Archive for February 12th, 2015

12/02/2015

​‘Bankrupt but Free’: Greeks Stage Nationwide Anti-austerity Rallies

Human Wrongs Watch

11 February 2015 (RT)* — As EU politicians failed to reach a Greek debt deal in Brussels, thousands of people poured onto the streets of Athens and other large cities to protest austerity and voice support for the recently elected Syriza party.

Greece has confirmed there was no agreement, adding that “negotiations will continue with the goal of a mutually beneficial agreement.”

Eurozone finance ministers have made progress in discussions with Greece following hours of talks on Wednesday. The talks on whether to extend an international bailout to Athens will continue during the next scheduled meeting on Monday, as the sides could not agree on another meeting before then.

“We explored a number of issues, one of which was the current program,” Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said. “We discussed the possibility of an extension. For some that is clear that is preferred option but we haven’t come to that conclusion as yet.”

Greece has confirmed there was no agreement, adding that “negotiations will continue with the goal of a mutually beneficial agreement.”

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12/02/2015

Some 300 Feared Dead in Fresh Mediterranean Tragedy

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva (UNHCR)* The UN refugee agency on 11 February 2015 said it was “shocked” at evidence that some 300 migrants and refugees may have died after setting off from the coast of Libya in four dinghies at the weekend.

Italian coastguards arrive at the quay in Lampedusa with survivors of this week's tragedy in the Mediterranean. © UNHCR/F.Fossi

Italian coastguards arrive at the quay in Lampedusa with survivors of this week’s tragedy in the Mediterranean. © UNHCR/F.Fossi

UNHCR had reported yesterday that at least 29 people died on Sunday on one of the boats, which was carrying 105 people and trying to reach Europe. “Reports gathered [since] by UNHCR from the Italian Coastguard and the survivors in Lampedusa now suggest some 300 people are confirmed missing,” the agency said in a statement, adding that they were mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa.

The other victims were on board two dinghies found on Monday, but a fourth dinghy mentioned by survivors is missing. A total 82 survivors have disembarked at Italy’s Lampedusa Island, after being rescued by Italian coastguards and a merchant vessel.

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12/02/2015

In DR Congo, Martial Arts Help Children Get Away from Fighting

Human Wrongs Watch

By Yves Willemot*

The recruitment and use of children in armed forces is a violation of international law, and children who are recruited and forced to fight and kill suffer profound physical and psychological damage. Children not Soldiers, launched in 2014 by Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and UNICEF, is a campaign to make all government armed forces child-free by 2016.

© UNICEF DRC/2015/Muntzer Instructors Rafael and Ninja show capoeira moves to a group of children who have been demobilized from armed groups, and now stay at a transition centre in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.

© UNICEF DRC/2015/Muntzer | Instructors Rafael and Ninja show capoeira moves to a group of children who have been demobilized from armed groups, and now stay at a transition centre in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, capoeira, a Brazilian martial arts form, has had a positive impact in helping children demobilized from armed forces to make the transition away from military life and reintegrate with their families and communities. 

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, 11 February 2015 – “Aie! Aie! Isso!” Ninja gives the rally cry, and dozens of children rush forward at the instructor’s call. All of them already have their abadá, the white trousers of capoeira players. The boys are between 12 and 17, and their smiles show their enthusiasm.

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12/02/2015

African Children Subjected to Distressing Levels of Violence

Human Wrongs Watch

African girls and boys continue to be subjected to distressing levels of physical, sexual and emotional violence despite the significant legal and policy measures adopted throughout the region, according to a new United Nations-backed report.

A group of boys displaced by violence in South Sudan, playing in a UNICEF-supported child friendly space. Photo: UNICEF/Brian Sokol

Launched on 11 February 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York, The African Report on Violence against Children is the first comprehensive report of its kind in the region and builds upon the commitment put forward by African Union Member States to promote a so-called “Africa Fit for Children.”*

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