In order to reduce the amount of torture, political imprisonment,
disappearances and other human rights abuses worldwide, the Green
Party will call for the world's governments to have their performance
on human rights monitored and published regularly, with a view
to bringing legal and non-violent pressure on the regimes with
the very worst human rights records.
Human Rights Index
The international community cannot stand back and allow gross human
rights abuses to take place. The emergent Responsibility to Protect
(R2P) doctrine promises to legitimise UN intervention in cases of
ethnic cleansing and genocide. However, military intervention should
always be a last resort, as modern wars inevitably cause death and
injury to civilians, and the post conflict situation may be problematical.Therefore
the Green Party will press for the use of a United Nations Index
of Human Rights to monitor governments that commit human rights
abuses and to provide an explicit basis for seeking to restrain
All governments will have their human rights record
continuously assessed by a UN agency set up for that purpose.
A scale will be established measuring several indicators of human
rights performance. The scale will be finalised by agreement at
the UN level, but will be centred on the following abuses:
· use of torture
· use of death penalty
· scale of 'disappearances'
· abuse of political prisoners
· denial of right to fair trial
· denial of free speech
· denial of free movement
· denial of right to political or religious freedom
· denial of rights to women
· denial of child rights
· denial of minority rights.
A score reflecting their performance will be allocated to each
state on an annual basis.
Once the Index is installed, Governments with the worst record
of human rights as measured on this Index will be referred to
the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal
Court. If the Court finds that their human rights performance
falls below accepted legal standards, the regimes will be given
time and assistance to improve their record. In the event of non-compliance,
the matter will return to the Court, and if found at fault, the
regime will suffer penalties in terms of its member's privileges
in the fields of finance, diplomacy, transport and trade. The
severity of the penalties will increase as their human rights
performance deteriorates, and decrease as their human rights performance
improves. The penalties will be targeted to hurt the ruling elite
rather than the general population.
At the same time, countries lying just above the level at which
legal action will be taken will be offered help and advice to
improve their human rights performance.
[end of GP policy]
The effects of such an Index would be:
1. A general tendency towards improved human rights performance.
Governments, even tyrannical ones, are sensitive to public opinion,
as evidenced by the success of Amnesty International's letter
writing campaigns over individual cases. There will be a natural
desire to rate more highly on the scale.
2. All parties know where they stand. At present, tyrants are
dealt with in an arbitrary and ad hoc way. The demonisation of
a particular tyrant (prior to waging war) will be less easy to
do if everyone knows that he is only, say, 6th from the bottom
on the Index.
3. Governments will doubtless appeal against their ratings. The
UN can send in inspectors to review the conditions in the country.
Regimes will tend to release prisoners and improve other conditions
prior to the appeals inspection.
4. Some governments may accept advice and assistance in improving
their human rights performance, and hence their position on the
5. Finally, when the Index is established, it can be used to bring
specific legal action and targeted sanctions to bear on the very