Archive for ‘Latin America & Caribbean’


On World Day – Crime against Wildlife Worth Up to $10 Billion a Year

Human Wrongs Watch

World Wildlife Day, marked on 3 March 2015, is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.*

A white tiger in Nandankan Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhubaneshwar, India. UN Photo/John Isaac

A white tiger in Nandankan Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhubaneshwar, India. UN Photo/John Isaac

Globally wildlife crime is conservatively estimated to be worth around $8 to $10 billion annually.

Wildlife has an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of sustainable development and human well-being.

For these reasons, all member States, the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, non-governmental organizations and individuals, are invited to observe and to get involved in this global celebration of wildlife.

Local communities can play a positive role in helping to curb illegal wildlife trade.


Labour Migration: In Their Own Voices

Human Wrongs Watch

MANILA, 2 March 2015, (ILO)* – The prospect of a better future for her son is what drove Ellen Dollaga to leave her child. The 27-year old single mother moved from the Philippines to work as a nurse in Taiwan, China.
Ellen Dollaga ©ILO/DWAB APFI

Ellen Dollaga ©ILO/DWAB APFI

“I left my baby when he was just six months old,” Dollaga recalls. “It’s important for a mum to see and to hear her baby say Mummy, his first word and his first walk. Yet, I sacrificed all this and a lot of happy moments to earn money. There was a time when my son never knew his mother.”

After two years working in a nursing home in Taiwan, China, Dollaga returned to the Philippines. Her foreign work experience and her foreign language skills opened more opportunities, and she was among the first batch of Filipino nurses who qualified to work in Germany, under a bilateral mobility agreement.

Dollaga was happy with the help the arrangement gave her. “Through this bilateral agreement nurses no longer have to pay placement fees. Processing time takes three to four months or less. It saves time, effort and of course money on our part.”


Zero Discrimination Day – Tolerance for Diversity Urgent

Human Wrongs Watch

1 March 2015 – The United Nations agency leading the world’s HIV/AIDS response has kicked off the 2015 global edition of Zero Discrimination Day as part of the Organization’s wider effort to spur solidarity towards ending discrimination.

Zero Discrimination Day is a chance to celebrate diversity and to reject discrimination. Credits: UNAids.

“Discrimination is a violation of human rights and must not go unchallenged,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared in a press release issued for the Day. “Everyone has the right to live with respect and dignity.”*

This year’s theme Open Up, Reach Out encourages all members of the international community to unite under the banner of diversity and celebrate each other’s difference in an authoritative rejection of discrimination in all its forms.


What the BRICS Plus Germany Are Really Up to?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Pepe Escobar*

27 February 2015 (RT)* - Winston Churchill once said, “I feel lonely without a war.” He also badly missed the loss of empire. Churchill’s successor – the ‘Empire of Chaos’ – now faces the same quandary. Some wars – as in Ukraine, by proxy – are not going so well.

**Image: BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) | Author: Cflm001 (talk) | Wikimedia Commons

**BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) | Author: Cflm001 (talk) | Wikimedia Commons

And the loss of empire increasingly manifests itself in myriad moves by selected players aiming towards a multipolar world.

So no wonder US ‘Think Tankland’ is going bonkers, releasing wacky CIA-tinted “forecasts” where Russia is bound to disintegrate, and China is turning into a communist dictatorship. So much (imperial) wishful thinking, so little time to prolong hegemony.

The acronym that all these “forecasts” dare not reveal is BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). BRICS is worse than the plague as far as the ‘Masters of the Universe’ that really control the current – rigged – world system are concerned. True, the BRICS are facing multiple problems.


How to Reduce Heating, Cooling Primary Energy Consumption by up to 50%

Human Wrongs Watch

With cities accounting for 70 per cent of global energy use and for 40-50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, District Energy in Cities: Unlocking the Potential of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, reveals how local authorities and national governments can develop energy-efficient, climate-resilient and affordable district energy systems as one of the most cost-effective and efficient solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy demand, and for helping to keep global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


War on Smoking Far from Over, Business Spends Billions to Promote Products that Kill 8 Million People a Year

Human Wrongs Watch

A World Health Organization-led treaty that aims to achieve a tobacco-free world has dramatically curbed tobacco use worldwide since its entry into force 10 years ago on 27 February 2015, but “the war on tobacco is far from over” with the tobacco industry still spending billions to promote products that are expected to kill some 8 million people each year by 2030, the United Nations health agency said.

A man smokes on the side of the road as a bus passes in Nepal. Photo: World Bank/Aisha Faquir | Source: UN

The WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) entered into force on February 27, 2005, enacting a set of universal standards stating the dangers of tobacco and limiting its use in all forms worldwide.

The treaty is the first international treaty negotiated under the WHO’s auspices, and has become one of the fastest endorsed by the United Nations to date, with 180 Parties, covering 90 per cent of the world’s population.


UN Human Rights Expert Urges Belgium to Boost Fight against Modern Slavery

Human Wrongs Watch

Despite its comprehensive approach to tackling modern forms of slavery, the Government of Belgium must further sharpen its focus on proper victim detection and identification, a United Nations independent expert declared on 26 February 2015.

Forced labour often means unpaid wages, excessively long work hours without rest days, confiscation of ID documents, little freedom of movement, deception, intimidation and physical or sexual violence. ILO/A. Khemka

Forced labour often means unpaid wages, excessively long work hours without rest days, confiscation of ID documents, little freedom of movement, deception, intimidation and physical or sexual violence. ILO/A. Khemka

“Belgium’s multi-disciplinary approach to tackling modern forms of slavery, which brings together various stakeholders at policy and operational level is an example of good practice,” stated Urmila Bhoola, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences, in a press release.*

“However, potential victims, including children and other vulnerable groups, are not always detected, identified and referred to the appropriate structures, which leaves them susceptible to abuse and exploitation.”


Measles Resurfaces in Europe – WHO Calls for Widespread Vaccination

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – European policymakers, healthcare workers, and parents must step up their efforts to vaccinate children against measles amid an ongoing outbreak across the continent, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 February 2015 said, warning that a recent resurgence in the disease threatened Europe’s goal of eliminating measles by the end of 2015.*

Photo: WHO/F. Guerrero

According to UN data, over 22,000 cases of the virus have surfaced across Europe during the 2014 to 2015 biennium with the outbreak spreading to seven countries. This comes despite a 50 per cent drop from 2013 to 2014.

“When we consider that over the past two decades we have seen a reduction of 96 per cent in the number of measles cases in the European region, and that we are just a step away from eliminating the disease, we are taken aback by these numbers,” Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, affirmed in a press release.


Take action to Orange your day also on 25 February!

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.*

Orange Day February 2015

UN Women Laos/Daniel Hodgson

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.


World Health Organization Urges Global Switch to ‘Smart’ Syringes that Disable after Single Use

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on 23 February 2015 called for all countries to switch by 2020 to new ‘smart’ syringes that cannot be used more than once as an “absolutely critical” stop to protect millions of people from deadly infections acquired through unsafe injections.


“Adoption of safety-engineered syringes is absolutely critical to protecting people worldwide from becoming infected with HIV, hepatitis and other diseases. This should be an urgent priority for all countries,” Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of the WHO HIV/AIDS Department, said in the announcement by the UN health agency.*

A 2014 study sponsored by WHO, which focused on the most recent available data, estimated that in 2010, up to 1.7 million people were infected with hepatitis B virus, up to 315,000 with hepatitis C virus and as many as 33,800 with HIV through an unsafe injection.


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