Whether human rights are universal has been debated for decades.
Methodologically a mandate holder should not rely on templates, but instead listen and remain open to correction, and avoid being identified with any ideology other than a commitment to human dignity. He or she must be and remain free of pressures and/or instructions from both governmental and non-governmental entities. While an independent expert inevitably brings with him a certain cultural and educational predisposition, he must be able to jump over his own shadow and get at the facts. Naming and shaming is not always the best solution to violations of human rights. Far more important is uncovering the root causes of the violations, such as endemic inequalities, the persistence of privilege and the culture of violence. Important too is the anthropocentric approach and the commitment to propose pragmatic solutions and redress for the victims. The mandate holder must also have the courage to formulate recommendations that entail more than a "band aid" and require changes of paradigm and mindset. Most importantly, a mandate holder should have the courage to break the silence about topics that are being ignored -- not only by States but by the human rights industry, which has been increasingly influenced by big business and special interests. He should give impulses and concrete recommendations to governments and civil society, speak clear language, tear down pretenses and the double-standards. One thing he must not be: a guardian of the status quo, a fig leaf for the international community, so that everybody pretends to have a good conscience and continue "business as usual".
9 July -- 3 hour lecture on international humanitarian law -- at GSD
(2014) Letter of 1 September 2014 toThe Right Honorable David Cameron Prime Minister of the United Kingdomthat urged himto take stronger action on behalf of all children that are subjected to genital mutilation where, as Head of State, he could petition the World Court, The Hague, to affirm that the genital Mutilation of children is de facto violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and Article 37 of the U.N.
On Thursday 11 August I was again on a UN panel, as a of the Human Rights Council, this time with Professor Jean Ziegler, member of the Advisory Committee, with Professor Guy Goodwin Gill (Oxford), Professor Vera Gowlland (Geneva), Dr. Eric Sottas (Geneva), the Spanish barrister Juan Garces (Madrid) and . I focused on the UNAMI report 2010 and its deplorable euphemisms.
These are each examples of human rights violations.
On the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Laura Dupuy Lasserre, appointed me to the new mandate of , . The mandate has enormous potential and will require much reflection. My desire is to be a bridge between North-South, East-West, and to serve the cause of human rights by advancing those immanent principles of human dignity and human equality that make society work. We live in such a beautiful, rich planet that there is no excuse for extreme poverty, structural violence, needless conflict and war. Real - not just virtual - democracy can be achieved, but we must believe in the rule of law, defend it and persevere. Humanity needs more justice, mutual respect, patience, misericordia. The was created by the Council on 29 September 2011. Si vis pacem, cole justitiam. just put up the notice on their site. I lisened to one of my favourite pieces -- Anton Bruckner's Te Deum laudamus.
11 August -- my report to the Human Rights Council is out.
Wendy opted to not have surgery performed on Stephen, now 13. “I decided I'm against it because...I don't know how he's going to feel if he's to identify as male for the duration or maybe it could change…. I don't want to do something that can't be undone.” Throughout Stephen’s childhood, Wendy felt pressured by doctors, family members, and friends to have surgery on her son. “I thought it's better that we don't because you know there's a lot of complications usually. So yes, he sits down to pee. Who cares?” Wendy and Stephen both told Human Rights Watch that he has never experienced bullying or harassment from peers as a result of his intersex condition.
25 June -- submitted report to Human Rights Council.
An essay that defends ACTION to ban MOTHERS from combat theaters throughout the world and to ban military assignments that separates MOTHERS from their infants and children was made A special appeal was made to selected ethical and moral Institutions that included: Unitarian Universalist Association; Tikkun/Network of Spiritual Progressives; American Humanist Association and Council for Secular Humanism.