Human rights are "the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled" Examples of rights and freedoms which are thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and property, freedom of expression, pursuit of happiness and equality before the law. All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Ancient peoples did not have the same modern-day conception of universal human rights; the true forerunner of human-rights discourse was the concept of natural rights which appeared as part of the medieval natural law tradition that became prominent during the European Enlightenment. From this foundation, the modern human rights arguments emerged over the latter half of the 20th century.17th-century English philosopher John Locke discussed natural rights in his work, identifying them as being "life and estate", argued that such fundamental rights could not be surrendered in the social contract.
In Britain in 1689, the English Bill of Rights and the Scottish Claim of Right each made illegal a range of oppressive governmental actions. Two major revolutions occurred during the 18th century, in the United States and in France, leading to the United States Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen both of which articulated certain human rights. Additionally, the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 encoded into law a number of fundamental civil rights and civil freedoms. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life and the pursuit of Happiness. Philosophers such as Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill and Hegel expanded on the theme of universality during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1831 William Lloyd Garrison wrote in a newspaper called The Liberator that he was trying to enlist his readers in "the great cause of human rights" so the term human rights came into use sometime between Paine's The Rights of Man and Garrison's publication.
In 1849 a contemporary, Henry David Thoreau, wrote about human rights in his treatise On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, influential on human rights and civil rights thinkers. United States Supreme Court Justice David Davis, in his 1867 opinion for Ex Parte Milligan, wrote "By the protection of the law, human rights are secured. In Western Europe and North America, labour unions brought about laws granting workers the right to strike, establishing minimum work conditions and forbidding or regulating child labour; the women's rights movement succeeded in gaining for many women the right to vote. National liberation movements in many countries succeeded in driving out colonial powers. One of the most influential was Mahatma Gandhi's movement to free his native India from British rule. Movements by long-oppressed racial and religious minorities succeeded in many parts of the world, among them the civil rights movement, more recent diverse identity politics movements, on behalf of women and minorities in the United States.
The foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the 1864 Lieber Code and the first of the Geneva Conventions in 1864 laid the foundations of International humanitarian law, to be further developed following the two World Wars. The League of Nations was established in 1919 at the negotiations over the Treaty of Versailles following the end of World War I; the League's goals included disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation and improving global welfare. Enshrined in its Charter was a mandate to promote many of the rights which were included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the League of Nations had mandates to support many of the former colonies of the Western European colonial powers during their transition from colony to independent state. Established as an agency of the League of Nations, now part of United Nations, the International Labour Organization had a mandate to promote and safeguard certain of the rights included in the UDHR: the primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity and human dignity.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a non-binding declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 in response to the barbarism of World War II. The UDHR urges member nations to promote a number of human, civil and social rights, asserting these rights are part of the "foundation of freedom and peace in the world"; the declaration was the first international legal effort to limit the behavior of states and press upon them duties to their citizens following the model of the rights-duty duality....recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom and peace in the world The UDHR was framed by members of the Human Rights Commission, with Eleanor Roosevelt as Chair, who began to discuss an International Bill of Rights in 1947. The members of the Commission did not agree on the form of such a bill of rights, whe
New York City
The City of New York called either New York City or New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles, New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, exerts a significant impact upon commerce, research, education, tourism, art and sports; the city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of, a separate county of the State of New York. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898; the city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the United States, the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world. In 2017, the New York metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of US$1.73 trillion. If greater New York City were a sovereign state, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world. New York is home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world. New York City traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, it has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U. S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is an international symbol of the U. S. and its ideals of liberty and peace. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability, as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity. Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, with the city having three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013 and receiving a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
The names of many of the city's landmarks and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. New York is home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top universities in the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York.
James's older brother, King Charles II, had appointed the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had seized from the Dutch. During the Wisconsinan glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth; the erosive forward movement of the ice contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers. In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown. He named it Nouvelle Angoulême. A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio.
The Padrón Rea
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment and the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke. Duke's campus spans over 8,600 acres on three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort; the main campus—designed by architect Julian Abele—incorporates Gothic architecture with the 210-foot Duke Chapel at the campus' center and highest point of elevation. East Campus, home to all first-years, contains Georgian-style architecture, while the main Gothic-style West Campus 1.5 miles away is adjacent to the Medical Center. The university administers two concurrent schools in Asia, Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore and Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China; as of 2018, 13 Nobel laureates and 3 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with the university.
Further, Duke alumni include 25 Churchill Scholars. The university has produced the 5th highest number of Rhodes, Truman and Udall Scholars of any American university between 1986 and 2015; as of 2018, Duke holds a top-ten position in several national rankings. Duke started in 1838 as Brown's Schoolhouse, a private subscription school founded in Randolph County in the present-day town of Trinity. Organized by the Union Institute Society, a group of Methodists and Quakers, Brown's Schoolhouse became the Union Institute Academy in 1841 when North Carolina issued a charter; the academy was renamed Normal College in 1851 and Trinity College in 1859 because of support from the Methodist Church. In 1892, Trinity College moved to Durham due to generosity from Julian S. Carr and Washington Duke and respected Methodists who had grown wealthy through the tobacco and electrical industries. Carr donated land in 1892 for the original Durham campus, now known as East Campus. At the same time, Washington Duke gave the school $85,000 for an initial endowment and construction costs—later augmenting his generosity with three separate $100,000 contributions in 1896, 1899, 1900—with the stipulation that the college "open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men."
In 1924 Washington Duke's son, James B. Duke, established The Duke Endowment with a $40 million trust fund. Income from the fund was to be distributed to hospitals, the Methodist Church, four colleges. William Preston Few, the president of Trinity at the time, insisted that the institution be renamed Duke University to honor the family's generosity and to distinguish it from the myriad other colleges and universities carrying the "Trinity" name. At first, James B. Duke thought the name change would come off as self-serving, but he accepted Few's proposal as a memorial to his father. Money from the endowment allowed the University to grow quickly. Duke's original campus, East Campus, was rebuilt from 1925 to 1927 with Georgian-style buildings. By 1930, the majority of the Collegiate Gothic-style buildings on the campus one mile west were completed, construction on West Campus culminated with the completion of Duke Chapel in 1935. In 1878, Trinity awarded A. B. degrees to three sisters—Mary and Theresa Giles—who had studied both with private tutors and in classes with men.
With the relocation of the college in 1892, the Board of Trustees voted to again allow women to be formally admitted to classes as day students. At the time of Washington Duke's donation in 1896, which carried the requirement that women be placed "on an equal footing with men" at the college, four women were enrolled. In 1903 Washington Duke wrote to the Board of Trustees withdrawing the provision, noting that it had been the only limitation he had put on a donation to the college. A woman's residential dormitory was built in 1897 and named the Mary Duke Building, after Washington Duke's daughter. By 1904, fifty-four women were enrolled in the college. In 1930, the Woman's College was established as a coordinate to the men's undergraduate college, established and named Trinity College in 1924. Engineering, taught since 1903, became a separate school in 1939. In athletics, Duke hosted and competed in the only Rose Bowl played outside California in Wallace Wade Stadium in 1942. During World War II, Duke was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a navy commission.
In 1963 the Board of Trustees desegregated the undergraduate college. Duke enrolled its first graduate students in 1961; the school did not admit Black undergraduates until September 1963. The teaching staff remained all-White until 1966. Increased activism on campus during the 1960s prompted Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at the University in November 1964 on the progress of the Civil Rights Movement. Following Douglas Knight's resignation from the office of university president, Terry Sanford, the former governor of North Carolina, was elected president of the university in 1969, propelling The Fuqua School of Business' opening, the William R. Perkins library completion, the founding of the Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs; the separate Woman's College merged back with Trinity as the liberal arts college for both men and women in 1972. Beginning in the 1970s, Duke administrators began a long-term effort to strengthen Duke's r
United Nations special rapporteur
Special rapporteur, independent expert, working group member are titles given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations within the scope of "special procedure" mechanisms who have a specific country or thematic mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council. The term "rapporteur" is a French-derived word for an investigator who reports to a deliberative body; the mandate by the United Nations has been to "examine, monitor and publicly report" on human rights problems through "activities undertaken by special procedures, including responding to individual complaints, psychological operations and manipulation via the controlled media and academia, conducting studies, providing advice on technical cooperation at the country level, engaging in general promotional activities." However, the manual Internal Advisory Procedure to Review Practices and Working Methods of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures calls these individuals mandate-holders. Other applications of the role include "special representative of the secretary-general" or "independent expert", or a working group composed of five members, one from each region of the planet.
Appointed by the Human Rights Council of the UN, these mandate-holders act independently of governments and as such play an important role in monitoring sovereign nations and democratically elected governments and policies. The earliest such appointment was the 1980 Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances responding to Commission on Human Rights resolution 20; the first Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions reporting to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1982/35 begun work in 1982. They do not receive any financial compensation for their work from the United Nations, though they receive personnel and logistical support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and are backed by charities and corporations. To mark Human Rights Day in 2006, the 37 special rapporteurs, special representatives and independent experts issued a joint statement on the importance of human rights in the fight against poverty. Special Rapporteurs conduct fact-finding missions to countries to investigate allegations of human rights violations.
They can only visit countries. Aside from fact-finding missions, Rapporteurs assess and verify complaints from alleged victims of human rights violations. Once a complaint is verified as legitimate, an urgent letter or appeal is sent to the government that has committed the violation. If no complaint has been made, Rapporteurs may intervene on behalf of individuals and groups of people of their own accord. Thematic special rapporteurs are appointed to serve for three years, after which their mandate can be extended for another three years. Country special rapporteurs are appointed to serve for one year, their term is renewed every year. In June 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council, which replaced the UN Commission on Human Rights, extended the mandates of all special rapporteurs by one year to enable it to conduct a review of the mandates and seek ways of strengthening their roles. However, special rapporteurs for countries which did not approve a special rapporteur came under question and the mandates of the special rapporteurs for Cuba and Belarus were not renewed.
Other controversies between the special rapporteurs and the council include the introduction of a code of conduct which disallowed the special rapporteurs from addressing the media. However a compromise was reached and a code of conduct now exists for the special rapporteurs; the HRC oversees 43 thematic and 14 specific country mandates for which it can assign special rapporteurs. There are at least 38 Special Rapporteurs, Special Representatives and Independent Experts who serve under the following country and thematic mandates:, Belarus - Anaïs Marin, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Previously: Miklós Haraszti Burundi - Fatsah Ouguergouz, Independent Expert on Human Rights Cambodia - Rhona Smith – Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Human Rights Eritrea - Sheila B. Keetharuth, Special Rapporteur on human rights Haiti - Independent Expert on human rights, Gustavo Gallón Previously: Michel Forst Iran - Javid Rahman Asma Jahangir Previously: Ahmed Shaheed Myanmar - Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on human rights North Korea - Tomas Ojea Quintana, Special Rapporteur on human rights Palestine - S. Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory Previously: Makarim Wibisono Previously: Richard A. Falk Previously: John Dugard Somalia - Shamsul Bari, Independent Expert on human rights Sudan - Mohamed Chande Othman, Special Rapporteur on human rights Access to Safe Drinking water and Sanitation - Léo Heller Adequate Housing - Leilani Farha Contemporary Forms of Slavery - Urmila Bhoola Cultural Rights - Karima Bennoune Democratic and Equitable International Order - Alfred-Maurice de Zayas Education - Kishore Singh Effects of Economic Reform Policies and Foreign Debt on Human Rights - Cephas Lumina Enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism - Ikponwosa Ero Hazardous Substances and Wastes - Baskut Tuncak Environment - John Knox Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary executions - Agnès Callamard Extreme Poverty and Human Rights - Philip Alston Right to Food - Hilal Elver Previously: Olivier De Schutter Freedoms
Juan E. Méndez
Juan E. Méndez is an Argentine lawyer, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, human rights activist known for his work on behalf of political prisoners. Méndez was born on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. In 1970, he received his law degree from Stella Maris University in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires province. Early in his career, he became involved in representing political prisoners; as a result, he was arrested by the Argentine military dictatorship and subjected to torture and administrative detention for 18 months. During this period, Amnesty International adopted him as a "Prisoner of Conscience," and in 1977, he was expelled from the country and moved to the United States. Subsequently, Mendez worked for the Catholic Church in Aurora, protecting the rights of migrant workers. In 1978, he joined the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under the Law in Washington, D. C. and in 1982, he launched Human Rights Watch's Americas Program.
He continued to work at Human Rights Watch for 15 years, becoming their general counsel in 1994. He is a visiting scholar at American University Washington College of Law's Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, a Professor of Human Rights Law in Residence at the Washington College of Law, the Faculty Director of the Anti-Torture Initiative at the law school. From 1996 to 1999, Mendez served as the Executive Director of the Inter-American Human Rights Institute, based in Costa Rica, he worked as a Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame in the United States from October 1999 to 2004. In 2001, Mendez began working for the International Center for Transitional Justice, an international human rights NGO, he served as its president from 2004 to 2009 and now is its President Emeritus. From November 2010 to October 31, 2016, he was the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Mendez has taught human rights law at Georgetown Law School, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the University of Oxford Masters Program in International Human Rights Law in the UK.
Mendez is on the Steering Committee of The Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, a rule of law project launched in 2008 by the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute to study the need for a comprehensive convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity, analyze the necessary elements of such a convention, draft a proposed treaty; the proposed treaty is now being debated before the UN International Law Commission. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Goler T. Butcher Medal from the American Society of International Law. Responsibility to protect Announcement from the United Nations of his appointment Interview on Democracy Now! Speech to Swarthmore College on the Darfur conflict Report of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide: Visit to Darfur, Sudan Juan Méndez: U. S. Should Address WikiLeaks’ Disclosures of Torture - video interview by Democracy Now
Non-governmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, or nongovernment organizations referred to as NGOs, are non-profit and sometimes international organizations independent of governments and international governmental organizations that are active in humanitarian, health care, public policy, human rights and other areas to effect changes according to their objectives. They are thus a subgroup of all organizations founded by citizens, which include clubs and other associations that provide services and premises only to members. Sometimes the term is used as a synonym of "civil society organization" to refer to any association founded by citizens, but this is not how the term is used in the media or everyday language, as recorded by major dictionaries; the explanation of the term by NGO.org is ambivalent. It first says an NGO is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group, organized on a local, national or international level, but goes on to restrict the meaning in the sense used by most English speakers and the media: Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.
NGOs are funded by donations, but some avoid formal funding altogether and are run by volunteers. NGOs are diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, take different forms in different parts of the world; some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes. Others may be fronts for religious, or other interests. Since the end of World War II, NGOs have had an increasing role in international development in the fields of humanitarian assistance and poverty alleviation; the number of NGOs worldwide is estimated to be 10 million. Russia had about 277,000 NGOs in 2008. India is estimated to have had around 2 million NGOs in 2009, just over one NGO per 600 Indians, many times the number of primary schools and primary health centres in India. China is estimated to have 440,000 registered NGOs. About 1.5 million domestic and foreign NGOs operated in the United States in 2017. The term'NGO' is not always used consistently.
In some countries the term NGO is applied to an organization that in another country would be called an NPO, vice versa. Political parties and trade unions are considered NGOs only in some countries. There are many different classifications of NGO in use; the most common focus is on "orientation" and "level of operation". An NGO's orientation refers to the type of activities; these activities might include human rights, improving health, or development work. An NGO's level of operation indicates the scale at which an organization works, such as local, national, or international; the term "non-governmental organization" was first coined in 1945, when the United Nations was created. The UN, itself an intergovernmental organization, made it possible for certain approved specialized international non-state agencies — i.e. non-governmental organizations — to be awarded observer status at its assemblies and some of its meetings. The term became used more widely. Today, according to the UN, any kind of private organization, independent from government control can be termed an "NGO", provided it is not-for-profit, non-prevention, but not an opposition political party.
One characteristic these diverse organizations share is that their non-profit status means they are not hindered by short-term financial objectives. Accordingly, they are able to devote themselves to issues which occur across longer time horizons, such as climate change, malaria prevention, or a global ban on landmines. Public surveys reveal that NGOs enjoy a high degree of public trust, which can make them a useful - but not always sufficient - proxy for the concerns of society and stakeholders. NGO/GRO types can be understood by their level of how they operate. Charitable orientation involves a top-down effort with little participation or input by beneficiaries, it includes NGOs with activities directed toward meeting the needs of the disadvantaged people groups. Service orientation includes NGOs with activities such as the provision of health, family planning or education services in which the programme is designed by the NGO and people are expected to participate in its implementation and in receiving the service.
Participatory orientation is characterized by self-help projects where local people are involved in the implementation of a project by contributing cash, land, labour etc. In the classical community development project, participation begins with the need definition and continues into the planning and implementation stages. Empowering orientation aims to help poor people develop a clearer understanding of the social and economic factors affecting their lives, to strengthen their awareness of their own potential power to control their lives. There is maximum involvement of the beneficiaries with NGOs acting as facilitators. Community-based organizations arise out of people's own initiatives, they can be responsible for raising the consciousness of the urban poor, helping them to understand their rights in accessing needed services, providing such services. City-wide organizations include organizations such as chambers of commerce and industry, coaliti