Archive for ‘Latin America & Caribbean’

26/05/2015

Orange Day 2015: UNiTE to End Violence against Women

by Baher Kamal
This 25 May, we wear orange and shed light on the power of Internet and mobile technology, as part of the UNiTE campaign to End Violence against Women and girls, says UN Women.
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Students from Tonga's Tailulu College making the most of new high-speed broadband services at 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day celebrations in the the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa. | Nukua'lofa, Tonga Photo: Tom Perry / World Bank | Source: UN Women Project: P113184

Students from Tonga’s Tailulu College making the most of new high-speed broadband services at 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day celebrations in the the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa. | Nukua’lofa, Tonga | Photo: Tom Perry / World Bank | Source: UN Women

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, managed by UN Women, has proclaimed every 25th of the month as “Orange Day” – a day to take action to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls.

Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign Global Youth Network, Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month.*

07/05/2015

My meeting with El Che

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

In 1963 I took a trip to Venezuela. I was a young reporter then working for the Italian magazine Rinascita. During an interview with President Bentancourt he spoke about how very worried he was as a social-democrat about the rise of guerrillas in Venezuela.

Guevara's face on a flag above the words

Guevara’s face on a flag above the words “El Che Vive!” (Che Lives!) | Wikimedia Commons

I then set out to find its leader by the name of Teodoro Petkoff, but I could not find him. Nevertheless I was able to talk to some of his sympathisers. From this a report took shape with the peasant farmers that Petkoff wanted to enlist following the Cuban model.

I came to the conclusion that the facts were completely different to what Petkoff thought. And that the guerrillas would not succeed.

From Venezuela I went to Cuba where I talked to several Cubans stating that the revolution would not be repeated in Venezuela, which was not very well received by a few of the interviewed.

07/05/2015

10 Key Trends in Record Year for Internal Displacement

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

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Oxford, 6 May 2015 (IRIN)* – Those trying to escape conflict and violence often only make headlines when they cross an international border and become refugees, but the majority of people forced to flee their homes seek refuge within the borders of their own country. They are “internally displaced persons,” or IDPs. By the end of 2014 there were 38 million of them, more than twice the number of refugees.
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Today, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) released its annual overview of global trends. Here are the key figures and issues from its 99-page report:

07/05/2015

Germany Ranked 5th in Global Human Rights Violations Business Index

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By EurActiv*

6 May 2015 – Hardly any country in the world hosts as many companies accused of severe human rights violations as Germany, according to a recent survey by the University of Maastricht. EurActiv Germany reports.

Hardly any country in the world hosts as many companies accused of severe human rights violations as Germany, according to a recent survey by the University of Maastricht. EurActiv Germany reports. [Robert Scoble]

**[Robert Scoble]

Of 1,800 human rights violations analysed by the University of Maastricht, 87 can be traced to German companies.

This places Germany in fifth position, according to the number of such cases, behind the United States (511 cases reported), the United Kingdom (198), Canada (110) and China (94).

The list of potential human rights violations is long and includes cases such as water pollution in Peru, due to copper mining for car manufacturing, land expulsions in Uganda for a coffee plantation, villages flooded by a dam in Sudan, and exploitation of workers in the apparel industry.

In all of these cases, German companies were involved either directly or indirectly, according to complaints from NGOs, which were recently backed up by the University of Maastricht’s global comparative study.

07/05/2015

Forest Help End Hunger, Improve Food Security

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

A new United Nations-backed report on the link between forests and food production and nutrition says that woodlands could be the key to ending hunger and will be intimately linked to the global fight against climate change.

Upland women weed their rice fields, an integrated method of agro-forestry in Mokpon Village, Laos. UN Photo/Lamphay Inthakoun

Launched on  6 May 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York, where the 11th session of the UN Forum on Forests, the Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition report outlines the potential of forests to improve food security and nutrition, and to ensure the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people.

07/05/2015

Human Trafficking: Dozens of Bodies Found in Smuggler’s Camp in Thailand

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations refugee agency on 6 May 2015 expressed its deep concern over the discovery of dozens of bodies in smugglers’ camps in Thailand, appealing for a regional effort to end human trafficking and protect those who escape difficult conditions from “the hands of ruthless smugglers.”

Locals in Myanmar’s Rakhine state say this waterway near the town of Sittwe is used by people smugglers to load passengers before heading out into the Bay of Bengal. Photo: UNHCR/V.Tan

“It’s distressing to hear that people who escaped difficult conditions back home have had to put their lives in the hands of ruthless smugglers, only to be killed before they could reach safety,” said James Lynch, Regional Representative and Regional Coordinator for South-East Asia for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).*

07/05/2015

Peace Lessons: How to Reduce Violence

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

If you are interested in learning more about the meaning of, and the relationships among, direct, structural and cultural violence and how one peace studies scholar suggests we use the integrative power of nonviolence to address violence constructively, then I suggest you read the new book by historian, playwright and novelist Professor Timothy Braatz called ‘Peace Lessons’.

**Image: The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of French Protestants, 1572 | Artist: François Dubois (1529–1584) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q369663| Wikimedia Commons

**The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of French Protestants, 1572 | Artist: François Dubois (1529–1584) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q369663| Wikimedia Commons

This book is impressive because it explains important aspects of peace and conflict theory, particularly that developed by Professor Johan Galtung.

It then applies key peace studies concepts to select historical events that are normally perceived as violent – John Brown’s struggle to end slavery in the United States, the battle at Little Bighorn in 1876, ‘World Slaughter II’, as Braatz calls it – as well as some key nonviolent resistance movements of the twentieth century: the toppling of various dictators and the US Civil Rights movement.

05/05/2015

Two Handbooks to Help States Tackle Terrorism

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Terrorism continues to represent one of the greatest global challenges to international stability and security, and given the international nature of modern terrorism, no country is immune. To counter this threat, there are many important steps that States need to take, with establishing a strong legal system against terrorism key among them, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said on 4 May 2015.* 

UNODC

UNODC

In light of this, two new UNODC-developed handbooks – one on human rights and another on air and sea terrorism prevention – aim to assist States in strengthening their efforts against terrorist activities.

The guides are part of UNODC’s ongoing Counter-Terrorism Legal Training Curriculum, a knowledge-sharing platform designed to build capacity among national criminal justice officials to enhance their legal efforts against terrorism.

The Curriculum integrates training materials on related topics, such as money laundering and organized crime, addressing this scourge in a holistic manner.

This helps the target audience – including law enforcement officials such as police, prosecutors and judges; policymakers; and officials from departments such as Foreign Affairs, Justice and Interior – to better draft relevant laws and apply international treaties.

05/05/2015

UN Warns of ‘Tsunami’ of Electronic Waste ‘Rolling Out Over the World’

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – The head of the United Nations body tasked with setting the global environmental agenda on 4 May 2015 stressed the need to limit the use of dangerous chemicals and to find a solution to the masses of electronic waste building up around the world, as a Conference of Parties to three major Conventions on the subject began in Geneva on 4 May 2015.

E-waste. Credit: ITU | Source: UN

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), told journalists that the “tsunami of e-waste rolling out over the world” not only accounted for a large portion of the world’s non-recyclable “waste mountain” but also needed dealing with because many elements found in electronic equipment are potentially hazardous to people and the environment.*

05/05/2015

Every Four Minutes a Child Dies from a Traffic Accident – A World #SaveKidsLives Campaign

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Each day some 500 children die from road traffic crashes, thousands more are injured and the situation is only getting worse, the United Nations on 4 May 2015 warned as it launched #SaveKidsLives, a global campaign to generate action to make streets safe for children.

Photo: WHO

Photo: WHO

According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), every four minutes, a child dies from a traffic accident. For adolescents aged 15 to 17, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death worldwide, with boys accounting for nearly twice as many road traffic deaths as girls.*

And one third of these deaths are children in cars but two thirds outside cars.

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