proposed system for measuring and ranking each country's observance of internationally-agreed
The next 60 years - Holding nations to account on human
years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drawn up, it
is time for the United Nations (UN) to initiate new mechanisms to encourage member
states to improve their human rights (HR) record.
Party of England and Wales is proposing that the UN establish a Global Human Rights
Index (GloHRI), which would measure and rank each country according to its conformity
with international human rights standards.
Using an objective
points system, GloHRI would measure every country, based on its compliance with
a check-list of agreed human rights norms, such as whether or not it has the death
penalty, detention without trial, freedom of the media, the right to protest,
equal rights for women and minorities and so on.
accessible index would enable objective comparisons between the human rights records
of different countries, and permit the identification of whether each individual
country's human rights record was, year-on-year, improving or deteriorating.
annually, GloHRI would document where each state upholds or violates human rights;
providing an incentive for all nations to improve their human rights record and
It would help identify the most serious human rights
offenders meriting the most urgent prosecution, in accordance with international
The Green Party offers this proposal for
wider consultation, with a view to its future submission to the UN.
Threats to World Stability
The world faces several interlinked
challenges at present including:
· economic recession
· food shortages
· fuel shortages
· mass migration
· militarism, including weapons
of mass destruction
There is a tendency for governments to
respond to perceived threats by moving towards a position of tighter control by
taking away or restricting human rights. This affects even established democracies.
The authoritarian tendency appears in the United States with measures such as
Guantanamo Bay, the Patriot Act, and tolerance of torture by using "extraordinary
rendition". In the UK it is reflected in the persistent attempts to undermine
Habeas Corpus by seeking extraordinarily long periods of detention without charge,
indefinite house arrest (control orders) without trial, restrictions on the right
to protest and many other erosions of civil liberties.
extreme response to riots and disorder is for governments to declare military
rule. Military rule tends to be authoritarian, and to degenerate into outright
dictatorship, as seen in Burma.
If the world is to avoid a
slide towards increasing authoritarianism, as well as continuing to act against
abuses and abusers when they are found, we must create international and national
government institutions that make human rights abuse less likely.
to Human Rights Abuses
Although humans have an (often under-reported)
capacity to behave towards each other with kindness and altruism, regrettably
we also have a capacity to behave towards others with appalling injustice and
cruelty, especially in war and when obeying authority .
are still far too many governments who commit acts which are contrary to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
There are eight common methods
that the political world uses to deal with HR abuses.
1. The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights This is the bench-mark of internationally-agreed human
rights norms, from which all subsequent human rights agreements and conventions
have flowed. It is a remarkable document that has set a standard for all governments
to aspire to. It wears its 60 years well, sounding remarkably modern and relevant.
A shortened version is printed in the Appendix to this report. The Declaration
of Human Rights puts the struggle against HR abuse at the heart of the UN mission,
and the UN has a good record of work in this field, given that its work is always
the end result of an interaction between UN ideals and the demands of realpolitik.
Reportage. Human rights abuses in countries giving rise to concern are recorded
by UN "special rapporteurs". The US State Department , Human Rights
Watch and Amnesty International also publish annual reports of all states' Human
Rights (HR) performance. Some specific abuses come to public attention, and of
these, some attract reaction of various kinds, but as is the nature of these things,
the bulk of these reports are filed in specialist libraries where they are accessed
only by specialists and PhD students.
There is a service available
that is entitled "The Universal Human Rights Index" which exists to
provide "instant access for all countries to human rights information from
the United Nations system. The index is based on the observations and recommendations
of the following international expert bodies: the seven Treaty Bodies monitoring
the implementation of the core international human rights treaties (since 2000)[and]
the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council (since 2006)"
is welcome, but the reports that it provides are still long narratives, and are
by their nature not easily accessible to the average concerned citizen.
detracts from the usefulness of these reports, and it is this deficiency that
is addressed by the Index of Human Rights in the UN, since citizens will be able
to view the status of any country at a glance in their newspapers or by looking
on the Web.
3. Diplomacy is ever present as an instrument for
good (or in some cases, ill) in international politics, but is necessarily isolated
from the voice of the people.
4. Individual and NGO Campaigning is exemplified
by the work of Amnesty International, which is well known for its letter-writing
campaigns on individual cases. The high regard in which Amnesty is held gives
it an authority in its dealings at governmental level, but its position is fundamentally
reactive to existent abuses against individuals or communities, rather than taking
action to prevent development of abusive situations by addressing the aberrations
in governance that cause the individual cases. The UK branch of Amnesty International
has considered the Index proposal, but has simply responded that this is not the
way AIUK has operated in the past.
5. Political pressure. Governments
sometimes bring political pressure on governments that commit HR abuses. Here
however, these reactions are ad hoc and, worse, often subject to political caprice.
For instance, the West was content to make only muted criticism of Saddam Hussein's
use of gas against Iranian troops and the villagers of Halabja, because he was
seen at that time as a bulwark to hold back fundamentalist Iran. It was only later,
when Saddam was seen as a threat to the security of Western oil supplies, and
Western governments switched to demonising him as the Hitler of our times.
Juridical action can be taken in the national courts of countries that have incorporated
international human rights legalisation into their domestic law and in UN Special
Tribunals, such the ones established to deal with human rights abuses in Rwanda
and the former Yugoslavia. There is also the International Criminal Court (ICC),
which was established in 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals
for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
The power of the ICC is weakened by the decision of the USA to be exempt itself
from its scope, which gives a sorry example for dictators to follow. The threat
of ICC action could also have unintended consequences, since it may make dictators
even more determined to cling to power. It would be politic for agents of the
ICC in the course of preparing their case against any dictator currently in power
always to offer clemency or amnesty if the accused leaves office voluntarily before
he is arraigned.
7. The Responsibility to Protect. In New York, September
2005, the UN adopted the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2P), an historic
step which overthrew the absolute sovereignty of governments to do whatever they
pleased within their own borders. "We ... intend to commit ourselves, as
necessary and appropriate, to help states build capacity to protect their populations
from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and to
assist those which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out...we
are prepared to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through
the Security Council, in accordance with the UN Charter, including Chapter VII,
on a case by case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations
as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate ...
is excellent as far as it goes, but the mechanisms available to help problem states
to "build capacity to protect their populations" is not well developed.
The Index of Human Rights will fill this deficiency.
of R2P is the military threat implicit in the reference to Chapter VII of the
charter. Article 42 states "Should the Security Council consider that measures
provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate,
it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain
or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations,
blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United
This implies military action, and is in itself
a deterrent for the UN Security Council or any thinking government to go down
8. Military action has been shown by Iraq to be
so highly problematic that it is rather unlikely that it will ever be used again
in the foreseeable future to topple an unsavoury regime. Removing dictators is
like taking the weight off a hot pressure cooker - the results can be extremely
messy. Even when the people themselves bring about the fall of a dictatorial regime,
as happened in Portugal and the Soviet bloc, there often follows a period of near
anarchy when the moral authority of the state and its agents is understandably
The Index of Human Rights is proposed as an effective
complement to the above measures, with the prospect that it can act as an incentive
to encourage many (perhaps not all) states to improve their human rights record.
The Global Human Rights Index
is proposed that in order for the UN to move from a reactive to a proactive stance
in human rights, authoritative and objective reports of countries' HR records
should be analysed and codified into numerical data so that they can be published
as a ranked table on an annual basis.
The effect will be that
all interested citizens and governments can tell at a glance the relative standing
of a country in which they are interested.
Purpose of the
Since most countries are conscious of their international
image, and do not wish to be seen as human rights abusers and international pariahs,
the expected effects of the Index are as follows:
1. Immediate release of some
prisoners: Some governments will appeal against their ratings. In response, the
UN could send in inspectors to review the conditions in the country. Faced with
an inspection, it is likely that some regimes will release some political prisoners
and improve the conditions of others. In this way the Index will have a tangible,
immediate benefit for a number of individual cases.
2. General improvement
in HR. There will be a general tendency towards improved human rights performance.
Governments, even tyrannical ones, are sensitive to public opinion, as shown by
the success of Amnesty International's letter writing campaigns for the release
of political prisoners. There will be a natural desire by governments to want
to rate more highly on the Index.
3. Transparency: The human rights trend
of individual countries will be demonstrable and transparent, which will give
an important early warning signal about which states are increasing their human
rights violations and are therefore likely to be of concern in the future.
Consistency: The measurement and raking of human rights abuses will give clarity
to all citizens and governments. At present, tyrants are dealt with in an arbitrary
and ad hoc way by politicians, often through media manipulation. The unfair demonisation
of a particular country will be less easy to accomplish if the Index can show
that it far from being the worst offending state.
5. Assistance: Some governments
may accept advice and assistance in improving their human rights performance,
and hence their position on the Index.
6. Enforcement: Finally, when the Index
is established, it could be used to bring specific legal action and targeted sanctions
to bear on the very worst offenders. Once this has happened consistently and without
bias or exception on a few occasions, regimes near the bottom of the Index, knowing
that they might be next in line for prosecution, and may decide to improve their
human right record and seek international support to this effect.
It is not
claimed that the Index will once and for all abolish all HR abuses, but it will
apply a useful and significant upward pressure on a universal and continuous basis.
the Index is designed to work continuously and systemically, the question arises
as to how the international community should address the immediate political challenges
specifically thrown up by oppressive dictators in specific unfolding events. An
approach to this problem is outlined in Appendix 3.
Any regime occupying the lowest position on the Index should expect
a case to be prepared against it with a view to being brought to the International
Criminal Court (following amendments to widen the remit of the ICC) or to other
international legal bodies. If governments or individuals refused to attend, they
could be tried in absentia. Throughout this process, punishment-and-reward leverage
can be applied, perhaps with the message that if human rights abusers leave office
voluntarily before coming to court, they can retire to exile in a comfortable
place, and perhaps with the threat that if they are overthrown and arrested, they
will be tried in person and may spend a long period in prison. DELETE this - This
condition will have to be written into the indictment specifications.
are a number of sanctions that can be taken against abusive regimes who refuse
to co-operate, targeted specifically on the regime and its supporters, so that
the sanctions will not harm the population at large (see Appendix 2).
Performance of States
An established principle of management
lore is, "If you want to manage it, you must measure it." This holds
equally well for state governance.
There are many indices
in existence designed to measure various aspects of state governance.
her report "Good Governance Rankings", Marie Besançon puts the
case for measurement: "In this era, nation states are responsible for the
task of governing and providing goods to those who reside within their borders.
Many of these nation-states have corrupt leaders who drain the country's treasures
and provide little or no security, education, infrastructure, or any other public
good to their constituents. Measurements of governance could set standards for
improvement and achievement as well as indicate where funds could best be of use
and where policy might prove most effective." Besancon identifies no less
than 47 different instruments for measuring governance of states, which is in
itself an indication that there is something worth doing here.
Support for this notion comes from an unexpected quarter:
the World Bank. Each year it publishes its "Worldwide Governance Indicators",
which capture six key dimensions of governance :
Voice and accountability:
the extent to which a country's citizens are able to participate in selecting
their government, as well as freedom of expression,
freedom of association,
and a free media
Political stability and absence of violence:
perceptions of the likelihood
that the government will be destabilized or overthrown
by unconstitutional or violent means, including domestic violence and terrorism
Government effectiveness: the quality of public services,
the quality of the civil service and the degree of its independence from political
pressures, the quality of policy formulation and implementation, and the credibility
of the government's commitment to such policies.
quality: the ability of the government to formulate and implement
and regulations that permit and promote private sector development.
of law: the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of
society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, the police, and
the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence.
of corruption: the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain,
including both petty and grand forms of corruption, as well as "capture"
of the state.
Some readers may be surprised by the inclusion
of the World Bank to support a humanitarian project, and clearly there are questions
to be raised at the importance of regulatory quality to promote private sector
development, but the point is that the World Bank report considers indicators
to be an important measure, and concludes that:
pays a very large development dividend. An improvement in governance of one standard
deviation can triple a nation's per capita income in the long run. Higher income
also correlates with better governance, but the causal relationship is mostly
from governance to income.
In their introduction to their report
for the World Bank , Kaufmann, Kraay and Mastruzzi write "We find that even
after taking margins of error into account, the WGI permit meaningful cross-country
comparisons as well as monitoring progress over time".
for its purposes, the World Bank considers aggregated indicators to be more useful,
two of its indicators, Voice and Accountability, and Political Stability and the
absence of Violence, have a bearing on human rights.
own purposes in defending human rights, the UN would be right in designing and
using an Index that responds to human rights performance.
important aspect to the World Bank's endorsement is that it meets objections that
the Index might not be sufficiently accurate. Potential inaccuracy of the measurements
is often brought up in discussions about the Index of Human Rights. Clearly, precise
scientific measurement on a par with physics is not possible, since at least part
of the basic data is anecdotal, and the interpretation of the data involves exercise
of judgement. The same characteristic of the data applies to investigations in
soft sciences such as social and psychiatric research, but the research continues
successfully nonetheless. Margins of error apply in all sciences, and are wider
in the human sciences than in physics, but the meaningful measurements can yet
The presentation of the Index in a ranked table format
also helps to overcome this weakness to a great extent, since all states' assessment
will be subject to the same margins of error. Appeals and any subsequent adjustments
are likely to result in a revised ranking within a few places of the initial allocation.
It is the position relative to similar states rather than an absolute value that
is the effective result.
The parameters themselves are to be
selected for measurability. Not all of the 29 Articles on the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights lend themselves to measurement.
already exist, elements of which may be useful to consider in relation to the
Index we propose.
Observer Index of Human Rights
was published in the mid 1990s. It only appeared for a couple of years, but it
is remarkable how many people recall its existence. It used the following indicators:
1. the use of torture
2. scale of disappearances
3. use of the death
4. denial of free speech
5. political rights
6. abuse of political
7. denial of free movement
8. child rights
9. religious freedom
11. minority rights
12. women's rights.
total for each country was then multiplied by its score on the Human Development
Index (HDI), as defined by the United Nations, to avoid unfairly penalising less-developed
countries. This application of the HDI seems reasonable and politic, since the
Index will otherwise face accusations that it is another Western plot to victimise
and hold back the development of less developed countries. This accusation is
empty in any case, since the World Bank workers quoted above show that better
governance relates well with swifter economic development.
The PTS was developed in 1983 by Michael Stohl
at Purdue University, and is currently maintained by Mark Gibney, Belk Distinguished
Professor and Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina
Asheville. It is a graded scale for measuring human rights violation and was adapted
from work originally published by Raymond Gastil of Freedom House in 1979. The
raw information for the scale comes from the United States Department of State
and Amnesty International Annual reports on countries' Human Rights practices.
The data is graded into categories of 1 to 5, with best human rights practices
ranked as 1 and the worst at 5. There is no adjustment applied in the PTS for
stage of development.
The PTS has been rendered into a
5-rank prototype Index here: http://www.greenhealth.org.uk/IoGRank2004.htm
method is to judge the reports in terms of categorical parameters, thus:
Countries under a secure rule of law, people are not imprisoned for their
view, and torture is rare or exceptional. Political murders are extremely rare.
There is a limited amount of imprisonment for non-violent political activity.
However, few persons are affected, torture and beatings are exceptional. Political
murder is rare.
There is extensive political imprisonment, or a
recent history of such imprisonment. Execution or other political murders and
brutality may be common. Unlimited detention, with or without a trial, for political
views is accepted.
The practices of level 3 are expanded to larger
numbers. Murders, disappearances, and torture are a common part of life. In spite
of its generality, on this level terror affects those who interest themselves
in politics or ideas.
The terrors of level 4 have been expanded
to the whole population. The leaders of these societies place no limits on the
means or thoroughness with which they pursue personal or ideological goals.
interest is the fact that the UK is in level 2, along with Cuba, and the USA in
level three, which also contains Libya.
This seems a fair and
robust method of obtaining a quantitative figure from a qualitative report.
Index for African Governance
This was launched in August
2008, awarding a cash prize to one leader in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ibrahim Index of African Governance is a comprehensive ranking of sub-Saharan
African nations according to governance quality. The Ibrahim Index assesses national
governance against 57 criteria. The criteria capture the quality of services provided
to citizens by governments. The focus is on the results that the people of a country
The criteria are divided into five over-arching categories which
together make up the cornerstones of a government's obligations to its citizens:
Safety and Security
Rule of Law, Transparency and Corruption
and Human Rights
Sustainable Economic Opportunity
Ibrahim Index is a progressive and responsive tool that will evolve to accommodate
feedback and critiques from stakeholders, as well as changes in the governance
context in sub-Saharan Africa. It was created in recognition of the need for a
comprehensive and quantifiable method of measuring governance quality in sub-Saharan
Africa, and has been designed to:
Provide a tool for civil society and citizens
to hold governments to account
Stimulate debate on governance, in particular
by providing information about leadership performance
Provide a diagnostic
framework to assess governance in sub-Saharan Africa"
The prize was awarded
to President Joaquin Chissano of Mozambique in 2007, and to ex-president Festus
Gontebanye Mogae, of Botswanaland in 2008.
most common objection advanced against the Index proposal is this:
US (or China, or any human rights abusing nation of your choice) would never agree
The fact (or possibility) that bad people will obstruct good initiatives
is not a valid reason to give up on good initiatives. In late 2008, the US elected
a new President and Congress, and the pressures for democratic change in China
and other controlling regimes will increase, inspired by President Obama's victory.
More importantly, the UN has often put good measures in place
in the teeth of opposition from self-interested politicians and governments. The
success of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) proposal (see above) in 2005 is
a case in point. Exactly the same arguments were made about the unfeasibility
of R2P, yet it was eventually agreed by the UN.
the Index is an important complement to R2P.
It will take a
long time to win international agreement on the Index, but the alternative is
to continue responding to cases of human rights abuses as and when they occur,
which is a more discouraging prospect than the long and arduous negotiations that
will be doubtless required to secure the establishment of the Index by the UN.
present, the concept is, to use a word coined by Richard Dawkins, at the "meme"
stage, (a unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets
transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another). It has already
gained endorsement from the following organisations:
· Movement for
the Abolition of War
· Green Party of England and Wales
European Green Party
· Congress of Global Green Parties (Sao Paolo,
· World Concern
· Global Action Plan to Prevent War
World Disarmament Campaign
· Arms Reduction Coalition
· United Nations Association - UK
Suggestion - put the above
list in alphabetic order
It is hoped that the publication of this Report will
assist in the gradual familiarisation and acceptance of the Index concept.
the UN and NGOs have an excellent record of reacting to HR abuses worldwide, but
there is an inexhaustible supply of such abuses to which they have to react. There
is a need for an instrument that will exert a continuous, systemic and world-wide
pressure for governments to improve their human rights performance. The Global
Human Rights Index (GloHRI) fits the criteria for such an instrument, and we hope
that the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will also
mark the beginning of this pro-active approach.
1 - Draft Global Human Rights Index Proposal
many different human rights that could form the basis of the Global Human Rights
Index (GloHRI). At this stage, we do not intend to finalise which ones should
be included. The list of rights and freedoms below is offered as a guide to the
potential basis on which the GloHRI would be calculated. It is drawn from the
values, principles and articles of the UDHR and other national and international
human rights laws. This draft list is open to amendments and additions.
GloHRI would function to award the most points to countries with the best human
rights record and the least points to countries with the worst human rights record.
The idea is to reward with high scores the nations that most closely conform to
good human rights practice.
To allow for the fact that human
rights observance often involves degrees of compliance or non-compliance, we propose
a points system, where varying points are awarded according to a nation's degree
of adherence to the human right in question.
One option, for
example, might be a five point system for each of the human rights in the Index,
such as the Right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief
points for no human rights violation, 3 points for rare violation, 2 points for
moderate violation, 1 point for serious violation and 0 points for total violation.
While the awarding of points under this system may involve
an element of subjective interpretation, overall any subjectivity is unlikely
to affect a country's general ranking in the Index. Moreover, every country would
have a right to appeal against its ranking.
The above proposed
points system is not set in stone. We would welcome suggested alternative methods
for calculating the GloHRI.
The list of human rights below
is not exhaustive, but a guide to the rights that could be potentially included
in the Index.
We are conscious that it does not include the
human rights specified in Articles 22 to 28 of the UDHR - economic, social and
This omission is for two reasons: some of
these rights are difficult to measure and some depend on the wealth and development
of a country. To include them would unfairly weight the Index against poorer developing
countries that do not have the same financial resources as richer developed nations.
The inclusion of the right to education would, for example, compare education
provision in wealthy Sweden with impoverished Mozambique. This would be an unfair
comparison because the low standard of literacy in Mozambique is not based on
a wilful denial of the right to education but on the poverty of the country.
are, of course, open to proposals as to how economic, social and cultural rights
might be incorporated into the Index in a way that is not biased against poorer
Draft suggestions - Human rights for inclusion
Right to freedom of thought, conscience,
religion or belief
Right to free association and freedom of assembly
to freedom of speech - to hold an opinion and express it
Right of people detained
or penalised to know the reasons
Right to be tried before a free and independent
Right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty
Right to a
fair and open trial, including independent legal representation
Right of independent
appeal against any state decision or sentence by a court
Right to peaceful
Right to establish political parties and for these parties to participate
Right to vote in regular multi-party elections with universal
suffrage and a secret ballot
Right to stand for election, without discrimination
to form civic, self-help, campaign and voluntary organisations
Right to choice
of employment - no slavery, bonded or child labour
Right to equal pay for work
of equal value
Right to form and belong to an independent trade union
to strike and to take other industrial action
Right to own property and to
not be arbitrarily deprived of it
Right to asylum for people fleeing persecution
to inter-racial, inter-religious, same-sex and civil marriage
Right to same-sex
relations between consenting adults (Delete - in private)
Right to contraception
and contraceptive advice
Freedom from the death penalty or
Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading
Freedom from arrest without charge and detention without trial
from the deprivation of nationality and freedom to change nationality
of travel within one's country,
Freedom to travel abroad and to return to
Freedom from state surveillance of law-abiding citizens
from political censorship
Freedom for independent media and publishing houses
of access to government information
Freedom from forced marriage
from female genital mutilation
Freedom from required membership of a political
party, to secure jobs, housing etc.
Freedom to educate and publish in minority
Freedom to monitor, document and campaign against human rights abuses
No death penalty or extra-judicial killing
No legal discrimination on the
grounds of race, ethnicity or nationality
No legal discrimination on the grounds
No legal discrimination on the grounds of gender
No legal discrimination
on the grounds of birth in or out of wedlock
No legal discrimination on the
grounds of marital status
No legal discrimination on the grounds of religion
No legal discrimination on the grounds of age
No legal discrimination
on the grounds of disability
No legal discrimination on the grounds of sexual
orientation or gender identity
No legal discrimination on the grounds of social
or cultural origin
No legal discrimination between men and women in marriage
No legal discrimination in the provision of housing, employment,
health care, education and social security
Protection in law
against discrimination on the grounds of race, language, national or social origin,
gender, marital status, birth in or out of wedlock, age, religion or belief, disability,
sexual orientation and gender identity.
2 - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
of the declaration has been abridged by excision of a few explanatory and expansive
paragraphs, where indicated by (
human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with
reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration,
without distinction of any kind
Everyone has the right
to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held
in slavery or servitude
No one shall be subjected to torture
or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination
to equal protection of the law
Everyone has the right to
an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the
fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and
impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of
any criminal charge against him.
(1) Everyone charged with a
penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according
to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference
with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of
movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the
right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions
genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes
and principles of the United Nations.
(1) Everyone has the right
to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality
nor denied the right to change his nationality.
(1) Men and
women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion,
have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights
as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall
be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled
to protection by society and the State.
(1) Everyone has the
right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one
shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
has the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through
freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to
public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis
of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine
elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by
secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization,
through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with
the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural
rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just
and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring
for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented,
if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right
to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation
of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of
himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care
and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment,
sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances
beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care
and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the
same social protection.
(1) Everyone has the right to education.
Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and
to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It
shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial
or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for
the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind
of education that shall be given to their children.
has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to
enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting
from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights
and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development
of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms,
everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely
for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised
contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person
any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction
of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
3 - Targeted Sanctions
The use of sanctions was successful
in the cases of South Africa and Libya, but the effects of sanctions against Saddam
Hussein caused severe suffering to the Iraqi people. In order to avoid this, sanctions
in future should be designed specifically to affect the ruling elite of the country
and not the general public. Smart Sanctions have been examined extensively in
the late 1990s, and there is a great deal of confidence that they can be employed
to curb the regime without hurting the common people. They are primarily financial
measures. The following measures were put forward by Switzerland, Germany and
· Financial sanctions (freezing of funds and other financial
assets, ban on transactions, investment restrictions)
· Trade restrictions
on particular goods (e.g. arms, diamonds, oil, lumber) or services
· Diplomatic constraints
· Cultural and
· Air traffic restrictions
possible measures include:
· Assistance given to democratic opposition
groups who support principles of good governance.
· Tightened border
controls, in readiness for sanctions on arms related materials.
on visa issues to members of the Government.
· Prohibition of specified
· Freezing of accounts of government officials
Ban on imports of all lethal goods
· ban on imports of dual purpose
· ban on imports of chemical weapon precursors
ban on imports of biotechnology
· ban on imports of nuclear technology
ban on imports of wines and spirits
· ban on imports of tobacco, cars,
oil & oil products, and luxury items. (These are often used by oppressive
regimes to buy loyalty)
The sanctions should be delivered in a progressive
way, and promptly reduced in response to any improvement. This approach is in
accordance with well-established principles of behavioural psychology, which shows
that behaviour can successfully be modified in a consistent and impartial framework
of punishments and rewards.
For those with worse records, or in the case of
governments who fail to reform despite being under milder sanctions, opposition
groups will be supported with progressively increasing financial and logistical
help, provided that they support the principles of good governance.
if the regime still refuses to improve, or if it is engaging in ethnic cleansing
or genocide, these opposition parties could be entrusted and empowered with responsibility
for imports of, and fair distribution of, necessities like food and medicines.
This would give them practice in the arts of co-operation (with each other) and
administration, enabling them to prepare for government.
If necessary, the
distribution efforts will be protected by UN forces.
4 - Dealing effectively with dictators
this section has not yet been adopted by the Conference of the Green Party in
England and Wales]
The Index of Human Rights in the UN will
provide an annual review of governments' progress or regress, but what of specific
events that challenge the conscience of the international community? How can these
The actions of dictators repeatedly come into
the media spotlight, with reports of their abuses of the human rights and welfare
of their citizens. Burma, Zimbabwe, and China, Uzbekistan and Sudan have all given
cause for concern recently in this role.
The world's media
respond with harrowing news stories and pictures of human suffering caused by
the regime's unwillingness to protect the rights and welfare of their people.
The world's leaders respond with speeches condemning the actions of the dictators,
and the case may be referred to the UNSC. There the case is discussed, and effective,
timely action is usually delayed or blocked because one or other of the permanent
members on the Security Council regards the dictator in question as a useful ally
or trading partner.
Even if there is agreement that some action
must be taken, it takes a great deal of time to get a sanctions programme in place.
problem lies in the fact that each case of abuse is addressed on an ad hoc basis,
and action in the UN takes place at the end of a long and uncertain political
We need therefore to move to a framework of international
rules of governance that will help all dictators, indeed all rulers, to learn
that certain courses of actions will certainly lead to unwanted effects on their
own freedom to act for their own personal advancement. Specified forms of misconduct
will be matched with a tariff of penalties which are applied in a measured, stepwise
and consistent basis, in order to avoid the protection that they often obtain
from allies in the UNSC.
There are a number of identifiable steps on
the road to dictatorship. For example:
1. Banning critical newspapers and media
Banning opposition parties
3. Ignoring the result of a democratic election
(e.g. Burma and Zimbabwe)
4. Intimidation at the polling booths
expenditure on palaces for the dictator
6. Disproportionate spending on arms
Each of these steps, and others not mentioned here, can be
legally defined, and each could have a sanction attached to it. Of instance,
Banning critical newspapers and media could be countered by sanctions on the import
of the materials the Government itself needs to print its newspapers.
Banning opposition parties could lead to financial support to opposition parties
whose aims are judged to be helpful to the welfare of the people of the country.
Ignoring the result of a democratic election could result in a ban in foreign
travel for members of the regime.
· Intimidation at the polling booths
could result in the regime being denied eligibility to serve on appropriate UN
councils, for example, the Human Rights Council .
· Lavish expenditure
on palaces for the dictator could result in freezing of appropriate assets of
If the regime takes action to retrace its steps,
the sanctions will be promptly withdrawn.
This is based on
sound psychology. It is well established that the best way to modify unwanted
behaviour is to set a consistent and fair framework of punishments for unwanted
behaviour and rewards for appropriate behaviour.
5 - Supporting Organisations
The following list is of NGOs
and prominent individuals who have made statements of general support for the
The following organisations have indicated that they
agree with the aim of the Campaign for an Index of Human Rights in the UN:
Party of England and Wales
European Green Party
Congress of the Global Green
Movement for the Abolition of War
Plan to Prevent War
World Disarmament Campaign
Arms Reduction Coalition
UK branch of the United Nations Association (UNA-UK)
who have expressed support:
Fr. Paul Lansu, Senior Policy Advisor
Pax Christi International Secretariat.
Dr Jack Piachaud, Psychiatrist and peace
About this Report
Prepared for the Campaigns
Committee of the Green Party of England and Wales by Dr Richard Lawson, with help
and support from Peter Tatchell, Richard Scrase, and Jonathan Essex.
02 December 2008