The Human Rights Working Group represents the conscience of AEGEE and brings human rights violations into public notice. Its topics of activities cover Balkan matters, visa issues, immigration, crimes against humanity and more.

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by Rene Keijzer » 13 Jan 2009 11:36 UTC

Hello guys!

I have been closing three threads. The first because my opinion this was more political then it was related to Human Rights. Two others because they were old.

I think that the one about LGBT Rights is still on topic, and I hope that HRWG wants to organise such an event in the near future. I know from the mail list, that one person from AEGEE-Rotterdam is on the topic ;)


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Rene Keijzer

plans of HRWG for 2009

by verena schmidt » 13 Jan 2009 11:54 UTC

dear all,

a happy new year to all (even though 2009 is already a bit old)! :-)
As this is a good time to think about plans for the future, I'd like to share some plans of the HRWG with you. Moreover, I'd also like to take the chance to make you aware of various topics which could be dealt with. So if anybody feels like dealing with them (or has additional ideas to realise), you are more than welcome to contact the HRWG board!

Plans of HRWG
- we'll have an event about Roma, it looks like Toulouse might take up the challenge again to be local host after our last Youth in Action application was rejected, unfortunately.
- in Ankara, there will be a living library, in May. This means that representatives of minority groups can be 'rented' for some time (e.g. an hour) by a participant who then has the chance to ask the representative all kinds of questions related to the respective minority group.
- we're in the initial phase to start a Roma project, in which we're looking for interested project members.
- we're enjoying a close cooperation with the EnWG, as we're planning to joint events with them. While one of them will be about having a healthy environment as a human right, the other event will focus on whale hunting in Northern Europe (probably Faroe Islands).

More ideas:
For sure, we have some more ideas, which could be followed once we have enough active members interested in realising them:
- LGBT rights
- linguistic minority groups
- homeless people
- a blog summarising the latest developments in the field of human rights in Europe (AEGEE members writing about their personal experiences with human rights in their country)
- ...

Thanks for reading so far. If you are interested in more information, please don't hesitate to contact us! :-)

Greetings, Verena
verena schmidt

by verena schmidt » 13 Jan 2009 12:00 UTC

Something else important to mention:

- 2009, the Council of Europe celebrates its 60th birthday. As it is active in the field of human rights, it would be a great chance to do an event about it.
- there are many 'international days' dealing with human rights related topics, which could be used for events:

* 8. March: International Women's Day
* 21. March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
* 8. April: World Roma Day
* 20 June: World Refugee Day
* 9. November: International Day against fascism and anti-semitism
* 1. December: World AIDS Day
* 3. December: international Day of disabled persons
* 10. December: Universal Declaration of Human Rights
* 18. December: International Migrants Day
verena schmidt

by Michele Turati » 13 Jan 2009 23:45 UTC

Hey Verena. How about collecting informations of violations of Human Rights in Countries where AEGEE is, and organize something there, like protests or demonstrate against the prosecutors?
Michele Turati

by verena schmidt » 14 Jan 2009 13:41 UTC

dear Mickey,

thanks for the contribution! It's definitely something which we could/should do! Maybe we could link it to the blog (as the blog is accessable by more people than an event where there are maybe up to 20/30 participants).
Would you like to do something about Italy? At least I'd like to see something being done there! :-)
verena schmidt

by Michele Turati » 14 Jan 2009 19:09 UTC

verena schmidt wrote:Would you like to do something about Italy? At least I'd like to see something being done there! :-)

We are doing something about Italy, just not conneted to Human Rights but to Economics :)

Apart of some freedom of speech, I don't see any major violation of human rights here in Italy. No black people killed by Nazi in the last years, no problems with Rom in the last months.. just some illegal refugees coming to Sicily (but this government is sending them back to their home Countries as it should be), just some anarchist attacking the police and of course complaining if the police defend themselvs :wink:
I see a possible problem coming from the Vatican City, about LGBT, but that's a different State and AEGEE isn't there.
Michele Turati

by Rene Keijzer » 15 Jan 2009 10:51 UTC

So, I see a nice upcoming event in Rome.... :)
Rene Keijzer

Update: Durban II

by Melvin Olontha » 16 Apr 2009 19:45 UTC

Rene Keijzer wrote:I have been closing three threads. The first because my opinion this was more political then it was related to Human Rights. Two others because they were old.

Interesting behaviour. Also you use strange terminology, what in the world is 'unpolitical' about Human Rights?
About the threads I opened and you closed: I agree that there was no real dialogue going on in those threads but nevertheless the topic is not "old", it is an ongoing discussion. In fact everybody who cares about Human Rights and does not live under a rock has heard now about the attempts to subvert the meaning and role of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights within the the UN.
Or do you really want to tell me you have not heard of "Durban II" the so called UN "World Conference Against Racism (WCAR)" that promises to be another megaphone for anti-Semitic, homophobic and totalitarian propaganda? (Most probably also an event to celebrate the genocidal dictator of Sudan)

Or as the French writer Pascal Bruckner stated:
In a nutshell: Anti-racism in the UN has become the ideology of totalitarian regimes who use it in their own interests. Dictatorships or notorious half-dictatorships (Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Cuba etc.) co-opt democratic language and instrumentalise legal standards, to position themselves against democracies without ever putting turning the questions on themselves. A new Inquisition is establishing itself, which brandishes "defamation of religion" to quash any impulses of doubt, particularly in Islamic countries. And this at a time when millions of Muslims, particularly in Europe, want to distance themselves from bigotry and fundamentalism. In a reversal of values, anti-racism is being propagated by despots in the service of obscurantism and the suppression of women! It is being used to justify precisely the things which it was formulated to fight: suppression, prejudice, inequality.

In the hands of these powerful and organised lobbies, the UN is becoming an instrument of retrogression in the world, when it was created to promote justice, peace, and human dignity.


In fact the discussion is more or less now: "do we (those who really care about Human Rights) 'continue dialogue' with delegations from murderous dictatorships like Libya, Iran, Cuba and the OIC and try to convince them to be not so harsh in their propaganda against "the West" or do we leave this club of dictatorships alone in disguising their hateful drivel in the language of human rights?" (Iran presides as a vice-chair, Libya will serve as the chair of the "Main Committee" running the conference and Cuba will be the "rapporteur.")

The USA, Canada, Italy, Israel and Australia already decided to boycott this travesty, other countries are about to follow, the EU threatened a boycott to try to have some changes done (which were unofficially droped, to be brought back on the agenda by Iran and Syria). The conference starts on Monday 20th of April 2009. Whatever your opinion on this is, you really want to tell us this is "old"?
Melvin Olontha

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