Archive for June 14th, 2018


2 in 3 Infants Live in Countries Where Dads Are Not Entitled to a Single Day of Paid Paternity Leave – UNICEF

UNICEF calls for investment in family-friendly policies that support early childhood development including paid paternity and maternity leave, free pre-primary education, and paid breastfeeding breaks

Supidej Jaithon, 20, (also known as Boss), cries with laughter as he holds his newborn baby Matt, born a few moments before at Lerdsin Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday 6 March 2018.
UNICEF/UN0203758/Zehbrauskas | Supidej Jaithon, 20, (also known as Boss), cries with laughter as he holds his newborn baby Matt, born a few moments before at Lerdsin Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday 6 March 2018.

NEW YORK, 14 June 2018 (UNICEF)*Almost two-thirds of the world’s children under 1 year old – nearly 90 million – live in countries where their fathers are not entitled by law to a single day of paid paternity leave, according to a new UNICEF analysis.

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Greening a Toxic Dryland

14 June 2018 (UN Environment)* — The World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June is an opportunity to promote awareness that drylands can be improved through careful management.


Reuters | Photo from UN Environment.

The sandy dryland uncovered by the retreating water has become contaminated with pesticide run-off and triggered dust storms, causing local health problems. But now the Government of Uzbekistan is implementing a plan to green the dried-up seabed with millions of trees.

Their choice: the saxaul tree, a shrub-like species native to the deserts of central Asia, and now the first line of defense against climate change in Uzbekistan.

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Digging Deeper in Afghanistan

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kathy Kelly*

11 June 2018 – TRANSCEND Media Service Here in Kabul in early June, outside the home of several Afghan Peace Volunteers, a large drilling machine is parked on what was once a lovely garden. To this now muddy patch, workers will soon arrive for another noisy, dusty day of digging for water. The well dried up a week ago. As of today, the household has no water.

Photo by APVs’ Hakim

Ongoing battles between militants, government forces, and international allies have destroyed much of Kabul’s water infrastructure, forcing people to drill their own wells.

Across Kabul, numerous households face similar water shortages. With an average annual rainfall of just fourteen inches, Kabul’s water table has been falling each year.

The current population, estimated around 4.5 million, is expected to reach 9 million by 2050. The estimated groundwater potential is enough to supply only 2 million inhabitants with water.

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Yemen: An Attempt by Saudi-Led Military Coalition to Take Control of Hodeida Port “Will Have Serious Consequences” on an Already “Dire” Situation for Millions of Civilians

Human Wrongs Watch

An attempt by a Saudi-led military coalition to take control of the Yemeni port of Hodeida from opposition Houthi forces “will have serious consequences” on an already “dire” situation for millions of civilians, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen on 13 June 2018 said.


OCHA/Giles Clarke| A man and his sons travel to collect water underneath the Hajjah Road Bridge, in Hodeidah, Yemen, which was damaged in an airstrike in mid-2016. (file)

Protecting the Right to a Childhood

ROME, 13 June 2018 (FAO)*Many of us look back on our childhoods with warm feelings. But for more than 150 million girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 17 around the world, childhood means something else: poverty, a lack of education and working long hours in dangerous conditions.


The number of child labourers in agriculture worldwide has increased by more than 10 percent since 2012 driven in part by violent conflicts and disasters.| Photo from FAO.

Child labour is defined as work that is inappropriate for a child’s age, or more specifically, work that affects a child’s education or is likely to harm their health, safety or morals.

Around 70 percent of all child labourers work in agriculture (livestock, forestry, fishing or aquaculture) – that’s an increase of 12 percent, or 10 million more girls and boys, since 2012.

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UN General Assembly Adopts Resolution Urging Greater Protection for Palestinians, and Deploring Israel’s ‘Excessive’ Use of Force

In an emergency meeting on 13 June 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted an Arab-sponsored resolution calling for greater protection for Palestinians, and deploring any use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate” force by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, particularly in Gaza.

**UN General Assembly Hall in UN Headquarters | Basil D Soufi |Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unportedlicense.

The emergency session of the 193-member Assembly, came about following weeks of violence along the border of the Gaza Strip – the Palestinian enclave blockaded by Israel – where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians participated in “the Great March of Return” protests, beginning at the end of March.

More than 120 Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed by Israeli forces while participating in the protests against Israel’s years-long blockade.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 120 in favour, 8 against, with 45 abstentions.

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