Archive for ‘Uncategorized’


‘Billions around the World Lack Safe Water, Proper Sanitation Facilities’

Human Wrongs Watch

12 July 2017 – Some three in ten people around the world lack access to safe and readily available water at home, and almost six in ten to safely managed sanitation, a new United Nations report has warned, calling on countries to do more to fulfil these basic human needs.

A woman carries jerrycans of water from a municipal water pipe off a main road at the outskirts of their illegal slum dwelling area called Chandmari Juggi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Photo: UNICEF/Prashanth Vishwanath

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) joint report, Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 Update and Sustainable Development Goal Baselines, many homes, healthcare facilities and schools also lack soap and water for handwashing, putting the health of all people – but especially young children – at risk for deadly diseases.

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The United Nations Prohibits Nuclear Weapons

Human Wrongs Watch


July 7, 2017 — After a decade-long effort by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and 72 years after their invention, today states at the United Nations formally adopted a treaty which categorically prohibits nuclear weapons


Until now, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction without a prohibition treaty, despite the widespread and catastrophic humanitarian consequences of their intentional or accidental detonation. Biological weapons were banned in 1972 and chemical weapons in 1992.

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Saving a Marriage

Human Wrongs Watch

By Prof. Dietrich Fischer*

3 July 2017 – TRANSCEND Media Service — A true mediation history from Johan Galtung


Prof. Dietrich Fischer

An Italian husband was fitting bathrooms with tiles for a living, while his wife, who was eight years younger, stayed home and took care of the household. Her main concern was her security in old age.

Since Italian women live on average eight years longer than men, she expected to outlive her husband by about sixteen years.

But his preference after working for 40 years was to spend some hours after work in the evening drinking a glass of wine and discussing with his friends at the local pub.

She complained that he had stopped working overtime.

He told her that she had no idea how difficult it was to fit the last tiles behind a toilet or bathtub, that his shoulders were aching, and that after many years of hard work he deserved to spend some time with his friends in the evening.

The tension slowly escalated.

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Is Religion the New Colonial Frontier in International Development?

Human Wrongs Watch

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 4 2017 (IPS) – A decade ago, it was difficult to get Western policy makers in governments to be interested in the role of religious organizations in human development. The secular mind-set was such that religion was perceived, at best, as a private affair. At worst, religion was deemed the cause of harmful social practices, an obstacle to the “sacred” nature of universal human rights, and/or the root cause of terrorism. In short, religion belonged in the ‘basket of deplorables’.

Yet, starting in the mid-1990s with then President of the World Bank, James Wolfenson, and celebrated in 2000 under then UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan when the Millenium Development Goals were agreed to, a number of religiously-inspired initiatives coalesced, all trying to move ‘religion’ to international development’s ‘basket of desirables’.

The arguments used to begin to generate positive interest in the role of religious NGOs in international multilateral fora were relatively straightforward.

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Southeast Asia: From Miracle To Debacle

KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 29 2017 (IPS) – The World Bank and other influential international financial institutions and development agencies have been touting Southeast Asian (SEA) newly industrializing countries as models for emulation, especially by African developing countries seeking to accelerate their development transformations. But these recommendations are usually based on misleading analysis of their rapid growth and structural transformation.

For many, the "Southeast Asian" has turned out to be nothing more than a misleading illusion. Credit: IPS

For many, the “Southeast Asian” has turned out to be nothing more than a misleading illusion. Credit: IPS

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Widows’ Rights to Independent Life, Livelihood Must Be Ensured – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

23 June 2017 – Whether they are single, married, separated or widowed, women must be able to enjoy the inviolable right that they are not dependent on anyone, the United Nations said, marking International Widow’s Day.

Aisatou Reourey, 52, runs a restaurant in the Ngam refugee camp. Her husband and 9 of her 14 children were killed during the conflict in Central African Republic. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on all of us to include those who are at risk of being left behind,” said the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, better known as UN Women, in a statement commemorating the Day, urging everyone to work to ensure that “all widows have the opportunity to build a new life after personal loss.”

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Food Insecurity Threatens Millions of Children in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia

Human Wrongs Watch

Calling for immediate humanitarian action amid rising malnutrition, thirst and disease, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 23 June 2017 warned today that millions of lives are at risk in four countries stretching from Africa to the Middle East.

A UNICEF nutrition volunteer measures the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of a child during a health screening as part of a UNICEF Rapid Response Mission to the village of Aburoc, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/Hatcher-Moore

The welcome announcement of an end to famine conditions in South Sudan earlier this week should not distract from the severe food insecurity that continues to put the lives of millions of children at risk in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, said UNICEF.

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‘Halt Abuse of Older Persons’

Human Wrongs Watch

15 June 2017 – Many older persons are at risk of being abused by their own relatives, a United Nations human rights expert has warned, urging greater vigilance and more reporting of suspected cases, especially since many fear on the part of older persons may not speak up for fear of reprisals – or to protect family members from criminal prosecution.

Elderly Bhutanese men commune with each other on a park bench. UN Photo/John Isaac


“Older people are afraid to say they are being abused,” said Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, speaking to UN News ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is marked annually on 15 June.

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Whoso Confesseth and Forsaketh

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avery*


IN THE tumult of the last few days, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the “unification” of Jerusalem, one of the articles stated that “even peace-activist Uri Avnery” voted in the Knesset for the unification of the city.


Uri Avnery

That is true. I have tried to set out the circumstances in my autobiography, “Optimistic”. But not everyone has read the book and it has so far appeared only in Hebrew.

Therefore I shall try to explain again that curious vote. Explain, not justify.

ON TUESDAY, June 27, 1967, two weeks after the 6-day war, I did not get up. I had the flu, and Rachel, my wife, had given me a lot of medicines. Suddenly they called me from the Knesset and told me that the chamber had just started a debate on the unification of Jerusalem, which had not appeared on the agenda.

I jumped out of bed and drove like hell from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, some 65 kilometers. Upon arriving I was told that the list of speakers had already been closed. But the Speaker, Kadish Luz, famous for his fairness, added me to the list.

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‘Dire Crisis as Gaza Faces Power Cuts, Gallons of Raw Sewage Pouring into Sea’

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations Middle East envoy on 26 May 2017 cautioned that unless urgent measures are taken to de-escalate the crisis now spiralling out of control in the Gaza Strip, there will be devastating consequences for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Electrical power transmission lines in Gaza City. Photo: World Bank/Natalia Cieslik (file)

“In Gaza, we are walking into another crisis with our eyes wide open,” the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, told the Security Council in New York.

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