Online Publications

8 12 2006

Achieving Women’s Economic & Social Rights Strategies and Lessons from Experience, A report by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development. “This report is a collaborative effort from over 50 activists working in diverse settings all over the world. They were asked to comment on what strategies they found most useful in their efforts to improve economic and social rights for women. What were the greatest challenges they were encountering in their work? Did the framework of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) as expressed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, actually fulfill its promise in presenting them with a new and more effective approach to their work? The report synthesizes and analyses some important examples and lessons that emerged through this investigative process.”

The African Great Lakes Region: An End to Conflict? Source: House of Commons Library (UK), “Since the early 1990s the African Great Lakes region defined here as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania has been convulsed by genocide, civil wars, inter-state conflict and flawed democratic transitions. With UN-sponsored peace processes underway in DRC and Burundi and projects of state and societal reconstruction apparently advancing in Rwanda and Uganda, there are hopes that the epoch of violence and exploitation in the African Great Lakes region is finally drawing to an end. This Research Paper offers an assessment of how well founded these hopes are. The next step on the road to regional peace and stability is the second round of the presidential election in the DRC, which takes place on 29 October 2006. Much rests on a peaceful and legitimate outcome.”

Burundi: Democracy and Peace at Risk, A report from the International Crisis Group that examines the government’s abuses of power and analyses the institutional weaknesses making them possible. There are few signs of violent opposition as yet, but recent actions, in particular the arrest of leading opposition figures and journalists on questionable grounds, have damaged the country’s political fabric and could hamper implementation of the ceasefire agreement signed with the FNL rebels in September 2006.

2006 Corruption Perceptions Index, A report produced by Transparency International. The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index is a composite index that draws on multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector corruption in 163 countries around the world, the greatest scope of any CPI to date. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.

Defamation ABC: a simple introduction to key concepts of defimation law, As part of a new series of defamation campaigning tools, ARTICLE 19 has released a Defamation ABC, which introduces key concepts of defamation law.

Education and the role of NGOs in emergencies: Afghanistan 1978-2002, Report produced by USAID. “In political and social crisis and emergencies the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as frontline service providers is critical, as chronic unrest and fragmentation render the capacity of the state to provide public service ineffective or virtually non-existent. In such situations, resources are often channeled through NGOs that take on quasi-governmental roles in delivering social services, including education. This report looks at the role NGOs played in the provision of education services to Afghans during the war, with particular focus on the Taliban period and the initial years of the post-Taliban reconstruction.”

Education for Citizenship and Democracy in the Americas: An Agenda for Action, A report by the Inter-American Development Bank. “This report analyzes alternatives for changing from civic education to citizenship education through schooling that incorporates citizenship at every level. It must redefine pedagogy to combine traditional academic elements with debates and community service experiences in a school environment that favors relationships of trust and mutual recognition. Emphasis is placed on evaluations that make their objectives visible. Such evaluations must measure progress and adjust policies at the macro level as well as the activities of teachers and educational institutions at the micro level.”

Engaging the Electorate: Initiatives to Promote Voter Turnout From Around the World, A publication by International Idea. “The legitimacy of democratic elections rests not least on the level of voter participation. Evidence of a steady decline in voter turnout throughout the world is giving rise to widespread concern. The declining trend has been witnessed for several decades, and extensive efforts have been made to reverse, or at least stabilize, this trend. Engaging the Electorate: Initiatives to Promote Voter Turnout From Around the World looks beyond the statistics and examines some of the strategies currently being tested around the world that aim to reverse the decline in turnout and to boost popular participation in elections of all kinds. The publication looks into six practical approaches to increasing voter turnout: information campaigns on how, where and when to vote; advertising campaigns on why to vote, grass-roots movements; mock elections in schools and other special-purpose educational programmes; inducements to encourage electors to turn out and vote; and entertainment activities such as Rock the Vote concerts, aimed specifically at young people.”

Failure to Protect: a call for the UN Security Council to act in North Korea, Commissioned by Vaclav Havel, Elie Wiesel, and Kjell Magne Bondevik, this report finds the North Korean government in violation of crimes against humanity, including starvation and political repression of its citizens. It calls for UN intervention in North Korea but judges the existing UN sanctions against the country unhelpful, and recommends a “non-punitive resolution” that calls for the release of political prisoners, unhindered access for humanitarian workers, and investigation by human rights investigators.

From Resource War to ‘Violent Peace’ Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Paper by Björn Aust and Willem Jaspers for the Bonn International Center for Conversion. “This paper analyses the transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) paying particular attention to the continuing impact of natural resources and corruption which fuels instability. The paper argues that the peace accord was successful as a result of external political pressure and because of a compromise on power sharing agreement in the transitional government. The paper concludes that the exploitative structures of the war economy have not disappeared and that the DRC faces many structural constraints and thereby risks falling into the ‘conflict trap’.”

Georgia’s Armenian and Azeri Minorities, An International Crisis Group report. “Tbilisi/Brussels, 22 November 2006: The Georgian government must take significant steps to avoid conflict in the country’s ethnic Armenian and Azeri areas. Georgia’s Armenian and Azeri Minorities,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the grievances of these two communities. While there is no risk of the situation becoming Ossetian- or Abkhaz-like threats to Georgia’s territorial integrity, tensions are evident in the regions of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo-Kartli, where the two predominantly live. There have been demonstrations, alleged police brutality and killings during the past two years.”

Going online in Cuba – Internet under surveillance, A Reporters Without Borders report. “An investigation carried out by Reporters Without Borders revealed that the Cuban government uses several mechanisms to ensure that the Internet is not used in a “counter-revolutionary” fashion. Firstly, the government has more or less banned private Internet connections. To visit websites or check their e-mail, Cubans have to use public access points such as Internet cafes, universities and “Youth computing centers” where it is easier to monitor their activity. Then, the Cuban police has installed software on all computers in Internet cafes and big hotels that triggers an alert message when “subversive” key-words are noticed. The regime also ensures that there is no Internet access for its political opponents and independent journalists, for whom reaching news media abroad is an ordeal. The government also counts on self-censorship. In Cuba, you can get a 20-year prison sentence for writing a few “counter-revolutionary” articles for foreign websites, and a five-year one just for connecting with the Internet in an illegal manner. Few people dare to defy the state censorship and take such a risk.”

Human Rights Standards: Learning from Experience, Launched on 26 September in Geneva by the Council, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR). Ambassador Luis Alfonso De Alba, President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, presented the report at an event organised during the UN Human Rights Council.

The Legislative System Under the Iraqi Council of Representatives (COR): A Comparative Assessment, An ExpressO Preprint Series. “Iraq’s Council of Representatives (CoR) currently represents an enormous ‘work-in-progress.’ This paper seeks to provide an analytical overview of the legislative process in Iraq. It is intended to be more anecdotal than scientific. Its purpose is to assess the current situation and not to judge the work that has already been done there; it seeks to observe the present situation and suggest possible improvements to the CoR.”

Implementing Freedom of Expression: A Checklist for the Implementation of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, ARTICLE 19 has published a checklist designed for civil society organisations who wish to conduct analyses of the implementation status of the African Union’s ‘Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa’.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Under Attack in Sudan, A report published by Human Rights First. The first ten months of 2006 have seen a significant deterioration in the conditions faced by the many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to bring relief to the civilian population devastated by the Darfur conflict and to expose violations of human rights.

Operation Kissonde: the diamonds of humiliation and misery [Angola], Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS): New Policy Memos, A Center for Strategic & International Studies report. “Begun in February 1997, the Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) is a small network of scholars who analyze Russian and Eurasian security issues and the region’s role in international affairs. These scholars are leading social scientists; many teach at institutions of higher learning in the US, Russia, and Ukraine.”

Political parties in Africa, A series of country reports produced by International IDEA on political parties in Kenya, Botswana, Namibia and Ghana are now available in International IDEA’s global political parties’ database, which is continuously updated with more country and regional reports from all over the world.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report, Full text of this report (published in 1998, released in 2003) of the South African commission that investigated the amnesty process, human rights violations, and reparation and rehabilitation with respect to apartheid. Includes errata to the final report, as well as a list of acronyms. From the South African government.

Wikis, webs, and networks: creating connections for conflict-prone settings, A CSIS report. “This report recommends ways to improve connectivity between the various actors working in conflict prone settings. The ultimate goal of enhanced connectivity is to enable local populations to prevent and mitigate conflict and help rebuild their country. This report is intended for civilians as well as the military, the public and private sectors, and Americans as well as international and national actors.”

Women’s Rights and Democracy: Peaceful Transformation in Iran, The struggle for women’s rights is fully intertwined with the larger struggle for democracy in Iran. Women are at the centre of resistance efforts against theocratic rule in Iran; many inside the country believe that women have the capacity to influence the future political direction of the country. This report documents the role of women in the struggle for gradual, non-violent societal transformation in Iran. Despite an increased number of women in politics, women still do not wield enough power to influence the formal policymaking process. Consequently, as the report documents, women in Iran are developing alternative strategies to promote awareness and mobilise support for civil and human rights. The report concedes that the movement faces challenges: with the 2005 election of a conservative government, it will take a unified, broad-based civilian movement to bring democracy to Iran, a movement that does not yet exist in the country. However, the authors argue, women’s transformation of Iranian society from the ground up is perhaps the most positive indication of a persistent push for democracy, openness, and plurality.




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