17/01/2019

Human Beings Are Destroying Life on Earth but Deluding Ourselves that We are Not

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

DAYLESFORD, Australia, 17 January 2019 —  It is easy to identify the ongoing and endless violence being inflicted on life on Earth. This ranges from the vast multiplicity of assaults inflicted on our children and the biosphere to the endless wars and other military violence as well as the grotesque exploitation of many peoples living in Africa, Asia and Central/South America. But for a (very incomplete) list of 40 points see ‘Reflections on 2018, Forecasting 2019’.

Robert-J.-Burrowes1-e1543331461304

Robert J. Burrowes

However, despite the obvious fact that it is human beings who are inflicting all of this violence, it is virtually impossible to get people to pay attention to this simple and incontrovertible fact and to ask why, precisely, are human beings behaving in such violent and destructive ways? And can we effectively address this cause?

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17/01/2019

A New Spectre Is Haunting Europe

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, 17 January 2019 (Other News)* After Teresa May’s defeat in the British parliament it is clear that a new spectre is haunting Europe. It is no longer the spectre of communism, which opens Marx’s Manifesto of 1848; it is the spectre of the failure of neoliberal globalisation, which reigned uncontested following the fall of the Berlin Wall, until the financial crisis of 2009.

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Roberto Savio

In 2008, governments spent the astounding amount of 62 trillion dollars to save the financial system, and close to that amount in 2009 (see Britannica Book of the Year, 2017), According to a US Federal Reserve study, it cost each American 70,000 dollars.

Belatedly, economic institutions left macroeconomics, which were until then used to assess GNP growth and started to look at how growth was being redistributed.

And the IMF and the World Bank, (also because of the prodding of civil society studies, foremost those of Oxfam), concluded that there was a huge problem in the rise of inequality. Continue reading

17/01/2019

A Fresh Look and a Fresh Start for Survivors of Human Trafficking in Cambodia

Human Wrongs Watch

14 January 2019 (UN Women)*Three Cambodian women welcome their first customer of the day to have a seat in the salon chair. Chantrea* gently scrubs her hair, dries it, and styles the locks in long twists. When the next customer enters, Kunthea* provides a manicure, her steady hands painting each nail twice before a clear coat seals the color. Finally, Sokhanya* finishes the treatment with a bit of eye shadow and powder to the customer’s face.

A women gets her hair washed at a salon in the Siem Reap province. Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Simcox

A women gets her hair washed at a salon in the Siem Reap province. Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Simcox

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17/01/2019

Ten Threats to Global Health in 2019

By World Health Organization*

The world is facing multiple health challenges. These range from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, increasing reports of drug-resistant pathogens, growing rates of obesity and physical inactivity to the  health impacts of environmental pollution and climate change and multiple humanitarian crises.   

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WHO/Samuel Aranda | Photo from WHO.

To address these and other threats, 2019 sees the start of the World Health Organization’s new 5-year strategic plan – the 13th General Programme of Work.
This plan focuses on a triple billion target:  ensuring 1 billion more people benefit from access to universal health coverage, 1 billion more people are protected from health emergencies and 1 billion more people enjoy better health and well-being.
17/01/2019

In the Sahel, Pastoralists Rely on Satellites to Search for Water

17 January 2019 (UN Environment)*In the Northern Malian region of Gao, Adoum looks at his phone. It’s time to go find greener pastures for his herd. He has a few spots in mind but needs to gather more information before embarking on the weeks-long journey.

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Photo by SNV | Photo from UN Environment.

In the Sahel, climate change has translated into more frequent, longer drought spells that threaten the resilience capacity of nomadic livestock pastoralists like Adoum. Freshwater points are scarce during the dry season and many animals are at risk of dying before reaching the next oasis.

When droughts occur, herders can cover several hundred to thousands of kilometres before finding an adequate water spot with enough water and vegetation to meet the needs of the many herds gathering there.

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17/01/2019

Mali: ‘Dire’ Humanitarian Situation, ‘Grave’ Security Concerns Challenge Fragile Peace

Human Wrongs Watch

With over 800 schools forced to close due to insecurity, and 2.3 million vulnerable people in need of assistance this year, a top UN official told the Security Council on Wednesday [16 January 2019] that the humanitarian situation in Mali “remains dire”.

MINUSMA/Photo Marco Dormino | Bintou Keita, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding support, meet with the beneficiaries of UNWOMEN and UNFPA project supporting victims of sexual and gender-based violence at the Maison des femmes in Gao.
17/01/2019

Nearly 900 Reportedly Killed Following ‘s]Shocking’ Intercommunal Attacks in DR Congo

Human Wrongs Watch

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said on Wednesday [16 January 2019] that at least 890 villagers were reportedly killed in the western Democratic Republic of the Congo last month, following brutal inter-communal clashes.

© UNHCR/Ley Uwera | A site for Internally-displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Human rights reports suggest that the apparent massacre took place between 16 and 18 December in four villages in the Yumbi territory, Mai-Ndombe province, in what appear to have been clashes between the Banunu and Batende communities.

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16/01/2019

‘Many Countries Are Failing to Protect and Promote the Interests of All Their People – Despite Pledging to Do So in 2016’

Many countries are failing to protect and promote the interests of all their people – despite pledging to do so in 2016 – the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday [16 January 2019].

© UNICEF/UNI154440/Pirozzi | Children walking in a Roma community in the town of Shumen, Northern Bulgaria (2013)
In a special meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva to review progress on achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, Michelle Bachelet insisted that “overall, we are not on track” to meet its ambitious aims:
16/01/2019

Nobel Peace Prize 2019 – Nomination info in English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish – Deadline: 31 January

Human Wrongs Watch

By Fredrik S. Heffermehl | Nobel Peace Prize Watch – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Please use our attached information on the 2019 Nobel Prize; for your convenience in English, French, German, Spanish and Swedish.

Translated Versions Below

The official reluctance to discussing disarmament is massive – the beauty of the Nobel Peace Prize is that it is based on a testament – and promotion of disarmament is a legal obligation for the Norwegian awarders.

General disarmament would end enormous suffering and waste, free astronomic funds, reduce waste of precious resources, reduce pollution, offer major relief to the climate, improve human rights, democracy, the plight of women, children. In short, improve security and prosperity to people everywhere on the planet.

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16/01/2019

Palestinians Launch Bid for Full UN Membership

The Palestinians have the status of non-member observer state at the world body and full membership would amount to international recognition of Palestinian statehood.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank | Photo: Reuters | Photo from teleSUR.

15 January 2019 (teleSUR)* — The Palestinians will launch a bid to become a full member of the United Nations even though such a move will be blocked by the United States, the Palestinian foreign minister said Tuesday [15 January 2019].

“We know that we are going to face a U.S. veto but that won’t prevent us from presenting our application” for full UN membership, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki told journalists.

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