Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Eric Brenman, Secretary, Peace and Justice Commission, (510) 981-5114

PEACE AND JUSTICE COMMISSION PUBLIC FORUM ON THE STATUS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN BERKELEY

Berkeley, California (Friday, April 09, 2010) - The City of Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission invites the public to participate in a Public Forum on the Status of Human Rights in Berkeley. The Forum will be held on Monday, April 12, 2010 from 6pm - 8pm at the North Berkeley Senior Center located at 1901 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA . This facility is Wheelchair accessible.

The goals of this forum are to highlight local social justice issues, raise public awareness of the City of Berkeley's social justice programs, and promote diversity in city government and better conditions for Berkeley residents.  

In 1992 the U.S. ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.* All ratifying countries must report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the status of compliance with the treaty.

On September 29, 2009, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution to enable the preparation of a report from the City of Berkeley on its compliance with standards set forth in the UN Human Rights treaties with additional reference to equal civil rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community.

We are proud that Berkeley will be the first local community to file a report with the UN!  In this reporting cycle, the Peace and Justice Commission is gathering the community's feedback to ensure the City's report to the UN accurately conveys the realities of life in Berkeley. We are evaluating the data we're gathering from government agencies against specific provisions of the treaty.This "official" data is invaluable, but in the end, only the people themselves can really say whether or not their human rights are being respected.

The areas of focus are: 

  • Right to Health
  • Right to Education
  • Right to Shelter
  • Women's Issues
  • Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Issues
  • Rights of the Disabled
  • Environmental Justice
  • Police and Criminal Justice

Please come to the Forum on April 12th to let your voice be heard. If you represent a community organization, we would appreciate a written statement, in advance of the April meeting, addressing the areas of most concern to your constituency.


*The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations. It commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.

EXCERPTS:

Article 7  
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 26
All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

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