NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS 1
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Non-Governmental organisations play a crucial role in the study of international relations. This study mainly relates primarily with global wars, struggles for power, and the attainment of the best interest of the less fortunate and minorities within the society. The contribution of NGO in these goals dates back to the year 1648 where its role played a part in the attainment of peace in Westphalia (Ibrahim, A 2015). This paper, therefore, seeks to highlight on the role of Non- Governmental Organizations as a tool in the analysis of international studies.
International politics is commonly thought to entail relations between international political organizations and countries. However this is not the case there are also some international actors who are also major actors in international politics (Maranga, n.d.). One of these actors is the nongovernmental organization (NGO), these are important players in the international studies. A non-governmental organization is a group that is not- for –profit which is principally independent. Its government is organised in two distinct levels which entail; local and international in order to address issues affecting the interest of the minority or less privileged
In their focus on issues affecting the best interest of individuals in the society NGOs also focus on other issues as well. These include; human rights issues, economic development, humanitarian aid and social welfare. Due to the fact that NGOs are independent entities they are relatively not subject political pressure as that place on states such as ignoring inhuman acts which are carried out in the name of national security. NGOs can, therefore, be categorised in two; advocacy NGOs and operational NGOs, however, their roles in these two categories often overlap (Kim, D 2015).
Among the multiple contributions made by NGOs globally the provision of the human rights in the UN Charter is one of the most significant NGO’s contributions. On the other hand, they also had a major contribution in the creation of the Human Rights High commissioner’s post. NGO’s are now serving significant consultative roles for the United Nations and other regional organization in fostering human relation issues. NGO’s also now playing a significant role in monitoring procedures for the United Nations in the sphere of human rights Moss, L.C. (2010). In line with these organizations are now tasked with the creation of shadow reports which are now increasingly been used in Human Rights conventions and periodic government’s discussions relating to human rights(Jalloh, C 2015). This is an important role considering that policies and issues are now enforced in these Human Right conventions and government meetings based on the findings in these reports. On the other hand, the NGOs are also tasked with the follow-up on recommendations made in these conventions and meetings which mark the end of their role in the reporting cycle.
NGOs are also being given a more significant role as evident in three international conventions where they have been tasked with the representation of victims in the individual complaints process. In this case the NGO’s play an investigatory role where it is analysis the existence of infringement by the convention (Polonko.K.A. and Lombardo, L.X 2015). NGO’s, therefore, conducted an in-depth investigation of such matters and reports their findings to the conventions committee. In its monitor role the NGOs abide by the set monitor procedures in the UN charter (Marcinkute, L 2012). These organizations are preferred for these roles due to their neutral ground and inability to be biased due to their independent stand.
As earlier claimed NGOs and now fondly being involved in the international decision-making processes this has led to the increment in the legitimacy of these international organisations. Its neutral stand and independence have led to the public perceiving that their involvement in this policy making conventions would prevent the government or other huge corporation from amassing wealth while oppressing the public. In this case, the NGO’s reduce the gap between the government and citizens since it helps in the generation of popular support in the decision-making process (Lintel, I., and Ryngaert, C 2013). The other factor that has contributed to NGO’s being involved in this policy making decision is due to input in; providing additional knowledge, making the process more transparent, transcends the public’s interest, and ensuring the decision made comply with international law
NGOs diplomacy role was first witnessed during the World War II where it played a major role in the reconciliation process after the way. Since we are yet to experience another major war, it can be said that the NGOs role, in this case, was hugely successful. During the wartime, the NGOs were vocal in lobbying for a voice at the United Nations (Welling, J 2007). The NGOs went ahead to granted their wish. Through their democracy role, NGOs have been successful when they work in unison through pulling their resources.
NGOs embrace the interpersonal communication methods through a study of the right entry points in a particular community. This helps in ensuring that they gain the legitimacy and trust of this community in order to foster its objectives and goals through taking up a project. The NGO then creates a link between the government and community in order to enhance its course. NGOs, in this case, facilitate communication upward from community to the government in this case they inform the government on the thoughts of the local people and on the other hand informing the public of the government plans. Though networking NGOs, therefore, fosters projects that enhance the livelihood of individuals in a country.
Marcinkute (2012) gives some insight on the role of human rights NGO’s through questioning whether NGOs are state sovereignty destroyers or Human right defenders? He claims that the adverse changes experienced in the world have brought about the aspect of globalisation that has presented opportunities to NGOs to play a key role in protection of human rights global promotion. Marcinkute (2012) further claims that the impact of NGOs is analysed in the article vis-à-vis providing of answers, improvements of human rights within a state, and how to defend the rights in the world. However, Marcinkute (2012) emphasise on the impact of NGOs in destroying the sovereignty of states in their quest to fight for human rights. He points out different topic through evaluation of the role of NGOs in the promotion of human rights within the structural political systems in state level.
Lintel and Ryngaert (2013) claims there is a link between the non-governmental organisations and the human rights committee. He further argues this by revealing that the work of NGOs in respect to human rights is multifaceted. In his argument, he looks into ways of improving the NGOs participation with the introduction of transparency and increased coordination among NGOs. This argument by Ryngaert (2013) is relevant to the study topic as it gives a way of streamlining the operations of NGOs and the Human Rights Committee through effective communication and enhancing effectiveness.
Jalloh (2015) highlights the role of non-governmental organisations in advancing international criminal justice. In his claim, he examines the role of NGOS in advancing criminal justice at the international level. Jalloh (2015) portrays that NGOs are having a robust impact in contributing to the global struggle against impunity among others things via advocacy of creating sufficient institutional mechanisms to prosecute perpetrators of crimes.
Moss (2010) claim that there are opportunities for nongovernmental organisation advocacy in the universal periodic process at the UN human rights council. He argues that the UN Human Rights Council offers high-profile chances for NGOs to advance the observance of human rights. He further argues that the need of getting this opportunity within the societies is necessary. Moss (2010) also comes up with a critical recommendation and guidelines for NGOs to promote human rights in the world.
Welling (2007) claim that on-governmental organisations contribute to the prevention of internal conflict between countries through intervention. He also backs up this claim by providing a review of Darfur. Welling (2007) also claims that the humanitarian crises have hit hard the world in the past decades, and the conflict in Darfur presented a critical case for analysis. He further analyses the need for a broader view in the perspective of the modern international law in respect to interstate conflict incorporating systematic intervention procedures, aid for prevention and multifaceted approach recognising and integrating the works of NGOs. Welling (2007) presents ways of addressing effects of genocide and interstate conflicts, and how NGOs through enhancement and promotion of human rights through resolving inter-state conflicts.
Polonko and Lombardo (2015) highlight on the role of Non-governmental organisations concerning the Rights of the child which were major talking points in the U.N convention. He further argues that children constitute a key population in the society and hence, upholding their rights is critical to advance a harmonious society. Polonko and Lombardo (2015) provide effective ways to impact the rights of child knowledge and implementation as highlighted in the U.N convention. They also give in-depth analysis on this issue developing initial indicators of NGO involvement, exploring their level of activity and evaluating aspects of NGO involvement and effect on the extending of human rights have been evaluated with respect to the protection of children against violence. In their analysis they also claim that children constitute a critical group in the society and thus, their human rights have to be upheld.
Kim (2015) highlights on the issue of international non-governmental organisations and the abolition of the death penalty, He further claims that capital punishment have been a bone of contention in the past decades, with various nations abolishing it though the process has been politically unpopular. Kim (2015) argues that the impact of NGOs in the abolition of capital punishment is evaluated in a systematic manner and the violation of human rights put into perspective. He further argues that it directly touches on the life of human beings and the right live for a criminal which are fundamental human rights in the world.
Ibrahim (2015) also claims that LGBT rights in Africa play a huge role in international human rights law. He goes further to claim that the rise of homophobic cases in Africa calls for attention and NGOs as promoters of the international rule of law, and human rights has a role to play. Ibrahim (2015) highlights on the current wave of homophobia and the challenges faced by LGBT communities and comes up with recommendations on the need to enhance human rights and shun processes that are detriment to humanity.
Powers (2015) highlights the importance of Humanitarian and human rights which were furthered by NGOs in the US though the use of news media, in the period between1990-2010. He claims that the media plays a great role in the exposing of human rights violation and promotion. Powers (2015) also claims that the impacts of the current changes happening in the media, civic and political landscapes are attributed to the NGOs influence in the matters involving human rights. He is also keen to highlight issues of human rights through evaluating and how the changes by NGO have eventually shaping of human rights to the target audience. Over the years NGOs position has become stronger however they have been on the spot light with their legitimacy being questioned. This is increasingly common in the countries under the dictatorship system of ruling. However NGOs can be credited for their responsibility in boosting their public support and credibility which is a boost to their legitimacy. In line with these NGOs should embrace unity in order to foster their growth.
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Jalloh, C.C. (2015). The role of non-governmental organisations in advancing international criminal justice.African Journal of International Criminal Justice, 1 (1), 47-76.
Kim, D. (2015). International non-governmental organisations and the abolition of the death penalty.European Journal of International Relations, doi: 10.1177/1354066115595705.
Lintel, I. and Ryngaert, C. (2013).The interphase between non-governmental organisations and the human rights committee.International Community Law Review, 15(3), 359-379.
Maranga, K. The Evolving Role of NGOs in Governance.SSRN Electronic Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1650163
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