Containers pile up in the Italian port of Salerno. Photo: FAO
… That TV probably arrived in a containership; the grain that made the bread in that sandwich came in a bulk carrier; the coffee probably came by sea, too. Even the electricity powering the TV set and lighting up the room was probably generated using fuel that came in a giant oil tanker.”
This is what the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) wants everybody to keep in mind ahead of this year’s World Maritime Day.
The impact on children of the collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, with regions in turmoil and violations against children intensifying in a number of conflicts, the senior UN envoy on the subject on 24 August 2016 said, stressing that this situation stems directly from an erosion of respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by conflict parties.
On 5 August 2016 in Aleppo, Syria, a child with spinal muscular atrophy who needs special medical care, now lives on the streets, after fleeing with her family from attacks and intense fighting in the 1070 neighbourhood. Photo: UNICEF/Khuder Al-Issa
In her annual report to the UN General Assembly, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, highlighted the devastating impact on children of increasingly complex conflicts, despite concerted efforts and significant progress achieved over the past year.
By Robert J. Burrowes*
DAYLESFORD, Australia, 25 August, 2016 – I sometimes wonder whether one of the ways in which ‘Amercian exceptionalism’ manifests is that many US scholars and others are unable to consider the contributions of those who are not from the USA.
Robert J. Burrowes
For example, I routinely read about studies of Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates (such as strategist James Lawson) in relation to nonviolence while the much more insightful and vastly greater contributions of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on the same subject are largely ignored by US scholars (although not, for example, by Professor Mary E. King, one of the best in the field).
I have just read another book that falls into this trap: ‘This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-first Century‘ written by Mark Engler and Paul Engler.
In this book, the authors try too hard to make nonviolent action fit into a model they have created by combining thoughts from a few (US) authors – essentially Saul Alinsky, Frances Fox Piven and Gene Sharp – to describe an approach to change based on structure-based organizing, momentum-driven revolt and the creation of prefigurative community. Continue reading
With global youth unemployment expected to rise in 2016 for the first time in three years and the equally disturbing high levels of young people who work but still live in poverty, the UN labour agency 24 August 2016 called for greater efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and decent work.
Young factory workers producing shirts in Accra, Ghana. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez | Source: UN News Centre
Releasing its World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: Trends for Youth, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that the global youth unemployment rate is expected to reach 13.1 per cent in 2016 and remain at that level through to 2017 (up from 12.9 per cent in 2015).
23 August 2016 – The courage of the men and women who in August 1791 revolted against slavery in Haiti “has created obligations for us,” the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on the day set aside for remembrance of that rebellion, noting that “all of humanity is part of this story” and efforts to teach the history of the slave trade will help build a better world.
Shackles used to bind slaves. UN Photo/Mark Garten
“The uprising was a turning point in human history, greatly impacting the establishment of universal human rights, for which we are all indebted,” said UNESCO Director-General in her message for the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, marked annually on 23 August.
23 August 2016 – The flow of refugee and migrant children – seeking refuge from brutal gangs and stifling poverty in Central America and making their way to the United States – shows no sign of letting up, despite the risks of being kidnapped, trafficked, raped, or killed on the journey, a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found.
Alexis, 18, with his brother Wilson, 6, and their pet, a Caracara, at home in Omoa, Honduras. Photo: UNICEF/Adriana Zehbrauskas
In the first six months of 2016, almost 26,000 unaccompanied children and close to 29,700 people travelling as a family – mostly mothers and young children – were apprehended at the US border, according to the report, Broken Dreams: Central American Children’s Dangerous Journey to the United States.
23 August 2016 – The number of people in need of food assistance in north-eastern Nigeria has nearly doubled to 4.5 million from March, according to a mid-August analysis by various agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP).
After fleeing Boko Haram violence, a child, at Dalori 2, a displaced people’s camp located on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria, eats Plumpy’sup, a ready-to-use, highly nutritious food to combat malnutrition. Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf
“All indications point to an extremely grave situation,” said Abdou Dieng, the UN agency’s Regional Director for West Africa, in a news release.
“As the rains set in and the lean season deepens, and more areas are opened up to access humanitarian aid, the full scale of hunger and devastation is likely to come to light,” he added.
By Prof. Vandana Shiva*
NEW DELHI, 22 August 2016 – Chemical corporations are trying to impose patents on all living organisms… They are trying to destroy our local food systems and replace them with industrial junk food by changing food and health safety as well as bio-safety, through ‘harmonisation’.
10 Aug 2016 – “The only way to counter globalization–just a plot of land in some central place, keep it covered in grass, let there be a single tree, even a wild tree.”
This is how dear friend and eminent writer Mahasweta Devi, who passed away on July 28, at the age of 90, quietly laid out her imagination for freedom in our times of corporate globalisation in one of her last talks.
Our freedoms, she reminds us, are with grass and trees, with wildness and self-organisation (swaraj), when the dominant economic systems would tear down every tree and round up the last blade of grass. Continue reading
– Let us start with some good news. Sort of. The strongest El Niño in 35 years is coming to an end.
In 2015/2016 this “El Niño effect” led to drought in over 20 countries .
There were scorching temperatures, water shortages and flooding around the world. Worst hit were eastern and southern Africa
And though the worst of the drought is coming to an end, predictions are high (at about 75%) that La-Nina will arrive later in 2016. La Niña – El Niño’s opposite number – is known for the flooding it brings.
To understand what that means for people, you just have to look at the numbers about food insecurity.
32 million people in southern Africa were affected by food insecurity as a result. Across Africa, 1 million children required treatment for severe acute malnutrition.