Morocco 2014:Comprehensive Report on World Human Rights Forum 

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By Nandalal Tiwari

Dec 19, Oslo: Morocco proudly hosted the 2nd edition of the World Forum of Human Rights on November 2014, The Oslo Times International Network in an effort to sum up the outcomes of the mammoth annual event has prepared a comprehensive report on the Forum and outcomes of the event.

The forum, which lasted till November 30th, was a platform where  several issues, including the rights of children, women, disabled people and migrants,along with other unresolved issues from the Vienna Conference on Human rights and issues related to the new generation of human rights.

The opening session was marked by the message by King Mohammed VI to the participants in the 2nd World Forum on Human
Rights.

This report focuses on information gathered by The Oslo Times through interviews with various human rights defenders present at the event.

General Background of the World Human Rights Forum

In December 2013, the State Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil organized the First World Human Rights Forum (WHRF), with more than 5,000 participants from Brazil, Latin America as well as several other countries.

This Successful forum was held twenty years after the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights in 1993. Ever since the Vienna Conference, human rights values have undergone a continuing universalization trend and are now a central component of international relations, with new treaties further strengthening international human rights law.

During this period, the United Nations system for the protection of fundamental human rights has significantly strengthened and renewed itself: the creation of the Human Rights Council, the adoption of the universal periodic review, the appointment of twenty-nine special procedure mandate holders, the entry into force of nine international instruments (two international conventions and seven optional protocols) are a testament to this.

morocco (1)Since Vienna, new regional bodies for the promotion and protection of human rights have emerged while national human rights institutions, then in their infancy, have become dynamic actors with increasingly important roles.

At the same time, many national, regional and international non-governmental organizations, are increasingly professional and specialized, and have emerged as key stakeholders, bringing the voices of their societies and calling out the states to respect their international obligations. Over the past twenty years, new problems, previously unknown, have emerged and have challenged global awareness, while opposition to universalism has diversified and grown.

It is in this context of a globalized and interconnected world, that the forum in Brazil was held, confirming the need for a universal and brotherly space of dialogue and discussion between many stakeholders who are currently acting to respond to people’s aspirations for dignity, equality and justice.

In the wake of this momentum, the second WHRF was held in Marrakesh on 26-30 November 2014. As a follow-up to the first WHRF in Brasilia, the Marrakech Forum was composed of thematic forums. Their preparation and conduct were insured by civil society networks, national human rights institutions, academic groups.

In the second edition of the WHRF there were 7,000 participants from across the globe, 397 journalists, 95 nationalities, 160 activities, 100 debated topics, 50 thematic forums, 41 self-managed activities, 20 cultural events, 18 internal activities, 11 training workshops, 6 exhibitions, 750 volunteers, 300 partners and 18 sponsors and patrons .

To sort out agenda, themes, procedures, and a host of other issues pertaining to the Forum, preparatory meetings were held at different levels and on varying issues. The first major preparatory meeting called the Scientific Committee meeting was held on 17 May 2014.

Driss-El-Yazami

Chairman of the Moroccan Human Rights Council, Driss El Yazami meets with The Oslo Times, Editor -in-Chief Hatef Mokhtar at the World Forum of Human Rights in Marrakech, Morocco.

The meeting of the Scientific Committee started with an address by Driss El Yazami, Chairman of the National Human Rights Council (Morocco), who highlighted some milestones in the twenty-year period between the Vienna Conference (1993) and that of Brasilia (2013). He put particular emphasis on the fact that the development of human rights globally occurred at several levels: 1) the desire to universalize these rights led to a rapid expansion of the international standard; 2) the United Nations well reflected this momentum through the development and adoption of new human rights standards; 3) national bodies, regional institutions and coordination networks proliferated; 4) new issues and challenges emerged, which the next World forums to be held in Morocco, Argentina and Colombia should deal with.

The second keynote address was delivered by Patricia Barcelos, Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, in which she gave an overview of the Brazilian experience. She provided some general data on the first Forum that took four months of preparation, was attended by 14,000 participants from 64 countries, and mobilized 2000 persons locally as well as 700 Brazilian and foreign organizations.

The third keynote address was made by Rabea Naciri, member of the National Human Rights Council (Morocco), who shed light on some of the issues that have been the focus of discussions among human rights researchers and advocates. She first noted the questioning/dilemma of the human rights issue since the 1948 Declaration: should we constantly strive to gain new rights in light of changes taking place in post-industrial societies or should we work for better effectiveness and consolidation of the rights acquired?.

To follow-up on the outcome of the scientific committee’s meeting two seminars concerning the preparation of the second session of the World Forum on Human Rights, were held from the 19th to the 21th June 2014. The first one was a preparatory seminar made at the national level and the second one was an international meeting. These seminars took decisions about activities such as training workshops and self-directed workshops to be conducted in course of the Forum, and the formations of a organising bodies of such activities.

The format of the Forum was such that there were two main events: Inaugural Conference and Closing Conference. In the inaugural session, prominent international figures expressed their views on major human rights issues in the World and in the closing ceremony main conclusions and recommendations of the Forum were presented. It brought together representatives of governments, international human rights organizations, national human rights institutions, national and international NGOs and various World figures. Between these two major events, the Marrakech WHRF hosted around fifty thematic forums, more than ten special events and around fifty diverse events: conferences, dialogues for rights, internal activities, workshops, self-organized workshops and a cultural program.
Introduction

The Kingdom of Morocco hosted the second edition of the World Forum on Human Rights (WFHR) in Marrakech from 27 to 30 November 2014. The second edition was another milestone in bringing together human rights defenders, organisations, institutions and review the status of the human rights situation globally and find out the way forward, which had started with the first WFHR in n December 2013 held in Brazil with over 5,000 participants from 30 countries. The Marrakech Forum took place twenty years after the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human rights. Globally known human rights activisits graced the Forum with their insightful views on the human rights issues along with various thematic workshops, training seminars, self-directed workshops and cultural/artisticexhibition.

king of moroccoIn all, 7,000 people from 95 countries took part in this global event of human rights. over 100 subjects were discussed during the four days of the event and 160 activities associative, sports, cultural and training were organized throughout the city . 397 journalists representing media from more than 20 countries covered this second edition of World Forum on Human Rights. 750 volunteers were mobilized on different sites housing the activities of the event.

As an integral part of the Forum, over 30 thematic forums including 11 devoted to women, were held in the interval of the inaugural and closing sessions of the WFHR. Based on the work of the Scientific Committee and the proposals submitted by several NGOs, these thematic forums were designed as spaces for debate aiming to make an assessment of the current situation of human rights and highlighting emerging issues.Discussion in such forums were held and conclusions drawn in the presence of Un experts, researchers and prominent figures. There were separate thematic forums for different issues that debated separately on Access to Justice and Human Rights, Alternative and Community Media: Strong leverage for democracy and citizenship, Business and Human Rights,
Citizen security and the protection of human rights, Disability and Human Rights, From Rhetoric to Effectiveness: Assessing Change 20 Years After Beijing, Legislation Drafting and the Promotion of Human Rights, Religious Traditions and Human Rights, The City and Human Rights, The Right to Water: A vast human rights field, The abolition of the death penalty, a universal dynamic, The implementation of economic, social and cultural rights and justice, Discrimination and human rights, Free Trade Agreements, Neighborhood Policy and its Impact on Human Rights, Migration Dynamics: At the Crossroads of Experiences and Perspectives, Right to the Environment and Climate Justice Save the planet: The Right and Duty for Sustainable Development, Social, solidarity and environmental economy: All human rights and obligations, The interaction of States with UN Mechanisms for The Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Youth Rights and International Human Rights Law: Current statute and development avenues.

In the tematic forums leading personalities and international experts exchanged views on current human rights issues including on human rights regional courts, International Criminal Justice, Capital punishment,Social changes, youth, and rights, What are countries doing for their diaspora? The discussion at the thematic forums provided moments of reflection and exchange of experiences between NGOs and national and international networks for the share of good practices.

Eleven Training Workshops were held by different organisations from 23 to 29 November on different themes and tocpics at different venues. Training for Arab Diplomats on Human Rights Approach in the Practice of their Functions was held from 23 to 27 by Achourouk Center while Combating Human Trafficking Council of Europe went on for two days from 26 to 28 and it was hosted by Council of Europte, DIDH. Programme for the Management of Social Transformations from 26-28 by UNESCO, CNDH and the Management of Youth Volunteering Projects held on 27 and 28 by Volunteering Moroccan Coalition, Association for Development of Citizenship and European Initiatives. Visits to Places of Detention and Prevention of Torture held from 27030 by Dignity-Danish Institute against Torture, Restart Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture, CNDH. Personal Rights in the Era of the Internet held on 28 by Alternatives International and the Human Rights Protection Mechanisms held on 28 by The Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights. Training and Capacity Building on Advocacy for the Arab Region was held on 28 by The NGO Committee on the Status of Women /United Nation,Women’s Learning Partnership, Coalition for Equality without Reserve and the Reinforcing Capacities of Journalists on Human Rights was held on 28 by the Moroccan Centre for Human Rights and Media. Human Rights and Local Development : Building a Society from the Territories was held on 29 by Francophone Programme for the Support of Local Development and the Human Rights Legal Clinics was held on 29 by The Global Network for Public Interest Law, CNDH. These workshops ran for 4 to 9 hours a day for various audiences, for learning and action
Some 41 self-directed workshops were held on 28 November on topics ranging from Child Protection against Violence, Exploitation and Abuse, Right to Decent Housing: Legislation and Practice, Freedom of Expression in Tunisia and Defence of Human Rights for Peace Building in Iraq, Children Born out of Wedlock : What Reforms to Guarantee their Rights?, Youth Rights through the Universal Periodic Review, Climate Change and Human Rights, Ethical Dimension in Human Rights Culture, The Disabled in Morocco : Suffering and Aspirations, For an Equal, Alternative and Sustainable Mountain Development in the World, Role of Student Movement in the Promotion of Human Rights, Constitutional Issues in Maghreb Countries, Trafficking in Persons, Health Workers and Human Rights, Right to Access Medication for HIV and Hepatitis C to Children and Culture. Similarly, the self-directed seminars centered on topics such as Crimes of Enforced Disappearances, Impunity of NonState Actors, Parliamentarians and Lawyers for the Abolition of Death Penalty, Medical Insurance for the Poor: Case of Medical Support System in Morocco (RAMED), Regional Seminar on Freedom of Expression, Association and Right to the Internet, Prevention of Genocides and Crimes against Humanity, Economic, Social and Environmental Rights as Perceived by Young People, Evolution of International Human Rights Protection Mechanisms, in particular Treaty Bodies and Missions of Human Rights Movement in the Arab Region after the Arab Spring. Likewise, the workshops discussed various human rights issues under different headings such as Double Discrimination against Women with Disabilities, Promoting the Rights of People with a Disorder of Autism Spectrum, International Women’s Migration: Hope for Transit and Rights-related Challenges, Legal Protection of Undocumented Women Immigrants, Asset Recovery, Arts and Human Rights, International Meeting of Local Youth Councils, Local Councils and Human Rights Promotion, New Civic Dynamics of Youth for Human Rights, Meeting of Mashreq Maghreb Youth for the Construction of a Democratic Space, Crimes of Enforced Disappearances, Impunity of Non-State Actors, Living Together with Our Differences, International Crimes and Justice, Which Tools for Collective Entrepreneurship Training for Men and Women, Prison and Human Rights and The Second Optional Protocol to ICCPR aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty.

Moroccan Woman's right activist honoured at the forum

Moroccan Woman’s right activist honoured at the forum

Over 15 special events were held during the Forum. Moroccan constitutional institutions, ministries and governance watchdog organizations joined forces to organize a series of special events. The House of Representatives and the House of Councilors organized an international meeting on the Role of Parliaments in the Promotion of Human Rights; The Moroccan government hosted the second World Bank’s international meeting on Gender-Sensitive Budgeting; The National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) organized a Fair for Social and Solidarity Economy; The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) hosted the first national meeting of Human Rights and Citizenship Education Clubs, bringing together hundreds of secondary and high school students; The High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) welcomed its counterparts from around the World to discuss Regulation and Human Rights; The Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC) held an international meeting on Corruption and Human Rights; The Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) held a Meeting of National Immigration Councils; The National Human Rights Council organized an International Meeting of National Human Rights Institutions; The Ombudsman organized an International Meeting of Mediators and Ombudsmen.

Different international networks held their meetings in course of the second WFHR in Marrakesh. The International Bureau of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the African Office of the Citizen School of Political Studies, the association Amnesty Morocco on education about human rights, the Disabled People’s International Organization, World Coalition against Enforced Disappearance, the Maghreb Coordination of Human Rights Organizations (CMODH), the office of the Euro-Mediterranean Federation against Enforced Disappearances (FEMED), the African Network of the Human Rights National Institutions (RINADH), the International office FDIH, 6th Forum of MENA and Dignity-Danish Institute Against Torture, and the board of directors of Euromed for the protection of defenders held their internal meetings during the Forum. Similarly, executive board meeting of the Union of Arab workers, Internal meeting of the regional office of the International Organization of Disabled People, Internal meeting of the coalition on equality without limits, International seminar on the evaluation and the coalition for the democratic participation of the youth, a seminar that summarizes the youth project for democracy, board meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders were held as part of the EFHR.
As the WFHR was a huge gathering, this report may not give a total picture of the event and its outcome due to the lack of time and space for writing this report although efforts are made to give an overall scenario. Most of the facts and figures are based on the website of the WFHR and the news media including the online portals.

FMDH-Ceremonie

Objective

The main objectives of the WFHR were as follows:

• Conducting an overall review of advances in human rights and the challenges and constraints hindering their effectiveness

• Engaging in a pluralistic reflection among governments and regional and international human rights NGOs and institutions

• Making an assessment of the status of various human rights defense movements.
Methodology

The WFHR:

Forum’s organization was based on a participatory and inclusive approach (self-organized workshops by NGOs and regional and international networks); an approach that embodied democratization in action, with an emphasis on horizontality and the integration of all stakeholders (governments, NGOs, etc.) without hierarchy. Such principles was put into practice at all stages of the Forum: design and preparation, organization and conduct.

The Forum, while aiming at accelerating the universalization of human rights, sought to boost the reform process taking place in the MENA region and strengthen democracy. Therefore included in the program were activities with a cross regional perspective, for instance, the issue of truth, memory and history that is of concern to various regions of the World.
Report Writing:

This report has relied heavily on the statements, declarations and conclusions made by the different thematic forums meetings, self-directed workshops, training workshops, speeches of the prominent speakers in the Forum, interviews of the participants published in The Oslo Times News Network and the news reports published in other online portals.

Key Findings

Taking the statements, declarations and conclusions of different thematic forums, training seminars, self-organised workshops, internal meetings, cultural showcases and the views of the participants made public through different media, key findings of the WFHR can be summarised as follows:
Persons With Disability (PWD) experience multiple forms of discriminations and they should be prioritized in human rights protection. It is the obligation of all agencies, groups, government and CSOs (all actors/stakeholders) working for human rights to actively meet their obligation to the rights of the Person with Disability (PWD) and to ensue that all programs should be inclusive. Strengthening of the international and national mechanism is needed to make sure the compliance of governments and civil society to the rights exigent/demand of PWDs, the rights of PWD to organize themselves and to have their voice heard in everything related to their cause. All social and professional scheme should be inclusive of PWD, implementation of economic and social rights must include PWD. Recognizing the post-2015 development agenda, stress should be made for full inclusion of PWD across all goals, target and indicators. Empower and support family of PWD to play a positive role in supporting the rights of PWD and safeguarding them.The inclusion of PWD in the planning of the 3rd t World Human Rights Forum should be considered. PWD experienced multiple forms of discriminations. The addition are numerous. (women, migrants, etc) and they should be prioritized.

There is need to establish independent and effective Paris Principles compliant National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and, where existent, strengthen NHRIs and their independence, including by ensuring that they have broad mandates and powers and are adequately funded; support and extend the independent and unique role of Paris Principles compliant NHRIs in the UN system and including by supporting the adoption of an NHRI resolution at the General Assembly in 2015 that urgesUN mechanisms to formalise participation rights of NHRIs.

It is necessary to include NHRIs in the negotiations and outcomes for the post-2015 development agenda, as human rights-based accountability bodies; and in order for NHRIs to be fully functional in accordance with the UN Paris Principles, the state
Should fully capacitate NHRIs to dispense with justice without fear, favor or prejudice
independently and impartially.

The UN should develop a harmonised approach for its engagement with NHRIs, in their independent capacities as NHRIs, across the UN system based on the rules and practices established by its Human Rights Council, and with a view to ensuring Paris Principles compliant (‘A’ status) NHRIs’ most effective contributions and the accessibility of the UN to NHRIs.

Similarly, there is need to support NHRIs to build their capacity to promote and protect human rights, including in relation to greater participation in UN mechanisms, and how this can assist in the implementation of human rights standards on the national level; strengthen the ICC accreditation process; and facilitate NHRIs’ input to the post-2015 development agenda and advocating for their role in sustainable development goals as human rights-based accountability bodies, including through its working group on sustainable development.

NHRIs need to strengthen their engagement in international human rights mechanisms, including Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, Universal Periodic Review, Special Procedures as well as the Treaty Bodies, and particularly through the use of information technologies, when participating in UN mechanisms, engage and cooperate with other national bodies designated to work on specific mandates in relation to human rights, for which the ICC has committed to develop guidelines, as well as with civil society. Mediators and ombudsman play the special role in the building of democracy

human_rights (1)
and its major roles in the implementation of good governance and the protection of rights, it seems appropriate to think about the creation of an international multilingual training center and experiences exchange. There is need of creation of a mechanism dedicated to
institutional mediation, as a determining factor in democracy building, which would be in charge of the rights defense, uphold the strengthening of good governance, maintain to groups and individuals the necessary administrative services, ensuring conditions of an efficient communication between the administration and its users in the framework of the administrative action based on legality and equity.

The protection of freedom, of all fundamental rights, requires independent lawyers with the liberty to perform their duties and obligations. For achieving this objective, lawyers need to reinforce their links with each other, to ensure mutuaql protection against these threats. Rule of law, but the fundamental human rights and liberties of all mankind is at stake.

Women have an important place in migration and contribute also to the development of their country yet they are often victims of discrimination as women and as migrants. Violence against migrants, especially in borders, has reached unacceptable levels, often result in the violation of the most sacred law, is the right to life. People should not die because they want to migrate.

There is need to recognize the role of actors of migrants, civil society including trade unions and the research community and involve them in all stages of public policy migration. Similarly, it is a need to develop joint programs, respectful of regional and international, protecting human rights and abolishing detention practices and collective expulsions of migrants and to ensure that migrants have access equal to the labor market and ensure their access care and education without any discrimination and ratify and need to implement Conventions of the International Labour Organization.

Protection of personal data is a fundamental right among human rights and that this right must be respected by all players, without exception to the digital society.

There is need to develop integrated policies on access to justice based on complementarity between the judicial remedies, quasi-judicial and alternative methods of dispute settlement and to strengthen the administration of justice, particularly in terms of legal aid vulnerable groups, the simplification of judicial procedures and the establishment of local court.

Taking legislative and regulatory measures are necessary to ensure the totally free legal services to people to resources limited and vulnerable groups. It is necessary to foster synergies between the judiciary, the university system and non-governmental organizations for building an inclusive and supply innovative in terms of legal advice for vulnerable groups. There is need to
support the Johannesburg Declaration on the implementation of the principles and United Nations guidelines on access to legal assistance in criminal justice system.
It is necessary to develop a universal agreement on human security. The international community must abandon the logic of the two weights and two measures. The principles to protect citizens in conflict situations are known, but the big challenge is to apply them.

All countries should repeal punitive laws and enact laws to protect and promote human rights, improve quality of services for prevention and treatment of HIV and access, and enhance the cost-effectiveness of these efforts.All countries should explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of HIV status, whether real or perceived. countries need to review their legislation, particularly when it is not conducive to creates a favorable environment HIV response.

States of the World should support the resolution of the UN General Assembly calling for the establishment of a universal moratorium on executions. All the countries should joining the 2nd Optional Protocol to the Covenant on International Civil and Political Rights and prohibit the use of the death penalty.Human Rights_1

International law is clear on the fact that education is a public good and that it should be protected against commodification. Through the government, the state is the guarantor of quality education as a public good. It is unacceptable to want to make profits through education, especially in taking advantage of the poor parental aspirations who want a better future for their children.

Protection of journalists is essential to the promotion of human rights. Violence against journalists and media professionals through the World especially in areas of armed conflict and political instability, murders, assaults, censorship, intimidation, harassment, kidnapping, arbitrary abuse of process and imprisonment, threats to their lives and their moral and physical security; abuses have multiplied in recent years. Despite the strengthening of the international framework for the protection journalists, cases of prosecution of perpetrators of killings and attacks are rare and that this situation of impunity has terrible consequences in the exercise of freedom of expression as well as freedom of the media and is a violation of the foundations of democracy and the rule of law. Protection of journalists and the fight against impunity are essential to preserve the fundamental right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 and the international community should act quickly to end impunity, especially with regard to violence against journalists.

There is a need to remove all discrimination against single mothers, apply all the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It is necessary to implement a plan to upgrade the skills and resources public institutions and services in charge of services for children born outside marriage and single mothers abd associative actors, human rights bodies and forces should respect these rights to remain mobilized, united and vigilant to consolidate gains made in this regard.

It is necessary to give the National Institutions of Human Rights the power to investigate situations of violations of human rights by companies and governments to challenge when they consider that its duty to protect is insufficient or deficient. Business community and their companies need to commit publicly and explicitly, at the highest levels of the company, in favor of respect for human rights in the activities and management decisions.

Policymakers and international community should make a commitment to improve gender responsive budget.In the views of Navanethem Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Forum in one way it addresses the suspicion of some people in the South that portray human rights as Western creature and principles that do not fit in their culture and traditions. Along with this, people in the South are suspicious of human rights because they feel that developed countries only focus on civil and political rights and not on economic, social and cultural rights and the rights to development. These are priorities for developing countries. You have the African Charter for Human and Peoples Rights so they feel that the UN Charter is for individual rights and does not support the rights of communities, so I appreciate and welcome holding of the conference right here. They had seven thousand participants mainly from civil society all over the World, fairly many seasoned human rights activists, human rights defenders and what was their total input? They want the same rights as everybody else, so they believe in the universal declaration of human rights, they believe that Human Rights are universal, indivisible and interrelated. You can’t just have one right, you need to have all the rights.
The same problems have occurred all over the World like women who are beaten, raped and sexually abused, and the indigenous groups across the World that have been discriminated. So the complaints presented at the WFHR are the same as presented in any other World conferences or the UN conferences, that I have attended. But there is a need to be sensitive towards their concerns and we need to spell out what we mean by universal declaration of human rights and why people want equality, democracy and justice. (for more please visit: http://www.theoslotimes.com/iran-has-very-high-rate-of-executions-navanethem-pillay/)

UN Representatives, Tamy Kesselman, Juan Elias Chebly, coordinator of ‘World We Want 2015 campaign’ and Aneesa Walji, Regional Expert on Governance and Rule of Law, stated that such conferences are important as they bring together the voices of Human Rights activists and civil societies across the globe.” These discussions have been centered on human rights and development issues. It’s great to bring all these people that are involved in human rights protection and development activities from across the globe for discussion in one place. (for more please visit:..)

In the eyes of Larry Kilman, , in Central Asia, there is hope of press freedom but there is not much progress. In Bangladesh, the question is financial more than anything else and everything else. Central Asian countries have many of the same issues as Russia has right now i.e, repressive regimes and crackdown on free press and it needs World attention, this is what it really needs. People really aren’t focused on Central Asia right now. (for more please visit:

Driss El Yazami, a well-known human rights activist and former member of the Executive Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, said that southern countries should be active players in the protection of human rights. So far southern countries are seen as consumers in terms of human rights initiatives, and the ability of the southern nations to contribute in protecting human rights is debated. Today we would like to be perceived by the World as constructors of the human rights of the 21st century. We would like to participate in participate in writing conventions for human rights on emerging subjects or issues. Today, for example, there has been thoughts on having a convention on business and human rights. Today there are also thoughts on having an international convention on old people. There have been movements at the international level for the universality of Human rights advances. Human rights have become an important variable in all human societies as well as in international relations. However, at the same time some regressions are seen in some societies. For example movements by right wing parties in some western countries, which practice Islamophobia and the use of religion for politics, in country like ours, that restricts other people’s right to life, are also challenging the universality of human rights laws. Its universality is also protested by the international economic order, as some states today are stronger than the rest of the states. (for more please visit:

Hala Mourad, a prominent filmmaker originally from Greece, viewed that, she participated in the Forum because shed had always defended human rights through her films and she had to tell a story. She meant that the Forum provided space for all human rights activists from different fields to share their experiences and learn from others to move forward in defending human rights all over the World. (for more, please visit:

Former member of the Swedish Parliment Carina Hägg and Annika Borg, Doctor in Theology and Gender Rights Activist, said that the WFHR was an international conference where they could meet people and human rights activists from different parts of the World, see how people network. There was a lot of good talks happening not just inside the conferences but also outside on the corridor and it’s a good platform to interact with people. It has become more useful because the conference gives people from all walks of the human rights sector an opportunity to meet each other. And, now as the authorities here have brought this issue up as a law, we can hold these issues we can talk about them. People who live abroad are back and are here to talk about human rights. That’s a very good step. (for more, please visit: http://www.theoslotimes.com/extremists-are-against-human-rights-and-democracy-in-whatever-name-they-kill-people-former-mp-carina-hagg/)

Annika Borg, a Doctor in Theology, who completed her doctoral dissertation in 2004 on Gender and biblical interpretation, is active as a Gender Rights Activist, writer, lecturer, author, radio host and an educator. In her view, the WFHR is “a light actually. It is very important to see that you can actually make a difference. There are six thousand delegates from all across the World and gender issues are on the agenda. People are meeting and coming together. There is a bright side to human rights and democracy in the World today and though the dark side is very obvious, its very important to keep your focus on the things that you can actually do. People are making efforts all over the World towards preserving and promoting democracy and human rights, so you don’t despair. This conference is both concrete as well as symbolic to reflect that there are many struggling for the same cause.” (for more, please visit:
Outcome
The second edition of WFHR held on 27-30 November 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco, provided special space for human rights activists, institutions, organisations and related bodies of the UN and other organisations to come togher and assess the human rights issues, status at both the global and national levels.

It provided opportunities for the HR activists to share their experiences, best practices and learn from others, which can be expected to boost initiatives for better protection and promotion of human rights around the World.

The statements, declarations, assessment and conclusions made by the meetings of different human rights networks, groups, the thematic forums that were held as part of the Forum made a fresh picture of the human rights situation in the World and they provided a way forward toward guaranteeing human rights in all circumstances, places and for all.

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