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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Monitoring the pre-election human rights environment
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
May 21, 2013
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temperatures shoot up ahead of the proposed harmonised polls expected
sometime this year, the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
will provide regular updates on the media’s coverage of the
human rights environment in the country.
This is the
are aimed at assessing the role of the media in infusing transparency
and accountability in the administration of the election to ensure
that these are held in free and fair conditions. As essential part
of the election process, it is imperative for the media to play
their watchdog role and insist on violence free elections that conform
to basic democratic tenets.
are human rights?
are complex and difficult to define. This is because they are interdependent
are generally classified as the rights guaranteed to all people
irrespective of race, creed, colour, gender or national origin.
The free encyclopaedia, Wikepedia, presents human rights as “inalienable
fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply
because she or he is a human being".
are thus conceived as universal and the same for everyone. These
include basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled,
which are often given as the right to life and liberty, freedom
of thought and expression, and equality before the law.
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations
General Assembly on December 10 1948 in Paris, champions the doctrine
of human rights in the world. It was a direct consequence of the
atrocities of the Second World War and represented “the first
global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently
entitled”, according to Wikepedia.
The UDHR comprises
30 rights to which all people are entitled. These have largely been
split and categorized into civil and political rights; and economic,
social and cultural rights.
Civil and political
rights are enshrined in articles 3 to 21 of the UDHR and in the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Economic,
social and cultural rights are protected in articles 22 to 28 of
the UDHR and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
The UDHR framework
on human rights has since become the cornerstone of public policy
in the world as reflected in global and regional institutions, in
the policies of states and the activities of NGOs.
This is also
reflected in Zimbabwe’s proposed new constitution
(Chapter four), which is wholly dedicated to the declaration on
human rights. The section encompasses and dwells at length on both
civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural
is therefore guided by international, regional and local practice
on human rights issues in its tabulation of rights violations carried
in the media.
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