In Marrakech at the World Human Rights Forum 2014 participating in the seminar on Human Rights and Human Security I reflected more upon:
– Human Rights and their impact on, correlation to and importance for the safeguarding of human security,
– the importance of the implementation of Human Rights in the efforts to protect individuals and the whole society from exclusion, social unrest, extremism and terrorism, and
– the interrelationship between the Human Rights system and four cornerstones of democracy – legitimacy, authority, participation and trust.
There is an old say that I use occasionally, “In order to walk on water you need to know where the stones are”. But of course we can also be the ones putting the stones at such places that facilitates our ambitions to cross from one side to the other side. Its a question about real knowledge and how to use the facts about the situation on the ground.
Human Rights as an active tool in preventing and countering exclusion, social unrest, violent extremism and terrorism is in its core about:
– Universality of Human Rights. They reflect fundamental existential values of humanity, of being a human being.
– The right to be protected both by the state as well as from the state.
– The importance of trust both betwen individuals as well as in the institutions.
– The insight that strategic influence – the telling and spreading of failures and injustices, selfexperienced or/and retold -do play a significant role in the processes that lead to exclusion, social unrest, violent extremism and terrorism. And it can only be contested by real changes. Ive written more in detail about this specific theme under for example the:
-Failures of Sahel-Maghreb,
– Process of Strategic Influence and
– I have never meet any happy terrorists (dialogue with Nasir Abbas)
So how should we deal with some of these fundamental stones, cornerstones? How do we put them in place? Where do we put them?
The Whole Government Society – boots on the ground
We need a whole society-approach where institutions – government, civil society, families, business etc. reclames the area and the arena they have abdicated from. This must be done in terms of strong rescilient presence and clear visibility in the local society – boots on the ground. It must be done both by presence of the legal system as well as the deliverance of service from the public sector, business sector, civil society, families etc.
Its all about we together reclaiming lost space. Space that belongs to all citizens. If we ignore the need for presence, the area will be overrun by other phenomena such as criminal gangs, clans, etc. They will form what we call no-go-zones. This is of course a violation on every individuals right to use the public common space.
Another challenge can for some individuals be the meeting between the clane and the state-individualism
Its crucial to understand that the preconditions for integration differs a lot betwen individuals and betwen groups of individuals. It can indeed be a great challenge for example to integrate individuals from groups coming from traditions of very strong clanestructures. Individuals that hail from nomadic societies where trust is reserved for the clane, will not in the very beginning see the state or the civil society as their protector and the deliver of good output. Rather the opposite. Their experiences are often rather negative, if there are any experiences at all from a state!? This is a crucial subject that the writer, journalist and projectleader Per Brinkemo has described in detail in his fundamental work on Between the Clane and the State. Its a must read for everyone seriously wanting to adress integrationpolicy.
The responsibilty of the state and the individual
The government has a responsiblity to guarante the freedom and security of every individual. But the citizen also have an responsibilty to restrain from violating another persons human rights (European Convention on Human Rights art 17 and the United Nation Universell Declaration on Human Rights art 29 and art 30).
Or as President Mandela incapsulated this idea and way of living: “For to be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.
To safeguard and enhance Human Rights is also about Infrastructure
There is also a vital need for a Human Rights infrastructure – both in the terms av legal, educative etc. but also in more delicate systemanalyses where there are qualified Human Rights-certified processes in the deliverance of public service, for example deliberative processes which includes and involve individuals, local society, civil society, state authorities, municipalities, businesses etc.
Participation must be a vital part of the process already in the initial stage of developing plans of action, especially when we develop plans and strategies on preventing and countering exclusion, social unrest, violent extremism and terrorism.
Such a process is about listening to and reacting on the articulation of real needs and also sending signals about importance and priorities.
At the end of the day it is a matter of individual responsibilities and action taken both by the private individual as well as by the individual representing the government.
Or as Exupery summarizes “I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his or her own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him or her: it is what he and she thinks of himself and herself. To undermine a human beings self-respect is a sin”.
Förslag på uthållig och flexibel strategi
I lagens namn
Betwen the Clane and the State – Per Brinkemo
Staden, familjen och makten
Ungdomsgängen styr i flera stadsdelar
Det är vi som sticker ut!
Integrationspolitik utifrån individerna
Vi har alla ett ansvar – Alice Teodorescu