefits are therefore significant, and adults with both direct and indirect responsibility for children need to acquire a greater humility in recognising that they have a great deal to learn from children. But the case for listening to young children goes beyond the beneficial outcomes. It is also a matter of social justice and human rights. All people, however young, are entitled to be participants in their own lives, to influence what happens to them, to be involved in creating their own environments, to exercise choices and to have their views respected and valued.

Creating environments where these entitlements are fulfilled for young children will necessitate profound change. In most countries throughout the world, there is a continued perception of young children as passive recipients of care and protection. Their capacities for participation are underestimated, their agency in their own lives is denied and the value of involving them is unrecognised. Yet there is a growing and persuasive body of evidence to challenge these barriers.

For more information, contact:

Bernard van Leer Foundation

PO Box 82334, 2508 EH The Hague, Netherlands

Tel: + 31 70 331 22 00; Fax: + 31 70 350 23 73

Email: pubsrequests@bvleerf.nl

Website: http://www.bernardvanleer.org

Visit: http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=6466

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- HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: Law and Practice of Human Rights Fieldwork [event]

Date: 12 January - 24 March 2006

Location: Nottingham, UK

 

The University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre announces the launch of a new "short course" on "The Law and Practice of Human Rights Field Operations". In this intensive three-month course participants will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the law and practice of human rights fieldwork.

The programme balances a wide-ranging study of human rights law with skills training for such activities as human rights monitoring, reporting, advocacy and capacity building. Close attention is paid to the modern realities of fieldwork and participants gain a strong understanding of the relevance of human rights for humanitarian action, development and transitional justice.

Class work takes place at the University of Nottingham and is conducted by the Human Rights Law Centre staff and School of Law faculty as well as by a widely varied range of invited practitioners and other experts.

For more information, contact:

David Gault, Human Rights Law Centre

School of Law, University of Nottingham

Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

Tel: + 44 115 84 66309; Fax: + 44 115 84 66 579

Email: mo.grigg@nottingham.ac.uk

Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/law/hrlc

Visit: http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=6461&flag=event

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- EMPLOYMENT: RETRAK - ECPAT International [job postings]

* RETRAK: Operations Manager for Tigers Club

Tigers Club is a RETRAK project helping street children to realise their potential and discover their worth. The Tigers Club Project based in Kampala, Uganda is a professionally run Christian social work and development organisation caring for homeless children and youths between 7 and 20 years of age. Resettlement, foster care and independent living are 3 different options for social reintegration. RETRAK seeks a person/couple committed to the ethos of Tigers Club to maximise the effective use of financial, human, material and time related resources in order to enable The Tigers Club to achieve its aims. Primary responsibilities include: administration and financial management; staff team management; property management; liaison with the UK & Kenya offices; legal compliance; planning special events and hosting visits.

* RETRAK: Head of Home for Tudabujja-Halfway Home and Farm

Tudabujja, which means "we are being made new", is a halfway home with teaching and demonstration farm 16kms from Kampala city centre. It is a centre for 32 former street children to prepare for life in mainstream community either with their own relatives or foster families. RETRAK seeks a person/couple committed to the ethos of Tigers Club who will bring energy, leadership and effective management skills to this pioneer initiative. Primary responsibilities for this post will be: overseeing all operations at Tudabujja; staff team development; administration and financial management; property management; representation of the organisation locally.

Application deadline: 25 November 2005

For more information, contact:

Andy Williams, International Director, RETRAK

Tel: + 254 735 884211; Fax: + 254 20 387 5639

Email: tigers@starcom.co.ug

http://www.retrak.org / http://www.tigersclub.org

* ECPAT: Regional Officer, Americas and Caribbean

ECPAT is looking for a Regional Officer for the Americas and the Caribbean, to be based in Bangkok, Thailand. The purpose of the job would be to promote the implementation of the Stockholm Agenda for action in the region, by researching, compiling and analysing information on countries' activities to combat the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children; by developing reports on progress in this regard; by providing support on implementation tools and strategies to relevant government and non-government actors; and by strengthening and developing the ECPAT network in the region, as part of the implementation strategy.

Application deadline: 30 November 2005

For more information, contact:

ECPAT International

328 Phaya Thai Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Tel: + 66 2 215 3388; Fax: + 66 2 215 8272

Email: vacancy@ecpat.net

Website: http://www.ecpat.net

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- IMPORTANT NOTICE: Fraudulent Conferences [information]

CRIN has recently been alerted several times about fraudulent conferences or events. Several CRIN members have received invitations to conferences in the US or in the UK, where they were told their flights and accommodation were free, but had to pay booking fees first. It seems that this is happening more and more and organisations should be vigilant when transferring money for international conferences.

Below are some of the features to be wary of when booking for a conference. These are from TakingITGlobal, who have received similar complaints from organisations:

- Suspicious email addresses: If you do not recognise the organisation in the email address domain name, then be very careful. For example, reputable organisations have recognisable email addresses, like '@edc.org', or 'un.org', 'usaid.org'.

- If the number is a fax number only, despite claiming to be a telephone line also, and if nobody answers the phone, then be very suspicious.

- No physical address. Most attempts include only email and a Tel/Fax number, but no street address. Sometimes a physical address and venue is found to be fictitious, or a half-truth.

- Request for your passport details. Be very suspicious if an organisation you have never heard of, and cannot independently verify, asks for your passport number.

- Many conferences are using similar language to reputable organisations. Often the language is directly stolen from a reputable organisation's website, as recent cases have shown. Youth and Alcohol conferences are very common fronts for criminals.

- The offer is often too good to be true. For example, an offer of free accommodation and air fares, but with vague details.

- The names of the ostensible host is often a wholesome traditional American name with Christian overtones, for instance Rev. Mary Brownie, and Transworld Youth. Names like this are designed to persuade you of the honesty of the perpetrator, and resemble existing organisations.

- The event will be advertised as taking place in a venue that exists but when you contact them, they have never heard about the event.

We have recently been through our events calendar to ensure that no such conferences are advertised on our website. If you receive invitations that seem suspicious, please forward the information to us so we can warn others about it. Please do also forward this email to friends and colleagues who may not be on the CRIN email list.

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