62. THE POLITICAL IMPERATIVE IN HUMAN RIGHTS WORK. (Part 8 of 16) »

In the long run, there will have to be more radical moral changes in the attitude of many of our colleagues. The question is, will these lead to ideological changes in some? We have already passed the era when we asked scientists to become more applied researchers; now we are asking all development workers to become more socially conscious and more committed

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61. PROJECTS DREAMED UP IN A SOCIAL VACUUM MUST PLAY THEMSELVES OUT IN THE REAL WORLD OF INJUSTICE AND CONFLICT. (Part 7 of 16) »

Success in HR work means liberation. Any action that gives the people more control over their own affairs is an action for HR, even if it does not offer them better health or more bread. But this approach needs to be built from the bottom up. If this does not take place, one has Social Darwinism

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60. AS HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS WE ARE TOO OFTEN COMMITTED TO STABILITY AS THE PREREQUISITE FOR JUSTICE…RATHER THAN THE OTHER WAY AROUND. (Part 6 of 16) »

All the elements needed to study HR violations in their wider economic and political context are there (i.e. unequal distribution between the various sectors of society, the role of state and private interests and the conflicts between them), but in spite of this, our colleagues continue to discuss matters within a framework of cultural differences and ignorance in the area of rights.

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59. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INJUSTICE ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT. (Part 5 of 16) »

As scientists, technicians, intellectuals and activists, we are restless, dissatisfied and often rightly critical, but often also urgently in need of a more radical ideology. (We are also doing quite nicely: we have a vested interest in the status quo).

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58. IT IS THROUGH IDEOLOGY THAT SOCIETY ULTIMATELY EXPLAINS ITSELF. (Part 4 of 16) »

The technocratic approach ends up just keeping track of HR violations, because it has so many non-solutions built-in masquerading as answers. An example of such an approach is the implication that ‘salvation’ lies in obtaining for the poor countries those features of richer countries

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57. WE HAVE TO LEARN TO LOOK AT TOTALITIES, RATHER THAN AT FRAGMENTS OF REALITY. (Part 3 of 16) »

It is by participating in the political life of a community that one acquires a sense of who one is. It is through such a political discourse that a rights-oriented new system or paradigm comes into being. The right to equal access to such a political discourse should be the essence of our demands.

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56. OBJECTIVITY IN THE ANALYTICAL STAGES OF THE PLANNING PROCESS IS NOTHING BUT A MYTH. (Part 2 of 16) »

The question that pops up at this point of our discussion is whether this approach is realistic or not. If it is not, let us keep in mind that not being ‘realistic’ is a judgment that history can change: what may sound unrealistic today can very well become true tomorrow --if we work for it with decision.

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55. HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS ARE PART OF A SOCIAL DISEASE WITH HISTORICAL ROOTS. (Part 1 of 16) »

It is the prevailing determinants of the social and economic conditions of a society that lead to the violation of the rights of a sizeable sector of the population; these we consider to be the basic determinants. The more proximate causes resulting in the host of human rights (HR) violations we see on a daily basis we consider to be immediate determinants.

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54. SOME WELL KNOWN AND SOME LESS WELL KNOWN ASPECTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS WORK. »

In what remains to be gained, progress will be slow though, because State priority in East Asia is on passing new economic --and not human rights-- laws. (Joining the WTO is a priority here). Technical assistance for law reform in the area of human rights, as well as ad-hoc training are still needed in the years to come.

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53. HUMAN RIGHTS ARE UNIVERSAL, BUT THE RISK OF HAVING ONE’S RIGHTS VIOLATED IS NOT. »

(Our intellectual recognition of all the above) is only a necessary first step towards pragmatic solidarity, that is, towards taking a stand by the side of those who suffer most from an increasingly harsh and unfair new world order. (But is this enough?) (Perhaps) the world’s best hope is to elicit the (proactive solidarity) of the oppressed for their (fellow) oppressed. (Bertolt Brecht)

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