31 July 2015 (UNODC)* – Each year millions of women, men and children are trafficked for profit. They are sexually exploited, made to undertake demanding and often dangerous work in homes, farms and factories across the globe, and find themselves victims of one of the many other forms of abuse such as forced marriage or organ removal.
Yet despite the wide-spread recognition that this is one of today’s most exploitative crimes, action is lacking: more needs to be done to dismantle the organized criminal networks behind this, while at the same time it is critical that assistance to victims be stepped up.
Against this background, and with the second annual World Day against Trafficking in Persons being marked 30 July 2015, UNODC is calling for definitive and marked action to both end the impunity of traffickers, and to drastically boost the much-needed support being provided to victims.
UNODC’s most recent biennial Global Report on Trafficking in Persons highlights the true extent of the crime.
Thirteen additional countries need to ratify an agreement brokered by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to combat illegal fishing by blocking ports to ships known or believed to be carrying illicit catches that account for more than 15 per cent of global output, the agency on 30 July 2015 said.
“Solar activity can produce x-rays, high-energy particles and coronal mass ejections of plasma. Where such activity is directed towards Earth there is the potential to cause wide-ranging impacts. These include power loss, aviation disruption, communication loss, and disturbance to (or loss of) satellite systems,” says the report, called Space Weather Preparedness Strategy.
The world’s population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050 and exceed 11 billion in 2100, with India expected to surpass China as the most populous around seven years from now and Nigeria overtaking the United States to become the world’s third largest country around 35 years from now, according to a new United Nations report released on 29 July 2015.
Moreover, the report reveals that during the 2015-2050 period, half of the world’s population growth is expected to be concentrated in nine countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Indonesia and Uganda.
Wu Hongbo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, whose department produced the 2015 Revision of World Population Prospects, the 24th round of official UN population estimates and projections, noted that understanding the demographic changes that are likely to unfold over the coming years “is key to the design and implementation of the new development agenda.”
New Delhi, 29 July 2015 – (ILO)* – Jameela, a 50-year old Indian woman, needed money to support her family. She didn’t think she would find much, if any, funds close to home.
She got in touch with an agent who arranged for her to leave Mallapuram, Kerala in southwest India to work abroad.
Upon leaving India, she, like many female labour migrants, had only a very minimal understanding of the working conditions at her destination. It didn’t turn out as she had hoped.
Translated by Erika Körner
28 July 2015 – Asylum seekers in Germany only have limited access to medical care, an attempt by the state to keep costs low, but a new study shows health-related costs are much lower when refugees can freely access health services. EurActiv Germany reports.In most of the German Länder, asylum seekers are not allowed to go directly to doctors when they are in pain or call an ambulance after an accident. Instead, they are required to get a permit first from the appropriate authorities or the refugee centre.
This procedure is regulated by the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act of 1993. The goal of the law is to keep health-related spending low and limit incentives for asylum seekers in Germany.
16 July 2015, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)* – Water resources are scarce in relation to a booming demand, and their availability varies significantly. Global warming means changes in precipitation patterns with prolonged periods of extremes. Droughts that last for years represent society’s new normal.
Together with continuous demographic change and shifts in food habits, a radically new context for water and food security and human dignity has evolved. Unexpected and unwanted paradoxes have to be recognized and managed.
We live in a richer, fatter world. Supported by official statistics and results from frontline research, the report Water, Food Security and Human Dignity shows that the increase in global food supply was about 30 per cent higher than population growth during recent decades.
Undernourishment has been reduced drastically. On the other hand, overweight and obesity increased far more rapidly as compared to the reduction of undernourishment.
By John Scales Avery*
We urgently need to shift quickly from fossil fuels to renewable energy if we are to avoid a tipping point after which human efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change will be futile because feedback loops will have taken over.
Millions of children around the world are caught up in adults’ wars, declared the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 24 July 2015, marking the 10th anniversary of a UN Security Council resolution that established a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the use of child soldiers with a strong call for accountability and robust measures to end all “horrors” children face.
In a statement, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said that today, millions of children are deliberately killed, injured, raped, abducted.
Their schools and homes are being destroyed; they are being denied food, water and health care. Tens of thousands are forced to join armed forces and groups.