Human rights: Seeing the ability, not the disability

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Filed under: Human rights and rule of law Social inclusion




Are things getting better for people with disabilities? In many ways, yes, but there’s still a long way to go. There still exists a widespread lack of understanding and policy awareness in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) that most people with disabilities are fully capable of engaging effectively at work, school, and… Read more »

Judicial integrity: The missing link?

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Filed under: Anticorruption Governance Human rights and rule of law Social inclusion




The integrity, independence and impartiality of the judiciary are essential to protecting human rights and fostering economic development. But is this enough to ensure social justice and an inclusive legal state? Unfortunately, for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups across Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the lack of access to justice is widespread. And it… Read more »

Wanted: YOU, to promote human rights and justice

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Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Governance Human rights and rule of law Social inclusion Social innovation




Originally posted on the HuRiLab website It started with a simple but profoundly daunting question from a young student named Maimuna who I met at the Tashkent Social Enterprise for Employment of Persons with Disabilities during a recent visit to Uzbekistan. She asked me about the United Nations and its functions. I tried to explain… Read more »

The balance of justice: From victim support to justice for all

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Filed under: Human rights and rule of law Peace and security




Victim support and witness protection are integral to the right of a victim of crime to a fair trial. However, supporting victims of crime goes beyond a strictly legal interpretation of the notion of the right to a fair trial. In 1985, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Declaration of Basic Principles… Read more »

Women in parliament: Gender equality is everyone’s business

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Filed under: Gender equality Governance Human rights and rule of law Social inclusion




Parliaments are the most important representative institutions in governments and yet they remain misunderstood, unpopular, unsupported and in many cases, underused. In Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the status of gender equality is an example where parliaments can play a stronger role in fulfilling some of their key functions related to lawmaking,… Read more »

Let’s walk the talk: Universal Periodic Review

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Filed under: Human rights and rule of law




In my three recent missions to Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan, I confronted a different reality of human rights discourse at the national level. The country specific recommendations generated by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and accepted by national governments have become a unique mechanism of the United Nations system to initiate dialogue with governments. For… Read more »

Rule of law or rule without law?

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Filed under: Governance Human rights and rule of law Poverty Social inclusion




The principle that all people, public and private institutions, and all states are accountable to laws that are equally enforced and independently adjudicated is fundamental to governance and human rights. However, realities on the ground are less than ideal. Let’s take the example of the recommendations agreed by United Nations member states through the Universal… Read more »