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Course Materials: - Henry J. Steiner and Philip Alston, International Human Rights in Context. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. (K 3240.3 S74 1996) - Kathryn English and Adam Stapleton, The Human Rights Monitoring Handbook. Cape Town: Julat Co., 1997. (JC 585.E54 1997) - additional materials such as UN documents, articles, investigative questionnaires and formats will be distributed before and during the course.
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON THE CAUSES OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS; BRIEF PRESENTATIONS BY THE PARTICIPANTS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES/TOPICAL STUDIES After a brief introduction to domestic mechanisms for the protection of human rights, participant will briefly present an overview of the human rights situation in his/her respective country or of the topical issue that has been a focus of his/her work. The idea of this module is that participants should have a concrete contextual framework and build some common points of reference to bring to bear in the discussions of human rights theories and practices to follow.
INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY, CONCEPTS, PROBLEMS, AND PROSPECTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS & HUMANITARIAN LAW Participants will be introduced to the history, evolution, philosophy, doctrines, dilemmas, controversies, and the present and future relevance of human rights. This module will enable participants to develop a human rights framework from the study of diverse areas such as law, government, political science, history, international relations, philosophy, anthropology, religion, and economic development. The module is intended to empower participants by informing them
Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Studies & Program Director, International Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Advocacy Program, Hamline University, St Paul, MN.
of the philosophical and institutional bases of the international human rights movement so that they can make informed and strategic choices in utilizing human rights mechanisms. Steiner and Alston, pp. 1- 21, 117 - 123, 166 - 255; English and Stapleton, pp. 149-202 [Appendices 1-4] Additional material to be distributed. III. DISCUSSION OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL BASES OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS Participants will be divided into groups and will be assigned specific readings from the text to engage in interactive discussion. IV. INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW This module provides familiarity with traditional concepts and processes of public international law, including a brief study of the historical development, sources, institutions, general principles and practices of public international law and the UN Charter. Participants will also explore the existing legal framework of international law of human rights, including, but not be limited to, the study of what is commonly known as International Bill of Human Rights. Participants will become familiar with the basic definitions of various human rights, including an overview of the basics of the civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights; rights of minorities, children, indigenous people, and women; right to selfdetermination; and protection against racial discrimination. Stenier and Alston, pp. 26 - 113, 118 - 128, 134 - 144, 148 - 165, 255 - 328, 902-910, 971-1019, 1148-1190; Stapleton and English, pp. 13-66 [Chpt. 2] V. INTERNATIONAL LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT This module will provide the participants with history, philosophy, origin, and existing legal and institutional set up (including limitations) in dealing with violations of human rights in a state of war or armed conflict. Participants will examine the law regulating armed conflict or war in general; however, the primary focus will be on serious violations of the human rights during internal conflicts. Participants will gain an overview of the four Geneva Conventions and the two resulting protocols plus come to understand the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (the ICRC) and other institutions involved in the implementation of the law of armed conflicts. Gurdhyan Singh, "Introduction to International Humanitarian Law" (pp. 744-751), in Selected Documents in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (pending publication); Geneva Conventions and Protocols -22
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE Participants will familiarize themselves with the prosecutorial aspect of international human rights protection by the UN. After the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, there were no subsequent prosecutions until the UN Security Council established the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunals. This module will inform participants of the political and legal context for the establishment of these tribunals, of the jurisdiction of these tribunals, and of the prospects for the proposed International Criminal Court. Steiner and Alston, pp. 1021-1108; Gurdhyan Singh, “Introduction” (pp. 1-21) in Selected Documents in International Criminal Justice (pending publication)
THE RIGHT TO FOOD AND WATER AS A HUMAN RIGHT The participants will be able to get brief overview of this highly contentious and often neglected internationally recognized human right within the framework of both UN Treaty and Charter mechanism. In addition, they will identify international standards related to right to food and water, analysis the relationship to other rights, consider State obligations under international and national law, and address implementation and enforcement mechanisms. The historical and political background of the right to food is much more than the history and politics of malnutrition. It concerns the development of the notion of access to food as a right. As a right, it sets obligations on the state and community of states. These obligations have been established as "enforceable" through centuries of social struggle for a democratic state in the service of the people. Providing access to food and work has been seen as a moral obligation for rulers from the dawn of history. The only (but decisive) difference between these moral obligations and the right to food is, of course, the fact that human rights give a claim to the poor and vulnerable groups that is, in principle, enforceable. Traditionally people had no remedy other than revolt against a king or state that failed to meet its obligations. The idea of the human right to food is to establish procedural and legal means for seeking remedies against authorities when they fail to guarantee access to food. This idea is barely 200 years old-and not yet legally implemented in most states even today. Toebes, Brigit C. A. The Right to Health as a Human Right in International Law. Antwerp: Intersentia-Hart, 1998. (Required reading) Eide, Asbjørn. “The Right to an Adequate Standard of Living Including the Right to Food.” In Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Textbook. Eds. Asbjørn Eide, Catarina Krause, and Allan Rosas. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 1995. (Optional reading). Other UN and NGO documentation will be supplied with the packet. -33
THE UN AND REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION AND PROMOTION MECHANISMS Due both to the institutional limitations of the nation-state and to the unwillingness of its leadership to address human rights concerns, human rights advocates often look to the UN to address these concerns in the international sphere. It is, therefore, essential for the participants to clearly understand the complex and complicated institutional settings of the UN human rights protection and promotion mechanisms. This module lays out for participants the ever-expanding human rights machinery of the UN -- i.e., the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council to the Commission on Human Rights, the Sub-Commission on Prevention and Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and its various working groups, and assorted treaty-bodies constituted under the International covenants and conventions. In addition to understanding the UN human rights machinery, participants will examine the various regional arrangements entered into by States for the protection of human rights in Europe, the Americas, and Africa, and of prospects for the same in Asia. Steiner and Alston, pp. 331 - 448, 500 - 536, 563 - 689; English and Stapleton, pp. 122-147 [Chpt. 6]
HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORING FOR THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS This module introduces skills required for effective human rights monitoring and reporting by the domestic human rights advocates for the purposes of UN. In addition, participants will learn about the methods of UN field operations field staff in monitoring the human rights. The module will use the various specifically designed forms used by the UN to document, monitor, and report about various human rights violations. Participants will split into small working groups with a facilitator assigned. Given a thematic issue or case situation, each group will then prepare reports, memoranda, and fill out the relevant forms accordingly. English and Stapleton, pp. 122-147 (review) The documentations required for practica will be distributed later.
HUMAN RIGHTS FIELD OPERATIONS BY THE UN AND OSCE Initially, the international protection of human rights was nothing more than a marginal component of various peacekeeping operations established by the UN. Such protection took a new turn with the establishment of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Under the auspices of UNHCHR, human rights field operations (stand alone, human rights presence within peacekeeping operations and national presence for technical cooperation) were set up in Rwanda, Haiti, Malawi, Palestine, El Salvador, and Cambodia, with many more in the offing. Recently, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) initiated various similar field operations. Participants will gain an overview of such operations and of the typical role of field monitors in these operations.
THE NGO ROLE IN THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS Efforts to ensure the protection of human rights in a society are shared by various groups (e.g., lawyers, trade unions, student organizations, religious groups, teacher groups, women's groups, and media people) as well as by human rights groups. Such actors operate at various levels, from the local to the national to the transnational. Major international human rights organizations (e.g., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, Doctors Without Borders, International Alert, and Reconciliation), largely based in western countries, serve as one conduit for information and advocacy. Participants will explore the work of these international non-governmental organizations, their funding and mandates, their politics, and basis of their relationship with domestic human rights groups. In the first part of the session, participants will have the opportunity to interact with local human rights activists; in the second part of the session, they will explore the mandate of various international human rights NGOs. Steiner and Alston, pp. 456 - 497; English and Stapleton, pp. 67-83 (review) Mandates of the NGOs will be distributed later.
HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORING FOR THE INTERNATIONAL NGOs In this module, participants learn how to interact from a domestic context with the international NGOs, always keeping in view their mandates and other limitations. Participants will split into small working groups with a facilitator assigned. Given a thematic issue or case situation, each group will then prepare reports, memoranda, and fill out the relevant forms accordingly. English and Stapleton, pp. 149-296 [appendices]
SIMULATION OF A UN MEETING -55
Participants sitting in a typical UN body will discuss two concrete human rights situations, including deliberating on draft resolutions tabled re the situations. Participants will decide whether to adopt the resolutions tabled or not, and they may also suggest measures or recommendations to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights, in addition to or in lieu of resolutions criticizing the countries in question. Participants are expected to keep in view the perspective, information, knowledge, and skills they have acquired, and above all the role assigned to them. Although a schedule will be distributed, participants may go beyond the schedule, as often happens in a UN meeting. Documentation on the simulation exercise will be distributed during the program. XVI. FILM AND DISCUSSION Details TBA
FINAL WORKSHOP This module provides an opportunity to try out the tools introduced in previous Modules.
PROGRAM EVALUATION & GRADUATION CEREMONY Participants will evaluate the program -- its overall content, relevance, and usefulness; instructors and resource persons. Participants will receive their Certificates of Completion from the Hamline University.
Faculty and Resource Persons:
1. Gurdhyan Singh, Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Studies. 2. Van Dusenbery, Professor of Anthropology. 3. Richard Kaegan, Professor of History. 4. Susan Mysters, Associate Professor of Forensic Anthropology. 5. Walter Enloe, Professor of Education. 6. Ken Fox, Associate Professor of Law. 7. Mary Jo Hunter, Professor of Law. 8. Robin Magee, Associate Professor of Law. 9. John Weeks, Professor of Law 10. Clarence Davis, Adjunct Professor and Director, Dred Scot Institute of International Human Rights. 11. Representative from MN Advocates for Human Rights. 12. Representative from Center for Victims of Torture. 13. Representative from Asian Women United of MN. 14. Representative from ACLU, MN 15. Representative from NAACP. 16. Representative from other organizations, TBA.