Visit to the Camp
*** Get Organised for Human Rights! 3rd Global Linking & Learning Programme for Community Organisers , 17-24 August 2010, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Dignity International just organised a very good workshop with our grassroots partners called the 3rd Get Organized for Human Rights workshop. This workshop in Sao Paulo brought together 20 human rights activist and community organisers from all continents. The programme set out to meet these objectives below.
- share and take stock of urban poverty - locally and globally including field visit to urban and rural settlement communities;
- sharpen our understanding of human rights and how our daily struggle for survival are intricately linked with our human rights struggle;
- community organising exchange to sharpen our skills as community organize based on human rights;
- strengthen the global network of grassroots partnership amongst Dignity International partners to strategise an advocacy plan in fighting poverty locally and globally
After being together for nine days, we indeed met these hopes in a very deep way. Many participants appraised the concept of organising a workshop of this nature that allowed them spaces for mutual learning. The focus of the workshop was to use the workshop space to listen and learn form each others’ struggles. The programme gave ample time for sharing about participants’ substantial work on the ground and their struggle on human rights in their own situations. The breath of the stories of community human rights issues had similarities across the continents, while having some specific concerns that differed within the different countries. This was a refreshing way to learn about each others human rights advocacy and community organizing experience.
One of the highlights was the field trip to the communities with rural and urban poor organised by Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra(MST) and Uniao dos Movimentos de Moradia do Estado de São Paulo (UMM). The visit inspired Maju from YUVA, India to say " The visit to MST was something to cherish where the ideology, attitude, methodology were very cohesive to empower the communities".
The visits that spanned two days, included a visit to the MST Florestan Fernandes National School in Guararema, Sao Paulo, which is a national school set up by MST for the political education of its militants (committed long term activist). Here the peoples’ movement contributed to build a school that is their symbol of strengthening the movement and was built through the physical contribution of its members across the country .
The second visit was to experiences the urban community organising for adequate housing (UMM). Here the members of the urban poor union built their own housing after struggling to occupy the land and then demand their right to decide on what alternative housing they want.
The next day the participants visited two MST communities to experience rural community organising. The first area was a “Camp” in which the community had "occupied" state land in order to make the land productive and farm. They continue to struggle their struggle today to get recognition and ownership of that land from the government. The second area is a settlement called Dom Tomas e Irma Alberta that has now been successfully transformed by the community of MST to cultivation land that is productive. This followed their years of demanding legal recognition since their “occupation” of it years ago.
The learning was amazing and inspired many to rethink and infuse new ideas in their own community organising work with strong ideological training as well.
Seed Grain Bank
Training on HRBA
Two days of this workshop was used in capturing these lessons through a human rights based framework (HRBA). The task was to use the HRBA and make connections with the ground reality of the community organising work we do. Human rights strengthened the accountability framework of community towards the state and thus very important. The interactive games used made it easy for participants to participate.
The final days saw many concrete suggestion on future ideas in taking this solidarity amongst DI partners a step further. Suggestions included common action like community exchange and working together at a global level on advocacy on human rights. There was a reaffirmation to use the World Social Forum (WSF) space to bring the HRBA and community organising links stronger.
The newly formed DI Global Advocacy Committee comprising Ekta Parishad(India), FRSN (Thailand), NPSN (Kenya), YUVA (India), MST (Brazil), EAPN (Belgium) and Dignity International was tasked to get this agenda off the ground in an effective way.
With friendships stronger and solidarity deepened for the struggle, after 9 days together, all bade farewell with renewed inspiration for human rights.
Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN
*** News from Dignity Partner EAPN - As Director of EAPN I was privileged to have the opportunity to take part in the recently held Dignity International ‘Get Organized for Human Rights’ study visit hosted by MST in Brazil. It was an incredible opportunity to meet people from social movements around the globe and provided much inspiration for our work in EAPN and for joint work with Dignity International partners in the future. I know try to update you on some key activities which are keeping EAPN busy in this period.
Human Ring around the European Parliament
On the 19 th of November we will with the MGO 2010 coalition create a Human Ring around the European Parliament as a key contribution of civil society actors to the 2010 EU Year for combating poverty and social exclusion. Our message is that “together we want to reclaim the European institutions as people’s institutions” and we will present them with a peoples agenda to eradicate poverty which includes the messages:
- Accessible services for all
- An end to homelessness
- Participation in policy making
- Fundamental rights at the heart of the European policies
- Equality between men and women and an end to all discrimination
- Redistribution of wealth to create more equal societies
- adequate income and high levels of social protection
- decent work to create a sustainable way out of poverty
This is a first effort at public mobilisation in such an open fashion by EAPN so we hope that the inspiration from social movements outside Europe will give us the courage needed to deliver this event.
Campaign for a European Directive on Adequate Minimum Income
Our campaign for this Directive will reach a crucial next stage at a Conference we will organise on 24 September. At this conference as well as materials on why we need adequate income schemes we will also launch a paper to show that there is legal competence for the EU to deliver such a directive. The conference is organized to ensure a strong participation of people who are directly affected by the inadequacies of our present Minimum Income schemes across EU countries. As a background information for the conference we have produced an ‘Adequacy Explainer’ ( http://www.adequateincome.eu/) as a second booklet in our ‘explainer’. We were hearted that this week the Green Group in the European Parliament held a conference calling for such a directive.
The battle for an Adequate EU Framework to fight poverty and social exclusion
In this period the European institutions are establishing their key strategies for the coming period. This is developed under the title ‘Europe 2020’. Earlier this year we had a first success with the inclusion in this strategy (as one of the five key targets for the strategy) a target to reduce poverty by at least 20 million people, with poverty been measured at 60% of the median income and also against a set of deprivation indicators.
However now the battle is on with the development of the instruments and programmes to meet this target. Our aim is to ensure a greater social impact assessment in all EU policies so that we can have more opportunities to at least discuss and show the impact of the current economic development model pursued by the EU in terms of its contribution to growing inequalities and to a deterioration is social cohesion in the EU. At the same time we need a very distinct social strategy which is grounded in National Action Plans to fight poverty which are developed with the involvement of all relevant actors including people who live in poverty.
However the overall political climate is not favorable to making the right sort of progress. We have increasing examples of the ‘poor’ been blamed for their poverty. So we will continue to look for inspiration to social movements outside the EU which can assist us to deal with this difficult context as part of a global struggle to ensure everybody has access to their fundamental rights.
- Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN
*** Meeting with Volunteer Coordinator of TUT and former Dignity Staff - Jerald Joseph had a meeting with Nayana in India to have a staff team meeting to discuss about the follow up on TUT. While there Jerald was able to say hello to Marie, our former staff who had just completed her 5-month volunteering with Ekta Parishad.
Jerald Joseph meeting with Nayana and Marie 12 September 2010, New Delhi
*** 9th Annual Global Linking and Learning Programme on Human Rights-based Development , 1-10 December 2010, Malaysia - Human Rights provide a moral, authoritative and a legal framework to tackle root causes of poverty – the deep-rooted structures of discrimination – i.e. the global processes of impoverishment. A human rights framework has the potential to deal with not only legal justice, which is the primary preoccupation of traditional human rights organisations, but also economic and social justice which is central to development work.
The 9th Annual Global Linking and Learning Programme
in collaboration with
Realising this potential, many development actors – development organisations, donors and governments - are now actively integrating human rights into development planning. National governments are seeking to integrate human rights in poverty reduction strategies and more community-based organisations are advocating for their basic human rights.
For the ninth consecutive year, Dignity is proud to invite applications to the Annual Global Linking and Learning Programme. This programme will build on the successes of the previous learning programmes on “Human Rights-Based Development”, and on “Economic Social and Cultural Rights” organised by Dignity International with a range of national, regional and international partners. One key feature of the programme will be a field visit to expose participants to see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel for themselves the struggles of people living in poverty or facing discrimination (indigenous communities; asylum seekers;migrant workers; plantation workers). Human rights struggles are not theoretical or paper struggles but real struggles of real people affecting real lives. The field visits will be organised by Dignity’s partners in Malaysia - Pusat KOMAS and JKOAP. For more information and an application form, please visit our website.
Luis Gavinhos served as Dignity’s volunteer IT Advisor
*** Thank You Luis! – The Dignity Team is sorry to see its long-time Information Technology advisor, Luis Gavinhos, stepping down from his volunteer work with us. Luis has been with the Dignity Family for more than 8 years, and all of our partners, friends and staff wish him the very best in his future endeavours. Muito obrigado, Luis!
*** All Time High: 1 Billion Hungry in 2009 - Ten years after setting the goal of halving the proportion of people suffering from poverty and hunger by 2015, only mixed success can be found for the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the degree of success is dependent not only on what country is examined but which evaluation is used. Everyone seems to agree, however, that the food and financial crises of recent years drastically affected the progress on hunger.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Food Programme announced Tuesday that the number of people suffering from chronic hunger this year has decreased by 98 million to 925 million.
But that same day Oxfam America pointed out in a report that this decrease means that the proportion of the world's hungry has gone down by only half a percentage point since 2000 – from 14 to 13.5 percent.
The culprit, it seems, is the "double whammy" of the food and financial crises of 2007 and 2008. "We had two successive economic shocks that produced very bad numbers, but both are easing," said Alan Jury, director of U.S. relations at the WFP, Thursday in Washington. "What we have on hunger numbers is similar to what we have on food prices, which is they soared in 2008, they have come back down, but the new plateau is significantly worse than it was."
With global food prices peaking in the summer of 2008, over one billion people were undernourished in 2009 – an all-time high – making the first MDG one of the most off track. A summit to discuss progress and action with just five years to go before the MDGs' 2015 deadline will be held early next week at United Nations headquarters in New York.
To read the full article CLICK HERE>>>
*** HIV/AIDS: Intellectual Property Rights or Human Rights? - There’s been a billion-dollar drop in international aid for developing country HIV/AIDS programmes over the past two years, but levels of HIV infection and mortality from AIDS remain unacceptably high. As rich countries pursue stronger protections for private intellectual property rights, further limiting poor countries’ ability to produce cheaper generic medicines including anti-retrovirals, Riaz K. Tayob considers the impact on social rights to health. To read the full article CLICK HERE>>>
Source: Pambazuka News
*** People of Europe Rise Up Against Poverty - The Eurobarometer report – the European bi-annual opinion poll that came out on 16 August shows that only 42 percent of Europeans say they trust the European Union, down six percentage points in just six months. The same report reveals that there is 75 percent support for the EU-2020 priority to “help the poor and socially excluded and enable them to play an active part in society”.
“One of the key messages from the Eurobarometer report is clear” says Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN. “ If the European Union wants to restore citizen’s confidence, then the fight against poverty and social exclusion needs to be seen to be a key priority for the EU. A declaration from EU Heads of States and Governments committing to concrete actions to fight poverty and social exclusion as a conclusion to the 2010 Year against Poverty is one way to respond to the citizens’ demands” added Mr Farrell. To read the full article CLICK HERE>>>
*** Urgent Need to Protect the Rights of Migrant Children - A new study by the United Nations Human Rights office has identified “serious protection gaps for migrant children in every region of the world.” It calls on countries of origin, transit and destination to adopt a child-sensitive and rights-based approach to protect the human rights of children at all stages of the migration process.
The study points out that children, in the context of migration, including children left behind and children on the move, are particularly at risk of discrimination, violence and abuse. “Often the object of suspicion, neglect and abuse, children are locked up in immigration detention centres, denied access to essential services because of their or their parents’ status and subjected to the same regimes of criminalization as adult migrants,” says the study, which has been submitted to the current session of the Human Rights Council.
Yet, international law provides that all “children be seen and protected as children first and foremost,” rather than letting their migratory status, or that of their parents, dictate their access to protection and assistance. “Children should also be protected against discrimination or punishment on account of the status of their parents, legal guardians or family members,” the study says. To read more CLICK HERE>>>
*** Oxfam Appeal for Pakistan Floods - Northern Pakistan has been hit by the worst floods in decades – some 20.5 million people have been affected according to the Government of Pakistan. Oxfam has now reached more than 1,000,000 people so far with humanitarian aid, providing clean water, hygiene supplies and hot food. In addition, we've helped deploy more than 30 emergency boats to assist government search and rescue efforts, helping evacuate 100,000 people.
There is a desperate need for temporary shelter, clean drinking water and toilets to avert a public health catastrophe . People also need medical care and basic food items.
People in the flood's wake were already desperately poor and what little possessions they had have been washed away. The extent of this crisis is only slowly emerging. Rain has continued to fall in some areas, flood waters are still moving south, and the more villages that are reached the grimmer the picture becomes.
To learn more and take action CLICK HERE>>>
*** Call for Proposals for Fund for Women’s Property and Inheritance Rights in the Context of HIV/AIDS - UNIFEM (part of UN Women), with the generous contribution of the Canadian International Development Agency, today launches a Call for Proposals for the Fund for Women’s Property and Inheritance Rights in the Context of HIV/AIDS. The Fund will provide small, catalytic grants totaling US$700,000 in 2010 to grassroots and community-based organizations or networks in sub-Saharan Africa working to improve women’s access to property and inheritance rights within the context of HIV/AIDS.
Women’s property ownership and inheritance rights can play a significant role in potentially breaking the cycle of AIDS and poverty. There is growing evidence to suggest that where women’s property rights are upheld, women acting as heads and/or primary caregivers of HIV/AIDS-affected households are better able to mitigate the impact of AIDS on their families and communities and can also help prevent the further spread of HIV/AIDS. Realistic and workable strategies at the grassroots have demonstrated that increasing women’s economic security and empowerment, increases their negotiating power in the household and is a means to reduce their physical and social vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
Interested applicants from sub-Saharan Africa are invited to apply. The Call for Proposals opens on 20 September 2010 and will close on 20 October 2010.
- Call for Proposals
- Proposal Template
- Budget Template
*** Intensive Course on the Role of Human Rights in Development: Impact and Responsibility , 8–12 November 2010, in Turku/Åbo, Finland. – Organised by the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
Course Description - This one-week intensive course offers participants an opportunity to acquire specialist-level knowledge in the field of human rights and development. It offers critical examinations of the conceptual and practical relevance of the international human rights framework to development cooperation, focusing on strategies to integrate the two fields, including but not limited to human rights-based approaches to development. There is special focus on human rights as an accountability framework and women and children as claimants of rights. The course will provide both theoretical and practical insights, for example in the area of assessing impact and the value of human rights-based approaches to development. For more information and application forms, please CLICK HERE>>>
Source: Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University
*** International Support for the General Strike in Spain and European Day of Action on 29 September - Beyond the European Trade Union Confederation's European Day of Action on 29 September, many unions and organisations of working people have prepared for the largest series of mass actions ever seen in post-war Europe. As news reports come in from France, where millions upon millions of people have flooded the streets in protest to the neoliberal policies of the government, similar actions are being launched in Spain and other countries.
More than 55 organisations all over the world have signed the International Statement of Support for the Spanish strikers in particular. To read more CLICK HERE>>>
More detailed information on the local communities and their actions in Spain can be accessed by CLICKING HERE>>>
There are also strikes and rallies scheduled to take place in the US and other countries to show solidarity with everyone whose economic, social and cultural rights are being violated by neoliberal austerity measures. For more information on the European actions CLICK HERE>>>
Sources: ETUC, Huelga General 29 de Septiembre
*** OHCHR Meetings and Events –
Pre-sessional Working Group on Communications - Human Rights Committee / 100th
From : 04-10-2010 To : 08-10-2010
Palais Wilson, Geneva
Pre-sessional Working Group - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women / 49th
From : 25-10-2010 To : 29-10-2010
Palais des Nations, Salle XVI
*** Social Watch Report: New Deal or New Tactics? – The international network of non-governmental organisations that monitors how far governments are fulfilling their commitments to end poverty and gender discrimination, presents its critical report: "After the fall: Time for a new deal".
It is presented in the framework of the 65th period of sessions of the UN General Assembly, which this year is promoting a review of the Millennium Development Goals, five years before the 2015 deadline.
According to Social Watch, most countries are a long way from attaining these goals in the time frame established. Far more telling than the apparent failure of the International Community to address global centres of poverty is the combination of rising poverty in industrial and post-industrial economies combined with the continued violation of basic economic, social and cultural rights in the global South. According to the Basic Capabilities Index (BCI) designed by Social Watch as an alternative way to monitor social development in the world, poverty reduction has slowed down since 2000, and yet wealth generation for the top 1 percent of the global population has increased exponentially in the past decade.
“The less privileged in both rich and poor countries are not only suffering the direct consequences of the crisis in that they are losing their jobs, savings and even their homes, they are also being made to pay for the economic rescue and stimulus packages in the form of higher taxes and reduced wages and social benefits, observes Roberto Bissio, Social Watch coordinator. “In this context, to issue a call for ‘more of the same’ is not the solution…”
To read the full report online or to download a copy, please CLICK HERE>>>
Sources: Social Watch, Choike
*** Enhancing Gender Justice and Ending Discrimination against Women Critical to Achieving the MDGs - UNIFEM (part of UN Women) releases an excerpt from the forthcoming 2010–2011 edition of its flagship publication, Progress of the World’s Women, in time for the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals. The analytical brief spotlights how many women and girls, particularly in rural areas, continue to live in exclusion and poverty, and calls for urgent action in four areas that are critical to gender justice and the MDGs. Read more>>>
• Thematic Paper on MDG3
• Gender Equality Now
• Special edition of IPS TerraViva[PDF]
This is a monthly electronic news bulletin of 'Dignity International: All Human Rights for All'. Dignity International does not accredit, validate or substantiate any information posted by members to this news bulletin. The validity and accuracy of any information is the responsibility of the originator.