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Appeal from 147 countries in support of the Special Procedures

17/05/2007: General House

On Wednesday 9 May, Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty Internationals Canadian Section, will present a global petition signed by more than 12,500 individuals to the President of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, Luis Alfonso de Alba in a public event.
This global petition was launched on 6 March 2007 by 17 international and regional NGOs in response to developments in the Human Rights Councils review of the Special Procedures.

Signatories include victims of human rights violations, human rights defenders, human rights experts, parliamentarians, national human rights commissioners, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from every region in the world. The petition available at http://www.actforspecialprocedures.org calls on the Council to maintain and strengthen its system of independent human rights experts known as the Special Procedures.
Speakers at the event will be: Roberto Garretón, former Special Rapporteur on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Golden Misabiko, human rights activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. A video message will be delivered by Sunila Abeysekera, Executive Director, INFORM, Sri Lanka and recipient of the UN Human Rights Award in 1998. Messrs.
Among the supporters of the initiative are Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi; Senator Dick Marty (member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe); Thomas Hammarberg (Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe), Anders Johnsson (Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union); Sonia Picado (President, Inter-American Institute of Human Rights) and several former Special Procedure mandate-holders, including Diego Garcia Sayan, Sir Nigel Rodley, Peter Leuprecht and Theo van Boven.
To coincide with the presentation of the petition, a collection of testimonials will be published. This is a collection of testimonials from victims, their family members and human rights defenders, including that about Mr Garretóns meeting with Mr. Misabiko, detailing the importance of the Special Procedures in their lives. The testimonials are a timely reminder to governments that the negotiations taking place in Geneva have a very direct bearing on the enjoyment of human rights by individuals across the world.
The Bureau of International Solidarity in Geneva, in partnership with Franciscans International, has supported this initiative. We are convinced that the system of special procedures will have a key role in humans right’s promotion at international level; and thanks to their reports, human rights situation in different countries could be known and improved. Special Procedures focuses on issues that are of a deep interest of the Marist in more than 70 countries: Right to Education, Right to Health, Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography; Trafficking in Persons, among others.

Adapted from: Children’s Rights Information Network (CRIN) (www.crin.org)

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