Fw: Amnesty Action: Petition on Iraq

Christopher LaVigne Christopher_M_Lavigne
Thu Jan 6 19:34:21 CST 2000


Debate community,

This was recently forwarded to me because of my association with AI, and I
felt that the debate community as a whole may be interested in signing on
to this particular petition given the nature of this years debate
resolution.  Please add your name and address to the bottom of the petition
and forward to as many people as you know who would be willing to sign this
petition.  Please remember to number your signature.  If whoever receives
this forward is the 50th person to sign, or any multiple of 50, please
forward this message back to me at Christopher_M_Lavigne at Baylor.edu and I
will be sure to print a paper copy and mail it to AI personally.  Thank you
for your time.

Chris LaVigne
Baylor Law


> Dear Amnesty International USA Network Members and Supporters:
>
> Amnesty International has drafted the enclosed petition addressing the
> humanitarian situation in Iraq, urging the members of the United Nations
> Security Council to take appropriate action to protect the rights of the
> civilian population in Iraq.  It will be sent to the Ministers of Foreign
> Affairs of all members of the Security Council.  We ask that you sign and
> circulate the petition and allow Amnesty International USA to publicize
your
> support of this initiative.
>
> Several international NGOs, international experts, and UN agencies have
> determined that the economic sanctions imposed by UN Security Council
> resolutions since 1990 have resulted in acute poverty, malnutrition,
rising
> crime, and corruption, and contributed to the reported deaths of over
half a
> million children under the age of five.  According to UNICEF, the
"oil-for-food"
> program has not yet resulted in adequate protection of Iraq's children
from
> malnutrition and disease.
>
> In January 1999, the Security Council established a humanitarian panel,
whose
> mission was to assess the humanitarian situation in Iraq.  This panel
concluded
> that child and maternal mortality had risen sharply since 1989.  It also
noted
> the impact of water shortages and power supply on the health care system,
the
> collapse of the telecommunications system, the increase in juvenile
delinquency,
> begging, prostitution, and other aspects of the culture of the people of
Iraq.
>
> While Amnesty International does not take a position on the issue of
sanctions
> as tools for influencing government behavior, it does believe that human
rights
> should be considered, monitored, and protected within any sanctions
regime.
>
> I hope you will join us in our effort to protect the rights of the Iraqi
people.
>
> Thank you in advance for your efforts.
>
> Vienna Colucci
> Networks Program Director
> Amnesty International USA
>
>

PETITION ADDRESSING THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN IRAQ


We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation
in Iraq since the imposition of UN economic sanctions in 1990.  We are
especially concerned at the reported deaths of thousands of children under
the age of five.

We believe the Security Council should give urgent attention to the
recommendations of its own Humanitarian Panel and other UN agencies, and
take all necessary measures to protect the rights of the civilian
population.

Background:

Amnesty International promotes awareness of and adherence to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights
instruments, the values enshrined in them, and the indivisibility and
interdependence of all human rights.

Research by several international organizations, including UN agencies,
indicates that the impact of sanctions on Iraq (whether directly or
resulting from the manner in which the Iraqi Government has responded to
the sanctions, or both) has resulted in violations of the right to life,
among other rights, of civilians ~V in particular, children.

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states,

"(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care~E

"(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance~E"

Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
requires the "best interests of the child to prevail in all legal and
administrative decisions."

Amnesty International strongly supports the position of the UN Committee on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that "inhabitants of a given country
do not forfeit their basic economic, social and cultural rights by virtue
of any determination that their leaders have violated norms relating to
international peace and security."  The Committee stated that "In
considering sanctions, it is essential to distinguish between the basic
objective of applying political and economic pressure upon the governing
elite of the country to persuade them to conform to international law, and
the collateral infliction of suffering upon the most vulnerable groups
within the targeted country."  The Committee identified three obligations
for the parties imposing sanctions:

Human rights "must be taken fully into account when designing an
appropriate sanctions regime."
"Effective monitoring should be undertaken throughout the period that
sanctions are in force."
Those imposing sanctions must take measures "to respond to any
disproportionate suffering
experienced by vulnerable groups within the targeted country."

Name                                            Address

1. Christopher Michael LaVigne          700 South 4th Street, Waco, Texas, 76706




















Send signed petitions to Iraq Action, Amnesty International USA-Networks,
53 W. Jackson, Ste. 731, Chicago, IL 60604.




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