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Saturday, 19 June 2010

UNCHR on Zambia's poor

A recent report of the UNCHR mission to Zambia. UN Independent Expert Magdalena Sepúlveda is apparently the first UN human rights expert to visit Zambia, her report focuses on the situation of Zambians living in extreme poverty and the importance of increasing investment in social protection. Much of it seems fairly as expected, for example this recommendation :

Zambia has voluntarily assumed several commitments to eliminate poverty by, inter alia, recognizing international human rights treaties and continuing with its commendable domestic planning initiatives. Yet, the application of these commitments is, at present, insufficient to meet the challenges faced by the country. The economic progress of recent years has not translated into an improvement of the living conditions of those living in extreme poverty. Although resources are scarce, commitments must be urgently translated into action. The millions of Zambians living in deplorable conditions, with very limited enjoyment of their rights, must be placed at the centre of State policies.
But there also some bizarre recommendations :
The Constitution should also ensure that international human rights treaties are automatically incorporated into domestic law. 
This is tantamount to giving up your sovereignty. We must be wary of such from these self declared experts on "our rights". I have no problem with adopting into international law, but we should not place our destiny in foreign legislation by "automatically" incorporating them into domestic law. No country on earth does this, so why recommend this to Zambia?

1 comment:

  1. Like Cho, I am not impressed by Magdalena Sepulveda's emphasis on 'commitments to eliminate poverty by, inter alia, recognizing international human rights treaties and....domestic planning initiatives'. Poverty cannot be tackled head on like injustice and cruelty. The way to combat it is by wealth creation. A positive example would be the promotion of better agricultural methods, like conservation (minimum tillage) farming, through which crop production can be multiplied by appropriate and timely farming methods, which actually require less effort and less expense.

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