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News :: Human Rights
Support indicated by UN, US, maybe NZ for ethical human rights approach to replace neoliberalism.
by Anthony Ravlich
Email: anthony_ravlich (nospam) yahoo.com
Phone: (0064) (09) 940 9658
Address: 10D/15 City Rd., Auckland City, Auckland.
27 Jul 2012
Modified: 12:16:18 PM
A new idea, an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neoliberalism, gives people a choice.The ethical human rights approach is being supported on the social networking sites by the US government, the UN while the NZ government maybe sympathetic. Also promoting inclusion of children's rights in bill of rights.
Support indicated by UN, US, maybe NZ for ethical human rights approach to replace neoliberalism.
Anthony Ravlich, MA, BSc, Dip Crim(Hons), Author.
Human Rights Council (New Zealand)
10D/15 City Rd.,
Ph: (0064) (09) 940.9658
A new idea, an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization to replace neoliberalism, gives people a choice.
The ethical human rights approach is being supported on the social networking sites by the US government, the UN while the NZ government maybe sympathetic.
The following, which includes a compilation of this support so far, including a number of NZ professionals, is a letter which seeks to make this choice widely known.
It is being first being sent to small groups which deal with children in the Christchurch earthquake zone where there would be most concern for the children’s future. It states:
With sufficient support a Member of Parliament could be persuaded to introduce a private member’s bill to have children’s rights included in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 [see list of children’s rights omitted from bill of rights at the end of this letter].
It took many years for women and various racial groups to have their human rights recognized but children are unable to help themselves so really it constitutes a duty of adults to help them.
The exclusion of children’s rights from human rights law indicates, in my view, that children are seriously devalued in New Zealand society and this view is supported by the shocking social statistics (see NZ Social Statistics: too toxic for the young, anthony ravlich’s blog, guerilla media, www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/nz-social-statistics-too-toxic-young ).
You could contact your Member of Parliament or perhaps pass this onto someone better able to.
This could also open discussion on the many other human rights omissions (more than half the human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR, have been omitted) as well as the ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization, which includes all the human rights, to replace neoliberalism, which involves many omissions.
The ethical human rights approach is now gaining support from those in power in America and New Zealand on the social networking sites (see below).
The major reason for this support, as both NZ and the US pursue neoliberalism, is very likely because the ethical approach to human rights, development, and globalization is, to my knowledge, a new idea, as yet untried.
It is based on an ethical (non-political) interpretation of human rights (see embedded tweet of support from the United Nations below).
And, in my view, because this new idea was developed in this country it would be best, with the consent of the people, if New Zealand was the first adopt it not only in the interests of New Zealanders but humanity as a whole.
The UDHR was politicized from the beginning with the declaration signed during the Cold War. It was divided into two covenants with the West promoting civil and political rights (emphasizing the dignity of self-help) while the Soviet bloc championed economic, social and cultural rights (emphasizing survival with dignity).
Whereas the ethical human rights approach ensures, at the very least, the core minimum human rights in the aspirational UDHR, thereby ensuring both survival with dignity and the added dignity of self-help (without any form of discrimination). Both of the latter are seen as required for freedom, sufficient to enable individuals (and the country) to reach full potential.
Late in the 1970s neoliberalism, which requires many human rights omissions, was introduced by Britain’s PM Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Regan and following the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 it became the world’s dominant ideology.
It was often said of neoliberalism that ‘there is no other way’ (TINA) but I believe, and the support is also indicating this, that the ethical human rights approach proves TINA wrong.
Consequently, I consider there will need to be a major rethink of the direction, which has been based on TINA, that New Zealand and the international community are taking such as regionalization e.g. the proposed East Asia regional bloc and the European Union, which is not required by the ethical human rights approach.
Those kept severely contained in States or regional blocs are very likely to fight for the ethical human rights approach using the social networking sites as is presently happening.
For example, the millennium development goals are meant to help the most disadvantaged in poorer regions such as East Asia but do not include a voice and other forms of self-help (as stated above for freedom to exist the ethical human rights approach requires both survival and self-help).
Also, the support for the ethical human rights approach also likely reflects a concern with the seeming Western decline as evidenced by the crisis in the European Union with ‘nil growth’ outcomes for States and worse (see below).
A further reason for the support the ethical human rights approach is receiving appears to be because a number of middle class, professionals, including NZ Members of Parliament, are being subjected to increasing containment (see below).
A media release by UNICEF NZ on 12 July 2012 describes its new briefing paper, entitled, ‘What will it take’, as containing the common themes from 80 organizations’ recent submissions to the Government’s Green Paper on Vulnerable Children.
UNICEF adds: “It is exceptionally rare for 80 well-established and highly credible organizations to come together as a unified voice, but the stark truth is that this could be our best, and maybe our last, chance to get it right for all of New Zealand’s children.
Furthermore UNICEF states: “All involved appreciate that the Government has taken this opportunity to focus on children and consider their needs, but we also want to ensure that any policy changes suggested are well considered and address all aspects of children’s wellbeing. It is of real concern to us that children are better off as a result of the forthcoming White Paper, and not actually disadvantaged.” (UNICEF Briefing Paper “What will it take” Green Paper response, Human Rights Network, 12 July 2012).
Expected in August, 2012, there has been a delay to the release of the Government’s while paper on vulnerable children with Social Development Minister Paula Bennett stating ‘she now doesn’t expect it to be released in August’ so there is time to communicate concerns regarding the omission of children’s rights (Delay to release of paper on vulnerable children, Newstalk ZB, July 22, 2012, http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/14332069/delay-to-release-of-pa/ ).
I also have serious concerns regarding the Green Paper which I do not think addresses the real causes of the problem which, in my view, are the human rights omissions, including children’s rights, in the bill of rights [if the rights are omitted similar parents are likely to be the result](see my article, ‘Ethical human rights likely to be many children’s and freedom’s last hope in New Zealand’, (http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/ethical-human-rights-likely-be-ma ).
Internationally New Zealand’s human rights image continues to decline. The human rights situation with respect to children in New Zealand is described by Child Rights International Network (CRIN) in ‘New Zealand: Persistent violations of children’s rights’ dated April 25, 2012, http://www.crin.org/resources/infodetail.asp?id=28253 .
New Zealand philanthropist Owen Glenn, who recently donated $80 million to address the violence problem in this country, described how ashamed he felt that New Zealand was the third worse country in the world for family violence and child abuse (‘Owen Glenn tackles domestic violence’, One News, July 17, 2012).
Also, a report recently released by the US State Department states ‘New Zealand is a source of underage girls for the sex trade and a destination for foreign workers subjected to forced labour on fishing boats’.
The State Department report states that New Zealand does not have comprehensive anti-trafficking laws and does not criminalize all forms of forced labour: "Although slavery is prohibited, its definition only covers situations of debt bondage and serfdom; thus, this prohibition does not cover forced labour obtained by means other than debt, law, customs, or agreement that prohibits a person leaving employment,".
It recommends that New Zealand enact law to prohibit and adequately punish all forms of human trafficking. New Zealand also needs to increase efforts to prosecute both sex and labour trafficking offenders (US report identifies NZ human trafficking, NZ Newswire Updated June 20, 2012, http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/13989794/us-report-identifies-n/ )
I consider that supporting the US State Department’s view that New Zealand ‘does not criminalize all forms of forced labour’ is the omission in the bill of rights of section 8(1),(2),(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (upon which the bill is based, see title to the Act) which deals with slavery, servitude, and ‘forced or compulsory labour’.
Children’s rights (in New Zealand children do not even possess the human right to a name) have been excluded from the bill of rights yet that the latter ‘constitutional law’ is far more effective in protecting children’s rights than ordinary law can be seen in the case of Ireland (see article cited below, ‘Hope in ChCh rebuilding…’).
Also, as my work shows it is those groups whose rights have been omitted from the bill of rights which have been most seriously neglected (see our submission to the United Nations, ‘New Zealanders Must 'Speak Out' About Omitted Rights Or Be Reduced To Mere 'Numbers'’, www.hrc2001.org.nz).
Both the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International (US) promote the inclusion of children’s rights as well as other rights (all of the rights in the case of Amnesty) but they are not reported in the mainstream media.
A number of professionals, some of whom I have made contact with in my human rights activities, joined me on linkedin (an internet social networking site mainly for professionals) even though I clearly state what our council stands for: ‘An ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization, for all, to replace neoliberalism, for ignorant bureaucratic elites’.
Chapter 5 of my book ‘Freedom from our social prisons: the rise of economic, social and cultural rights’ (Lexington Books, 2008), which was recommended on the United Nations website for about two years, shows that State bureaucratic elites, who devise human rights instruments at the United Nations, have been ensuring compatibility with neoliberalism, in my view, out of ignorance of the ethical human rights approach.
On linkedin an advisor from Prime Minister John Key’s office recently joined me temporarily after I circulated a recent article to nearly all MPs (see article cited below, ‘ Hope in Chch rebuilding…’). Also there is the former Chief NZ Human Rights Commissioner; one present Member of Parliament and a former Member of Parliament, some prominent lawyers and journalists, including mainstream, and other professionals (see anthony ravlich linkedin).
In addition, although not a New Zealander, on my linkedin there is the Founding President of PDHRE, recipient of the 2003 UN Award for outstanding achievement in the field of human rights, which is a major international human rights NGO, see www.pdhre.org .
And although not on linkedin there is also the support of a distinguished New Zealander Bryan Gould.
Gould is a former NZ Rhode Scholar who joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1964. He was a Labour Party MP in the UK for 16yrs, directed Labour’s election campaign in 1987 and contested the leadership in1992. From 1994 to 2004 he was Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University. In 2005, he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
After reading my recent article, ‘Hope in Chch rebuilding, ethical human rights despite all attempts to crush human potential’ (http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/hope-chch-rebuilding-ethical-huma...),
“I read your article with interest and – as you won’t be surprised to hear – not a little agreement. I would strongly support your case for a stronger Bill of Rights – one that
properly complied with the UN Covenant. I hope your campaign succeeds,
though – as you point out – the ranks of those who are concerned about
such issues seem – in some senses – to be getting thinner” (email, dated 18 May, 2012).
The support by NZ professionals suggests a number may be experiencing the effects of greater containment and curtailment of their freedom of speech.
From my experience professionals in the establishment will only very rarely talk about the human rights omissions (see articles cited below). Also, last May, 2012, I surveyed nearly all MPs asking five human rights questions. I received 7 acknowledgements but only Judith Collins, Minister of Justice, was prepared to answer any of the questions (which she did in full).
This compares with in 1997 when I conducted a one-question human rights survey of Members of Parliament. I received 83 replies out of 119 MPs with 36 answering the question, indicating seemingly little to no containment at that time. However now it appears our MPs are being subjected to considerable containment.
There is also major support for the ethical human rights approach on twitter. They have embedded tweets of support for the ethical human rights approach.
[Individuals or organizations embed tweets because they support what you are saying. They are displayed separately on the internet. For the full list of support for the ethical human rights approach google anthony ravlich twitter. Some embedded tweets will be immediately displayed – click on ‘more results from twitter.com’ for the full list of support].
Some of the major support are as follows:
The following tweet was embedded by Save the Children with 415, 226 followers. Save the Children describes itself as the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world.
:@SavetheChildren ethical human rights, development, globalization to replace neo liberalism, anthony ravlich's blog, guerilla media 13 Mar 12
The Official Twitter account of the United Nations has 930,135 followers:
@UN ethical human rights, development and globalization to replace neo liberalism, anthony ravlich, http://www.hrc2001.org.nz 13 Mar 12
The following is the official U.S. Department of State twitter. It has 302,030 followers:
@StateDept ethical human rights, development and globalization to replace neo liberalism, anthony ravlich, http://www.hrc2001.org.nz 13 Mar 12
The following was from the Official Twitter account of the White House Open Government Initiative which has 484,120 followers:
@OpenGov ethical human rights, development and globalization to replace neo liberalism, anthony ravlich, http://www.hrc2001.org.nz 13 Mar 12
The Hill is a congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session. It has 248,804 followers:
@thehill ethical human rights, development and globalization to replace neo liberalism, anthony ravlich, http://www.hrc2001.org.nz 13 Mar 12
The following are from David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General, now standing as an independent candidate in the present U.S. Presidential elections. He has 2,289 followers:
@DraftWalker Will Obama release human potential?Huge resist to v innov art hope/ethical human rights,NZ, make US great http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/hope-c …7 May 12
@DraftWalker Gutless Censorship-4yrs-Ethical Human Rights,Devel,Glob to replace Neolib &now NGOs on internet last 2 art,http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/blog/241 26 May 12
Team Mitch represents Mitch McConnell a long-standing Republican from Kentucky. There are 1,470 followers:
@Team_Mitch Will Obama release human potential?Huge resist to v innov artic hope/ethical human rights,NZ, make US great http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/hope-c …7 May 12
@Team_Mitch Gutless Censorship-4yrs-Ethical Human Rights,Devel,Glob to replace Neolib & now NGOs on internet last 2 art,http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/blog/241 26 May 12
Rick Perry is Governor of Texas and has 140,238 followers:
@GovernorPerry ethical human rights, development and globalization to replace neo liberalism, Anthony Ravlich http://www.hrc2001.org.nz 13 Mar 12
The following were embedded by Joyce Meyer, a Charismatic Christian author and writer (also known to many New Zealanders from her early morning TV show), who has 1,022,914 followers:
@JoyceMeyer world sitting on social time bomb but people can't say no choice because can fight for ethical human rts, devel and globalizat 8:01 AM - 5 Apr 12
@JoyceMeyer ethical human rights bottom line, both survival and self-help equals freedom, for all States, therefore fair competition10:43 PM - 15 Mar 12
The following provides breaking news about Hinduism and has 40,732 followers:
@HinduismUpdate ethical human rights, development, globalization to replace neo liberalism, anthony ravlich's blog, guerilla media13 Mar 12
The following grassroots political organizations embedded tweets.
No Labels states they are about ‘the politics of problem solving. Stop fighting. Start fixing’. It has 23,634 followers.
@NoLabelsOrg Gutless Censorship-4yrs-Ethical Human Rights,Devel,Glob to replace Neolib &now NGOs on internet last 2 art,http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/blog/241 26 May 12
@NoLabelsOrg Ethical human rights, development, and globalization to address crushing of human potential, see http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/hope-c …4 May 12
@NoLabelsOrg Will Obama release human potential?Huge resist to v innov article hope/ethical human rights,NZ, make known http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/hope-c …7 May 12
Rise of the Centre describes itself as ‘spearheading the rising Centrist, Independent and Moderate Groundswell’. It has 21,081 followers.
@riseofthecenter ethical human rights are,at least, core min of UDHR, neolib omit many rts for elites, anthony ravlich's blog guerilla media13 Mar 12
There is also further support on anthony ravlich facebook..
As stated above this support may reflect a concern that neoliberalism is failing in the West. This is indicated by the number of States experiencing negative GDP growth in the first quarter 2012 , with the Euro area -0.1, UK 0.0, Greece -6.5, Spain -0.4, Portugal -2.2, Netherlands -1.1, Italy -1.4, Hungry -0.7, Czech Republic -0.7 (see Trading Economics 2012, http://www.tradingeconomics.com/gdp-growth-rates-list-by-country).
My articles (cited below) describe the exclusion of the rights concerned with ‘progress’ (e.g. the individual and collective rights to pursue one’s economic and social development) in the bill of rights, which if included, would help considerably to grow the knowledge and wealth of New Zealand, provide jobs and a future for the children.
At present New Zealand is averaging about 1.5% GDP growth over the past nine quarters (see Trading Economics 2012, cited above) and perhaps only saved from a ‘nil or minus GDP growth’ fate by the need to rebuild after the Christchurch earthquakes. The IMF states:
“The pace of New Zealand’s economic recovery is likely to remain modest. Output growth should pick up somewhat to 2⅓ percent in 2012 as earthquake reconstruction spending gains pace, although the size and timing of this spending is still uncertain” (IMF 2102 Staff Report on NZ, Scoop, 8 June, 2012, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1206/S00179/imf-2012-staff-report-on-ne ).
Kea New Zealand, which conducts a five-yearly ‘census’ Every Kiwi Counts 2011,
found in their on-line survey of over 15,000 New Zealanders living offshore that 27% of respondents are currently looking for jobs in New Zealand for themselves or others (Every Kiwi Counts, Kea New Zealand, www.keanewzealand.com/ekc2 ).
.Kea New Zealand Global CEO Dr Sue Watson says of the results: “Our overseas respondents are not only searching for employment in New Zealand, they are also seven times as likely as those living here to have a post-graduate qualification. These results are showing us there is a real opportunity to reconnect with this talent pool of global Kiwis for the benefit of the New Zealand economy.”
Also, the survey shows nearly 46% of overseas-based Kiwis in the survey report that they earn over NZ$100,000 per annum while one in five (21%) aged over 50 earn more than NZ$200,000 per annum.
Dr Watson adds: “We now know that over a quarter of overseas New Zealanders are actively looking for jobs for themselves or others in New Zealand, so there is a large connection and communication job to be done if we are to entice those Kiwis looking to return home”.
Based on my past research the number of New Zealanders now living overseas is likely to be more than one fifth of the population of 4.3 million (at one stage, although now giving a much more conservative estimate, Kea New Zealand suggested that as many as one million New Zealanders live overseas). Also, see my article, ‘New Zealanders must speak out about omitted rights or be reduced to mere numbers’, www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/new-zealanders-must-speak-out-about-omit ).
In my view, it would seem very likely if the ethical human rights approach, with its emphasis on bottom-up development, is adopted that many would return and invest in small/medium business in New Zealand, including Christchurch.
The following articles were those subjected to considerable censorship on the internet: ‘Hope in Chch rebuilding, ethical human rights despite all attempts to crush human potential’, http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/hope-chch-rebuilding-ethical-huma , and ‘Distinguished NZer opens door for establishment to debate ethical human rights and rights omissions’, http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/distinguished-nzer-opens-door-est .
In my view, the major failure of neoliberalism was its extreme top-down control, based on TINA, which greatly underestimates the human spirit and that it only takes one person with an independent mind in search of truth to take society and the world forward to a better world. So children should be able to ‘reach for the stars’.
Our council has always had some support from the New Zealand Human Rights Commission while Noam Chomsky, regarded as the top intellectual of the twentieth century, has over the years often read my articles and made comments.
If you are able, it would be very important to circulate this information as widely as possible – I have found that in providing people this choice I have also been empowered.
Children’s rights omitted from the bill of rights
The following omissions from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which the title to the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 describe as being based upon) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (which the title to the NZ Human Rights Act 1993 describe as also being based upon) are largely specific to children.
However, they are far from comprehensive as human rights are interdependent and many of the other omissions such as ‘progress rights’ (described above) also seriously impact on children. Also, I see both sets of rights as interdependent although civil and political rights emphasize the dignity of self-help while economic, social and cultural rights emphasize survival with dignity.
A full list of the omitted children’s rights can be found following article ‘New idea for a better world’ (the above article given a different name) which has been published in Scoop New Zealand, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1207/S00319/new-idea-for-a-better-world .
This work is in the public domain