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Paragraph 147(h) of the Beijing Platform for Action. Chapter IV


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): The Good Men Project

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/03/15

Strategic objective E.5.

Provide protection, assistance and training to refugee women, other displaced women in need of international protection and internally displaced women

Actions to be taken

147. By Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other institutions involved in providing protection, assistance and training to refugee women, other displaced women in need of international protection and internally displaced women, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme, as appropriate:

h. Apply international norms to ensure equal access and equal treatment of women and men in refugee determination procedures and the granting of asylum, including full respect and strict observation of the principle of non-refoulement through, inter alia, bringing national immigration regulations into conformity with relevant international instruments, and consider recognizing as refugees those women whose claim to refugee status is based upon the well-founded fear of persecution for reasons enumerated in the 1951 Convention/28 and the 1967 Protocol /29 relating to the Status of Refugees, including persecution through sexual violence or other gender-related persecution, and provide access to specially trained officers, including female officers, to interview women regarding sensitive or painful experiences, such as sexual assault;

Beijing Declaration (1995)

Some of the core aspects of the international rights institutions in the world deal with some of the most basic facets of a modern life for most citizens, especially in terms of the training of the mind and the jobs available. Now, 1995 can seem like an eternity ago, which is true. With the advent of Internet and some of the developments of the communications technologies, we have seen a rapid change in both the external infrastructure of the world and the internal architecture of the mind in response to the technologies.

We’re a surface-only multinationalistic structure in transition into a truly internationalist civilization integrated beneath the Earth, beyond the atmosphere, and connected between shorter distances due to the communications technologies and various other efficiencies in the transmission of information and goods. Even in spite of the 25-year gap, ethics continues to still emerge amongst the world’s peoples.

The United Nations is a strongly positive contribution in this regard. Ethics is, in fact, the tough question now. It isn’t a question about the power of technology. The power of technical and technological advancement is undeniable. It is the difference between light and night, between the mere physical from the physiological. It is not only a different order of technology, but another type that went through a phase change.

Most of the subpopulations within the global community have been neglected to an extensive extent, for a long, long time. With the advent of an era of abundance based on the advancement of science and technology, and somewhat adequately skilled application of it, in principle, every person can have the basic needs met – “needs,” not wants.

In this new era of techno-advancement, the tacit inadequacy of an ethic can be seen with the malapportioned provisions of the basics of life for tens of millions of people. Even with the obvious and inevitable positive distribution of the benefits, the implied ethic would appear incomplete and inadequate to the current task. I’m sure something will develop as the dial moves more and more for the better integration of international systems with more equitable distribution of the necessities of life, often connected to the human rights contexts.

There’s a lot of futurologist this, futurism that, and so on, linked up with associations, alliances organizations, and the like. But if we take a serious sober look at them, what do we have? A lot of the same people mutually plugging one another as if the vanguard of humanity. Says who? Why them, of course, the changes should be decided by the people, from the bottom up, as in democratic mass activism as we see over the murder of George Floyd and others. This creates real, sustainable change. Also, it creates a more well-rounded future, not simply the well-off, well-educated, and blinded by privilege. What do you mean, privilege? I mean certain things are given while others never have them. Some basic access points for opportunities are available while others aren’t. Some “privilege” discourse is carping, fine. But that’s small peas to the larger philosophical points and sociological imports. Anyhow…

Now, Paragraph 147 (h) looks to the international norms to create a basis for “equal access and equal treatment” of women and men who are looking for identification as refugees to acquire asylum. As has been noted in earlier articles, the focus on the principle of non-refoulement is an important contribution to the refugee and displaced persons categories. It states: “guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.” This is from the OHCHR or the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner.

It’s a fairly straightforward stipulation of a right to maintain one’s status and placement with the national immigration policies of a country. If a Member State’s national immigration policy does not align with the principle of non-refoulement, then it is in violation of a standard principle in the international community and failing in upholding the aspirational standards of the global community of nations, Member States.

Many of the refugees of the world without a place in a society can be persecuted in a number of ways, where the Beijing Declaration lists the relevant documents to substantiate this claim here. But these echo many of the sentiments and the issues over the last while, including sexual violence and gender-related persecution – again as a global consideration with differentials depending on the region.

Some of the proposed solutions for this include “specially trained officers, including female officers, to interview women regarding sensitive or painful experiences, such as sexual assault.” This seems like wise advice. In that, definitely, many women may not subject themselves to treatment by men across from them who could be seen as “the enemy” if substantiated claims of sexual assault, rape, or other forms of gender-based violence.

–(Updated 2020-03-07, only use the updated listing, please) Not all nations, organizations, societies, or individuals accept the proposals of the United Nations; one can find similar statements in other documents, conventions, declarations and so on, with the subsequent statements of equality or women’s rights, and the important days and campaigns devoted to the rights of women and girls too:Documents

Strategic Aims

Celebratory Days

Guidelines and Campaigns

Women and Men Women’s Rights Campaigners


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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