Archive for February 7th, 2016

07/02/2016

Female Genital Mutilation Is a Human Rights Violation, Torture and an Extreme Form of Violence – African Union

Addis Ababa, 5 February 2016 (African Union)* – Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been recognized as a human rights violation, torture and an extreme form of violence against women and girls.
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Image: African Union

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It is an excruciatingly painful practice that denies girls their basic human rights.

Its impact on young girls and women is multi-faceted and touches various aspects of their lives, including their physical, psychological and social well-being, with scars lingering on for the rest of their lives.

The African Union has adopted legally binding instruments that promote the prohibition of traditional practices that are prejudicial to the health and welfare of young girls and women.

Among others, Article 21 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child obliges States Parties to eliminate harmful social and cultural practices, such as FGM, that affect the welfare, dignity, normal growth and development of the child.

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07/02/2016

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Human Wrongs Watch

UN Women*  – With 6 February marking International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), UN Women unveils the story of Assétou Touré, a survivor of FGM from Mali who is working to eradicate the harmful practice in her country. Touré’s story is part of our new series “From where I stand”, which captures the unique and powerful experiences of women across the globe.

From where I stand: Assétou Touré, Mali

Assétou Touré is a 49-year-old woman from Mali and a survivor of FGM. UN Women Mali/Coumba Bah

Assétou Touré is a 49-year-old woman from Mali and a survivor of FGM. Photo: UN Women/Coumba Bah

“I was 6-years-old when I was cut. For me, the most traumatic experience was seeing what my older sister went through. She wasn’t as lucky as me. She suffered terrible injuries and almost died. The scars will remain with us for life. Where we live, more than 80 per cent of girls go under the knife.

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07/02/2016

‘Migration and Multilateralism Will Be Hallmarks of 2016’

Human Wrongs Watch

The world is facing a political, economic, moral and social crisis as governments and communities struggle to provide effective solutions for the unprecedented numbers of people fleeing war, instability or persecution, the top United Nations migration official on 5 February 2016 said, calling for deceive multilateral action to tackle “the global issues lurking behind today’s vast movement of people.”

Local volunteer groups help provide hot meals for the increasing numbers of refugees and migrants arriving in Calais, France. Photo: UNHCR/ V. Cochetel

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, Peter Sutherland, said today in Geneva that 2016 “is the year of migration and multilateralism,” and that series of comprehensive initiatives is needed to drive home – and effectively address – the global nature of the issue.

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07/02/2016

Senior UN Officials Urge Elimination of ‘Violent Practice’ of Female Genital mutilation by 2030

Human Wrongs Watch

5 February 2016 – The most senior United Nations officials are urging the world to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, calling it a “violent practice” that scars girls for life, endangering their health, depriving them of their rights, and denying them the chance to reach their full potential.

Women chat together in the village of Halajay Gawra, northern Iraq, one of the villages UNICEF is working with to become “FGM-free.” © UNICEF/UN09330/Mackenzie

“Never before has it been more urgent – or more possible – to end the practice of female genital mutilation, preventing immeasurable human suffering and boosting the power of women and girls to have a positive impact on our world,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message ahead of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation marked annually on 6 February.

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07/02/2016

What We’ve Learned from Fifty Years of Saudi Arms Deals

Human Wrongs Watch

Flickr/airwolfhound, CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source: openDemocracy

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In December 1965, the government of Saudi Arabia signed a ‘Letter of Intent’, confirming its desire to buy arms from UK companies as part of the Saudi Arabian Air Defence Scheme.

The letter paved the way for the purchase of “Forty Lightning fighter jets and twenty-five Jet Provost training aircraft from BAC [the British Aircraft Corporation]; nine radar stations from Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) and training, logistics and other support services from Airwork.”

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07/02/2016

After 20 Years, Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Still in Political Limbo

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, 5 December 2016 (IPS) – After nine years in office, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will step down in December perhaps without achieving one of his more ambitious and elusive political goals: ensuring the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

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(Image by The Official CTBTO Photostream – flickr.com) | Source: Pressenza

“This year marks 20 years since it has been open for signature,” he said last week, pointing out that the recent nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – the fourth since 2006 — was “deeply destabilizing for regional security and seriously undermines international non-proliferation efforts.”

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07/02/2016

Optimism of the Will

Human Wrongs Watch

6 February 2016

SO NOW we have another anti-Semite. Mazal Tov (“good luck”) as we say in Hebrew.

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Uri Avnery

His name is Ban Ki-moon, and he is the Secretary General of the UN. In practice, the highest international official, a kind of World Prime Minister.

He has dared to criticize the Israeli government, as well as the Palestinian Authority, for sabotaging the peace process, and thereby making Israeli-Palestinian peace almost impossible.

He emphasized that there is a world-wide consensus about the “Two-state Solution” being the only possible one.

The formulation sounded neutral, but Ban made it quite clear that almost the entire fault lies with the Israeli side. Since the Palestinians are living under a hostile occupation, there is not much they can do one way or the other.

Anyone blaming Israel for anything is, of course, a blatant anti-Semite, the latest addition to a long line, starting with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, a few thousand years ago.

I AM not criticizing Ban, except for being too soft-spoken. Perhaps that is the Korean style. If I had been – God forbid – in his place, my formulation would have been a lot sharper.

Contrary to appearances, there is no great difference between Ban and Bibi, as far as the prognosis is concerned.

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07/02/2016

National Security or National Paranoia? How Europe Is Policing Itself into Despotism

Human Wrongs Watch

By Catherine Shakdam*

6 February 2016 (RT) – A former beacon of human rights and civil liberties, Europe has become its own worst enemy, as governments exploit and engineer fears to expand their control and oversight. In this descent towards national paranoia France is leading the pack.
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© UNHCR/F.Scoppa | A young boy lights a fire outside his tent in the Grande Synthe Jungle. | UNHCR concerned about conditions in Calais and Dunkerque

Ever since terror rose its demonic face, world democracies have lived under a semi-permanent state of alert awaiting the proverbial clash of civilization, politicians, officials, and at times intellectuals, warned would inevitably take place should heads of states fail to legislate against the elusive evil of radicalization.

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07/02/2016

The Urgent Need for Complete Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 in the morning, an atomic bomb was exploded in the air over the city of Hiroshima in an already-defeated Japan. The force of the explosion was equivalent to twenty thousand tons of T.N.T.. Out of a city of two hundred and fifty thousand people, almost one hundred thousand were killed by the bomb; and another hundred thousand were hurt.

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No more Hiroshimas, no more Nagasakis. On 11:02 on 9 August 1945, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Nearly everything around it was incinerated by a wall of heat up | Source: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons-ICAN

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In some places, near the center of the city, people were completely vaporized, so that only their shadows on the pavement marked the places where they had been.

Many people who were not killed by the blast or by burns from the explosion, were trapped under the wreckage of their houses. Unable to move, they were burned to death in the fire which followed.

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