FOCUSING ON HUMAN RIGHTS
International implementation forum for local and regional authorities
Human Rights are of major importance for the Congress and much has been accomplished so far in this respect. For human rights to become reality, they need to be implemented at all levels of society. Clearly, local and regional authorities have an increasingly important role to play in that work.
This interactive two-day Forum will be a unique opportunity for elected representatives at local and regional levels to discuss the impact and consequences of their political work on the exercise of human rights by citizens and residents, to identify concerns with regard to their daily work and exchange views on their experiences.
Therefore, the main aim of the International Implementation Forum, held in the “human rights city” of Graz, will be to provide good practices and constructive support to local and regional authorities by highlighting the human rights dimension of their work. The event will hence include the participation of key high-level experts and interlocutors. The human rights aspects of local policies will be discussed in lectures and workshops, and the side programme such as the official reception hosted by the Governor of Styria and the Mayor of Graz (closed event) will give room for exchange and networking.
The Forum will conclude with the adoption of a political statement, to which all participants will contribute their major findings, concerns and strategies. The Forum will thus incite political dialogue and awareness-raising with regard to this core issue of concern for local and regional authorities.
(21 May 2015)
Map 1: Congress Graz... (jpeg)
Castle St. Martin... (Day 2: 29 May 2015)
TAKE PART IN OUR SURVEY - Toolkit for Equality
The European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) kindly invites you to participate in a survey, which is part of the project "Toolkit for Equality: the Local Level".
The goal of the project is to provide a toolkit that draws on European cities' most successful experiences with policies against racial discrimination. ECCAR thus intends to support all cities in the further implementation of effective anti-discrimination policies.
(3 September 2014)
HOW TO MANAGE HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE CITY?
The ETC summer academy is back: From 23 to 27 September 2014 the International Summer Academy on Human Rights and the City: How to manage human rights and the city? will take place in Graz/Austria.
The summer academy aims at presenting and discussing instruments and mechanisms to facilitate the implementation of human rights at the local level. Against the background of local and regional authorities’ rights and obligations it focuses on cities’ and regions’ self-governance including their obligation to respect, protect, fulfil and also promote human rights at the local level.
Furthermore the academy aims to:
• Foster the implementation of human rights and equality in the city
The summer academy is open to practitioners - administration professionals working at municipal or regional levels, politicians and NGO collaborators from all Council of Europe member states. Working language is English.
The summer academy is hosted by the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC Graz), with contributions of UNESCO, the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, as well as the City of Graz in the frame of the ECCAR network.
(24 June 2014)
Summer academy agenda... (pdf)
NEW: KUPTIMI I TË DREJTAVE TË NJERIUT - Second edition of the Manual on Human Rights Education
In the framework of a workshop organized by the Law Faculties of the University of Graz and the University of Prishtina, "Kosovo as a member of the international community - accession to international organizations" the editor Wolfgang Benedek presented the newly translated, revised and extended second Albanian edition of the manual Understanding Human Rights, KUPTIMI I TË DREJTAVE TË NJERIUT. MANUAL PËR ARSIMIMIN PËR TË DREJTAT E NJERIUT.
The second edition was elaborated with support of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Prishtina and financed by the Republik of Kosovo.
(9 April 2014)
NEW: AN AFRICAN SPRING? - Human Security Perspectives 1/2014
The new on-line publication An African Spring? Human Rights and Security in Times of Change delivers the results of the 6th Graz Workshop on the Future of Security. The journal Human Security Perspectives 1/2014 deals with current issues of human rights and human security on the African continent and elaborates on the consequences of tremendous political shifts, such as the Arab Spring in the north of the continent and similar (but less reflected in the media) events in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The approach of the workshop in summer 2013 brought together different perspectives on the discussed topics, including various academic disciplines from several European universities and practitioners. The interdisciplinary deliberations resulted in gaining new and diverse, though complementary, insights.
The workshop was organized by the Institute of International Law and International Relations of the University of Graz and the European Training Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, in cooperation with the Austrian National Defense Academy, the Marie Curie Action “Sustainable Peace Building” funded under the EU’s 7th Framework Program and the Human Security Focus Group.
(2 March 2014)
Just a reminder: UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Adopted by the United Nations on December 10th 1948
Article 1 All human beings are born free and equal.
Article 2 Everyone is entitled to the same human rights without discrimination of any kind.
Article 3 Everyone has the human right to life, liberty, and security.
Article 4 No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
Article 5 No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6 Everyone has the human right to be recognized everywhere as a person before the law
Article 7 Everyone is equal before the law and has the human right to equal protection of the law.
Article 8 Everyone has the human right to a remedy if their human rights are violated.
Article 9 No one shall be arrested, detained, or exiled arbitrarily.
Article 10 Everyone has the human right to a fair trial.
Article 11 Everyone has the human right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Article 12 Everyone has the human right to privacy and family life.
Article 13 Everyone has the human right to freedom of movement and residence within the state, to leave any country and to return to one's country.
Article 14 Everyone has the human right to seek asylum from persecution.
Article 15 Everyone has the human right to a nationality.
Article 16 All adults have the human right to marry and found a family. Women and men have equal human rights to marry, within marriage, and at its dissolution.
Article 17 Everyone has the human right to own property.
Article 18 Everyone has the human right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Article 19 Everyone has the human right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Article 20 Everyone has the human right to peaceful assembly and association.
Article 21 Everyone has the human right to take part in government of one's country directly or through free and fair elections and access to the public service
Article 22 Everyone has the human right to social security and to the realization of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for dignity.
Article 23 Everyone has the human right to work, to just conditions of work, to protection against unemployment, to equal pay for equal work, to sufficient pay to ensure a dignified existence for one's self and one's family, and the human right to join a trade union.
Article 24 Everyone has the human right to rest and leisure.
Article 25 Everyone has the human right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services.
Article 26 Everyone has the human right to education including free and compulsory elementary education and human rights education.
Article 27 Everyone has the human right to participate freely in the cultural life and to share in scientific progress, as well as to protection of their artistic, literary or scientific creations,
Article 28 Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which these rights can be fully realized.
Article 29 Everyone has duties to the community.
Article 30 None of the human rights in this Declaration can be used to justify violating another human right.
Short version: People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning - PDHRE
(10 December 2012)
30 Points of Dignity... (pdf)
Graz - Erste Menschenrechtsstadt Europas... (pdf, in German)
NEW PUBLICATION: Standard-setting through monitoring? The role of Council of Europe expert bodies in the development of human rights
A variety of mechanisms has been established in the Council of Europe to monitor compliance with human rights standards. Renate Kicker and Markus Möstl discuss in their publication four specific monitoring bodies, namely the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, and the European Committee of Social Rights. By assessing and comparing the monitoring procedures and standard-setting activities of these expert bodies, the authors make an essential contribution to the discourse on the Council of Europe’s role – both current and future – with regard to human rights.
This book constitutes a source of information on the dialogue between the four committees and European states. It is addressed to practitioners, diplomats and decision makers at national level to deepen their understanding of the aims and functioning of Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms. Students and academics will gain a comprehensive insight into the legal bases, mandates and procedures of such mechanisms. Finally, it is hoped that the expert bodies themselves will gain much from the authors’ analysis of present-day challenges for monitoring and the impact their implementation standards may have on the development of the European human rights order.
(19 November 2012)
New publication: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN RIGHTS, 3rd English edition
We are happy to present the long-awaited third English edition of our manual on human rights education, UNDERSTANDING HUMAN RIGHTS.
New to the thoroughly updated 3rd English edition are chapters reflecting current trends in human rights, including new modules on privacy (including challenges posed by internet use), minority rights and the right to asylum.
Translations of the Manual’s earlier editions already exist in 15 languages, among them all the official United Nations languages. Most of the language versions can be found on our website of the ETC, which also contains a learning platform with additional resources that are constantly updated.
The manual has become a basic text for human rights education and training in different countries, on different levels and for different audiences, from university lectures in China to NGO training in Mali to police training in Kosovo/a.
Enjoy reading and studying human rights, and please do not hesitate to give us your feedback on the manual and the supporting material. We look forward to read your opinion, your thoughts and remarks which you can submit here.
(8 October 2012)
Human Security Perspectives 1/2012: Human Security in the Information Society
It was the fifth of its kind, but it was also unique, and uniquely timely: the 5th Graz Workshop on the Future of Security dedicated to Human Security in the Information Society: Regulating Risks – Empowering People. This challenging topic unites two of the central areas of research of the Institute of International Law and International Relations and the ETC: protecting human security and ensuring an effective and legitimate, human rights-sensitive Internet Governance.
Selected contributions to the workshop have been revised and enlarged in order to be published in the new edition of Human Security Perspectives, presented in four overarching sections.
JUST PUBLISHED: European Yearbook on Human Rights 2012
In terms of both human rights and democracy, 2011 was a revolutionary year. The Arab Spring has put into sharp focus some long held assumptions of the international community. But this was not the only revolution in human rights thinking in 2011.
Defining and discussing key developments in human rights in Europe and in the world, the fourth edition of the European Yearbook on Human Rights brings together 28 contributions by renowned human rights experts that provide a much needed overview and sought-after analysis.
Edited jointly by representatives of four major European human rights research, teaching and training institutions, the Yearbook 2012 contains extensive sections on developments in the field of the three main organizations charged with securing human rights in Europe: EU, Council of Europe and OSCE. A further chapter contains contributions on the role of civil society in human rights protection and on cross-cutting topics.
Holistic in its approach, but detailed in its analyses, the European Yearbook on Human Rights 2012 provides its readers with a sweeping overview and comprehensive analysis of the events and issues that have shaped the human rights debate in Europe in 2011 and continue to shape it today.
The impressive array of authors – academics and diplomats, practitioners and human rights experts – makes the book essential reading for anyone interested in human rights in Europe and beyond.
(23 July 2012)
NEW: Pool of materials for human rights learning
The ETC just finished the projects Human Rights Education based on the Manual "Understanding Human Rights" III (financed by the Austrian Development Agency - ADA) which focused on the complete revision and extension of the English version of the manual as well as the development and realisation of a Train-the-Trainers workshop in Addis Ababa, referring to country specific key topics and bringing together multipliers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda from various fields such as education, justice, police, military, NGOs and civil society.
Within the framework of the project a POOL OF ON-LINE MATERIALS on human rights learning was established that contains the upcoming third, completely revised and extended edition of the manual Understanding Human Rights (available in summer 2012), additional training materials to complement the manual, the documents used in the Addis Ababa workshop in February 2012, an overview on existing human rights education and learning materials (in German, most material available in the ETC library) and human rights teaching units elaborated by students of the University of Graz within their human rights education course (in German).
(30 June 2012)
Biannual Report 2010 - 2011 of the ETC Graz
Looking back at two intense years at the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy... at changes such as moving into the new premises in Elisabethstraße and the founding of our "university twin", at new focuses such as the projects on multiple discrimination and intersection, at new contractors such as the EU Fundamental Rights Agency for which the ETC acts as Austrian National Focus Point since 2011, many events and workshops and endorsement through awards.
(15 June 2012)
Understanding Human Rights: 32 new human rights educators in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
Within the framework of the project Human rights education based on the manual "Understanding Human Rights" III a train-the trainers Workshop on Human Rights Education was held at the Human Rights Center of the University of Addis Ababa from 27 February to 1 March 2012. The workshop was jointly planned, organised and implemented by the Human Rights Center of the University of Addis Ababa and the ETC Graz.
A group of multiplyers from human rights education institutions and non-governmental organisations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania was selected from over 200 applicants. The participants spent an intensive working week in Addis Ababa studying human rights education methodology based on the manual Understanding Human Rights as well as selected focal topics such as human rights of women, freedom of expression, the prohibition of torture and others. As a follow-up an online platform will be established which offers free access to all materials to the participants and other interested persons. To further evaluate the impact and sustainability of the training all participants will be asked for their feedback on whether and - if yes - in which way they could implement human rights education in their home countries and organisations in 2013.
The workshop and the revision of the English edition of the manual Understanding Human Rights was financed the the Austrian Development Cooperation.
(26 March 2012)
European Yearbook on Human Rights 2011
In the human rights field, 2010 was a year both of continuity and reform: from the 10th anniversary of the European Charter on Fundamental Rights and the quickening pace of the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights to the reform of the Human Rights Council.
Defining and discussing key developments in human rights in Europe and in the world, the third edition of the European Yearbook on Human Rights brings together 33 contributions by renowned human rights experts that provide a much needed overview and much sought after analysis.
Edited jointly by representatives of four major European human rights research, teaching and training institutions, the Yearbook 2011 contains extensive sections on developments in the field of the three main organizations charged with securing human rights in Europe: EU, Council of Europe and OSCE. A further chapter contains contributions on the role of civil society in human rights protection and on cross-cutting topics.
Holistic in its approach, but detailed in its analyses, the European Yearbook on Human Rights 2011 provides its readers with a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in Europe in 2010. The impressive array of authors – academics and diplomats, practitioners and human rights experts – makes the book essential reading for anyone interested in human rights in Europe and beyond.
(9 August, 2011)
A delegation of ETC Graz and the Institute of International Law visited the University of Addis Ababa and the Civil Service College, a higher education unit for administration officials, during the first days of January. The meetings aimed at preparing university cooperation in the framework of the new APPEAR programme. A proposal will be finalized until end of January.
The Graz delegation met a lot of interest and, moreover, could also visit the new Human Rights Institute of the University of Addis Ababa. ETC Graz plans to cooperate with the institute in a human rights education workshop in autumn 2011. Further cooperation will be coordinated in the fields of research and education, especially regarding a human rights academy to be organised in Addis Ababa as a further education opportunity for Ethiopian university teachers. The doctoral study programmes at the University of Graz made another point of discussion.
(14 January, 2011)
THIRD HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT OF THE CITY OF GRAZ
The 2009 Human Rights Report is the third report presented by the Advisory Council on Human Rights of the City of Graz (Menschenrechtsbeirat der Stadt Graz) on the city’s human rights situation. The preparation of this report has been entrusted to a working group composed of seven members of the above Advisory Council and of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC GRAZ), which acts as the Council’s office of coordination. The report sets out with, and is based on, the declaration on human rights adopted by the City of Graz in 2001, by which the city commits itself, inter alia, to pursuing a human rights policy based on relevant information and deficits identified in the implementation of human rights.
Compared to other communities, the city of Graz fulfils its commitment to the deliberate, judicious protection of human rights. As evidenced by non-discriminatory clauses in Graz’ rules and regulations on public subsidies, or in the general terms and conditions of municipal procurement contracts, for example, human rights standards are enforced and observed based on the Graz declaration of human rights. Moreover, it is worth noting that the city tends to provide further protection and shows a certain willingness to implement subsidiary measures where federal or state (provincial) law have established restrictive standards. In this regard, the city of Graz ten-point programme against racism might serve as a case in point. Special effort is also made in relation to social security, education and youth. A considerable number of best-practice cases in the human rights areas covered by the report shows that most citizens of Graz form part of a committed, human-rights-oriented civil society, including its organisations and institutions. This notwithstanding, both the city and society are called upon to broaden and deepen their human rights awareness.
(9 December, 2010)
The Human Rights Report of the City of Graz 2009 ... (pdf, in German)
United Nations Facing Nations
Presenting the project FACING NATIONS, a series of greater-than-life portraits of women and men of different origins who all live in Graz, at the UN headquarters in New York, Wolfgang Benedek had a chance to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and to hand over a copy of the ETC manual on human rights education, UNDERSTANDING HUMAN RIGHTS while artist Oskar Stocker, TV director Gerhard Draxler and Mayor Siegfried Nagl aplauded.
(17 November 2010)
60 Years European Convention for Human Rights: Campaign THAT'S RIGHT! ECHR 1950 - 2010 started on December 10th
Human Rights resounding throughout the land! Or - to stick to the truth - the negation of Human Rights. The European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC GRAZ) developed a year-long campaign in commemoration of 60 years ECHR.
The campaign GANZ RECHT! (roughly translated: that's right!) is based on posters and postcards confronting hate speech with relevant articles of the ECHR. With this material we want to evoke discussions and show that each colloquial statement (of the type that can be heard in public buses, from right-wing politicians etc.) is affecting or even violating the rights of people - the ECHR has constitutional status in austria. Additionally, there will be action days, round tables and debate training workshops in provincial towns and a website dedicated to the campaign.
The campaign THAT'S RIGHT! ECHR 1950 - 2010 that will be continued throughout 2010 started at the traditional Christmas fair in Graz on Human Rights Day 2009: ETC collaborators and students of the Afro-Asian Institute offered passers-by and visitors of the Christmas market postcards and 'human rights gingerbread' thus starting discussions on human rights topics.
The campaign is supported by Zentrum polis (Politik lernen in der Schule/Centre for Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education) and by the Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture. In 2010, a comprehensive booklet supporting strategies against hate speech and giving didactic suggestions for school teachers will be published.
(11 December 2009)
All posters, all themes ... (in German)
New Publication: EUROPEAN YEARBOOK ON HUMAN RIGHTS
The protection of human rights lies at the very core of European integration. But considering the multitude of activities by the European Union, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as the important role of civil society, it is often hard to keep track. In-depth analysis by human rights experts is important for understanding changing paradigms and assessing emerging trends.
Wolfgang Benedek / Wolfram Karl / Anja Mihr / Manfred Nowak (Eds.)
(16 September 2009)
Summer academy on Human Rights and Human Security
The seventh international summeracademy on human rights and human security titled Human Security, Peace and Stability: Special Focus on the Balkan Region was held at the ETC Graz from 12 to 23 July 2009.
This year, the academy was organised on behalf of the Institute for International Law and International Relations as an Erasmus Intensive Programme in the framework of the EDEN network (European Doctorate Enhancement in Peace and Conflict Studies). It brought together profressors and doctoral students from ten European universities, raning from Coimbra to Utrecht. The topics of the lectures and workshops ranged from consequences of the Franco regime to peace-building and democratisation to the identity-forming effects of narodna muzika in ex-Yugoslavia.
Methodolical aspects were covered in lectures and workshops on publication, and the student presented their PhD theses. Several of their contribution will also be published in an EDEN junior publication by the end of 2009.
The summer academy was financed with means of the European Commission in the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme.
(31 July 2009)
Homophobia and equalisation in the European Union
An experts talk and discussion took place at the ETC on 19 January 2009, where Niraj Nathwani (FRA – Fundamental Rights Agency of the Europan Union, Vienna), Eva Kovacechova (FRALEX-Expert for Slovakia), Klaus Starl (ETC, FRALEX-Partner for Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia and Ireland) and Márton Udvari (FRALEX-Expert for Hungary) discussed with the audience. The discussion was moderated by Wolfgang Benedek (ETC and University Graz).
(21 January 2009)
Comparative Study ... (pdf)
New publication: SCIENCE EDUCATION UNLIMITED
Approaches to Equal Opportunities in Learning Science
How to realise equality of chances in science education in a multicultural and multilinguistic society?
For the first time, experts and well-known scientists of countries of origin as well as countries of residence cooperated to address this issue. The authors of this book are scientists and experts of natural, social and educational sciences from Germany, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey. Instead of the deficit-oriented approach the authors present a solution-oriented approach on a theoretical and practical level. This ranges from recommendations for school authorities and suggestions for teacher trainings to teaching material for science lessons.
“This book definitely deserves its title! Such cooperation is in itself an accomplishment, indeed too rare in academic and public life. I am fascinated by the common adherence to basic human values and democracy that seem to underpin the writings by the authors behind the book. It is most revealing to see how they, from widely different backgrounds, manage to address common important issues. These are challenges that face Europe as a whole, as well as each country in particular.” (Svein Sjoberg)
Addressees of this book are experts of education, teachers, teacher trainers, school authorities and politicians. The book is a contribution to gender and diversity mainstreaming.
(18 December, 2009)
Free download: TIM HIEU VE QUYEN CON NGUOI ...
... in English: Understanding Human Rights
The Vietnamese translation of the manual on human rights education, Understanding Human Rights, is available in print since spring 2008. Now you can download the Vietnamese manual for free.
The translation to Vietnamese and the publication in Hanoi were supported by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.
Quyen con nguoi - P1.pdf (2,2 MB)
Quyen con nguoi - P2.pdf (2 MB)
Quyen con nguoi - P3.pdf (2,8 MB)
Quyen con nguoi - P4.pdf (1,4 MB)
Peace Process in spite of Terrorism and Organised Crime
International Summer Academy on Human Security 2008 in at ETC Graz - The influence of transnational terrorist and criminal organisations on the peacebuilding process in the region: 50 lecturers and students from 25 countries discussed concepts of terrorism and organised crime in general and the impact on human security and teh peace process on the Balkans.
(31 July 2008)
New publication: RAZBIRANJE NA COVEKOVITE PRAVA
The manual on Human Rights Education "Understanding Human Rights" has just been published in the 14th language version, in Macedonian: RAZBIRANJE NA COVEKOVITE PRAVA - Priracnik za edukacija od oblasta na covekovite prava
Editorial partner and responsible for the translation to Macedonian language was the Macedonian Ministry for Foreign Affairs with support from OSCE and in cooperation with the Human Rights Centre at the South-East European University Tetovo.
The print version is available through the Macedonian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
(8 July 2008)
Manual RAZBIRANJE NA COVEKOVITE PRAVA ... (pdf)
New publication: Internet Governance and the Information Society: Global Perspectives and European Dimensions
The legal, social and economic implications of the information society permeate every fiber of public life in the real world, infl uence politics and policies and test the limits of traditional notions of law, concepts of regulations and systems of governance.
Uniting an impressive array of authors this book broaches the challenges of internet governance in the information society. Renowned scholars and practitioners from, among others, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, academia and business shed lights on both, the global perspectives and the European dimensions of internet governance.
This book brings together presentations delivered at two workshops organized at the University of Graz in the framework of a project on the role of multi-stakeholder participation for the implementation of human rights approaches in a connected world.
The book identifies 2010 as the year where fundamental decisions on the future of the internet as we know it will be reached. Aimed at students, teachers and practitioners of law, sociology, international relations and technology, the contributions describe the challenges ahead and the road to travel by and is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of internet governance.
Wolfgang Benedek, Veronika Bauer, Matthias C. Kettemann (eds.), INTERNET GOVERNANCE AND THE INFORMATION SOCIETY: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES AND EUROPEAN DIMENSIONS. Utrecht: elevenpub 2008
(22 April 2008)
New e-book: Winds of Change
How e-technologies can assist education on human and minorities' rights
The results of the research project “ICT service in human rights education: The role of digital libraries”, implemented by the ETC Graz, the Institute for Ethnic Studies in Ljubljana and the Human Rights Centre at the University of Sarajevo in 2007, have been published as an e-book which is now available online.
Aim of the ASO-funded project was to analyze digital libraries in South-Eastern Europe with regard to contents and applied human rights education, and to compare them to digital libraries in Western Europe. Besides structural analysis and a comparison of good practices the new publication gives also a rough guide to structures and handling of those digital libraries analysed.
New publication: Global Human Rights Institutions - Between Remedy and Ritual
The range of global human rights institutions which have been created over the past half century is a remarkable achievement. Yet, their establishment and proliferation has paradoxes in store. Why do states create such institutions? What do they want to achieve through such institutions, and is it different from what the institutions themselves seek to accomplish? Are global human rights institutions effective remedies for violations of human dignity or temples for the performance of stale bureaucratic rituals? What happens to human rights when they are being framed in global institutions?
Gerd Oberleitner: GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS: BETWEEN REMEDY AND RITUAL. Cambridge, Polity Press 2007
Gone without a trace ...
Since the 26th of February 1992, thousands of people from former Yugoslavia have been erased (izbrisani) from residence and person registers in Slovenia. These persons have been fighting for their very survival for more than fifteen years, for those who are not listed in the register do not exist in the eyes of the law. They cannot marry, cannot receive medical treatment, cannot work and cannot find accommodation. Two decisions of the Constitutional Court from the years 1999 and 2003 calling for retroactive residence permit status and compensation have not been implemented.
'Gold' for Human Rights Cities
Within the framework of a retreat on human rights learning, Awakening the Power of Human Rights Learning, that took place at Seggau Castle from 29 October to 1 November 2007, Shulamith Koenig, founding president of PDHRE (Peoples' Movement for Human Rights Learning) and spirit of the Human Rights Cities' movement, visited the Mayor of Graz, Mr. Siegfried Nagl.
After exchanging experiences with local politicians the guests - besides Shulamith Koenig the representatives of Human Rights Cities, Susanna Chiarotti (Argentinia), Satya Das (Canada) and Raymond Atuguba (Ghana), were invited to sign the 'Golden Book' of the city of Graz.
Renate Kicker Vice-President of the CPT
The CPT, the Council of Europe's European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, has recently elected a new chair. The CPT's long-time president Silvia Casale has moved to the new United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture which she is going to chair in future. Mauro Palma, an Italian specialist on prison issues, has been elected as the new President, Renate Kicker as the First Vice-President, replacing Mr Palma who formerly held that post. Andres Lehtmets, an Estonian psychiatrist, is the CPT's Second Vice-President.
In his statement upon his election on the International Women's Day Mauro Palma underlined that in future the comitee will pay close attention to the treatment and conditions of detention of women deprived of their liberty - also a focus of the ETC's work set by Renate Kicker some years ago. Besides developing projects and attending conferences Renate Kicker chaired an international seminar on the topic of "Women in Prison" at the ETC, attended by Mauro Palma and that-time president Silvia Casale as well as several other members of the CPT and experts and prison governours from Italy, Albania and Austria.
The seminar in October 2006 also was the starting point for the elaboration of a project led by Renate Kicker. Aim of the project is the setting and unification of standards in prison staff education and the development of specialized training units for prison governours and staff.
Course on Human Rights Education
On February 6th, 2007, this year's course Introduction to Human Rights Education was closed with the awarding of the certificates. Twenty participants had attended the course and got their certitificates and a CD with training material produced inthe course.
The course offers an introduction to human rights education and is held together with the lecture series Understanding Human Rights every winter term. The three-day seminar first gives an introductory lecture focused on the methodology of HRE and in the second part the practical exercises elaborated by the participants: First, a human rights topic has to be set up in a didactic manner, then authors have to test their exercises and activities with their colleagues. This time, the participants presented teaching units on the topics freedom from poverty, discrimination, freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of religion, right to education and human rights of the child / child labour.
UNDERSTANDING HUMAN RIGHTS