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Humanist Committee on Human Rights
Activities and Programs

1- Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) Programme:
HOM aims to contribute to the realization of human rights. To accomplish this HOM works to develop instruments which are better able to measure the impacts of policy. The Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) programme is developing such an instrument. HRIA enables the effects of policy to be assessed in specific human rights situations. The concept, still under development, provides significant opportunities to improve the quality of human rights policy. HOM has been working on the development and promotion of this concept since 1999, initially in the context of a project directed at European Union policy and since 2002 as a separate programme. Furthermore, in 2003 an additional project was started within the HRIA programme, aimed at measuring the effects of business activities on human rights. For more information go to Human Rights and Business
For more information on the HRIA instrument go to Impact Assessment

2- Women's rights:
Human rights are universal, everywhere and for everyone. In daily life, however, large inequalities exist in society between women and men. The disadvantages women face in all areas of life and in all parts of the world is persisting and will not disappear by itself. Therefore, in 1979 the United Nations decided to lay down the rights of women in a special treaty: the UN Women's Convention. HOM has been working since 1990 to raise more attention for human rights for women and to emphasize the importance of a special policy for women. For example, attention for women's education and health is not only worthwhile from a developmental point of view (the utilitarian approach), it is also a recognized right which governments must work towards achieving. The rights of women must occupy a permanent place in policy with a human rights-based approach.

3- Disappearances:
Up till now, tens of thousands of people in more than 70 countries throughout the world have been the victims of enforced disappearance.

The circumstances under which these disappearances have occurred differ greatly per country; nonetheless the suffering, uncertainty and fear of those involved is always tremendous. A disappearance naturally affects not only the direct victim but also his/her family and friends. Disappearances take place with the approval (whether tacit or explicit) or support of authorities. The knowledge or suspicion that the State is wholly or partially responsible for the disappearance reinforces the feeling of powerlessness and injustice for those involved; the victims have no ability whatsoever to defend themselves against the perpetrators.

Due to the surreptitious nature of this crime and the difficulty of it ever being proven, the enforced disappearance of political opponents by governing powers has become an effective and much used tool of repression in recent decades.
Nevertheless, there are various ways to help to stop the phenomenon of disappearance and to halt the impunity of those who are guilty of these practices. Truth and justice: this is the struggle of the relatives of the desaparecidos.

4- Human Rights and Businesses:
Business should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights within their sphere of influence. Businesses should make sure their own corporations are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Corporate social responsibility is increasingly perceived as an important aspect within the business community. For a growing number of companies, doing business is no longer just about making profit; values such as care for the environment, good working conditions and human rights are growing in importance.As HOM wants to contribute to this process, we started a special project in September 2003, which focuses on the relation between human rights and businesses. With this project, we want to contribute to the achievement of more respect and promotion of human rights by multinationals based in the Netherlands. For this purpose we offer support, training and customized advice. The project is funded by HIVOS.

Go to activities for more information on the activities of HOM in this area.Go directly to services if you are interested in what HOM can offer your company.
Click here for more information on corporate social responsibility.

5- Capacity Building

6- Advocacy


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