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Series 1, Number 10 (Fall 1997): Efforts, East and West, to Improve Human Rights Assessments


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Effective monitoring and assessment of a state's compliance with any single human rights obligation raises numerous difficulties, especially since mechanisms for reporting on and assessing economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights are still being developed. The articles in this volume highlight the need to improve the current human rights assessment regime, and point to efforts being made to give ESC rights equal inclusion with political and civil rights when monitoring and assessing rights violations. Several authors show that effective promotion of ESC rights lies with the growing number of national and local groups, particularly in developing countries, who have begun to actively campaign around poverty and development issues, women's rights, and basic survival issues, such as the rights to food, health, housing, and education.

Introduction: Efforts, East and West, to Improve Human Rights Assessments | 09/05/97
These articles highlight the need to improve the current human rights assessment regime. They describe the work by a few individuals and organizations to accomplish this, primarily by investing attention and resources in the recognition, monitoring, and realization of ESC rights. Author(s): Tonya Cook

ESC Rights Assessments at the UN | 09/05/97
United Nations system for monitoring implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), is done by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural (ESC) Rights.

The Need for an Intercivilizational Approach to Evaluating Human Rights | 09/05/97
Onuma Yasuaki is engaged in a critique of some of the standards currently used by Western NGOs to assess the state of human rights within countries. Yasuaki argues for the development of an “intercivilizational” approach to human rights assessments. Author(s): Onuma Yasuaki

Human Rights for the Next Century | 09/05/97
Chris Jochnick provides his view on the future of human rights along with the predicted efforts of the United Nations and other NGOs. Author(s): Chris Jochnick

"The West" Is Not Only the United States: European Assessments of Human Rights | 09/05/97
Peter R. Baehr analyzes the human rights of European nations. These countries continue to contribute to the development of more balanced human rights assessments in the West. Author(s): Peter R. Baehr

Human Rights Assessments: A Role for UNDP? | 09/05/97
Håkan Björkman asks whether United Nations development agencies, such as UNICEF, should be assessing human rights around the world. Author(s): Håkan Björkman

Bringing Women's Rights Back into the Human Rights Movement | 09/05/97
Jessica Neuwirth would like to bring women's rights to the forefront in the human rights movement as most of the UDHR have a far more significant impact on women. Author(s): Jessica Neuwirth

Assessing Survival Rights: A New Initiative of the Free Legal Assistance Group in the Philippines | 09/05/97
Ma. Socorro Diokno believes FLAG’s work is a first step toward the creation of just social structures that could lead to the full realization of the rights of survival, in terms of assessing survival rights. Author(s): Ma. Socorro Diokno

A "Violations Approach" to Monitoring the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights | 09/05/97
Audrey R. Chapman believes the United Nations system and relevant nongovernmental organizations should adopt a “violations approach” to monitoring economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights. Author(s): Audrey R. Chapman

Examples of Violations | 09/05/97
Sites violations resulting from Government Action, Policy, or Legislation, and Related to Patterns of Discrimination, as well as Omission or State Failure to Fulfill Obligations.

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