May

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May 2007

Contents

Democracy Alerts/Appeals
Update: Organizations Respond to Ongoing Repression in Zimbabwe
Update: Blog Started for Arrested Vietnamese Lawyer Le Quoc Quan
Update: Dr. Yang Jianli Released from Prison
Iranian Women's Rights Activist Arrested
NGOs Make Joint Statement to UN Human Rights Council

Announcements and Events
CIVICUS to Hold Seventh World Assembly, May 23-27
CIVICUS and the Aga Khan Foundation Create Resource Mobilization Toolkit
Iraqi Network for Civil Peace Building Created
Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies Established in Lithuania
Country Reports Published for International Advisory Committee for the Community of Democracies
Americas Society and Council of Americas Announces New Policy Journal

Elections
Zimbabwe Election Support Network Outlines Requirements for Free and Fair Elections
Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly Elections Widely Considered Fraudulent
Amman Center for Human Rights Studies Publishes Report on Elections in the Arab World

Gender Issues and Sexual Minority Rights
The Center for Development and Population Activities Announces "WomenLead" Workshop
Sisters' Arab Forum for Human Rights Issues Report on Second Women Democracy Forum
Call for Submissions: German UNIFEM 2007 Award, Say NO to Trafficking in Women

Human Rights, Equality and Access to Justice

Humanitarian Workers in Sri Lanka Threatened
Appeal Sent to UN for Protection of Human Rights Activists in Burma
Bangladesh Forum Holds Meeting on Human Dignity
Youth in the World for Peace Network Releases Report on Human Rights in Dimbelenge, Democratic Republic of Congo

Labor Unions and Worker Rights
Bahrain Center for Human Rights Condemns New Discriminatory Law against Migrant Workers

Media, Freedom of Expression and Communication Technology
Center for International Media Assistance Holds Inaugural Forum
Freedom House Releases 2007 Global Media Independence Survey
Reporters Without Borders Builds Monument to Fallen Journalists

Rule of Law and Judicial Independence
US Institute of Peace Launches International Network to Promote the Rule of Law

Tolerance and Religious Freedom
Social Capital Foundation to Hold Ethnic Diversity Conference
Leadership Council for Human Rights Announces Middle East Minorities Database Project

Young People's Political and Civic Participation
Global Youth Assembly of the United Nations to Be Held in Edmonton, Canada
Zimbabwean Group Publishes Report on Student Involvement in Defending Values and Rights

World Movement Participating Networks, Organizations and Individuals Mentioned in this Issue

 

Democracy Alerts/Appeals

Update: Organizations Respond to Ongoing Repression in Zimbabwe
In March 2007, the World Movement for Democracy issued three DemocracyAlerts regarding the assaults and arrests of several participants by riot police at the March 11 "Save Zimbabwe" rally in Harare, and the human rights violations that followed. Since then, the crisis has continued to escalate.

According to Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), on April 23 approximately 56 individuals were arrested as they continued their 'power to the people' campaign outside local offices of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply in Harare. Three of those arrested have since been hospitalized following the beatings they received in custody at the Harare Central Police Station. Almost all who were arrested required medical treatment. Moreover, the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) reports that on April 25, Hillside Teachers College Student Union President Tafadzwa Chengewa was abducted from his campus residence in Bulawayo by four unidentified men driving an unregistered vehicle. His whereabouts remain unknown. Also, a new organization called the Zimbabwe Youth Movement was launched in Zimbabwe recently; however, their launch was marred by state violence, as the youths were abducted, beaten, and abandoned in Marondera.

A number of international organizations have also responded to the escalating crisis in Zimbabwe. On April 23, the Council of the European Union adopted a new and stronger position on Zimbabwe. The Council joins the African Union (AU) and the UN Secretary General in expressing strong concern at the rapidly deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe, and in urging the Zimbabwean Government to respect Africa's own commitments, such as those articulated in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

To see WMD alerts, go to: www.wmd.org/democracyalerts/zimbabwe07.html
To see updates by Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), go to: www.wozazimbabwe.org
To see updates by the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), go to: www.zinasu.org
To read more about the Zimbabwe Youth Movement, go to: www.zimbabwejournalists.com/authors.php?auth_id=307
To see the Council of the European Union statement, go to: www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/gena/93785.pdf

Update: Blog Started for Arrested Vietnamese Lawyer Le Quoc Quan
A blog has been created for Vietnamese Lawyer Le Quoc Quan, who was arrested on March 8 of this year at his house in Nghe An province, Vietnam. He was later charged under article 79 of the Vietnamese criminal code, which bans "activities aimed at overthrowing the people's government." He remains in police custody, unable to contact his wife. The new blog includes alerts on Le Quoc Quan, articles from the Vietnamese press, general information about the growing number of human rights violations in Vietnam, and the response of the US government to his arrest.

To view the blog, go to: http://quan-news.blogspot.com/search/label/US%20Government%20responses
To see previous WMD alerts, go to: www.wmd.org/democracyalerts/mar1407.html and www.wmd.org/democracyalerts/mar2307.html

Update: Dr. Yang Jianli Released from Prison
On April 27, 2007, writer Dr. Yang Jianli was released after serving a five-year sentence in China. In June 2002, the World Movement for Democracy began issuing DemocracyAlerts for Dr. Yang, Chairman of the Boston-based Foundation for China in the 21st Century and an advocate of democracy and the rule of law in China. In 2002, Dr. Yang returned to China for the first time since being expelled for taking part in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989. He was arrested on April 26, 2002, while secretly reporting on workers' strikes in northeastern China, and sentenced to five years in prison. According to Independent Chinese PEN Center, Dr. Yang was one of 74 writers in prison in China.

For more information from Independent Chinese PEN Center (in Chinese), go to: www.penchinese.com/wipc/01wipl-main.htm
For previous WMD alerts, go to: www.wmd.org/democracyalerts/june2602.html

Iranian Women's Rights Activist Arrested
On May 7, Zeinab Peyqambarzadeh, an active youth member of the Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP) "One Million Signatures" campaign, was arrested for her participation in a peaceful protest on March 4. She reported to the Revolutionary Court after receiving a summons, where she was then arrested and transferred to Evin prison. Her father and lawyer attempted to post the set bail of 20 million toumans (about $27,000 US), but the court refused to accept the bail or authorize her release. Two other women's rights activists, Maryam Hosseinhkah and Fatemeh Govaraie, were also summoned to court for their role in the March 4 protest. The peaceful protest was staged in objection to increasing government pressure on the Iranian women's movement and its efforts to curb activities aimed at raising awareness of discriminatory laws against women.

Go to: www.learningpartnership.org/advocacy/alerts/iranwomenarrests0307

NGOs Make Joint Statement to UN Human Rights Council
On May 1, in a joint statement, the Democracy Coalition Project, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Open Society Institute, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, and CONECTAS called on the members of the UN Democracy Caucus to support strong reforms at the UN Human Rights Council in its fifth and final session of its inaugural year, June 11-18. The statement urges democratic countries to work together in the next two months to ensure that the UN Human Rights Council adopts mechanisms that will strengthen its ability to address human rights violations around the world. The groups write that "specifically, the Council must preserve the independence and flexibility of the system of 'special procedures' that monitor human rights worldwide" and "establish a universal periodic review that involves independent experts and non-governmental stakeholders at all stages." Finally, the groups urge the Council to "demonstrate an increased willingness to act on urgent human rights situations in a balanced and proactive way."

Go to: http://tinyurl.com/26zygh

 

Announcements and Events

CIVICUS to Hold Seventh World Assembly, May 23-27
This year's CIVICUS World Assembly will take place on May 23-27 in Glasgow, Scotland. The theme for the Assembly is "Acting Together for a Just World," which will be explored through a central focus on "Accountability: Delivering Results." This year, CIVICUS has broadened the scope of the World Assembly by compiling a program that appeals to stakeholders beyond civil society, including government, business, donors, and the media. The list of speakers and contributors at the World Assembly is comprised of experts and leaders from these sectors.

Go to: www.civicus.org/new/media/WorldAssembly2007Programmeflyer.pdf

CIVICUS and the Aga Khan Foundation Create Resource Mobilization Toolkit
CIVICUS and the Aga Khan Foundation have created a resource mobilization toolkit. The toolkit includes a handbook entitled "Towards Financial Self-Reliance: A Handbook on Resource Mobilization for Civil Society Organizations in the South," a training manual written by Richard Holloway, and a Web-based interactive course. The toolkit covers numerous and varied areas such as earned income, local foundations, governmental sources, foreign agencies, the corporate sector, microcredit, the Internet, and social investments. It also sets these areas within a strategic overview of planning and management effectiveness, and is useful for those wishing to achieve organizational growth or for training other organizations.

Go to: www.akdn.org/agency/akf_trainer.html

Iraqi Network for Civil Peace Building Created
On March 24-26, the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS), in cooperation with the Iraqi Youth League and the Monitoring Network of Human Rights in Iraq, held a workshop entitled "The role of civil society organizations in building peace in Iraq." The workshop concluded with a decision to create a network of Iraqi civil society organizations for civil peace, which will initially be established among the organizations that participated in the workshop. The workshop addressed many topics, including the concept of civil peace and the role of civil society organizations and the media in building civil peace in Iraq.

Go to: www.achrs.org/english/CenterNewsView.asp?CNID=274

Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies Established in Lithuania
The Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) was established in Vilnius, Lithuania, in March 2007. Founded by Belarusian think tanks, analysts and journalists, BISS is a network of nongovernmental organizations that aims to enhance dialogue about the future of Belarus among experts and the wider Belarusian society, democratic forces, authorities, and the international community. As a research policy platform and communication center for Belarusian analysts, BISS intends to become a leader in conducting interdisciplinary socio-political research and to intensify public policy activities among various stakeholders in Belarus. New materials, including a study on the current trends and challenges of Belarusian independent trade unions, are already available on its Web site. In cooperation with the Belarus Public Policy Fund, BISS has also announced a call for proposals for small grants to further stimulate public policy research further and to foster public policy debate in Belarus.

Go to: www.belinstitute.eu

Country Reports Published for International Advisory Committee for the Community of Democracies
To provide the International Advisory Committee (IAC) for the Community of Democracies (CD) with a concise analysis of the state of democracy and human rights around the world, a Secretariat team coordinated by the Democracy Coalition Project, in partnership with the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, and Freedom House, has prepared a series of specific country reports. The CD brings together those nations committed to promoting and strengthening democracy worldwide. The IAC recommends countries to be included in the CD's ministerial meetings, the next of which will be held in Bamako, Mali, in November of this year. The Secretariat team prepared 35 reports on countries that needed further analysis and 11 shorter reports on countries that initially qualified for an invitation to the CD ministerial meeting, but where recent developments and ongoing trends demanded closer scrutiny. Each country report analyzes the government's record of respect for democracy and human rights according to the official criteria for participation in the CD. It also provides suggestions on steps governments should take to meet the criteria. The recommendations were released to the public this month at events in Bamako, Washington, and Brussels, and are available online. The IAC will issue its recommendations on which governments merit invitation to the CD ministerial meeting later this year in Bamako, Mali.

Go to: www.demcoalition.org/2005_html/commu_cdm07.html

Americas Society and Council of Americas Announces New Policy Journal
On April 19, the Americas Society and Council of the Americas announced the launch of its new policy journal, AMERICAS QUARTERLY. The journal is dedicated to the community of the Americas, highlighting and engaging new leaders in politics, civil society, and business in the debate about policy in the hemisphere. The editors of AMERICAS QUARTERLY promise a neutral space that will bring together voices, research, and opinions that do not usually meet in the current array of media. The first issue debuted this April and includes articles by Ricardo Lagos, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jorge Castaneda, and a number of leading academics.

Go to: www.americasquarterly.org

 

Elections

Zimbabwe Election Support Network Outlines Requirements for Free and Fair Elections
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has outlined the fundamental requirements needed to ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe for the 2008 presidential elections. ZESN wishes to hold the Zimbabwean Government to the principles of the South African Development Community (SADC) and calls upon the Zimbabwean Government to review the electoral framework and environment ahead of the 2008 Election. The SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections articulate principles for conducting democratic elections and guidelines for the observation of elections. The SADC Principles also outline the responsibilities of member states holding elections. Governments in the SADC region have committed themselves voluntarily to these standards.

Go to: www.zesn.org.zw/docs/FUNDAMENTALS_FOR_FREE_AND_FAIR_ELECTIONS_ZIM.doc

Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly Elections Widely Considered Fraudulent
The Presidential and National Assembly elections held in Nigeria on April 21 have been characterized by many election observation groups as fraudulent. The Domestic Election Observation Group (DEOG), composed of civil society organizations in Nigeria, has published a preliminary report that notes widespread irregularities and electoral malpractices. The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) to Nigeria has issued a press release, which states that the elections failed to meet hopes and expectations of the Nigerian people and fall short of basic international standards. EUEOM concludes that the elections were marred by violence, poor organization, and a lack of transparency, significant evidence of fraud, voter disenfranchisement, and bias. The National Democratic Institute (NDI) has released a preliminary statement asserting that the electoral process failed the Nigerian people. On April 25, the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), a Nigerian NGO, organized a post-election civil society summit that was attended by over 20 other Nigerian NGOs. In their post-summit report, ACE states that the elections were characterized by malpractice and fraud. The report accuses the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria of having betrayed their constitutional duties of organizing a free and fair election by playing a direct and conscious role in organizing the fraudulent elections. Finally, ACE rejected the elections and called for their immediate cancellation.

For the DEOG Preliminary report, go to: www.wmd.org/documents/may07demnews13.pdf
For the EUEOM press release, go to: http://tinyurl.com/yo6hgs
For the NDI statement, got to: www.accessdemocracy.org/library/2151_ng_election_statement_042307.pdf
For the ACE report, go to: www.acenigeria.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=57&Itemid=44

Amman Center for Human Rights Studies Publishes Report on Elections in the Arab World
The Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS) has published a report entitled "Elections in the Arab World 2006: A Human Rights Evaluation." This report is the first of its kind to systematically and comparatively analyze elections in Arab countries from a human rights perspective. The report analyzes the parliamentary elections that have taken place in 2006 in six Arab countries, focusing on the level of compliance of such elections to international standards and human rights principles. It also investigates the relationships between elections, democracy, and human rights. It uses indicators such as freedom of expression, association, and movement; civil and political rights; and women and youth participation as fundamental principles that define democratic elections. The report incorporates results from some of the election monitoring activities that ACHRS conducts.

Go to: www.achrs.org/english/CenterNewsView.asp?CNID=285

 

Gender Issues and Sexual Minority Rights

The Center for Development and Population Activities Announces "WomenLead" Workshop
The Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) will hold a workshop titled "WomenLead in Promoting Peace and Stability" from October 22 to November 16, 2007, in Washington, DC. The workshop themes include gender and governance and contextual analysis and advocacy. CEDPA will recruit women with a high level of motivation, the ability to articulate their intentions, and a strong desire to make a difference in their communities. This workshop is designed for early and mid-career women from NGOs, faith-based organizations, government, the private sector, and political institutions working in conflict affected or post-conflict environments. Fluency in English is required. The due date to submit applications for the workshop is May 30, 2007.

Go to: www.cedpa.org/section/training/womenlead

Sisters' Arab Forum for Human Rights Issues Report on Second Women Democracy Forum
The Sisters' Arab Forum for Human Rights (SAF) has issued a report on the Second Women Democracy Forum, held on November 3-5, 2006. The theme of the Forum was "Two Years of Democratic Transformation: Achievements and Missed Opportunities." It was sponsored by the US State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), FIDH, No Peace Without Justice, and the United Nations Fund for Women. The Forum was attended by 40 participants from 14 Arab states, Turkey, Afghanistan, and a number of activists from Yemen. The report covers the various sessions held and the various country reports presented at the forum.

Go to: www.wmd.org/documents/may07demnews16.pdf

Call for Submissions: German UNIFEM 2007 Award, Say NO to Trafficking in Women
German UNIFEM, a division of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, is accepting submissions for its "2007: Say NO to Trafficking in Women" award until May 31. Ongoing programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and East European transition countries outside the European Union may win the award, which includes a 10,000 euro prize. The prize can be granted for the prevention, support, and protection of victims, as well as for measures that serve to sensitize the general public to the issue of women trafficking. Organizations must have been established for at least three years to be eligible for the award. Other requirements for eligibility are listed on the Web site.

Go to: www.unifem.de/dokumente/download/ausschreibung/Unifem_Prize_2007_Announcement.pdf

 

Human Rights, Equality and Access to Justice

Humanitarian Workers in Sri Lanka Threatened
The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) reports that on April 20, the Tamileela People's Liberation Tigers (TMVP) threatened the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) in Sri Lanka that it would take the "necessary steps to eliminate them if needed" should they not comply with the TMVP's demand to register with them by April 30, 2007. The TMVP, which has power over several far-eastern districts of Sri Lanka, is a political party and paramilitary group formed in 2004 by Colonel Karuna, a breakaway Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) military leader. The original demand to the CHA in the Trinocomalee district was issued on April 17, 2007, and warned that those failing to register won't be allowed to carry out humanitarian work in the war zones. The threats issued by the TMVP to the humanitarian NGOs who are members of the CHA extend to the UN workers in Eastern Sri Lanka. Since January, several aid workers have already been killed in the eastern part of Sri Lanka, but no one has been held responsible.

Go to: www.achrweb.org/Review/2007/164-07.htm
Appeal Sent to UN for Protection of Human Rights Activists in Burma
The World Forum for Democracy in Asia (WFDA) recently concluded a petition for the protection of human rights activists in Burma. The appeal refers to the case of two human rights defenders, Myint Naing and Maung Maung Lay, who were brutally attacked in Burma by members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), the civilian wing of the Burmese military regime, on April 18, after conducting a human rights education session. The appeal also highlights other attacks on human rights defenders with which the USDA has been linked, including the 2003 incident that became known as the Depayin Massacre, in which 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was attacked. WFDA estimates that since 2006, there have been at least 15 cases of violent gang attacks by members of the USDA on human rights defenders that resulted in three deaths and at least 200 injured people.

Go to: www.ipetitions.com/petition/joint

Bangladesh Forum Holds Meeting on Human Dignity
In March, the Bangladesh Dignity Forum held a meeting on the theme "Human Dignity a Must for Making Democracy Meaningful and Effective." The meeting was presided over by noted civic activist Khairul Alam and was addressed by several members of the Bangladesh Dignity Forum. The speakers observed that 36 years have elapsed since Bangladesh was liberated, yet the people have neither derived the expected benefits of independence nor grasped the true meaning of independence in their social, economic and political life. That political parties often abuse the word 'independence,' as well as the history of independence, to serve their vested political interests was cited as an important reason for falling short of expectations.

Go to: www.wmd.org/documents/may07demnews20.pdf

Youth in the World for Peace Network Releases Report on Human Rights in Dimbelenge, Democratic Republic of Congo
Youth in the World for Peace Network (RJMP), a human rights NGO based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has released a report detailing human rights abuses in Dimbelenge, a territory in the Kasai Oriental province in rural and southern DRC. According to information received from network members in the province, RJMP maintains that the human rights situation in this particular part of the country is extremely dire. The police, charged with upholding order in Dimbelenge, is composed of former rebels from the Rassemblement Congolais Pour La Démocratie (RCD), which ruled this part of DRC during its civil war five years ago. The former rebels were never adequately trained to be police officers in peacetime, and have been known to pillage, rape local women, and conduct arbitrary arrests and detentions. They also commit other forms of human rights violations and disrespect customary law and authority. Since December 2006, the human rights situation in Dimbelenge has seriously deteriorated, and RJMP has taken the initiative in relaying this problem to its partners and other human rights defenders by issuing the report.

Go to (in French): www.wmd.org/documents/may07demnews21.pdf

 

Labor Unions and Worker Rights

Bahrain Center for Human Rights Condemns New Discriminatory Law against Migrant Workers
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) has issued a press release condemning as discriminatory a new law under consideration that would ban migrant workers who are unmarried from living in residential areas. BCHR also believes that the new law would promote derogatory racist attitudes towards migrant workers. BCHR strongly urges the Parliament to vote against the proposal. It encourages the Council of Representatives to work on methods that will enforce decent standards of living for migrant workers, which will decrease the overcrowding of their residencies and improve health and living conditions. Finally, BCHR calls on the Council of Representatives to set a good example for citizens and to promote harmony and peaceful relations among the various communities living in Bahrain, instead of exploiting people's prejudices and fears.

Go to: www.bahrainrights.org/node/1202

 

Media, Freedom of Expression and Communication Technology

Center for International Media Assistance Holds Inaugural Forum
The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), a project of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) begun in September 2006, held its first public meeting on May 2. CIMA brings together a broad range of media experts with the objective of strengthening support of free and independent media throughout the world. The May 2 forum focused on the international role of the media in exposing corruption and promoting good governance, and was attended by members of the Congressional Caucus for the Freedom of the Press, journalists, and other individuals from the fields of anti-corruption, governance, and media. The meeting, held in honor of World Press Freedom Day, included a panel discussion on the impact of media on corruption and governance, and the launching of Media Matters: Perspectives on Advancing Governance and Development a book produced by the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), a new network within the World Movement for Democracy.

Go to: http://www.ned.org/for-reporters

Freedom House Releases 2007 Global Media Independence Survey
On May 1, Freedom House released its global media independence survey "Freedom in the Press 2007." While the survey points to improvements in several countries, such as Italy, Nepal, Colombia, and Haiti, it notes that on the whole press freedom suffered continued global decline in 2006. The survey shows mixed trends in Africa, as well as a continuation of a longer-term pattern of decline in press freedom in Asia, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union. The study also warns of a growing effort to place restrictions on Internet freedom by censoring, harassing, or shutting down sites that provide alternative sources of political commentary. The survey, launched in 1980, assesses the degree of print, broadcast, and Internet freedom in every country in the world. It assigns each country a numerical score from 0 to 100, which in turn determines a category rating of Free, Partly Free or Not Free.

Go to: http://freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=362

Reporters Without Borders Builds Monument to Fallen Journalists
The French town of Bayeux and Reporters Without Borders have built a memorial to ensure that journalists killed while doing their job around the world since 1944 will never be forgotten. The completed memorial is the first of its kind in Europe and was inaugurated on May 2. It was designed and built by French architect and landscape artist Samuel Craquelin and consists of a pathway marked by 23 white stones bearing the names of 1,876 killed journalists.

Go to: www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=21777

 

Rule of Law and Judicial Independence

US Institute of Peace Launches International Network to Promote the Rule of Law
On March 26, the United States Institute of Peace launched the International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL), a Web-based network of rule of law practitioners and experts, to promote information sharing and address the immediate information needs of officials in the field. The aim of the INPROL is to assist international rule of law specialists in their efforts to prevent conflict and stabilize war-torn societies. INPROL provides those serving in the field the ability to exchange information with other practitioners and experts, and to access relevant documents, best practices, and related materials. INPROL seeks to foster an integrated approach to the rule of law by incorporating multiple professional communities, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, civilian police, stability police, corrections officials, legal advisors, and judicial administrators. Membership in INPROL is open to those who are currently serving in a rule of law-related capacity, as described above, or who have previously done so. Membership is also open to scholars and others with specialized expertise of relevance to this community.

Go to: www.inprol.org

 

Tolerance and Religious Freedom

Social Capital Foundation to Hold Ethnic Diversity Conference
The Social Capital Foundation (TSCF), a Belgium-based NGO, is holding a conference on ethnic diversity on November 15-19, 2007, in Hawaii. This conference will bring together social scientists, economists, policy makers, and social workers to explore the issues arising in increasingly multiethnic societies. The objective is to make progress on the understanding of these issues by shedding light on some current developments and drafting innovative, practical responses. Activities will include presentations by selected keynote speakers, paper presentations, and panel discussions. Individuals are invited to submit papers and research, the deadline for which is October 1.

Go to: www.socialcapital-foundation.org/conferences/2007/TSCF%20International%20Conference%202007.htm

Leadership Council for Human Rights Announces Middle East Minorities Database Project
The Leadership Council for Human Rights (LCHR) is creating a comprehensive database of ethnic and religious minorities in the greater Middle East to promote recognition of these groups and enhance cross-cultural tolerance in the Arab world. The Middle East is home to dozens of distinct ethnic and religious groups, which share a common history of persecution. Through careful documentation of minorities in the region, LCHR will raise awareness of the truly diverse inhabitants of the region and the acute need to devote attention to minority rights. LCHR's database will highlight the status of Middle East minorities through history, illustrating the movement of populations and subsequent formation of Diaspora communities. As an advocate for minorities and women in the Middle East, LCHR will use the database as a tool to emphasize recognition and tolerance of, as well as rights, respect, and justice for, peoples at risk. Specifically, LCHR aims to promote individual rights, language rights, and the right of minority populations to enjoy peaceful, public lives without fear.

To contribute information to the database, please contact lc4hr@leadership-council.org

 

Young People's Political and Civic Participation

Global Youth Assembly of the United Nations to Be Held in Edmonton, Canada
The Global Youth Assembly of the United Nations will be held in Edmonton, Canada, from July 30 to August 4, 2007. Rights & Democracy is working in partnership with the Youth Assembly of the United Nations to help bring international youth and young professionals aged 16 to 28 to the Global Youth Assembly, titled "Reach Out, Speak Up! Ignite Change Now." The Assembly will focus on UNESCO's eight areas of action for establishing a culture of peace as a conceptual framework. The eight areas of action include fostering a culture of peace through education; promoting sustainable economic and social development; promoting respect for all human rights; ensuring equality between men and women; fostering democratic participation; advancing understanding, tolerance, and solidarity; supporting participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge; and promoting international peace and security.

For more information, write: info@youthassembly.ca

Zimbabwean Group Publishes Report on Student Involvement in Defending Values and Rights
On April 28, Students Solidarity Trust (SST) released a report entitled, "Inside the Pandora's Box." The report reflects the role the students have taken in defending the values and rights provided for and attached to conventions, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The report attempts to initiate the engagement of the students movement in serious and critical policy research by looking at the problems and identifying possible areas of intervention.

Go to: www.studentsolidarity.org/Resources/PublicationsReports/tabid/58/Default.aspx

 

World Movement Participating Networks, Organizations and Individuals Mentioned in this Issue

Please Note: Readers of DemocracyNews will often be referred to Web sites for further information. If you are interested in a particular item, but are unable to access the World Wide Web, please contact the World Movement or fax at +1-202- 378-9889, and we will try to provide the information to you by other means.