Archive for ‘Asia’

20/01/2021

“In Zimbabwe there Is Freedom of Speech, but No Freedom After the Speech”

Human Wrongs Watch

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BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Jan 19 2021 (IPS)* – A long-running gag says “in Zimbabwe there is freedom of speech, but no freedom after the speech”. But for journalists and activists who have been forced to endure nights in the country’s overcrowded and filthy holding cells, this is no laughing matter as prison inmates have no personal protective equipment to guard against COVID-19.

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Working as a journalist in Zimbabwe has been particularly hazardous for investigative journalists in a country that makes regular appearances in global top rankings of corruption. Zimbabwe’s press freedom remains fragile. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/IPS

And when government spokesperson Nick Mangwana warned ominously last year that, “No one is above the law,” it only confirmed what many here have always feared: that the ruling Zanu PF party will not hesitate to arbitrary apply the law to silence critics.

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20/01/2021

Israel: ‘Halt and Reverse’ New Settlement Construction – UN Chief 

Human Wrongs Watch

19 January 2021 (UN News)*Israel’s decision to advance plans for some 800 new settlement units, most of which are located deep inside the occupied West Bank, has sparked the concern of UN Secretary-General António Guterres. 

UNRWA/Lara Jonasdottir | A little boy stands on the remains of his family’s demolished home in the West Bank. (File)
 
In a statement issued on Monday [18 January 2021] by his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief urged the Israeli Government to “halt and reverse such decisions”, calling them “a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution, and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”.

 

‘No legal validity’ 

Mr. Guterres reiterated that Israel’s establishing of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law”. 

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19/01/2021

“They Left Us Starving”: How the Fashion Industry Abandoned Its Workers

Human Wrongs Watch

By Tansy Hoskins*

Fashion brands must end exploitation in supply chains and offer fair salaries and working conditions, say industry experts.
Women wearing face masks work at Liz Fashion Industry Limited, a garment manufacturer, in Gazipur on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh on Jan. 3, 2021 | Salim/Xinhua News Agency/PA Image

18 January 2021 (openDemocracy)* — In 2019 the fashion industry generated $2.5trn in global revenues, making it one of the largest industries in the world. But when COVID-19 struck in 2020, it virtually collapsed.

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19/01/2021

As Climate Change Hits Harder, World Must Increase Efforts to Adapt

17 January 2021 (UNEP)* — 2020 was not only the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also the year of intensifying climate change: high temperatures, floods, droughts, storms, wildfires and even locust plagues. Even more worryingly, the world is heading for at least a 3°C temperature rise this century.

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Image by UNEP / 14 Jan 2021

We need strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Paris Agreement goals of holding global warming this century to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C. This would limit the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

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19/01/2021

Destroying the Web of Life: The Destruction of Earth’s Biodiversity Is Accelerating

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

In August 2010, the secretary-general of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity,  Ahmed Djoghlaf, warned that ‘We are losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate.’ According to the UN Environment Program, ‘the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life’ with scientists estimating that ‘150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours’ which is nearly 1,000 times the ‘natural’ or ‘background’ rate.

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Robert J. Burrowes

Moreover, it ‘is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago.’ See ‘Protect nature for world economic security, warns UN biodiversity chief’.

Two months later, at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held from 18 to 29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan, a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, for the 2011-2020 period was adopted. See ‘Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Biodiversity Targets’.

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19/01/2021

Why Are People Going Hungry in India Despite a Massive Grain Surplus?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Prabhat Patnaik | Indepedent Media Institute – TRANSCEND Media Service*

Since late November, braving the bitter cold, hundreds of thousands of farmers have set up protest camps at various points on the borders of India’s capital, New Delhi. Their main demand is the withdrawal of the three farm laws rammed through parliament by the right-wing Narendra Modi government in September. Farmers fear these laws will drive down the prices they get for their produce and pave the way for greater corporatization of agriculture. Noted economist Prabhat Patnaik analyzes some of the key arguments being made in this context.

A farmer looks skyward as he sits amid his wheat crop in the Indian state of Rajasthan. (AP / Deepak Sharma)

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16/01/2021

Child Labour Harms Children Mentally, Physically and Morally – It May Involve Them Being Enslaved and Exposed to Serious Hazards and Illnesses

What is child labour? (*)

Child labour is defined by international standards as work that is hazardous, demands too many hours, or is performed by children who are too young.

  • It harms children mentally, physically, socially, and morally
  • It interferes with their schooling, preventing them from attending or concentrating
  • It may involve them being enslaved, separated from their families, and exposed to serious hazards and illnesses

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15/01/2021

‘As Temperatures Rise and Climate Change Impacts Intensify, Nations Must Urgently Step Up Action to Adapt to the New Climate Reality or Face Serious Costs, Damages and Losses’

Human Wrongs Watch

Nairobi, 14 January 2021 (UNEP)*As temperatures rise and climate change impacts intensify, nations must urgently step up action to adapt to the new climate reality or face serious costs, damages and losses, a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report finds.

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Pixabay / 14 Jan 2021

Adaptation – reducing countries’ and communities’ vulnerability to climate change by increasing their ability to absorb impacts – is a key pillar of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The agreement requires its signatories to implement adaptation measures through national plans, climate information systems, early warning, protective measures and investments in a green future.

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15/01/2021

2020, One of Three Warmest Years on Record – World Meteorological Organization

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva, 14 January 2021 (WMO)* – The year 2020 was one of the three warmest on record, and rivalled 2016 for the top spot, according to a consolidation of five leading international datasets by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). A naturally occurring cooling climate phenomenon, La Niña, put a brake on the heat only at the very end of the year.

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15/01/2021

UN Steps Up Support for Thousands Left Homeless after Devastating Fire at Rohingya Refugee Camp

15 January 2021 (UN News)* — UN agencies have stepped up efforts to help thousands of Rohingya refugees left without shelter after a devastating fire tore through a crowded refugee camp in south-eastern Bangladesh on Thursday [14 January 2021].
 
WFP Bangladesh | A devastating fire broke out on 14 January in Nayapara refugee camp, southern Bangladesh, destroying over 500 shelters.

The fire erupted shortly after midnight on Thursday (local time) in the Nayapara refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, gutting about 550 shelters and 150 shops. A community centre is also said to have been destroyed.

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