The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1948, sets out basic rights and freedoms to which all women and men are entitled — among them the right to life, liberty and nationality; to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; the right to work and to be educated; the right to food and housing; and the right to take part in government.
These rights are legally binding by virtue of two International Covenants, to which most States are parties. One Covenant deals with economic, social and cultural rights and the other with civil and political rights. Together with the Declaration, they constitute the International Bill of Human Rights.
The Declaration laid the groundwork for more than 80 conventions and declarations on human rights, including the two International Covenants; conventions to eliminate racial discrimination and discrimination against women; conventions on the rights of the child, against torture and other degrading treatment of punishment, the status of refugees and the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide; and declarations on the rights of persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities, the right to development, and the rights of human rights defenders.
With its standards-setting work nearly complete, the UN is shifting the emphasis of its human rights efforts to the implementation of human rights laws. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, who coordinates UN human rights activities, works with governments to improve their observance of human rights, seeks to prevent violations, and works closely with the UN human rights mechanisms. The UN Commission on Human Rights, an intergovernmental body, holds public meetings to review the human rights performance of States, to adopt new standards and to promote human rights around the world. The Commission also appoints independent experts — "special reporters" — to report on specific human rights abuses or to examine the human rights situation in specific countries.
UN human rights bodies contribute to early warning and conflict prevention, as well as in efforts to address the root causes of conflict. A number of UN peacekeeping operations have a human rights component. In all, UN human rights field activities are currently being carried out in nearly 30 countries or territories. They help strengthen national capacities in human rights legislation, administration and education; investigate reported violations; and assist governments in taking corrective measures when needed.
Promoting respect for human rights is increasingly central to UN development assistance. In particular, the right to development is seen as part of a dynamic process which integrates civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, and by which the well-being of all individuals in a society is improved. Key to the enjoyment of the right to development is the eradication of poverty, a major UN goal.
What the UN Convention says
It goes on to recognize
The stated aim is that the child achieves the fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his or her cultural and spiritual development.
The present situation of the disabled child in South Africa
“ While there are very few statistics on disability available, a study conducted by Irlam (1996) on childhood disability in KwaZulu/Natal reported a crude prevalence rate of 3,4 % (2-19 years). With almost 1 million children in this age bracket the extent of the problem becomes self-evident.
While there is some planning for provision for disabled persons under Primary Health Care, there is no integrated Provincial government policy on disabled children, and as yet no provincial Disability Desk has been set up according to Integrated National Disability Strategy (RSA June 1997). NGOs and primary care-giver groups have been attempting to fill the gap with no support and little recognition from the State.
As the new Constitution of South Africa assures all citizens of equal rights under the law, the needs of disabled children in KwaZulu/Natal need special consideration - at all levels, within all sectors, and in a collaborative effort between government, NGOs and primary care-givers, in a holistic manner. These needs include:
Disabled Children's Action Group (DICAG)
Interventions and Help
This charter can be used for information and advocacy, and is useful as a
checklist for monitoring the situation of children living with a disability.
These rights are first and foremost the responsibility of the State
These rights are first and foremost the responsibility of the Community
These rights are first and foremost the responsibility of the Family
Disability and support grants for children (1998)
Helping children to be aware of the rights of the disabled
Encourage the children to plan an activity to support children with disabilities in their own or nearby community – making “feely games” for the children in an institute for the visually impaired, for example. One such idea for a game is to collect old whole socks, and put a small object in the toe of each. The child feels through the sock to guess what it is.
To mobilize and coordinate the collective efforts of the international community, in particular those of the UN system, to meet in a coherent and timely manner the needs of those exposed to human suffering and material destruction in disasters and emergencies. This involves reducing vulnerability, promoting solutions to root causes and facilitating the smooth transition from relief to rehabilitation and development.
What does OCHA do?
There are three major ways in which OCHA fulfils its role:
• It assists in coordinating the international humanitarian response
• It provides the humanitarian community with support in policy development
• It advocates on humanitarian issues, giving voice to the silent victims of crises and ensuring that the views and concerns of the broad humanitarian community are reflected in overall efforts towards recovery and peace building
What does OCHA in Skopje do?
• Supports Inter-Agency and Sectoral coordination meetings
• Provides Humanitarian Information Services
• Supports UN Emergency Response Planning
• Supports joint fund raising for UN Agencies
The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that all 191 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015.
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
*Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than one U.S. dollar a
2. Achieve universal primary education
* Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
* Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.
4. Reduce child mortality
* Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five.
5. Improve maternal health
* Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
* Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. :* Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
Integrate the principles of sustainable development
into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based,
predictable and non-discriminatory. Includes a commitment to good governance,
development and poverty reduction—nationally
UNODC has been involved in FYR of Macedonia since 1998 in drug law enforcement projects providing professional technical assistance to law enforcement officers engaged in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime (Police and Customs). This has included a range of basic and specialist investigative training, assistance in legislative drafting and the donation of a variety of modern technical equipment. Currently the National Project Office is actively involved in the execution of a UNODC regional project ‘Strengthening of Capacities for the Collection and Analysis of Criminal Intelligence in South Eastern Europe’ AD/RER/01/F35. Whilst providing quality field based implementation in the area of supply reduction the National Project Office is also seeking to develop a complimentary demand reduction portfolio focusing on school based drug abuse prevention.
Leading the Fight against Illicit Drugs and International Crime
The United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) is comprised of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP).
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Illicit drugs are a global problem with more than 200 million people abusing drugs worldwide. The images span all segments of society: the urban professional snorting cocaine in a downtown nightclub; the glue-sniffing street children in the slums of the developing world; the farmer addicted to the opium poppy he grows; and the teenage Ecstasy user in a comfortable suburban home. Drug use is responsible for lost wages, soaring health care costs, broken families and deteriorating communities. Intravenous drug use is also fuelling the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
UNODC works to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS through drug abuse prevention and by providing opportunities for treatment and social reintegration to injecting drug users. UNODC's Global Youth Network increases youth involvement with the international community in developing drug abuse prevention policies and programmes. Alternative development assistance provides new economic opportunities to regions that are transitioning from opium poppy, coca and cannabis cultivation.
UNODC assists law enforcement in interdicting illicit drugs and prosecuting offenders by working with Interpol and the World Customs Organization to share information on global trafficking trends and smuggling methods. Illicit trafficking is further curbed through expert training to improve interdiction and investigation techniques, supported by the provision of operational equipment.
The Global Programme against Money Laundering assists governments in confronting the criminals who launder dirty money. The programme provides training in financial investigation to business, law enforcement and judicial professionals. It also lays the groundwork for the creation of Financial Intelligence Units.
UNODC's Global Assessment Programme (GAP) supplies accurate and current statistics on illicit drug consumption worldwide, which is crucial for developing the best prevention strategies.
UNODC's Legal Advisory Programme works with States to implement drug control treaties by helping to draft legislation and train judicial officials. More than 1,500 key personnel have received legal training, and over 140 countries worldwide have received legal assistance.
Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP).
The age of globalization has opened up new forms of transactional crime. Organized criminal groups are expanding at an alarming rate bringing with them physical violence, intimidation and corruption of public officials. Cooperative action by the international community is needed to deal more effectively with the new challenges of crime prevention and criminal justice. CICP supports Member States in their efforts to ratify the United Nations convention against Transactional Organized Crime and its supplementary protocols. Negotiations also began in 2002 on a Convention against Corruption. CICP confronts criminal activities through targeted programmes.
Criminal groups have established international networks using sophisticated technology and diverse modus operandi to better carry out their activities in licit and illicit markets. The Global Programme against Transnational Organized Crime maps the latest trends of organized criminal groups and highlights potential dangers so that preventive action can take place.
Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon. The Global Programme against Corruption targets countries with vulnerable developing or transitional economies by promoting anti-corruption measures and helping to make public sector actions more transparent. The smuggling of migrants and the trafficking of human beings for prostitution and slave labour are some of the fastest growing worldwide problems. Studies also show a growing involvement of organized criminal groups. The Global Programme against the Trafficking in Human Beings enables countries of origin, transit and destination to develop joint strategies and practical action against human trading.
The Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) was established in 1999 and is mandated to enhance international cooperation and government response to terrorism.
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