Archive for November 17th, 2014

17/11/2014

Why Migration Matters

Human Wrongs Watch

The world’s estimated 232 million international migrants (2013 UN estimate) generated some US$400 billion in remittances for their families and communities back home in 2013, three times more than total overseas development assistance in the same year, according to the World Bank
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BANGKOK, November 2014 (IRIN)* – As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire at the end of 2015, campaigners are calling for the inclusion of migrant worker protections in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that migrants contribute billions to reducing poverty – often at great cost to their personal safety and well-being.

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17/11/2014

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

Human Wrongs Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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17/11/2014

Mozambique Prohibits Highly Hazardous Pesticides — Imports Had Increased by 500 Percent

Over the past ten years, the average annual volume of pesticide imports into Mozambique has increased by 500 percent. Agricultural pesticides are used mainly on cash crops like cashew, tobacco, sugar cane, cotton, banana and vegetables. The annual value of pesticide sales is about US$16.6 million. However, some of the products currently in use are highly hazardous.*
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Mozambique and FAO working together to prohibit Highly Hazardous Pesticides and protect people and the environment. | Source: FAO

Mozambique and FAO working together to prohibit Highly Hazardous Pesticides and protect people and the environment. | Source: FAO

Mozambique has taken important regulatory measures to protect its people and the environment by cancelling the registration of 79 Highly Hazardous Pesticides. Working with the National Directorate of the Agrarian Services, in the Ministry of Agriculture, FAO helped bring the prohibition about and promote an ecosystem-based approach to pest and pesticide management.

Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) are products that present particularly high levels of acute or chronic hazards to human health or the environment due to their inherent chemical properties and that are listed  in internationally accepted classification systems or relevant binding international conventions.

In addition, pesticides that appear to cause severe or irreversible harm to human health or the environment under the prevailing conditions of use in a country may be considered as highly hazardous.

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17/11/2014

Typhoon Haiyan Anniversary: Three Generations Under One Roof in Tent City

Human Wrongs Watch

By Marjanna Bergman in Tanauan, the Philippines, November 2014 (UNHCR)* — Merlyn Aguilar may live with 12 family members in a tent among hundreds of others in UNHCR’s tent city in the central Philippines town of Tanauan, but she has every reason to feel proud.

© UNHCR/P.Behan | Three generations of the Aguilar family pose for a photo in their UNHCR tent.

© UNHCR/P.Behan | Three generations of the Aguilar family pose for a photo in their UNHCR tent.

Since the devastating Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the central Philippines a year ago, her family has pulled together with the help of the UN refugee agency and its corporate partner, United Parcel Services (UPS).

When the biggest typhoon ever to hit the Philippines made landfall early on November 8, Merlyn and the children were sheltering at the local gym. Even before arriving at the shelter, the strong winds and heavy rain forced them to abandon the bags of clothing they had packed for evacuation.

“I didn’t sleep for three days because I was trying to sleep sitting up. There was nowhere to lie down,” says 36-year-old Merlyn. “I gathered 10 chairs, and placed plywood on top so that at least eight of my children had somewhere to sleep.”

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17/11/2014

Launch of World Library of Science: a Free Online Science Education Resource

Human Wrongs Watch

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has launched the UNESCO World Library of Science (WLoS), a newly created, free online science education resource for a global community of users.

World Library of Science poster

Developed through the joint efforts of UNESCO, Nature Education and Roche, the WLoS was created to give students around the world, especially those in disadvantaged regions, access to the latest science information as well as the opportunity to share their experiences and learning through discussion with their peers in a shared learning environment.*

Launched on 10 November 2014 on the occasion of World Science Day for Peace and Development 2014 the WLoS is a science resource library stocked with over 300 top-quality articles, 25 eBooks, and over 70 videos from the publishers of Nature, the most cited scientific journal in the world. It is also a state-of-the-art digital platform that provides a community hub for learning.

Users can join classes, build groups and connect with other learners.

Specifically, the WLoS seeks to make science learning accessible to students everywhere in the world by:

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17/11/2014

On International Day, 'Tolerance for All Regardless of Nationality, Religion, Race, Sexuality…'

Human Wrongs Watch

Making International Day of Tolerance, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 16 November 2014 urged world leaders to protect people from persecution and to encourage tolerance for all regardless of nationality, religion, language, race, sexuality or any other distinction that obscures our common humanity.

Children from Cape Town, South Africa in the 1980s, when inter-racial marriage was illegal in the country | Source: UN News Centre

“We live in an era of rising and violent extremism, radicalism and widening conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life,” Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 16 November.*

There are more people displaced by fighting today than at any period since the end of the Second World War, he added.

Innocent lives are being lost in senseless clashes around the world. The youngest victims are robbed of their childhoods, conscripted and abused, or even kidnapped simply for wanting an education.

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