Universal Human Rights Conference: 500th Anniversary of Antonio de Montesinos

Universal Human Rights Conference: 500th Anniversary of Antonio de Montesinos
humanrights500.org

From the conference description and promotional materials:

On December 2-4, 2011, a coalition of universities and other institutions are hosting a  conference and celebration in Washington, D.C. to assess what has been achieved in 500 years of human rights advocacy.  The conference is scheduled to include Sunday, 4 December, the conventionally identified date in 1511 when Antonio de Montesinos, O.P. delivered a sermon in Santo Domingo calling for reform of Spanish policy toward the indigenous.  That sermon launched a Spanish debate about the human rights of the Indians, which in turn contributed to advocacy of the universality of human rights.  While concerned with the history of human rights, the conference will have as its focus current institutional and legal approaches to refine and enhance protections of human rights.

Working with international partners, Alma College’s Public Affairs Institute and Center for Responsible Leadership; George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs; Justice for North America for the Dominican Family; Partnership for Global Justice; the Osgood Center for International Studies; the Washington Theological Consortium; the Aquinas Institute; and the Fundacja Centrum Solidarnosci are hosting a conference focused on assessing what has been achieved in 500 years of human rights advocacy. The conference will include Sunday, December 4, 2011, the conventionally identified date in 1511 when Antonio de Montesinos delivered a sermon in Santo Domingo calling for reform of Spanish policy toward the indigenous. That sermon launched a Spanish debate about the human rights of the Indians, which in turn contributed to later advocacy of the principle that human rights apply to all people, regardless of nationality.  The new Spanish film Tambien La Lluvia (Even the Rain) has as its core purpose considering the legacy of Montesinos.

The conference is really a series of coordinated events that will bring together international scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, religious leaders, attorneys, civic leaders and workers in NGOs concerned with human rights (their history, definition, protection and enforcement). We will produce a “Proceedings,” collecting as many of the presentations as would be appropriate. Either as part of the “Proceedings” or in separate printed material, we anticipate assembling consensus documents that address contemporary human rights challenges.

We events will be held over the weekend of  Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 through Sunday, December 4, 2011. The weekend will include the following parts:

  1. Conference of experts, both practitioners (attorneys, NGO leaders, public officials) and scholars, including graduate students, held at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Arlington, Virginia on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, 2011;
  2. Luncheon and seminar on Religion and Human Rights, held at the Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and Foreign Affairs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 2;
  3. An undergraduate human rights conference held in conjunction with the Osgood Center for International Affairs in Washington on Dec. 2-3, 2011.
  4. Performance of Jean Claude Carriere’s The Controversy of Valladolid on Saturday evening, Dec. 3;
  5. A celebration of the Montesinos homily at St. Matthews Cathedral on the afternoon of Sunday Dec. 4, 2011; and
  6. Development of one or more consensus documents during small group sessions on Sunday, December 4.

Papers and panels are invited on the following topics:

The history and philosophy of universal human rights, while we anticipate special interest in the Americas and in imperial nations, we encourage wider perspectives;

The institutional structure and processes for protecting universal human rights (including the responsibility to protect), especially from Nuremberg to the ICC;

The relationship of human rights to issues such as sovereignty, migration, labor rights, gender, development, and security/terrorism;

The relationship of universal rights to different national, regional, historical, and indigenous cultures; and

Religion and human rights.

Please submit paper or panel proposals by OCTOBER 17, 2011.

 

Indigenous Rights Case Law Database from CEPMLP

Court Interpretation of Indigenous Agreements: Database

The Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) – University of Dundee (Scotland)

http://www.dundee.ac.uk/cepmlp/mining/indigenous/

From the database description:

This database has been compiled from over 200 cases and articles from courts/tribunals in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. The decisions collated for the database are those that interpret or apply documents involving indigenous parties. The database records, for each decision:

  • a brief summary of the decision (including URL where available);
  • the details of the document(s) involving indigenous parties; and
  • a summary of the court’s/tribunal’s engagement with that document.

The database’s search function allows users to focus and find decisions and articles according to particular need. For example, if researching the relevance of fiduciary obligations in relation to indigenous agreements, the database allows quick collation of all materials relevant to that.

 

 

 

 

 

Book on Forest Management in Indonesia

International Campaign for Ecological Justice in Indonesia (Down to Earth) has published an online book on indigenous forest managment in Indonesia. Edited by Liz Chidley, Yuyun Indradi, and Emilianus Ola Klenden.

Forests for the Future: Indigenous Forest Management in a Changing World

http://dte.gn.apc.org/GNSCON.htm

Table of Contents

Methodology
The Ciptagelar Indigenous Community, West Java
Developing a bargaining position over customary forest
Ki Ugis Suganda 
The Guguk Indigenous Community, Jambi
Protecting customary forests with local regulations
Datuk H. Abubakar 
The Kiyu Dayak Indigenous Community, Meratus, South Kalimantan
Strengthening alliances to campaign for forest protection
Andy Syahruji (team leader), Balai Kiyu 
The Sembalun Indigenous Community, Lombok
Building consensus to save adat forest on Mount Selong
Abdulrahman Sembahulun and Y. L. Franky 
The Indigenous Ngata Toro Community, Central Sulawesi
Reforming Adat to promote environmental, economic and cultural sustainability
Rizal Mahfud and Rukmini Paata Toheke 
Tana Ai Indigenous Communities, East Flores
Maintaining traditional culture as a way of protecting the environment
Murray Muhammad H. Basyir 
Indonesian Overview
Indigenous Peoples’ Writing on Forest Management: A Counter Discourse?
Suraya Afiff 
International Overview
Indigenous Natural Resource Management Systems at the Crossroads
Chip Fay 
Conclusions
Communities in Transformation
Emil Kleden

Online Publication:Human Rights and Climate Change

This month, the Commonwealth Secretariat published a short discussion paper on climate change and human rights. It is available online for free, although registration is required.

Human Rights and Climate Change: An Approach that Puts People in the Forefront of the Debate. July 2009

http://publications.thecommonwealth.org/

From the introduction:

A human rights model shifts the paradigm from

one that identifies ‘victims’ (who are most often

perceived as passive) to one acknowledging affected

groups as active stakeholders and critical voices.

Indeed, a rights-based approach frames the terms of

engagement and lays the basis for claims to be made

by ensuring affected populations are given the space

to speak, be heard, take action and influence

responses.

New Bolivian Constitution

Bolivian voters approved a new constitution in a national referendum on Sunday, January 25. This constitution should be of interest to students of Latin American law, indigenous rights, minority language rights, and sustainable development law.

Full-text (Spanish)  of the new Constitution can be found here:

http://www.cne.org.bo/proces_electoral/RefConstitucion2009/documentos/TextoCPE.pdf

http://www.cne.org.bo/proces_electoral/RefConstitucion2009/textos.aspx

New York Times article on the constitutional referendum:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/world/americas/26bolivia.html?ref=world