Archive for the 'Social and Economic Rights' Category

U.N. human rights expert fawns over Egypt, leaves “impressed”

While the appointed experts of the U.N. Human Rights Council are always quick to slam Israel and the United States for alleged violations, the regime of Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak won high praise today.

After an 8-day visit to the country, Catarina de Albuquerque, the council’s “Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation,” said she was “leaving impressed by the efforts being made to improve access to drinking water.” Continue reading ‘U.N. human rights expert fawns over Egypt, leaves “impressed”’

Is poverty a “human rights violation”? Aid Watch’s Easterly vs. Amnesty

William Easterly of Aid Watch, gives his scorecard on UN human rights:

On something like “the right to water,” where it is impossible to identify who is violating such “rights,” the UN talks big. On human rights violations like killings and torture, where the UN knows precisely who is the violator, the UN sometimes shows up on the violator’s side.

Amnesty International’s Sameer Dossani disagrees, but doesn’t seem to answer Easterly’s pointed question: “Who is depriving the poor of their right to an adequate income?”

According to Amnesty, the lack of access to clean drinking water, adequate education, housing, employment and so on, are all human rights violations, “and it is ultimately the responsibility of governments to end them.”  Yes, but, once again, who exactly is committing the violations?