Over the next several weeks we will provide some articles of interest as well as resources for all Kansans to learn more about the cause of human rights. To begin, please visit the following sites:
Official 60th Anniversary UN Site
Know Your Rights, website created by the United Nations Regional Informaiton Center for Western Europe, filled with information.
Amnesty International has a special webpage dedicated to education on the UDHR.
Resources for the Classroom:
Lesson Plans for teachers and university instructors on the UDHR. The Center for International Education at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee has additional lesson plans. The Eleanor Roosevelt Historic Site has lesson plans for middle and high school students focusing on the role she playing in developing the UDHR. Youth for Human Rights has a simplified English version of the UDHR and other resources to use in education young people to the importance of human rights.
Readings of Interests:
Human Rights Watch has issued a open letter to President Obama on the topic of fighting terrorism. Over the past seven years, the US government’s consistent disregard for human rights in fighting terrorism has diminished America’s moral authority, set a negative example for other governments, and undermined the goal of reducing anti-American militancy around the world. The use of torture, unlawful rendition, secret prisons, unfair trials, and long-term, arbitrary detention without charge has been both morally wrong and counterproductive. To read the report or download the pdf of the report, click here.
Something to Declare
Conor Gearty writes for the New Humanist: "Critics from all sides seem determined to dismiss the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as either vague posturing or dangerous leftism. So is it now time to send it to the great care home for failed utopias, that quiet place not in the sky but rather at the back of our minds, where Magna Carta, the Communist Manifesto, New Lanark and all the rest are quietly allowed to fade from memory?"
Afghanistan on the Edge
Vanessa Baird writes for The New Internationalist: "Living on the edge is nothing new to Afghanistan. The country and its people are familiar with extremes of most kinds – geographic, political, religious. But today they are well and truly on the brink."
Human Rights -- The Facts
The January 2008 edition of the New internationalist is devoted to the topic of human rights. Human rights refer not just to personal civil and political rights, but collective economic, social and cultural ones too. Worldwide, they are more violated than respected. This article provides soem data o think about.
Human Rights in a Time of Terror
David Ransom writes for the January '08 edition of The New Internationalist: "If the torture of a single person could save the lives of a thousand others, would it be justified? Difficult to say ‘no’. But that must be said all the same, because torture has never saved anyone from anything; not from a single suicide bomb, not from a single act of terrorism or fate worse than torture itself. So why should anyone be asked to suppose that it might? Who can believe that it does?"
A Guide through the Maze
New Internationalist, January 2008. What are your legal rights, simply by virtue of being human? Not many people know; even fewer are encouraging you to find out; fewer still are making sure they apply in practice. So the New Internationalist starts at square one, with an introductory tour around the labyrinth and a sample of what the legal documents say.
Amnesty International's 2008 Report on Human Rights
Amnesty International today challenged world leaders to apologize for six decades of human rights failure and re-commit themselves to deliver concrete improvements.
"The human rights flashpoints in Darfur, Zimbabwe, Gaza, Iraq and Myanmar demand immediate action," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, launching AI Report 2008: State of the World's Human Rights.
"Injustice, inequality and impunity are the hallmarks of our world today. Governments must act now to close the yawning gap between promise and performance."
Amnesty International's Report 2008, shows that sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations, people are still tortured or ill-treated in at least 81 countries, face unfair trials in at least 54 countries and are not allowed to speak freely in at least 77 countries.