27/11/2014

Orphans in the Kitchen: Young Refugees Find Comfort in “Mama Ada”

Human Wrongs Watch

Surrounded by trauma and heartbreak, one refugee finds a new calling: cooking and caring for children who have lost their parents in wartime.

UNHCR/Olivier Laban-Mattei

UNHCR/Olivier Laban-Mattei

By Baptiste de Cazenove*, Cameroon, 24 November 2014 (UNHCR) — The mist clears over Gado-Badzere, the largest site in Cameroon for refugees from the Central African Republic. It is 6:30 a.m. when little faces begin to emerge. Big dark eyes open wide, tiny bodies stretch and slowly make their way to a towering hut open to the four winds.

This is the realm of Adama Hamadou. As Gado’s resident cook, she is already busy with her cauldrons. But this 31-year-old refugee will not neglect her other mission: to look after her 10 wards, whose parents died or were separated from them in the course of a brutal war back home. As young as 18 months and as old as 16 years, they have found a new family in Adama, the woman they call “Mama Ada.”

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27/11/2014

Ritual Dancing, Bread-making Among Cultural Practices Added to World’s Cultural Heritage

Human Wrongs Watch

Brazil’s martial art of Capoeira, Burundi’s ritual dance of the royal drum and the preparation of Lavash – a popular flatbread integral to Armenian cuisine – are among the eight elements added on 26 November 2014 to the United Nations-endorsed list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage – part of the world body’s ongoing efforts to highlight global diversity and raise awareness of its importance.

The Isukuti dance of Isukha and Idakho communities of Western Kenya has been inscribed in 2014 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Photo: Department of Culture, Kenya | Source: UN News Centre.

The traditions recognized by the UN – which also include the ritual and ceremonies of Sebeïba of Algeria; the traditional art of Azerbaijan‘s Kelaghavi silk headscarves; the Pujillay and Ayarichi music and dances of Bolivia‘s Yampara culture; Bosnia and Herzegovina‘s Zmijanje embroidery and Bulgaria‘s Chiprovski kilimi carpet-making tradition – were inscribed on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, after being chosen by a UNESCO committee that is meeting at the agency’s headquarters in Paris this week.

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27/11/2014

Obesity-related Cancers on the Rise, Especially in Developed Countries

Human Wrongs Watch

Being overweight or obese have become major risk factors for developing cancer, particularly among women and in more developed countries, the specialized cancer agency of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHOreported on 26 November 2014.

A healthy diet can help to alleviate risk factors for a range of chronic diseases linked to obesity. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann | Source: UN News Centre

Overweight and obesity are responsible for an estimated 481,000 – or 3.6 per cent – of all new cancer cases in 2012, and reducing such health issues at the population level could have significant health benefits, according to a new study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

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27/11/2014

UN Plans to Create a ‘Technology Bank’ for World’s Poorest Countries

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the formation of a High-Level Panel to study the scope and functions of a proposed new “technology bank” and dedicated to helping the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) advance out of poverty, the Organization’s spokesperson confirmed 26 November 2014.

Photo: ITU | Source: UN News Centre

The High-Level Panel – which is to advise on the organizational and operational aspects of the planned “Technology Bank and Science, Technology and Innovation Supporting Mechanism” – will be chaired by Rwanda’s Romain Murenzi, currently Executive Director of the World Academy of Sciences in Trieste, Italy, and includes five women and five men from LDCs and their development partners from the Global North and South.

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27/11/2014

“Young with no land = Land with no future” International Campaign

Human Wrongs Watch

The total number of signatories of the petition to the President of Paraguay demanding a positive solution for farmers reached 37,574, according to the organizers of the campaign “Young with no land = Land with no future”.

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26/11/2014

The Steady Decline of Social Europe

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio* 

Rome, November 2014 — After the Italian sea search-and-rescue operation Mare Nostrum at a cost of nine million euros a month, through which the Italian Navy has rescued nearly 100,000 migrants – although perhaps up to 3,000 have died – from the Mediterranean since October 2013, Europe is now presenting its new face in the Mediterranean.

Asylum-seekers and economic migrants take to the seas, waiting out the dangerous journey in the boat’s cramped cargo space. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

Asylum-seekers and economic migrants take to the seas, waiting out the dangerous journey in the boat’s cramped cargo space. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

The European Union is launching Joint Operation Triton with a monthly budget of 2.9 million euros and funds secured until the end of the year. Its function is to enforce border controls – not to save “boat people” – and it will patrol just thirty nautical miles from the coast, which pales in comparison with Italy’s Mare Nostrum operation which saw patrols being sent close to the Libyan coast.

Even with this very limited operation, British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the United Kingdom will not contribute because operations that save migrants make them more willing to try to cross the Mediterranean. Of course, there is a perverted logic in this: the more migrants that die, the greater will be the discouragement for others to try.

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26/11/2014

UN Human Rights Chief ‘Deeply Concerned’ Over ‘Disproportionate’ Killings of African-Americans by US Police

 Human Wrongs Watch

The decision by a Grand Jury in Missouri to absolve a police officer for the fatal shooting of an African-American teenager has spotlighted broader concerns about institutionalized discrimination across the United States, the top United Nations human rights official on 25 November 2014  said.

Protestors gather in New York City to demonstrate against the police shooting of Michael Brown (August 2014). Photo: Loey Felipe | Source: UN News Centre

“I am deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans in US prisons and the disproportionate number of African Americans on Death Row,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in a statement issued by his office in Geneva this morning [25 November 2014].

“It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems,” Zeid continued. “I urge the US authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels.”

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26/11/2014

Violence against Women, Girls Is a ‘Global Pandemic’ that Destroys Lives, Fractures Communities – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that destroys lives, fractures communities and holds back development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as the world body on 25 November 2014 marked the International Day to End Violence against Women.*

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (left) and Chirlane McCray, New York City’s First Lady, after signing an agreement to work together in order to enhance the safety and empowerment of women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Jennifer S. Altman

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that destroys lives, fractures communities and holds back development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as the world body on 25 November 2014 marked the International Day to End Violence against Women.

“But violence against women and girls does not emerge from nowhere. It is simply the most extreme example of the political, financial, social and economic oppression of women and girls worldwide,” Ban said at an Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) event at Headquarters.

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25/11/2014

#OrangeUrHood Campaign Kicks Off UN-led Effort to End Violence against Women

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 24 November 2014 – Tonight, for the first time ever, both the iconic United Nations Headquarters complex and the Empire State Building in New York are bathed in orange light to kick off the “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood” campaign ahead of the International Day to End Violence Against Women. 

UN Secretariat shines in orange light kicking off Orange YOUR Neighbourhood anti-violence campaign for the International Day to End Violence against Women. November 2014. UN Photo/E. Debebe

“Together, we must end this global disgrace,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a special pre-lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building this morning where he “flipped the switch” ahead of the Building’s illumination tonight.*

“It is up to everyone to play their part; women’s rights are not only women’s business. Men and boys are finally taking their place as partners in this battle,” Ban explained in midtown New York where he was joined by American actress Teri Hatcher, Yoo Soon-taek, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

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25/11/2014

The Power of 1.8 Billion Youth

Human Wrongs Watch

‘Young people matter. They matter because an unprecedented 1.8 billion youth are alive today, and because they are the shapers and leaders of our global future. They matter because they have inherent human rights that must be fulfilled,’ according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) report State of World Population 2014.* 
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Photo source: UNFPA

Photo source: UNFPA

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“Yet, in a world of adult concerns, young people are often overlooked. This tendency cries out for urgent correction, because it imperils youth as well as economies and societies at large.”
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Youth in today’s large numbers may be improperly seen as a daunting challenge, a drain on scarce resources, or properly seen as the potential architects of a historic transformation in human well-being, says the report, which was released on 18 November 2014.
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“The largest global youth population in human history will have a profound effect on every aspect of our common future and can create a better world for all.”

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