11/05/2021

Myanmar Coup: ‘No Sign’ of End to ‘Brutal Crackdown’ on All Fronts

Human Wrongs Watch 

(UN News)* — One hundred days since the Myanmar military seized power, the “brutal” repression of protesters has continued, despite all international efforts to end the violence, the UN rights office (OHCHR) said on Tuesday [11 May 2021].

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Unsplash/Gayatri Malhotra | Protestors calling for democracy in Myanmar.

“The military authorities are showing no sign of letting up in their brutal crackdown on opponents in a bid to consolidate their hold on power”, spokesperson Rupert Colville told journalists at a media briefing.

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11/05/2021

Usury as an Economic System in Brazil

Human Wrongs Watch 

By Ladislau Dowbor*

Nowadays, Brazil is not only facing inequality brought by the pandemic

Usury is certainly nothing new
Usury is certainly nothing new | Image from Wall Street International.

10 May 2021 (Wall Street International)* —  Usury is certainly nothing new, from the medieval Venice through Shylock and the dramas of Balzac —who spent his life writing books to pay off his debts— it consists mainly in making money out of money, even if you do not have it.

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11/05/2021

Can Forest Restoration Reduce the Threat of Megafires?

World Environment Day, which falls on 5 June, marks the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global push to revive natural spaces lost to development. In the lead-up to the Decade’s launch, UNEP is looking back on some of our most popular restoration-related stories, including this piece originally published in December 2020. 

2020-09-29T060432Z_1000509411_RC258J9P75HU_RTRMADP_3_USA-WILDFIRES

Reuters / Andrees Latif / 01 Dec 2020

11 May 2021 (UNEP)* — The record-breaking wildfires that engulfed the western United States in 2020  show the danger from global heating and ecosystem decline, but also highlight how forest and landscape restoration can reduce the threat of catastrophic fires.

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11/05/2021

5 Things You Should Know about the State of the Global Economy

10 May 2021 (UN News)*Is this the year we overcome the global economic crisis caused by the pandemic? Are our jobs in danger? Who has lost the most in the crisis and what can be done to recover?
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IMF/Ernesto Benavides | Goods are transported by hands in Lima, Peru.

As the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs (DESA) prepares to launch the mid-year update of the 2021 World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report, here are five things you need to know about the state of the global economy.

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11/05/2021

‘Free Up Bottlenecks Stifling Africa’s Agri-Food Sector’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The UN agriculture chief on 10 May 2021 warned that severe underfunding of Africa’s agri-food sector has boosted food insecurity and was hampering the future development of countries across the continent. 

© FAO/Alessandra Benedetti | A farmer works in a rice field in Bagré, Burkina Faso.
 
“Let’s unblock the bottlenecks that are holding back potential by increasing coordination and upskilling human capacity in African nations”, urged QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
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10/05/2021

Middle East/North Africa: End Violent Punishment of Children

Human Wrongs Watch

By Human Rights Watch*

Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

Beirut  – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today [10 May 2021], introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies.

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10/05/2021

This Secretive Industry Is Putting Sea Creatures at Risk

Image from Greenpeace International.

The deep sea mining industry is planning to send monster machines to plunder the seabed and extract polymetallic nodules – potato-sized lumps of rocks loaded with metals and minerals. Deep sea mining isn’t happening yet, but the kinds of metals this industry is targeting are used in phones, laptops and batteries.

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10/05/2021

Sakina’s Story: From Teenage Widow to Confident Working Mother

10 May 2021 (IOM)* — Gender inequality is magnified in situations of conflict. Women are disproportionately disadvantaged in terms of personal safety, access to employment, resources and basic services in fragile, conflict-ridden environments. They are most affected by poverty and the value of the support they provide at home is mostly rendered invisible.

sakina 1jpg

Photo: IOM Afghanistan

In a society like Afghanistan, traditional norms often make it difficult for women to access employment, get a loan or start a business. Yet, when women are given an opportunity, they make significant contributions to the growth and development of their families and their communities at large.

Sakina was born in a small village in Helmand in 1995. She was 5 years old when her family fled Afghanistan in 2000 and migrated to Pakistan.

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10/05/2021

From the Non-Aligned Movement to Active Non-Alignment

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

8 May 2021 (Wall Street International)* — This paper is not going to be academic or conceptual, but a long article. I thought that my best contribution would be to give a testimony I have lived through of the triple process of decolonisation, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77, in which I actively participated.
Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., was the location of the conference in 1944
Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., was the location of the conference in 1944 | Image from Wall Street International.

I believe that I am one of the few survivors left from the Bandung Conference (1955) and that communicating my experience of the process of the creation and development of the Third World, its vision and values, may be the most useful thing I can do.

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09/05/2021

Many Stateless in UK Face a Tortuous Road to Recognition

Human Wrongs Watch

By Matthew Saltmarsh*

UNHCR study shines light on a hidden national issue that, despite recent progress, still affects millions of people around the world.  Español   |  Français   |  عربيUnited Kingdom. StatelessnessA recognised stateless person in the UK sits on a park bench in east London.  © UNHCR/Katie Barlow

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LONDON, UK (UNHCR)* – For more than seven decades, Benjamin has lacked something that most people take for granted: a nationality.

Born in Namibia, then part of South Africa, he did not acquire nationality at birth because at the time neither of his parents had citizenship or permanent residency in the country.

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09/05/2021

‘I Am Alive, But I Feel Like I Am Dead’: A Migrant Grieves the Drowning of 3 Children

© IOM/Olivia Headon. Migrants who survived the capsizing of a smugglers boat in the Gulf of Aden were brought ashore in Obock in Djibouti.
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“I have lost everything,” says Misrah, as she struggles to recount the most traumatic of events, witnessing the deaths of her three children.
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The 27-year-old Ethiopian woman, her husband and children – Aziza, five; Rachar, three; and Ikram, two – and at least 55 other migrants and refugees were aboard a boat controlled by smugglers crossing the Gulf of Aden from Yemen to the Horn of Africa via Djibouti, on 12 April.
08/05/2021

Birdsong, a Balm for Pandemic Anxieties, Is under Threat

Human Wrongs Watch

7 May 2021 (UNEP)* — Since the start of the pandemic a growing number of people have turned to nature – including visible and audible nature in urban settings in the form of birds and birdsong – to soothe the angst brought about by COVID-19.

Bird_Mig_4a_European_Turtle_Dove_Streptopelia_turtur_Jordan_May_2007_copyright_Sergey_Dereliev

And bird watching seems to be becoming more popular. Starting in April 2020, eBird began to see a notable increase in contributions of bird observations. April 2020 eBird checklist submissions increased by 41 per cent compared to April 2019.

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08/05/2021

New Stage of Remote Warfare Further Diminishes Military Accountability

Human Wrongs Watch

By Paul Rogers*

Thousands of boots on the ground have been replaced by multiple deployments of smart bombs that stay under the radar of public debate

Fewer boots are on the ground compared with Iraq in 2007 | Mike Pryor, US Army (Copyright-free)

8 May 2021 (openDemocracy)* — In the black and white TV schedule of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Western drama series reigned supreme. One of the most popular was ‘Have Gun, Will Travel’, starring Richard Boone as a mercenary in the late 1800s.

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08/05/2021

International Food Prices Continued to Rise in April for the 11th Consecutive Month

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME (FAO)* International food commodity prices rose for the 11th consecutive month in April, with sugar leading the increase and cereals resuming their upward trend, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 6 May 2021 reported.

Photo: ©FAO

Loading sugarcane in Nigeria.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 120.9 points in April, 1.7 percent higher than March and 30.8 percent higher than its level in the same month last year.

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08/05/2021

Interview: In Afghanistan, Buying the Scalpel for Your Own Child’s Birth

Human Wrongs Watch

The US Withdrawal, Drops in Foreign Aid, and Health Care for Women and Girls

202105wrd_afghanistan_newmother

Zarmina, 25, holds her 15-day-old daughter, Bushra, in October 2020. She has lived in Shahrak-e-Sabz camp for two years after her family was driven out of Ghor province by fighting between government forces and the Taliban. © 2020 Lynzy Billing

6 May 2021 (Human Rights Watch)* — When the United States announced in April that it would withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, it raised concerns the move would come with cuts in development assistance.
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Yet dwindling foreign investment has already left Afghanistan’s government with too few resources to maintain its already inadequate healthcare system.
08/05/2021

‘No Time to Lose’, Impose Arms Embargo to Myanmar Military Now to Stop the ‘Massacre’ of Citizens

(UN News)* — The United Nations independent human rights expert on Myanmar on Friday [7 May 2021] called on countries that have not yet done so, to impose arms embargo on the country urgently, to stop the “massacre” of citizens across the country.

Unsplash/Zinko Hein | People holding a vigil in Yangon, Myanmar (file photo).

Tom Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the southeast Asian nation, underscored in a statement, the need to stop the flow of weapons and so called dual-use weapons technology into the hands of forces under the command of the military junta, describing it as “literally a matter of life and death.”

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07/05/2021

The Rise of Brazil’s Neo-Pentecostal Narco-Militia

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kristina Hinz Doriam Borges, Aline Coutinho, Thiago Cury Andries*

In Rio de Janeiro, drug trafficking factions, paramilitaries and evangelical churches have united to fight a ‘holy war’ against their rivals.

Armed men in front of a football field | Ricardo Funari//BrazilPhotos/Alamy Stock Photo

6 May 2021 (openDemocracy)* — Israeli flags fly from the highest spots of the hills surrounding the Cidade Alta favela in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro. Checkpoints, raised to prevent the entry of police and rival groups, display the Star of David to warn passers-by whose territory they are entering.

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07/05/2021

The Cold War Only Ends with NATO’s Defeat in the Hindu Kush

Human Wrongs Watch

By Michael von der Schulenburg*

Afghanistan is a geopolitical game changer for the West

6 May 2021 (Wall Street International)*

In the remote mountains of the Hindu Kush not only Soviet attempts to install a pro-communist regime but also Western efforts to establish a liberal democracy by force now ended in disaster
In the remote mountains of the Hindu Kush not only Soviet attempts to install a pro-communist regime but also Western efforts to establish a liberal democracy by force now ended in disaster | Image from Wall Street International.

I have always loved Afghanistan and the friendliness and hospitality of its people. I experienced Afghans not as extremists but as an extraordinarily proud, sincere and honest people who are scraping a living out of the harsh conditions of their country…

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07/05/2021

‘Urgent Steps Must Be Taken to Reduce Methane Emissions this Decade’

Washington DC, 6 May 2021 (UNEP)* A Global Methane Assessment released today by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that human-caused methane emissions can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade.
 

chemist-3836150_960_720

Such reductions would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045 and would be consistent with keeping the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5˚C) within reach.

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06/05/2021

2021 Global Media Competition on Labour Migration

Human Wrongs Watch

The Competition aims to recognize fair and balanced media reports that contribute to the elimination of public misperception, xenophobia and discrimination against migrant workers and highlight the positive contributions they make.

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6 May 2021 (ILO)* — This year, specific media coverage of the impact of COVID-19 on labour migration and fair recruitment, including contributions of migrant care workers, will be viewed favourably, as well as stories about migrant domestic workers to mark celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189).

06/05/2021

67 Years in the Peace Movement

Human Wrongs Watch

A new freely downloadable book

John-Scales-Avery

John Scales Avery

I would like to announce the publication of a book which discusses the things that I have experienced during my 67 years of work in the peace movement.

The book may be freely downloaded and circulated from the following link:

https://eacpe.org/67-years-in-the-peace-movement/

https://eacpe.org/app/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/67-years-in-the-peace-movement-by-John-Scales-Avery.pdf

Holger Terp’s invitation

Seven years ago, Holger Terp, the founder and web editor of the Danish Peace Academy, invited me to write something about my 60 years of work in the peace movement. Continue reading

05/05/2021

The State of Human Trafficking in Bangladesh

Human Wrongs Watch

By Dr. Rashida Khanam – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Almost 10 million Bangladeshi migrants work across the world. A UNICEF report states that, approximately 400 women and children in Bangladesh are victims of trafficking every month. According to a report, approximately 3,000,000 Bangladeshi children and women have been trafficked out of the country in the last 10 years. A Pakistan based organization, Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid’s report shows nearly 200,000 Bangladeshi women and girls were sold in Pakistan.  The statistics highlight how grave the human trafficking situation is in Bangladesh…”

rashida-khanam-e1618119929436

Dr. Rashida Khanam

Human trafficking is a violation of human rights, an unethical and heinous crime against humanity. “The trade of human beings, a modern form of slavery . . . violates the God-given dignity . . .”.1 Pope Francis.

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05/05/2021

Acute Food Insecurity Soars to Five-Year High, Warns Global Report on Food Crises

Human Wrongs Watch

Conflict, economic shocks – including due to COVID-19, extreme weather – pushed at least 155 million people into acute food insecurity in 2020

Photo: ©FAO/Petterik Wiggers

Conflict, or economic shocks that are often related to COVID-19 along with extreme weather, are continuing to push millions of people into acute hunger.

Brussels/Rome (FAO)* – The number of people facing acute food insecurity and needing urgent life and livelihood-saving assistance has hit a five-year high in 2020 in countries beset by food crises, an annual report launched today [5 May 2021] by the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) – an international alliance of the UN, the EU, governmental and non-governmental agencies working to tackle food crises together – has found.

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05/05/2021

Commodity Trading: The Shadowy Industry Destroying the Planet

Human Wrongs Watch

By Joseph Baines and Sandy Brian Hager

Commodity traders wreak havoc on global markets and profit from ecological and social devastation. Can they be stopped?
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Philippine-stock-market-board
Phillippine stock market board |  Author: Katrina.Tuliao | Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

4 May 2021 (openDemocracy)* — Commodity trading firms are among the most important corporations in global capitalism, yet most people have never heard of them.

As intermediaries between suppliers and buyers of primary and secondary commodities, these shadowy entities are key players in vital international markets, from aluminium and crude oil to soybean meal and zinc.

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05/05/2021

France: Police Expelling Migrant Children

Human Wrongs Watch

By Human Rights Watch*

Flout Child Protection, Immigration Rules

(Paris) – French police summarily expel dozens of unaccompanied children to Italy each month in violation of French and international law, Human Rights Watch on 5 May 2021 said.

To enable the returns, the police frequently record on official documents different ages or birth dates than the children declared.

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05/05/2021

Women Are the Driving Force Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Brazil

BAHIA STATE, Brazil, 3 May 2021 (UNFPA)* Carol Nascimento was 21 when she left home in Belo Horizonte in search of a life purpose. She found it in Vale do Capão, in the rural community of Chapada Diamantina, where she formed Alevante da Terra (Earth Rising), a women’s collective.
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Carol Nascimento, who promotes women and girls’ health, took part in UNFPA and Elas Fund’s Driving Force initiative empowering community leaders in Bahia state, Brazil. © UNFPA Brazil/Carol Garcia
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When her collective co-founder had a child, she assisted in the birth and became a passionate advocate for safe and traditional childbirth practices.

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05/05/2021

Acute Shortage of Midwives Worldwide Threatens Women’s Lives and Health

 
Midwives with a mobile team in Marib, Yemen, provide life-saving services in a displacement camp. © UNFPA Yemen

“After conducting a medical check-up, I understood that she had been going through early labour for the last five hours and urgently needed to be taken to the maternity hospital in Erbil.” 

An ambulance raced them to the hospital, but the woman’s labour was progressing too quickly.

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04/05/2021

“If I Lose My Land, I Am No One. I Have Nothing”: A Voice from the Indigenous Mro Facing Eviction from Their Land

By IWGIA – International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs*

The Mro People of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh are under threat of being evicted from their ancestral lands with nowhere to go and everything to lose.

Mro Article Red Flags

Returning home to Chimbuk Hill amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to help the village’s needy, Abani*, a youth from the Indigenous Mro community received an alarming text message from his friend.

-Do you recognise these flags?

-No, what is that?

-They are going to take our land.

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04/05/2021

Global e-Commerce Jumps to $26.7 Trillion, Fuelled by COVID-19

3 May 2021 (UN News)*Parts of the online economy have boomed since COVID-19 began, while some pre-pandemic big-hitters have seen a reversal of their fortunes in the last year, amid widespread movement restrictions, UN economists have found.
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Unsplash/rupixen | Online retail or e-commerce sales have increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
According to UN trade and development experts UNCTAD, the e-commerce sector saw a “dramatic” rise in its share of all retail sales, from 16 per cent to 19 per cent in 2020.
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03/05/2021

To Achieve Press Freedom, We Must Rewrite Journalism

Human Wrongs Watch

By Dan Hind*

It is time to liberate our media systems from the political and economic forces that have long subtly controlled them

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(openDemocracy)* — Monday [3 May 2021] will mark World Press Freedom Day. It’s a moment to celebrate the work that journalism does in holding power to account. It’s also a moment to raise awareness of the dangers facing journalists in many countries.

At least 1,400 journalists have been killed for doing their job in the three decades since the first World Freedom Day in 1991. Many of those were killed by their own governments, or by organised crime groups linked to political elites.

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03/05/2021

Governments Urged to “Do Everything in Their Power” to Support Free, Independent and Diverse Media

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The United Nations Secretary-General on Monday [3 May 2021] urged governments to “do everything in their power” to support free, independent and diverse media, which the UN’s top human rights official highlighted as “a cornerstone of democratic societies”.

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Unsplash/Zeg Young | Press gather at an event in Shanghai, China.

In a message on World Press Freedom Day, marked annually on 3 May, Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the importance of reliable, verified and accessible information.

03/05/2021

Online Violence: Weaponization of Deeply Rooted Misogyny, Sexism and Abuse of Power

Human Wrongs Watch

NEW DELHI, India, Apr 30 2021 (IPS)* – Every time a woman journalist receives threats of physical and sexual violence, cyber attacks and surveillence, doxxing, public humiliation, damage to her professional & personal credibility, the driving forces behind these intents are deeply rooted misogyny, sexism and abuse of power.

Reem Abdellatif

These online offenses are often organized, coordinated or orchestrated, which could include State-sponsored ‘sock puppet networks’, acts of patriotic trolling, networked gaslighting or involves mobs who seed hate campaigns.

According to a report published by The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and UNESCO, vicious online violence seeks to silence women journalists and discredit their reporting has become a growing problem. Continue reading

01/05/2021

A Beginner’s Guide to Ecosystem Restoration

Human Wrongs Watch

1 May 2021 (UNEP)* — It’s a phrase that’s been on the lips of scientists, officials and environmental activists a lot in the last few months: ecosystem restoration. This year, 5 June, World Environment Day, marks the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a 10-year push to halt and reverse the  decline of the natural world.

GEF-BD_MDG_GFW-1681

Photo by UNEP/ Lisa Murray / 30 Apr 2021

You might be wondering: what exactly is an ecosystem and how do you restore one?

To answer the first question an ecosystem is a place where plants, animals and other organisms, in conjunction with the landscape around them, come together to form the web of life.

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01/05/2021

UK’s 85% Family Planning Aid Cut ‘Will Be Devastating for Women and Girls and Their Families across the World’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The United Kingdom’s intention to cut 85 per cent of its contribution to a flagship UN family planning programme this year, will have devastating consequences for women and girls and their families across the world, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) said on Thursday 29 April 2021.

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UNICEF/Catherine Ntabadde | Babies at a neonatal intensive unit at a hospital in Kampala, Uganda, which was refurbished with support from UNFPA.
“When funding stops, women and girls suffer”, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem, said in a statement, “especially the poor, those living in remote, underserved communities and through humanitarian crises.”  
01/05/2021

Killing Democracy Once and For All: The Global Elite’s Coup d’Etat that is Destroying Life as We Know It

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

Politically savvy individuals know that democracy has rarely existed and probably never outside small groups of humans who deliberately organize themselves to share power or grant it temporarily to one or a small number of people for a particular purpose. In most contexts, ‘democracy’ is simply a label used to deceive the unwary into believing that ordinary people have a say in how we are governed. But this has never been the case in any political framework on a larger scale.

Robert J. Burrowes

Whatever victories have apparently been achieved in the long struggle to achieve political representation, human rights, dignity, economic justice, cultural and gender identity, ecological sustainability and other causes dear to the hearts of those who have struggled, the elite (local, national or global) has always retained control and merely surrendered the minimum necessary to keep the bulk of the human population submissive.

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28/04/2021

Indoctrinating Digital Surveillance

Human Wrongs Watch

By Fernando Velázquez*

Deep mistake: using malware for dealing with a fundamentally economic problem

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The rise of surveillance capitalism
The rise of surveillance capitalism | Image from Wall Street International.

27 April 2021 (Wall Street International)*   —  Due to the current Covid-19 lockdown, educational and many other institutions are turning to surveillance tools in unprecedented numbers, under the banner of “proctoring”.

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28/04/2021

The “Three Planetary Crises” of Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss and Pollution Are Reinforcing Each Other, Driving ‘Further Damage to the Environment and to Our Health’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)*The “three planetary crises” of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are reinforcing each other and driving further damage to the environment and to our health, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Tuesday 27 April 2021.

Unsplash/Jack B | Sunset over a field in the English countryside.
27/04/2021

A Triple Pandemic Strikes the Ecuadorian Amazon

Human Wrongs Watch

By Andrés Tapia*

A year on from a devastating oil spill, many Indigenous communities are still without clean water, and contaminated soil means they cannot grow crops

Monitoring of oil pollution on the Coca River | Ivan Castaneira, Agencia Teganta / Lanceros digitales

26 April 2021 (openDemocracy)* — On 7 April 2020 in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the Napo and Coca rivers flowed dark with oil and fuel.

The spill, caused by three ruptured pipelines, triggered the worst environmental disaster to hit Ecuador in the past 15 years. Some 15,000 gallons of oil and fuel spilled into the rivers, affecting 35,000 people directly and more than 120,000 indirectly, many of them Kichwa Indigenous people from 105 communities.

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27/04/2021

Water and Life

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

26 April 2021 (Wall Street International)* — In its home page on World Water Day the United Nations points out the following facts:

The Colorado River is reduced to a trickle when it reaches the Pacific
The Colorado River is reduced to a trickle when it reaches the Pacific | Image from Wall Street International.
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  • today, 1 in 3 people live without safe drinking water;
  • by 2050, up to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year;
  • climate-resilient water supply and sanitation could save the lives of more than 360,000 infants every year;
  • if we limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, we could cut climate-induced water stress by up to 50%;
  • extreme weather has caused more than 90% of major disasters over the last decade;
  • by 2040, global energy demand is projected to increase by over 25% and water demand is expected to increase by more than 50%.

Continue reading

27/04/2021

World Military Spending Rises to a Hefty $2.0 Trillion Despite UN Pleas for Cutbacks

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 26 2021 (IPS)* – The United Nations– which is desperately seeking funds to help developing nations battling a staggering array of socio-economic problems, including extreme poverty, hunger, economic inequalities and environmental hazards– has continued to be one of the strongest advocates of disarmament.

SIPRI’s research on arms and military spending has been the core of the Institute’s work since its foundation in the 1960s. Credit: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

The world body has relentlessly campaigned for reduced military spending in an attempt to help divert some of these resources into sustainable development and humanitarian assistance.

But according to a new report released April 26 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world military expenditure rose to nearly $2 trillion in 2020, an increase of 2.6 percent, in real terms, from 2019.

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24/04/2021

Aboriginal People in Australia: The Most Imprisoned People on Earth

23 April 2021 (IWGIA)*Aboriginal incarceration rates are much higher than the general Australian population. Moreover, Indigenous women represent 34% of the total number of inmates. As if this wasn’t enough, the legal and welfare systems are removing Indigenous children from their families and culture, serving as a mechanism of forced assimilation.

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Protests by the Black Lives Matter international movement in front of Sydney’s Town Hall. / Credit: Télam.

Dunghutti man David Dungay Jr died on December 29, 2015, aged 26 calling for breath in a cell in Sydney’s Long Bay prison as he was held face down by prison guards attempting to sedate him.

The harrowing plea “I can’t breathe” recorded in the last moments of George Floyd’s life on 25 May 2020, as he struggled under the weight of a Florida police officer’s knee, remind all First Nations peoples in Australia of the tragic death of David Dungay, and the deaths of so many Aboriginal people while in custody.

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24/04/2021

Small Family Farmers Produce a Third of the World’s Food

Human Wrongs Watch

New FAO research focuses on contributions of farmers with fewer than two hectares

Photo: ©FAO/Cristina Aldehuela

A farmer in Ghana.

ROME, 23 April 2021 (FAO)* – The world’s smallholder farmers produce around a third of the world’s food, according to detailed new research by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Five of every six farms in the world consist of less than two hectares, operate only around 12 percent of all agricultural land, and produce roughly 35 percent of the world’s food, according to a study published in World Development.

Smallholders’ contributions to food supply varies enormously between countries, with the share as high as 80 percent in China and in the low single-digits for Brazil and Nigeria.

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23/04/2021

Agro-Industry Surrounds Xingu Indigenous Territory

Human Wrongs Watch

Impacts of grain crop cultivation spill into Brazil’s oldest indigenous reserve as farmers work with tribes to restore degraded land

The peoples of the Xingu say agricultural activity beyond the borders of their territory has impacted fish populations (image: Alamy)

Watatakalu Yawalapiti is 40 years old. She was born in the Amakapuku village, surrounded by a large preserved forest in the heart of Brazil. She spent part of her childhood on the white sands and clear waters of the Tuatuari river.

At other times, she would sit in a circle listening to her great-grandfather telling stories, like the one about how the white man would arrive with a huge blade and cut down the trees as one shaves one’s body hair.

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23/04/2021

‘Weather-Related Crises Have Triggered more than Twice as Much Displacement as Conflict and Violence in the Last Decade’

Human Wrongs Watch

Climate change link to displacement of most vulnerable is clear: UNHCR

© UNHCR/Xavier Bourgois | Refugees in Minawao, in northeastern Cameroon, plant trees in a region which has been deforested due to climate change and human activity.

(UN News)* — Weather-related crises have triggered more than twice as much displacement as conflict and violence in the last decade, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on 22 April 2021.

Coinciding with Earth Day on Thursday 22 April, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, published data showing how disasters linked to climate change likely worsen poverty, hunger and access to natural resources, stoking instability and violence.

23/04/2021

‘Past Decade Was the Hottest on Record, and We Continue to See Rising Sea-Levels, Scorching Temperatures, Devastating Tropical Cyclones and Epic Wildfires…’ 

Human Wrongs Watch

The planet’s on ‘red alert’ UN chief warns leaders at President Biden’s climate summit

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NOAA/Jerry Penry | Scientists believe that climate change is causing an increase in extreme weather events.
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(UN News)* — World leaders must act now and put the planet on a green path because “we are at the verge of the abyss”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 22 April 2021 said in his address to the virtual climate summit convened by United States President Joseph Biden.

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22/04/2021

Ocean Benefits Increasingly Undermined by Human Activity

Human Wrongs Watch

Coral Reef Image Bank/Michele Roux | A turtle swims in the ocean in Martinique in the Caribbean.

The second World Ocean Assessment (WOA II) is the work of hundreds of scientists from across the globe and follows an initial report published in 2015.

It warns that many benefits the ocean provides are increasingly being undermined by human actions, the UN chief said, describing the findings as alarming.

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22/04/2021

‘People Aren’t Starving, They Are Being Starved’: Humanitarian Agencies Issue Joint Call for Funds to Avert Famine

Human Wrongs Watch

By Peyvand Khorsandi*

International Council of Voluntary Agencies rallies Oxfam, Save the Children and 258 other organizations after World Food Programme’s warning on increasing levels of hunger

Woman_Mozambique
Mozambique: Displaced people receive assistance in Mueda in Cabo Delgado having escaped the violence in Palma. Photo: WFP/Shelley Thakral

20 April 2021 (WFP)* — Humanitarian agencies around the world have joined forces to warn that rising hunger levels are going to lead to famines unless urgent action is taken. 

Oxfam, Save the Children and the International Red Cross are among 260 signatories to an open letter on famine prevention led by the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA).

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22/04/2021

As Biden Plans Withdrawal, Analysis Shows Afghan War Cost At Least 241,000 Lives and $2.26 Trillion

Human Wrongs Watch

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams – TRANSCEND Media Service*

“Ending the war as soon as possible is the only rational and humane thing to do,” said a co-director of the Costs of War Project.

Since the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the war has cost trillions of dollars and nearly a quarter-million lives. (Photo: Veronique de Viguerie/Edit by Getty Images)

In the wake of President Joe Biden’s announcement that he plans to withdraw all regular U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by this year’s anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, experts at the Costs of War Project on Friday released an update on what nearly two decades of war has cost in both dollars and human lives.

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22/04/2021

‘Our Planet Is at a Tipping Point’

A girl with a mask drawn with as a sky.
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