As you may know, the World Social Forum (WSF) 2008 will take the form of a week of action culminating in a Global Day of Mobilization and Action on 26 January 2008 (http://www.wsf2008.net/). For the first time, the WSF will be fully decentralized, meaning that every organization and movement will carry out their own activities where they wish.
As in previous years, for the WSF 2008, organizations are joining together as a Human Dignity and Human Rights Caucus (HDHRC) to ensure that human rights issues and values receive due attention. The HDHRC is a flexible coalition open to every kind of organization willing to work on human rights issues within the framework of the WSF. You can find more information about us and our past activities on the WSF process website:
Within the new and challenging context of WSF 2008, the HDHRC aims to strengthen human rights debates and mobilization and use existing resources (financial but also expertise, and specific materials) as effectively as possible. In addition, the Global Action Day is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Together across the globe we can reaffirm our own accountability to conduct ourselves consistent with human rights, as well as raise the need for greater accountability of states and other dominant powers of today, including multinational corporations. This is an important moment to reflect on the status of this fundamental Declaration and press for far greater efforts for its realization. Some initial details about UN plans to celebrate the UDHR throughout 2008 are available on the website of the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights.
In anticipation of these exciting celebrations and events, the HDHRC calls for greater participation and collaboration. HDHRC members have developed the first draft of a proposal for WSF 2008, using the cross-cutting issue of Human Rights Accountability to build on the six themes considered at the WSF 2007 in Nairobi:faith and cultural diversity; struggles for social and economic justice; ;struggles for gender equity; struggles over habitat, land and environment; mobility and citizenship challenges;
conflict, militarization and the culture of impunity
This is only a start and we need your input in order to complete the document! If you would like to help promote Human Rights during the WSF week of action and Global Day of Mobilization and Action on 26 January 2008, the HDHR invites you to join our broad collaborative effort. In practical terms, the HDHRC is planning to send information regularly on WSF activities, to provide information on Human Rights activities organized by HDHRC members and promote joint efforts, and the organization of a Human Rights contest.
Very soon we will send you more information on the development of Caucus’ planned activities for the Global Action Day, and in particular about the Human Rights Contest. This contest aims to promote innovative initiatives for realizing Human Rights Accountability. Contest awards will include a certificate and a small grant to carry out a project on Human Rights Accountability for the WSF 2008.
Is your organization planning (or interested in planning) human rights activities in the framework of the WSF 2008 Global Action Day? We would be very grateful to hear from you as soon as possible and at the latest by the 15th October 2007. Please tell us:
· What are your ideas, interests and objectives in relation with the Global Action Day? What kinds of human rights activities is your organization planning? What kind of support do you think the Caucus could best provide to this Global Action Day?
· What are your ideas, interests and objectives for this day concerning the cross-cutting issue of Human Rights Accountability proposed by the HDHRC?
· How do you think the visibility of human rights at the WSF can be improved?
· What are your ideas about how to most effectively establish new contacts and connexions to strengthen human rights work globally?
· Would you like to join the HDHRC? What are your expectations of this networking effort?
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com should you need further information. Looking forward to hearing your ideas, with best regards,
Human Dignity and Human Rights Caucus coordinator.
On behalf of among other members of HDHRC: FIDH, ICCO, LWF, HLRN/HIC,EiR