Posts Tagged ‘intervention’

Why ‘lecturing’ China on human rights should be continued

March 30, 2016

German President Joachim Gauck (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping are shown during the former's recent visit to Chna. Photo: Reuters

German President Joachim Gauck (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping are shown during the former’s recent visit to China. Photo: Reuters

Stephen Vines published a piece in EJ Insight on 29 March 2016 under the title “Why China acquiesced to German leader’s human rights lecture”. I think it is an excellent read that makes the case for continued ‘human rights interference” in China and not just there. I save you the trouble of finding it by copying it below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Statement on Human Rights Defenders that the Observatory would have delivered orally to the UN (if time had allowed)

March 4, 2016

Severe time restraints made that several NGOs could not make their oral statement on 4 March 2016 during the Interactive Dialogue with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the UN Human Rights Council [see:].

Here follows the text of the statement that the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, would have delivered:

Read the rest of this entry »

Pressure on Venezuela to stop intimidation of human right defenders

February 15, 2014

A good example of the interaction of the work of international [human rights] organisations and local media is this piece from El Universal in Venezuela under the title: “Front Line Defenders reject intimidation of human right advocates”. It mentions:

  • Front Line Defenders called for prompt and unbiased investigation into the arbitrary detention and assault of human rights activist Inti Rodríguez and defamation of Humberto Prado, a representative of non-governmental organization Venezuelan Prison Watch .
  • The UN requests inquiry into involvement of armed gangs in violent events.
  • The European Union calls for peaceful dialogue in Venezuela
  • USA asks Maduro’s government to respect freedom of expression.

via Front Line Defenders reject intimidation of human right advocates – Daily News.

International Service for Human Rights holds again its Geneva Training Course: from 26 May to 7 June

April 23, 2013

You can now apply for ISHR‘s Geneva Training Course 2013. This advanced level training course will be held in Geneva from 26 May to 7 June, in parallel to the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council. The course offers an opportunity for participants with existing advocacy experience at domestic or regional level to expand their knowledge and skills, and over the 2-week period in Geneva directly engage in lobbying and advocacy activities at the UN level. This new programme blends ISHR extensive training experience, with its unique access to the UN mechanisms in Geneva and its close collaboration with leading human rights organisations. It will combine a common intensive training course with supported lobbying and advocacy activities adapted to the areas of interest of participants, as well as peer education among different groups of defenders. The programme will consist of the following elements:ISHR-logo-colour-high

a)    A short online learning component, which takes place prior to Human Rights Council sessions, and supports participants in consolidating existing knowledge and developing advocacy objectives;

b)    An intensive course in Geneva during the beginning of the June 2013 session of the Human Rights Council, focusing on ways to use international human rights mechanisms and to influence outcomes at the Human Rights Council;

c)     Specific advocacy at the Human Rights Council session, with regular feedback and peer education to learn from the experiences;

b)    Where appropriate, common follow-up at national level.

It is directed at experienced human rights defenders at the national level who have already some prior knowledge of the international human rights system.

The 23rd session of the Human Rights Council, which runs in parallel, will among other things focus on the following key areas:

  • A resolution to follow-up to the Council’s work combating discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity (the SOGI resolution).
  • Thematic reports by the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women; Special Rap on Cultural Rights;  Working Group on Discrimination Against Women
  • Thematic Reports by  Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression.
  • Annual Full Day Discussion on Women’s Rights 
  • Report of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, the Forum on Business and Human Rights and a panel discussion on human rights and business

The draft programme of work of the Human Rights Council is expected to be published shortly, and will be available at

A description of the course, what is expected of participants and instructions on how to apply are available at

The (eternal) humanitarian intervention debate moves to Reykjavik in April

March 7, 2013

The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and the Ministry of Interior of Iceland organise the Reykjavík Congress on the topic: “Human Rights: Human Rights Protection & International Law: The Multifaceted Dilemma of Restraining and Promoting International Interventions”, in Reykjavik, Iceland from 10 to 13 April 2013.

It aims to argue and debate the notion of the responsibility to protect from a human rights perspective, taking into account the divergent dimensions in restraining or promoting international intervention. It plans to consider the current most vehement cases of human rights violations, and further comprehend the varied issues and approaches to these mass atrocities and crimes against humanity from a theoretical perspective, analyzing the complex layers and structures, and taking into account the ethical dilemma surrounding the responsibility to protect and international intervention. For more information please visit:

I would add that this is a most interesting and of course always ‘hot’ topic. I touched upon it in my own article “The international human rights movement: not perfect, but a lot better than many governments think” in the book ‘NGOs in China and Europe’. That the book was published also in Chinese makes it more interesting in view of the strong anti-intervention position taken by the Chinese Government: “Clearly, sovereignty is and remains one of the central organising principles of the international system as we know it. At the same time, there can be no doubt that the very idea and doctrine of internationally protected human rights is a powerful limitation. There is a clear tension between human rights law and general international law. The concept of the sovereignty of States and the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs is laid down in Art 2(7) of the UN Charter, but the qualifying word ‘essentially’ should be noted. Moreover, the Security Council may use the existence of a threat to international peace and security to take action, which overrides sovereignty. From the beginning of the 20th century, international human rights NGOs played a major role in this process of norm shifting, from the Dumbarton Oaks Conference up to the recent debates on the ‘right to inference’ (droit d’ingerence ). After decades of slow but steady development, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action in 1993 confirmed that human rights are a ‘legitimate international concern’. Of course, this short chapter cannot settle the complex debate surrounding the issue of sovereignty and intervention, but it demonstrates that it is far from static and that the international human rights movement is an active ingredient in its development.” (from: Yuwen Li (ed), NGOs in China and Europe, Ashgate, 2011, pp 287-304 (ISBN: 978-1-4094-1959-4).