Dear President Bush, As human rights and humanitarian organizations, we are gravely concerned that the hopes raised when the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) was signed one month ago today are quickly vanishing.
In May 2004 and January and July 2005, through collecting eyewitness testimony from dozens of Darfurian refugees in Chad, and finding ample evidence of an organized attempt to destroy non-Arab groups, PHR compiled a composit picture of massive destruction in Darfur.
PHR has concluded that preparing for extraordinary use of military force to be deployed in a manner that will likely risk huge damage to infrastructure and civilian life, without due consideration for the consequences to the highly vulnerable population of Iraq, as the US did, is intolerable. PHR joins in the call issued by other human rights organizations for the U.S. and its allies to be much more transparent about the anticipated consequences for the population during and following a war with Iraq and preparations for the anticipated humanitarian crisis.
PHR provides a guide for epidemiological-based surveys, which provide essential data for properly quantifying the public health consequences of landmines responsible for the death or injury of tens of thousands of people every year despite an international treaty banning their use. The development of standardized survey tools will help to ensure that data collection proceeds according to appropriate scientific methods and allows the comparison of data between different regions and countries.
Human Rights and Health was prepared at the request of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and shows how, during the apartheid period, the leadership of the health sector in South Africa subordinated ethical and human rights obligations to the racist practices and political repression of the state.