Archive for March 25th, 2016

25/03/2016

‘Without Stories There Is Silence’

Human Wrongs Watch

24 March 2016 – When Betty was asked to participate in a multimedia exhibition about violence against women and disability, at first she did not think her story was worthy enough.*

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Photo: Belinda Mason, Silent Tears | Source: UN News Centre

“Because it was just depression,” the 42-year-old Australian mother of four explained. “But now I’m coming to terms that no, this is real, and people need to know that depression is a disability and it’s not just something you can get over.”

Like for many of the 21 other women in the project – which is expanding as more choose to break their silence – Silent Tears has been an integral part of Betty’s healing.

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25/03/2016

Oxfam Stops Aid Operations in Moria Camp in Protest to EU-Turkey’ Suspension of Migrants’ Rights 

Human Wrongs Watch

Oxfam on 24 March 2016 reported* that it has suspended all of its operations in the Moria camp, on the Greek island of Lesvos, in response to the deteriorating treatment of migrants due to the recent deal struck between the EU and Turkey.

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Syria: the rag dolls and the clay oven | 24 March 2016 – Shamsa and Thuha fled Aleppo, Syria with their family when they were aged seven and five. Their memories of home are linked to their childhood, they miss playing with cousins and making rag dolls. | Photo: UNHCR/Sam Tarling

In response, the Greek authorities are transforming reception facilities into detention centers, where people will be held pending their mass return to Turkey, following the deal last week.

People’s freedom of movement in Moria has been severely restricted and the camp has been placed under the authority of the Interior Ministry.

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25/03/2016

87 Million Children Under Seven Have Known Nothing But Conflict – UNICEF 

Human Wrongs Watch

More than 86.7 million children under the age of seven have spent their entire lives in conflict zones, putting their brain development at risk, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 24 March 2016 said.

Two year old Yusef lives in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq with his two brothers, mother and grandmother. Photo: UNICEF/UN02517/Schermbrucker

During the first seven years of life a child’s brain has the potential to activate 1,000 brain cells every second, UNICEF highlighted.

Each one of those cells, known as neurons, has the power to connect to another 10,000 neurons thousands of times per second.

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25/03/2016

“Serious Concern” over Collective Expulsion of Refugees, Migrants

Human Wrongs Watch

The top United Nations human rights official on 24 March 2016 expressed serious concern over the recent accord between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to stem the large-scale flow of refugees and migrants into Greece and Europe, stressing that individual cases must be assessed adequately to avoid a “collective expulsion.”

In March 2016, despite border restrictions in the Balkans, the influx of refugees and migrants to Idomeni, Greece, has continued. Photo: UNICEF/UN012804/Georgiev

“The declared aim to return all refugees and migrants contrasts with the assurances about individual assessments,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a press release, pointing to what he termed “a contradiction at the heart of the agreement.”

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25/03/2016

“Time ‘to Ring the Alarm Bell’ on Waning Prospects for Middle East” 

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations envoy for the peace process in the Middle East on 24 March 2016 warned the Security Council that the prospects for an independent Palestinian state are disappearing, and questioned the political will of the Israeli and Palestinian actors to address the main challenges blocking peace efforts.

Toddlers sit on the top step and their grandmother stands on a landing, inside their partially destroyed home in the Shejaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City. UNICEF/UNI188296/El Baba

“The time has come to ring the alarm bells that the two-state solution is slipping from our fingers,” said Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, pointing to ongoing settlement activities and confiscation of Palestinian land, as well as the continued lack of genuine Palestinian unity.

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25/03/2016

‘End to Fighting Can’t Come Soon Enough for Yemen’

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations relief chief on 24 March 2016  welcomed efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Yemen, adding that 23 March announcement of an agreement to cease hostilities on 10 April is “positive.”

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Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, in July 2015. Photo: OCHA/ Charlotte Cans

“An end to the fighting can’t come soon enough for the civilians caught between the warring parties,” said the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordination, Stephen O’Brien, in a statement.

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25/03/2016

Yemen’s Invisible Food Crisis

Human Wrongs Watch

Wafaa, 12, peeks out of her family’s tent. “We just want to go back home. We want to live in peace.” | Photo: Oxfam

During an intense 12 months, markets have been bombed, water plants and businesses destroyed and most essential services have ground to a halt. Almost 600 health facilities have closed due to damage or a shortage of supplies or staff.

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