Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
Reports from Geneva:
U.N. Commission on Human Rights Session March-April 2005

(by Karen Parker)

A brief run down on the Geneva session related to Depleted Uranium and Falluja. We had a "round-table" with myself and Hans von Sponeck (former UN rep to Iraq for humanitarian affairs who resigned in protest). Jan Lonn (Sweden) emceed. Because there were just the two of us as speakers, it made for a better event, with time to really set things out and to try to lead people into action. Yes, the Euro Non-Government Organization's (NGO) are as stunned as US folk by invasion, election and Falluja etc, and don't know what to do. Hans and others kept re-iterating the need for legal action, so the Falluja case got high promo. After the discussion, a rep from the Int'l Commission of the Red Cross came up to me and commented on the importance of the case -- and wondered about "extra-Americans" jurisdiction -- our only real hurdle. I reminded him of Euro cases that were similar, and that the Organization of American States (OAS) instruments do not say anything about the nationality of the victim. Anyway, he is clearly hoping that the case goes along.
Armed Conflict Violations Against Women
(Agenda item 11)

International Educational Development first raised the issue of Japan's World War II war rape victims (the "comfort women") at the Commission in 1992, before the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women was established. Other NGOs also took up this issue, and that year we jointly presented some of the victims, now quite elderly or deceased, who came forward to tell their stories. The war rape victims are mainly from the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and Burma. Indeed, it was this issue that was a driving force in establishing the mandate of the rapporteur.

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Petition Submitted against U.S. Bombing of Iraq Hospitals

Petition seeking remedies on behalf of the victims of these illegal military operations has been submitted to the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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(Agenda item 11)

International Educational Development welcomes the completion by Sub-Commission Special Rapporteur Ms Kalliopi Koufa of her substantive report on terrorism and human rights and hopes that the Commission will approve allowing her to prepare a consolidated final report. We applaud the Special Rapporteur's steadfast intention to address all areas of terrorism and human rights, regardless of whether terrorism occurs at the hands of State or sub-State actors. We recognize that there are far more victims of State or State-sponsored terrorism than those of sub-State groups and finding ways to stem State and State-sponsored terrorism remains one of the key problems of the international community.

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(Agenda item 10)

International Educational Development welcomes the report by Miloon Kothari, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing (E/CN.4/2005/48), which, in keeping with his thematic approach, this year addresses homelessness. His report rightly and ably looks at the homeless from many perspectives and causes.

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UN Reports

  Summary Report of 3rd Meeting 61st Session

  Right To Housing

  Violence Against Women

  Terrorism & Human Rights

  Economic Sanctions