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Rachel Brett

January 2015

UPDATED in 2015 - International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service

This document, lays out the ways in which conscientious objection has been recognized and is protected under human rights treaties and mechanisms, taking into account developments in international standards that have occurred since 2011.

A German translation of a 2014 version of the document featured in Connection eV (beginning on page 23) is also available below.

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June 2013

Lightening the Load of the Parental Death Sentence on Children

This is a very detailed study exploring the situations of children whose parents have been sentenced with capital punishment. It looks first at the commonalities between their experiences and those of children whose parents have been incarcerated, and then at the differences between these groups of children. It also sets out recommendations.

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March 2012

Children of (Alleged) Offenders: Revised Draft Framework for Decision-Making

This publication arose out of QUNO’s wider work on the question of women in prison and children of prisoner’s. The study looks at children of incarcerated parents as individuals unto themselves, rather than as extensions of their parents, and therefore adopts a child’s rights approach. The Revised Draft Framework is a comprehensive exploration of the relevant child rights issues throughout the criminal justice process, from a parent’s arrest or detention to release following imprisonment. Examples of potential good practice, as well as relevant international/regional standards are included.

See also the following oral statement to the 14th session of the Human Rights Council.

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November 2011

International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service

This document lays out the ways in which conscientious objection has been recognized and is protected under human rights treaties and mechanisms. In this way, it responds to those who claim that, as conscientious objection to military service is not explicitly recognized by international human rights treaties, it is not protected by them.

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November 2011

International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service

Conscientious objection to military service is now clearly protected as a human right under international law, even if the term "conscientious objection" does not appear in the international human rights treaties per se.

This paper presents the analysis and findings of the UN Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights as well as procedures of the Human Rights Council (Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief) that show how conscientious objection to military service is protected under international human rights law, particularly under the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

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March 2011

Colombia: Conscientious Objection to Military Service

This statement, delivered at the 16th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, concerns certain military recruitment processes in Colombia, which raise questions about the guarantee of an individual’s right to conscientious objection - a right recognized under the Constitution of Colombia

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August 2009

Orphans of Justice - In search of the best interests of the child when a parent is imprisoned: A Legal Analysis

This paper is part of a series of publications looking at the different aspects of the impact of parental imprisonment on children. Jean Tomkin, an Irish trainee solicitor had written her Masters’ dissertation on the issue of children of imprisoned parents, and re-worked and updated it for publication under QUNO’s series. The publication explores the legal issues concerning the rights of the child in these circumstances, and studies case law from several contexts. QUNO hopes the publication will “encourage and enable lawyers, judges, policy-makers and activists to understand why and how the best interests of the child can and should be taken into account when a parent with caring responsibilities for children comes within the criminal justice system.”

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August 2009

A Curate's Egg UN Human Rights Council: Year 3, 19 June 2008 to 18 June 2009

This is the third such publication developed by Rachel Brett on the workings of the UN Human Right’s Council. This report covers the period from 19 June 2008 to 18 June 2009, “the first ‘normal’ operational year of the Human Rights Council.” It explains the workings of the Council’s mechanisms and outlines its achievements and particular problems. It also looks in general at the substantive work of the Council, giving an overview of issues of particular importance for QUNO.

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July 2009

Children Need Dads Too: Children with Fathers in Prison

Since 2003, QUNO has worked on the issue of women in prison and children of imprisoned mothers, raising awareness about various issues arising from maternal incarceration. This study, by contrast, looks at the impact of paternal incarceration on children, exploring the similarities and differences between these situations and those where it is a child’s mother that is imprisoned.

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September 2008

Oral statement to the 9th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Conscientious Objection to Military Service

UN Human Rights Council Ninth session Agenda item 3: Oral statement by Friends World Committee for Consultation delivered by Rachel Brett, Quaker UN Office, Geneva, on Tuesday 16 September 2008   on Conscientious Objection to Military Service.  

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August 2008

Digging Foundations or Trenches? UN Human rights Council: Year 2,

This is the second publication developed by Rachel Brett on the establishment and workings of the UN Human Right’s Council. This report covers the Council’s second year (June 2007 – June 2008), in which it was to complete the ‘institution-building’ phase, and transition into a more substantive mode of work.

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August 2007

Neither Mountain nor Molehill -UN Human Rights Council:
 One Year On

This publication was developed by Rachel Brett and covers the first year of existence of what was then the newest international human rights mechanism, the UN Human Right’s Council. It covers the period from 19 June 2006 to 18 June 2007. The report gives an overview of the Council’s first year of operation, and the differences between it and its predecessor – the UN Commission on Human Rights.

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March 2005

Babies and Small Children Residing in Prisons

In the course of QUNOs work on the situation of women in prison, it became clear that imprisonment of women had an enormous impact upon children. This publication concerns babies and young children who stay in prison with their mothers. There are no obvious right or wrong answers to several of the dilemmas raised: neither separating babies and young children from their mother nor imprisoning them with their mother is desirable. This research tries to outline what the rights of the child in such a situation are, and how they can best be protected.  Some examples of strategies and good practices have been included. Also included are guidelines and suggestions for drafting legislation, regulations, policies and programmes regarding babies and small children residing in prisons.

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April 2004

Why Adolescents Volunteer: Oral Statement to UN Commission on Human Rights

An oral statement by Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers), to the 60th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights. It highlights the importance of understanding the reasons for which young people volunteer for armed forces and armed groups, citing the importance of such understanding for demobilisation and long-term re-integration efforts.

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December 2003

"Child Soldiers: Why Adolescents Volunteer": Written Statement to UN Commission on Human Rights

A written submission by Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers), to the 60th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights. It highlights the importance of understanding the reasons for which young people volunteer for armed forces and armed groups, citing the importance of such understanding for demobilizaton and long-term reintegreation efforts.

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April 2003

"Child Soldiers": Oral Statement to the 59th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

This statement deals with the importance of understanding the specific experiences and needs of girl soldiers, and take these into account in policy and programme formulation.

See also The Voices of Girl Child Soldiers and Girl Soldiers: Challenging the assumptions.

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November 2002

Juvenile Justice, Counter-terrorism and Children

This document deals with an aspect of the problem of child participation in armed conflict that is little explored and not well understood - how child participants in armed conflict, internal violence and other militarized situations are/should be treated by the justice system and by counter-terrorism legislation.

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