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Experts Panel Cites Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights Reporting

Moroccan American Center for Policy (Washington, DC, May 14, 2012) The Fund for Peace convened a panel of experts in Washington, DC on Friday that explored opportunities to advance human rights reporting by taking advantage of new technologies and developing increased understanding of local culture and context.

The panel, moderated by Fund Executive Director Krista Hendry, stressed the importance of including more context regarding local culture and degrees of openness to improve human rights reporting effectiveness.

“There is a great disparity in reporting human rights between open and closed societies,” said David Keys, Executive Director, Advancing Human Rights. “The reasons for focusing on open societies are seductive, but don’t justify closer scrutiny than for closed regimes,” he said. “We can and should judge democracies, but we must understand they are already upholding human rights to a better standard than closed societies.” He said the Internet and “online freedom is opening up access to all countries.”

“There has been heightened attention and discussion of global human rights norms,” said Mark Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, which recently published, “The Global Human Rights Regime.” However, Lagon said, “regional efforts have been uneven and implementation lags way behind. Capacity-building is where we have a problem. More effort is needed to realize human rights and not just talk about them.” He urged greater empowerment and technical assistance to local NGOs and civil society.

“To ensure that human rights reporting is a full partner in discussions of reform, we must look for ways to improve its accuracy and effectiveness,” said Jean AbiNader, Senior Adviser, Moroccan American Center. “It should strive for greater focus and understanding of local conditions and capabilities to support human rights protections. And it must do more to promote capacity-building for institutional and human resources required for an effective human rights regime.”

* For a summary of the upcoming report, Advancing Human Rights Reporting in North Africa – Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia,” by Jean AbiNader, Senior Advisor, Moroccan American Center for Policy, go to:
http://moroccoonthemove.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/sr_advancinghuman-rightsreportingnafrica-may2012.pdf

* For a full video playback of the May 11, 2012 Fund For Peace experts panel on “Advancing Human Rights Reporting,” go to:
http://moroccoonthemove.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/video-experts-panel-cites-opportunities-for-advancing-human-rights-reporting/

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