Archive for ‘Mother Earth’

25/10/2014

More Respect, Less Criminalization for Migrant Workers, UN Human Rights Expert Urges

The lack of political will to stand up for migrant workers’ rights remains the greatest challenge to the protection of this “very vulnerable” group of human beings, an independent United Nations expert affirmed on 24 October 2014.

Migrant workers in India cook a meal. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark | Source: UN News Centre

Speaking before the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which reviews the work accomplished by the UN’s independent human rights experts, Francisco Carrion Mena, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (CMW), warned that some Member States “mistakenly consider border areas as exempt from human rights obligations.”*

25/10/2014

The World Wastes Enough Food to Feed Two Billion People!

Human Wrongs Watch

The world wastes enough food to feed an estimated two billion people, the United Nations on 24 October 2014 said, as its three Rome-based food agencies announced the launch of a digital platform designed to take aim at the growing problem of “food loss.”

FAO, IFAD and WFP joint project “Mainstreaming food loss reduction initiatives for smallholders in food deficit areas” aims to improve food security and income generation through reduction of food losses in food grains and pulses value chains. Photo: FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

The new online program me, called the Global Community of Practice (CoP) on Food Loss Reduction, was jointly launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), with the goal of becoming “a global reference point” in the facilitation of information sharing between stakeholders such as public entities, civil society and the private sector.*

24/10/2014

Right to Online Privacy at Risk as Governments Engage in Mass Surveillance – Counter-terrorism Expert

Human Wrongs Watch

States must be transparent about the nature of their electronic mass surveillance programmes, an independent United Nations counter-terrorism expert said on 23 October 2014 as he warned about the impact such measures might have on individuals’ right to privacy.

Slide from a 2008 NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing a world map with the locations of XKeyscore servers | Author: (US) National Security Agency | Wikimedia Commons

**Slide from an NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing a world map with the locations of XKeyscore servers | Date: 29 January 2014 | Author: National Security Agency | Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

“States need to squarely confront the fact that mass surveillance programmes effectively do away with the right to online privacy altogether,” Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, told the General Assembly body dealing with cultural, social and humanitarian issues (Third Committee) during the presentation his latest report.*

24/10/2014

The Growing Menace of Desertification to World’s Agriculture, Eco-systems

Human Wrongs Watch

The growing menace of desertification poses a distinct threat to the world’s agriculture and eco-systems, the United Nations agriculture agency on 22 October 2014 warned, as it announced a new initiative aimed at curbing the spread of land degradation and building resilience to climate change.

 

Recent successes show that problems related to desertification and land degradation are not insurmountable. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

The program me, named Action Against Desertification and launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in partnership with the European Union and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP), will devote some €41million to bolstering sustainable land management across the world’s most vulnerable areas in an effort to fight hunger and poverty.*

24/10/2014

Mediterranean, North Atlantic Preparing for UN-backed Tsunami Warning System Test

Human Wrongs Watch

Some 20 nations with coastlines on the North Atlantic, and Mediterranean and Black Seas are set to participate in a United Nations-supervised tsunami warning exercise to improve their ability to respond to an alert and enhance regional coordination in the event of a disaster.

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

In a press statement released on 23 October 2014 , the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – the body coordinating the warning test since its first implementation in 2005 – reported that four tsunami simulations will be carried out between 28 and 30 October in an effort to assess the overall reactivity of countries participating in the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System for the North-eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and connected seas (NEAMTWS).*

23/10/2014

Fishing for a Living in the Desert Wastes of Northern Kenya

Human Wrongs Watch

By Cathy Wachiaya in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, 22 October 2014 (UNHCR)* Noah Ilambona has been a fisherman all his life, so the refugee from Burundi felt completely lost when he ended up in the arid reaches of north-west Kenya after fleeing home in 2010 with his wife and first child.
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© UNHCR/C.Wachiaya | Noah and a partner harvest fish from one of their aquaculture ponds in Kakuma.

© UNHCR/C.Wachiaya | Noah and a partner harvest fish from one of their aquaculture ponds in Kakuma.

“I was happy to have found safety. The fighting was terrible back home,” admitted the 30-year-old, who fled to Kakuma Refugee Camp from his village on the banks of Mulembwe River, which feeds into Lake Tanganyika.

But the environment in north-west Kenya was completely different from his lush village and the father of two got a shock on arrival in Kakuma, which is located in a mostly arid region that experiences searing temperatures and very little rainfall.

The locals are pastoralists who live a nomadic lifestyle in constant search of water and pasture for their livestock.

22/10/2014

Neck & Neck Brazil Presidential Race Casts Doubts on Mercosur, BRICS

Human Wrongs Watch

By Mauricio Savarese*, 21 October  2014 (RT) — About a year ago everyone expected an easy ride for President Dilma Rousseff in her reelection campaign. Now, in the final week of Brazil’s election season, she is technically tied with opposition’s Aécio Neves.

Dilma Rousseff in Brasília, March 2009 | Roosewelt Pinheiro/ABr | Wikimedia Commons

Dilma Rousseff | Roosewelt Pinheiro /ABr | Wikimedia Commons

About 20 percent of voters, who reject both candidates or seem too tired of politics to show up on October 26, are hearing desperate claims from the incumbent and her antagonist. It is likely Brazilians only know what will happen after the last vote is counted.

That uncertainty makes the country’s future a big mystery. And that includes a big chunk of South America’s powerhouse foreign policy. Neither Rousseff nor Neves want to give away much of what they intend to do if victorious.

Aécio Neves | Author: PSDB MG | Wikimedia Commons

Aécio Neves | Author: PSDB MG | Wikimedia Commons

But the president’s closest allies have given hints. Rousseff’s foreign advisor Marco Aurélio Garcia says “South America is a big asset” and insists Mercosur – the region’s free trade zone – must be strong to keep Brazil’s position as a Latin American spokesman.

Neves’ aide Rubens Barbosa, a former ambassador to Washington, says Brazil does better by imploding Mercosur (which includes Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), so there is a deal with the European Union and diplomacy that is friendlier to the US.

22/10/2014

The “Complex Web” of Violations of Economic, Social, Cultural and Political Rights Requires Human Rights-based Solutions

Human Wrongs Watch

At the root of crises confronted by the United Nations usually lies a “complex web” of violations of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights requiring solutions that can only come from more emphatic and comprehensive protections, the Organization’s top human rights official said on 22 October 2014.

In Khanke village, Iraq Kurdistan Region, children from the Yazidi minority eat a meal of rice and tomato stew for lunch. Photo: UNHCR/N. Colt

In Khanke village, Iraq Kurdistan Region, children from the Yazidi minority eat a meal of rice and tomato stew for lunch. Photo: UNHCR/N. Colt

Addressing the General Assembly’s main body dealing with social, humanitarian, and cultural issues (Third Committee), UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said the world is currently facing “deepening turmoil” amid “biting constraints” of funding.

21/10/2014

Facts and Figures on Inequality

Human Wrongs Watch

By OXFAM* -- The widening gap between the richest and poorest is damaging economies and pushing more people into poverty. Too many still toil in extreme poverty. On the other extreme, wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, who can use it to capture disproportionate power to shape the future. Here are some facts and figures on inequality. Want something more visual? Check out OXFAM‘s Poverty & Inequality Pinterest board.

The Paraisópolis favela borders condominiums, with swimming pools, parks, tennis courts, of the affluent district of Morumbi in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Tuca Vieira

The Paraisópolis favela borders the affluent district of Morumbi in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Tuca Vieira | Source: OXFAM International

General killer facts

  • Oxfam has calculated that in 2014 the richest 85 people on the planet owned as much as the poorest half of humanity.
  • In Uganda, under-five mortality among the top 20 percent has halved, but for the bottom 20 percent it has only fallen by a fifth over the same period.

21/10/2014

Blowin’ in the Wind

Human Wrongs Watch

By Sven Teske*, 21 October, 2014 (Greenpeace) – Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world’s energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in energy efficiency and solar power gain momentum.

Credit: Karuna Ang/Greenpeace

Credit: Karuna Ang/Greenpeace

Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council have just released a two-yearly status report on wind energy and its prospects up to 2050.

In as little as five years’ time wind power could prevent more than a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being emitted each year by dirty energy. That’s equivalent to Germany’s and Italy’s emissions combined, or Africa’s total CO2 emissions, or those of Japan, or two-thirds of what India pumps out.

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