Kathryn English - Adam Stapleton
THE HUMAN RIGHTS HANDBOOK (Priručnik za ljudska prava)
A Practical Guide to Monitoring Human Rights
The Human Rights handbook is a practical guide for those in the field working in human rights and:
Provides ways of applying pressure on governments at home and - where all else fails - what remedies exist internationally and how to get access to them,
Has extensive appendices including the basic international human rights texts and their states parties and a list of international organisations and NGOs.
One of the recent achievements of the Centre for the Direct Protection of Human Rights is the "Manual for Human Rights". The Manual is a very useful guide to human rights monitoring.
The members of the Centre for Human Rights recognised "The Manual for Human rights" by Kathryn English and Adam Stapleton, lawyers from Essex University, as a very useful tool for the rather small group of people who are concerned with direct protection, monitoring and/or promotion of human rights in Croatia. Therefore we should thank them for the effort they invested in translating the book.
There is a crucial difference between the "Manual for Human Rights" and other manuals published thus far in Croatia. Whilst other manuals on the same topic concentrated on international human rights documents only, the Manual published by the Centre for the Direct Protection of Human Rights offers an interpretation of human rights theory and, for the first time, complete and systematic practical instructions on human rights monitoring, reporting and investigations, as well as instructions for activists regarding their behaviour in specific situations. NGOs (members of the Co-ordination for Human Rights) will find very useful Chapters on The Promotion and Monitoring of Human Rights in Countries in Transition and Monitoring, Reporting and Investigating in Countries in Special Circumstances. The former label can easily be applied to our society, although Croatia, at this moment, is not a country in special cirumstances.
The Manual offers, in one place, everything needed to make a complete argument for human rights protection. Human rights activists have in the past coped with violence and injustice they encountered in their environments, but with the Manual their tasks will be much easier. We, who have been working on human rights issues for a long time (considering everything that happened in that period of time, even short periods are long ones), have found our own ways to work and cope. Everyone worked in their own manner and in good faith. Therefore, we can recognise the value the Manual can have for those encountering human rights issues for the first time. Luckily, not everyone has to travel the same winding road.
Reading the Manual it is possible to recognise some of the issues and rules we experienced. In my opinion this makes the manual even more useful, since its content corresponds with our needs and the conditions we live in.
Beside the help the manual offers to our younger colleagues, it is possible that it will attract those who have not yet been concerned with human rights issues. It will also be valuable for many others: for those monitoring human rights (lawyers, judges, trade union members, journalists, NGO workers), for those working in governmental institutions,the police and public officers in charge of implementing the laws, as well as for those in charge of human rights promotion and protection.
Hopefully, the first edition of the "Manual for Human Rights" will not be the last one. The first edition of 400 copies is a rather small amount for all the effort invested in the translation as well as for the need for publications of this knid. I think that all members of the Co-ordination share this opinion and that they are grateful for this gift for the 50th anniversary of the General declaration on human rights.