Category Archives: d-human rights

Is language a human right?

Language as a human right is not explicitly mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For this reason, a commission of the international organization PEN drafted a document on linguistic rights that was submitted to UNESCO in 1996.

One of the articles in the document declared the following collective rights for language groups:

* the right for their own language and culture to be taught;

* the right of access to cultural services;

* the right to an equitable presence of their language and culture in the communications media;

* the right to receive attention in their own language from government bodies and in socioeconomic relations

The document was “ noted with interest” by the UNESCO Executive Board, but was not adopted as official policy, perhaps because it was so long and complicated.

The question may be raised again now that we enter the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032..

Below are articles in CPNN about this question:

Africa confronts linguistic imperialism with Kiswahili

Abortion: is it a human right?

Here is the response of Amnesty International:

Access to safe abortion is an essential component of a fair and equal society, and is integral to realizing the full range of human rights, Amnesty International said today. The organization has published its updated policy on abortion that aligns with evolving human rights law and standards. The policy equips the organization to undertake stronger campaigning and advocacy around abortion and to better support local movements advancing sexual and reproductive rights.

The updated policy recognizes abortion, provided in a manner that respects human rights, autonomy, and dignity, as the right of anyone who can become pregnant. Amnesty International is also calling for universal access to safe abortion and related care and information, in addition to full decriminalization.

Around 47,000 women die each year as a result of seeking unsafe abortions. This global tragedy will not end until abortion is fully decriminalized and made accessible and affordable to everyone.

Rajat Khosla, Senior Director of Research and Advocacy.
“Around 47,000 women die each year as a result of seeking unsafe abortions. This global tragedy will not end until abortion is fully decriminalized and made accessible and affordable to everyone. Abortion must be treated like any other health service, and anyone seeking an abortion must be treated with compassion and dignity and with respect for their human rights,” said Rajat Khosla, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Research and Advocacy.

“Our updated policy was developed in consultation with human rights experts, medical providers and the Amnesty movement, and informed by years of research and engagement with women and girls whose lives have been shattered by restrictive laws. We will continue to demand that governments respect reproductive autonomy, and campaign for safe abortion access for anyone who seeks it, without discrimination, coercion or stigma.”

The updated policy is endorsed by the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FIGO), which represents national societies of medical professionals in 132 countries and territories.

International legal norms and standards around abortion have undergone a substantial evolution in the past decade. In line with these changes, Amnesty International has updated its position to ensure it is better-placed to challenge the full range of human rights violations due to criminalization of abortion, to advocate for removal of all barriers to safe abortion and to promote reproductive, gender and economic justice.

Amnesty International’s updated policy:

Recognizes that anyone who can become pregnant has the right to an abortion

Calls for universal access to safe abortion, as early as possible and as late as necessary, and for provision of post-abortion care and evidence-based abortion-related information

Recognizes that decisions around pregnancy and abortion directly impact the full spectrum of human rights

Calls for removing abortion from criminal and other punitive laws and policies, and to stop punishing women, girls and all pregnant people, healthcare providers and others for obtaining, assisting with, or providing abortion services

Calls for reforming laws and policies that limit abortion access to specific circumstances

Confirms that human rights protections start at birth, in line with international law

Calls on states to fulfil economic and social rights by promoting policies that empower pregnant people to make free decisions about their reproductive lives – including through access to health care, social security and the means to obtain an adequate standard of living.

“Abortion is not an isolated issue. Denying people the right to make decisions about their own bodies perpetuates gender and economic inequality, and entrenches stigma and discrimination,” said Rajat Khosla.

“We recognize that abortion is a deeply complex subject, but punitive approaches do not address the many social, economic and personal issues that shape people’s decisions to end their pregnancies. Full decriminalization of abortion is essential to protect human rights and prevent further deaths and injuries due to unsafe abortions.”

This question pertains to the following articles

English bulletin June 1, 2021


As they suffered attacks from Israel which, according to the United Nations experts and Amnesty International, may end up being condemned as crimes of war, there was a global movement of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

It was as if the Israeli government and military wanted to prove the allegations, as described in last month’s CPNN bulletin, that they are imitating the apartheid policies of South Africa half a century ago.

The Israeli attacks began against Palestinians who protested forced evictions of their countrymen living in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Amnesty International condemned the evictions and what they called “repeated, unwarranted and excessive force against Palestinian protesters in occupied East Jerusalem.” After that the Israeli attacks were broadened into a war against Gaza, where, according to the UN, “222 people, including 63 children, were killed . . . More than 450 buildings in the Gaza Strip were completely destroyed or damaged by missiles, the statement continued. Among them were six hospitals, nine healthcare centres and a water desalination plant, supplying around 250,000 Palestinians with clean drinking water, as well as a tower which housed media outlets including the Al Jazeera network, and Associated Press (AP).” The war was almost completely one-sided, as the UN said that only “12 people died in Israel as a result of the fighting.”

The list of solidarity events with the people of Palestine was global in scope, including events listed from almost all of the 50 states of the USA and 27 cities of the UK. Also in Europe: Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canary Islands, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, Also in the Americas: Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala. In Asia/Pacific there were events in Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Pakistan, while in Africa: Morocco and South Africa.

Photos showed huge mobilizations in London, New York City, Washington, D.C., Beirut and Pakistan.

In addition to the international solidarity movement, there were mobilzations for peace in Palestine and Israel.

According to our source in Palestine, “Today [May 18] will go down in history as one of the most powerful days of Palestinian non-violence resistance against the Israeli aggressions. Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, Gaza, and inside Israel took part in “GENERAL STRIKE” to protest against the Israeli occupation, aggressions in Jerusalem, and the bombardment in Gaza!!”

In Israel, thousands of Jews and Arabs rallied in Tel-Aviv in a mass march and rally for peace and coexistence, organized by the movements “Standing Together” and “Breaking the Silence”.

The solidarity movements made use of social media, despite attempts by facebook to censor them, according to a letter to facebook signed by many well-established progressive movements in the United States. They wrote that “Facebook executives’ decision at this moment to directly collaborate with Israeli Defense and Justice Minister Gantz on content moderation, without appropriate parity of government engagement until prompted by civil society, is beyond outrageous. . . . Facebook must take . . . urgent and crucial steps to repair this mistrust with our communities and ensure that we can count on Facebook and Instagram as free civic spaces and tools for holding governments accountable:”

In response to the question as to what people can do to support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality, the BDS movement has listed five kinds of actions, including the kinds of international moral, economic and political pressure that contributed to the end of South African Apartheid.

Can we imagine that freedom, justice and equality will eventually be achieved as was the case in South Africa? The answer is “Yes,” according to this month’s blog for the culture of peace.



People Around the World Stand Up in Solidarity With Palestine


Nonviolent Response to the Crisis in Colombia



France: March for the Climate: Thousands Demonstrate in Paris



Haiti: CNDDR workshop finalizes its national disarmament strategy

In addition to articles, we list virtual events for the culture of peace: Click here for upcoming events. Last month we registered 13 virtual events.




Think African Podcast Episode 1: Planting Seeds



Australia : Brisbane Weapons Expo Protest Planned



Amnesty International : End brutal repression of Palestinians protesting forced displacement in occupied East Jerusalem



Mexico: Quintana Roo celebrated a unique virtual hip hop festival in Maya language

What is the legacy of Nelson Mandela for us today?

This question applies to the following articles in CPNN:

UN Secretary-General: Tackling Inequality: A New Social Contract for a New Era

SADC and United Nations honor Nelson Mandela

South Africa: Sisulu – UN Security Council Tenure Will Be Dedicated to Mandela’s Legacy

Mandela’s vision for a better world

On Mandela Day, UN joins call to promote community service and inspire change

Mandela Day 2014: how will you be an ethical leader?

Song for International Day of Nelson Mandela

Do not turn off the light – a book review

Mandela is the new Africa

UN Secretary-General’s Statement on the Death of Nelson Mandela

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane pays tribute to former President Nelson Mandela

Rights of the child, How can they be promoted and protected?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a legally-binding international agreement setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.

The Convention consists of 54 articles that set out children’s rights and how governments should work together to make them available to all children.

Under the terms of the convention, governments are required to meet children’s basic needs and help them reach their full potential. Central to this is the acknowledgment that every child has basic fundamental rights. These include the right to:

Life, survival and development

Protection from violence, abuse or neglect

An education that enables children to fulfil their potential

Be raised by, or have a relationship with, their parents

Express their opinions and be listened to.

In 2000, two optional protocols were added to the UNCRC. One asks governments to ensure children under the age of 18 are not forcibly recruited into their armed forces. The second calls on states to prohibit child prostitution, child pornography and the sale of children into slavery. These have now been ratified by more than 120 states.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Fourth Paris Peace Forum ends with a series of initiatives

Iran: Educational program for parents was held by the First National Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse in IRAN

Bangladesh: Rohingya children get access to education

PAYNCoP Gabon Partners with the National Youth Council to Stop Violence against Youth

The Global Campaign for the Prevention of Child Marriage

Iran: 3000 signature campaign for child abuse prevention

The carnage against Gaza civilian protesters

Amnesty International: Israeli forces must end the use of excessive force in response to “Great March of Return” protests

Israel/OPT: Palestinian child activist Ahed Tamimi sentenced to 8 months in prison

Cuba a ‘Champion’ of Children’s Rights: UNICEF

Nobel Laureate leads historic march across India to keep children safe

Click here for earlier articles on this subject.

Truth Commissions, Do they improve human rights?

Here are CPNN articles pertaining to this question:

Colombia: Final report of the Truth Commission: an oral and written legacy for the country

“Week for Peace 2021” Initiative for the consolidation of peace in Colombia

Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on the Colombian Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition

Colombia: ‘Incubator of Ideas in Culture of Peace’

Zimbabwe: MDC Leadership Engages National Peace And Reconciliation Commission

Colombia: Today the Truth Commission begins its mandate

Peace Clubs: Rwanda’s post-genocide search for renewal

Reconciling Canada: Hard truths, big opportunity

Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Canada guilty of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples

Panama opens a truth commission on US invasion

Panamá abre una comisión de la verdad sobre la invasión

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Sinclair issues challenge to help heal pain of schools

U.S. Senate Report Reveals Brutal CIA Torture

The U.S. Senate Torture Report as a Truth Commission

Brasil: Comissão da Verdade Expõe Atrocidades da Ditadura

Brazil: Truth Commission details ‘Dirty War’ Atrocities, Calls for Prosecutions

Burundi/Reconciliation – Truth Commission Elected amid Opposition Boycott

Mandela archive goes live on the web

9/11 Reclaiming the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future

How effective are mass protest marches?

A study, described in CPNN, finds that nonviolent resistance, including mass protest marches, are more effective than violent resistance in both the short term and the long term. The analysis, stemming from a research project on Nonviolent Resistance and Democratic Consolidation, is based on 101 democratic transitions that occurred within the time period of 1945 to 2006. Using data from the Varieties of Democracy Database the researchers analyze improvements for civil society organizations (CSOs, i.e. interest groups, labor unions, religious organizations, social movements, and classic NGOs) after democratic transitions. They compare cases where democratization was induced by an NVR campaign (like Poland and Benin) with transition cases that did not feature an NVR campaign (i.e. violent or elite-led transitions). The four aspects of CSOs that were evaluated include: (1) independence from government, (2) freedom from repression, (3) consultation of CSOs for policymaking, and (4) participation in CSOs.

This question applies to the following recent articles in CPNN:

Honduras: A massive march cries out for peace in Olancho

Indian farmers call off lengthy protest after govt assurances

Thousands demonstrate in France to stop violence against women

VIEW Reactions to India’s decision to repeal farm laws

Successful start of the Latin American March for Nonviolence, Multiethnic and Pluricultural

USA: Women Rally for Abortion Justice Amid ‘Unprecedented Attack’ on Reproductive Rights

Belarus: Women at the forefront of human rights struggle

Irate farmers storm Delhi on tractors as tear gas deployed and internet cut off in scramble to defend Indian capital

France: Thousands protest against bill to curb filming of police

‘Stop Lukashenko’: Hundreds of Thousands Protest Against Belarusian Leader for Eighth Straight Day

Tens of thousands march in southern India to protest citizenship law

A Worldwide Revolution Is Underway

Kazakhstan: Protests of presidential vote bring 500 arrests

Czech Republic: Prague crowds demand PM Andrej Babis step down

Sudan: top UN official demands cessation of violence and rape against civilians by security forces

Hong Kong protesters march demanding leader resign

Brazil: general strike highlights Bolsonaro’s weakness

Celebrating arrests, but still pushing for change, protesters rally in Algeria

Israeli woman hold mass rallies to protest rising violence against women

France: More people marched in the demonstration #NousToutes than in the demonstration of the “Yellow Jackets”

How Nonviolent Resistance Helps to Consolidate Gains for Civil Society after Democratization

Philippine Catholics march against Duterte’s deadly war on drugs

Live long and protest: the power of mass action is alive in Romania

USA: Women’s marches fight back against inauguration of Trump

Nonviolence Highlights in 2016

40,000 Create Human Chains to Protest Violence in Honduras

March of Hope gathers 20,000 in historic Jerusalem rally

Colombia: Youth for Peace: Mass marches in 16 cities across the country

Papua New Guinea: Thousands march to ‘make a stand for peace’

For CPNN articles on this topic prior to 2015, click here.

The right to form and maintain trade unions, is it being respected?

This question pertains to the following CPNN articles:

USA” BAmazon Union Vote: The Opening Salvo in a Long Struggle!

USA: Will COVID-19 Spur a Wave of Unionization?

Canada: teachers are victorious as bargaining rights acknowledged by Supreme Court

Canadá: los docentes celebran el reconocimiento de los derechos de negociación colectiva por parte de la Corte Suprema

Canada: la Cour suprême entérine le droit de négociation, les enseignant(e)s savourent leur victoire

Malaysia: Tenaganita Still Fighting for Women Workers’ Rights, 25 Years On

Victory for workers’ rights at the United Nations

What is the state of human rights in the world today?

Recent articles published by CPNN indicate that the state of human rights has gone backwards in recent years. In the face of this retreat, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has urged all people to “push back the violence and hatred which threaten our world.”

Speaking ahead of International Human Rights Day, Zeid warned that “if the growing erosion of the carefully constructed system of human rights and rule of law continues to gather momentum, ultimately everyone will suffer.”

The failure of global leaders to deal with complex social issues like the massive wealth gap, discrimination, and climate change have led to growing numbers of people to turn to “the siren voices exploiting fears, sowing disinformation and division, and making alluring promises they cannot fulfill,” he said, in a nod to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

“Discrimination, yawning economic disparities, and the ruthless desire to gain or maintain power at any cost are the principal drivers of current political and human rights crises,” he said.

One set of articles indicates that the fightback has already begun in the United States.

Here are some recent articles in CPNN on the question “What is the state of human rights in the world today?”:

Leftist President of Honduras Blocks Indigenous Community’s Eviction

Amnesty International : 33 human rights wins to celebrate this year

Annual Report of Amnesty International : COVID-19 hits those shackled by oppression hardest thanks to decades of inequalities, neglect and abuse

Amnesty International: New generation of young activists lead fight against worsening repression in Asia

Global Human Rights Movement Issues Travel Warning for the U.S. due to Rampant Gun Violence

South Africa Launches Plan to Combat Xenophobia and Racism

Amnesty International: After Christchurch, how to beat Islamophobia and hate

Amnesty International: Oppressive, sexist policies galvanize bold fight for women’s rights in 2018

After escaping 35 years of slavery, this black Mauritanian woman is running for office

9th International Conference on Human Rights Education

‘Fascist Rhetoric’ Becoming Commonplace in US and Europe: UN

UN: National Human Rights Institutions will play a more strategic role in education

2015: When Global Governments Trampled Human Rights in Name of National Security

15 Indigenous Rights Victories That You Didn’t Hear About in 2015

UN: Worldwide displacement hits all-time high as war and persecution increase

Amnesty International: A Devastating Year

For articles prior to 2015, click here.

The struggle for human rights, is it gathering force in the USA?

CPNN finds ample evidence that the fightback in the USA to defend peace and human rights is underway. It begins at the local level, as it must be if it is to be sustainable. And it is being led by young people and women, as it must be if it is to have the energy to succeed.

This question pertains to the following articles:

USA: Women Rally for Abortion Justice Amid ‘Unprecedented Attack’ on Reproductive Rights

58 Years After Historic Rally, Thousands March on Washington for Voting Rights, DC Statehood

USA: Exoneration of Scott Warren is a triumph for humanity

Ocasio-Cortez Delivers Powerful Call for Justice as Third Women’s March Kicks Off in New York

October 31, 2018: USA: Planned Parenthood Strikes Back: Preparing for the Worst in the Wake of Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

August 4, 2018: Teachers, activists denounce U.S. immigration policies, attempt to deliver books, toys to detained children

July 25, 2018: USA: A call to resist immigrant concentration camps

February 6, 2018: State Of The City: We’re The Resistance (New Haven, CT, USA)

January 20, 2018: Women’s March protests across America against President Trump

July 20, 2017: USA: Labor Unions Are Stepping Up To Fight Deportations

July 20, 2017: USA: People’s Congress of Resistance

June 26, 2017: U.S. Conference of Mayors Opposes Military-Heavy Trump Budget

June 15, 2017: USA: A Call to Mobilize the Nation through 2018

April 3, 2017: Sanctuary city leaders vow to remain firm, despite threats from U.S. attorney general

February 16, 2017: Restaurants Will Test If The U.S. Can Stomach ‘A Day Without Immigrants’

February 16, 2017: USA: Army veterans forming human shield to protect NoDAPL protesters at Standing Rock

February 3, 2017: A Call to Address Identity-based Violence through Teach-ins at American Universities [and around the World]

January 30, 2017: Donald Trump Declared War On ‘Sanctuary Cities.’ They’re Already Fighting Back

January 22, 2017: USA: Women’s marches fight back against inauguration of Trump

January 20, 2017: USA: Immigrants Prepped For Raids

December 9, 2016: USA: 13 Minnesota churches eye ‘underground railroad’ for those facing deportation

December 9, 2016: USA: Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement

November 24, 2016: Tabling for peace in the USA: A new sense of urgency

November 24, 2016: Tucson students learn ‘non-violence’ way of life amidst anti-Trump protests

November 21, 2016: US Election: The fightback for human rights is already underway

November 21, 2016: USA: ’Sanctuary city’ mayors pledge to fight Trump’s threats to immigrants

November 20, 2016: USA: ‘Sanctuary campus’ protests demand universities protect immigrants

November 20, 2016: USA: To Counter Trump, Women Are Mobilizing for Massive March on Washington