Saturday, June 26, 2010

East Asia: Human Rights and Democracy

It is a fact that human Rights and democracy go hand in hand. A country cannot say that it is observing human rights if democracy is not instituted.

The cry for democracy and for action against human rights violations is common in East Asia, Japan, North and South Korea and China and Mongolia, Vietnam, Philippines, and the other South East Asian countries.


The question whether Human Rights and Democracy are being observed or not, particularly in these South East Asian countries, is sometimes in itself a big question mark.

Is democracy, as it was meant to be, observed in these countries?
Sometimes, the adaptation of democracy in these countries contains certain modifications which are made to fit in, into the desires of the people who run the government. In the same way that human rights are also modified into each and every constitution of that particular country.

The United Nations have established basic tenets on the Universal Human Rights, to protect the civil, political, economic, religious and social rights of individuals all over the world. They policed country members into granting equality to citizens in all phases of their lives.

In East Asia however, some of these rights are violated knowingly and unknowingly by the government personnel themselves or by certain individuals, without the knowledge of the government.

The most common violations in these countries are:

1. The right to peaceful assembly and expression

One very good example is when certain private companies explicitly include in their worker's contract a paragraph which states that they are not allowed to become members of organizations or to create organizations unless approved by the administration. This in itself is a violation of the right to expression and right to collective bargaining. The government knows this but is incapable of stepping in and interceding because these private companies contribute towards the country's economic development.

2. The right to education

This right is also often violated in these countries, especially in South East. This is because government is so corrupt, that instead of giving back the tax payer's money in the form of social services, they pocket it instead. The national budget therefore is cut drastically to adjust to this scenario. Education, health and the basic needs are not given sufficient funding. This then deprives citizens of the right to education.

In the Philippines alone, although the government is trying its best to repair old school buildings, provide more teachers, and improve basic education services; there are still children in the barrios who are denied this basic right, the right to education.

3. The right to Political affiliations

Sometimes, the cause of violence in some East Asian countries is because of politics. When the existing government is assailed by political adversaries, they are nabbed and charged of rebellion. Sometimes, they are even "salvaged" (political killings) just because they have a different political affiliation.


Several human rights violations are reported but it is difficult to investigate each one of them as each country has their own version of what human rights violation should be.

Indeed, the basic ground for human rights and democracy, in any part of the world, should be based on the dignity of the human person as a social being.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How to Implement a Community Plan

It is not easy to prepare for a community health program that would be beneficial to a community. Sometimes the culture , hope not of violence, of a community affects the behavior of the residents. An effective community health program is a well organized and a comprehensively planned activity that involves actively the people of the community. This would only take place of the members of the community have an active participation in the venture. It is very crucial that you as the facilitator should know that the cooperation of the members of the community is the most important thing. They should feel that they are part of the project, that you are only there to guide and facilitate it, and that they are the ones who should implement it and they should take active participation. You are not only teaching them independence and self-reliance but also taking pride in their own community.

You could follow four distinct steps:

Assess the community. What are the existing structures, goals, and plans? Take detailed description of each. Is there an existing health care center? What are the existing goals established by this center? What segment have they implemented so far? Are the implemented programs effective? What phase needs to be improved?

How many personnel are available daily? Is the number sufficient to respond to the needs of the community? Are there enough doctors? Nurses? Med. Techs? And nursing aides? Is the specialty of the doctor and personnel relevant to the needs of the community?

If there are more infant mortality and morbidity, then a pediatrician should be part of the health team. A community health program should be relevant to the needs of the community.

Set up your goals

Once you have identified the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), it is time now to prepare your objectives. You should prepare short term and long-term objectives. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely SAMRT.) It is essential that you should do the assessment first because you have to create goals that would respond to the needs of that particular community. Communities have different needs and these should be taken into consideration.

Implement your goals/programs

Implement your community health program. You should have certain milestones to be achieved in the course if your implementation. There should be short t- term goals to determine how far the project has advanced. It would also indicate if the steps you are doing are in track with your objectives.

Evaluate your program

After the implementation of the community health program, you are now ready to check if you have achieved your short and long term goals; whether you have done the project according to plan. You should have an inventory list, the accomplishments, the outcomes or the end results of each step.

If the goals have not been achieved, then determine the root problem. What are the reasons? These would be your basis of establishing and creating your goals again. Then the whole process is repeated: assessment, goals’ formulation, implementation and evaluation.

The ultimate success of a community health problem is the cooperation of all entity involved in the project, most especially the members of the community. The local governments, government officials, the private sector, the allied health personnel and everyone have to work together to succeed in implementing a community health program.