Friday, November 8, 2013

Does Berkeley comply with international human rights standards?

George Lippman, vice-chair of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, will speak at UC Berkeley on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 from 6:30-7:30pm in 255 Dwinelle Hall.  Sponsored by Human Rights of the Incarcerated at Cal.

George will talk about how the city of Berkeley is doing in terms of compliance with international human rights treaties (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights/ICCPR and Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment/CAT). 

Peace and Justice is an official Berkeley city commission that advises the city council and school board on all matters of peace and social justice. The Commission has drafted in-depth reports comparing international requirements to the actual living conditions in our city.  The treaties and the UN require that all countries take a deep, honest look at their human rights performance.

On Tuesday December 17, the City Council will review the commission's reports and decide whether to send them to the State Department and the UN. The Commission requests social justice organizations to send letters to the City Clerk (, asking the Council to approve our balanced reports of the pros and cons of life in Berkeley. Please send your letter by the end of November.

This fall, our local government can make history by holding itself accountable to the international community on human rights issues. The reports address issues such as racial disparities in education, health, housing, and treatment by police; assaults on the dignity of women, youth, and the homeless; and examining the effects of county, state and federal incarceration agencies on local residents. 

Here are the compliance reports that the Peace and Justice Commission has drafted on human rights in Berkeley.

Please spread the word about this timely and educational event. Feel free to copy and paste the info above to send to list-serves or post in Facebook groups.

HRI increases awareness of cycles of incarceration and the Prison-Industrial Complex in the UC Berkeley community and supports a network of campus resources for student engagement. Member organizations include: Amnesty International at UC Berkeley; Bears Beyond Bars; Get on the Bus; Teach in Prison DECal; Youth Empowerment Program; and Universal Love and Peace.

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