Archive for ‘Mother Earth’


Beating Climate Change, Either Lead or Get Out of the Way

Human Wrongs Watch

By Arin de Hoog – 22 September, 2014, Greenpeace* – Yesterday  [21 September 2014], over half a million people in 160 countries across the world marched against climate change. What clearer signal can there be to policy leaders that they need to either lead or get out of the way? 

Photo: Greenpeace

Photo: Greenpeace

Leading means using tomorrow’s climate summit to show that governments are going to take decisive action towards capping runaway CO2 emissions and stand up to the fossil fuel industry.

If they are unable or unwilling to do this they need to get out of the way of the millions of their electorate who see the fatal cracks in the ice. Yesterday’s global act of solidarity adds an exclamation point to the rapidly growing number of people who are demanding that industry be accountable to the planet.


No ‘Plan B’ for Climate Action as There Is No ‘Planet B’

Human Wrongs Watch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 21 September 2014 told what is thought to be the largest ever march in the United States demanding measures to halt the advance of global climate change, that there is no “Plan B” for action as there is no “Planet B.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) at the People’s Climate March held in New York City, ahead of the Climate Summit he is hosting at UN headquarters on 23 September. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Speaking to journalists after walking with an estimated 300,000 demonstrators on the People’s Climate March through New York City on Sunday he said the world needs to “galvanize our action” and harness the people’s “power to change.”*

As the clock ticks down to the Secretary-General’s much-anticipated Climate Summit at UN Headquarters two days from now [23 September 2014], politicians, celebrities, activists and the general public marched though the city to highlight global concerns about a lack of international action to stop the deleterious effects of climate change.


Is the EU Doing Enough to Prevent Migrant Deaths at Sea?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kristy Siegfried, Johannesburg, 19 September 2014 (IRIN)* — The news that up to 850 lives were lost in the Mediterranean this past weekend as a result of five shipwrecks of boats carrying migrants has sparked a new round of calls for the European Union (EU) to take more responsibility for preventing deaths at sea.

**Photo: UNHCR/A.D'Amato | Male migrants rescued by the Italian navy sleep in a partitioned section of the San Giorgio military ship.

**Photo: UNHCR/A.D’Amato | Male migrants rescued by the Italian navy sleep in a partitioned section of the San Giorgio military ship.

This summer in the Mediterranean has seen an unprecedented number of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers boarding rickety smugglers’ boats in a desperate bid to reach European shores.

Most of the movement has been concentrated in the central Mediterranean with the majority of departures from Libya, and Italy receiving most of the arrivals – about 120,000 so far in 2014, more than double the previous record of 54,000 (during 2011 at the height of the Arab Spring).

The number of deaths in the Mediterranean this year has also reached a new high of nearly 3,000, including the death toll from last weekend’s multiple tragedies, one of which appears to have been the result of smugglers deliberating ramming and sinking a boat carrying 500 migrants who refused to switch to a less seaworthy boat.


Ahead of Alzheimer’s Day, UN Expert Urges Greater Protections for People with Dementia

Human Wrongs Watch

A United Nations independent expert on 19 September 2014 called on Member States to do more to protect older people affected by dementia from stigmatization, discrimination, victimization and neglect.

**Intellectual activities such as playing chess or regular social interaction have been linked to a reduced risk of AD in epidemiological studies, although no causal relationship has been found. | The Chess players | Artist: Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) Link back to Creator info box template wikidata: Q187506 | Wikimedia Commons

**Intellectual activities such as playing chess or regular social interaction have been linked to a reduced risk of AD in epidemiological studies, although no causal relationship has been found. | The Chess players | Artist: Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) Wikimedia Commons

“The voices of older people and those who look after them need to be heard in a meaningful way,” said Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.*

Speaking ahead of World Alzheimer’s Day, marked annually on 21 September, Kornfeld-Matte called for concerted action to ensure that older persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can fully enjoy their human rights in all circumstances. “The whole of society shares responsibility for the welfare of older persons with dementia and is called upon to find comprehensive solutions,” the UN expert said.


Sinking of Mediterranean Migrant Boat Amounts to ‘Mass Murder’ – UN Rights Chief

Human Wrongs Watch

The UN’s top human rights official on 19 September 2014 urged Egypt and other North African and European States to help bring to justice the people smugglers who allegedly deliberately sank a boat causing the deaths of hundreds of refugees and migrants in last week’s “truly horrendous incident” in the Mediterranean.

Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, but others are not so fortunate. Photo: UNHCR/A. D'Amato

Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, but others are not so fortunate. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

“It is the duty of States to investigate such atrocious crimes, bring the perpetrators to justice, and even more importantly to do more to prevent them from happening in the first place,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a press release issued in Geneva.*

“All the countries in the Mediterranean must make a concerted effort to clamp down on the smugglers who are exploiting one of the most vulnerable groups on the planet and endangering their lives, virtually on a daily basis, purely for financial gain,” he said.


What’s in the UN New Gaza Agreement?

GAZA, JERUSALEM, DUBAI, 19 September 2014 (IRIN)* - On 16 September the UN announced a new deal that is supposed to ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip. In his public statement on the day, Robert Serry, the UN envoy for the Middle East, gave few specific details about the deal but said it would “enable work at the scale required in the Strip, involving the private sector in Gaza and giving a lead role to the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort.” IRIN looks at the issues.

Following the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas and other Islamist groups in Gaza, much of the enclave is in ruins. At least 18,000 homes were destroyed as Israel dropped thousands of bombs on the heavily populated area, while key infrastructure including power plants and water networks were also badly damaged.


As The Voices of Indigenous Peoples “Must Be Effectively Heard”, There Will Be a World Conference On Them!

Human Wrongs Watch

The voices of indigenous peoples must be effectively heard and they must be consulted on issues that affect them, including rights to land and resources, the United Nations Human Rights Council heard on 17 September 2014.

Indigenous people in Totonicapán, Guatemala. Photo: OHCHR/Rolando Alfaro

Indigenous people in Totonicapán, Guatemala. Photo: OHCHR/Rolando Alfaro

“Although there is, at both the international and domestic levels, a strong legal and policy foundation upon which to move forward with the implementation of indigenous peoples’ rights, there are still numerous obstacles preventing indigenous peoples from fully enjoying their human rights,” said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.*

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries who constitute 15 per cent of the world’s poor and about one third of the 900 million extremely poor rural people. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.


Informal Economy Absorbs Half of Workforce Worldwide

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva, 18 September, 2014 (ILO)* – The informal economy absorbs about half of the workforce worldwide and it has not decreased significantly during recent decades, said Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).


Speaking to EU member states at an international conference on “How to Make Formal Work Attractive” that took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, Ryder said the labour inspectorate has both an enforcement and preventive role in addressing undeclared work.

We firmly believe that policies to address undeclared work must be balanced, combining incentives and deterrence, said Ryder, outlining such measures as curtailing administrative burdens for businesses, tax credits and reducing social insurance fees—as well as labour inspections.


Gaps in Commitments by Developed Countries Hamper Progress – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

Despite improvements in the lives of millions of people around the world, the United Nations on 18 September 2014  reported that persistent gaps between promises made and those delivered by developed countries are holding back greater progress on reaching the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by the end of 2015.

Recent statistics show that many MDG targets are already met, such as increasing access to improved drinking water sources. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark

“I call on all Governments and international institutions to continue strengthening the global partnership for development so that we can usher in a more sustainable future,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on the launch of the new report.*


Education Can Save Lives… Still, Some 125 Million School Children Are Unable to Read a Single Sentence

Human Wrongs Watch

Education can save lives, help reach sustainable development goals, says the United Nations. Nevertheless, some 125 million school children around the world are unable to read a single sentence, even after four years of attendance.

A student in a classroom in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo: World Bank/Alfredo Srur

If all women in poor countries completed primary education, child mortality would drop by one-sixth saving almost one million lives, the United Nations educational agency on 18 September 2014 reported* highlighting the links between schooling and achieving a new set of sustainable development targets.*


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