Archive for July 25th, 2016

25/07/2016

Rights of Indigenous Peoples ‘Critical’ to Combat Climate Change

Human Wrongs Watch

ROME, 25 July 2016 (IPS) – No longer it is about restoring the legitimate rights of over 370 indigenous peoples spread across 70 countries worldwide, many of them living in dire situation, but now about their central, critical role in combating climate change.

Maasai pastoralists, who participate in a farmer field school, are selling animals at a local market in Narok, Kenya. Indigenous peoples have a key role to play in addressing climate change. Credit: FAO

Maasai pastoralists, who participate in a farmer field school, are selling animals at a local market in Narok, Kenya. Indigenous peoples have a key role to play in addressing climate change. Credit: FAO

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has relentlessly emphasised this new reality.

“Very few countries have so far made a clear commitment to a requirement in the Paris Climate Change Agreement that countries undertaking climate change activities should ensure the rights of indigenous peoples,” she says.

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25/07/2016

Afghan Civilian Casualties Hit Half-Year record, with 5,166 Dead or Maimed – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

In the first six months of this year, 5,166 civilians were either killed or maimed in Afghanistan, a half-year record since counting began in 2009, a United Nations report published on 25 July 2016 shows.

At a press conference in Kabul, (left) Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, and (right) Danielle Bell, Director, Human Rights Unit, UNAMA, present latest report on civilian casualties. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi.

Between January and June this year, the human rights team of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injured civilians, an increase of four per cent in the total number of casualties compared to the first six months of 2015, according to the report, titled ‘Afghanistan Midyear Report 2016; Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.’

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25/07/2016

UN Condemns Israel’s Closures in Hebron as ‘Collective Punishment’

Human Wrongs Watch

25 July 2016 – The United Nations relief agency charged with the well-being of Palestinian refugees has said that a closure imposed by Israeli authorities in Hebron district is creating serious challenges for humanitarian access, including the delivery of medical supplies, the removal of refuse, and the daily movement of the agency’s staff working inside refugee camp.*

One of several junctions leading to and from Palestinian villages and towns in Hebron governorate blocked by Israeli forces in late June 2016. Photo: OCHA

The closure was implemented following a series of violent incidents that took place before the end of Ramadan in which two Israelis were killed. It has particularly affected the Fawwar refugee camp, impacting approximately 9,500 refugees.

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25/07/2016

Indian Climate Activist Ponders the ‘Unthinkable’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Dan Bloom*

TAIPEI, 25 July 2016 (IPS) – For acclaimed Indian novelist and essayist Amitav Ghosh, the future of humankind as global warming impact events spread worldwide looks grim. So grim that the 60-year-old pamphleteer has titled his new book of three climate-related essays “The Great Derangement.”

Floods in Morigaon, India in 2014. Climate change is already leading to more frequent natural disasters. Credit: Credit: Priyanka Borpujari/IPS

Floods in Morigaon, India in 2014. Climate change is already leading to more frequent natural disasters. Credit: Credit: Priyanka Borpujari/IPS

The way we humans are dealing with, or not dealing with, climate change appears to be deranged. What will future generations in say, 2116 or 2216,  think of those of us in 2016?

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25/07/2016

Candy Man Offers Syrian Refugees a Sweet Taste of Home

Human Wrongs Watch

At Za’atari camp in Jordan, a third-generation confectioner from Dara’a makes popular sweets by hand.

By Charlie Dunmore*

(UNHCR)* Hunched over a stove outside his shelter in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, Abu Rabee’ stirs a large pot of thick, sugary syrup with a wooden paddle. It is an exhausting process that takes more than an hour, but he insists the end result is worth the effort.

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Abu Rabee’ cuts “raha” into small pieces at his caravan at Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan.
© UNHCR/Annie Sakkab

The 45-year-old Syrian refugee is making “raha”, Syria’s answer to Turkish delight, the most prized version of which originates from his home city of Dara’a, in the country’s south.

For Abu Rabee’, the endless stirring is a labour of love. Before the crisis, his factory in Dara’a used to produce 5,000 packs of raha a day, and the well-known brand was eagerly consumed throughout Syria and beyond.

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