HUMAN RIGHTS STRATEGY FOR THE NEXT ISP

DECIDES to adopt the following Human Rights Strategy for the next Integrated Strategic Plan (2010-2016);

ASKS THE IEC to ensure that, in putting this plan into operation in individual countries, care will be taken that the priorities set out in the plan do not clash with potentially more pressing human rights concerns in the country in question.

1. Amnesty will work to strengthen the rights of people living in poverty by

– using the Dignity campaign to promote an understanding of human rights aspects of poverty, and to work against serious violations of the right to health and the right to housing,

– campaigning for ratification and implementation of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

– campaigning for the enforcement of transnational companies’ responsibility for human rights,

– working against new forms of slavery.

2. Amnesty will work to protect people at risk from cruel and inhumane treatment and serious infringements of their right to freedom of expression and religion by

– campaigning against the death penalty,

– campaigning against torture,

– working for the release of prisoners of conscience and for fair trials for political prisoners,

– campaigning against disappearances,

– supporting and protecting human rights defenders,

these priorities being conducted in the form of individual casework wherever appropriate, further:

– working to stop state violence against children.

3. Amnesty will promote the rights of refugees and migrants and will work for their protection by

– asking states to strictly observe the principle of non-refoulement and not forcibly return refugees to frontiers of territories where they are at risk of serious human rights violations,
– asking states to ensure that all asylum-seekers will have access to a fair and satisfactory asylum procedure,
– enhancing protection of Internally Displaced Persons,
– campaigning for wider ratification and implementation of the Migrant Workers´ Convention,
– working against grave abuses of the economic, social and cultural rights of migrants,
– asking states to protect the human rights of persons suffering from environmental displacement.

4. Amnesty will work to protect people affected by armed conflict by

– working against impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of human rights,

– campaigning for stronger controls on the arms trade, especially through the Arms Trade Treaty.

5. Amnesty will work to promote the equal treatment of all people, in particular by

– working against violence against women and promoting the human rights of women,

– working against discrimination and persecution on the basis of sexual identity or orientation,

– working against serious racist discrimination or discrimination on the basis of ethnic background, including discrimination against indigenous peoples.

Cross-Cutting Goal 1 – Human rights education: Amnesty will

– work to ensure access to education that promotes tolerance and respect for the human rights of all people,

– use human rights education to empower people to stand up for their own rights and the rights of others,

– promote the indivisibility of human rights,

– promote and where necessary provide human rights training for key professions, especially for armed forces and law enforcement officers.

Cross-Cutting Goal 2: Improve our ability to react to crisis and conflict situations:

While implementing the Strategy outlined above, Amnesty will make sure it can react to unexpected, worsening human rights situations, including crisis and conflict situations. To help achieve this, Amnesty will maintain a system of global monitoring and optimize its capacity to mobilize for action in “unplanned situations” in both CAP and non-CAP countries as the need arises.

Explanatory note

Paragraph 1: We are concerned that the human rights strategy in the ISP draft available at the time of writing (late December 2008) lacks contour and focus. Our suggested strategy, which on the whole adopts the major focal points already suggested by the ISP committee and in general greeted by the movement, aims to provide a clearer basis for debate up to and during the ICM.

Paragraph 2: Occasionally during the current ISP period, actions and campaigns have been pursued which correspond to the global priorities of the ISP but may not represent the most pressing human rights situation in the country on which the action is focused. Care must be taken to ensure that our global priorities and our local relevance are in alignment.

Strategy:

We have selected priorities for research and action which complement each other effectively and have “add-on value”. For example, prioritizing human rights education and training will have a major impact on all of the goals listed above, and constitutes a major tool in the battle against discrimination; and continuing to work to “control arms” will have impact in goal 2 as well goal 3 (and, indirectly, on goal 1). We foresee that the next ISP will give particular weight to goals (1) and (2), and agree with many other sections and structures that continuing our “legacy” work will strengthen and lend credibility to the “new message” of our work on poverty in particular. Several areas of our suggested strategy clearly demonstrate the indivisibility of human rights, for example, work to stop state violence against children: whether in the criminal justice system or in institutions, it is overwhelmingly very poor children who are the victims.

Aside from these priorities, we agree that Amnesty needs to improve its ability to react to worsening human rights situations world-wide. This includes work on crisis and conflict situations, but may also mean realigning our country strategies in light of new developments affecting human rights generally or one area of human rights in particular. Global monitoring is an essential part of this process but has little impact if we are not able to act effectively as such critical situations emerge. Here as well, Amnesty’s mission to combat serious human rights violations through research AND action needs to be fulfilled.

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One Comment on “HUMAN RIGHTS STRATEGY FOR THE NEXT ISP”

  1. cp4ab0lishm3nt Says:

    Having a human rights training and education tool is very important and on a number of organisations there have been talk about Human Rights Education (HRE). We are not talking about HRE at the tertiary level but basically to inculcate HRE at the secondary school level and make it as an option under Civics, Law and Human Rights.

    But again what does HRE contains? What if the priority of HRE is only to educate on issues of national ideals — this is more of civic education not human rights education. Human rights education involves the study of the rule of law, freedom of religion and expression, right of life and liberty and even child and gender rights.

    Does this go against the basic principles of the Malaysian policies? If it does then its no longer a human rights education under the auspicies of UN Declarations but a civic education.


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