November 2008 Archives

After listening to four hours of testimony describing the Hmong grave exhumations at Wat Tham Krabok in Thailand, United Nations Special Rapporteur James Anaya addressed several hundred people gathered at the hearing, stating, “What I have heard are accounts that are very serious -- accounts of assault to culture, assault to a people.? Anaya is independent expert on the human rights of indigenous people. He visited Minnesota on December 10 at the invitation of the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Program to learn more about the desecration of an estimated 900 graves in Thailand. At the end of the hearing, Professor Anaya committed to raise further concerns about the diggings with the Thai Government and then “to formulate an opinion, views, and communicate those views to the government and to the Human Rights Council in a report that will be made public and available for you.?

U.N. ConsultationMs. PaChia Yang and witnesses, Mr. Lee Thao and Mr.Kao Xiong, testifies at U.N. Consultation on the desecration of Hmong graves. Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota.

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By Barb Kucera, Workday editor
26 October 2008

MINNEAPOLIS - Want to understand why so many American workers find it so hard to organize unions in their workplaces? Look no further than Wal-Mart, a researcher for Human Rights Watch says.

Wal-Mart is a case study "of the abysmal workers' rights regime we have here in the United States," said Carol Pier, senior researcher on labor rights and trade for Human Rights Watch, an independent, nongovernmental organization that investigates human rights violations around the world.

In a speech last week at the University of Minnesota, Pier described her two-and-one-half-year study of Wal-Mart's labor-management record, which culminated in a 210-page report, issued in 2007, titled "Discounting Rights: Wal-Mart's Violation of U.S. Workers' Right to Freedom of Association."

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