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Link: Minority Rights Group International - e-bulletin - July/August 20 03

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    From: minority rights Minority Rights Group International - e-bulletin Welcome to the Minority Rights Group International (MRG)
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29 4:32 PM
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      From: minority rights <minority.rights@...>

      Minority Rights Group International - e-bulletin

      Welcome to the Minority Rights Group International (MRG) email bulletin for
      July/August 2003. Simply click on the links below in order to access the
      full news release or publication on MRG's website, or alternatively visit
      our site at www.minorityrights.org

      MRG welcomes your comments on this bulletin and our work in general, and
      greatly values your opinions and information.

      In this e-bulletin:
      Durable peace in Iraq requires real participation from all communities
      Human Rights Sub-Commission needs to find its voice on Millennium
      Development Goals
      Kosovo Roma living in fear turn to European Union for help
      Annan backs re-opened Egyptian rights and democracy 'think-tank'
      New strategies proposed in struggle to combat Afro-descendant cycle of poverty
      'Whitelist' extension threatens to shut asylum door on minorities at risk
      Events and advocacy
      Focus on: the UN Working Group on Minorities
      Vacancies
      New publications from MRG:

      - Migration in the Caribbean: Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Beyond
      - Emerging Frameworks of Power-sharing in South-East Europe: Strengths and
      Weaknesses
      - Minority Rights and Education in South-East Europe
      - Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Constituent Status
      of Peoples

      News

      Durable peace in Iraq requires real participation from all communities
      An end to ongoing conflict in Iraq depends on securing genuine
      participation in government from all of Iraq's different ethnic and
      religious communities. Such are MRG's recommendations as it launched the
      Arabic version of its report 'Building Democracy in Iraq', designed to
      promote grass root debate both within Iraq and the wider Middle East about
      the constitutional future of Iraq. As the newly formed Iraqi Governing
      Council attempts to consolidate its authority, ordinary Iraqis may have to
      wait months if not years before having a say in how their country is governed.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/news_detail.asp?ID=150

      Human Rights Sub-Commission needs to find its voice on Millennium
      Development Goals
      The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights needs to
      speak out on how human rights are essential to achieving the Millennium
      Development Goals (MDGs). The rights of minorities and indigenous peoples
      should be a central focus of this work, as respecting these rights can
      contribute greatly to fulfilling the MDGs effectively and equitably. While
      other United Nations bodies have pledged to cooperate to help to achieve
      the goals, the Sub-Commission has so far failed to fulfil its potentially
      valuable role in this respect.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/news_detail.asp?ID=149

      Kosovo Roma living in fear turn to European Union for help
      Over 600 Kosovo Roma refugees who are camped on the Macedonian border with
      Greece are claiming the right to asylum in EU countries due to fears for
      their safety if returned to Kosovo and intolerable living conditions in
      Macedonia. Living in makeshift camps at Medzhitlija in Macedonia the Roma,
      many of whom are children, are facing appalling conditions, but claim that
      they would face violence and persecution if forced to return to Kosovo and
      are unwilling to remain in Macedonia. The Roma fled their homes and sought
      refuge in Macedonia following NATO action in Kosovo in 1999.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/news_detail.asp?ID=130

      Annan backs re-opened Egyptian rights and democracy 'think-tank'
      Three years after the initial arrest of sociology professor and human
      rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the Ibn Khaldun Centre for Development
      Studies in Cairo, which he founded and runs, was re-opened on 30 June. The
      Ibn Khaldun defendants were eventually freed by Egypt's highest appeals
      court, which found them innocent of charges aimed at halting their
      pro-democracy work and silencing criticism of the authorities. United
      Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, highly praised the work of the
      centre in promoting tolerance, understanding and respect for diversity.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/news_detail.asp?ID=129

      New strategies proposed in struggle to combat Afro-descendant cycle of poverty
      Innovative development strategies which recognize the historical, social
      and cultural complexity of Afro-descendants' poverty are required if
      progress is to be made to secure their economic and social rights. There
      are currently few development programmes that specifically target the
      requirements of Afro-descendant communities, coupled with a lack of
      understanding and acknowledgement of their situation and needs.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/news_detail.asp?ID=128

      'Whitelist' extension threatens to shut asylum door on minorities at risk
      The UK Government decision to extend the 'whitelist' of supposedly safe
      countries has potentially shut the asylum door to members of minorities and
      indigenous peoples who remain persecuted in these countries. An additional
      seven countries including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are among those which
      Minority Rights Group International (MRG) consider to maintain policies and
      conditions under which members of minorities and indigenous peoples may
      face serious threats.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/news_detail.asp?ID=127

      Events and advocacy

      United Nations Sub-Commission on the Protection and Promotion of Human
      Rights - Fifty-fifth session, 28 July - 15 August 2003

      MRG will be lobbying on a number of issues at the sessions of the
      Sub-Commission, both independently and in coalition with fellow NGOs.
      Amongst many minority and indigenous rights issues, our work this year will
      particularly focus on:
      the right to development - MRG is working to see that the rights of
      minorities and indigenous peoples are fully integrated into initiatives and
      research to further the realization of this right;
      minorities in Africa - MRG will work to highlight the importance of having
      African governments recognize the existence of marginalized minorities and
      work towards strengthening minority standards. MRG will also highlight the
      need for African states to ratify the Protocol for the Establishment of the
      African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights;
      human rights and extreme poverty including the role of the Sub-Commission
      in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals;
      strengthening the Working Group on Minorities and discussion around the
      possibility of a special mechanism such as a Special Representative on
      Minorities to supplement the WGM.

      Interventions made by MRG and our partner organizations on these and other
      issues will be added to the 'international statements' pages of our website:

      http://www.minorityrights.org/International/int_stat_main.asp

      Workshop in Advocacy and Minority Rights - Windhoek, Namibia - 15-16 July 2003
      This workshop co-organized with the National Society for Human Rights
      (NSHR) aims to promote better understanding and cooperation between
      minority communities and indigenous peoples from a cross section of
      minority groups, IGOs, NGOs, media, academic and professional backgrounds
      in Namibia. The workshop will create a platform for public debate around
      issues of protection and promotion of minority rights within Namibia.

      The workshop sees the Namibia launch of the MRG report Minorities in
      Independent Namibia
      http://www.minorityrights.org/news_detail.asp?ID=147
      http://www.minorityrights.org/OnlineReports/OnlineReport.asp?ID=27

      For further information about these events and other MRG regional and
      international advocacy activities visit our website or contact us at the
      address details below.

      Focus on: the UN Working Group on Minorities

      The Working Group on Minorities (WGM) is currently the only forum or
      mechanism devoted solely to minority issues within the United Nations
      system. But just how effective is the WGM and what are its strengths and
      weaknesses as it approaches its tenth anniversary sessions in 2004? A
      crucial part of the work of the WGM involves examining peaceful,
      constructive solutions to situations involving minorities, but do
      governments and other UN bodies take notice of its work and
      recommendations? In a statement submitted to the Sub-Commission on the
      Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in July 2003, MRG offers its own
      perspective on the WGM, together with that of some of its partners who have
      attended and tested the potential of this unique minorities forum.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/International/int_stat_detail.asp?ID=64

      Vacancies

      Legal Cases Programme - intern
      MRG's Legal Cases Programme will be seeking the aid of an intern from
      September 2003. The aim of the programme is to provide legal support to
      cases before the international human rights courts and UN treaty bodies.
      Based at MRG's Brixton, London office, the internship will run on a
      part-time basis from mid-September to December. The deadline for
      applications is 10 August. This position is unpaid. For further information
      please click the link below.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/job_vac.asp


      New Publications From MRG:

      Printed copies of MRG's reports are available for a small charge directly
      from MRG, or can be downloaded free of charge from our website.
      Alternatively you may wish to become an MRG subscriber and have all new
      reports delivered to you. By doing so, your subscription fee makes a direct
      contribution to MRG's essential work, helping to make a difference to the
      lives of minority and indigenous peoples. For further information about how
      to subscribe please reply to this message or contact MRG on:
      minority.rights@...

      Migration in the Caribbean: Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Beyond
      By James Ferguson
      Migrant workers in the Caribbean constitute an often 'invisible' minority.
      This report examines established patterns and newer forms of migration and
      casts light on the conditions of those migrant workers including Haitian
      cane-cutters in the Dominican Republic. The author also considers how and
      why a significant number of Dominicans escape their own country in search
      of a better life. Focusing on the island of Hispaniola where the issue of
      migration is most acute and controversial, it concludes with a set of
      recommendations aimed at the Haitian, Dominican and other governments.

      ISBN 1 904584 07 1. July 2003, A4, 38pp. £6.70 inc. P&P (£6.95/US$11.75
      outside UK).
      http://www.minorityrights.org/OnlineReports/OnlineReport.asp?ID=33

      Workshop - Emerging Frameworks of Power-sharing in South-East Europe:
      Strengths and Weaknesses
      Following bloody conflicts, new forms of power-sharing governance are being
      instituted in some countries and entities of former Yugoslavia on the basis
      of international agreements. These agreements include the 1995 Dayton
      Accord and the 2001 UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo) Constitutional
      Framework for Provisional Self-government in Kosovo. Based on a meeting in
      Tetovo, Macedonia in Spring 2003, this report identifies the key problem
      areas regarding the feasibility and effectiveness of power-sharing systems
      and develops strategies to address practical problems facing relevant
      communities.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/WorkshopReports/work_rep_detail.asp?ID=17

      Workshop - Minority Rights and Education in South-East Europe
      In times of economic hardship or after violent conflicts, education is seen
      variously as a tool for betterment, reconciliation and integration. It is
      especially important for vulnerable minority communities who feel their
      identity is under threat. Education can be a mechanism for promoting or
      denying minority rights, and it can reflect wider societal values by
      promoting either diversity or mono-culturalism. A three-day workshop in
      Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia and Montenegro brought together minority rights
      activists, education professionals and government representatives to
      explore the challenges to the education rights of minorities.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/WorkshopReports/work_rep_detail.asp?ID=14

      Workshop - The Decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and
      Herzegovina on the Constituent Status of Peoples and the Process of Return

      In July 2000, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that
      Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs have the status of constituent peoples
      throughout the whole of the state. This important decision, if implemented,
      could encourage the process of return, improving displaced people's sense
      of security and reducing their fear of discrimination in areas where they
      would be a non-dominant ethnic group. This MRG workshop considers the
      current situation and future prospects.

      http://www.minorityrights.org/WorkshopReports/work_rep_detail.asp?ID=15

      To unsubscribe from this e-bulletin please send a reply stating
      'unsubscribe' in the subject line. For further enquiries or to subscribe
      please contact Graham Fox at graham.fox@...

      Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental
      organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and
      linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to promote
      cooperation and understanding between communities.

      MRG is a registered charity no. 282305, and has consultative status with
      the United Nations Economic and Social Council and observer status with the
      African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights.

      Contact MRG at: 379 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7DE, tel: +44 (0) 20 7978
      9498 / fax: +44 (0) 20 7738 6265 / email: minority.rights@...

      www.minorityrights.org
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