Archive for ‘Mother Earth’


Breaking International Law in Syria

Human Wrongs Watch

By Sharmine Narwani*

25 November 2015 (RT)* – The war drums are getting louder in the aftermath of ISIS attacks in Paris, as Western countries gear up to launch further airstrikes in Syria. But obscured in the fine print of countless resolutions and media headlines is this: the West has no legal basis for military intervention. Their strikes are illegal.

“It is always preferable in these circumstances to have the full backing of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) but I have to say what matters most of all is that any actions we would take would…be legal,” explained UK Prime Minister David Cameron to the House of Commons last Wednesday.

Legal? No, there’s not a scrap of evidence that UK airstrikes would be lawful in their current incarnation.


Forced Labour in Fishing: How Big Is the Problem?

Human Wrongs Watch

24 November 2015 (ILO)* – An international Conference on Labour Exploitation in the Fishing Sector in the Atlantic Region will discuss forced labour and human trafficking in the fishing industry on 25-26 November in Oslo, Norway.


Credit: WorldFish2015 | Source: ILO – International Labour Organization

International Labour Organization (ILO) News spoke with Rebecca Surtees, conference panelist and Senior Researcher at NEXUS Institute*, United States, about possible remedies to labour exploitation in the industry.

What are the main problems in the fishing sector?

There is a range of pressing issues to be considered in the fishing industry – including pollution and environmental concerns, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, sustainability of fish stocks, transnational crime, the use of flags of convenience and non-compliance and so on.


On the Eve of Paris Climate Talks, ‘Bad News’ for Planet

Human Wrongs Watch

In the last major report before world leaders meet in Paris to draft measures to counter global warming, the United Nations weather agency on 25 November 2015 delivered “bad news for the planet,” warning that 2015 is likely to be the warmest year on record, breaching the symbolic and significant milestone of 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era.


Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

The 2011-2015 five-year period has also been the warmest, with many extreme weather events, especially heatwaves, substantially exacerbated by human-induced climate change, in some cases by a factor of 10 or more, according to the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“The state of the global climate in 2015 will make history for a number of reasons,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said, noting that this year’s climate has also been affected by El Niño, a cyclical weather pattern of devastating droughts and catastrophic floods that can affect scores of millions of people around the globe.


Two Thirds of European Oil Refineries Ready for Tar Sands Imports by James Crisp*

EXCLUSIVE (EurActiv) 25 November 2015 – More than two thirds of European oil refineries are now equipped to process tar sands, research has found, raising fears the EU is ready to welcome a flood of imports of one of the most environmentally devastating fuels in production.


Aerial view of the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada.  [Nobel Women’s Initiative/Flickr] | Source: EurActiv

In less than a week world leaders will meet in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference to try and strike a deal to cap global warming to two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

On 6 November, US President Barack Obama killed off the Keystone XL pipeline that would have carried Canadian tar sands oil across the US, citing the projects impact on climate change. 

Tar sands oil produces three to four times more global-warming emissions when extracted and refined than conventional crude oil.


Unless We Act Now, Millions of Children ‘Will Bear the Brunt of Climate Change’

Human Wrongs Watch

More than half a billion children live in areas with extremely high flood occurrence, 160 million live in high drought severity areas. Of the 530 million children in the flood-prone zones, some 300 million live in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty – on less than $3.10 a day – UNICEF.


Source: UNICEF

NEW YORK/GENEVA, 24 November 2015 – More  than half a billion children live in areas with extremely high flood occurrence and 160 million in high drought severity zones, leaving them highly exposed to the impacts of climate change, UNICEF said* in a report released ahead of the 21st United Nations climate change conference, known as COP21.

Of those living in high drought severity areas, 50 million are in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty.


Paris: A Sense of Proportions Is Urgently Needed

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

24 November 2015

For more than a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November, every television news program of any kind was completely dominated by non-stop day-and-night coverage of the “breaking news”.


**Paris Shootings – The day after | French police gathering evidence at the Bataclan theatre on 14 November | Source: Paris Shootings : The day after | Author: Maya-Anaïs Yataghène from Paris, France | Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. | Wikimedia Commons

The attacks, in which 130 people were killed and 80-99 seriously injured, were presented by our mass media with such a concentration of hysteria that they blotted out every other type of news from the public consciousness.


Corporate Imperialism – The Only Reason for GMOs

Human Wrongs Watch

By Prof. Vandana Shiva*

23 November 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service


Prof. Vandana Shiva

“Here’s what I’ll do as President. I’ll immediately implement Country of Origin Labeling because Americans should know where their food comes from. And we’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying,” US President Barack Obama

President Obama’s campaign promise reassured the American people President Obama was on their side, looking out for their basic right to safe food.

As his second term comes closer to an end, President Obama’s promise to protect American people from the established and yet-unknown effects of genetically modified food, lies un-fulfilled.

What happened between the campaign trail and the taking of office? Did Obama change his mind on the importance of letting Americans know what they are eating?

The President’s and the First Family’s food is organic. He has not changed his mind but his window to fulfil his promise of 2007 is closing fast.


More Countries Want More Babies

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, November 2015 (IPS) – Concerned with the consequences of demographic decline and population aging, especially with respect to economic growth, national defense and pensions and health care for the elderly, a growing number of governments are seeking to raise birth rates.


Source: United Nations Population Division.

Whereas nearly 40 years ago 13 countries had policies to raise fertility, today the number has increased four-fold to 56, representing more than one-third of the world’s population.

The most recent and largest addition to this pronatalist group of countries, which includes Australia, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Spain and Turkey, is China.


16 Days to “Orange the World” – UNiTE to End Violence against Women

Human Wrongs Watch

24 November 2015 (UN Women)* – This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November and the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign’s 16 days call for action are focused on strategies to prevent violence against women and girls.
places around the world lit orange.

Source: UN Women

The Issue

A staggering one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime—a pandemic of global proportions.

Unlike an illness, however, perpetrators and even entire societies choose to commit violence—and can choose to stop.

Violence is not inevitable. It can be prevented.

But it’s not as straightforward as eradicating a virus. There is no vaccine, medication or cure. And there is no one single reason for why it happens.

As such, prevention strategies should be holistic, with multiple interventions undertaken in parallel in order to have long-lasting and permanent effects.


10 Shocking Facts Show How Companies Are Still Trashing Indonesia’s Forests

Human Wrongs Watch

By Danielle Boobyer *

23 November 2015 (Greenpeace) – For months, forest fires raged across Indonesia bringing the world’s attention to the country’s devastating forest destruction. Both people and orang-utans were endangered as the fires raged and a thick, choking haze swept across Southeast Asia.


Source: Greenpeace

These forest fires were a legacy of decades of destruction by palm oil and paper companies. Despite ‘no deforestation’ promises held by companies, forests are still being trashed.

Here are 10 shocking facts showing the scale of Indonesia’s forest destruction, and why it needs to stop now.


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