Changes that would cripple the ability of Special Procedures

Changes that would cripple the ability of Special Procedures

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John Ahni Schertow
March 15, 2007
 

changes that would cripple the ability of Special Procedures
from The First Peoples Human Rights Coalition
March 15, 2007

Important action: ‘Special Procedures’ have been an essential factor in the voices ‘of the voiceless’ being heard internationally. Some governments at the Human Rights Council are now “proposing changes that would cripple the ability of Special Procedures to promote and protect human rights effectively.” We urge you to stand up for the experts, representatives, and Special Rapporteurs who have bravely stood up for us.

* Go to the dedicated website at www.actforspecialprocedures.org to sign the petition (in English, French, Spanish and Arabic).
* Please circulate far and wide to your networks, encouraging signatures of individuals and organizations. This one is important. The discussions are going on at the current session of the HRC, so there is a need to act.

[FROM THE WEBSITE]

“The Special Procedures give a voice to the voiceless victims of abuses.” Kofi Annan, 19 June 2006

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s special rapporteurs and representatives, independent experts and working groups – collectively known as the “Special Procedures” – are among the most innovative, flexible and responsive tools created by the UN to promote and protect human rights.

Over the 40 years of their existence, the Special Procedures have made urgent interventions concerning thousands of individuals whose lives and physical integrity were at risk; through their country missions and studies, they have made recommendations for the improvement of human rights at the national and international levels; they have facilitated a better understanding and encouraged the development of human rights law.

The Special Procedures continue to play a unique role and are as essential to the improvement of human rights in the world in 2007 as they were in 1967, when the very first mandate was created.

Today their coverage ranges from freedom from torture, arbitrary or extrajudicial executions, “counter-terrorism”, racism and violence against women to respect for the rights to health, to food and to adequate housing. They help to protect individuals and groups, such as migrants and indigenous peoples, and address situations of human rights violations both globally and in specific countries.

Take Action Now!

The UN Human Rights Council is currently discussing changes to the Special Procedures through a review, which must be completed by June 2007. Despite the clear need for the Human Rights Council to strengthen the Special Procedures, several states are instead proposing changes that would cripple the ability of Special Procedures to promote and protect human rights effectively.

www.actforspecialprocedures.org

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