We need an index of human rights &馬簽人權兩公約 司改會批兩光約& 監委︰馬、王清峰違法

We need an index of human rights

Measuring and ranking every country’s observance of human rights would give nations an incentive to raise their game

Human Rights Day is the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948, one of the most important documents in human history. Drafted by representatives from many countries and cultures, and endorsed today by all 192 member states of the United Nations, it embodies a global humanitarian consensus.

Rejecting the doctrines of cultural and moral relativism, which have long been promoted by imperialists and, more lately, by some advocates of anti-imperialism, the UDHR asserts that all peoples in all cultures are entitled to the same rights and freedoms.

The big problem is adherence and enforcement. The UDHR is a noble document but even western democracies like the UK and US fall short of its ideals. Britain has house arrest without charge, libel laws that inhibit free speech and restrictions on the right to peaceful protest near parliament. Many US states still have the death penalty and people merely suspected of terrorism have been kidnapped, tortured and detained without trial at the behest of the US government.

Other grave human rights abuses – such as religious persecution, ethnic cleansing, media censorship, rigged elections and trade union suppression – are widespread in many countries, including Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Uganda, Zimbabwe, China, Iran, Burma, Sudan, Russia, Pakistan and Iraq, to name just a few. There is, however, no objective, transparent measure to determine a country’s conformity to, or departure from, human rights norms.

These deficiencies need to be addressed if the international community is to secure human rights progress. We need benchmarks against which all countries can be measured, without fear or favour. There is no easy way to ensure that the principles of the UDHR are upheld by UN member states but the power of publicity and moral leverage should not be underestimated. Even tyrannies are conscious of their image and seek to avoid opprobrium.

This is why the Green party of England and Wales is advocating a UN Global Human Rights Index, as a means of measuring and ranking human rights abuses, country by country. The aim is to create a human rights league table to pressure governments to clean up their record. "Our proposal makes the case for the UN to publish an annual Global Human Rights Index, detailing the human rights performance of each and every government on the planet, displayed in a league table form," said Dr Richard Lawson, Green party member and founder of the campaign for the Global Human Rights Index. Speaking at the launch of the index idea last year, he said: "This will enable the relative human rights standing and trends of each country to be seen at a glance. It would add pressure on the worst ranked countries to improve their human rights record."

Since the index idea was first mooted, interest has been expressed by campaigners with World Concern, Global Action Plan to Prevent War, World Disarmament Campaign, Arms Reduction Coalition, Culture Change and the Movement for the Abolition of War. We are planning to approach the United Nations Association, the Foreign Office and the European Union.

The current draft of the index was finalised in 2008. Over many months, I worked with Lawson to map out the rights and freedoms to be covered by the index, and how the ranking system would be calculated. What we have devised is a draft outline, open for discussion, negotiation and further refinement.

Using a points system, the index measures every country, based on its compliance with a checklist of 52 human rights norms, such as whether or not it has the death penalty, torture, detention without trial, freedom of the media, the right to protest and equal rights for women and for ethnic and sexual minorities. This would enable objective comparisons between the human rights records of different countries and whether each country’s record is improving or deteriorating.

The human rights trend of nations over time would therefore be demonstrable and transparent. This would give an important early warning signal about which states are increasing their human rights violations. These countries could then be pressed by the UN to remedy the abuses and, if necessary, given assistance to do so – perhaps in the form of UN peacekeepers, in instances of ethnic or religious violence.

At present, repressive states are dealt with in an arbitrary and ad hoc way by politicians, often through media manipulation. Iran’s regime is deservedly condemned, while there is barely a squeak of protest about the equally gross human rights violations by a western ally like Saudi Arabia.

The UN’s failure to tackle human rights-abusing nations will be harder to justify or ignore if the index clearly ranks them as major abusers. Conversely, the unfair or excessive demonisation of a particular country will be less easy to accomplish if the index can show that it is not the worst offending state or if the index can demonstrate that the accusing states also have a less than exemplary human rights record.

The index could be cited as evidence to justify UN legal action and targeted UN sanctions against the very worst offenders. This might act as a wake-up call to regimes near the bottom of the index. Knowing that they could be next in line for prosecution and sanctions, their leaders might decide to take pre-emptive action to improve their observance of human rights.

The index will not prompt every country to reduce its human rights violations. Certain tyrannies are likely to carry on regardless. But the index might encourage some nations to make improvements. However small, any betterment of human rights is a gain for people whose rights have been previously abrogated.

Britain and the EU have the power and influence to take the index proposal to the UN and get it discussed. Over to you, David Miliband and Catherine Ashton.

 

馬簽人權兩公約 司改會批兩光約

抨擊政府無視羈押規定違國際標準

〔記者謝文華、項程鎮/台北報導〕法務部昨向馬英九總統呈送依聯合國兩人權公約檢討國內法規與行政措施的報告,司改會執行長林峰正直指,報告對偵查不公開現行狀況、被告羈押規定違背國際人權標準等隻字不提,淨檢討總統府聘用工讀生要點等雞毛蒜皮法令,「兩公約」變成「兩光約」!

「公民與政治權利國際公約」及「經濟社會文化權利國際公約」今天起施行,四十個公民團體組成的「兩公約施行監督聯盟」,憂心欠缺配套將淪為裝點執政者門面的「無牙老虎」,要求政府設立獨立於行政體系以外、符合聯合國標準的國家人權委員會,並公布人才培訓計畫、在大學設立國際人權研究中心。

同志伴侶協會發起人陳敬學憂心,兩公約未設專責及監督機構,如何可能落實?台灣圖博之友會會長周美里更反問馬總統,上次陳雲林來台,警察違法對拿國旗、雪山獅子旗的民眾施暴,是否符合兩公約標準?

陳雲林將來 人權團體憂遊行權受限

林峰正諷刺,這次陳雲林來,政府擬限制「抗議區」,是把「放牧」的集會遊行政策改成「圈養」,比照北京奧運作法,倒退到中國人權標準。

林峰正批判法務部彙整兩百二十餘條待檢討法令「可笑、瑣碎、沒意義」。而台灣每年有一萬人次在審判前遭羈押,羈押法侵權情況嚴重,馬政府竟視而不見。

府將設國家人權諮詢委員會

澄社執行委員顧忠華說,政府要「有眼睛」看清自己報告避重就輕,像集會遊行法、人民團體法等戒嚴時期限制人民權利的法令就該廢除,另立新法保障人民集會結社權利。

法務部回應表示,總統昨已宣示,總統府將設國家人權諮詢委員會,行政院也已指示法務部負責「行政院人權保障推動小組」幕僚工作,近日將開會討論兩公約實踐過程透明化、民間參與等議題。

馬英九昨在國家圖書館舉行的兩公約慶祝典禮指出,昨天是國際反貪日、今天是世界人權日,台灣雖非聯合國會員國,為讓國際社會知道,台灣雖被排除在外,但有誠意參與並落實聯合國人權公約。

馬總統肯定法務部選舉查賄成果,他表示,賄選和貪污不但是雙胞胎、也是連體嬰,現在選舉雖然結束,希望法務部秉持毋枉毋縱精神、嚴辦到底,徹底落實肅貪。

馬英九接著率同五院院長及法務、交通部兩部會首長,將貼有兩公約施行法及反貪倡廉郵票的信封,分別投入郵筒,象徵台灣與國際接軌並向世界宣示反貪及守護人權決心。

監委︰馬、王清峰違法

〔記者項程鎮/台北報導〕總統馬英九昨天在法務部典禮上公開誇獎部長王清峰,認為王花兩百萬元預算買電腦設備,給證人、被告和犯罪嫌疑人偵訊時看螢幕是保障人權,但監委李復甸直言馬和王不但錯,而且違反刑事訴訟法。

不同意筆錄該怎麼辦?

據了解,李復甸日前與其他監委巡視法務部時就表示「不能因總統這樣主張,我們照著做就是對的,應要從刑事訴訟法及制度上全面看問題」。

根據刑訴法第九六及第一九○條「訊問被告及證人條款」,訊問被告或證人時,應讓供述首尾連貫;李復甸認為總統關心偵訊筆錄正確性是對的,但被告或證人在偵訊期間,能邊看電腦螢幕,每講一句、還能邊改證詞,「那真的犯罪的人不同意書記官所載筆錄,該怎麼辦?」

法務部政務次長黃世銘對此表示,民眾偵訊時看電腦筆錄,不會影響陳述事實連貫性,刑訴法也沒有禁止規定,這樣做還可增加筆錄正確性。

李復甸指出,筆錄遷就被告是本末倒置,已牴觸刑訴法。重點應是讓書記官如何把偵查筆錄作好,而不是讓被告和證人對筆錄滿意,否則會影響筆錄真實性。

日前一場相關座談會中,也有法務部官員認為,很多基層檢察官對讓被告和證人看螢幕有不同意見,認為這樣不能讓偵查期間發現真實。

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