Archive for ‘Asia’

17/12/2014

World Bank safeguards ‘go out of their way’ to avoid references to human rights – UN Expert

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, on 17 December 2014 urged the World Bank to recognize the central importance of human rights to its draft environmental and social policies, also known as safeguard policies, which apply to its investment project financing.

**Image: Lord Keynes (right) and Harry Dexter White, the "founding fathers" of both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). | Author: International Monetary Fund

**Lord Keynes (right) and Harry Dexter White, the “founding fathers” of both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). | Author: International Monetary Fund

In a joint letter to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Alston and 27 other rights experts highlighted specific concerns with the proposed new safeguards policies, which were released by the Bank in July for public consultation, as part of the multi-stage review.

“The draft safeguards seem to go out of their way to avoid any meaningful references to human rights,” Alston stressed in a news release.

“The Bank’s position is effectively a sleight of hand,” he noted.

 

17/12/2014

The Sad Future of Our Planet

Human Wrongs Watch 

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, 17 December 2014 — It is now official: today’s inter-governmental system is not able to act in the interest of humankind.

Photo credit: Greenpeace

Photo: Greenpeace

The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima – which ended on 14 December 2014, two days after it was scheduled to close – was the last step before the next Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015, where a global agreement must be found.

In Lima, 196 countries with several thousand delegates negotiated for two weeks to find a common position on which to convene in Paris in one year’s time.

Lima was preceded by an historical meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which the world’s two main polluters agreed on a course of action to reduce pollution.

Well, Lima has produced a draft climate pact, adopted by everybody, simply because it carries no obligation. It is a kind of global gentlemen’s agreement, where it is supposed that the world is inhabited only by gentlemen, including the energy corporations.

17/12/2014

The Complicity of Psychologists in CIA Torture

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roy Eidelson and Trudy Bond*, December 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service

What the American Psychological Association Knew

Earlier this week the Senate Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited executive summary of its 6,000-page classified report on the CIA’s brutal post-9/11 detention and interrogation program.

**Image: Waterboard on display at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: prisoners' feet were shackled to the bar on the right, wrists restrained by shackles on the left. Water was poured over the face using the watering can | 7 December 2007 | Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waterboardingdotorg/2104419905 | Author: waterboardingdotorg | Wikimedia Commons.

**Image: Waterboard on display at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: prisoners’ feet were shackled to the bar on the right, wrists restrained by shackles on the left. Water was poured over the face using the watering can | 7 December 2007 | Author: waterboardingdotorg | Wikimedia Commons.

The report provides gruesome details of the abuse that took place in several “black site” prisons – waterboarding, confinement in a coffin-sized box, threatened harm to family members, forced nudity, freezing temperatures, “rectal feeding” without medical need, stress positions, diapering, days of sleep deprivation, and more.

17/12/2014

Argentina – New Law Leads to New Life for Migrant Domestic Workers

Human Wrongs Watch

Buenos Aires, 16 December 2014 (ILO*) — “Why do other workers have rights but not us?” Maria Perez remembers asking over and over again when she first arrived in Argentina from Paraguay for a job as a domestic worker.
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© Jamie Martin / World Bank 2014 | Source: UN News Centre

© Jamie Martin / World Bank 2014 | Source: UN News Centre

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Today, after decades of labor organizing and with the support of the ILO, Argentina has given her an answer — with the passage of a new migration policy, a new law on domestic workers and a strong commitment to regularize and formalize all domestic workers — nationals and migrants alike.
17/12/2014

Netherlands Politicians ‘trying to score political points at expense of homeless migrants’ – UN Rights Experts

Human Wrongs Watch

In the Netherlands, assisting migrants living on the streets is not a matter of charity but rather an obligation of the Government, a group of United Nations human rights experts on 16 December 2014 said as they urged Dutch authorities to immediately provide irregular migrants with “bed, bath and bread”.

A boat carrying asylum seekers and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: UNHCR/L.Boldrini

As it stands, the Netherlands refuses to give emergency food, clothing, and shelter (popularly called “bed, bath and bread” in the country), despite repeated disapproval by international and regional human rights bodies.*

16/12/2014

Migrants’ Remittances Expected to Reach US$ 436 Billion in 2014 – How to Help Them Make the Most of Their Money

Human Wrongs Watch

Migrants’ remittances are expected to reach US$ 436 billion in 2014 and US$ 540 billion by 2016. Financial education can not only provide useful support to migrants’ families back home but also help migrants in destination countries manage their own budgets.

**Remittance advertising in Oxford Street, London with Polish and Russian slogans | Source: Kaihsu Tai | Author: Kaihsu Tai | Wikimedia Commons.

**Remittance advertising in Oxford Street, London with Polish and Russian slogans | Source: Kaihsu Tai | Author: Kaihsu Tai | Wikimedia Commons.

Geneva, December 2014 (ILO)* – Moussé Bao is a 35 year-old migrant from Senegal who has been living in France since 2006.

Like most migrant workers, he sends a substantial amount of his monthly salary back to Louga, his hometown in North-Western Senegal, near the coastal city of Saint Louis. Every month, his mother and wife receive about 500 euros through a money transfer service.

16/12/2014

Afghanistan: Uphill Struggle for Female Aid Workers

Human Wrongs Watch

Kabul, 15 December 2014 (IRIN)* – When Shaharzad completed her law degree and announced she wanted to get a job, her younger brother did what he could to stop it. Coming from the culturally conservative Badakhshan region, the siblings had left their parents behind to move to the capital Kabul and her brother was technically the head of the household. Even still, she was determined to stand on her own feet.

Two years later, he is still trying to persuade her to quit. “Every two or three days he says the same thing – it is better to stay at home and I will provide the salary. He asks me to stay at home and cook for him and wash his clothes,” she said, giggling as though amazed by her own rebellion. “But I am trying to go forwards, not backwards.”

16/12/2014

World Summit of Nobel Laureates in Rome — Mairead Maguire’s Presentation

Human Wrongs Watch

By Mairead Maguire*, Nobel Peace Laureate – TRANSCEND Media Service

Appeal to His Holiness Pope Francis to Replace Just War Theory with Theology of Peace, Nonkilling, and Nonviolence

Mairead Maguire

Mairead Maguire

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is particularly appropriate that we are gathered here around International Human Rights Day and our theme is Peace and Living It.

I believe that Peace is a Human Right for everyone, and its presence is necessary in order to protect and sustain all the other rights enshrined in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I am sure we can agree that although we have a Universal Declaration, we have a long way to go to ensure that our Governments implement and uphold all these rights. In spite of this I am full of hope because I believe that we, the human family, are at a turning point in history.

There is a new growing consciousness a fresh way of thinking and living, with many taking care of each other and of nature and re-acknowledging that the true spirit of humanity is to love and be loved.

16/12/2014

World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates: Passion, Hugs, Hypocrisy and Commitment

Human Wrongs Watch

By Anna Polo*, Rome, 15 December 2015 (Pressenza)

Outside the auditorium that hosted the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates [Rome, 12-14 December 2014] colorful canvases, posters and Tibet flags were displayed to welcome and support the Dalai Lama. It was a very busy morning, with three round tables that happened without a moment’s respite, with a real bombardment of intellectual and emotional stimuli.

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Passion, hugs, hypocrisy and commitment on the second day of the Summit

(Image by Marco Bechis)

The first panel was related to the prevention of inequality, oppression and abuse, in particular related to sexual and gender violence.

Once again women gave us the most exciting moments: a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase Unarmed Civilian, clear reference to the recent protests against police violence in the United States, Jody Williams responded to a question on femicide describing the attitude of devaluing the other as the root of violence that begins in the home, but reaches up to the invasion of countries considered less “valuable”.

16/12/2014

Future of Israeli-Palestinian Peace ‘More Uncertain than Ever’ – Senior UN Official

Human Wrongs Watch

The quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has reached a “dramatic” crossroads, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, on 15 December 2014 told the Security Council in his briefing on the situation, warning that the region’s future remains “more uncertain than ever.”

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An Israeli Security Forces vehicle lights a gate in the security fence that separates farmers in the Biddu enclave from their land in the Seam Zone, which is the land between the 1949 Armistices Line and the West Bank Barrier. Photo: Alaa Ghosheh/UNRWA Archives

Speaking to the 15-member body in New York, Serry explained that as Israel heads into election season following the recent collapse of its ruling coalition, the resulting “deadly diplomatic vacuum can be no excuse for either side to let the present situation get even worse.”*

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