Archive for ‘Latin America & Caribbean’

23/11/2014

How to Make Cooking Safe for 10 Million People by 2020

Human Wrongs Watch

21 November 2014 – Every year, household air pollution from cooking kills over four million people and sickens millions more, the United Nations spotlighted at a New York conference on cookstoves, as it urged Governments to take action to accelerate the adoption of clean cooking solutions.

In many parts of rural Nepal, women spend on average of five hours a day in smoke-filled kitchens such as these, underming their health. Photo: IRIN/Naresh Newar

In many parts of rural Nepal, women spend on average of five hours a day in smoke-filled kitchens such as these, underming their health. Photo: IRIN/Naresh Newar

The first-ever Cookstoves Future Summit, “Fueling Markets, Catalyzing Action, Changing Lives,” is intending through the financial and political commitments of Member States to improve the health of women living in poverty, who are disproportionately burdened with poor health and unpaid care work in the absence of goods and services such as clean cookstoves.

As it stands now, nearly three billion people worldwide continue to rely on solid fuels to cook, causing serious environmental and health impacts, “according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

An estimated 4.3 million people die each year from indoor pollution. They die from strokes, and heart and pulmonary diseases, such as childhood pneumonia and lung cancer.

23/11/2014

‘For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Martin L., Joris T., Leon V. and Faiza O.*, 21 November, 2014  – Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously unthinkable. This isn’t just about the Arctic. If you live in the UK, they’ve secured the right to frack for gas under your house.

Photo credit: Greenpeace

Photo credit: Greenpeace

In Spain, the inhabitants of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura have been learning this to their cost. Their stunning coastline is now threatened by oil company Repsol, who plan to begin drilling on the coast. The risks to the environment and the livelihood of the inhabitants are great, but despite the opposition of the local population and the regional President the Spanish government in Madrid are backing the oil company.

21/11/2014

End Violence against Women

By UN Women*, November 2014 — To raise awareness and trigger action to end the global scourge of violence against women and girls, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which follow (ending on 10 December, Human Rights Day) are a chance to mobilize and raise awareness.

Source: UN Women

This year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood,” with the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence. Organize events to orange your local streets, shops and schools!

21/11/2014

Tell Your Bank Not to Invest in Nuclear Weapons!

Human Wrongs Watch 

The 2014 Don’t Bank on the Bomb report was launched earlier this month. The International Campaign against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)* spoke with co-author of the report, Susi Snyder from PAX, about the impact of the report, and how you can take action to stop nuclear weapons financing. Act now and tell your bank not to invest in nuclear weapons.

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Source: ICAN

There is increased awareness among the public about the way financial institutions behave, and how they invest their money. How do you see this report contributing to increasing understanding about nuclear weapon investments? 

Susi Snyder: The great thing about the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report is that it gives every person with a bank account (and that’s most of us!) an easy way to do something about nuclear weapons.

You don’t need to have a background in physics or international relations or high finance to say loud and clear “these weapons are unacceptable, and I don’t want to pay for them!”  This report is unique in the world because there is no other single place to find all of this information.

21/11/2014

“Children are the fundamental building block for achieving the future we want”

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 20 November 2014 – As countries around the world celebrate the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations family today hailed the landmark treaty as a powerful human rights tool, while taking stock of the long-standing disparities that must be addressed to propel actions for the well-being of all children into the future.

A child with his mother. Photo: UNICEF/Naser Siddique

A child with his mother. Photo: UNICEF/Naser Siddique

Opening a high-level meeting this morning at UN Headquarters in New York, the President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, underscored that the Convention is a collective commitment to ensure that every child worldwide has the right to a fair start in life, calling on Member States to safeguard that such rights are fully reflected in the post-2015 development agenda.*

“We must continue investing in the rights of all children across the world – no matter their gender, ethnicity, race, disability or economic status,” Kutesa said.

“Children are the fundamental building block for achieving the future we want. Indeed, by strengthening their capacity to mature into engaged, responsible and productive adults, society as a whole stands to benefit,” he added.

20/11/2014

Can Innovation Drive Change for Most Disadvantaged Children?

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 20 November 2014* –  Urgent action is needed to prevent millions of children from missing out on the benefits of innovation, UNICEF said in a new report launched on the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Connectivity and collaboration can fuel new global networks to leverage innovation to reach every child, according to the children’s agency.

Source: UNICEF

Source: UNICEF

The State of the World’s Children Report – Reimagine the future: Innovation for every child calls on governments, development professionals, businesses, activists and communities to work together to drive new ideas for tackling some of the most pressing problems facing children – and to find new ways of scaling up the best and most promising local innovations.

20/11/2014

Every Dollar Invested in Water, Sanitation Brings Four-Fold Return in Costs – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

For every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a $4.3 return in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and society around the world, where 2.5 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation services, with 1 billion practicing open defection, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on 19 November 2014 said. 

Photo: UNICEF/UKLA2013-00961/Karin Schermbrucker

WHO released a major new report behalf of UN-Water that showed that while global efforts to provide improved water and sanitation are gaining momentum, “serious gaps” in funding continue to hamper progress.

The UN health agency also noted that “At the time of writing, poor WASH [water and sanitation] conditions in communities and institutional settings, especially health facilities, have been exacerbating the spread of Ebola in West Africa.”

20/11/2014

On World Toilet Day — 1 in 3 Women Worldwide Does Not Have Access to Safe Toilets

Human Wrongs Watch

With one out of three women worldwide lacking access to safe toilets, it is a moral imperative to end open defecation to ensure women and girls are not at risk of assault and rape simply because they lack a sanitation facility, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 19 November 2014 urged today on World Toilet Day. 

Public toilet in the shanty town of Ciudad Pachacutec, Ventanilla District, El Callao Province, Peru. Photo: World Bank/Monica Tijero

In his message for the Day, commemorated annually on 19 November – with this year’s theme Equality, Dignity and the Link Between Gender-Based Violence and Sanitation – Ban said that addressing the sanitation challenge requires a global partnership and called on Member States to “spare no effort to bring equality, dignity and safety” to women and girls around the world.*

“A staggering 1.25 billion women and girls would enjoy greater health and increased safety with improved sanitation. Evidence also shows safe and clean toilets encourage girls to stay in school,” the UN chief said.

In all, some 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have adequate toilets and among them 1 billion defecate in the open – in fields, bushes, or bodies of water – putting them, and especially children, in danger of deadly faecal-oral diseases like diarrhoea.

19/11/2014

Will a ‘Fast-Track’ Approach against AIDS Over Five Years Be Enough to Avert 21 Million Deaths, End Epidemic by 2030?

Human Wrongs Watch

Four months ago, the head of the UN agency dealing with HIV and AIDS urged world leaders at an international conference in Australia to end the hypocrisy on sex and make treatment and reproductive health education universally available. Now, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) says that taking a fast-track approach in the battle against AIDS over the next five years will avert 21 million deaths and allow the world to end the epidemic by 2030.

Photo: UNAIDS

The report, Fast-Track: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, outlines a set of targets that would need to be reached by 2020, including 90-90-90: 90 per cent of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status; 90 per cent of people who know their HIV-positive status on treatment; and 90 per cent of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads.*

“We have bent the trajectory of the epidemic,” on 18 November 2014 said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS in a press release. “Now we have five years to break it for good or risk the epidemic rebounding out of control.”

19/11/2014

Orange Your Neighborhood — 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Human Wrongs Watch

By UN Women* — From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

Source: UN Women

Source: UN Women

This year, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women invites you to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood.” Take the UNiTE campaign to local streets, shops and businesses, and organize “Orange Events” in your own neighbourhoods between 25 November and 10 December 2014.

Reach out to your neighbours, local stores, food-sellers on the corner of your street, gas stations, local cinemas, barbers, schools, libraries and post offices!

Project orange lights and hang orange flags onto local landmarks, tie orange ribbons where you are allowed, and organize local ‘orange marches’ on 25 November to raise awareness about violence against women and discuss solutions that would work for your community.

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