Despite its comprehensive approach to tackling modern forms of slavery, the Government of Belgium must further sharpen its focus on proper victim detection and identification, a United Nations independent expert declared on 26 February 2015.
Forced labour often means unpaid wages, excessively long work hours without rest days, confiscation of ID documents, little freedom of movement, deception, intimidation and physical or sexual violence. ILO/A. Khemka
“Belgium’s multi-disciplinary approach to tackling modern forms of slavery, which brings together various stakeholders at policy and operational level is an example of good practice,” stated Urmila Bhoola, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences, in a press release.*
“However, potential victims, including children and other vulnerable groups, are not always detected, identified and referred to the appropriate structures, which leaves them susceptible to abuse and exploitation.”
When leaders and decision makers from across Asia and the Pacific gather next month in Japan to discuss how to reduce disaster risks, their top priority will be to build resilience in a region that saw some 80 million people affected and nearly $60 billion in economic losses incurred by natural disasters last year.
Coping with severe floods in Pakistan. UN Photo/WFP/Amjad Jamal
That’s according to Natural Disasters in Asia and the Pacific: 2014 Year in Review report released on 25 February 2015 by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).*
The report said that more than half of the world’s 226 natural disasters occurred in the Asia and Pacific region last year. And although it was a year without a single large-scale catastrophe caused by an earthquake or tsunami, the region experienced severe storms, cross-border floods and landslides, which accounted for 85 percent of all disasters, it said.
Geneva – European policymakers, healthcare workers, and parents must step up their efforts to vaccinate children against measles amid an ongoing outbreak across the continent, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 February 2015 said, warning that a recent resurgence in the disease threatened Europe’s goal of eliminating measles by the end of 2015.*
Photo: WHO/F. Guerrero
According to UN data, over 22,000 cases of the virus have surfaced across Europe during the 2014 to 2015 biennium with the outbreak spreading to seven countries. This comes despite a 50 per cent drop from 2013 to 2014.
“When we consider that over the past two decades we have seen a reduction of 96 per cent in the number of measles cases in the European region, and that we are just a step away from eliminating the disease, we are taken aback by these numbers,” Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, affirmed in a press release.
By Robert J. Burrowes*
25 February 2015 — Have you ever noticed your own inclination, or that of other people, to believe what you/they are told by someone seen to be in authority? For example, did you know that there is overwhelming scientific evidence that the 911 destruction of the World Trade Center buildings 5, 6 and 7 was a false flag operation?
**A diagram showing the areas where debris from American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 fell upon Lower Manhattan during the course of the September 11 terror attacks. | Author: calm (talk) | Wikimedia Commons
That is, 911 was organised by the US and/or Israeli elite(s) and their agents in order to enable them to manipulate public opinion to support their subsequently initiated perpetual war in the Middle East and elsewhere.
By René Wadlow*, TRANSCEND Media Service
There has been growing concern with the activities of Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria and its spillover into northern Cameroon, Niger, and in the Lake Chad area. There has been a recent conference of the African Union on the issue, and military units from Chad, Cameroon and Niger are linking up with the Nigerian army to counter the growing power of the organization and its possible links with the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq-Syria.
The practice of forced marriage, the slavery of women and girls, and arbitrary killing – including beheading – has led many to flee the area. This has resulted in a large number of displaced people, often living in difficult situations.
Boko Haram is not the first militant, anti-establishment Islamic movement in northern Nigeria and northern Cameroon. In the early 1980s, an Islamic sect, the Yan Tatsine unleashed an armed insurrection against the Nigerian security forces, especially in the Kano area.
24 February 2015 – The production and movement of methamphetamines and heroin, coupled with the trafficking of precursor chemicals necessary to produce illicit drugs, present a major threat to the countries forming the Greater Mekong Sub-region.*
And while law enforcement officers dealing with these issues have traditionally lacked the correct resources to swiftly and systematically identify seized substances, this has started to change thanks to assistance provided under UNODC’s Global SMART Programme.
As part of SMART – or the Synthetic Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends – UNODC works with police and customs agencies in the region to equip and train them on the use of field drug-testing kits so as to quickly identify illicit substances.
The kits allow law enforcement personnel to conduct on-site testing for illicit drugs, including narcotics such as opium and heroin, as well as psychotropic substances like amphetamines. UNODC is also providing precursor testing kits that help detect the chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs. Continue reading
By Prof. James Petras*, TRANSCEND Media Service
The Greek government is currently locked in a life and death struggle with the elite which dominate the banks and political decision-making centers of the European Union. What are at stake are the livelihoods of 11 million Greek workers, employees and small business people and the viability of the European Union.
**Anti-austerity peotests – Author: Philly boy92 : Wikimedia Commons
If the ruling Syriza government capitulates to the demands of the EU bankers and agrees to continue the austerity programs, Greece will be condemned to decades of regression, destitution and colonial rule.
If Greece decides to resist, and is forced to exit the EU, it will need to repudiate its 270 billion Euro foreign debts, sending the international financial markets crashing and causing the EU to collapse.