Posts Tagged ‘vote’

Public voting for the 2016 Human Rights Tulip has started

August 30, 2016

Public voting for the Dutch human rights award, The Tulip, has opened on 29 August 2016 and lasts until 7 September. Anyone can vote for their favourite nominee at www.humanrightstulip.nl or www.mensenrechtentulp.nl.

Human Rights Tulip

Human Rights Tulip Photo: Aad Meijer/Newsroom BZ

The Human Rights Tulip is an award for innovative human rights defenders. It is intended to support human rights defenders and organisations, publicise their efforts and inspire others. The 10 nominees are:

Mwatana Organization For Human Rights (Yemen),

Mr Pierre Claver Mbonimpa (Burundi),

Ms Nighat Dad (Pakistan),

the El Nadim Center (Egypt),

Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres (Mexico),

the native community of Santa Clara de Uchunya (Peru),

Centro Prodh (Mexico),

Mr Nguyn Quang A (Vietnam),

Ms Nahid Gabralla (Sudan) and

the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) (Lebanon).

Out of the top 3 nominees chosen by public vote, foreign minister Bert Koenders will select the winner, whom he will present with the award – a bronze tulip-shaped statue – on International Human Rights Day, 10 December.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Justice and Peace Foundation in The Hague together selected the nominees and provide support for the winning individual or organization. The winner receives €100,000 in prize money, enabling them to expand the reach of the work and allow as many people as possible around the world to benefit from the award.

In 2015 the Human Rights Tulip was awarded to IRA Mauritania (Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania).  https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/2015-human-rights-tulip-awarded-to-ira-mauritania/

Source: The 2016 Human Rights Tulip: public voting starts today | News item | Government.nl

Follow up on the Human Rights Defenders Resolution in the UN

December 5, 2015

Last week I wrote about how the UN Resolution on HRDs did in the 3rd Committee of the UN General Assembly [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/unfortunately-the-un-voted-on-the-resolution-on-human-rights-defenders/] and how South Africa has turned around [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/south-africa-does-about-turn-on-un-resolution-on-human-rights-defenders/]. The date of the vote in the Plenary is not yet confirmed but is likely to be 18 or 21 December. The voting record is available: http://www.un.org/en/ga/third/70/docs/voting_sheets/L.46.Rev.1.pdf

Fourteen States voted no on the resolution (China, Russia, Syria, Burundi, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, North Korea, South Africa, Iran, Pakistan, and Sudan). In some of these countries civil society has expressed disappointment. e.g.

In Pakistan the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in a statement issued on Tuesday, said: “At the same time, HRCP must express alarm and great disappointment that Pakistan chose to be one of the 14 nations that voted against the resolution.“ “While regretting Pakistan’s decision to oppose the resolution, the civil society is entitled to ask what rights defenders have done to deserve this step-motherly treatment. It is unfortunate that the government wishes to see civil society as an adversary. The civil society cannot, and must not, surrender its role as a watchdog for people’s rights because that constitutes an entitlement, by virtue of citizens’ social contract with the state, and not as a concession” “The HRCP also stresses people’s right to know through an explanation in parliament the reason why the government chose to deny the need for protection for HRDs, who include, besides human rights groups, journalists, lawyers, political and social activists.Read the rest of this entry »

South Africa does ‘about-turn’ on UN resolution on human rights defenders

November 30, 2015

In relation to my post of 26 November [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/unfortunately-the-un-voted-on-the-resolution-on-human-rights-defenders/] there is an interesting development. South-African media, NGOs and human rights defenders (e.g. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2015/11/27/We-join-the-bullies) criticized heavily the position taken by Government in voting against. Today Barry Bateman reports that the South African government appears to have done an about-turn on its position and will now support the resolution when the matter is referred to the full General Assembly in the next few days.  The Department of International Relations says the Africa group of members’ states had about 39 proposed amendments to the resolution following intense negotiations. The department raised concerns around the definition of a human rights defender, the responsibilities placed on sovereign parliaments and issues of NGO funding.  It says the resolution’s main sponsor introduced oral amendments at the last-minute without informing South Africa.  These amendments rendered the country’s concerns redundant.

India‘s Yes-vote was circumscribed by its statement that “stressed” that it does not feel it necessary to not create “any new obligations at national level”. Counterview  of 28 November takes issue with this citing examples of where human rights defenders in India are still missing protection. [see also: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/yes-minister-it-human-rights-issue/india-uk-narendra-modi-david-cameron-visit-human-rights]

In the meantime Khoo Ying Hooi writing in a post in the Malaysian Insider of 30 November welcomes the Yes-vote by Malaysia, but shares the skepticism of many local human rights defenders that it is mostly window-dressing way. (“Malaysia has in many instances not walked the talk when it comes to international commitments on human rights affairs. One glaring example is their lack of commitment to the peer-review mechanism, Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the United Nations Human Rights Council. At this point of time, Malaysia’s adoption of the UN resolution in protecting human rights defenders does not reflect the reality back home. It was obvious that it is, at least for now, nothing more than diplomatic window dressing. While a UN resolution such as this would help in many ways, human rights protection must start at home.“)

Sources: Govt does ‘about-turn’ on its human rights defenders position

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/khoo-ying-hooi/article/malaysias-vote-on-protecting-human-rights-defenders-diplomatic-window-dress

http://www.counterview.net/2015/11/india-doesnt-need-new-legal-mechanism.html