29/05/2015

What Next for EU Migration Plans?

by Baher Kamal

28 May 2015 (IRIN) – The European Commission has fleshed out its plans to manage record levels of irregular migration to the European Union’s shores, but there are still question marks around how, when and to what degree the proposals will be implemented.

**Photo: Åsa Sjöström/IRIN | Migrants disembark at the Sicilian port of Catania after being rescued from a shipwreck by a merchant vessel on 5 May

**Photo: Åsa Sjöström/IRIN | Migrants disembark at the Sicilian port of Catania after being rescued from a shipwreck by a merchant vessel on 5 May

Here’s an overview of the key issues and potential stumbling blocks:

Resettlement scheme

The European Agenda on Migration released two weeks ago included an EU-wide scheme to resettle 20,000 refugees over two years in addition to the 5,000 to 6,000 per year that about 12 member states currently take in.

It was initially unclear whether the scheme would be voluntary or mandatory but details released on Wednesday clarified that member states’ participation in the scheme would be “on a voluntary basis”.

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29/05/2015

Denial of (Muslim) Rohingya Rights Lead to Trafficking and Dangerous Sea Voyages

by Baher Kamal

Bangkok, 27 May 2015 (Human Rights Watch)* – Rohingya and other survivors of dangerous boat voyages from Burma and Bangladesh describe horrific treatment by unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers in Burma, and abuse and neglect aboard ships, Human Rights Watch on 15 May said. A regional meeting scheduled on May 29, 2015, in Bangkok must find solutions to the so-called boat people exodus.

A boat survivor rescued by fishermen in East Aceh, Indonesia. Photo: UNHCR/F. Ijazah

A boat survivor rescued by fishermen in East Aceh, Indonesia. Photo: UNHCR/F. Ijazah

Boats carrying approximately 100 mostly Rohingya men and women each abandoned passengers at an undisclosed location along Thailand’s coast, leaving them to fend for themselves until they were found by the Thai authorities. According to international agencies, 3,000 to 4,000 people may still be aboard ships at sea.

“Survivors describe how they flee persecution in Burma only to fall into the hands of traffickers and extortionists, in many cases witnessing deaths and suffering abuse and hunger,” said Brad Adams, Asia director.

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28/05/2015

Women and Biodiversity Feed the World, Not Corporations and GMOs

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Prof. Vandana Shiva*

28 May 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service — Biodiverse ecological agriculture in women’s hands is a solution not just to the malnutrition crisis, but also the climate crisis.

A worker weeding in a nursery in Back Kan, Viet Nam. Photo: FAO/Joan Manuel Baliellas

A worker weeding in a nursery in Back Kan, Viet Nam. Photo: FAO/Joan Manuel Baliellas

The two great ecological challenges of our times are biodiversity erosion and climate change. And both are interconnected, in their causes and their solutions.

Industrial agiculture is the biggest contributor to biodiversity erosion as well as to climate change.

According to the United Nations, 93% of all plant variety has disappeared over the last 80 years.20 May 2015 – The two great ecological challenges of our times are biodiversity erosion and climate change.

And both are interconnected, in their causes and their solutions. Continue reading

28/05/2015

On Violence: Suicide, Homicide–and Both

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

27 May 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service – Violence is to harm and hurt body, mind, spirit, even lethally, suicide, homicide, genocide (“cide”, from Latin “cadre”, falling). The focus here is on body violence, “sui” standing for Self, “homi” for Other. They do not exclude each other, they can be combined.

**The Kids off the Block memorial featuring hundreds of simple stone blocks, one for each child killed by violence in Roseland, Chicago | Author: Victorgrigas | Wikimedia Commons

**The Kids off the Block memorial featuring hundreds of simple stone blocks, one for each child killed by violence in Roseland, Chicago | Author: Victorgrigas | Wikimedia Commons

We have in mind US shootings-killings in recent decades, often at schools, spraying Others with bullets, in the end also Self, at his own hand or somebody else’s, with a gun.

The killing by somebody else may or may not have been expected, but exposure to such extreme risk makes intention likely. In short, homicide and suicide. Both-And.

Hitler sacrificed millions of Germans, and committed suicide. Continue reading

28/05/2015

Congo Logging Chaos Leaves People and Bonobos at the Sharp End

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Raoul Monsembula*

27 May 2015 – “Chaos” and “chaotic” are frequently – perhaps even overly – used words. One dictionary definition is a “total lack of organisation or order”. That can be said certainly of the industrial logging sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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Companies pay little heed to regulations, promises to forest communities go unfulfilled and government institutions show little or no will to hold them to account and protect the DRC’s vast natural heritage and resources.

But at the same time this chaos is organised and is ordered.  It is to a large extent engineered by officials and companies for their own benefit.

The institutions that should govern the forestry sector and enforce the law are not functioning effectively.

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27/05/2015

The Changing Nature of Jobs – Widespread Insecurity in Global Labour Market

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

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Geneva, May 2015 (ILO)* — How is the world of work changing? Are permanent contracts the norm or the exception? Discover the new World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 (WESO).
  1. © Ray Witlin / World Bank | Source: ILO

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market 

The World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 finds that, among countries with available data, three quarters of workers are employed on temporary or short-term contracts, in informal jobs often without any contract, under own-account arrangements or in unpaid family jobs.

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27/05/2015

Food Worries Widen in Mauritania

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Mamoudou Lamine Kane and Jennifer Lazuta*

NOUAKCHOTT, 26 May 2015 (IRIN)Hundreds of thousands of Mauritanians are struggling to feed themselves as they fall victim to the effects of climate change.

**Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN | Carcasses dot the sandy landscape in southern Mauritania's Hodh El Chargui region, where a lack of rain has affected both wild vegetation growth and crops.

**Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN | Carcasses dot the sandy landscape in southern Mauritania’s Hodh El Chargui region, where a lack of rain has affected both wild vegetation growth and crops.

A chronically hungry country, Mauritania could see the availability of food drop to its lowest level in years if drought continues to ravage crops, livestock and livelihoods.

An estimated 1.3 million people will face food insecurity this year, according to the latest assessment by the UN-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).

Among them, nearly half a million people are expected to fall into severe food insecurity by June and be “unable to meet their food needs without external assistance.” Around 21,000 will suffer extreme food insecurity, or a near complete depletion of their livelihoods.  Continue reading

26/05/2015

P5 at Nuclear Conference: “The sun revolves around the Earth!”

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Tony Robinson*
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26  May 2015 (Pressenza) – Last Friday [22 May] saw the predictable failure of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference to reach any consensus on disarmament measures. 
P5 at Nuclear conference: “The sun revolves around the Earth!”

Chart showing signs of the zodiac and the solar system with world at centre | Source: Pressenza

The refusal of Israel to admit to the existence of their nuclear arsenal and to take part in a conference to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East is the reason for this failure. Nevertheless, even if Israel hadn’t blocked the consensus, the draft text was so weak on disarmament that in reality it is better that the conference failed.

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26/05/2015

Orange Day 2015: UNiTE to End Violence against Women

by Baher Kamal
This 25 May, we wear orange and shed light on the power of Internet and mobile technology, as part of the UNiTE campaign to End Violence against Women and girls, says UN Women.
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Students from Tonga's Tailulu College making the most of new high-speed broadband services at 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day celebrations in the the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa. | Nukua'lofa, Tonga Photo: Tom Perry / World Bank | Source: UN Women Project: P113184

Students from Tonga’s Tailulu College making the most of new high-speed broadband services at 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day celebrations in the the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa. | Nukua’lofa, Tonga | Photo: Tom Perry / World Bank | Source: UN Women

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, managed by UN Women, has proclaimed every 25th of the month as “Orange Day” – a day to take action to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls.

Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign Global Youth Network, Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month.*

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26/05/2015

Mogherini: Elections in Poland and Spain Show There Is a Need to Rethink the EU Project

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

26 May 2015 (EurActiv)* — Federica Mogherini said yesterday (25 May) that the results of the presidential election in Poland, the municipal elections in Spain, as well as the news from Greece and the UK, were a reason for the EU to re-think its project.

The EU foreign affairs chief was speaking in Rome, where she was given an award by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI).

The Presidential elections in Poland on 24 May were won by eurosceptic Andrzej Duda, a result that has alarmed the government, which faces its own election race later this year.

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