taking on non-response: this blogger’s lone response

March 20, 2011

One of my first posts – almost a year ago (28 April 2010) – dealt with the weakness of enforcement of internationally recognized human rights. It stated, only half-jokingly, that “the best advice one can give a tyrannical regime is to simply ignore all international condemnations, refuse to answer any queries, do not let any UN Rapporteurs or NGOs in, and after a while – usually quite quickly – the furor, if any, will dampen and the media will shine their light elsewhere, most likely where there is some degree of cooperation and access”.  It concluded with some ideas on how to counter trend:

  • Every year on 10 December, Human Rights Day, the human rights movement – through a coalition of major and representative NGOs – makes public a list of the top 10 ‘refusniks’ (countries that stand out in ‘non-cooperation’)
  • Non-enforcement of decisions by any of the UN treaty bodies will have to be strengthened (report to the General Assembly is not enough). The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights could be asked to compile annually a list of non-enforced decisions and give it the widest possible dissemination, including to the meetings of the States Parties. Persistent non-compliance should be routinely followed by inter-state complaints.
  • A business company struck of the list of the Global Compact MUST make this known in the same media and publications in which its joining was announced and with same emphasis (this should be made this part of the code). Non-compliance with this requirement should lead to an active campaign by the UN to explain why the company was struck off the list.

On the LinkedIn platform there were some encouraging reactions, but the truth is that most of the the ideas proposed could only be carried out by large groups of individuals or NGOs. However, there is one thing I can do as a lone small-time blogger, which is to highlight incidents of ‘non-response’ by States to actions concerning HRDs, such as refusing to receive missions, answer specific queries, closing offices, forbid showing of films or publications etc.; all things that tend to get less media attention than they deserve. To keep it manageable, I will limit myself – for the time being – to survey Laureates of the MEA, products of the True Heroes Foundations or actions by the 10 international NGOs on the Jury of the MEA. It may not help a lot but it is within my means to draw attention to the more hidden attacks on human rights and perhaps make that crime pay less.

Any cases you come across are most welcome.


2 Responses to “taking on non-response: this blogger’s lone response”

  1. Alexandra Bisia Says:

    This is a great initiative Hans! Every little thing counts, and helps.

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