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World Jewish Congress Critcizes Text of Human Rights Covenant

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Criticism of the text of the Covenant on Human Rights which is now before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights was voiced today by Dr. Maurice L. Perlzweig, World Jewish Congress consultant to the U.N Economic and Social Council.

Emphasizing that the Covenant on Human Rights will be “a promise without hope of fulfillment” if right of petition to victims of discrimination, or their authorized representatives, is not included, Dr. Perlzweig drew attention to the fact that the text now considered by the Commission permits governments alone to complain in cases of infractions of human rights. There is even no provision for independent action by any instrumentality to be established under this text.

“To accept this view,” he said, “would be to abandon human rights as a matter of international concern to the slender mercies of diplomatic conflict. The lamentable inadequacy of the procedure from the point of view of the victims of oppression has been abundantly demonstrated in the experience of the present generation. Accordingly, the W.J.C. has consistently fought for international legislation which will progressively take human rights out of the area of diplomatic conflict into the sphere of judicial determination.

“We shall continue to press, as we have consistently done in the past, for the inclusion in the text of the Covenant of the right to petition, at least for responsible international non-governmental organizations recognized by the United Nations. The defense of all other rights must in the last resort depend on the recognition and establishment of this fundamental right of petition. Without it any Bill of Rights must be fatally defective.”

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