Posts tagged human rights
Leaked documents prove Myanmar government ordered Rohingya abuse | UCA News
Documents leaked to a Thailand-based rights group show evidence that the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar is official state policy, with copies of government directives released that order authorities to restrict Rohingya families to two children and tightly control the Muslim group’s movement.
The documents, released on Tuesday by Fortify Rights in a report titled “Policies of Persecution: Ending Abusive State Policies Against Rohingya in Myanmar,” represent the first proof that abuses against the group are codified in law and ordered by the highest level of government.
One order dating from May 2005 and circulated among authorities in northern Rakhine state’s Maungdaw says that “those who have permission to marry must limit the number of children, in order to control the birth rate so that there is enough food and shelter”.
FULL ARTICLE (UCA News)
Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development/flickr
Follow up (on going)
Protests by Eritrean and Sudanese refugees at the Holot Prison:
The Holot Detention Center is one of several detention centers Israel has opened specifically to imprison Asylum Seekers referred to as “Infiltrators” by The State of Israel. Most if not all of those imprisoned are Eritrean or Sudanese.
The 4th photo in this photoset shows some of those who are currently being held in Holot joining in the protests from behind the prison gates. Protestors spent the night on the grounds outside the prison to be ready for day 2 of the protests.
The protestors are demanding that Holot and other prisons like it be shut down, those being held and all Asylum Seekers have their applications processed and that their human rights be observed and respected.
H/T: A Ní Mhurchú, University of Manchester
Jim Goldberg: Open See
Open See tells the story of refugees, immigrants, and trafficked individuals journeying from their countries of origin to their new homes in Europe. This project addresses the struggle of immigrants to leave conditions where war, disease, and economic devastation prevail. It also addresses their struggle to adapt to new European cultures and the reciprocal struggle of those cultures to adapt to them in turn. Goldberg spent four years documenting the stories of Greek refugees from Iraq, Somalia, Congo, Ukraine, Albania, Russia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Sudan, Kenya, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Palestine and Moldavia.
“In a world of global migration, who is taking care of the rights of migrants?” asked a UN human rights expert recently. Speaking at the UN General Assembly, UN special rapporteur Francois Crepeau called for the creation of a UN body to address global migration issues.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants to hear your views on justice and why it matters. A report capturing views shared will be presented to the UN General Assembly – so have your say on the rule of law at http://blogs.un.org/ruleoflaw
Another great outreach/survey by the UN. Click and contribute!
Myanmar | October 2, 2013
Terrified Muslim families hid in forests in western Myanmar on Wednesday, one day after fleeing a new round of deadly sectarian violence that erupted even as the president toured the divided region. The discovery of four bodies brought the death toll from the latest clashes up to at least five.
Tuesday’s unrest near the coastal town of Thandwe, which saw Buddhist mobs kill a 94-year-old woman and four other Muslims and burn dozens of homes, underscored the government’s persistent failure to stop the sectarian violence from spreading.
"Like in Korean movies, they have swords and sticks," said Muslim resident Tin Win. "There’s no law and order in this town. We’re in a serious situation, we’re really worried."
Another resident of Thandwe, Myo Min, said a small mosque in Kyikanyet, about 43 kilometers from Thandwe, was burned by attackers Tuesday night. Police said they were trying to confirm that report.
Myo Min said he was concerned about the safety of families who fled Tuesday’s violence. Many families in Thabyuchaing, he said, fled into forests when their village was attacked.
"Many of them, including women and children, are still hiding, and they are cornered and unable to come out," Myo Min said. "They need food and water, and Muslim elders are discussing with authorities to evacuate them or send food."
Most of those targeted in Rakhine state have been ethnic Rohingya Muslims, considered by many in the country to be illegal migrants from Bangladesh, though many of their families arrived generations ago. But in the latest flare-up this week, the victims were Kamans, another Muslim minority group, whose citizenship is recognized.
Muslims, who account for about 4 percent of Myanmar’s roughly 60 million people, have been the main victims of the violence, but they have been prosecuted for crimes related to the clashes far more often than members of the Buddhist majority.
Clashes between Buddhists and Muslims since June last year have killed at least 237 people in Myanmar and 192 of those deaths were in Rakhine state, where Rohingya Muslims, most of whom are stateless, bore the brunt of the attacks.
(Photos by Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)
follow-up of the year…
Gunmen ambushed a United Nations peacekeeping team on Saturday in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, killing seven and wounding another 17 in the deadliest ever single attack on the international force in the country.
The joint African Union-UN peacekeeping force, dubbed Unamid, was established to protect civilians in Darfur, but also contributes to security for those providing humanitarian aid, verifying agreements, political reconciliation efforts and promoting human rights.
Truly international civil service: honouring fallen comrades in service of peace.
from the Guardian.
This post doesn’t warrant personal reflection, but I’ve found the position I’d like with the UN - Humanitarian Affairs Officer; for the most part, you spend 2 years in the field and 2 in Geneva, Nairobi, or New York. I cannot help but feel pangs of guilt and sorrow when I see job openings for this position, as they are possibly the jobs of my fallen comrades. Each time UN personnel are killed in the field, I feel a deep sense of sorrow and reflect on the value of dying in the name of peace that so few voice as valuable and desirable. And I am at a loss for words.
See also this video of Eddie Izzard with UNICEF in a Syrian refugee camp. Give if you can.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt will ask GPs to crack down on the use of free NHS services by non-Britons, under controversial plans to be unveiled this week. A registration and tracking system, possibly linked to NHS numbers, will allow practices to spot people who do not qualify for free healthcare.
It is one of several measures to be announced by Hunt that are designed to close so-called “NHS tourism” loopholes that allow non-eligible immigrants access to care without being identified or charged. These will not restrict access to emergency treatment, but some people will be required to pay for anything else. It is understood the plans will be developed, working with GPs, to ensure that people can use services when they really need to.
The government is keen to address concerns that such proposals could force doctors to break their Hippocratic oath to act in the best interests of their patients. Some critics claim the coalition is unfairly targeting immigrants in response to the success of Ukip in recent local elections.
Right, I’ll admit the NHS needs help, financially. But sweet baby unicorns, Britain, you cannot be any more immigrant-phobic; it’s just not possible!
I may be a ‘non-Briton’, but I LIVE HERE … for 5 years. I HOLD A UK VISA AND HAVE NO NEED FOR ‘NHS TOURISM’. What I do need, is to be able to see my GP when I’m poorly, or need a ‘lady exam’, or have a breast cancer scare, or have an infection that left unattended proves deadly, without a fee; because I’m a PhD student and this government has already bled me dry just PAYING to migrate under 2.7% inflation.
I remember living in the US when I’d have to choose between eating/paying bills and health care. …so we’re back to this, are we?
Source: the Guardian
I know I’m a relentless purveyor of the Guardian.
Here are some Sunday links I found of interest.
- Latin America’s serious answer to the War on Drugs: there were 3 good pieces on the Guardian about this report from the Organization of American Sates (OAS) on the West’s ‘War on Drugs’ where the Latins put the West in their place and encourage the UN to re-evaluate. The report - headed by Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, the President of Colombia, where cocaine was recently added to GDP figure - has been called ‘gamechanging’. These Latin nations state resources are exhausted fighting cartels who provide drugs to the consumption-drive West, and that the human cost has exceeded the benefits of the War on Drugs. The Colombian president is scheduled to meet with leaders in Britain in three weeks (first week of June), and editorial responses have already begun. This one - an open letter from former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Chile, a former US Secretary of State, the former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and President of the International Crisis Group, and Paul Volcker, former US Chairman of the Federal Reserve - demonstrates the gamechanging nature of the collective reports:
"For the first time, the majority of Americans support regulated cannabis for adult consumption. Nowhere has this support been more evident than in Colorado and Washington, states that recently approved new bills to this effect. This shift in public opinion presents a direct challenge to the US federal law, but also to the United Nations drug conventions and the international drug policy regime.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy, building on the call for a paradigm shift formulated by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, has called loudly for precisely these kinds of changes since 2011. Twenty global leaders have highlighted the devastating consequences of repressive drug policies on people, governance and economies not just in Latin America, but around the world.
Our flagship report – War on Drugs – sets out two main recommendations: (i) replace the criminalisation of drug use with a public health approach, and (ii) experiment with models of legal regulation designed to undermine the power of organised crime.”
- ‘UK funds poll in Pakistan on US Drone Attacks’: It’s not so much the news that makes this link worthy of note, but rather the commentary from officials.
"It appears to be the first time that the government has revealed it has carried out opinion polls on the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan – a programme on which it has refused to comment publicly. Previously British ministers have said: “Drone strikes are a matter for the United States and Pakistan.”
However, there have been claims that the government has been complicit in the programme, sharing locational intelligence with US agencies to help them target the strikes.
"The UK should not need to carry out polling to determine that a campaign of illegal killing is wrong," said Kat Craig, legal director for the charity Reprieve, which campaigns for human rights around the world. …”Ministers must come clean on the role that UK intelligence is playing in supporting drone strikes, put a stop to it, and put pressure on the US to end its campaign.”
This is a significant break from the post-2003 dual invasion of Iraq security-partnership between the US and the UK. And it’s not just determining that drones are significantly unpopular in both Pakistan and the British government, but more NGO outspokenness that could lead to a potential international calling for an end to drone strikes.
- ‘Daniel Dennett’s seven tools for thinking’: Lifelong US academic and philosopher lays down some good advice; advice, that I can see now as a third-year PhD, but would have found difficult to internalise before. All text quoted from link.
1 USE YOUR MISTAKES -
I am amazed at how many really smart people don’t understand that you can make big mistakes in public and emerge none the worse for it. I know distinguished researchers who will go to preposterous lengths to avoid having to acknowledge that they were wrong about something. Actually, people love it when somebody admits to making a mistake. All kinds of people love pointing out mistakes.
Generous-spirited people appreciate your giving them the opportunity to help, and acknowledging it when they succeed in helping you; mean-spirited people enjoy showing you up. Let them! Either way we all win.
2 RESPECT YOUR OPPONENT - How to compose a successful critical commentary:
1. Attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”
2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
3 THE “SURELY” KLAXON - look for “surely” in the document and check each occurrence. Not always, not even most of the time, but often the word “surely” is as good as a blinking light locating a weak point in the argument.
4 ANSWER RHETORICAL QUESTIONS -
Here is a good habit to develop: whenever you see a rhetorical question, try – silently, to yourself – to give it an unobvious answer. If you find a good one, surprise your interlocutor by answering the question.
5 EMPLOY OCCAM’S RAZOR - Parsimony: The idea is straightforward: don’t concoct a complicated, extravagant theory if you’ve got a simpler one (containing fewer ingredients, fewer entities) that handles the phenomenon just as well.
6 DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME ON RUBBISH - 90% of everything is crap… A good moral to draw from this observation is that when you want to criticise a field, a genre, a discipline, an art form …don’t waste your time and ours hooting at the crap! Go after the good stuff or leave it alone.
7 BEWARE OF DEEPITIES - A deepity … is a proposition that seems both important and true – and profound – but that achieves this effect by being ambiguous.
- ‘Overfed and Undernourished' from Mother Earth News (*swoon*) details how classical conditioning (chemical reward system in the brain) have chemically reinforced the habit of eating high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt processed foods, and adds the recent statistic by the USDA that Americans eat more processed food than meat. They further contributed that due to high-yield expectations and market demand, industrial agriculture has failed to produce food and meat that develops to maturation, offering essential vitamins and minerals lacking in our contemporary diet. The good people at Mother Earth News then detail the 7 lacking components of our contemporary diet and encourage us to seek out more of this good stuff. Calcium, Fiber, Folate, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D. See the link to learn what they are in and why you need them.