Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 2 - March 2012 عربى
Land Day in Palestine: In Solidarity
The articles of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, one of the two instruments implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, begin with the right to self-determination, which is considered to be the foundation of all human rights. Article 1 provides that “All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their More
Regional Developments
CERD Concluding Observations on Israel 2012
The UN’s independent body monitoring implementation of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination has concluded its review of Israel and concluded that the State party must reform its laws and policies to be compliant with the global standard of combatting racism and racial discrimination. The Committee on the Elimination of More

Youth Movements, Uprising, and Housing and Land Rights
The crowds rising up in the Arab Spring have expressed their suffering from the lack of access to natural resources and the violation of their rights in adequate standard of living against a backdrop of increased corruption, repression and suppression of freedoms. Land is the natural resource most subject corrupt practices and violations by various means, More

UN Body to Probe Settler Colonies
On 19 March, the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution ordering a first investigation into how Israeli settlements affect the human rights of the Palestinians. The resolution was adopted with 36 votes in favor and 10 abstentions. The United States of America was the only Member State to vote More

UN Housing Expert: “Israel’s policies violate right to housing and need urgent revision”
12 February 2012 JERUSALEM—Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, has said that “after the recent privatization, deregulation and commercialization of public assets in Israel, urban and housing policies have made it increasingly difficult for low income families to obtain affordable accommodation, violating their right to adequate housing.” Speaking at the conclusion More

Special Rapporteur Reports on the Right to Housing in Algeria
The Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to nondiscrimination in this context, Ms. Raquel Rolnik, visited Algeria from 9 to 19 July 2011. She focused in particular on housing policies currently in place and the reasons for which, after a More

Land Forum, Third Session: “The Land, Peoples’ Sovereignty and Self-determination”
HIC-HLRN organized the third session of its regional Land Forum in Cairo, from 15 to 17 January 2012, keeping with a theme compatible with the coinciding first anniversary of the rapid and historical changes on the ground in the Middle East/North Africa. Arising from the order of the day and the experiences that the participants More

International Developments
Rio, Rhetoric and Rights at Risk
At the time of this writing, UN Member States are moving from the informal discussions of the past week to more-formal negotiations and amendments to the zero-draft outcome document that is to reflect the consensus at the Rio+20 “Peoples Summit,” At Rio de Janeiro, 20–22 June 2012. The Major Groups representing civil society are presently excluded More
An Arab Spring of Constitutional Reforms
The Egyptian parliament is currently selecting a constituent assembly to draft Egypt’s new constitution. The members will choose 100 constituents to form the committee from a list that so far numbers 2,000 nominees. Fifty will come from the parliament, and 50 from state institutions, universities, professional syndicates, trade unions and other public figures. Liberal judges More

New Guidelines on Land Tenure Finalized
On 9 March 2012, the FAO, its members and partners finalized the intergovernmental negotiations on the Voluntary Guidelines on Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security. Some 96 member countries along with civil society organizations, UN agencies and other international organizations, farmers associations, and private-sector representatives took part More

International Conference on Global Land Grabbing II
Across the world, we are seeing a dramatic rise in the extent of cross-border, transnational corporation-driven and foreign government-driven, large-scale land deals unfolding. Such ‘land grabs’ revolve around the production and sale of food and biofuels, conservation and mining activities. Understanding the social, economic and political consequences is an important challenge. As a follow up to More

Sixth Session of the World Water Forum
The sixth session of the World Water Forum took place in Marseille from 12 to 17 March 2012, where delegations from more than 140 government and international organizations, civil society groups and academics met in some 400 open sessions to discuss the global challenges of water. The participants posed many concrete solutions that will facilitate More

Extraterritorial Obligations and ESCR
Extraterritorial Obligations (ETOs) refer to the obligations of States to respect, protect and fulfill human rights outside their territorial jurisdiction. These obligations especially apply to economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs), as made evident in numerous cases in the light of current globalization processes. All human rights obligations of States have extraterritorial dimensions such that More


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