Archive for ‘Africa’


Punishment Is Violent and Counterproductive

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

DAYLESFORD, Australia,  26 October 2016 – Punishment is a popular pastime for humans. Parents punish children. Teachers punish students. Employers punish workers. Courts punish lawbreakers. People punish each other. Governments punish ‘enemies’. And, according to some, God punishes evildoers.


**Punishment of an offender in Hungary, 1793 | Author: Alavoine – Lily15 (uploader, feltöltő) | Public Domain | Wikimedia commons: “This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.”

What is ‘punishment’?

Punishment is the infliction of violence as revenge on a person who is judged to have behaved inappropriately. It is a key word we use when we want to obscure from ourselves that we are being violent.


Mediterranean Death Toll in 2016 ‘Worst We Have Seen’

Human Wrongs Watch

With just two months left in 2016, and despite a substantial drop in the number of migrants and refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean, the number of people losing their lives has witnessed a three-fold overall increase this year, and in one particular route by more than five-fold, the United Nations refugee agency on 25 October 2016 said.*

Refugees and migrants rescued at sea by the Italian coast guards after adrift in the Mediterranean Sea disembarked at the port of Augusta in Sicily, May 2016. Photo: UNHCR/Patrick Russo

“From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiralled to one in 88,” William Spindler, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told journalists at the regular news briefing at the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG).


Longer, But Less Meaningful Lives?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

24 October 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service – The last one hundred years life expectancy has increased by about 25%-from near 80 to near 100-in some countries.  But, instead of increasing playful childhood, education, work and retirement by 25%, the age of retirement has moved much less than the age at death.


Johan Galtung

That deprives masses of older people with experience and wisdom of productive work, of being useful, meeting others constructively; reducing them to being playful–bridge or golf as case may be–and just keeping alive.

Homo sapiens as homo ludens not homo faber.

Longer, but emptier lives.

A crime against humanity if there ever was any. However, with two clear remedies: continue working self-employed with pension as salary, or find meaning in dedication to something beyond oneself, some cause, volunteer work.

That should be planned well in advance before entering a “career” that peaks before, or at, retirement; the rest being downhill even steeply.


Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Surge to New Records in 2016

Human Wrongs Watch

24 October 2016 – Globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged again to new records in 2016, and, based on readings of the longest-established greenhouse gas monitoring station at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, the United Nations weather agency predicts that carbon dioxide concentrations will not dip below pre-2015 levels for many generations.


Photo: UNEP

“The year 2015 ushered in a new era of optimism and climate action with the Paris climate change agreement. But it will also make history as marking a new era of climate change reality with record high greenhouse gas concentrations,” said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.


World Must Tackle the Biggest Killer of Whales – and It’s Not Whaling

Human Wrongs Watch

Portoroz, Slovenia, Oct 24 2016 (IPS) – Every two years, governments from across the globe gather to debate the fate of the world’s whales. And every two years, Japan, Norway and Iceland find themselves in the firing line for their refusal to end commercial whaling.
The grave dangers of fishing nets are underestimated. Credit: Zofeen Ebrahim/IPS

The grave dangers of fishing nets are underestimated. Credit: Zofeen Ebrahim/IPS

This week at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Slovenia will be no different. But while the divisive debate on whaling rages, the IWC has the chance to unite behind efforts to tackle the most immediate 21st century threat to whales – bycatch.

It is scarcely believable but accidental entanglement in fishing gear – or bycatch – kills over 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) every year.


Prof. Johan Galtung (24 Oct 1930)

Human Wrongs Watch

By Antonio C. S. Rosa*

TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 October 2016 Johan Vincent Galtung, dr, dr hc mult, a professor of peace studies, was born in Oslo, Norway on the same day that the UN would come to existence 15 years later.

pic Johan black suit He is a mathematician–his first Ph.D.–, sociologist, political scientist and the founder of the academic disciplines of Peace and Conflict Studies.

He founded the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (1959), the world’s first academic research center focused on peace studies, as well as the influential Journal of Peace Research (1964).

He has helped found dozens of other peace centers around the world since.

He has served as a professor for peace studies at universities all over the world, including Columbia (New York), Oslo, Berlin, Belgrade, Paris, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Sichuan, Ritsumeikan (Japan), Princeton, Hawai’i, Tromsoe, Bern, Alicante (Spain), Islamic University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, and dozens of others on all continents. He has taught thousands of individuals and motivated them to dedicate their lives to the promotion of peace and the satisfaction of basic human needs.


Washington’s Game of Good Terrorists vs Bad Terrorists

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Wight*

22 October 2016 (RT) When you reach the stage of making a distinction between good terrorists and bad terrorists, not only are you defending the indefensible, you are engaged in the ugly business of sowing dragon’s teeth.

Wounded civilians arrive at a hospital in Aleppo during the Syrian civil war. | Author: Voice of America News: Scott Bobb reports from Aleppo, Syria |  public domain | Wikimedia Commons: “This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.”

Jahbat Al-Nusra, which recently changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, is a terrorist organization dripping in the blood of men, women, and children – people it has butchered across Syria over the past five years for the crime of praying to a different God than them, or else the same God in a different way.


Student Struggle in South Africa Gains Momentum

Human Wrongs Watch

By Desmond Latham*

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 21 2016 (IPS) – When #FeesMustFall began to trend on social media platforms in South Africa in October 2015, government shrugged it off as an example of isolated hotheads, while political pundits predicted the student campaign wouldn’t last.

Hundreds of #FeesMustFall protesters gather outside the Union Buildings, the seat of government in South Africa, to demand free education on Oct. 20, 2016. Credit: Denvor DeWee/IPS

Hundreds of #FeesMustFall protesters gather outside the Union Buildings, the seat of government in South Africa, to demand free education on Oct. 20, 2016. Credit: Denvor DeWee/IPS

But a year later and the protest movement has gained traction across the country, with all major tertiary institutions partly shut down or barely functioning, and civil society warning that the effect on various sectors of the economy will carry over to 2017.


Meet the Uprooted Children and Families of Borno State, Nigeria

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kent Page*

BORNO STATE, Nigeria, 19 October 2016 (UNICEF) – Since 2014, the escalation of the Boko Haram insurgency has caused insecurity and massive displacement in north-east Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. An estimated 2.6 million people are internally displaced – more than half of whom are children.



UNICEF and partners are working together to address the many aspects of this humanitarian crisis, including alarming rates of malnutrition, a recent polio outbreak, limited school access, deteriorating health and water services, and the psychosocial impacts of living through violence.


“Beyond Revenge”, the Documentary Film Now Freely Available Online

Human Wrongs Watch

By Pressenza*

BERLIN, 22 October, 2016 –  The documentary “Beyond Revenge” that premiered on the 2nd of October in Berlin, and which has already been premiered in several other cities worldwide, is now freely available on youtube, just as the producers, Álvaro Orus and Luz Jahnen said it would be.

“Beyond Revenge”, the documentary film freely available online

It is subtitled in three languages, Spanish, English and German. Soon Italian, Greek, French and Portugese will be added.

The movie is about the mechanism of revenge that is deeply rooted in human beings and which the producers of the film trace back to the prehistoric past of humankind.

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