23/07/2014

Full Employment, Decent Work for All Women and Men by 2013?

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, ILO* — The United Nations is one step closer to agreeing on a new set of development objectives that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
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Photo source: ILO

Photo source: ILO

After sixteen months of deliberations, the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals adopted by acclamation a set of 17 proposed goals that will be submitted to the General Assembly in September, and will jump start the final phase of negotiations before the adoption a new UN development agenda in 2015.
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The proposal calls for a transformative goal to “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”
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23/07/2014

The Story of a Village that Has Unshackled Itself from Darkness

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By Neha Khator and Ruhie Kumar*, GreenpeaceJuly, 2014 – In this world where we seem surrounded by news of gloom and doom, we don’t often hear stories of positive change.
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Woman in Dharnai Village in India. 06/24/2014 © Vivek M / Greenpeace
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But here is one: a story of a village that has unshackled itself from darkness, after 30 years of having its energy needs neglected by governments.
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Today, Dharnai is blooming with hope and ambition.
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Dharnai village in Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, is now lit-up by a Greenpeace India solar-powered micro-grid.
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Enter the village and you’ll see electric poles all around. The solar micro-grid supplies the electricity for homes, street lighting for roads and lanes, and water pumps.

Continue reading

22/07/2014

More Than 700 Million Women Alive Today Were Married As Children

Human Wrongs Watch

22 July 2014 – New data released today by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shows the need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation and child marriage – two practices that affect millions of girls across the globe.

Kalpona was 12 when her parents arranged for her to marry a man more than twice her age. A few days before the wedding, they agreed to let her continue with school instead. Photo: UNICEF/BANA2014-00451/MAWA

Kalpona was 12 when her parents arranged for her to marry a man more than twice her age. A few days before the wedding, they agreed to let her continue with school instead. Photo: UNICEF/BANA2014-00451/MAWA

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According to the newly-released data, more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation, also known as FGM, in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common.

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In addition, child marriage is widespread, the agency pointed out in a news release. More than 700 million women alive today were married as children. More than 1 in 3 – or some 250 million – were married before the age of 15.

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22/07/2014

Who Is Winning?

Human Wrongs Watch 

By Uri Avnery*, 19 July 2014, TRANSCEND Media Service 

What would history look like if it were written in the style of the “Solid Cliff (a.k.a. Protective Edge) operation?

397px-UriAvneryFor example:

Winston Churchill was a scoundrel.[*]

For five years he kept the population of London under the unceasing fire of the German Luftwaffe.

He used the inhabitants of London as a human shield in his crazy war. While the civilian population was exposed to the bombs and rockets, without the protection of an “iron dome”, he was hiding in his bunker under 10 Downing Street. He exploited all the inhabitants of London as hostages.

When the German leaders made a generous peace proposal, he rejected it for crazy ideological reasons. Thus he condemned his people to unimaginable suffering.

From time to time he emerged from his underground hideout to have his picture taken in front of the ruins, and then he returned to the safety of his rat hole. But to the people of London he said: “Future generations will say that this was your finest hour!” Continue reading

22/07/2014

CAR — Recruitment, Abuse of Children by Armed Groups, Endemic

Human Wrongs Watch

21 July 2014 – The recruitment and use of children by armed groups remained endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 2010 and 2013, according to a new United Nations report, which cited impunity as a major factor in the ongoing abuses.

Child soldiers guard a road near Bunia, Ituri region, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: UNICEF/HQ03-0555/LeMoyne

Child soldiers guard a road near Bunia, Ituri region, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: UNICEF/HQ03-0555/LeMoyne

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“Impunity has encouraged perpetrators to continue their violations against children,” Leila Zerrougui, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, told the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict today.
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Briefing on the 5th Report on Children and Armed Conflict in DRC, she said there were close to 4,200 cases of recruitment and use of boys and girls by armed groups and the Government armed forces. One third of the cases involved children below the age of 15. Continue reading
21/07/2014

‘No way out for Greece while the same policies of austerity are implemented’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Russia Today* (RT), 20 July 2014 – Greece has become a social experiment for the implementation of the most extreme neo-liberalism aimed at not contaminating the eurozone during the first period of the crisis, with the same policies being followed now, Greek MEP George Katrougalos told RT.

Greece Uprising.Image of the Syntagma square garden. 100.000 people gathered at the centre of Athens on Sunday, 29/5/2011. It was the first day of the people's protest against IMF in european cities. | Author :Kotsolis at English Wikipedia

Greece Uprising.Image of the Syntagma square garden. 100.000 people gathered at the centre of Athens on Sunday, 29/5/2011. It was the first day of the people’s protest against IMF in european cities. | Author :Kotsolis at English Wikipedia

RT: The Wall Street Journal recently suggested the IMF owes Greece an apology for making its financial struggle worse than it originally was. How do you see it?

George Katrougalos: It’s obvious that the rules suggested by the IMF were more lethal for Greece than the disease itself, the crisis.

Just look at the numbers: when we entered this security mechanism our debt was at 120 percent of GDP, now it is at 175 percent, unemployment is now above 28 percent and the unemployment of the young people is at a stagnant number of 60 percent. This is social misery, without any kind of rebounding of the real economy. Continue reading

19/07/2014

Liberia – Up to 26 percent of Women, Girls Raped by a Stranger; 73 percent of Married Women Sexually Assaulted by Their Husbands

Human Wrongs Watch 

Monrovia/Dakar, 18 July 2014 (IRIN)* - Rates of sexual violence in post-war Liberia are still “extremely high” according to a recently published report by UK-based think tank the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
Photo: Anna Jefferys/IRIN Poster in Monrovia intended to raise awareness of rape (file photo)

**Photo: Anna Jefferys/IRIN
Poster in Monrovia intended to raise awareness of rape (file photo)

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Rape remains one of the most frequently reported crimes in Liberia, according to Liberia’s Ministry of Gender and Development, and the incidence of sexual violence against women in Liberia is among the highest in the world.
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“It’s true we are out of conflict, but we still have this issue of rape as a big problem here,” said Rosana Schaack, the founder of THINK (Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness) Liberia, which works to help former girl soldiers, war wives and survivors of rape and domestic violence readjust to post-conflict life.
18/07/2014

UN: Can You Spare 67 Minutes to Take Action on Nelson Mandela Day?

Human Wrongs Watch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be among citizens around the world who will be volunteering 67 minutes of their time on Friday 18 July 2014, Nelson Mandela Day, to make a small gesture in solidarity with humanity – one minute for every year of the South African leader’s public service.*

Source of image: UN

Source of image: UN

The UN General Assembly declared 18 July Nelson Mandela International Day in 2009 in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to democracy, justice and reconciliation.
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The overall campaign slogan is: “Take Action, Inspire Change.” And this year is the first commemoration after Mr. Mandela’s passing last December at the age of 95. Continue reading
18/07/2014

Lead in Infant Formula, Arsenic in Rice — UN Sets New Food Safety Standards

Human Wrongs Watch

17 July 2014, Geneva – UN food standards body the Codex Alimentarius Commission this week adopted new standards to protect consumer health worldwide, including setting out maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and of arsenic in rice.

Rice for sale at a vendor's stall in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. | Source of photo: FAO

Rice for sale at a vendor’s stall in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. | Source of photo: FAO

Jointly run by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Codex Alimentarius Commission sets international food safety and quality standards to promote safer and more nutritious food for consumers worldwide.* Continue reading

17/07/2014

Grandmothers Raped in Front of Their Grandchildren; Children in Front of Their Parents

Human Wrongs Watch

BANGUI, 15 July 2014 (IRIN)* - The presence of armed groups and continued fighting causing displacement across the Central African Republic (CAR) has led to an escalation of insecurity leaving women and girls vulnerable to forced marriage and extreme violence, including rape.

Photo: Guy Oliver/IRIN There are few protections for rape survivors in CAR (file photo)

**Photo: Guy Oliver/IRIN | There are few protections for rape survivors in CAR (file photo)

Despite recent commitments from governments, UN agencies and NGOs to prioritize protecting women and girls from sexual and physical violence, current efforts in CAR remain underfunded. In the capital Bangui less than one third of clinics and health centres in internally displaced sites have the means to assist survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).

“There are almost no protection mechanisms in place and basic services such as medical assistance and counselling are limited in the spontaneous sites where displaced women and girls have gathered,” said Elisabeth Roesch, emergency coordinator for women’s protection and empowerment with NGO International Rescue Committee (IRC).

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