Archive for August, 2015

26/08/2015

UN Child Rights Envoy Urges End to ‘Grave Violations’ against Children in Yemen

Human Wrongs Watch

Alarmed by the dramatic increase in grave violations against Yemen’s children, the United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has called on all parties to respect their obligations under international law to safeguard civilians from harm, including children.

A boy holds a large piece of exploded artillery shell, which landed in the village of Al Mahjar, a suburb of Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Mohamed Hamoud

Reflecting on conflict-affected countries in the Middle East, Leila Zerrougui said in a statement issued on 24 August 2015 that Yemen has become “another stark example of how conflict in the region risks creating a lost generation of children, who are physically and psychologically scarred by their experiences, deprived of educational opportunities, and who face an uncertain future.”

After the conflict escalated in late March, at least 402 children had been killed, and more than 606 injured.

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26/08/2015

‘None of Us Have the Moral High Ground to Say that We Would Never Do the Same If We Were in their Shoes’

Human Wrongs Watch

The European Union should establish a human rights-based, coherent and comprehensive migration policy which makes mobility its central asset, a United Nations expert on 25 August 2015 advocated, assuring is the only way in which the EU can reclaim its border, effectively combat smuggling and empower migrants.

A young Syrian refugee carries his brother across the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), near Eidomeni, Greece, in June 2015. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell

A young Syrian refugee carries his brother across the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), near Eidomeni, Greece, in June 2015. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell

“Let’s not pretend that what the EU and its member states are doing is working. Migration is here to stay,” Crépeau stressed.

“Building fences, using tear gas and other forms of violence against migrants and asylum seekers, detention, withholding access to basics such as shelter, food or water and using threatening language or hateful speech will not stop migrants from coming or trying to come to Europe,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, said.

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25/08/2015

A Human Rights Based Approach to Integrated Water Resources Management – Virtual Course

Human Wrongs Watch

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25/08/2015

Open-access Database to Help Water-scarce Countries Get more Crop per Drop

Human Wrongs Watch

24 August 2015, Rome – A new open-access data portal to be developed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will use satellite imagery to help water-scarce countries in the Near East and North Africa better manage this precious resource.*

Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Farmland along the banks of Rwanda’s Lake Sake. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Currently all countries in North Africa and the Near East suffer from severe water scarcity, with significant consequences for irrigated agriculture, the region’s largest water user.

This situation is expected to further intensify as climate change leads to more frequent and longer droughts, with severe impacts on food production.

The aim of the new data portal is to collect and analyze satellite information that can be used to improve land and water productivity and boost the sustainability of agricultural systems. All information will be openly available for countries and users who need it.

24/08/2015

The Need for a New Economic System – PART IX: a New Society, a New Social Contract, a New Way Life

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

24 August 2015

We need a new economic system, a new society, a new social contract, a new way of life. Here are the great tasks that history has given to our generation:

http://dailytheology.org/

(Another World Is Possible) | http://dailytheology.org</span

We must achieve a steady-state economic system

A steady-state economic system is necessary because neither population growth nor economic growth can continue indefinitely on a finite earth.

No one can maintain that exponential industrial growth is sustainable in the long run except by refusing to look more than a short distance into the future.

Of course, it is necessary to distinguish between industrial growth, and growth of culture and knowledge, which can and should continue to grow.

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22/08/2015

The Magician’s Apprentice

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

22 August 2015

ONE HAS to choose: Binyamin Netanyahu is either incredibly shrewd or incredibly foolish.

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

Take his Iran policy. Actually, there is little to choose from. Netanyahu has no other policy to speak off.

According to him, Iran constitutes a mortal danger to Israel. If it obtains a nuclear weapon, God forbid, it will use it to annihilate Israel. It must be stopped by any means, preferably by American armed intervention.

This may be quite wrong (as I believe). But it makes sense.

So what did Netanyahu do?

FOR YEARS, he alarmed the world. Every day the cry went out: Save Israel! Prevent the destruction of the Jewish State! Prevent a Second Holocaust! Prevent Iran from producing The Bomb!

The world did not take any notice. It was busy with many other matters. There are crises galore everywhere, all the time. Economic depressions. Plagues. The warming of the earth.

But Netanyahu did not let off. He used every rostrum, from the Knesset to the United States Congress, to shout his message.

At long last, a weary world paid heed. OK, the Jews warn of the Iranian bomb? So let’s do something to prevent it. Not just something. No. Let’s get all the great powers of the world together to compel Iran to end this nonsense.

And they did. The USA, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – practically the whole world – commanded Iran to start negotiations.

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22/08/2015

Misinformation Hides Real Dimension of Greek “Bailout”

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*
 
SAN SALVADOR, 22 August 2015 –– The long saga on Greece is apparently over – European institutions have given Athens a third bailout of 86 billion euros which, combined with the previous two, makes a grand total of 240 billion euros.

**Greece's debt percentage since 1977, compared to the average of the Eurozone | Author: Spitzl | Wikimedia Commons.

**Greece’s debt percentage since 1977, compared to the average of the Eurozone | Author: Spitzl | Wikimedia Commons.

There is no doubt that the large majority of European citizens are convinced that this is a great example of solidarity, and that if Greece is not now able to walk on its own feet, the responsibility will lie solely with Greek citizens and their government.

But this is only due to the fact that the media system has, by and large, ceased to provide alternative views … and some people even ignore that the bailout is a loan, and therefore increases the country’s debt.

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21/08/2015

The Need for a New Economic System – PART VIII: The Cooperative Movement

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

Robert Owen and social reform

21 August 2015 — During the early phases of the Industrial Revolution in England, the workers suffered greatly. Enormous fortunes were made by mill and mine owners, while workers, including young children, were paid starvation wages for cruelly long working days. However, trade unions, child labor laws, and the gradual acceptance of birth control finally produced a more even distribution of the benefits of industrialization.

**Twin Pines, the international symbol for cooperatives | Author: Twinpines.gif: Gobonobo | public domain | Wikimedia Commons

**Twin Pines, the international symbol for cooperatives | Author: Twinpines.gif: Gobonobo | public domain | Wikimedia Commons

One of the most interesting pioneers of these social reforms was Robert Owen (1771-1858), who is generally considered to have been the father of the Cooperative Movement.

Although in his later years not all of his projects developed as he wished, his life started as an amazing success story. Owen’s life is not only fascinating in itself; it also illustrates some of the reforms that occurred between 1815 and 1850.

Robert Owen was born in Wales, the youngest son of a family of iron-mongers and saddle-makers.

He was a very intelligent boy, and did well at school, but at the age of 9, he was apprenticed to a draper, at first in Wales.

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20/08/2015

EU Pays Price for Lack of Migration Planning

Human Wrongs Watch

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OXFORD, 19 August 2015 (IRIN)* – Migrant arrivals to Europe in 2015 were widely expected to surpass the record levels reached in 2014, as conflicts in Syria and elsewhere raged on. But the staggering number of sea arrivals to Greece in recent weeks appears to have taken many by surprise.
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Greece recorded more than 50,000 arrivals in July, according to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, surpassing in just one month the 43,500 who arrived during the whole of 2014.

The figures for August are likely to be even higher – last week alone, 21,000 migrants, the vast majority of them refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, crossed the relatively short stretch of the Mediterranean that separates Turkey from Greek islands such as Kos, Lesvos and Chios.

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20/08/2015

Eight Children Killed or Maimed Every Day in ‘Brutal’ Yemen Conflict

Human Wrongs Watch

An average of eight children are killed or maimed every day in Yemen as a direct result of the conflict that has gripping the country since April, according to a new report released on 19 August 2015 by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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Faisal, 18 months old is treated for severe acute malnutrition at Sabeen hospital in Yemen’s capital Sana’a. Photo: UNICEF/UMI191723/Yasin

“This conflict is a particular tragedy for Yemeni children,” said UNICEF Representative in Yemen, Julien Harneis.

“They are being killed by bombs or bullets, and those that survive face the growing threat of disease and malnutrition. This cannot be allowed to continue,” he stressed.

Yemen: Childhood Under Threat reveals that nearly 400 children have been killed and over 600 others injured since the violence escalated some four months ago.

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