News Bulletin September 2011 PDF Print E-mail



Dignity News | Dignity Partner News | Other News | Action Appeals | Announcements | Events | Publications


Dignity News


* A Step Closer to Rio+20

* The Asian Regional Consultation on Development and Human Rights


Dignity Partner News

* National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights


Other News

* En Route to Rio +20

* UN ECOSOC: Education for All a Top Priority

* Nyeleni Europe 2011 Declaration: Food Sovereignty in Europe NOW!

* Russia: Autoworkers Campaign Against Precarious Work


Action Appeals

* India: Open-cast Coal Mining Threatens Indigenous Villagers of Kusum Tola

* East Africa Food Crisis



* CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - Annual Leadership Institute in Women’s Economic Social & Cultural Rights

* European Anti-Poverty Conference on the Crisis

* Soros Justice Fellowship Sponsorship



* International Day of Older Persons

* International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

* 50th Session of the Commission for Social Development

* International Conference on the Right to Land and Livelihood

* From Social Networks to Social Revolution: LabourStart Conference



* African Sexualities, A Reader

* Throwaway Labour: The exploitation of Chinese "trainees" in Japan

* Fiji Report: Widespread Violations Human & Trade Union Rights









Dignity International and our partners believe that Human Rights and Development must go hand in hand as both share the same core functions. They cannot be separated and must complement each other to ensure the continuous sustainable progress of the human race, while ensuring the environment and other entities within it are protected and preserved. Human Rights provide a moral, authoritative and 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. Meanwhile, development is the primary motive to provide basic structural change.

For the 10th consecutive year, Dignity International is proud to organise our signature capacity building program again, which will continue to empower human rights activists and development agency leaders, as well as leaders of civil society and grassroots community organizers. The learning enhances the skills, knowledge and spirit to uphold the principles of Human Rights and to bring Economic Social and Cultural rights to the ground.

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 participants.

Dignity’s programmes are designed as a process of mutual learning, with the participants´ experience and realities as the starting point of the learning process. Active participation and in-depth reflection – individually, in groups, and in plenary - are the key contributors to the success of the programme.

Based on non-formal education and learner-centred methodologies, this programme provides a mutual learning atmosphere where participants can compare their approaches and concerns in a safe, intercultural context. In addition to that, the use of experiential methods and case studies strengthens the practical side of the programme.

The call for the Global programme is now OPEN. We are happy to receive applications to this historical 10th Annual Global Linking and Learning Programme.

For more information about the programme and to register yourself as a participant, CLICK HERE>>>






*** A Step Closer to Rio+20 - Twenty years after the UN Conference on Environmental and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the world still struggles to attain sustainable development, resulting to a global climate meltdown, inappropriate use of natural resources, and the deconstruction of live and livelihood. Such crisis affects the Earth’s population, therefore it is time to seek an alternative to the current development model. The “Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Development Models: Promoting a Transformative Agenda for Sustainable Development” held from the 15 to 17 August 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand, was set for that purpose.

The conference provided an amicable and productive space for individuals from about 50 civil society organizations worldwide to exchange views, knowledge, solutions and strategies on sustainable development, as well as updates on situations in the Asia Pacific region. Dignity International was represented by Mr Veerawit Tianchainan at the Conference, who found the discussions beneficial not only in terms of the solution-finding process but also for future cooperation among civil society organizations in the region.

Towards the end of the conference, participants issued a ‘Bangkok Statement’ that comprised of solutions to three main topics – Green Economy, the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, and on new and emerging issues. Dignity International added its contribution with other NGOs and to the final Statement, to include the human rights-based approach to sustainable development especially on issues pertaining the rights to housing, water and land ownership, as well as the principle of non-discrimination and participation of all groups in the societies. This must include the indigenous people, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons.

The Statement will be presented to the official regional preparatory meeting for Asia and the Pacific in Seoul in October 2011.




*** The Asian Regional Consultation on Development and Human Rights - Human rights and development are essentially congruous as they both aim to promote well-being and freedom, based on the inherent dignity and equality of all people. Yet, the interdependence and mutual reinforcement between human rights and development often remains overlooked by civil society and States.

The fact that development itself is a right requires further attention. This coming December 2011, the UN General Assembly will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, which enshrines development as “an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized”.



Session at the Asian Regional Consultation on
Development and Human Rights


In light of these, Dignity International together with The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) co-organised the Asian Regional Consultation on Development and Human Rights. The consultation was held from 17 – 19 August 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand, and was well attended by approximately 40 participants from the region.

Amongst the topics discussed were: human rights-based approach to development, development aid effectiveness, justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights, and budgetary analysis.

The consultation objectives are to:

enhance a common understanding on the interdependence and mutual reinforcement of development and human rights; and

discuss opportunities for human rights advocacy during the UN Human Rights Council Working group on the Right to Development (Geneva, 11-14 November 2011) and the OECD High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (Busan, 29 November-1 December 2011).







*** National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights - Since inception in 1998, the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) has made major strides in giving visibility to the human rights violations of the Dalit community in South Asia. NCDHR’s work has been instrumental in bringing the kind of international attention and media coverage that grasps the attention of many in India and around the world, to take note of the injustice and oppression faced by Dalits.

NCDHR is a forum committed to the elimination of discrimination based on caste. It is a democratic secular platform led by Dalit women and men activists, with support and solidarity from movements and organisations, academics, individuals, and people’s organisations and institutions throughout the country who are committed to work to protect and promote human rights of Dalits. NCDHR performs atrocity monitoring, legal interventions, and national and international advocacy to achieve a three-pronged objective: (1) to hold the State accountable for all Human Rights violations committed against Dalits; (2) to sensitize civil society by raising visibility of the Dalit problem; and (3) to render justice to Dalit victims of discrimination and violence.

Since 2003, NCDHR is anchored in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Orissa, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. NCDHR coalition currently operates through the following campaigns:

  1. Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan (DAAA)
  2. All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM)
  3. National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMH)


Click here>>> to read about NCDHR’s campaigns.

For more details, please log on to:

Or you can join the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) on Facebook HERE>>>


Source: National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights





*** En Route to Rio +20 - In less than one year, Rio de Janeiro will host the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The meetings on 4-6 June 2012, marking the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Conference, will attract politicians and heads of state from around the world. As decisions reached in Brazil will direct the future course of sustainable development, extensive groundwork must be laid. These preparations are intensifying as the conference draws closer. FULL ARTICLE


Source: UNDESA



*** UN ECOSOC: Education for All a Top Priority – Gathering world leaders, UN agencies and a record number of participants representing civil society and the private sector from around the globe, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has worked hard for the past month focusing on some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.

“The world is in danger of sleepwalking through one of the greatest injustices of our times. Despite all the promises to the world’s children – the pledges made and targets set by the international community – today nearly 70 million children are denied a place at school,” said Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, at the opening of ECOSOC’s High-level segment taking place in Geneva on 4-8 July. The meeting also offered an occasion to galvanize political support for the fundamental role of education in support of sustainable development for the upcoming Rio+20 Conference.

On Financing for Development, the discussions focused on global economic governance, particularly the role and effectiveness of the UN system and the need to forge institutional linkages between the G20 and the UN. The Council also addressed the specific needs of Least Developed Countries and considered how financial support mechanisms and South-South cooperation can contribute to tackling the development challenges of these countries.

In addition, in a resolution entitled “Recovering from the World Financial and Economic Crisis: A Global Jobs Pact”, the Council encouraged the full use of the Global Jobs Pact as a framework for enhanced and coherent policy measures in the area of decent work. It also requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the Pact by the UN system to the ECOSOC AMR of 2012, which will be devoted to productive capacities, inclusive growth and employment.

Moreover, the Council discussed the annual overview report of the UN system Chief Executive Board for Coordination (CEB) and it also had a special meeting to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the right to development. This meeting provided an opportunity for the Council to interact with the human rights pillar of the UN, as both the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of the Human Rights Council took part – an unprecedented encounter in the history of ECOSOC. The discussions showed how much the development and the human rights agenda are interconnected and called for advancing them both in a collaborative manner.

To read the full Ministerial Declaration, CLICK HERE>>>





*** Nyeleni Europe 2011 Declaration: Food Sovereignty in Europe NOW! - Europe’s people are now experiencing the first structural adjustment policies which governments are imposing on their populations that until now have been imposed on peoples in other regions in particular the Global South; this with the sole interest of saving capitalism and those who benefit from it (private banks, investment groups and transnational corporations). All signs are that in the near future these antisocial policies will become more severe and extensive. The first general mobilisations to denounce the economic and governance systems which have brought us to this point have begun and we offer - creatively and energetically – the response of European social movements to confront the model of global agriculture which is the exact reflection of the capitalist system that created it. To read more CLICK HERE>>>


Source: Via Campesina



*** Russia: Autoworkers Campaign Against Precarious Work - On August 29 at 9 am the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA), an IMF affiliate, rallied in front of the office of the employment agency Adecco on Gagarin Street, Kaluga, Russia. The action marked the beginning of the union campaign against precarious work.

According to ITUA, employment agencies have developed deep roots in Kaluga. Over ten major players operate in the city, including Adecco, Kelly Services and the Russian company Kariera (Career).

Many companies, especially TNCs, eagerly introduce precarious work to limit workers’ rights. At the Volkswagen plant in Kaluga, where there is an ITUA local, an employee can not be hired directly. Before getting permanent employment, the worker has to undergo a six-month "probation period" — despite the fact that the Russian Labour Code limits such a period to three months. The precarious workers at the main production line are almost as numerous as the permanent employees, they constitute roughly 45 per cent of the work force. During the "probation period" Adecco signs a temporary work contract with the worker, and the decision to renew the contract lies solely in the hands of the administration. To read more CLICK HERE>>>


Source: International Metalworkers Federation






*** India: Open-cast Coal Mining Threatens Indigenous Villagers of Kusum Tola – The expanding operations of mining company Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) are posing an immediate threat to the survival of 1,000 indigenous people facing eviction from the village of Kusum Tola located in the North Karanpura region in the Indian State of Jharkhand. Heavy blasting in adjacent villages is already producing clouds of harmful dust and cracks in house foundations in Kusum Tola. The eviction is a gross violation of the villagers' human right to food. Meanwhile, the impact of the mining operations on regional watersheds will deprive them of access to water and is therefore a violation of their right to water. The mining operations negatively affect people's ability to maintain their livelihoods, with consequences including hunger and malnutrition.

This case requires your URGENT ACTION in writing to the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Manmohan Singh, to support the villagers in their resistance against CCL's mining plans, which are supported by the Indian Government.

To read more and take action, CLICK HERE>>>


Source: FIAN



*** East Africa Food Crisis - Large parts of East Africa are facing the world's worst food crisis. Across the region Oxfam's humanitarian response is aiming to reach approximately three million people.

Drought is worsening across the Horn of Africa, following successive failed rains. The late 2010 rainy season failed completely in many parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and now the April-May rains have also performed well below average. Parts of northeast Kenya have received just 10% of the usual level of rainfall.

The price of staple foods has risen to unaffordable levels for many people, and weak animals and the collapse of livestock markets have reduced people's income and ability to buy essentials. Hundreds of thousands of animals – people's main assets – have reportedly died. To read more and take action CLICK HERE>>>


Source: Oxfam International




*** CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - Annual Leadership Institute in Women’s Economic Social & Cultural Rights - PWESCR's annual leadership development programme is uniquely designed for women's rights leaders (men and women) working in organisations from the economic South in key leadership positions. Using a human rights framework and the ICESCR to address structural causes of poverty and inequality, the Institute will particularly focus on the social construct of gender and women's poverty. Read more here>>

Core Faculty
The facilitating team is composed of experienced trainers and prominent leaders who possess the necessary creative skills to foster an enjoyable learning process. The faculty for the Institute includes Priti Darooka, Maria Virginia Bras Gomes, Gagan Sethi, Jerald Joseph and Sithara Shreen Abdul Saroor.

Venue and dates
All selected participants should attend both the phases. The Leadership Institute will be conducted in two phases:

Phase 1: January 23rd to 29th, 2012 Kathmandu, Nepal

Phase 2: June 20th to 25th, 2012 Kathmandu, Nepal


For more information, please visit


Application deadline: 10th OCTOBER 2011


Source: PWESCR



*** European Anti-Poverty Conference on the Crisis - This conference aims at providing a unique space for exchange between anti-poverty activists, trade-unionists, other NGOs activists, policy decision makers and researchers on the causes and the consequences of the crisis and on possible alternative approaches. As a participative network, the voice of people experiencing poverty will be at the centre of the debates which will give a large space to the presentation of members’ experiences and mobilisations.

The conference will be held on Friday 23rd September in the International Auditorium (International Trade-Unions House) in Brussels. Plenary sessions with translation for English and French.

Approximately 200 participants – consisting of 120 EAPN members (1 representative from each national network in each of the 3 working groups (social inclusion, employment and structural funds working groups), EAPN European Organisation members and people experiencing poverty participating in an EAPN training taking place in Brussels on the 21 and 22 September, 80 stakeholders from Brussels: social NGOs, social partners, representatives from EU and national authorities, academics. For more information on this conference and other EAPN activities, CLICK HERE>>>


Source: EAPN



*** Soros Justice Fellowship Sponsorship - The Southern Poverty Law Center seeks to sponsor an applicant for a Soros Justice Fellowship to start in the spring or fall of 2012. The proposed project would be a campaign aimed at reducing adult incarceration rates and improving the treatment of inmates in Alabama prisons. Alabama prisons have been in crisis for many years now – the prison system has been running at close to 200% capacity for about a decade, resulting in the expected negative consequences for inmates. The Fellow would work primarily on efforts to develop impact litigation challenging unconstitutional conditions of confinement, as part of an integrated legal, legislative, and community organising campaign.

Applicants may be recent law school graduates, but must have at least two years of relevant pre- or post-law school experience (which may include prior incarceration).

The applicant will be based in SPLC’s headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, USA. Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, most recent law school transcript, and three references to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by September 16, 2011. You must be eligible for employment in the US to apply.


Source: Southern Poverty Law Center





*** International Day of Older Persons - 1st October - International Day of Older Persons, New York, 1 October 2011. The theme this year is: "Launch of Madrid+10: The Growing Opportunities & Challenges of Global Ageing". To tead more about the demographic revolution, CLICK HERE>>>


Source: WHO



*** International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on October 17 each year since 1993. It promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries. For more information CLICK HERE>>>


Source: UNDESA



*** 50th Session of the Commission for Social Development - 8-17 February 2012(CSocD) The priority theme this year is: "Poverty Eradication". For more information CLICK HERE>>>


Source: CSocD



*** International Conference on the Right to Land and Livelihood - International Conference Centre, Geneva, Switzerland. This Conference is focused on presenting, analysing and building support for non-violent alternative models for democratic policy, economic and social change. It will draw on the experiences of non-violent land rights movements such as Ekta Parishad in India and grassroots movements in other countries of South East Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Organised by Ekta Europe and the Ekta Parishad. Conference Fee: 150 euros. Deadline for registration: 1 September 2011. For more information, visit the Ekta Europe Website.



*** From Social Networks to Social Revolution: LabourStart Conference - The theme of this year’s LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference, to be held on 18-20 November 2011 at the headquarters of Petrol-Is (the Turkish oil workers union) in Istanbul is “From Social Networks to Social Revolution.” Click here to download the flyer (PDF format): lsconf2011


Source: LabourStart's 2nd Annual Global Solidarity Conference






*** African Sexualities, A Reader - This groundbreaking volume, the first of its kind written by African activists themselves, aims to inspire a new generation of students and teachers to study, reflect and gain fresh and critical insights into the complex issues of gender and sexuality. It opens a space – particularly for young people – to think about African sexualities in different ways. This accessible but scholarly multidisciplinary text, from a distinctly African perspective, is built around themed sections each introduced by a framing essay. The authors use essays, case studies, poetry, news clips, songs, fiction, memoirs, letters, interviews, short film scripts and photographs from a wide political spectrum to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, analyse the body as a site of political, cultural and social contestation and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities. The book adopts a feminist approach that analyses sexuality within patriarchal structures of oppression while also highlighting its emancipatory potential.

To read more about this book, CLICK HERE>>>


Source: Pambazuka News



*** Throwaway Labour: The exploitation of Chinese "trainees" in Japan - China is by far the most important supplier of "trainees" to Japan's low-paid labour intensive industries. Trainees are routinely exploited and, as this report shows, the only real beneficiaries are Japanese employers and the Chinese companies supplying the trainees. To read the full report, CLICK HERE>>>


Source: China Labour Bulletin



*** Fiji Report: Widespread Violations Human & Trade Union Rights - Fiji has featured prominently since the military takeover in 2006. The Human and Trade Union Rights has become the specific target of the military regime of recent years since the abrogation of the Constitution in April 2009. It introduced series of Decrees designed to curtail basic trade union rights along with other measures to suppress any dissenting views. The media law promulgated by the regime has stifled the voice of Fiji citizens. To read the full report CLICK HERE>>>


Source: Fiji Trades Union Congress




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.

If you are working in the area of human rights with a special attention to different aspects of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, we would love to hear from you. To contribute, email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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