News Bulletin of Dignity International – All Human Rights for All

Dear HumanDHS network friends,

please find below the monthly electronic news bulletin of ‘Dignity International: All Human Rights for All’.

Kind regards
Uli Spalthoff


*** Thank You Aye Aye – After almost 10 years, Dignity will be saying good bye to its much loved Co-founder and Executive Director Aye Aye Win. She leaves behind a healthy legacy, put in place a solid strategic plan with a strong organisational base to move the Dignity forward with grassroots partners – to amplify their voices and actions at the international level.

In his tribute to Aye Aye, Chairman of the Board of Directors Ton Waarts said “… from the start she showed great inspiration to all, was a convincing pioneer and has been building on the strength of our mission continuously and persistently. Dignity is stronger today than it has ever been. We are most grateful for her vital role to bring us where we are”.

“Dignity International is the expression of an unbeatable power combination – power of human rights with the power of the people. Our work on the ground has illustrated that” said Aye Aye in her parting statement.

We wish Aye Aye all the best as she catches up with her family and her new endeavours! The “Global Dignity Family” says


Listen to the song sung by Quinta Ansem CLICK HERE>>>

See the farewell video from the Training Team and participants of the 8th Global Programme CLICK HERE>>>

With the departure of Aye Aye, the main office of Dignity in Strasbourg, France will close at the end of March 2010. The announcement of the new global south location of Dignity and the new Executive Director will be made in April. WATCH THIS SPACE!

*** Thank you Marie – Thank You All- Dignity says a big thank you also to Marie Bohner who completed her work with Dignity International at its office in Strasbourg, France. Over the past 6 months with us, Marie has seen Dignity through many important meetings and transition process for the organisation. Marie has been an amazing asset to the organisation and Dignity wishes her every success as she moves on to new horizons.

As the Dignity office in Strasbourg, France closes at the end of the month, Dignity would also like to thank all the talented and spirited staff/collaborators who have previously worked at the office in Strasbourg – Simone Andrade, Nathalie Danilan, Fabio Gama, Luis Gavinhos, Claire Grandadam, Alexandar Nikolic, Ana Ramos and Adriana Rojas. Thanks to you all!

Other News

*** 15 Years After the Beijing Women’s Summit – This March 1-12, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women carried out a fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at UN headquarters in New York City. Ensuring equal access to all levels of education for girls and women was one of the 12 priorities established in the Beijing Platform for Action. To read more about this review visit the following links:

*** TERRA VIVA: “Women More Educated, Not More Equal” – As a part of its ongoing special series on the 10th anniversary of the World Social Forum, TERRA VIVA reports that when it comes to female education rates, progress has been made around the world, and in many countries girls and young women have outnumbered and outperformed boys and men at all levels of schooling for decades. Nevertheless, these advances have yet to translate into greater equity in employment, politics and social relations. To read more CLICK HERE>>>


*** Government of India Listens to the People – In a historic turn out of events comprising focus group discussions in hundreds of villages, state and regional consultations in 15 different parts of the country and a national consultation attended by representatives of civil society from 29 states and UTs in India, the People’s Mid-Term Appraisal (PMTA) of 11th Five Year Plan witnessed several agreements by the Planning Commission Members to the aspirations of the people through an interface between civil society, common masses and policy makers; organised by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA) and several other progressive outfits. To read more CLICK HERE>>>

Source: GCAP / Whiteband

*** Musawah: Global Meeting on Equality in the Muslim Family – From 13-17 February 2009, Musawah held a Global Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Approximately 250 activists, scholars, academics, legal practitioners and policy makers from 47 countries attended the meeting.

The international planning committee of Musawah spent two years building a foundation for the initiative by commissioning background theoretical papers to provide the basic grounding to understand why change is possible; developing a Framework for Action and principles to guide Musawah’s work; consulting scholars, activists and practitioners from over thirty Muslim countries in this process; building a website to promote the Musawah principles and substantive arguments for family law reform; and organising the February 2009 Global Meeting to bring activists, scholars and decision-makers together in a common demand for equality and justice.The Global Meeting Summary of Proceedings (English Arabic Français) provides an overview of the Meeting, including descriptions of each of the plenary and break-out sessions.

Source: Musawah

*** UN Human Rights Office and Commonwealth to Cooperate – GENEVA – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and the Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamlesh Sharma on 2 March signed a Joint Declaration, updating a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1998, which outlines the principles of cooperation between the two parties at international, regional and national level. The Joint Declaration stresses the commitment to enhance cooperation in the area of human rights in accordance with the respective mandates of the two organisations and includes a provision on cooperation in support of National Human Rights Institutions in line with the so-called ‘Paris Principles,’ a set of internationally accepted performance standards regulating various aspects of their work. To read more CLICK HERE>>>

Source: OHCHR

Action Appeals

*** Join 8 Extraordinary Women to Fight Poverty – Eight women from around the world joined together to form the W8. These extraordinary women from South America, Africa, Europe and South East Asia, have dedicated their lives to fighting for health and education in their own countries. They have one message and one voice: Universal access to free health and education is the most effective way to reach the Millennium Development Goals and break the cycle of poverty.

From March 6th, members of the W8 started to travel to Canada and EU member states to bring the voice of their communities to the attention of world leaders and to explain the pressing need for more access to health and education in poor countries.

During their tour and throughout March, they will be meeting with Heads of State, Members of the EU Parliament, and national ministers in Canada, UK, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. During these meetings, the W8 will be calling for more effort to be placed into meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. This year is a crucial year for action, now is the time to turn the tide.

To read more and take action CLICK HERE>>>

Source: Oxfam International

*** End Evictions in Mali – Dozens of families on the outskirts of Bamako, the capital of Mali, are under threat of being evicted from their lands by the Government in favour of a housing project. The cultivation ban, ordered in July 2009, jeopardizes their right to adequate food. Moreover, if the eviction is realized, it will hinder the ability of the families to feed themselves in the long run. They already belong to the most vulnerable in Mali. The Government acted without prior consultation with the affected individuals and has not taken steps towards compensation or resettlement, which is in breach of human rights obligations. To read more and take action CLICK HERE>>>

Source: FIAN


*** Call for Applications: European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation – the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) 2010/2011 organised by the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) is seeking applications. Candidates for admission will find all useful information to apply on the E.MA website at and on the EIUC website at  The deadline for application is 19 March 2010 (date of the receipt in Venice of the application materials).

Source: EIUC Secretariat

Forthcoming Events

*** The Sixth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) – 1-14 March 2010 Solidarity in Action: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Read more >>

*** Third Annual Training Course on Monitoring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 10-14 May 2010, Geneva, SwitzerlandRead more >>

*** Women’s Human Rights: Building a Peaceful World in an Era of Globalisation. University of Toronto, Canada, 19 July – 26 August 2010
Deadline 15 May 2010.

*** Women’s Rights are Human Rights! CEDAW for Change – 16-20 August 2010, University of Toronto, Canada. Deadline 16 July 2010. Read more >>

*** World Human Rights Moot Court 2010 – 8-9 December 2010, Pretoria, South Africa Read more >>

*** OHCHR Meetings and Events

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) / 76th

From : 15-02-2010 To : 12-03-2010

Palais Wilson Ground Floor

Human Rights Council / 13th

From : 01-03-2010 To : 26-03-2010

Palais des Nations, Room XX

Pre-sessional Working Group on Communications – Human Rights Committee / 98th

From : 01-03-2010 To : 05-03-2010

New York

Human Rights Committee / 98th

From : 08-03-2010 To : 26-03-2010

New York

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances / 90th

From : 15-03-2010 To : 19-03-2010

Palais Wilson, First Floor


*** Reading the Books: Government Budgets and the Right to Education -IHRIP and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) are pleased to send you “Reading the books: Government budgets and the right to education,” a 28-page booklet that has been developed primarily for human rights groups who focus on education, to assist them in adding budget work to their research and advocacy tools, and for applied budget groups concerned about education budgets and interested in using a human rights framework in that work.

Source: IHRIP

*** FIAN: Climate Change and Human Rights – Climate change has extensive negative impacts on the fulfillment of human rights, particularly of the right to food and water, as it affects global crop yields and the availability of potable water. Developing countries, which have contributed least to global warming and lack the resources necessary to adapt to its changes, will be particularly hit by its adverse impacts. Rural communities, as for instance small-scale farmers and landless peasants, as well as women and girls, are particularly exposed to the effects of climate change. To read more CLICK HERE>>>

Source: FIAN

This is from the monthly electronic news bulletin of ‘Dignity International: All Human Rights for All’. Dignity International does not accredit, validate or substantiate any information posted by members to this news bulletin. The validity and accuracy of any information is the responsibility of the originator.

If you are working in the area of human rights with a special attention to different aspects of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, we would love to hear from you. To contribute, email us at info /at/

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