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Integration of human rights of women and the gender perspective: Violence against women. Letter dated 16 May 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed to the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.
[New York, New York], Economic and Social Council, 2003 Jun 12. 3 p. (E/CN.4/2004/G/3)I wish to refer to Addendum 1 to your report to the 59th session of the Commission on Human Rights containing an analysis of developments in the area of violence against women at the international, regional and national level, and to provide the following additional information regarding the entry on Bhutan, with a request that these be reflected in the final report. Most national studies on gender show that Bhutan is relatively "gender-balanced" and that there is no overt gender discrimination. Bhutanese women enjoy freedom and equality in most spheres of life. In view of the general overall equality of women and men, no legislation explicitly prohibits discrimination against women. (excerpt)
[Geneva, Switzerland], United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2003. 4 p. (E/CN.4/RES/2003/77)Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and accepted humanitarian rules, as set forth in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto. Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to fulfil the obligations they have freely undertaken under the various international instruments. Recalling that Afghanistan is a party to several international human rights instruments and has obligations to report on their implementation. Recalling also the relevant resolutions and decisions of the Commission on Human Rights, the relevant resolutions and presidential statements of the Security Council, the reports of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (S/2002/1299) and on women, peace and security (S/2002/1154) and the most recent resolution adopted by the Commission on the Status of Women. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2007 Nov 24; 370(9601):1744-1746.The four papers in this Series called Who Counts? describe the state of the world's vital statistics, and the fact that few countries derive these from routine compulsory measures through civil registration. However, every country in the world has the capacity to produce useful economic data. Because of its particular interest in, and requirements for, demographic and epidemiological data, the health sector should raise similar expectations of national capacity to produce vital statistics. Unrepresentative, biased, incomplete, and often out-of-date, the world's vital statistics compare poorly with the detailed information available on every country's economy. The effort and expense of gathering and interpreting data on national income and trade balances are accepted costs of monitoring economic prospects in an international market. Health is arguably as important as economics, and establishing their mutual interdependence has made a big difference to the funding and attention that health attracts.Sen proposes mortality as an indicator of economic success or failure, but many countries are still making patchy and incomplete efforts to count lives and deaths, and to document how their people die. (excerpt)
ARROWs for Change. 2004; 10(2):1-2.The 2004 global and regional roundtables reviewing and monitoring progress of the Cairo Programme of Action (POA) implementation concluded that this document remains a critical comprehensive UN document which outlines an agenda and framework linking human rights principles with population and development, poverty eradication, social justice, gender equality, women's empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and NGO participation. Ten years into the POA, progress in implementation in the Asia-Pacific region remains poor. ARROW's eight-country regional monitoring study revealed that one million women have died unnecessarily in childbirth, pregnancy and unsafe abortion since Cairo. Only China has attained the goal of reducing maternal mortality by 50% by the year 2000. Nationally, the ICPD POA has not yet been clearly institutionalised in national development frameworks like women's development, health, population and in poverty. Although there has been significant progress in theregion in the area of violence against women and the creation of national machineries like ministries and commissions, women are still not able to exercise control over their reproductive and sexual lives due to the following barriers. (excerpt)
Choices. 2001 Dec; 5.The HIV/AIDS epidemic is the world's most serious development crisis. Nearly 58 million people have been infected, and 22 million are already dead. The epidemic continues to spread, with over 15,000 new infections every day. The devastating scale and impact of this catastrophe is a call of the utmost urgency for each of us to act. On 27 June 2001, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS), adopted the "Declaration of Commitment on HIV/ AIDS." The Declaration recognized in clear and forthright terms the driving forces of the epidemic, including social, economic, and cultural aspects; and set specific measurable goals in four key areas: prevention of new infections; provision of improved care, support and treatment; reduction of vulnerability; and mitigation of the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS. The global community is challenged to respond to the epidemic in a new way, with strategic attention to its human rights and gender dimensions, greater accountability for results, and courageous and visionary leadership. (excerpt)
[Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. A question of human rights] Saúde sexual e reprodutiva e direitos reprodutivos. Uma questão de direitos humanos.
Sexualidade & Planeamento Familiar. 2001 Nov-Dec; (32):45-52.There is currently an international consensus that reproductive rights are human rights. In the work, it is defended that, although the governments have taken some steps to guide and broaden the services in order to better satisfy the sexual and reproductive health needs of the populations, to advance equality and parity between the sexes and to promote reproductive rights, it is necessary to do much more to make health and reproductive rights a reality for women and men in the entire world. The UN Conference and the agreement about reproductive health (RH) and reproductive rights (RR). Any of the global Conferences that the UN holds in this decade - each one focusing on an important, different and particular question - amplifies the same common message: that to have success, the development efforts should be centered on the people. Ensuring human rights and satisfying the basic necessities of the people are the first critical steps in the resolution of global problems. The right to development itself included key elements such as broadening the access of the population to basic social services and sustaining means of life, balancing the interaction between people, resources and the environment and equitably reconciling the needs of the present with those of future generations. (excerpt)
Human Rights Quarterly. 2004; 26:879-881.This exchange has helped identify common ground and focus questions before us. Kenneth Roth and I agree that strategies for realizing economic, social, and cultural rights must not only include but also go beyond “naming and shaming.” I read his initial article as contending that naming and shaming is “the most productive way” for international human rights organizations to address these rights and criticizing other strategies as ineffective or even counterproductive. He now agrees to the existence of “other important methodologies”;1 I believe discussion of these other methods to achieve economic, social, and cultural rights remains one of the key tasks of the international human rights movement. On the question of allocating resources to realize economic, social, and cultural rights, I agree with Ken Roth that international human rights organizations, using naming and shaming strategies, can and should challenge allocation decisions when they are arbitrary or discriminatory and, as I point out below, when they fail to fulfill obligations for particular rights. Another question, though, also demands our attention: What should these organizations do in the face of the failure, or even resistance, of both national governments and international donors to provide the resources desperately needed to realize economic, social, and cultural rights that are within their capacity to provide. I believe that international human rights organizations should step up their efforts, often in conjunction with partners in effected countries, to increase overall spending on the realization of economic, social, and cultural rights, always seeking to enlarge the pot of resources; doing so, however, will require strategies in addition to naming and shaming. (excerpt)
Human Rights Quarterly. 2004; 26:873-878.Leonard S. Rubenstein offers a thoughtful response to my article on how international monitoring and advocacy organizations that use a methodology of public shaming can best advance economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights. His article makes three basic points. First, he notes that such organizations can make useful contributions beyond exposing government misconduct and subjecting it to public opprobrium. Namely, he suggests that they can provide technical assistance to governments on implementing ESC rights and help with capacity building for national or local NGOs that seek such rights. Second, he contends that such international organizations need not be as concerned with advocating tradeoffs among competing ESC rights because fears of limited resources— a “zero-sum game”—are overblown. Third, he disagrees with my perceived preference for condemning “arbitrary” government conduct to the exclusion of violations of particular ESC rights. On the first point, I largely agree with him. On the second, I regretfully suspect he has an overly sanguine view of the problem. And on the third, I fear he has misunderstood me. (excerpt)
Third World Quarterly. 2000; 21(5):795-814.This article takes seriously the proposition that ideas and concepts, both good and bad, have an impact on international public policy. It situates the emergence of governance, good governance and global governance, as well as the UN's role in the conceptual process. Although `governance' is as old as human history, this essay concentrates on the intellectual debates of the 1980s and 1990s but explores such earlier UN-related ideas as decolonization, localization and human rights, against which more recent thinking has been played out. A central analytical perspective is the tension between many academics and international practitioners who employ `governance' to connote a complex set of structures and processes, both public and private, while more popular writers tend to use it synonymously with `government'. (author's)
In: World population crisis: the United States response, by Phyllis T. Piotrow. New York, New York, Praeger, 1973. vii-ix. (Law and Population Book Series No. 4)In this article, George H. Bush, Jr., the US Representative to the UN, expresses his support for family planning and fertility control at both the national and international level. Long aware of birth control as a public policy issue, Bush recalls how in 1950 his father lost a US Senate race when his opponent disclosed that the elder Bush supported Planned Parenthood, a family planning organization. But the previously taboo subject of birth control now demands public discussion, says Bush. With a 2% annual increase, the world's population of 4 billion is increasing by 80 million every year. Higher birth rates in poor countries have widened the income gap between developed and developing countries. While a member of the US House of Representative during the 1960s, Bush faced such disturbing issues as famine, unwanted pregnancies, and poverty. Finding it ridiculous that clinics and hospitals were prohibited from discussing birth control, Bush and other members of the House Ways and Means Committee took the lead in Congress to make family planning available to all women. Bush also helped repeal a law barring the mailing of birth control information and birth control devices. And when he moved to the UN, Bush saw that though the population issue was high on the agenda, it lacked some of the urgency it deserved. But having planned the 1974 World Population Conference, the UN is ready to tackle the population problem. Individual choice and responsible government represent the framework within which individuals and organizations must work. This work will be difficult, considering the large number of countries, races, and religions around the world. But addressing the population problem may help resolve such issues as peace, prosperity, and individual rights.