05/03/2015

Cybercrime ‘One of Fastest Growing Transnational Organized Crimes’

Human Wrongs Watch

Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing transnational organized crimes and already affects millions of victims worldwide. It takes the form of identity-related offences, infringement of copyright and intellectual property rights, and child pornography and abuse. It is one of the greatest threats to the two billion users of cyber space today who knowingly – or not – store personal information online.*

Photo: UNODC

Source: UNODC

In the run up to the 13th United Nations Crime Congress this April, we are highlighting different crimes, showing their impact on development and how vital it is to tackle them to achieve sustainable development.

The focus is now on cybercrime, outlining the scale of the problem and telling its transnational story.

Cybercrime has become increasingly easy to commit and harder for law enforcement to stop as technology advances.

Developing countries, in particular, lack the capacity to combat cyber-attacks and therefore record higher victimization rates. The need to protect citizens around the world from cybercrime is greater than ever.

Cybercrime is one of the many transnational crimes that will be discussed at the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha, Qatar.

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05/03/2015

Ever Wanted to Be an Illegal Logger? It’s a Lot Easier than You Think

By Greenpeace* – The European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) came into force two years ago with the aim of stopping illegal timber and associated products being placed on the EU market.
Source: Greenpeace

Source: Greenpeace

The competent authorities in many European member states, however, have shown little desire for the law to be properly enforced.

Despite the existence of the EUTR for the last two years Greenpeace has consistently exposed shipments of illegally felled timber from the Congo Basin and the Amazon arriving at European ports and then placed on the European market.

The longer such inaction continues the longer local communities and the forests they rely on suffer.

The EUTR is not being taken seriously by European ministers who should be enforcing it. Add your name and we’ll let the authorities know you want to see what it takes to get their attention.

If enough of us want to become illegal loggers maybe the EUTR will actually start getting enforced.

05/03/2015

Complicity in Illegal Logging Goes Far Beyond the Loggers

Human Wrongs Watch

By Greg Norman*

4 March 2015 – There’s an old adage that “rules are made to be broken”. Whatever your take on that logic, the idea of “rules are made to be enforced” is less open to debate.

Credit: Pierre Baelen/Greenpeace

Credit: Pierre Baelen/Greenpeace

A welcome addition when it was introduced on March 3rd 2013, the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) prohibits the placement of any illegal timber or timber products on the European market.

Yet two years on and Greenpeace continues to expose shipments of wood from companies involved with criminal and illegal activities in the Amazon and the Congo Basin finding their way to Europe.

In November last year we forced Belgian authorities to impound six containers of Amazon wood from Rainbow Trading, a company known to be involved in a criminal timber laundering racket in Brazil, as it arrived in the port of Antwerp.

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05/03/2015

WHO Insists: ‘Don’t Take So Much Sugar!’

Human Wrongs Watch

New guidelines released by the United Nations health agency on 4 March 2015 recommended that adults and children worldwide reduce their daily sugar intake to boost health and stave off non-communicable diseases.

Assorted candies. Photo: WHO/Christopher Black

The World Health Organization (WHO) says intake of ‘free’ sugars – monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) – should make up less than 10 per cent of daily energy intake, while a reduction below five per cent of energy intake per day would provide additional benefits.*

“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10 per cent of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” said, Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

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05/03/2015

‘Direct correlation between poverty, access to justice, and sexual violence’

Human Wrongs Watch

In eradicating sexual violence related to Colombia’s internal armed conflict, the main challenge now is translating resolve into tangible solutions in communities where the crime continues to occur, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Sexual Violence said at the conclusion of her trip to the Latin American country on 4 March 2015.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura briefs the press in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo: UNDP Colombia/Andrés Bernal

“There is a direct correlation between poverty, access to justice, and sexual violence,” Zainab Hawa Bangura said in a statement issued yesterday, emphasizing the need to protect poor and uneducated women and girls who are especially vulnerable.*

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05/03/2015

Libya Crisis ‘Festering’

Human Wrongs Watch

The overall situation in Libya is “deteriorating rapidly” amid a growing terrorist threat and continuing violence, the United Nations envoy to the country on 4 March 2015 warned the Security Council, as he urged national stakeholders to move firmly in defining the country’s future.

A wide view of the Security Council Chamber as Special Representative Bernardino Léon (shown on screen), briefs the Security Council via video conference on the situation in Libya. UN Photo/Mark Garten

“Libya can no longer afford to allow the political crisis and armed conflict that has gripped the country for much of the past year to fester,” Bernardino León, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a briefing to the Council.

“Unless Libya’s leaders act quickly and decisively, the risk to their country’s national unity and territorial integrity are real and imminent,” he added.

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04/03/2015

Property in the UK: a Home for Corrupt Money

Human Wrongs Watch

4 March 2015, Transparency International* — It is well-known that the global rich are buying up large parts of London. But who they really are and where their money comes from is too often a well-kept secret. They use secret offshore companies to buy the properties and don’t disclose their identities.

Source: Transparency International

Source: Transparency International

These secret companies (or shell companies) are a common way for moving corrupt money around the world.

They can hide money that corrupt politicians divert from investments in schools and hospitals and they can hide the proceeds of other crimes.

The corrupt are helped to buy properties by lawyers, accountants and estate agents who do not ask where the money is coming from – which by law in most countries, including the UK, they are supposed to do.

Today Transparency International UK is publishing Corruption on your doorstep: How corrupt capital is used to buy property in the UK. This investigation of the London land registries shows just how extensive the use of secret offshore companies is to buy property:

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04/03/2015

No Access to Essential Medicines for over 5 Billion People — 3 in 4 Wold Inhabitants

Human Wrongs Watch

Three quarters of the world population has no access to proper pain relief treatment, according to a report by the United Nations body charged with overseeing Governments’ compliance with international drug control treaties, which was released in London on 3 March 2015.

A patient in a hospital in Cambodia is given some pain killers. Photo: World Bank/Masaru Goto | Source: UN

Around 5.5 billion people still have limited or no access to medicines containing narcotic drugs such as codeine or morphine the Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) says in its Annual Report for 2014, which went on to point out that around 92 per cent of all morphine used worldwide is consumed by only 17 per cent of the world population, primarily living in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

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03/03/2015

Snowden Ready to Go to US If He Gets Fair Trial – Whistleblower’s Lawyer

Human Wrongs Watch

3 March 2015 (RT)* –  Edward Snowden would go to the US if he was sure that he would face a fair trial there, the former NSA contractor’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena says.

"Edward Snowden-2" by Laura Poitras / Praxis Films. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

**Edward Snowden | Author: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films | Screenshot of the film Prism by Praxis Films | Wikimedia Commons

“Edward Snowden is ready to return to the US, but on the condition that he be given guarantees to receive a fair and impartial trial,” Kucherena told journalists on Tuesday, as cited by TASS.

The lawyer has said he received a letter from the US attorney-general promising no capital punishment for Snowden should he return to America.

“So what we are being guaranteed is not the fair trial, but that Snowden will not be executed,” Kucherena said.

“And it’s done by a prosecutor, who according to the law, is not in any way able to determine a court’s decision.”

Kucherena says he does not trust news of certain countries’ readiness to accept Snowden. “I suspect that as soon as he leaves Russia, he’s going to be taken to a US embassy,” he said.

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03/03/2015

One Billion Teenagers, Young Adults at Risk of Hearing Loss Due to Unsafe Use of Personal Audio Devices, Damaging Sound Levels

 Human Wrongs Watch

3 March 2015 – More than 1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices such as smartphones and exposure to damaging levels of sound, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to devote International Ear Care Day tomorrow to “Making Listening Safe.”

Credit: WHO

“As they go about their daily lives doing what they enjoy, more and more young people are placing themselves at risk of hearing loss,” Dr. Etienne Krug, WHO Director for the Department for Management of Non-communicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention said in a press release.*

“They should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back,” Dr. Krug continued, adding: “Taking simple preventive actions will allow people to continue to enjoy themselves without putting their hearing at risk.”

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