Archive for April 23rd, 2015

23/04/2015

Conflict Taking ‘Immense’ Toll on Yemen Civilians

Human Wrongs Watch

Escalating conflict in Yemen over the past month has worsened the already large-scale humanitarian crisis, the top United Nations relief official for the country on 23 April 2015 said , warning that the upsurge in violence has further deepened the hardships faced by ordinary Yemenis.

“Fighting and coalition airstrikes have impacted virtually the entire country. The toll on civilians has been immense,” said a press statement from Johannes Van Der Klaauw, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.

Since 19 March 2015, conservative estimates indicate that over 1,080 people have been killed, with some 4,350 people injured, and more than 150,000 people displaced, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The supply of food, fuel, water and electricity across the country has been disrupted. Schools, health facilities and private homes have been damaged or destroyed.

An estimated two million children are unable to attend school.

The country’s health system is at imminent risk of collapse due to shortages of medical supplies and fuel for generators.

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23/04/2015

'The Power of Books to Change Lives for the Better' – World Day

Human Wrongs Watch

As global symbols of social progress, books have always been targets for those who reject freedom and tolerance, the United Nations agency mandated with promoting education on 23 April 2015 said on World Book and Copyright Day, calling the occasion an opportunity to recognize the power of books to change lives for the better.

Photo: World Bank/Dana Smillie | Source: UN

“In recent months, we have seen attacks on children at school and the public burning of books,” Irina Bokova, Director-General of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said today 23 April.*

“In this context, our duty is clear – we must redouble efforts to promote the book, the pen, the computer, along with all forms of reading and writing, in order to fight illiteracy and poverty, to build sustainable societies, to strengthen the foundations of peace,” she added.

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23/04/2015

In Morocco, It’s the Women Who Carry the Atlas

As men try to find work in the big cities of Morocco, women are traditionally destined to do the hard work.
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22 April 2015, TIZI OUSSEM, Morocco ((Middle East Eye) – Every day after lunch, the women of the village of Tizi Oussem walk down a steep rocky path to the valley. They work the fields, herd the cattle, do the laundry by the river and gather wood for the fire. Even before that all starts they will inevitably have already worked for half a day doing household chores and taking care of the children. 

A woman in Tizi Essoume carrying a heavy load on her back, up the hill to her house (MEE/Rik Goverde)

At the end of the day they gather the wood or crops into bundles which they hoist onto their shoulders and carry back up to the village. Then they start preparing dinner and beginning their chores for the evening.

In this Amazigh region, the women take care of pretty much everything. That includes the carrying of very heavy loads. Whenever you see a bundle of wood or hay being transported by a human here, it’s women’s legs carrying it.

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23/04/2015

In the Words of a Young Nigerian Girl: 'I want to see a world free of violence'

Human Wrongs Watch

Edith Chukwu, 29, is among a team of lead Girl Guides trainers in Zambia for a workshop. Photo: UN Women/Urjasi Rudra

Edith Chukwu, 29, is among a team of lead Girl Guides trainers in Zambia for a workshop. Photo: UN Women/Urjasi Rudra

She is among a team of lead trainers who came to Zambia for a week-long training of trainers workshop, supported by UN Women and Zonta International, to roll out Voices against Violence”, a unique non-formal education curriculum co-developed by UN Women and WAGGGS to prevent violence against women and girls.

The curriculum is part of WAGGGS’ global campaign, “Stop the Violence, Speak out for Girls Rights.”

Here, Edith shares her story about how she got involved in the programme and the impact she has seen.

In her own words…

23/04/2015

Pillar of Neoliberal Thinking Is Vacillating

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome 23 April 2015 – This month’s World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only confirms that consequences of the collapse of the financial system, which started six years ago, are serious. And they are accentuated by the aging of the population, not only in Europe but also in Asia, the slowing of productivity and weak private investment.

Roberto Savio

Roberto Savio

Average growth before the financial crisis in 2008 was around 2.4 percent. It fell to 1.3 percent between 2008 and 2014 and now the estimates are that it will stabilise at 1.6 percent until 2020, in what economists call the “new normal”.

In other words, “normality” is now unemployment, anaemic growth and, obviously, a difficult political climate.

For the emerging countries, the overall picture does not look much better. It is expected that potential growth is expected to decline further, from an average of about 6.5 percent between 2008 and 2014 to 5.2 percent during the period 2015-2020.

The case of China is the best example. Growth is expected to fall from an average 8.3 percent in the last 10 years to somewhere around 6.8 percent. The result is that the Chinese contraction has worsened the balance of exports of raw materials everywhere.

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23/04/2015

If a Clinton Were to Marry a Bush, the US Could Cancel Elections

Human Wrongs Watch

By Bryan MacDonald*

22 April 2015 (RT) — With apologies to their respective spouses, if Jeb Bush’s son, George P. Bush, had married Chelsea Clinton, Americans could have spared themselves the spectacle of Election 2016 and saved billions of dollars.

**Jeb Bush Jeb Bush speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February 2015. | Author: Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia Commons

**Jeb Bush Jeb Bush speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February 2015. | Author: Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia Commons

All that the USA needs now is for a young Clinton to pair up with a junior Bush. Should the union produce an heir, a single line of monarchy would be established. This is the reality of the USA’s broken politics in 2015. A country pretty much established in opposition to hereditary elites now has the most closed political system in the Western world.

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23/04/2015

Criminalizing War: Twenty Recommendations

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

Johan Galtung

Johan Galtung

22 April 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service —  Recommendations presented by Johan Galtung in various places in Norway this past weekend.

  1. Japanese Constitution Article 9 or something similar for all states: ‘__forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes’.
  2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 28 criminalizing war: ‘a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration can be fully realized’
  3. UD Article 3 “Everybody has the right to life, freedom and security of person” should also apply to cross-border aggression of any kind.
  4. Local authorities, regions, NGOs, IGOs and TNCs with the capability and intention to do so should also receive and implement human rights.
  5. Self-defense against aggression insulting human rights is a human right, subject to jus ad bellum-jus in bello-human rights, not war.
  6. Make possession of any WMD by any state or organization a crime.
  7. List publicly state terrorist state; by UN, NAM or a prestigious NGO.
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23/04/2015

'Speak up against Injustice and Brutality' – UN Chief to Faith Leaders

Human Wrongs Watch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 22 April 2015 urged faith leaders gathered in the General Assembly to stand up for the collective good and amplify their voices in support of moderation and mutual understanding, warning that he fears an “empathy gap” is causing people to turn their eyes from injustice and numbing them to atrocities.

Participants at the General Assembly Thematic Debate on “Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation: Fostering Peaceful, Inclusive Societies and Countering Violent Extremism.” UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

“At a time when we are seeing so much division and hatred, I wanted to bring people together under the banner of the United Nations to explore how best to respond,” the Secretary-General said on the second day of a gathering at Headquarters in New York of leaders representing diverse faiths, including Islam, Judaism, Christianity, as well as ministers, academics, and spiritual teachers.

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23/04/2015

Mother Earth Day: 'Humanity Is Well Aware of the Devastating Damage It Wrought'

Human Wrongs Watch

Humanity is well aware of the devastating damage and pollution it have wrought on planet Earth, and “even with this knowledge, we have yet to change our ways,” United Nations Secretary-General on 22 April 2015 said urging people to reset their relationship with nature and every living being it sustains.*

Workers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, building rock walls and planting vegetation as ways to save arable land and avoid flooding in lower areas. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

In his remarks on International Mother Earth Day, marked worldwide on 22 April, Ban Ki-moon called Earth humanity’s “ultimate mother – an astounding planet that has, since time immemorial, supported life in myriad forms.”

This year’s celebration marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day celebrations from Morocco to Uganda, Armenia to India. 

“This can be the year our children and grandchildren will remember as when we chose to build a sustainable and resilient future – both for Mother Earth and all those that development has until now left behind. Let us seize this historic opportunity together,” he said.

“But the big decisions that lie ahead are not just for world leaders and policy-makers. Today, on Mother Earth Day, I ask each one of us to be mindful of the impacts our choices have on this planet, and what those impacts will mean for future generations,” he added.

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