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DemocracyNews
Monthly Electronic Newsletter of the World Movement for Democracy

The World Movement for Democracy is a global network of democrats, including activists, practitioners, academics, policy makers, and funders, who have come together to develop new forms of cooperation to promote the development of democracy. View previous issues of DemocracyNews.

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December 2006

CONTENTS

DEMOCRACY ALERTS/APPEALS
1. Imprisoned Singaporean Democracy Activist and WMD Participant Hospitalized
2. The Chinese Government Jails Uyghur Activist's Son

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND EVENTS
3. Participants Database on World Movement Web Site Updated
4. Central/Eastern Europe and Eurasia section of the World Movement Web Site Now Available in Russian
5. Call for Applications: 2007 Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development
6. Civil Society Initiative in Iraq Launches New Web Site
7. The International Crisis Group Launches Report on Georgia's Armenian and Azeri Minorities
8. Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information Needs Translators
9. Call for Democracy: Analyzing the Draft African Democracy Charter

CIVIC EDUCATION
10. West African Regional Learning Program on Budget Analysis Announced for April 2007

CONFLICT RESOLUTION
11. International Conference on Education for Peace and Democracy held in Antalya, Turkey

DECENTRALIZATION AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
12. International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies Issues Report on Regionalization of Slovenia

ECONOMIC REFORM AND THE BUSINESS SECTOR
13. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Hosts Roundtable on the Uses and Abuses of Governance Indicators

ELECTIONS
14. Election Violence Education and Resolution Project Issues Report on Violence in Bangladesh
15. Zimbabwe Election Support Network Issues Report on Council Elections
16. Tumikom Holds Workshop for Local Representatives

HUMAN RIGHTS
17. Regional Human Rights Network Expresses Concerns to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights
18. Bahrain Center for Human Rights Issues "Blacklist"
19. Arab Human Rights Trainers Network to be Established

INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRACY ASSISTANCE AND SOLIDARITY
20. Fund for Global Human Rights Accepting Proposals from Human Rights Organizations
21. Sixth Conference on New or Restored Democracies Held

INTERNET, MEDIA, AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
22. Independent Television Service Calls for International Documentaries
23. Jailed Chinese Journalist Wins WAN Golden Pen of Freedom
24. New Online Tool Offers Way Around Government Censor
25. Search Engine to Help Human Rights Groups Launched by HURIDOCS

LABOR UNIONS AND WORKER RIGHTS
26. Solidarity Center Names New Executive Director
27. Solidarity Center Supports AFL-CIO Campaign to Stop HIV/AIDS

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENT AND ASSISTANCE
28. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Delegation Visits Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency
29. Conference on Bhutan's Proposed Constitution Held in India
30. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Launches Special Report on Political Repression

POLITICAL AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION OF YOUTH
31. NAYMOTE – PADD Begins Civic Education Program in Liberia
32. GYAN helps UNICEF Develop Report on Discrimination and Violence against Girls

RESEARCH
33. The Network of Democracy Research Institutes Welcomes Three New Members

RULE OF LAW
34. The International Journal of Transitional Justice Accepting Submissions

WOMEN'S ISSUES
35. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) Activists Arrested and Assaulted during Demonstration

36. WORLD MOVEMENT PARTICIPATING NETWORKS, ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS MENTIONED IN THIS ISSUE


DEMOCRACY ALERTS/APPEALS

1. Imprisoned Singaporean Democracy Activist and WMD Participant Hospitalized
On December 3, Dr. Chee Soon Juan – Chairman of the Alliance of Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA) and Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) – was admitted to Changi General Hospital due to complaints of nausea reportedly from eating prison food. On November 29, 2006, the World Movement for Democracy issued an alert condemning the jail sentence of Dr. Chee and his colleagues. This alert included concern over Dr. Chee's health, and since that alert, his health has in fact worsened. He is suffering from abdominal pains and his blood pressure was also extremely low the evening he was taken to the hospital. Before going to hospital, he had not eaten since November 26 and was suffering from dehydration. Doctors reportedly still have not ascertained why Dr. Chee is suffering from abdominal pain. Dr. Chee Soon Juan is serving a five-week prison sentence for refusing to pay the a fine for speaking in public without a permit, and will soon face a trial on December 21 for attempting to leave Singapore without a permit (to attend the World Movement's Fourth Assembly in Istanbul), as well as another pre-trial on January 4 for a suit brought against his family.

The World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA) emphasizes that Dr. Chee's imprisonment is just one case that represents ongoing problems in Singapore. In recent weeks, amendments to the Penal Code have been drafted to further restrict and criminalize many forms of speech, including Internet content, drawing complaints from several international media organizations. In September, the Far Eastern Economic Review was banned, and accredited civil society representatives from many countries were refused entry for the IMF/World Bank meetings. The WFDA asks that individuals concerned about Dr. Chee write on his behalf to the responsible Singaporean official, Mr. Wong Kan Seng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, as well as to local Singaporean Embassies in their countries. The postal address for Mr. Wong Kan Seng is Ministry of Home Affairs, New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329560. The telephone number is (65) 6478 7010, and the fax number is (65) 6254 6250. Letters can also be sent by email to mha_feedback@mha.gov.sg.

For previous World Movement alerts concerning Dr. Chee, go to: http://www.wmd.org/democracyalerts/nov2906.html

For the statement made by WFDA, go to: http://www.wfda.net/news_detail.htm?id=255

For more information on Dr. Chee's health, go to: http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/articleOct25trial42.html

2. The Chinese Government Jails Uyghur Activist's Son
The son of a well-known campaigner for the rights of China's Uyghur minority has been jailed for tax evasion in the country's northwest Xinjiang province. Alim Ahbudurimu, son of Rebiya Kadeer, was sentenced to seven years in jail and fined for evading taxes. Another of Ms. Kadeer's children, Kahar Ahbudurimu, was also sentenced and given a hefty fine, but was not jailed. Human rights activists are accusing the Chinese government of seeking revenge for Ms. Kadeer's work. Ms. Kadeer, a World Movement participant who was the 2004 Rafto Prize Laureate and nominee for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, has just been elected to the leadership of the World Uyghur Congress. She is currently living in exile.

Go to: http://uhrp.org/articles/351/1/Rebiya-Kadeers-son-sentenced-to-seven-years-another-fined-another-feared-tortured/rabiye.html


ANNOUNCEMENTS AND EVENTS

3. Participants Database on World Movement Web Site Updated
The online, searchable Participants Database on the World Movement Web site (www.wmd.org) has recently been updated. We encourage all participants to check the database to see if information on their organizations is included. An information form is available on the Web page to submit information about you organization or to update information currently available. We hope the database is of assistance to those seeking to indentify organizations sharing regional and topical interests in their work.

Go to: http://www.ned.org/dbtw-wpd/textbase/participants-search.htm

4. Central/Eastern Europe and Eurasia section of the World Movement Web Site Now Available in Russian
The section of the World Movement Web site on networking in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia is now available in Russian. Thus far, the main page of the section, along with pages on democracy networks, publications, and research focused on the region are available in Russian. We continue to translate the other related material into Russian as well. We welcome volunteers, who would be willing to translate these and other portions of the Web site into other local languages of the region. Please contact Cate Urban at world@ned.org if interested.

Go to: http://www.wmd.org/cee-nis/ceenis-Russian.html

5. Call for Applications: 2007 Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development
The Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies invites policy makers and activists from countries undergoing political, economic, and social transitions to participate in its third annual Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development Program (SSFDD). The 2007 program will be held from July 30 to August 17, 2007 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA. The Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development Program is a three-week executive education program that is run annually on the Stanford campus by an interdisciplinary team of leading Stanford faculty. The program brings together a group of approximately 30 civic, political, and economic leaders from transitioning countries. This program is aimed at early to mid-career policy makers, academics, and leaders of civil society organizations who will play important roles in their country's democratic, economic, and social development.

Go to: http://cddrl.stanford.edu/fellowships/summerfellows/

6. Civil Society Initiative in Iraq Launches New Web Site
Civil Society Initiative, a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization that advocated for human rights and civic education, which was established in April 2004 in Sulaimaniya, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, has launched its Web site. The Web site includes the organization's mission, current projects, activities, publications, photos, and contact information. The current feature focuses on an international campaign against gender violence and its relevance in Iraq. The Web site is currently available in English, but will eventually be translated into Kurdish and Arabic.

Go to: http://www.csingo.org/ 7. The International Crisis Group Launches Report on Georgia's Armenian and Azeri Minorities
In their report on November 22, the International Crisis Group states that the Georgian government must take significant steps to avoid conflict in the country's ethnically Armenian and Azeri areas. While they see no risk of the situation becoming Ossetian- or Abkhaz-like threats to Georgia's territorial integrity, tensions are evident in the regions of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo-Kartli, where the two ethnic minorities predominantly live. There have been demonstrations, as well as alleged police brutality and killings during the past two years. International Crisis Group claims that Georgia has made little progress towards integrating these minorities, which constitute over 12 percent of the population. Armenians and Azeris are underrepresented in all spheres of public life, especially government, and the lack of dialogue between them and the Georgian government adds to perceptions of discrimination and alienation. This is aggravated by economic problems, including high unemployment and decaying infrastructure.

Go to: http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4517&l=1&m=1

8. Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information Needs Translators
The Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) seeks people who may wish to volunteer by assisting with translating education-for-peace material from Arabic into English and Hebrew. If you are capable and willing, please contact Gershon Baskin at IPCRI at gershon@ipcri.org.

9. Call for Democracy: Analyzing the Draft African Democracy Charter
Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) is calling for papers on the draft African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance, that has been the subject for debate at recent African Union summits. The draft Charter will be discussed again at the AU summit to be held in Addis Ababa in January 2007. Submitted paper should provide a comparative legal and political analysis of the draft text, a discussion of the process by which the Charter has come to be adopted, the philosophical basis for the vision of democracy set out in the draft, an assessment of the draft Charter, an assessment of the likely impact of the Charter, if adopted, on democratic consolidation in Africa. The deadline for submissions to be received is January 31 2007.

Go to; http://www.afrimap.org/paperinvitation.php


CIVIC EDUCATION

10. West African Regional Learning Program on Budget Analysis Announced for April 2007
The West African Regional Learning Program on Budget Analysis and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is a program organized by the Liberia-based Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy (FOHRD), in partnership with Fundar - Centro de Análisis e Investigación based in Mexico, the International Budget Project (IBP) based in the U.S., the International Human Rights Internship Program (IHRIP) based in the U.S., and the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR – Net) also based in the U.S. It is aimed at activists involved in development work, social and economic justice movements, human rights organizations and applied budget groups based in and working in West African countries. Participants will acquire the basic skills needed to read and analyze budgets, assess situations within a rights framework, and relate budgets to economic, social, and cultural rights obligations. The application can be found on the Web site and some scholarships are available. The application deadline is January 17, 2007.

Go to: http://www.escr-net.org/EngGeneral/dispbreakingnews.asp?tbnid=23


CONFLICT RESOLUTION

11. International Conference on Education for Peace and Democracy held in Antalya, Turkey
On November 19-23, the Israel/Palestine Center for Research & Information (IPCRI) held a conference on Education for Peace and Democracy in Antalya, Turkey. Some 270 Israelis, Palestinians, and international participants from 20 other countries participated. During the four-day event, some 150 workshops, lectures, presentations, and films were held. In the final session, participants urged the organizers to ensure that this will be an annual event and that peace education becomes a central facet of Israeli and Palestinian educational systems. The conference brought together peace and democracy educators, curricula writers, encounter facilitators, peace studies practitioners, conflict resolution practitioners, human rights educators, mediators, and activists from academia, the research sector, governmental, community organizations, and others from Israel, Palestine, and beyond.

Go to: http://www.ipcri.org/peaceeducation/index.html


DECENTRALIZATION AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

12. International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies Issues Report on Regionalization of Slovenia
On November 28, the International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies issued a report on the regionalization and decentralization of Slovenia. The paper argues that mistakes made at the introduction of the basic level of local self-governance can be avoided when people pay attention to several crucial points: First, attention should be paid to the criteria for establishing regions, including the competences, financing, and the number of regions. Second, the relationship between the representative and executive regional bodies, on the one hand, and between the region and the municipalities, on the other, should be carefully observed. Finally, efforts should be made to achieve real decentralization in Slovenia and to implement European standards and principles of local and regional self-government.

Go to: http://www.ifimes.org/default.cfm?Jezik=En&Kat=09&ID=286


ECONOMIC REFORM AND THE BUSINESS SECTOR

13. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Hosts Roundtable on the Uses and Abuses of Governance Indicators
On November 20, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) hosted a roundtable discussion on judging the quality of governance in countries throughout the world. Governance indicators are often cited as reliable sources of information. However, according to a recent study conducted by Dr. Charles Oman and Christiane Arndt, these indicators are frequently misused both to determine and track the progression of governance levels in individual countries. Dr. Oman discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the most widely used indicators and how to apply them effectively. A video of the event will be put on CIPE's Web site shortly.

Go to: http://www.cipe.org/programs/roundtables/webevents/112006.php


ELECTIONS

14. Election Violence Education and Resolution Project Issues Report on Violence in Bangladesh
The Election Violence Education and Resolution (EVER) project in Bangladesh – a cooperation between Bangladesh-based Odhikar and U.S.-based IFES – has issued its report on electoral violence in Bangladesh for the period of October 17-30. A total of 45 constituencies in 33 districts were monitored, and 99 incidents of election-related violence were captured and verified. Most of these incidents happened between October 27 and 29. In addition to clashes between supporters and activists of the two electoral alliances, the violence also involved significant levels of damage to both private and political party property. In the captured incidents a total of 12 people were killed and 650 wounded. Law enforcement agencies were not recorded as perpetrators or victims in the vast majority of incidents. The EVER project was developed by IFES and is in use in several countries. A database with all the incidents of election-related violence from all over the world will be available on the IFES Web site soon.

Go to: www.wmd.org/documents/decDemNews14.pdf

15. Zimbabwe Election Support Network Issues Report on Council Elections
On October 28, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) observed the Kadoma Mayoral and Rural District Council (RDC) elections. ZESN also observed all the Urban Council by-elections in Plumtree, Gwanda, Beitbridge, and Victoria Falls. The polling was generally peaceful and calm in all eight provinces where the network had observers. These polls were characterized by low voter turnout. ZESN observers did not witness any incidents of political violence on polling day, although there were reports of some leaders who threatened voters with eviction in the event that the opposition won in their areas.

Go to: http://www.zesn.org.zw/docs/pdf/RDC_and_Kadoma_Mayoral_Final_Elections_Report_2006.pdf

16. Tumikom Holds Workshop for Local Representatives
The Association for Turkey Parliamentary Monitoring Committees (Tumikom), in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) held a workshop in Ankara for their local representatives. The event, "Improving the Local Capacity Workshop," was attended by 26 Tumikom voluntary province representatives from every region of Turkey. They discussed ways to increase effective actions aimed at the voters in local regions and the future activities of Tumikom. The participants agreed on the need for the comprehensive work of local representatives in order to bring together voters and elected officials.

Go to: http://www.tumikom.org/english/index.php


HUMAN RIGHTS

17. Regional Human Rights Network Expresses Concerns to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights
The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net) issued its concerns on the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs) to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights at its 40th ordinary session on November 12-17. The report mentions problems in Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Uganda. The network called upon the African Commission to renew its efforts to support the work of HRDs, and to call upon concerned governments in the region to ensure a more amicable working environment for them. Specifically, the EHAHRD-Net called for three actions: first, the Special Rapporteur on HRDs should pay regular visits to countries within the region to familiarize herself with the situation on the ground; second, the international community should increase its support for the office of the Special Rapporteur, so she can monitor the countries and document the violations; and third, the international community should call upon the leaders of the countries, in which HRDs are at great risk, to adhere to multiple human rights declarations. The African Commission on Human and People's Rights granted EHAHRD-Net Observer-Status at the Commission's deliberations.

Go to: www.wmd.org/documents/decDemNews17.pdf

18. Bahrain Center for Human Rights Issues "Blacklist"
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights has issued a list of members of the expired House of Representatives who have ratified laws that restrict freedoms and contradict human rights norms and disregarded international obligations and condemnations by national, regional, and international human rights organizations. According to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the Bahrain House of Representatives has ratified several laws initiated by the government that restrict freedoms and punish citizens for exercising their fundamental rights. The House of Representatives has also failed to amend the restrictive laws that were pronounced prior to its existence. The Center argues that instead of monitoring the governmental apparati and investigating their human rights violations, the Bahrain House of Representatives surrendered to governmental influence and supported the government in justifying the excessive use of force against peaceful activities and hundreds of activists, journalists, and human rights defenders who were subject to physical assault, defamation, and arbitrary detention and unfair trials. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights fears that political and sectarian polarization and the manipulation of election constituencies will bring back the same groups and members, which will result in the continuation of a negative role of the Parliament towards freedoms and human rights.

Go to: http://www.bahrainrights.org/node/753

19. Arab Human Rights Trainers Network to be Established
Trainers in the fields of civil society affairs and human rights met at the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS) to discuss the establishment of a "Human Rights Trainers Network" in the Arab world. The participants believe the network will be a mechanism of coordination among the trainers in civil society development and human rights. A conference will be held within six months to approve final documents for establishing the network. ACHRS will prepare for this conference and select specialized commissions for the preparation of the final documents.

Go to: http://www.achrs.org/english/CenterNewsView.asp?CNID=237


INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRACY ASSISTANCE AND SOLIDARITY

20. Fund for Global Human Rights Accepting Proposals from Human Rights Organizations
The Fund for Global Human Rights has issued a request for proposals for human rights organizations based in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. The deadline to submit proposals is January 22, 2007. Organizations requesting funding must be working to defend, protect, or promote human rights. This work could include mobilizing popular opinion through human rights skills-building and organizing; exposing abuse through documentation; addressing violations through direct action, policy/legal reform, and litigation; networking and coalition building to further the effectiveness of human rights work; and capacity building. Organizations seeking grants from the Fund for Global Human Rights must download, complete, and return the forms from the Web site. Eligibility requirements for grants are clearly outlined in the Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP can be accessed in English and French on the Fund's Web site. Since 2002, the Fund for Global Human Rights has made over $7 million in grants to 197 human rights organizations in 13 countries.

Go to: http://www.globalhumanrights.org/for-grantees

21. Sixth Conference on New or Restored Democracies Held
The Sixth International Conference on New or Restored Democracies concluded on November 1 in Doha. At the four-day conference hosted by Qatar, more than 300 participants discussed the specific problems of new democracies. The participants came from governments, parliaments, and civil society groups. Overall, 142 countries, 69 parliaments, and 97 civil society organizations were represented. The participants stressed the essential role of democracy in fostering equality, sustained development, and guaranteeing human rights. The conference also tackled the issues of poverty, combating corruption, and obstacles impeding democracy promotion throughout the world. The participants adopted a three-year action plan and a declaration with proposals on the issues discussed. All recommendations will be presented to the UN for follow-up and implementation.

Go to: http://www.icnrd6.com/newsdetail.php?id=9


INTERNET, MEDIA, AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

22. Independent Television Service Calls for International Documentaries
Independent Television Service (ITVS) is currently inviting international producers to create documentaries for U.S. television audiences. ITVS is looking for extraordinary programs that inform, inspire, and connect American audiences to the world at large. ITVS seeks international programs that: explore globally significant themes and issues; represent diverse communities; advance underrepresented points of view; inspire public dialogue; and tell powerful, fascinating stories. To apply, ITVS requires a written proposal in English, a work-in-progress reel, and a copy of a previously completed work in its entirety, including credits. An applicant must be an international producer who does not reside in the U.S. Applicants must identify their country of citizenship and legal residence, be an independent producer, and have previous film or television production experience in a principal role as demonstrated by credits on a sample tape of a previously completed work submitted with the application. ITVS will provide production funds as a co-production investment with revenue participation in all versions of the Program world-wide. The ITVS revenue participation will be based on a percentage of funding that ITVS invests in the approved production budget. The actual percentage will be reviewed with the producer prior to completing the ITVS Agreement.

Go to: http://www.itvs.org/producers/international_agreement.html

23. Jailed Chinese Journalist Wins WAN Golden Pen of Freedom
Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist who is imprisoned in China for charges of "leaking state secrets," has been awarded the 2007 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN). Mr. Shi is currently serving a 10-year sentence for writing an e-mail about media restrictions in the run-up to the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 2004. The e-mail was picked up by several overseas Internet portals and also by Chinese authorities, with the assistance of Yahoo. The Internet service provider gave state security authorities details of Mr. Shi's e-mail usage that ultimately allowed them to trace the message to a computer he used at the newspaper where he worked, the Dangdai Shang Bao (Contemporary Business News). He is one of dozens of journalists and cyber-dissidents in prison in China, the world's largest jailer of journalists. The Golden Pen award, to be presented on 4 June, 2007, at the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, recognizes Mr. Shi's outstanding defense and promotion of press freedom.

Go to: http://www.wan-press.org/article12610.html

24. New Online Tool Offers Way Around Government Censor
A new Web tool, called psiphon, will be released on December 1 in response to growing Internet censorship in authoritarian regimes. This program was developed by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab and works very simply. Psiphon is downloaded by a person in an uncensored country, making the person's computer an access point. Someone in a restricted-access country can then log into that computer through an encrypted connection, use it as a proxy, and gain access to censored sites. The designers of psiphon say there is no evidence on the user's computer of having viewed censored material once they erase their Internet history after each use.

Go to: http://psiphon.civisec.org

25. Search Engine to Help Human Rights Groups Launched by HURIDOCS
The Hurisearch search engine was created by HURIDOCS to help human rights groups around the world coordinate campaigns against abuse. The database, on which the engine is based, includes data about political activists, the abuse they have suffered, and campaigns that expose restrictions of freedom. More than 3,000 groups around the world are contributing information to the database, which has been established because human rights groups say they are not well served by other search engines. The engine is being coordinated by Huridocs, a nonprofit organization that helps human rights groups, NGOs, and researchers catalog and share information. The system holds more than 2.5 million pages from more than 3,000 separate Web sites, and users can search the database in 77 languages. The Web site of The World Movement for Democracy (www.wmd.org) is included in the list of searchable organizations.

Go to: www.hurisearch.org


LABOR UNIONS AND WORKER RIGHTS

26. Solidarity Center Names New Executive Director
Ms. Ellie Larson, former International Affairs Director and chief of staff to the President at the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) of the Communications Workers of America, has been named Executive Director of the Solidarity Center, a nonprofit organization that helps workers build independent and democratic unions around the world. It is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and other donors. For 10 years, Ms. Larson was an elected local executive council president for a United Airlines union based in Taipei, Taiwan. She brings the practical experience of helping workers build strong unions in the U.S. and Asia.

Go to: http://solidaritycenter.org/

27. Solidarity Center Supports AFL-CIO Campaign to Stop HIV/AIDS
On December 1, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, in a statement entitled "Stop AIDS — Keep the Promise," insisted that with 40 million people living with HIV, and 25 million lives lost, it is time to stop this disease. This year, the U.S. labor movement joins with unions and workers worldwide in calling on decision makers to "Stop AIDS--Keep the Promise," and involve unions in developing concrete targets to end an epidemic that devastates workers and their families. Unions are on the frontline in the fight against this disease; they work with workplace and community-based HIV/AIDS programs, such as the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's partnerships with teachers in South Africa, truckers in Kenya, and garment workers in Swaziland and Lesotho. These programs have helped thousands of workers take responsibility for their behavior, given them the courage to seek testing, and linked them to care and treatment.

Go to: http://solidarity.timberlakepublishing.com/content.asp?contentid=620


LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENT AND ASSISTANCE

28. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Delegation Visits Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency
On November 14, an 11-member delegation of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK-Branch visited the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency (PILDAT). The aim of the delegation was to learn about PILDAT's programs and activities for parliamentary development and strengthening democracy in Pakistan. The delegation discussed parliamentary performance monitoring, freedom of the press, and the role of opposition in parliament. A number of PILDAT activities focus on the issues taken up in dialogue between the Muslim world and the West and in Inter-Faith Relations.

Go to: http://www.pildat.org/eventsdel.asp?detid=102

29. Conference on Bhutan's Proposed Constitution Held in India
A conference on Bhutan's proposed constitution, democracy, and refugees was held on November 25 at the Indian International Centre in New Delhi. The conference was jointly organized by the Public Interest Legal Support and Research Centre, the Indo-Bhutan Friendship Society, and the Druk National Congress. The participants raised concerns that the environment to conduct free and fair elections is absent in Bhutan and demanded that the King should resign from his executive post before elections are held. Concerning the refugee issue, the US offer to resettle 60,000 Bhutanese refugees was welcomed, but the attendants nevertheless advocated for adequate compensation for the repatriated refugees according to UN norms reflecting recognition equal to any other Bhutanese citizen. There was a broad consensus among the speakers that the present draft constitution gives enormous power to the King. However, the constitution would be the first step towards democracy, and unity in action among Bhutanese democrats is needed to pursue a real democracy successfully.

Go to: www.wmd.org/documents/decDemNews29.pdf

30. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Launches Special Report on Political Repression
On November 30, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum launched a special report in Harare on "Political Repression Disguised as Civic Mindedness: Operation Murambatsvina One Year Later." Operation Murambatsvina, also officially known as Operation Restore Order, is a large scale Zimbabwean government campaign to forcibly clear slum areas across the country started in 2005. In the report, the Forum is calling for international action on the Mugabe government's long record of disregarding international recommendations on the Operation, concluding that the Government of Zimbabwe has ignored all the recommendations made in a recent July 2006 by the UN special envoy. The report makes twelve recommendations to the government to improve the situation in Zimbabwe.

Go to: http://www.hrforumzim.com/frames/inside_frame_special.htm


POLITICAL AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION OF YOUTH

31. NAYMOTE – PADD Begins Civic Education Program in Liberia
The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections-Partners for Democratic Development (NAYMOTE – PADD) began an initiative to improve civic education for democratic governance. The initiative will enable policy makers and outstanding personalities to visit school campuses and communities where they will share their experiences, skills and knowledge on various democracy topics with the young people. Furthermore, NAYMOTE – PADD engages communities to encourage them to embark on self-initiatives at the local level to identify key issues and to channel their concerns and suggestions to their representatives in government. Additionally, they use the local media to promote advocacy campaigns on good governance, citizens' participation in leadership, and awareness among communities through programs aired in the local vernaculars. NAYMOTE – PADD also runs a program on education for peace, which promotes responsible citizenship and supports the creation of local youth networks.

Go to: www.wmd.org/documents/decDemNews31.pdf

32. GYAN helps UNICEF Develop Report on Discrimination and Violence against Girls
The Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) helped UNICEF Voices of Youth to develop a youth-friendly version of an Expert Group Report on the "Elimination of Discrimination and Violence against the Girl Child." The report will be used to encourage young girls to contribute to the discussion and make contributions to the upcoming Commission on the Status of Women. The report is available in six different languages.

Go to: http://www.unicef.org/voy/takeaction/takeaction_3295.html


RESEARCH

33. The Network of Democracy Research Institutes Welcomes Three New Members The Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI) announced that they have welcomed three new members to the network: The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit indigenous research and training institution with the mission to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan; the Instituto de Ciencia Politica (ICP, Colombia), an independent, nonprofit research center that examines democracy and free market-related activities in Colombia; and the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) 'Viitorul' (Moldova), a nonprofit, nongovernmental think tank that contributes to the growth of an independent thinking environment in emerging democracies and to the strengthening of local and regional governments.

Go to: http://www.wmd.org/ndri/ndri.html


RULE OF LAW

34. The International Journal of Transitional Justice Accepting Submissions
The International Journal of Transitional Justice (IJTJ) is accepting submissions for its second issue to be published in July 2007. IJTJ is a forthcoming Oxford University Press journal, which will be launched in March 2007. It is intended to provide an analytical bridge between intellectual and practitioner, and facilitate sustained interaction across the range of disciplines encompassed by the topic of transitional justice. The journal is envisioned as a central site from which to house and build upon the array of research and writing currently available in this field. The journal encourages analysis and study of current and innovative approaches to transitional justice and welcomes papers that explore such questions as the appropriateness of the reconciliation paradigm for transitional justice, the relationship of truth-seeking and legal justice to reconciliation, and the choices and timing of transitional justice mechanisms and methods to evaluate their success. South-based submissions are particularly encouraged as are practitioner pieces. In addition to traditional length articles, the journal will feature shorter pieces in the ‘Notes from the Field' section.

Go to: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/ijtj/


WOMEN'S ISSUES

35. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) Activists Arrested and Assaulted during Demonstration
On November 29, more than 60 Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) activists were arrested and 40 were allegedly assaulted in Bulawayo during a peaceful demonstration commemorating 16 days of gender activism. The march also marked the launch of the "People's Charter," which advocates affordable health care, housing, and education. During a public reading of the charter in the city's center, 30 police officers arrived and began making arrests. The police held 63 men and women, some with children, at the Bulawayo Police Station. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign. Since 1991, the 16 Days campaign has worked to increase the visibility of violence against women as a human rights violation. The campaign has been utilized by groups all over the world to demand support services for survivors, enhance prevention efforts, press for legal and judicial reform, and use international human rights instruments to address violence against women as a human rights violation, a public health crisis, and a threat to human security and peace worldwide.

Go to: www.kubatana.net/html/archive/women/061129woza1.asp?sector=CACT


36. WORLD MOVEMENT PARTICIPATING NETWORKS, ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS MENTIONED IN THIS ISSUE
  • Alliance of Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA) – www.asiademocracy.org
  • World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA) – www.wfda.net
  • World Uyghur Congress – www.uyghurcongress.org/En/home.asp
  • Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law, Stanford University (CDDRL) – http://cddrl.stanford.edu
  • International Crisis Group – www.crisisgroup.org
  • Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) – www.ipcri.org
  • Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) – www.cipe.org
  • IFES – www.ifes.org
  • Zimbabwe Election Support Network – www.zesn.org.zw
  • Tumikom – www.tumikom.org/onsoru.htm
  • National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) – www.ndi.org
  • East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net)
  • Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS) – www.achrs.org
  • HURIDOCS – www.huridocs.org
  • Solidarity Center – www.solidaritycenter.org
  • Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency (PILDAT) – www.pildat.org
  • The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections-Partners for Democratic Development (NAYMOTE – PADD)
  • Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) – www.youthlink.org/gyanv5/index.htm
  • The Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI) – www.wmd.org/ndri/ndri.html
  • Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) – www.kubatana.net/html/sectors/wom010.asp?sector=WOMEN Please Note: Readers of DemocracyNews will often be referred to Web sites for further information. If you are interested in a particular item, but are unable to access the World Wide Web, please contact the or fax at (202) 378-9889, and we will try to provide the information to you by other means.


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