27/01/2023

25 Million Nigerians at High Risk of Food Insecurity in 2023

Human Wrongs Watch

ABUJA, 16 January 2023 (UNICEF)* Nearly 25 million Nigerians are at risk of facing hunger between June and August 2023 (lean season) if urgent action is not taken, according to the October 2022 Cadre Harmonisé, a Government led and UN-supported food and nutrition analysis carried out twice a year.

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UNICEF/UN028425/Esiebo

This is a projected increase from the estimated 17 million people currently at risk of food insecurity. Continued conflict, climate change, inflation and rising food prices are key drivers of this alarming trend.

Food access has been affected by persistent violence in the north-east states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) and armed banditry and kidnapping in states such as Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Benue and Niger.

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27/01/2023

More than 20 Million Children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia Facing Threat of Severe Hunger, Thirst and Disease

Human Wrongs Watch

By UNICEF – UN Children Fund*

Millions of children are at risk from one of the worst climate-induced emergencies in decades.

Ethiopia. A baby rests in a stabilization centre at a hospital in the Afar region.
UNICEF/UN0639249/Sewunet
A baby rests in a stabilization centre at a hospital in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

Four consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, sharp increases in food prices, and conflict have pushed children and families in the Horn of Africa to the brink of climate change-induced catastrophe.

Exceptional drought across large swathes of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea and Djibouti has unleashed hunger, thirst, displacement and death on already vulnerable communities as crops fail and livestock die.

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26/01/2023

Security Council: 12 Years of War, Leaves 70% of Syrians Needing Aid. Situation as Dire as Ever

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Almost twelve years into Syria’s devastating civil war, the country remains tattered and deeply divided, facing massive economic hardships, limited political progress and the world’s largest displacement crisis, with 70 per cent of the population now in need of humanitarian aid, senior UN officials told the Security Council on Wednesday [].

A family living in an informal settlement in Raqqa city, northeast Syria.
© UNICEF/Delil Souleiman | A family living in an informal settlement in Raqqa city, northeast Syria.

“As we move into 2023, the Syrian people remain trapped in a profound humanitarian, political, military, security, economic and human rights crisis of great complexity and almost unimaginable scale,” said Geir Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria.

Outlining recent developments, he reiterated his previous calls for calm on the ground, good faith engagement in Syria’s stalled Constitutional Committee process, and the Security Council’s critical humanitarian support.

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26/01/2023

Two-Thirds of Yemenis –Some 22 Million– Need Humanitarian Support and Protection

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Some 21.6 million people in Yemen – that’s two-thirds of the population – are going to need some kind of humanitarian assistance and protection services during the course of 2023, according to the UN’s Humanitarian Response plan published on Wednesday [].

A young girl fled conflict in Al Hudaydah with her family and now lives in a displaced camp in Aden, Yemen.

© UNOCHA/Giles Clarke | A young girl fled conflict in Al Hudaydah with her family and now lives in a displaced camp in Aden, Yemen.

The UN humanitarian affairs office OCHA is calling for $4.3 billion to reach the 17.3 million most vulnerable people in need, whose lives have been turned upside down because of protracted war, displacement and economic collapse, compounded by recurrent natural disasters.

Yemen’s civil war began in 2014 when Houthi rebels took the capital, Sana’a, forcing the Government to leave, leading to the establishment of a Saudi-led coalition in support of the Government who launched airstrikes on the rebels in early 2015.

The total projected number in need this year has decreased slightly from 23.4 million people in 2022, to 21.6 million in 2023, while the “overall intersectoral target” is down from 17.9 to 17.3 million people.

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25/01/2023

How (Much) Are You Today?

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Jan 25 2023 (IPS)* – Gone are those times when catastrophes were measured in terms of human suffering. Now, with an exception: Ukrainians victims of the Russian invasion, everything is calculated in just money.
 
Extreme wealth and extreme poverty have increased simultaneously for the first time in 25 years. The World Bank says we are likely seeing the biggest increase in global inequality and poverty since WW2

Billionaire wealth surged in 2022 with rapidly rising food and energy profits. The report shows that 95 food and energy corporations have more than doubled their profits in 2022. Credit: Clae

Following such a solid trend, major financial, business-oriented institutions, like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank, are now devoted to calculating if and how big the recession will be, ergo, how much money could be won or lost due, of course, to the Ukrainian proxy war.

They, likewise the establishment’s politicians and media, just talk about inflation, stagflation, economic (read financial) slowdown and commerce. Continue reading

25/01/2023

Empty Stomachs, Hard Times for Afghanistan’s Girls

Human Wrongs Watch

By Philippe Kropf

WFP’s school feeding programme has been a lifeline for many young Afghans, especially girls, who face shrinking opportunities growing up.
Afghanistan schoolgirl Hazra, 11, enjoys WFP's energy-packed biscuits and hopes to becomes a doctor when she grows up. Photo: WFP/Sadeq Naseri
Afghanistan schoolgirl Hazra, 11, enjoys WFP’s energy-packed biscuits. She hopes to becomes a doctor when she grows up. Photo: WFP/Sadeq Naseri

Most school days, 11-year-old Hazra begins class in Chardahi village, in Afghanistan’s eastern Jalalabad province, on an empty stomach.

“Sometimes I have tea and some bread for breakfast, but most days I come to school without eating anything,” says the sixth-grade schoolgirl, who wears a white headscarf and long dark robe, like her fellow classmates.

“I am hungry,” she adds, “and it is difficult for me to concentrate on what the teacher says when I have eaten nothing.”

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25/01/2023

The Occident Is Now Militarising Itself to Death for a Second Time

Human Wrongs Watch

By Jan Oberg, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

May Others Learn to Avoid That Fate

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Jan Oberg

The first Cold War played out between the East and the Western Occident and the East lost with the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.

Both built – more or less faithfully – on Western mechanical thinking, one on Marx and other socialist/communist philosophers, the other on twisting moral philosopher Adam Smith into a God’s hand individualist utility market prophet and pair him with various types of liberal, parliamentary democracy thinking.

The Soviet and East European system had come to the end of its history, but what about the twin Occidental brother, the US-EU system? The latter had not only survived or ”won,” it had also forced the Soviet Union to spend an unsustainable proportion of its resources on the military.

And now the Second West is destined to follow suit. Continue reading

25/01/2023

Palestinian Refugees Face Hitting ‘Rock Bottom’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) appealed on Tuesday [] for $1.6 billion to fund core operations this year, as the people it helps face hitting “rock bottom”.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), briefs journalists at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
© UN Photo/Srdjan Slavkovic | Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), briefs journalists at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, told journalists in Geneva that competing global crises, and skyrocketing levels of poverty and unemployment among Palestine refugees, have put immense strain on them – and the agency – which started the year some $70 million in arrears.

“On the one hand we are asked to deliver public-like services to one of the most under-privileged communities in the region. We obviously are a UN agency (and) abide by UN values, but in reality, we are funded like an NGO, meaning that we depend on voluntary funding from Member States.”

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23/01/2023

Up to 4 Million Children in Pakistan Still Living Next to Stagnant and Contaminated Floodwater

Child survival crisis remains acute in flood-affected areas as rates of respiratory infections and severe acute malnutrition soar

Pakistan. A woman holds her daughter as she stands in floodwaters in Sindh Province, Pakistan.
UNICEF/UN0730486/BashirA woman holds her daughter as she stands in floodwaters in Sindh Province, Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD, 9 January 2023 (UNICEF)* – More than four months after a national state of emergency was declared in Pakistan, up to 4 million children are still living near contaminated and stagnant flood waters, risking their survival and wellbeing, UNICEF warned today.

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23/01/2023

‘We are not afraid’: Indigenous Brazilian women stand up to gender violence

Human Wrongs Watch

Women from Brazil’s indigenous communities are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence, but UN-backed initiatives, and a change in the law, are encouraging them to seek protection.

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UNFPA Brazil/Isabela Martel | Lutana Ribeiro is the only female chief of Parque das Tribos, an indigenous neighbourhood in Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state.

In Parque das Tribos, an indigenous neighbourhood in Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state, violence against women is not uncommon.

“As a leader, I have experienced many things,” says Lutana Ribeiro, a member of the Kokama ethnic group, and the only female chief in Parque das Tribos, which is home to around 4,500 people. “Women knock on my door asking for help.”

Sparsely populated and relatively isolated in terms of air, road and sea access, the state of Amazonas faces particular challenges in access to public services, including for sexual and reproductive health support and gender-based violence response.

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21/01/2023

US Installs New Nukes in Europe: As Destructive as 83 Hiroshima Bombs

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Jan 20 2023 (IPS)* – As if the 100 billion dollars that the United States has so far provided to Ukraine in both weapons and aid were not enough, the US has now started to install in Europe its brand new, more destructive nuclear warheads.
 

War damage in Borodianka, Kyiv Oblast. Photo: Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNDP Ukraine

The US 100 billion dollars are to be added to all the weapons and aid that 40 Washington’s ‘allies’ –Europe in particular– have been sending to Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February 2022.

The US spending on the Ukrainian war in less than a year amounts to the desperately needed funding that the United Nations require to partially alleviate some of the horrifying suffering of over one billion human beings over two long years. Continue reading

19/01/2023

Israeli Settler Colonialism and Apartheid: Poised for Victory or Defeat?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Richard Falk | Global Justice in the 21st Century – TRANSCEND Media Service*

“These are the basic lines of the national government headed by me: The Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the Land of Israel. The government will promote and develop settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel–in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan, Judea and Samaria.”

— Benjamin Netanyahu, 30 Dec 2022

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Richard Falk

Anyone with but half eye open during the last several decades should by now be aware of the existence of an undisclosed Zionist Long Game that preceded the establishment of Israel in 1948,  and remains currently very much alive. It aims at extending Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Occupied Palestine, with the probable exception of Gaza, excluded for demographic and biblical reasons.

The significance of Netanyahu’s public affirmation of this previously secretive long game is that it may be reaching its final phase, with him presiding over the far right governing coalition that is poised to pursue closure.

Should it matter that Netanyahu’s claim of exclusive Israel’s supremacy on behalf of the Jewish people over the whole of the promised land is in direct defiance of international law?

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19/01/2023

Number of Migrants Who Embarked on the Dangerous Darien Gap Route Nearly Doubled in 2022

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva, 17 January 2022 (IOM)* The number of migrants irregularly crossing into Panama after embarking on the perilous Darien Gap route reached a record in 2022, nearly doubling the figures of the previous year. According to the Panamanian government, nearly 250,000 people crossed into the country compared to some 133,000 in 2021.

People who embark on this route are exposed to the danger of the jungle, weather and terrain, as well as people smugglers and organized crime.

People who embark on this route are exposed to the dangers of the jungle, the weather and the terrain, as well as people smugglers and organized crime. Photo: IOM

“The stories we have heard from those who have crossed the Darien Gap attest to the horrors of this journey,” said Giuseppe Loprete, Chief of Mission at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Panama. “Many have lost their lives or gone missing, while others come out of it with significant health issues, both physical and mental, to which we and our partners are responding.”

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13/01/2023

The Myth of the “Moderate Republican” — and Why It’s So Dangerous

Human Wrongs Watch

SAN FRANCISCO, USA, Jan 13 2023 (IPS)* – The current notion of a “moderate Republican” is an oxymoron that helps to move the country rightward. Last week, every one of the GOP’s so-called “moderates” voted to install House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who won with the avid support of Donald Trump and got over the finish line by catering to such fascistic colleagues as Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert.

US President Joseph R. Biden addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-seventh session in September 2022. Credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak

Recent news reports by many outlets — including the Washington Post, USA Today, The Hill, Bloomberg, CNN, NBC, Reuters, HuffPost and countless others — have popularized the idea of “moderate Republicans” in the House. The New York Times reported on “centrist Republicans.” But those “moderates” and “centrists” are actively supporting neofascist leadership. Continue reading

13/01/2023

Past Eight Years Confirmed to Be the Eight Warmest on Record

GENEVA, 12 January 2023 (WMO)* – The past eight years were the warmest on record globally, fueled by ever-rising greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat, according to six leading international temperature datasets consolidated by the World Meteorological Organization.

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The average global temperature in 2022 was about 1.15 [1.02 to 1.27] °C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. 2022 is the 8th consecutive year (2015-2022) that annual global temperatures have reached at least 1°C above pre-industrial levels, according to all datasets compiled by WMO.

2015 to 2022 are the eight warmest years on record. The likelihood of – temporarily – breaching the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement is increasing with time.

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13/01/2023

‘Unprecedented’ Insecurity in West Africa and the Sahel

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Although West Africa and the Sahel continues to face unprecedented security challenges, it is still “a land of immense opportunities”, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Tuesday []. 

Displaced people wait in line for food distribution in Gorom-Gorom, Burkina Faso.
© WFP/Cheick Omar Bandaogo | Displaced people wait in line for food distribution in Gorom-Gorom, Burkina Faso.

In her briefing, Giovanie Biha, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Officer-in-Charge of the UN Office for the region, UNOWAS, urged ambassadors to continue to support a strategy centred on building resilience,

promoting good governance, and strengthening peace and security.Ms. Biha presented the latest UNOWAS report covering trends and developments over the past six months.

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12/01/2023

Human Rights Watch Issues Damning Verdict for UK

Human Wrongs Watch

By Human Rights Watch*

World Report 2023 Says UK Policies Raise ‘Grave Human Rights Concerns’

202212eca_UK_wr.jpgVolunteers sort food into food parcels at the Rumney Forum community charity on November 8, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales. © 2022 Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
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(London) – The United Kingdom government repeatedly sought to damage and undermine human rights protections in 2022, Human Rights Watch said today [12 January 2023] in its World Report 2023. “In 2022, we saw the most significant assault on human rights protections in the UK in decades,” said Yasmine Ahmed, UK director at Human Rights Watch.
12/01/2023

New US Border Policy Poses Risk to Fundamental Rights, Warns UN Human Rights Commissioner

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Recent Biden Administration border policy reforms “risk undermining the basic foundations of international human rights and refugee law”, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said on Wednesday

Displaced Venezuelans shelter in Reynosa, a border city in the northern part of the state of Tamaulipas, in Mexico
© IOM Mexico/Alejandro Cartagena | Displaced Venezuelans shelter in Reynosa, a border city in the northern part of the state of Tamaulipas, in Mexico

Taking aim at the expected rise in so-called “expedited removals” from the United States, Mr. Türk also criticised the intention to use the COVID pandemic-related Title 42 public health order even more than today.

Fast-track expulsion

The move will permit the “fast-track expulsion to Mexico” of 30,000 Venezuelans, Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans each month, the UN rights chief maintained.

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04/01/2023

Living Another Year Dangerously

Human Wrongs Watch

SYDNEY, Jan 2 2023 (IPS)* – 2022 has been a year of great uncertainty when it seemed the world perilously reached the brink of self-destruction – be it human-induced climate change or military conflict. Welcoming 2022, we had enough reasons to be optimistic; but it was another ‘year of living dangerously’ – Tahun vivere pericoloso in the words of Soekarno, or an annus horribilis in the words of the late Queen Elizabeth.

Anis Chowdhury

No end to Covid-19
The joy of the COVID vaccine discovery quickly vanished as the ‘vaccine apartheid‘ blatantly prioritised lives in rich nations, especially of the wealthy, over the ‘wretched of the earth’, and corporate profit triumphed over people’s lives.

Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci’s sober warning of a more dangerous COVID variant emerging this winter may come to be true as China, the country of 1.4 billion, struggles to deal with the surge in cases since it has largely abandoned its unpopular ‘zero COVID’ policy.

New cold war turns into proxy war
Whereas the global pandemic required extraordinary global unity, unfortunately, a ‘new cold war’ quickly turned into a ‘hot war’, bringing the world to the verge of a devastating nuclear war for the first time since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. 

Continue reading

03/01/2023

Militarism of the United States

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

The U.S. Government Aims at Global Hegemony through Military Force

https://popularresistance.org/john-pilger-the-us-is-escalating-war-tensions-with-china-in-desperate-bid-to-maintain-global-power/

https://www.transcend.org/tms/2022/11/see-867-us-military-bases-on-new-online-tool/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfowitz_Doctrine

John-Scales-Avery

John Scales Avery

The military-industrial complex, against which President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in his famous farewell address, has bipartisan support in the United States Congress and Senate. The amount of money involved is enormous. The world, as a whole, spends roughly two trillion dollars each year on armaments, and a very large share of this, more than 800 billion dollars, is spent by the United States.

A vast river of money flows from the huge arms manufacturing corporations into the campaign funds and pockets of politicians, and into the pockets of those who control the mass media. Continue reading

03/01/2023

US in Proxy War with Russia Doles out 100 Billion Dollars in Aid and Arms to Ukraine

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 2 2023 (IPS)* – A US Senator once described Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, perhaps facetiously, as “a Winston Churchill in a tee shirt”.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (on screen) of Ukraine, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine. “We are dealing with a State that is turning the veto of the United Nations Security Council into the right to die”, President Zelynskyy warned. If it continues, countries will rely not on international law or global institutions to ensure security, but rather, on the power of their own arms. April 2022. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

And last month, when he addressed the US Congress – with the presence of about 100 Senators and 435 Congressmen – he tried to re-live that moment.

While most of the Senators and Congressmen were in business suits for the formal occasion, Zelensky opted for green military fatigues and a matching sweatshirt. Continue reading

27/12/2022

South Sudan: Amidst ‘Unimaginable Suffering’, over 260,000 in Need Slated for Humanitarian Support

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths released from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) on Thursday [], $14 million for direct assistance to 262,521 South Sudanese affected by increased violence and severe flooding.

Waves of fighting have displaced families in the Upper Nile State in South Sudan. (file)

© UNICEF/Phil Hatcher-Moore | Waves of fighting have displaced families in the Upper Nile State in South Sudan. (file)

Interconnected shocks have had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable, said the UN humanitarian office, OCHA.

“This funding will support reducing people’s vulnerability and protection risks through activities implemented by the United Nations humanitarian agencies in South Sudan”, stated Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.

Continue reading

27/12/2022

Horn of Africa Faces Most Severe Drought in More than Two Generations – UNICEF

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — The number of children suffering from dire drought conditions across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia has more than doubled in five months, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday [].

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 A ten-month-old boy is treated for severe malnutrition at a hospital in Puntland, Somalia.
© UNICEF/Grace Ekpu | A ten-month-old boy is treated for severe malnutrition at a hospital in Puntland, Somalia.

Around 20.2 million children are under threat of severe hunger, thirst and disease – compared to 10 million in July – as climate change, conflict, global inflation and grain shortages devastate the region.

“While collective and accelerated efforts have mitigated some of the worst impact of what had been feared, children in the Horn of Africa are still facing the most severe drought in more than two generations”, stated UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Lieke van de Wiel.

Continue reading

27/12/2022

100 Million Displaced, ‘a Record that Should Never Have Been Set’

Human Wrongs Watch

A hundred million people were forced to leave their homes in 2022. The UN continued to help those in need in a myriad of ways, and push for more legal, and safe ways for people to migrate.

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2022 UNRWA | School children in Jenin refugee camp, West Bank.

The 100 million figure, which includes those fleeing conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution, was announced by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in May and described by Filippo Grandi, the head of the agency, as “a record that should never have been set”.

The figure is up from some 90 million in 2021. Outbreaks of violence, or protracted conflicts, were key migration factors in many parts of the world, including Ukraine, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Syria, and Myanmar.

Thousands of desperate migrants looked to Europe as a preferred destination, putting their lives in the hands of human traffickers, and setting off on perilous journeys across the Mediterranean.

All too often these journeys ended in tragedy.

Continue reading

25/12/2022

Vandana Shiva: Bill Gates Is Promoting ‘Surveillance Agriculture’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D. | The Defender – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Vandana Shiva and Russell Brand discussed the history of agriculture, the role of Big Food in the current global cost-of-living crisis and how Gates is promoting “basically a surveillance agriculture.”

5 Dec 2022 – Prior to World War II, big corporations had no role in growing food, according to Vandana Shiva, Ph.D. “Growing food was an act of care, an act of love,” she said.

Today’s food and agriculture system is “very violent,” Shiva — environmental activist, author and founder of Navdanya International — told comedian and political commentator Russell Brand on a recent episode of his show, “Stay Free with Russell Brand.”

After World War II, “The same corporations that made chemicals for Hitler’s concentration camps [and] poison gases for the war started to trade in food as a commodity, rather than food as nourishment and food as life,” Shiva said. Continue reading

23/12/2022

Forget About All This Humanitarian Blah Blah (And Buy More Weapons)

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Dec 22 2022 (IPS)* – Day after day, international humanitarian organisations launch desperate appeals for funding to continue saving some of the many lives at high risk. When they get a handful of dollars –even just one million– from a rich country, they welcome it as manna from heaven.
Sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest companies in the industry reached 592 billion US dollars in 2021, a 1.9% increase compared with 2020 in real terms. Such an increase marked the seventh consecutive year of rising global arms sales

Sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest companies in the industry reached 592 billion US dollars in 2021, a 1.9% increase compared with 2020 in real terms. Credit: Shutterstock

Not only the available funding for humanitarian aid is already short, but next year will also set another record for humanitarian relief requirements, with 339 million people in need of assistance in 69 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared to the same time last year, the United Nations and partner organisations on 1 December 2022 said.

“The estimated cost of the humanitarian response going into 2023 is US$51.5 billion, a 25% increase compared to the beginning of 2022.” Continue reading

21/12/2022

Inculcating the “Military Virtues”: The Pentagon’s Predatory Role in U.S. High Schools

Human Wrongs Watch

By Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service

On December 11, 2022, the New York Times broke a front-page story about “J.R.O.T.C,” the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, described as “a program funded by the U.S. military designed to teach leadership skills, discipline, and civil values – and to open students’ eyes to the idea of a military career.”  The well-researched Times article has the air of a dramatic expose, although the facts it presents have been known for years.

Richard-E.-Rubenstein-e1512383079779

Richard E. Rubenstein

This Pentagon program, now enrolling more than half a million “cadets” in some 3,500 high schools across the United States, was founded during World War I and has greatly expanded since the 1970s.  

It is no coincidence that this expansion took place simultaneously with the development of the “all-volunteer” armed forces introduced by President Richard Nixon at the end of the Vietnam War. 

The use of conscription to raise forces for that war not only generated a massive antiwar movement among youth at risk of being drafted, it also produced a dissension-ridden, unreliable U.S. Army.

By 1973, ending the draft seemed to American rulers little more than common sense. But how, then, to ensure that young people willing to risk their lives in imperial adventures would volunteer in numbers sufficient to maintain the largest, most far-flung military establishment in human history?  Continue reading

21/12/2022

Iran: US Sanctions Violating Human Rights of All Living There: UN Independent Experts

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — US sanctions on Iran are resulting in harm to the country’s environment and preventing everyone there – including migrants and Afghan refugees – from fully enjoying their rights to health and life, and contributing to other factors such as rising air pollution, UN-appointed independent experts said on Tuesday [].

Hakim Expressway, Tehran, Iran.

Unsplash/Mehrshad Rajabi | Hakim Expressway, Tehran, Iran.

“Like many countries, Iran has environmental issues. The sanctions not only prevent the Iranian Government from addressing them effectively; they contribute to making the challenges worse,” the group of Special Rapporteurs and the Independent Expert on international solidarity, said in a statement.

Air pollution is a particular concern and reportedly causing higher levels of respiratory and other diseases among residents, that lead to an estimated 4,000 premature deaths per year in the capital Tehran and 40,000 premature deaths annually across the country.

20/12/2022

UK: ‘Demonising victims of trafficking and modern slavery, turns the public against them and legal methods for keeping them safe, leaving them vulnerable to extremist attacks’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Demonising victims of trafficking and modern slavery, turns the public against them and legal methods for keeping them safe, leaving them vulnerable to extremist attacks, independent UN human rights experts on warned, urging the United Kingdom to step up its efforts to protect survivors.

The Palace of Westminster and central London, as seen from across the River Thames.
UN News/Omar Musni | The Palace of Westminster and central London, as seen from across the River Thames.

The credibility of victims of trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery – including migrants and nationals – is now under attack in the UK, the Human Rights Council-appointed experts warned, in a statement published on Monday.

‘Unsubstantiated claims’

“We are alarmed by the rise in unsubstantiated claims by public officials and Government departments regarding persons seeking protection under the Modern Slavery Act and the National Referral Mechanism in the past days and weeks,” they said.

Continue reading

19/12/2022

Migrants? ‘Don’t You Dare Come Here, Unless…’

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Dec 19 2022 (IPS)* – When tens of thousands of Europeans had to flee the horrors of two born-in-Europe devastating armed conflicts that attracted other powers: the World Wars I and II, they migrated to the Americas and other Western countries in search of safe haven.
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"There is no migration crisis; there is a crisis of solidarity" says UN Secretary-General, António Guterres. Credit: Credit: UNOHCR

“There is no migration crisis; there is a crisis of solidarity” says UN Secretary-General, António Guterres. Credit: Credit: UNOHCR

Upon their arrival at their destination, they were checked at the border and admitted to enter as useful workforce.

Seldom, if ever, anybody classified them as “illegal” migrants. Those human beings were fleeing the horrors of those wars.

Continue reading

19/12/2022

UN Launches 10-Year Survival Plan for Endangered Indigenous Languages

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — From Arctic communities desiring to receive public services in their own languages, to the Arhuaco people in Colombia who still speak Ika, indigenous people across the world are determined to keep their mother tongues alive.

Girls from the Arhuacos indigenous community of Colombia.
UNODC/Laura Rodriguez Navarro | Girls from the Arhuacos indigenous community of Colombia.

On Friday [], the UN launched the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to help them survive, and protect them from extinction.


The Organization has long advocated for indigenous peoples, who are the inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. 

Continue reading

18/12/2022

Global Cholera Surge Likely Accelerated by Climate Change, Warns World Health Organization

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Climate change has driven an “unprecedented” number of larger and more deadly cholera outbreaks around the world this year, the UN health agency, WHO, said on Friday [].

With the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Haiti received around 1.17 million doses of oral cholera vaccines as cases continue to rise in the country.
© WHO-PAHO | With the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Haiti received around 1.17 million doses of oral cholera vaccines as cases continue to rise in the country.

“The map is under threat (from cholera) everywhere,” said Dr. Philippe Barboza, from the World Health Organization, speaking in Geneva, via Zoom.

Available data points to cases of infection in around 30 countries, whereas in the previous five years, fewer than 20 countries reported infections, on average.

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18/12/2022

As Biodiversity Degrades, Nature’s Solutions Are Lost for Ever

Human Wrongs Watch

Humanity faces unprecedented engineering challenges if it is to survive. Solutions to these challenges are waiting to be discovered in plants, animals, and microbes, but these could be lost forever, if we do not preserve the rich diversity of life on Earth.

UNDP: Nature has inspired a wide range of engineering solutions

The UN biodiversity conference, COP15, is due to wrap up on 19 December. This weekend, we are looking at some of the ways that humanity is reliant on biodiversity for a healthy and thriving global ecosystem.

When a species goes extinct, it takes with it all of the physical, chemical, biological, and behavioural attributes that have been selected for that species, after having been tested and re-tested in countless evolutionary experiments over many thousands, and perhaps millions, of years of evolution.

 

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15/12/2022

The Poor, Squeezed by 10 Trillion Dollars in External Debts

Human Wrongs Watch

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About 60% of the poorest countries are already at high risk of debt distress or already in distress.

About 60% of the poorest countries are already at high risk of debt distress or already in distress. Credit: Pixabay.

Moreover, the debt-service payments, projected to top 62 billion US dollars in 2022, put the biggest squeeze on poor countries since 2000, according to the World Bank.

As defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), debt service refers to payments in respect of both principal and interest.

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14/12/2022

Europe’s Dash for Gas Presents Pitfalls for Africa

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, Dec 14 2022 (IPS)* – One of the knock-on effects of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine is that European countries have embarked on a ‘dash for gas’ to find alternatives to Russian energy supplies.
 
One of the knock-on effects of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine is that European countries have embarked on a dash for gas to find alternatives to Russian energy supplies

Don’t Gas Africa protest during COP27. Credit: Don’t Gas Africa

A flurry of deals has ensued with several African States being enticed by the prospect of lucrative energy contracts.

A new report, however, has warned that helping Europe continue its addiction to imported fossil fuels risks having devastating long-term effects for African societies.

The Fossil Fuelled Fallacy: How the Dash for Gas in Africa will Fail to Deliver Development argues the pitfalls are plentiful. Continue reading

14/12/2022

UN Appeals for $1.2 Billion to Support 66 Million Women and Girls in 65 Countries Affected by Crisis 

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Amid rising humanitarian needs worldwide, the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, on Tuesday [13 December 2022] launched a $1.2 billion appeal to support 66 million women, girls and young people in 65 countries affected by crisis.

UNFPA supports programmes to accelerate the abandonment of female genital mutilation in Kenya.
© UNFPA/Georgina Goodwin |  UNFPA supports programmes to accelerate the abandonment of female genital mutilation in Kenya.

The 2023 Humanitarian Action Overview is UNFPA’s largest appeal ever and includes $289 million in Afghanistan, $70 million in Ukraine, $62 million in Somalia, and $23 million in Haiti.

As the world faces multiple, intersecting crises, the agency calls for predictable and flexible humanitarian funding to save lives and ensure that the rights and needs of women and girls are protected and fulfilled.

The past year has seen a shocking increase in needs globally, with the number of people forcibly displaced worldwide surpassing 100 million for the first time in history.  

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14/12/2022

More than 11,000 Children Killed or Injured in Yemen Conflict: UNICEF

Human Wrongs Watch

11 December 2022 (UN News)* —  More than 11,000 boys and girls have been killed or injured in the war in Yemen – an average of four a day since fighting escalated in 2015, though the number is likely to be far higher, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported.

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© UNOCHA/Giles Clarke | A boy looks out from his home in the volatile area of Al Gamalia in Taiz, Yemen. (file)

Agency chief Catherine Russell, who has completed a visit to the country, called for urgent renewal of the truce between the Government and Houthi rebels.

The landmark agreement was initially announced in April and led to a significant reduction in the intensity of the conflict. However, a further 62 children have been killed or injured in the period since it ended in early October and 30 November, UNICEF said.

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12/12/2022

More than 1 in 5 Worldwide Suffering from Violence at Work – International Labour Organization

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)*More than one in five people employed – almost 23 per cent – have experienced violence and harassment in the workplace, whether physical, psychological or sexual, according to the first ever joint analysis of data worldwide carried out by the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), the independent global charity Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) and analytics and polling company, Gallup.
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Violence and harassment at work has affected more than one in five people.

© Unsplash/Heike Trautmann | Violence and harassment at work has affected more than one in five people.

 

This first global survey on experiences of violence and harassment at work, aims to provide a better understanding and awareness of an issue rooted in complex economic, social and cultural factors, said ILO in a press release published on Monday [].

Experiences of Violence and Harassment at Work: A global first survey  assesses the extent of the problem and looks at the factors that may prevent people from talking about what they’ve gone through, including shame, guilt or a lack of trust in institutions, or because such unacceptable behaviours are seen as “normal”.

12/12/2022

‘We Indigenous Peoples Are Rights-Holders, Not Stakeholders’

Human Wrongs Watch

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Dec 8 2022 (IPS)* – After four failed rainy seasons, the land of the Maasai has withered. The worst drought in 40 years is a slow-motion storm of devastation in the Greater Horn of Africa, ruining the livestock, the communities, the Maasai way of life. Their cattle have been their greatest source of wealth and nutrition, but with grazing lands shriveled from the dry heat and their livestock emaciated, the entire region is in peril.
 
Places where Indigenous tenure is secure are where lands and waters are best protected. Credit: Amantha Perera/IPS

Places where Indigenous tenure is secure are where lands and waters are best protected. Credit: Amantha Perera/IPS

In contrast, the storms that smash the Philippines bring intense rains and devastating winds. The Igorot communities on the Island of Luzon have a front-row seat for these storms, and they are hard pressed keeping their way of life intact. Continue reading

09/12/2022

EU Should Stop Illegal Migrant Pushbacks at its Borders

Migrants show broken phones in the village of Horgos, Serbia, January 28, 2020. © 2020 Darko Vojinovic/AP Photo

A new report, including disturbing video and audio evidence, shows security forces along European Union borders detaining migrants and asylum seekers at secret locations before forcing them back across borders. The report, released by collaborative journalism outfit Lighthouse Reports, primarily documented abuses occurring in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Croatia.

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09/12/2022

Migrant Workers: Qatar Still to Answer for Mass Wage Theft

Human Wrongs Watch

By Rejimon Kuttappan*

Many of the migrants who built World Cup infrastructure in Qatar are still waiting for their last pay cheques.
 

Joerg Boethling/Alamy Stock Photo. All rights reserved

7 December 2022 (openDemocracy)* — “In 2015, when I joined Leighton Contracting Qatar as a land surveyor, I felt proud,” Varun Babu, a migrant worker from India, recalled. “Big company and good salary – we built the Doha Orbital Highway, part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup! But in March 2020, everything turned upside down.”

Covid-19 in Qatar. Given the thousands of migrant workers who died while building infrastructure for the games, the pandemic’s non-lethal effects in the country can feel almost like a footnote. But the terminated employment and theft of wages and benefits that thousands of migrant workers experienced as the virus spread constitute a tragedy unto themselves. For many, it was never resolved.

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07/12/2022

Corruption (II): Europe Doing Nothing

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Dec 7 2022 (IPS)* – “Western Europe and the European Union remains the highest scoring region in the world’s corruption index, progress has halted and worrying signs of backsliding have emerged.”
While corruption levels remain at a standstill worldwide, in Western Europe and the European Union, 84% of countries have declined or made little to no progress in the last 10 years, report finds. Credit: Shutterstock.

 

While corruption levels remain at a standstill worldwide, in Western Europe and the European Union, 84% of countries have declined or made little to no progress in the last 10 years, report finds. Credit: Shutterstock.

This is how Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report introduces its section: A Decade of Stagnating Corruption Levels In Western Europe Amidst Ongoing Scandals.

The report shows that while corruption levels remain at a standstill worldwide, “in Western Europe and the European Union, 84% of countries have declined or made little to no progress in the last 10 years.” Continue reading

06/12/2022

Corruption (I): The Most Perpetrated –and Least Prosecuted– Crime

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Dec 6 2022 (IPS)* – In these times when all sorts of human rights violations have been ‘normalised,’ a crime which continues to be perpetrated everywhere but punished nowhere: corruption is also seen as a business as usual. A business, by the way, that relies on the wide complicity of official authorities.
Multinational companies bribing their way into foreign markets go largely unpunished, and victims’ compensation is rare, according to new report. Credit: Ashwath Hedge/Wikimedia Commons

Multinational companies bribing their way into foreign markets go largely unpunished, and victims’ compensation is rare, according to new report. Credit: Ashwath Hedge/Wikimedia Commons

“Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the solicitation of bribes.”

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06/12/2022

The Decline and Fall of Democracy Worldwide

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 5 2022 (IPS)* – A head of state who presided over an authoritarian regime in Southeast Asia, was once asked about rigged elections in his country.
 
“I promised I will give you the right to vote” he said, “but I didn’t say anything about counting those votes.”
 

Voters wait to cast their ballots for federal and provincial elections at a polling location in Bhaktapur district, Nepal. Meanwhile, the United Nations marked the annual International Day of Democracy, on September 15, calling on world leaders to build a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world, with full respect for human rights. Credit: UN News

That infamous quote, perhaps uttered half-jokingly, was rightly described as an unholy combination of despotism and democracy.

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06/12/2022

The Climate Emergency

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Two Time Scales

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John Scales Avery

Immediate and drastic action is needed to prevent irreversible climate change. However, the worst effects of climate change lie in the distant future, perhaps as much as a thousand years from today. It is part of our human nature to see what is near to us.

We accept the comfort and convenience provided by fossil fuels. It is therefore difficult to mobilize the political will needed for drastic and immediate action.

Some of Antonio Guterres’ Remarks at COP27

Here are a few extracts from the Secretary General’s speech:

“Dear friends, in just days, our planet’s population will cross a new threshold. The 8 billionth member of our human family will be born. This milestone puts into perspective what this climate conference is all about. How will we answer when “Baby 8 Billion” is old enough to ask: What did you do for our world – and for our planet — when you had the chance?

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02/12/2022

‘Legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Reverberates to this Day, Just as Modern-Day Enslavement Is Growing’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)*The legacy of the transatlantic slave trade “reverberates to this day”, just as modern-day enslavement is growing, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said.

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Children in Burkina Faso engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in artisanal gold mining and quarrying.
© UNICEF/Christine Nesbitt | Children in Burkina Faso engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in artisanal gold mining and quarrying.

In a message ahead of commemorations for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, on 2 December, Mr. Guterres said that societies remain scarred by the historical suffering of enslaved Africans, and are unable to offer everyone the same development opportunities.

The UN chief also urged action to identify and recommit to eradicating all forms of contemporary slavery, from people trafficking to sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage and the use of children in armed conflict.

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02/12/2022

This Planet Is Drying Up. And these Are the Consequences

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Dec 1 2022 (IPS)* – Drought is one of the ‘most destructive’ natural disasters in terms of the loss of life, arising from impacts, such as wide-scale crop failure, wildfires and water stress.

By 2050, droughts may affect an estimated three-quarters of the world’s population. Credit: Miriet Abrego / IPS

In other words, droughts are one of the “most feared natural phenomena in the world;” they devastate farmland, destroy livelihoods and cause untold suffering, as reported by the world’s top specialised bodies: the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

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29/11/2022

Sanctions: Another Form of War on Designated Enemies

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kathleen Malley-Morrison | MAPA – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Hundreds protest against sanctions in Zimbabwe. Photo: AP News

18 Nov 2022 – The Charter of the United Nations (UN), established in San Francisco in 1945, begins with noble goals, including saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), proclaimed in Paris in 1945, noted that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind,” and affirmed that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Continue reading

29/11/2022

‘We cannot give up’ on the millions suffering in drought-stricken Horn of Africa, urges WFP official

(UN News)*Millions of people in the Horn of Africa – a region at the intersection of some of the worst impacts of climate change, recurring humanitarian crises and insecurity – are facing the driest conditions in four decades along with extreme food shortages.
The top UN World Food Programme (WFP) official in the region, Michael Dunford, is warning that the situation there is likely to get worse before it improves.
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Women carry food from a WFP distribution site in Marsabit County in northern Kenya.
© WFP | Women carry food from a WFP distribution site in Marsabit County in northern Kenya.

In an interview with UN News, Mr. Dunford said: “Unfortunately, we have not yet seen the worst of this crisis. If you think 2022 is bad, beware of what is coming in 2023. What that means, is that we need to continue to engage. We cannot give up on the needs of the population in the Horn.”

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