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Archive for June, 2008

Openness as a weapon…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 26, 2008


“The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy,
but the best weapon of a democracy
should be the weapon of openness.”
—Niels Bohr

I have been responsible for a lot of Internet Groups. I was often advised to deal with any conflicts in private. I generally refused. There were many reasons for this – one was the fact that openness was the best assurance that any abuse that might occur was witnessed. Another was that when things are done in private people have a tendency to erupt into rumors and innuendos about what is really going on, which in the end result in disruptions worse than the original conflict.

True democracy is based on openness. Both between individuals and between the individual and the State. Openness is empowering. We need openness. Or we are no better than the worst dictator.

Posted in Democracy, General, General Society | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Sign the Petition

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 22, 2008


Children are Innocent

Link to Petition

We the undersigned respectfully request your attention in the name of Human Rights,

The United Nations is the outstretched arm of the global, International Community, and each UN Peacekeeper is, in reality, a representative for each individual member of that global community.

UN Peacekeepers and Personnel, when deployed, agree to be subject to an accepted mandate, to protect, serve, alleviate suffering, and establish peace in regions torn by war and conflict. Tacitly included in this mandate is the responsibility of each UN Peacekeeper/Personnel to represent to the civilian population of such regions, a beacon of hope, safety and trust, both for the immediate need and for the future.

UN Personnel are easily recognizable through their use of uniquely colored blue berets and helmets. When UN Personnel, both military and civilian, commit crimes against the local population in regions they are bound to protect, that trust and hope is betrayed and that blue color becomes tainted. If the crime committed is not dealt with quickly, is glossed over or is marginalized and not prosecuted, there can be no safety for those they are charged to watch over and safeguard.

When UN Personnel commit crimes of abuse against children in such regions, the betrayal is doubled, because those crimes not only smear the good name of the UN and its Personnel, past and present, throughout the globe, but the children who are the victims of such abusive crimes suffer the long-term effects that are the natural consequences of such horror, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an inability to trust, fear, and a whole host of psychological disorders and physical damage. Coupled with the fact that they are already in conflict situations that cause fear, the fact that those entrusted to care for them and make them safe have betrayed them, easily causes damage that will stay with them for life, and will engender fear and psychological problems they may pass on to their own children.

Internationally, the United Nations represents us all – the population of the World – and we, the undersigned, refuse to have our good names tainted by the despicable conduct of a few UN Personnel, who through their abusive actions against children in war zones, betray those children, their nation, and by proxy, the entire International Community.

We therefore, as part of the International Community, appeal to the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon the Presidency of the International Criminal Court: Judge Philippe Kirsch (Canada) President, Judge Akua Kuenyehia (Ghana) as First Vice-President, Judge René Blattman (Bolivia) as Second Vice-President, the other two judiciary organs, the Security Council as presently constituted, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court: Mr. Louis Moreno-Ocampo, the Deputy Prosecutor Mrs. Fatou Bensouda and what agents the office of the UN Secretary General may use to implement change and establish procedures for change, that measures be taken to put a stop to the abuse – sexual and otherwise – of children at the hands of UN Personnel in war zones. That criminal investigation begins immediately, the offending parties arrested in an expeditious manner and that a Tribunal is immediately seated to hear the case. To accomplish the above we urgently request the following be immediately implemented:

· Make all UN Personnel accountable to the International Crimes Court at in The Hague, alternatively establishing a permanent Tribunal for the Investigation and Prosecution of Crimes committed against children in war zones and make UN Personnel accountable to such a Tribunal.

· Make immediate superior officers accountable for the conduct of their troops on pain of loosing their commission and being given a dishonorable discharge as well as prosecuted in an UN based Court of Criminal Justice such as the ICC and not in their home country.

· Create a screening process for all UN Personnel going into the field to determine their suitability for the work, with focus on their attitudes towards children and sex with children.

· Together with an independent children’s organization, such as Save The Children, create a mandatory educational program that focuses on the harm done to child victims of abuse (sexual and otherwise) both short-term and long-term, and stresses the importance of UN personnel protecting children in war-zones from such abuse and how to prevent such abuse from being committed by UN Personnel.

· Allow independent NGO’s such as Save the Children, The Red Cross, and Doctors without Borders to conduct regular and frequent independent investigations and bring to justice such UN Personnel that have been found to be engaging in crimes (sexual and otherwise) in relation to children in War Zones.

· Make it mandatory for Superior officers to investigate rumors and reports from the local population of this kind of abuse, and make sure that such UN personnel that have been found to be engaging in crimes (sexual and otherwise) in relation to Children in War Zones are brought to answer to those charges before an International Court of Criminal Justice.

· For the purpose of expediency and to make International Criminal Justice available to the victims of crimes committed by UN Personnel in war zones, establish an independent International Office of Justice in each Region in which UN Personnel are stationed, so that the victims themselves can easily and safely bring their charges for investigation.

· If feasible, given the circumstances in each region, provide UN personnel a rotation duty cycle that allows them a safe period to seek out legal forms of relaxation conducive to their religion, country of origin or region of service. Any lack in facilities for such recreation to be provided for under UN supervision in direct connection to UN Posts.

From our hearts and our strong sense of responsibility to the children who, through no fault of their own, are forced to struggle on a daily basis with the horror of the conflicts created by adults in their regions for power, greed and politics, we, the undersigned, demand that you make such changes to protect those rights established by your own body in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We thank you for your time and efforts for human rights world-wide.

Link to Petition


Funny – people are actually propagating for not signing this petition either because they dislike the UN or because they don’t think a petition like this will make any difference.

They are nit-picking about the “us” as not being “representative of them” – now how can one hold the idea that being against child abuse is not “representative of them”? Isn’t that condoning child abuse, rape and exploitation? I say it is. These people claim that there are other venues and channels, than the UN, through which the aim of the petition can be achieved – interesting… that’s like saying that if I want my government to change or legislate about some criminal actions or deal with their corrupt servants, I shouldn’t address my government, but the automobile company down the road, because the owner is more representative of my opinions than the government… Yup, that sure is making a lot of sense. I want you to change your behavior – and I talk to my neighbor’s dog about it. Very smart.

Posted in Child abuse, Human Rights, UN | Leave a Comment »

The Evils of Statistics

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 7, 2008


Remember this entry?:

Women Would NEVER…or?

Some of the comments on those two news items in that entry coincide with a comment made on another News Item I posted today:

Young People Have Unwanted Sex
World (tags: Children, sex, dissertation, Sweden )

Henric C
abearsdayinthenews.wordpress.com

One in seven Senior High School girls have had sexual intercourse against their will. Among boys of the same age it’s one in seventeen.

The very first comment was: “BOYS! NO MEANS NO!!!” – no shadow shall fall on the woman who said it, she later came in and apologized and said that she should have included the girls too, and not singled out the boys – so don’t think badly of her.

The point I am using her comment to make is that it is all too common that people have knee-jerk reactions to news stories about unwanted sex.

People simply assume that if we are talking about unwanted sex, we are talking about girls not wanting sex, and boys forcing them to have sex.

Sexism – pure and simple sexism.

Not that most people will admit to being sexist, so they very often try and “save themselves” by referring to a statistical body which will confirm the idea that more girls than boys are being sexually abused and that the abusers are either men or boys.

The fact is that the statistics is skewed. The statistics has an agenda.

The fact is that the male gender-role doesn’t allow for victimization and the female gender role encourages victimization.

The fact is that we really don’t know exactly how many girls or boys are being sexually abused, either by their peers or by an adult they trust.

What we know is that more females report being subjected to unwanted sexual attention than males – but we have no way of knowing if this is a true indicator of an imbalance in the victimization, or if what we can glean from the statistics are the “white numbers” and that there are “black numbers” we are unaware of.

Even an anonymous survey of 4000 Swedish Senior High School Student is a blunt and inaccurate instrument.

The young people being surveyed may very well be lying, consciously or subconsciously remembering incidents where the gray zone between wanted and unwanted is closer to the truth than they are willing to admit even to themselves.

The adult who wrote the survey may consciously or subconsciously have written the questions in a manner that will skew the statistics in the end.

Why am I saying this?

Because we are all victims of the ideas of what is proper or expected of our respective gender-role.

Boys will more often that not write off unwanted sexual attention as not really being unwanted, because boys are (still) taught to take their self-realization as males from the sexual attention they get from girls (or women).

Girls will more often than not write off wanted sexual attention as not really wanted, because girls are still taught to take their self-realization as females from the idea that they are not really sexual beings.

So they will lie.

A boy will lie about not wanting the sexual attention from a teacher because he experienced an erection when she (or he) fondled him.

A girl will lie about wanting the sexual attention from a teacher because she has a crush on him (or her).

Both genders will lie about what actually happened (positive or negative) out of fear of what parents, peers and the school might say if they knew.

So, in the end we cannot really trust any statistics – it was not for nothing that Samuel Clemens said: There three types of lies: Lies, damned lies and statistics.

The best we can do is to make an effort to not apply those horrid gender-roles to our views when we hear about sexual abuse or sexual activity, and try to remember to assume that what is true for one gender is true also for the other.

Unless we do we will never experience true Gender Equality.

Posted in Gender Politics, Statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Launching a New Blog

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 6, 2008


In the News

News from Swedish Text TV and News you don’t find on BBC or CNN

I often come across News in Swedish that I want to share with a broader audience than the 9 Million Swedes out there – which mean that I have to translate them to English – this New Blog is where I do that.

The News Items are often from Swedish Text TV, which means that they are VERY Short – often no more than 1000 characters most often no more than 300. If I can find a longer article dealing with that same Subject, I will add a link to that.

I hope you like my new Brain Child.

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »

UDHR article 16

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 4, 2008


About two years ago a gay man came into Human Rights Network and pleaded with the general public to extend the right to marry to GLBT people. He cited UDHR article 16:

Men and women of full age have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

Full text of Article 16

He then ventured into a refutation of the notion some have that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman – unfortunately he failed to use the most basic of refutations, which was right there in how the article is worded, and I am afraid that he might have antagonized his audience slightly.

UDHR Article 16 does not specify what gender men and women of full age have the right to marry. And that is the point – the very moment you define marriage as anything but what is defined in the UDHR or try and legislate a definition of marriage, you are in violation of the UDHR.

Many people hold the notion that homosexuality is unnatural, but they fail to understand the most basic fact about “natural” and what it is – “natural” is what comes natural to us – for gay people heterosexuality is not “natural”, homosexuality is. For straight people homosexuality is not “natural”, heterosexuality is. Because our sexuality is not a choice, it’s part of our make-up as humans, something we are born with.

Article 16 in the UDHR is not the only Human Rights Article that supports GLBT rights to equal marriage rights – Articles 12 and 22 do too:

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to
attacks upon his honour and reputation.

Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Marriage as a legal contract between two people, in most civilized societies, includes economic, social and legal rights, privileges and obligations that are part of the basic human rights enumerated in the UDHR. Unless we want to claim that Gays and Lesbians are not human or are not part of the “Everyone”, we have to grant them equal rights, also when it comes to marriage, including the right to call their union “marriage”.

The wonderful thing about human rights is that I don’t have to agree that all are entitled to them, I only have to extend them to all.

Analogy: I am against abortion – I truly think that it is something that should be avoided – but I also recognize that others feel and think differently, and that I really do not have a right to make choices for others. Therefore it is my human obligation to make sure that abortion is a legal and available option.

Same thing with same-sex-marriages – people may feel that marriage is something that should be only between a man and a woman – but as they have no right to restrict other peoples’ options and possibilities, it is their human obligation to make sure that same-sex marriage is a legal and available option, so that Gays and Lesbians are guaranteed the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for their dignity and the free development of their personalities.

Posted in Human Rights, UDHR, UDHR Article 16 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

A Case of Moronitis

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 3, 2008


I downloaded a tool for Firefox, that will let me open all my “daily web sites” in one go. Very useful, especially for me, as I host several groups and discussions on the Internet – I can easily check if there’s been any traffic during the night.

This morning I went to Human Rights Network and found that all the Hosts were being attacked, accused of not respecting the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of UN Peacekeepers and treating the subject as a joke – a preposterous allegation of course, but there it is. Some people suffer from Moronitis.

Upset is the least I am right now. As a survivor of sexual abuse I take sexual abuse very seriously, and I have track record to prove it. I just don’t believe in re-victimizing by making the abuse or the solution to the abuse about the victims – the solution has to be sought at the source of the abuse – the abuser.

That kind of accusations, in fact any accusations always leave me feeling slightly confused, because I know what I think and believe, and it’s ALWAYS on the side of the victims.

This issue is connected to this entry: The Solution?

Posted in Human Rights, Rape, Sexual abuse, UN, War Crimes | Leave a Comment »

Women Would NEVER…or?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 2, 2008


Women can’t rape, men cannot be raped….

The Local – Woman Charged Over Violent Rape
World (tags: female rapist, female victim, aggravated rape )

Henric C
thelocal.se

A 32-year-old woman from northern Sweden has been indicted on a charge of aggravated rape after forcing another woman at knife point to perform oral sex. The Prosecutor said that it is extremely unusual for a woman to be charged with aggravated rape.

The Local – Woman Held for Raping Man in Stockholm
World (tags: Rape, Female rapist, male victim )

Henric C
thelocal.se

A 41-year-old woman in being held by police in Stockholm on suspicions of raping a 30-year-old man who went home with her after the two met at an area pub on Monday night.

Isn’t ironic that the very same day when there is a discussion in Human Rights Network, in which it is being claimed that rape and abuse in war-zones is a male thing, and not something both gender can commit, I find these two news stories?

I am going to savour this – not because I think rape is something acceptable, but because I found RECENT news refuting the idea that women don’t rape and men cannot be raped.

Posted in Gender Politics, Rape, Sexual abuse | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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