25/10/2014

More Respect, Less Criminalization for Migrant Workers, UN Human Rights Expert Urges

The lack of political will to stand up for migrant workers’ rights remains the greatest challenge to the protection of this “very vulnerable” group of human beings, an independent United Nations expert affirmed on 24 October 2014.

Migrant workers in India cook a meal. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark | Source: UN News Centre

Speaking before the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which reviews the work accomplished by the UN’s independent human rights experts, Francisco Carrion Mena, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (CMW), warned that some Member States “mistakenly consider border areas as exempt from human rights obligations.”*

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25/10/2014

The World Wastes Enough Food to Feed Two Billion People!

Human Wrongs Watch

The world wastes enough food to feed an estimated two billion people, the United Nations on 24 October 2014 said, as its three Rome-based food agencies announced the launch of a digital platform designed to take aim at the growing problem of “food loss.”

FAO, IFAD and WFP joint project “Mainstreaming food loss reduction initiatives for smallholders in food deficit areas” aims to improve food security and income generation through reduction of food losses in food grains and pulses value chains. Photo: FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

The new online program me, called the Global Community of Practice (CoP) on Food Loss Reduction, was jointly launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), with the goal of becoming “a global reference point” in the facilitation of information sharing between stakeholders such as public entities, civil society and the private sector.*

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24/10/2014

Right to Online Privacy at Risk as Governments Engage in Mass Surveillance – Counter-terrorism Expert

Human Wrongs Watch

States must be transparent about the nature of their electronic mass surveillance programmes, an independent United Nations counter-terrorism expert said on 23 October 2014 as he warned about the impact such measures might have on individuals’ right to privacy.

Slide from a 2008 NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing a world map with the locations of XKeyscore servers | Author: (US) National Security Agency | Wikimedia Commons

**Slide from an NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing a world map with the locations of XKeyscore servers | Date: 29 January 2014 | Author: National Security Agency | Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

“States need to squarely confront the fact that mass surveillance programmes effectively do away with the right to online privacy altogether,” Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, told the General Assembly body dealing with cultural, social and humanitarian issues (Third Committee) during the presentation his latest report.*

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24/10/2014

Primary Emphasis Must Be to Halt Spread of Ebola in West Africa — UN

Human Wrongs Watch

As the international community mobilizes on all fronts to combat the unfolding Ebola outbreak, the primary emphasis must continue to be on stopping the transmission of the virus within Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three hardest-hit countries, United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) experts on 23 October 2014 said.

Source: UNICEF, WHO

Reporting on the outcome of the third meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which wrapped up yesterday in Geneva, the experts stressed that focusing on the countries at the epicenter of the outbreak, including through reinforcing high-quality exit screening procedures at airports, “is the most important step for preventing international spread.”*

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24/10/2014

#YouthPolicyMatters: Stepping Up Global Debate on Youth Policies

Human Wrongs Watch

23 October 2014 (UNESCO) — From 28 to 30 October 2014, the first Global Forum on Youth Policies is organized with the aim of advancing the debate on youth policy development and its full and effective implementation at all levels. Hosted in Baku, Azerbaijan, by the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan, the Forum is co-convened by the Office of UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNESCO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Council of Europe, with the support of ‘Youthpolicy.org’.**

© World Bank / Roxana Bravo | Source: UNESCO

“… as of April 2014, of 198 countries, 122 countries (62%) have a national youth policy, up from 99 (50%) in 2013. Across all continents, 37 states (19%) are either developing a new or revising their current youth policy, down from 56 (28%) in 2013. 31 countries have no national youth policy at the moment (16%), down from 43 (22%) in 2013. Of those, 14 are in Africa, 9 in Asia, 5 in the Americas, and 3 in Europe.” *

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24/10/2014

The Growing Menace of Desertification to World’s Agriculture, Eco-systems

Human Wrongs Watch

The growing menace of desertification poses a distinct threat to the world’s agriculture and eco-systems, the United Nations agriculture agency on 22 October 2014 warned, as it announced a new initiative aimed at curbing the spread of land degradation and building resilience to climate change.

 

Recent successes show that problems related to desertification and land degradation are not insurmountable. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

The program me, named Action Against Desertification and launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in partnership with the European Union and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP), will devote some €41million to bolstering sustainable land management across the world’s most vulnerable areas in an effort to fight hunger and poverty.*

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24/10/2014

Mediterranean, North Atlantic Preparing for UN-backed Tsunami Warning System Test

Human Wrongs Watch

Some 20 nations with coastlines on the North Atlantic, and Mediterranean and Black Seas are set to participate in a United Nations-supervised tsunami warning exercise to improve their ability to respond to an alert and enhance regional coordination in the event of a disaster.

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

In a press statement released on 23 October 2014 , the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – the body coordinating the warning test since its first implementation in 2005 – reported that four tsunami simulations will be carried out between 28 and 30 October in an effort to assess the overall reactivity of countries participating in the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System for the North-eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and connected seas (NEAMTWS).*

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23/10/2014

Fishing for a Living in the Desert Wastes of Northern Kenya

Human Wrongs Watch

By Cathy Wachiaya in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, 22 October 2014 (UNHCR)* Noah Ilambona has been a fisherman all his life, so the refugee from Burundi felt completely lost when he ended up in the arid reaches of north-west Kenya after fleeing home in 2010 with his wife and first child.
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© UNHCR/C.Wachiaya | Noah and a partner harvest fish from one of their aquaculture ponds in Kakuma.

© UNHCR/C.Wachiaya | Noah and a partner harvest fish from one of their aquaculture ponds in Kakuma.

“I was happy to have found safety. The fighting was terrible back home,” admitted the 30-year-old, who fled to Kakuma Refugee Camp from his village on the banks of Mulembwe River, which feeds into Lake Tanganyika.

But the environment in north-west Kenya was completely different from his lush village and the father of two got a shock on arrival in Kakuma, which is located in a mostly arid region that experiences searing temperatures and very little rainfall.

The locals are pastoralists who live a nomadic lifestyle in constant search of water and pasture for their livestock.

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22/10/2014

NGO Coalition Calls Attention to ‘Spain’s Free Expression Violations’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Siobhan Hagan*, Vienna 20 October 2014 – The International Press Institute (IPI) has joined with eight other press freedom organizations to submit a Initiates file downloadletter to the U.N. Human Rights Committee listing concerns to be considered during Spain’s sixth country review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). 

Demonstration in Madrid | Author: Olmo Calvo | Wikipedia Commons

Demonstration in Madrid | Author: Olmo Calvo | Wikipedia Commons

The review process is generally conducted every four years, when members of the U.N. Human Rights Committee analyse state parties’ implementation of the International Covenant.

Other partners to IPI’s submission include Access Info Europe in Madrid, Reporters Without Borders International, Reporters Without Borders Spain, AMARC Europe, Free Expression Associates, the European Federation of Journalists, Article 19 and WAN-IFRA.

The joint submission (available in Initiates file downloadEnglish and Initiates file downloadSpanish) emphasises concerns in three areas: defamation, regulation of the audiovisual sector and access to information.

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22/10/2014

Europe Is Positioning Itself Outside World Arena

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, 22 October 2014 — The new European Commission looks more like an experiment in balancing opposite forces than an institution that is run by some kind of governance. It will probably end up being paralysed by internal conflicts, which is the last thing it needs.

462px-Map_Thirty_Years_War-en.svg

**Map of the Thirty Years’ War | Author: Map_Thirty_Years_War-fr.svg: historic air | Wikimedia Commons

During the Commission presided over by José Manuel Barroso (2004-2014), Europe has become more and more marginal in the international arena, bogged down by the internal division between the North and the South of Europe.

We are going back to a new Thirty Years’ War – which took place nearly five centuries ago – between Catholics and Protestants. Catholics are considered profligate spenders, and there is a moral approach to economics from the Protestant side.

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