KATARINA TOMASEVSKI PDF

Human Rights Quarterly What Katarina Tomasevski, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, has set out to do in Responding to Human Rights Violations is nothing less than to chronicle the entirety of Western responses to human rights violations. The need for a complete accounting such as this becomes ever more evident as one proceeds through this book. Although the author might disagree, at one time there appears to have been a "golden age" of economic sanctions--when a very limited number of states e. What has happened is that economic sanctions have become "the knee-jerk" Western response to all sorts of human rights violations [End Page ] that, one way or another, somehow capture Western attention--at least for the moment.

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Human Rights Quarterly What Katarina Tomasevski, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, has set out to do in Responding to Human Rights Violations is nothing less than to chronicle the entirety of Western responses to human rights violations. The need for a complete accounting such as this becomes ever more evident as one proceeds through this book. Although the author might disagree, at one time there appears to have been a "golden age" of economic sanctions--when a very limited number of states e.

What has happened is that economic sanctions have become "the knee-jerk" Western response to all sorts of human rights violations [End Page ] that, one way or another, somehow capture Western attention--at least for the moment. What Tomasevski is able to show very effectively in this thorough, detailed and balanced history and analysis is just how arbitrary and self-serving Western "humanitarian" actions, purportedly in defense of "others," have been.

In her view, the West has committed any number of wrongs in trying to right the "wrongs" of others. First, the West has been very sloppy in its designation of what is--or is not--a human rights violation, constantly changing the standards. Most notably, there has been almost no connection between the list of human rights violators compiled by the United Nations human rights machinery which itself has been internally inconsistent and those states that have been subjected to Western sanctions.

Second, the West has completely ignored the victims, by maintaining the legal fiction that economic sanctions are against states, but not against the people of those states. Tomasevski devastates this argument by showing that sanctions are based on the "trickle-up" model whereby the citizenry of a targeted country is hit from every side: from the human rights abusing regime at home, but also from the myriad of states that are making individuals pay for the sins of their rulers.

Not only does the West seize the moral high ground by showing that it is "doing something" about human rights violations in other countries or at least the ones that it sees--or wishes to see , but the sanctions that we have chosen to apply invariably benefit the West.

Thus, rather than targeting foreign trade--which would make the West feel some of sting of the sanctions--what Western states systematically have done is to reduce the amount of foreign aid that they provide to the offending state.

In sum, a system has been designed where the West can appear moral and at the same time save itself money. As in this book, her breadth of coverage is simply something to behold. Providing continuity and coherence to a subject that quite often lacks these qualities is no easy task. But if I had to choose one reason why I enjoy her writing so much, it is that she writes with such passion and intensity.

This book is no diatribe; in fact, quite the opposite is true. However, where Tomasevski has no peer is in maintaining the human dimension to human rights. On one level Responding to Human Rights Violations is a veritable tour de force of much of what has transpired in the field of human rights over the past half century.

However, on another level this is a very simple book. But this is a book that makes you question your assumptions. It is a book that very effectively engages the politics of the moment, but which also has the very rare ability of being able to step back to see broader patterns and meanings. And finally, it is a book that demands that the West look at what it has done to others in the name of human rights.

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Right to Education Indicators based on the 4 As - Concept Paper

The varied analyses of the PRSPs and the literature they have triggered is beyond the scope of this paper, but it is important to note that governmental human rights obligations have not been analysed in the PRSP process, 39 nor has a scrutiny of PRSPs based on the human rights yardstick been carried out. The global commitment to the elimination of gender disparity in education reinforces the need to eliminate financial obstacles so as to design, in the words of the World Bank education policies that are poverty-focussed, such as eliminating user fees for primary education. The Missing Human Rights Rationale Against Educational Exclusion of Poor Children Primary education ought to be free for children because they cannot pay for themselves nor should they. Although education constitutes one of the few accepted duties for children because it is compulsory, 59 the a key correlated right of childhood is freedom from adult responsibilities. This is reflected in the global prohibition of child labour and the concordance between the school-leaving age and the minimum age for employment.

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Katarina TomaĆĄevski

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