New capacity building website for social democrats
To meet this demand we have produced the website “How to run and represent a party” and a handbook. The website and the handbook contain information and advice about:
- how to recruit members
- how to work as an elected representative
- gender equality
They can be used seperately or together. The information focuses on members and elected representatives on the local level but it is also useful for a wider public.
On the website you find over 200 video comments about how to work in a party from party members in different countries. There are also questions to check your knowledge.
Welcome to www.howtorunaparty.org
Download the handbook U Myint Aye leads the Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP), one of the Palme Center’s partners in Burma. For many years the organization has promoted human rights in a country where even the concept of human rights has been banned.
– We are in a kind of a reform process. But poverty and violations of human rights are widespread, says U Myint Aye.
He states that fifty years of isolation from the outside world and a notorious military junta in power for decades have left many Burmese unaware of their rights. Therefore, an important part of HRDP’s efforts is to spread information about human rights.
– In 2000, we printed the UN Declaration of Human Rights and handed it out in town. In those days it was completely taboo to talk about human rights. But it is not enough just to inform, people are not enthused by that. We also need to work practically, said U Myint Aye.
HRDP works with issues such as forced labor, trafficking and so-called land grabbing or land confiscation. The latter is a major problem in Burma which is a country rich in natural resources yet to be exploited. The regime needs land to offer the foreign companies and there are regularly reports on whole villages being forced to flee after their land has been confiscated. With or without compensation.
U Myint Aye leder Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP), en av de organisationer som Palmecentret samarbetar med i Burma. Organisationen har i många år främjat mänskliga rättigheter i ett land där till och med begreppet mänskliga rättigheter har varit förbjudet.
– Nu befinner vi oss i en sorts reformprocess. Men fattigdomen är stor och kränkningar av de mänskliga rättigheterna är utbredda, säger U Myint Aye.
Femtio års isolering från omvärlden och en ökänd militärjunta vid makten har gjort att många burmeser inte är medvetna om sina rättigheter, menar han. Därför är en viktig del av HRDP:s arbete att sprida information.
– År 2000 tryckte vi upp FN:s deklaration om mänskliga rättigheter och delade ut på stan. Då var det helt tabubelagt att prata om mänskliga rättigheter. Men det räcker inte med att informera, människor entusiasmeras inte av det. Vi måste också arbeta praktiskt, säger U Myint Aye.
HRDP arbetar bland annat med frågor som tvångsarbete, trafficking och så kallad landgrabbing eller konfiskering av mark. Det senare är ett stort problem i Burma som är rikt på naturresurser som ännu inte har exploaterats. Regimen vill ha mark att erbjuda utländska företag och med jämna mellanrum rapporteras om hela byar som tvingas på flykt efter att marken har blivit konfiskerad. Med eller utan ersättning.
För en bonde som blivit bestulen på sin mark kan det vara i stort sätt omöjligt att ensam driva en juridisk process. Därför hjälper HRDP till.
Brussels, 11 October 2007 (ITUC OnLine):
The ITUC is currently writing to 430 companies worldwide which have or are suspected to have business links with Burma, calling on them to end their business links. The action is in support of the ITUC associated organisation the Federation of Trade Unions – Burma (FTUB), which today renewed its call for companies to disinvest in the country. In the letter, ITUC General Secretary underlines that in spite of the growing number of companies doing business there, economic conditions for the vast majority of Burmese are deteriorating, while it is the military junta and its small coterie of supporters which are benefiting.
“The Burmese junta, responsible for years of murder, torture, massive forced labour and absolute repression of the population, is ripping off billions of dollars and every single business deal which is done helps line the pockets of the generals. This corrupt and incompetent regime is responsible for a catastrophic fall in living standards across the country. Foreign investment has done nothing to stop that. On the contrary, it fuels repression by enabling the regime to purchase weapons used against defenceless civilians: the army’s share in the national budget is 40%. Health and education combined amount to less than 7%! ‘Business as usual’ in Burma will only make the junta stronger”, said Ryder.´
The Global Unions, http://www.global-unions.org/, public database listing companies with actual or suspected business relations with Burma is updated on an ongoing basis, and companies which show that they no longer have
business links are removed from the list. Companies which do not withdraw will be the subject of further pressure in their home countries from ITUC national affiliates and also by the Global Union Federations in the different economic sectors.
The company-based action is taking place alongside trade union campaign action to get governments, the European Union and other intergovernmental bodies to strengthen and deepen economic and financial sanctions and cut off military and security supplies to the regime. ITUC and European TUC affiliates are currently pressing the European governments to ensure that EU sanctions, which will be reviewed on Monday, include a comprehensive ban on EU trade with Burma covering all strategic sectors, including in particular oil and gas, gemstones, and tropical wood.
Founded on 1 November 2006, the ITUC represents 168 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 305 national affiliates.
For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018.