Archive for April 14th, 2015

14/04/2015

More Than 800,000 Children Forced to Flee Homes in Nigeria

Human Wrongs Watch

13 April 2015 – A new report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reveals that least 800,000 children have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the conflict in northeast Nigeria between Boko Haram, military forces and civilian self-defence groups.

Aisha pretends to draw at the tip of a pencil painted on a wall mural in a camp for internally displaced people in Yola, the capital of Adamawa. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0477/Esiebo

Released a year after 200 girls were abducted in Chibok, UNICEF’s Missing Childhoods reveals that the number of children running for their lives within Nigeria, or crossing over the border to Chad, Niger and Cameroon, has more than doubled in just less than a year.

“The abduction of more than 200 girls in Chibok is only one of endless tragedies being replicated on an epic scale across Nigeria and the region,” says Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

“Scores of girls and boys have gone missing in Nigeria – abducted, recruited by armed groups, attacked, used as weapons, or forced to flee violence. They have the right to get their childhoods back.”

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14/04/2015

Wildlife, Forest Crimes on the Rise, Devastate Environment, Generate Billions of Dollars to Criminal Gangs

Human Wrongs Watch

Doha, Qatar, 13 April 2015 – With wildlife and forest crimes on the rise, yielding enormous profits for criminal networks, United Nations high-level officials at a major anti-crime meeting under way in Doha, Qatar, stressed the gravity of the scourge, saying that it fuels violence, corrupts supply chains and undermines the rule of law.

An elephant in Ghana. World Bank/Arne Hoel | Source: UN

“Wildlife and forest crime…has the potential, not only to devastate the environment, but also to undermine the social, political and economic well-being of societies, while generating billions of dollars for criminal gangs and sustaining their illicit activities,” General Assembly President Sam Kutesa told a high-level event held as part of the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.*

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14/04/2015

'Why Are We Planning to Walk Across the Demilitarized Zone That Separates North and South Korea?' – Mairead Maguire

Human Wrongs Watch

By Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate*

13 April 2015, TRANSCEND Media Service — On May 24, 2015, which is International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament, 30 women peacemakers from 12 countries plan to walk across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea.

Mairead Maguire

This will be an important first step in establishing a peace process and supporting Koreans who are working towards reconciliation and hoping to reunite their families.

Some of the women who will be participating in this historic walk are Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee, feminist author Gloria Steinem, retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright, Suzuyo Takazato from Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence, and American filmmaker Abigail Disney.

Last week, the government of North Korea agreed to support the walk, but officials from South Korea have yet to voice a decision. The United Nations Command at the DMZ has said it will facilitate the crossing once the South Korean government gives its approval.

In many countries around the world, women are walking and calling for demilitarization and an end to war. As the DMZ is the most highly militarized border in the world, women peacemakers believe it is only right that they should walk there in solidarity with their Korean sisters, who want to see an end to the 70-year-old conflict and reunite millions of Korean families.

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14/04/2015

Palestinians, Syrians Trapped in Yarmouk Refugee Camp Suffer 'Untold Indignities'

Human Wrongs Watch

The thousands of Palestinian and Syrian refugees trapped in the Yarmouk refugee camp have suffered “untold indignities” amid intensifying hostilities between armed groups in the area, the United Nations agency concerned with the well-being of Palestinian refugees on 13 April 2015 declared.

UNRWA extremely concerned about the safety and protection of Syrian and Palestinian civilians in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Walla Masoud

UNRWA extremely concerned about the safety and protection of Syrian and Palestinian civilians in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Walla Masoud

“We can all agree that peaceful options for resolving the Yarmouk crisis will provide the optimal solution right now for the protection of the civilians,” Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said during the second day of his visit to the Syrian capital, Damascus, where Yarmouk is located.*

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