Archive for ‘Middle East’


Least Responsible, Hardest Hit: Climate Change’s Disproportionate Harm on People of African Descent

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 21 March 2022 (UNFPA)* – In 2021, double disaster struck Haiti when Tropical Storm Grace hit the island nation just two days after it was rocked by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.  

UNFPA’s new advocacy brief, “In Our Words: Voices of Women of African Descent for Reproductive and Climate Justice”, explores how climate change disproportionately harms women of African descent. © UNFPA Brasil/Eduardo Cavalcanti

As rain lashed the country’s already damaged infrastructure, midwife Jeffthanie Mathurin remembers contraceptive deliveries getting stuck on the roads – presenting a major challenge for women and girls.

“We noticed this catastrophe increased the risk of more women getting pregnant unintentionally,” she told UNFPA. “The poorest people in the country, such as rural women, face the worst consequences of climate change.” 

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‘Water Starts Wars, Puts Out Fires, and Is Key to Human Survival’

Human Wrongs Watch

Flagship UN report extolls win-win water partnerships to avert global crisis


© UNICEF/Omid Fazel | Clean water, basic toilets, and good hygiene practices are essential to the health of children in Afghanistan.

(UN NEWS)* — Water starts wars, puts out fires, and is key to human survival, but ensuring access for all hinges largely on improving cooperation, according to a new flagship UN report published on Tuesday [21 March 2023].

Launched ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference, the new edition of the UN World Water Development Report focuses on twin themes of partnerships and cooperation. Published by the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the report highlights collaborative ways actors can work together to overcome common challenges.

“There is an urgent need to establish strong international mechanisms to prevent the global water crisis from spiralling out of control,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.  “Water is our common future, and it is essential to act together to share it equitably and manage it sustainably.”

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The ‘Vampiric’ Draining and Poisoning of Lifeblood: Water

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Mar 21 2023 (IPS)* – Shockingly, the human suicidal war on Nature not only continues unabated but is also set to become even more virulent. Just to start with, please be reminded that groundwater accounts for 99% of all liquid freshwater on Earth, according to the 2022 UN World Water Development Report.
"Drop by drop, this precious lifeblood is being poisoned by pollution and drained by vampiric overuse, with water demand expected to exceed supply by 40% by decade’s end" Credit: Bigstock.

“Drop by drop, this precious lifeblood is being poisoned by pollution and drained by vampiric overuse, with water demand expected to exceed supply by 40% by decade’s end” Credit: Bigstock.

And that groundwater already provides half of the volume of water withdrawn for domestic use by the global population, including the drinking water for the vast majority of the rural population who do not get their water delivered to them via public or private supply systems.

Also that around 25% of all water withdrawn for irrigation, being this a major cause of the fast depletion and pollution of this vital source.

There are two main reasons behind such a dangerous over-exploitation and poisoning of the world’s groundwater:

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Displacement, Earthquakes and People on the Brink: The Conflict in Syria 12 Years On

Human Wrongs Watch

(WFP)* — Before the deadly earthquakes on its border with Türkiye, in February, Syria was a largely forgotten crisis – now, as the country marks 12 years of conflict, the unprecedented hardships people continue to face there are thrown into sharp relief.
A boy in rubble in a town in Syria
A boy in Aleppo amid the rubble of an earthquake-hit building. Many families continue to occupy dangerous structures in Syria. WFP/Jonathan Dumont

More than half of Syria’s population, or 12.1 million people, are food-insecure with a further 2.9 million on the brink of food insecurity. Food and fuel prices are at their highest in a decade.

“In 2019, an average Syrian family earned enough to buy more than double what they needed every month for food,” says Kenn Crossley, country director and representative for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria. “Right now, that same wage, which has not gone up, can only buy a quarter of what the family needs.”

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Twenty Years on, Iraq Bears Scars of US-led Invasion

By Sarah Sanbar, Researcher, Middle East and North Africa Division | Human Rights Watch*

Legacy of Impunity Prevails


US forces in Baghdad, Iraq, May 2003. © 2003 Fred Abrahams/Human Rights Watch

In the lead up to the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, proponents of the war spoke of the Iraqi people as helpless victims of a dictatorial regime. Yet the Iraqi people paid the heaviest price of the invasion.

Almost half a million people lost their lives, millions lost homes, and countless civilians suffered abuses by all parties to the conflict.

Then and now, Human Rights Watch urged parties to the conflict to compensate victims and hold perpetrators accountable, but impunity prevails.

Soon after military operations began, evidence emerged of coalition laws of war violations. Coalition forces, including the United States and United Kingdom, dropped thousands of inherently indiscriminate cluster munitions in populated areas and conducted indiscriminate airstrikes that killed civilians.

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The ‘Pernicious Evil’ of Racism, Discrimination, Hatred, Inequality

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Mar 17 2023 (IPS)* – Three-quarters of a century ago, the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasising that all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights. The 2023 theme of its 75th anniversary focuses on the urgency of combating racism and racial discrimination.

More: nearly a quarter of a century ago, the world adopted in South Africa the Durban Declaration to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, distrust, intolerance, and hate, globally.

Since then, these “contagious killers” not only continued unabated but are now more spread than ever in all societies, in particular in those under the dominance of the so-called ‘white supremacy.’


US Shoots Itself in the Foot in Africa

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ann Garrison | Black Agenda Report – TRANSCEND Media Service*

In Africa as in the rest of the world, US machinations undermine its goals and bring other nations together as they seek to protect themselves from a desperate empire.


The US can’t seem to understand that the rest of the world, including Africa, doesn’t like to be pushed around. African nations’ refusal to reinforce US foreign policy in the UN General Assembly is a case in point.

During the Assembly’s February 16 vote on a resolution “deploring” Russia’s action in Ukraine, nearly half the nations who abstained were African, 15 of the 32 , although only 54 of the UN’s 193 member nations are African.

No African nations were on the list of nations introducing the resolution, and two of the seven who voted no—Eritrea and Mali—were African.

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‘Outright Hatred’ Towards Muslims, Risen to ‘Epidemic Proportions’

Human Wrongs Watch

“Terrorism and violent extremism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization, or ethnic group.”
Islamophobia is a ‘fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world.’

Hate speech – including online – has become one of the most common ways of spreading divisive rhetoric on a global scale, threatening peace around the world, says UN chief.

MADRID, Mar 13 2023 (IPS)* – Islamophobia is a ‘fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world.’

Consequently, suspicion, discrimination and ‘outright hatred’ towards Muslims have risen to “epidemic proportions.”

These are not the words of this convinced secular journalist, but those of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.

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Syrian Refugees in Denmark at Risk of Forced Return

Syrian refugee Sawsan Doungham (L) and son Majed (C) protest against the deportation of Syrian families to their homeland at the City Hall Square in Copenhagen on November 13, 2021. © 2021 THIBAULT SAVARY/AFP via Getty Images

March 13, 2023 — The Danish Immigration Service has announced that it deems two more areas of government-controlled Syria as “safe” for returns: Tartous and Latakia. In 2019, Damascus and Rif Damascus were also controversially declared “safe”.

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FIFA Receives Open Letter Backed by a Million Signatures Demanding Justice for Abused World Cup Workers

Human Wrongs Watch

By Amnesty International*

March 13, 2023 — FIFA has been handed a letter supported by over one million petition signatures — and custom-designed football shirts — demanding that it provide compensation to migrant workers who suffered horrific human rights abuses while working on the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar. 

©Amnesty International

The items were delivered to FIFA ahead of the organization’s annual conference on 16 March in Rwanda, where it will come under pressure from some of its own members to remedy these appalling abuses. The one million signatures were collected by Avaaz and Amnesty International in 190 countries.

“This meeting offers another opportunity for FIFA to make amends and establish a firm plan and timetable to directly and quickly recompense workers and their families, who suffered shocking human rights abuses to deliver a World Cup that was built on their sacrifice,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice.

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