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The blurred line between aiding progress and sanctioning abuse: United States appropriations, the UNFPA and family planning in the P.R.C.
New York Law School Journal of Human Rights. 2000; 17(3):1063-1104.This note discusses the trend in People's Republic of China programs, international standards of human rights, legislative trends, and the United States budget for fiscal years 2000 and 2001 as they apply to family planning programs. Specifically, this discussion shows why Congress should condition funding of these programs based on assurances of compliance with human rights standards. Part I presents an overview of the P.R.C. programs. Part II reviews internationally accepted standards of human rights concerning reproduction and population control, as well as China's violations of these rights. Part III describes UNFPA funding of the P.R.C.'s programs, emphasizing their latest 4-year program. Part IV discusses the legislative trend since 1985 of limiting or halting funding to the programs, and the current state of the federal budget regarding these appropriations. Part V discusses the global gag rule and the necessity of its removal. Part VI considers recently proposed legislation regarding funding family planning. Finally, the conclusion proposes a possible solution to the family planning dilemma in the face of both the continuing need for assistance and the continued existence of human rights abuses. (excerpt)
Ensuring the reproductive rights of refugees and internally displaced persons: legal and policy issues.
International Family Planning Perspectives. 2000 Dec; 26(4):167-73.More than 26 million refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are registered worldwide with the UN agencies, while millions still remain uncounted. In addition, girls and women make up about 50% of refugee and internally displaced populations, although the gender composition of refugee groups varies between regions and countries. These women and girls were at high risk of rape, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe delivery, and sexually transmitted diseases. This article examines the international legal framework for the reproductive rights of refugees and IDPs, as well as some aspects of UN and nongovernmental organization policies relevant to refugees' reproductive health. Three interrelated fields of international law come to bear on a discussion of the reproductive rights of refugees and IDPs: general international human rights law; refugee and humanitarian laws. These laws protect the rights of women against violence and all forms of discrimination. While international law requires countries that have ratified the relevant treaties to provide refugees and IDPs with sexual and reproductive health services, in practice UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations usually have to help provide these services.
Development. 2000 Mar; 43(1):109-13.This article reports the innovative Internet project sponsored by the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) called Voices of Youth (VOY). VOY has been linking young people in over 100 countries, offering children and youth the right to express their opinions. The Web site (www.unicef.org/voy) contains three main areas, specifically the meeting place, learning place, and teacher's place. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is used as the basis for both the content and learning approach of VOY. The Internet program encourages both youth-to-youth and youth-to-policy-maker dialogues. UNICEF country offices and nongovernmental agencies facilitate the live Internet chats on several issues including education, health, protection from violence, gender, and politics. Private schools with computer access have partnered with under-resourced public schools to enable them to participate in the program. Finally, the development of this innovative technology promotes the fundamental right of young people to express their views, which is essential to their human development.