Archive for ‘Africa’

30/10/2014

85 Individuals Have the Same Wealth as Half the People on Our Planet– Even It Up!

By OXFAM*, 30 October 2014* – 85 individuals have the same wealth as half the people on our planet. Such extreme economic inequality is standing in the way of ending global poverty, and widening other inequalities like the gap between women and men. It is time to Even it up!

Source: OXFAM

Source: OXFAM

The number of billionaires doubles since financial crisis as inequality spirals out of control

In same period at least a million mothers died in childbirth due to lack of basic health services

Rising inequality could set the fight against poverty back by decades, Oxfam warned on 29 October 2014 as it published a new report showing that the number of billionaires worldwide has more than doubled since the financial crisis.

The report, Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality, details how the richest people in the world have more money than they could ever spend while hundreds of millions live in abject poverty without essential health care or basic education.

29/10/2014

Understanding Climate Science in 10 Easy Steps

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kat Skeie*, 28 October, 2014 (Greenpeace) – The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalized, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.

Source: Greenpeace

Source: Greenpeace

What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can we do about it? Using the latest IPCC findings and a few other recent discoveries, here’s our take on what you need to know about climate change and what to do about it.

1. Politicians talk – too little happens

Politicians spend a lot of time talking about reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the planet to heat up. But despite all the chatter, emissions are still growing.

From 2000 to 2010, greenhouse gas emissions grew faster than before. The reason? We keep burning more fossil fuels. The climate scientists’ advice, however, is clear: we need to get rid of man-made carbon emissions entirely.

2. Without action, things will get bad

Source: Greenpeace

Source: Greenpeace

28/10/2014

UN Concerned over Spain’s Bid to Legalize Push-backs of Migrants

Human Wrongs Watch

Madrid, Spain, (UNHCR)*  The UN refugee agency on 28 October 2014 said it was concerned about a proposal by Spain to legalize automatic returns of people trying to cross border fences into its North Africa enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

© J. Palazón } Golfers play on a course in Melilla, oblivious to the people crossing the border fence to try and enter the Spanish enclave in North Africa | Source: UNHCR

© J. Palazón } Golfers play on a course in Melilla, oblivious to the people crossing the border fence to try and enter the Spanish enclave in North Africa | Source: UNHCR

Under this initiative, a person trying to access Ceuta and Melilla irregularly and without the required documentation, would be automatically rejected and would not be entitled to the legal guarantees foreseen in national and European Union (EU) law relating to the right of an individual to seek asylum.

The two Spanish cities are the only land borders between the EU and Africa. Since last year, there has been an increase in the number of people arriving irregularly through this route. There has also been an increase in the proportion of those coming from countries torn by war, violence and persecution, including Syria, Central African Republic and Mali.

27/10/2014

Braving Dust Storms, Women Plant Seeds of Hope at World’s Largest Refugee Camp

Women at business training workshop

Women take part in a business management training workshop at the Ifo 2 camp in the Dadaab refugee complex. Photo: UN Women/Tabitha Icuga

By UN Women*, October 2014 — In the world’s largest refugee complex — the sprawling Dadaab settlement in Kenya’s North Eastern Province —  women listen attentively during a business management workshop held at a hospital in one of its newest camps, Ifo 2.

Leila Abdulilahi, a 25-year-old Somali refugee and mother, has brought her 5-month-old along, while her four other children wait at home. She asks question after question, eager to learn more. Leila has lived in the camp for the past three years and has no source of income, so her family depends on the rations distributed by the World Food Programme.

27/10/2014

From Wife-beaters to Peace-preachers: Tackling Domestic Abuse in Zimbabwe’s Hinterland

Human Wrongs Watch

Marondera, October 2014 (IRIN)* — Jairos Maruwe used to beat up his wife so badly he once knocked her unconscious and broke her arm. It landed him in jail at least once, but it was the way he was raised.

“We have this tendency to resort to violence and emotional abuse when we think they have wronged us,” he said.

That was then.

27/10/2014

Initiative on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons Takes Centre Stage at UN General Assembly

Human Wrongs Watch

It took a full 5 minutes for New Zealand’s Ambassador for Disarmament, Dell Higgie, to read out the list of the 155 co-sponsors of the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.*

Source: ICAN

Source: ICAN

The overwhelming support for the statement demonstrates concretely the momentum that in the period since the second International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons hosted by Mexico in Nayarit, there has been no waning of support for the humanitarian initiative. Indeed, non-nuclear weapon states are starting to speak openly and with confidence about the next steps.

The New Zealand Joint Statement is the latest and strongest in a series of statements delivered at Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) meetings and in the UN General Assembly and two multilateral conferences, in Norway and Mexico, aimed at highlighting the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

26/10/2014

Ecuador’s FM Patiño on Global Corporations: Transnational Misconduct Must End

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ricardo Patiño, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador (RT)*

Ricardo Patiño | Photo: Cancillería del Ecuador

Ricardo Patiño | Photo: Cancillería del Ecuador

25 October 2014 — Transnational corporations have abused their privileges leading to “an unprecedented level of social and environmental injustice,” said Ecuador’s FM Ricardo Patino in his article calling on all nations to hold such companies accountable for their actions:

Ecuador has undergone a profound social, economic and political transformation over the past seven years, prioritizing the needs and rights of its citizens.

A great moral challenge of the 21st century is to establish people’s control over the forces that reign supreme in trade and commerce. Transnational corporations enjoy special rights, protections, and privileges that have led to an unprecedented level of social and environmental injustice, particularly in developing countries without sufficient legal recourse to defend against corporate power.

A new proposal spearheaded by Ecuador and South Africa to create a legally binding instrument to regulate the human and environmental rights abuses of transnational corporations, recently approved by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, is the start of setting things right.

25/10/2014

Mobile Training Van Makes a Difference to Street Children in Thailand

Human Wrongs Watch

A bright colored van filled with educational materials and staffed by trained outreach workers is beginning to make a difference in the lives of street children in Pattaya, Thailand. The van – a mobile training unit donated by UNODC to the NGO Child Protection and Development Centre – provides support and basic school lessons that include sex education to street children living in slum areas of Pattaya, a popular tourist destination.*

Source: UNODC

The mobile training unit is also being used to educate parents and raise awareness of the dangers of families living on the streets.

“Street children are highly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation” said Margaret Akullo, UNODC Programme Coordinator in Thailand. “In three months, one van equipped with training materials and videos has helped close to a 1,000 children become more aware of the dangers of living in the street – and what they can do about it, and who can help them,” said Akullo.

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.”*

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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