Archive for ‘War Lords’


1 in 3 Victims of Human Trafficking Is a Child — Girls, Women Account for 70% of the Total

Human Wrongs Watch

The 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released on 24 November 2014 in Vienna by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that one in three known victims of human trafficking is a child – a 5 per cent increase compared to the 2007-2010 period. Girls make up 2 out of every 3 child victims, and together with women, account for 70 per cent of overall trafficking victims worldwide.*

Source: UNODC

Source: UNODC

“Unfortunately, the report shows there is no place in the world where children, women and men are safe from human trafficking,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.

“Official data reported to UNODC by national authorities represent only what has been detected. It is very clear that the scale of modern-day slavery is far worse.”

No country is immune – there are at least 152 countries of origin and 124 countries of destination affected by trafficking in persons, and over 510 trafficking flows criss-crossing the world.

Trafficking mostly occurs within national borders or within the same region, with transcontinental trafficking mainly affecting rich countries.

In some regions – such as Africa and the Middle East – child trafficking is a major concern, with children constituting 62 per cent of victims.


In 2013, World ‘War Lords’ Spent on Killing Machines $1747 Billion — $248 for Each Person Alive Today

Human Wrongs Watch

World military expenditure in 2013 is estimated to have been $1747 billion, representing 2.4 per cent of global gross domestic product or $248 for each person alive today, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research (SIPRI)‘s Yearbook 2014, Armaments, Disarmament and International Security*, issued earlier this month.

The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin

**The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin | Artist: Vasily Vereshchagin (1842–1904) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q127017 | Current location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q183334 | Wikimedia Commons

The total is about 1.9 per cent lower in real terms than in 2012. The pattern of increases and decreases in military spending in 2012 continued in 2013, with falls in Western countries (North America, Western and Central Europe, and Oceania) and increases in the rest of the world.

There were particularly large increases in Africa and the Middle East, while the impact of austerity policies continued to be felt in Europe.

The United States remained the largest military spender in 2013, followed at some distance by China and Russia.


‘Western policy of destroying ISIS completely unsuccessful’

Human Wrongs Watch

By RT*, 21 November 2014 – The US anti-ISIS policy only helps them recruit more people, while the only way to fight ISIS is to secure borders and re-examine immigration policies both in America and Europe, retired US Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor told RT.

**Collage of 2014 military intervention against ISIS | Author: ZiaLater | Wikimedia Commons

**Collage of 2014 military intervention against ISIS | Author: ZiaLater | Wikimedia Commons

President Obama is under increasing pressure from the military to send troops to fight against the Islamic State. It has also been reported that the Pentagon doesn’t have enough drones to use against extremists.

RT: Do you think President Obama’s policy in fighting the Islamic State is working?

Douglas MacGregor: Of course not, it is completely unsuccessful from the standpoint of destroying ISIS, but it’s an enormous success story for ISIS. It is actually helping the Sunni Islamists recruit new people – more than a thousand every month from across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.


End Violence against Women

By UN Women*, November 2014 — To raise awareness and trigger action to end the global scourge of violence against women and girls, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which follow (ending on 10 December, Human Rights Day) are a chance to mobilize and raise awareness.

Source: UN Women

This year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood,” with the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence. Organize events to orange your local streets, shops and schools!


Tell Your Bank Not to Invest in Nuclear Weapons!

Human Wrongs Watch 

The 2014 Don’t Bank on the Bomb report was launched earlier this month. The International Campaign against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)* spoke with co-author of the report, Susi Snyder from PAX, about the impact of the report, and how you can take action to stop nuclear weapons financing. Act now and tell your bank not to invest in nuclear weapons.


Source: ICAN

There is increased awareness among the public about the way financial institutions behave, and how they invest their money. How do you see this report contributing to increasing understanding about nuclear weapon investments? 

Susi Snyder: The great thing about the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report is that it gives every person with a bank account (and that’s most of us!) an easy way to do something about nuclear weapons.

You don’t need to have a background in physics or international relations or high finance to say loud and clear “these weapons are unacceptable, and I don’t want to pay for them!”  This report is unique in the world because there is no other single place to find all of this information.


Children Born in Exile — The Challenge of Life in Their Afghan Homeland

Human Wrongs Watch

By Maya Ameratunga, Kabul, Afghanistan, 20 November 2014 (UNHCR)* – The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted 25 years ago today to protect children like Hasanat, Aisha and Safia.

© UNHCR/B.Baloch | Young Afghan refugees on their way home to Afghanistan wave goodbye to Pakistan.

© UNHCR/B.Baloch | Young Afghan refugees on their way home to Afghanistan wave goodbye to Pakistan.

The three, aged between seven and 13, have all returned to a homeland, Afghanistan, that they had heard much about but never visited. Half of Afghanistan’s 5 million returnees since 2002 were born in exile, mostly in Iran or Pakistan, which together still shelter 2.5 million Afghans.

Hasanat, Aisha and Safia all face further challenges in a country that remains volatile and poverty stricken, and their stories reflect the vulnerability of childhood in the region as well as the resilience of young returnees. Hasanat tells a harrowing tale of return; the stories of Aisha and Safia highlight some of the human rights problems children face.


Orange Your Neighborhood — 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Human Wrongs Watch

By UN Women* — From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

Source: UN Women

Source: UN Women

This year, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women invites you to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood.” Take the UNiTE campaign to local streets, shops and businesses, and organize “Orange Events” in your own neighbourhoods between 25 November and 10 December 2014.

Reach out to your neighbours, local stores, food-sellers on the corner of your street, gas stations, local cinemas, barbers, schools, libraries and post offices!

Project orange lights and hang orange flags onto local landmarks, tie orange ribbons where you are allowed, and organize local ‘orange marches’ on 25 November to raise awareness about violence against women and discuss solutions that would work for your community.


A Family Made Whole Again: After Eight Agonizing Months, Idris Is Runited with His Wife and Sons

Human Wrongs Watch

‘Idris was separated from his wife and sons as they fled the fighting in Central African Republic. Eight agonizing months later, they reunite.’

UNHCR/Olivier Laban-Mattei

UNHCR/Olivier Laban-Mattei

By Baptiste de Cazenove*, 17 November 2014 – After eight months of anguish, Idris Ali is basking in joy. Three days ago he learned that his first wife and two sons would soon join him in eastern Cameroon, where he took refuge from atrocities back home in the Central African Republic. For the longest time, Idris had not even known if they were still alive.

The 35-year-old husband and father has imagined this moment many times. He has tried to prepare himself mentally. Still, he feels an urge to cry as he watches his wife and children enter the community shelter here in Gado-Badzere, soon after they arrived by bus from a transit site near the border.

Idris swoops the kids up his arms. “My God saved me and my family!” he says triumphantly.


Afghan Opium Crop Cultivation Rises 7 % in 2014 — Opium Production Could Climb by 17 %

Human Wrongs Watch

Vienna/Kabul, November 2014 — Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose seven per cent from 209,000 hectares in 2013 to 224,000 hectares, according to the 2014 Afghanistan Opium Survey released in Vienna and Kabul by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Meanwhile, opium production may potentially increase 17 per cent, with yields estimated to reach 6,400 tons in 2014 compared to the previous year’s total of 5,500 tons.

**Anti-poppy propaganda poster. An approximate translation of the text is "Poppies are the crop of death. Grow wheat instead so children can eat and live" | Author: Todd Huffman | Source: originally posted to Flickr as No Poppies | Wikimedia Commons.

**Anti-poppy propaganda poster. An approximate translation of the text is “Poppies are the crop of death. Grow wheat instead so children can eat and live” | Author: Todd Huffman | Source: originally posted to Flickr as No Poppies | Wikimedia Commons.

The Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, said that Afghanistan’s narcotics problem remained a global challenge and shared responsibility “We cannot afford to see the long-term stability of Afghanistan – and the wider region – derailed by the threat of opiates. What is needed is greater resolve towards addressing narcotics in a serious and tangible manner within the economic, development and security agendas.”

Afghanistan produces some 90 per cent of the world’s illicit opiates. These increases come after record highs were noted in 2013, when cultivation rose 36 per cent and production by almost a half since 2012.


Internally Displaced or Refugees — Does It Really Matter?

At the Kawergosk camp, 25km away, Syrian refugees are doing the same. Yet their winter kits and food parcels will mostly likely contain different items and be delivered by different teams funded by different donors.

Both groups are fleeing what the international community now views as the same crisis, yet due to UN protocols and how funding is allocated, internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Iraq and refugees from Syria are being supported by, in some cases, completely separate programmes – despite their similar needs and geographical proximity.

This duplication is prompting experts to call for a rethink on how organizations in Iraq – and elsewhere – respond to dual caseloads of IDPs and refugees, with a strong push to prioritize based upon need rather than status.


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