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Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law. 2004; 5(2):63-78.This article endevours to answer questions on this negative social behaviour which have recently engulfed the minds of many, especially in light of its increase in occurrence. These are queries such as: What are honour crimes? Whose honour is at stake? What steps are being taken to curb them? What is the extent to which they are prevalent in Islamic states, as well as Western states and others such as India?1 And where finally does the problem lie? (excerpt)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2005 Jan 21. 22 p.Since February 2003, Darfur has been the scene of massive crimes against civilians of particular ethnicities in the context of an internal conflict between the Sudanese government and a rebel insurgency. Almost two million people have been forcibly displaced and stripped of all their property and tens of thousands of people have been killed, raped or assaulted. Even against this backdrop of extreme violence against civilians, several incidents in March 2004 stand out for the extraordinary level of brutality demonstrated by the perpetrators. In one incident, Sudanese government and “Janjaweed” militia forces detained and then conducted mass executions of more than 200 farmers and community leaders of Fur ethnicity in the Wadi Saleh area of West Darfur. In a second incident in neighboring Shattaya locality, government and militia forces attacked Fur civilians, detained them in appalling conditions for weeks, and subjected many to torture. To date, the Sudanese government has neither improved security for civilians nor ended the impunity enjoyed by its own officials and allied militia leaders. Immediate action including an increased international presence in rural areas of Darfur is needed to improve protection of civilians and reverse ethnic cleansing. International prosecutions are also essential to provide accountability for crimes against humanity and ensure justice for the victims in Darfur. The Sudanese government is clearly unwilling and unable to hold perpetrators of atrocities to account: a presidential inquiry into abuses recently disputed evidence of widespread and systematic abuses and instead of prosecutions, recommended the formation of a committee. The United Nations Security Council, following receipt of the January 25th report of the international commission of inquiry’s investigation into violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law and allegations of genocide in Darfur, should promptly refer the situation of Darfur to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. (excerpt)
Human Rights Quarterly. 1999; 21:265-307.Human rights advocates and UN officials offered themselves fulsome praise and congratulations at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 for including in the final Vienna Declaration the assertion that "[t]he universal nature of these [human] rights and freedoms is beyond question." Specific controversy at the conference over "universalism" arose out of an important but abstruse debate between the human rights community and leaders of a few authoritarian Asian states who argue that collectivist "Asian values" somehow supercede the specific tenets of the human rights doctrine. The principle at stake, however, is profound. One overly fecund laboratory for inquiry into the international community's sincerity in undertaking to act upon the principle of the universality of human rights is the oldest republic on the African continent. Liberia has no strategic importance. It enjoys no diplomatic or political cachet in international circles. Liberia's immediate environs are bereft of the intercontinental air facilities, luxury hotels, and exotic "rest and recreation" destinations that tend to attract journalists and itinerant young human rights activists. Liberia and its human rights catastrophe have, therefore, been ignored by the media, scholars, the human rights community, the United States, and the United Nations. (excerpt)
POPULI. 1992 Nov; 19(5):7-9.In a 1988 survey of issues of concern to women's groups in developing countries, MATCH International, a Canadian nongovernmental organization (NGO), found that violence against women was the most frequent problem raised. In the United States, as rape occurs every 6 minutes and domestic battery causes more injuries to women than car accidents, rapes, and muggings together according to the National Center on Women and Family Law. Almost 1 in 4 women will be physically abused by a current or former partner at some point in their lives, according to the American Medical Associations. 3 different studies showed consistently that women were battered even when pregnant, and 25-62% of those surveyed where in shelters for battered women. Police report that domestic disputes account for 40-60% of the calls they receive. Reports from France suggest 95% of all victims of violence are women, 51% of these at the hands of their own husbands. In Denmark, 25% of women cite violence as the reason for divorce. A 3-year study in Austria uncovered a high level of wife abuse, as did official statistics from Poland. UN data in 1989 showed that about 1/2 of murder victims in the United Kingdom were killed by their husbands, lovers, or boyfriends. The Mexican Federation of Women Trade Unions reported that 95% of women workers were victims of sexual harassment committed with impunity. In a 1990 survey of child prostitution in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 79% of the girls said they became prostitutes after becoming victims of incest and rape by male relatives. At all 3 World Conference on Women (Mexico City 1975, Copenhagen 1980, and Nairobi 1985), activists demanded women's full participation in society. The United Nations Nairobi document with the forceful Resolution 258 calls for prevention and institutional assistance to women victims of violence encountered in everyday life in all societies.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1992. vii, 107 p.WHO has compiled tables and graphs in a book reflecting various components of the health of women worldwide. These tables and graphs demonstrate that women continue to be denied their right to health--the most basic of human rights. Gender-related factors account, for the most part, for women's vulnerability, resulting in poorer health for females than males. They reveal the social discrimination women who experience. The book covers women's lifespan to illustrate not only inequity and discrimination throughout the years, but also the intergenerational effects, importance of adolescence, the broader context of women's reproduction, and the importance of elderly women. It first examines socioeconomic determinants of women's health, such as women's status, female literacy, income level, labor force participation, mother's education, and female-headed household. Next, it looks at infancy and childhood, specifically sex preference, breast feeding and weaning, child nutrition, sex-specific mortality, and sex-specific incidence rates for respiratory infections. It then moves on to explore adolescence. It covers the adult years prior to age 65 by focusing on women at work, pregnancy and childbirth, infections and chronic diseases (e.g., HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, cancer, and smoking-related diseases), and violence and mental disorders (e.g., domestic violence, homicide, rape, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse). It concludes with tables and graphs on elderly women. They show life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy, widowhood, distribution of the elderly, elderly living in rural and urban areas, cardiovascular disease death rates, osteoarthritis, and a definite rheumatoid arthritis.
Lancet. 1992 Sep 5; 340(8819):599-600.In Guatemala over 100,000 people were killed in the last 30 years, mostly Indians. The guerrillas and the government signed an agreement in August 1992 that hold out the hope of improvement of human right abuses. The violence goes back to 1954, it diminished in 1984 with the democratic election of a president, but killings and disappearances have continued albeit at a lower rate. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced or fled abroad whose repatriation is assisted by international organizations. The PRODERE program of the Pan American Health Organization consists of educational, agricultural, and health components. Maternal mortality is 170/100,000 women and infant mortality is 55.6/1000 live births, but both are likely to be underreported figures. Decentralized health service delivery and infrastructure is set up to improve sanitary conditions. The training of 64 auxiliary nurses, 77 traditional birth attendants, and 170 village health workers has been carried out. Health units and posts have been organized attended by auxiliary nurses. There are rehydration units in health center and in the houses of village health workers to preclude the spread of cholera. The collaboration of the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and a nursing school have been instrumental in these training programs. The sanitation program involved provision of potable water, wells, and latrine construction with community collaboration to improve poor hygiene. The program has been in operation for 1 year to be completed by the end of 1993 with expectations of positive results in the health status of the population as peace unfolds.
MEDICINE AND WAR. 1989 Jul-Sep; 5(3):132-6.Health care in post war Nicaragua, specifically interventions directed at infant and child mortality, rehabilitation of war disabled and counseling of the aggrieved, was surveyed in a 2-week study tour by the Health Network of the (British) Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign in 1987. There has been a grassroots health program initiated by the Government to use a system of health "briagadistas" and "multipliers" whereby volunteers train others in immunization and oral rehydration. The workers who have only some primary education receive 2 weeks intensive training followed by 1 day per month. In the last 4 years 70 of these workers have been killed by Contras. The infant mortality rate was cut from 120/1000 live births in 1977 to 75 by 1983. Mass immunizations were held on special health weekends. Poliomyelitis has been eradicated; no cases of diphtheria have been reported since 1985; and the incidence of measles has fallen. Rehabilitation of persons disabled by loss of limbs is limited by facilities: only 1 42-bed rehabilitation hospital with 1 orthopedic surgeon donating a few hours per week is available for a population of 3.3 million. Outside donors have set up prosthetics and wheelchair workshops, using local materials as much as possible. There is also a center in Managua teaching manual trades to 75 disabled. About 65,000 people have died in the civil and Contra wars, about 3 times the death rate in Britain in World War II. Caregivers are being trained in grief counseling by teams from Mexico at Nicaragua's 2 medical schools.