Thursday, February 21, 2008

Some Other Treaties the US has not Ratified

While Canada gets pushed by the US into the laws necessary to ratify the WIPO Internet treaties as they have chosen to do so, we find some additional cannon fodder for those indignant purveyors of the DMCA to consider, perhaps first before the ultimate embrace and extend.

This came from a goodwill hunt, researching the prior winners of the EFF Pioneer Award and their contributions for the vain attempt to find out if the intrepid, inspiring magniloquent Dr. Micheal Geist was the first Canadian to win the honour.

Up the list I went seeing some rather amazing daring do's and brilliance of engineering to ensure privacy was at the table amongst things like freedom, to find the likely first Canadian, Stephanie Perrin, whose work in the government of Canada has been extensive in opening it up to citizens, including things like "PIPEDA" Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

Up I went getting stuck in a fascinating look at Dr. Patrick Ball's achievements "as a leading innovator in applying scientific measurement to human rights."

He co-authored an article with Miguel Cruz called "Human freedom and free software: Why choices about technology matter to human rights advocates" that I could not dig out too easily, sort of :-). It is a short read with a sharp pointed message to it. Might be time to dual boot my Vista laptop to start the process of living the talk. If only Ubuntu was $300 and I could get it free ...

In searching for the article though, I found it referenced in this article by Deborah Hurley:

Human Rights in the Information Society

This is a very interesting article on its own on the matters of information and human rights, and likely a core read for those interested in privacy, information, copyright, and of course human rights.

The Appendix however says the following in preamble:

"This appendix identifies those countries that have not ratified the major international human rights treaties. Some of the countries listed have signed the respective conventions, but they have not yet taken the additional necessary step of ratifying them. (In a few cases, a country may have ratified a treaty, but may have made reservations with respect to it, which run counter to the purpose of the treaty. This has been the case, for example, with the CEDAW. The appendix does not include these reservations)."


Miscellaneous states with dubious human rights records to this line:


So what is ICESCR, CEDAW and the CRC?

The International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) 1966
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1979
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 1989

The CRC status in this table is shared by only one other state: Somalia.

Now before people pile on the USA, lots of countries have reservations, objections posted, in the brief look I made. Arguably the USA figures its laws are in line and it does not need to ratify any of these as its busy (it may owe the United Nations some money too still).

But oddly, some pretty smart Canadians feel our laws our pretty in line too without going to far into extremes. We may have a few less United Nations ratifications to do too.

Now before someone pounces here, I could have mentioned the Performers treaty, but that one everyone knows about, but do they know why the US did not sign or ratify this one? That is a long story of profit making at the disadvantage of everyone else.

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