"Live and learn around Traumschule"

June 25, 2018

InterPressService (global south)

Global Campaign Against Mercury Moves to an End Zone

By Thalif Deen

A global campaign to end a longstanding health and environmental hazard– the use of mercury in dentistry—is steadily moving to a successful conclusion.

Providing an update, Charlie Brown, head of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, one of the key campaigners, told IPS that “nation by nation, the world is on the threshold of ending amalgam for children in 2018.”

Participants in the global workshop in Bangkok, co-sponsored by the UN Environment (UNE) and the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry. Credit: UNE

“Europe takes that exciting step on July 1. Asian nations like Bangladesh and Vietnam are taking the same bold step this year. Several African nations may follow the lead of Mauritius (which ended amalgam for children in 2014). And Latin American nations such as Uruguay are well-prepared to do the same,” said Brown, a former Governor of the US state of Ohio.

One of the highlights of the global campaign was an international workshop last month in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

Brown said “people arrived at the global workshop believing they would make history– and they left having made history.”

The theme of the Minamata Convention, a legally-binding landmark treaty, is “Make mercury … history.” And the theme of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, declared Brown, is “Make dental amalgam … history.”

Amalgam has been defined as an alloy that consists chiefly of silver mixed with mercury and variable amounts of other metals and used as a dental filling.

Asked to rate the success of the workshop, he said: “The best thing to come out of the workshop is empowerment. Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans know that, like Europeans, they can end amalgam for children now, and end amalgam for everyone on a timetable.”

Western corporate interests, he pointed out, still try to hoodwink governments by peddling separators, to which is there is defiant opposition.

“Money must be wisely spent on bringing in supplies of alternatives, changing dental school curriculum, providing information to parents and consumers, and focusing government programs and insurance on alternatives,” he noted.

The Bangkok workshop was co-sponsored by the Nairobi-based UN Environment (UNE) and the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry. And the focus was on amalgam reduction especially to protect “women, children, and through them, future generations” – language from the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

The Minamata Convention, described as the first new environmental agreement in over a decade – entered into force on August 16, 2017.

The primary aim of the Convention is “to protect human health and the environment” from mercury releases, according to the United Nations.

So far, the international treaty has been signed by 128 of the 193 UN member states and ratified by 92 countries, described as “state parties”, which are now legally obliged to comply with its provisions.

The Minamata Convention joins three other UN conventions seeking to reduce impacts from chemicals and waste – the Basel Convention (1992), Rotterdam Convention (2004) and Stockholm Convention (2004).

Dr. Shahriar Hossain of the Asian Center for Environmental Health told IPS that from every continent, there is intense interest in greatly reducing dental amalgam use.

“A complete phase-out of amalgam for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers was deemed realistic or feasible by representatives from both developing and developed nations alike.”

Dr Hossain said civil society increasingly speaks with one voice in favor of mercury-free dentistry, especially for children.

The Abuja Declaration for Mercury-Free Dentistry for Africa (2014) was followed by similar declarations for other continents: the Dhaka Declaration for Asia (2015), the Berlin Declaration for Europe (2017) and the Chicago Declaration for America (2018).

Dominique Bally of the African Center for Environmental Health, told IPS “those who suggest Africa is not ready for mercury-free dentistry have a fake view of our continent. They do not know Africa, nor do they understand our people’s hopes for the same pollution-free environment to which they aspire for their communities.”

Africans, she said, will continue their intense and united opposition to “Western policies that keep Africa polluted and make our children poisoned by chemicals like mercury. I have been to fully half of the nations on the great continent to work for mercury-free dentistry.”

Assuredly, African governments, African dentists, and African parents want amalgam ended now for both for today’s children and for future children via toxic-free young women, she noted.

Bally said children of the African region deserve mercury-free dentistry in their mouths and mercury-free fish in their food equally so to the children of Europe and wherever mercury-free dentistry is implemented.

Dr. Graeme Munro-Hall, chief dental officer, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, told IPS: “There is no clinical reason to place an amalgam filling in a child – and every reason not to do it. After all, mercury-free fillings have surpassed amalgam in effectiveness and are now comparably priced. I practiced dentistry for 35 years without placing a single amalgam.”

Maria Carcamo, Latin American Center for Environmental Health said the Minamata Convention specifically calls attention to the populations most vulnerable to mercury: children and pregnant women, especially in developing countries. “When we act to end amalgam in these populations, we fulfill the Minamata mission.”

Asked about the next step forward, Brown said that in 2012-13, the African region led the Minamata Convention to a strong anti-amalgam plank. In 2018, Africans are ready to lead the Minamata Convention to the phase out of amalgam on a timetable.

“Africans famously leapfrog to new technologies. Amalgam is a primitive pollutant of the 19th century imported to Africa from the West. But 21st-century dentistry is mercury-free dentistry,” Brown noted.

He said the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry expresses its deep appreciation to the Honorable Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment, for encouraging this workshop and for providing the opening address, and to Nina Cromnier of the Minamata Convention Bureau for helping to guide it.

“We note that Mr. Solheim, as Environmental Minister of Norway a decade back, was the first minister in the world to ban amalgam for a nation,” he declared.

The writer can be contacted at thalifdeen@ips.org

The post Global Campaign Against Mercury Moves to an End Zone appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Thalif Deen at June 25, 2018 06:20 AM

June 24, 2018


OPEC production increase shows it’s still fighting U.S. shale oil

"VKG Ojamaa mine for oil shale extraction, using an Atlas Copco Scooptram ST7 underground loader.", Estonia, 2011. By Kaupo Kikkas. Via Wikimedia Commons

The move by OPEC last week to raise oil production to compensate for outages among the group’s members shows that U.S. shale oil (properly called “tight oil”) is still in its cross hairs–and that the economics of tight oil remain abysmal.

by Kurt Cobb at June 24, 2018 02:11 PM

Презентация финального тома автобиографии Эммы Гольдман «Проживая свою жизнь»

30 июня в 19:30 в Москве в «Порядке слов» Перелётного кабака состоится презентация третьего, финального тома автобиографии Эммы Гольдман «Проживая свою жизнь».

На презентации выступят феминистки Москвы и Санкт-Петербурга. Мария Рахманинова (кандидатка философских наук, СПб) расскажет об идейной специфике анархо-феминизма. Александра Талавер (исследовательница, магистрка гендерных исследований (CEU, Будапешт)) сделает доклад о феминизме в СССР. Софико Арифджанова (журналистка, авторка альманаха moloko plus) прочитает лекцию о слиянии теории и практики в деятельности Гольдман.

June 24, 2018 02:03 PM

Comment l'équipe de Discourse utilise-t-elle Discourse?

@how wrote:

L’article qui suit est une traduction en français de celui paru le 4 mars 2018 dans le blog de Discourse, signé Sarah Hawk, qui offre une vue fort instructive sur la manière d’utiliser Discourse dans le cadre d’une collaboration effective. Il est suivi d’une discussion sur les variantes utilisées ici, à :ps:, et invite les membres à partager leurs suggestions, leurs impressions, leurs méthodes de travail collectif.

Ainsi que nous l’affirmons sur notre site, nous utilisons Discourse comme outil principal de coordination de l’équipe pour fabriquer… Discourse !

Cela signifie s’échapper des silos de courrier électronique et minimiser le nombre de canaux de communication disparates requis pour agencer une équipe entièrement distribuée. Nous sommes capables de réduire au minimum les distractions telles que les appels et les réunions pour se concentrer sur le travail réel, tout en se sentant relié·e·s au reste de l’équipe.

Lorsque j’ai rejoint l’équipe de Discourse j’ai d’abord trouvé cette approche du travail troublante. J’avais l’habitude de Trello, Google Docs, Basecamp, Zendesk, Todois et Slack.

La plupart des organisations pour lesquelles j’ai travaillé ont essayé de multiples permutations de chaque version concevable ci-dessus. Il ne m’a fallu qu’une semaine pour me réjouir du sentiment de liberté lié au bon débarras de tous ces systèmes. Je me sentais aussi juste qu’après une séance épique de nettoyage de printemps.

Nous utilisons tout de même Rocket.chat pour des ‘réponses urgentes’ entre membres de l’équipe mais ces données sont éphémères et ne retiennent aucune valeur à long terme – comme quiconque utilisant un plan d’essai gratuit de Slack le sait. Il nous arrive parfois d’utiliser Google Docs comme moyen de stockage permanent de fichiers, ce dont nous avons peu besoin, et c’est tout.*

Nous utilisons deux instances de Discourse :

  1. Notre vitrine publique Meta où nous interagissons avec la communauté, fournissons du soutien général et recueillons vos remarques.
  2. Un serveur privé où nous conduisons les discussions internes et accueillons notre base de connaissances et nos runbooks*.

Mais la conversation n’est pas le seul usage que nous faisons de Discourse.

Gestion de produit

Nous utilisons Discourse pour maintenir publiquement le plan d’action de notre produit. De nouvelles fonctionnalités sont demandées par des membres de la communauté dans la catégorie* features en suivant ce processus. Ces requêtes sont étudiées par notre équipe et les fonctionalités approuvées sont replacées au sein du plan d’action en utilisant des labels pour rendre le processus visible.

Nous utilisons :

  • des labels (tags) pour indiquer la progression d’une demande de fonctionalité.
  • Discourse Assign pour allouer le travail aux membres de l’équipe.


Gestion des tâches

Nous utilisons une catégorie dans notre serveur interne de Discourse pour gérér les tâches. Les nouvelles tâches sont écrites dans la catégorie todo. Dans certains cas elles sont immédiatement assignées et dans d’autres, nous étiquetons la tâche selon un groupe de responsabilité pour lui donner de la visibilité afin qu’un membre de l’équipe puisse se l’auto-assigner grâce à Discourse Assign. Une fois la tâche accomplie, le sujet est clos. Nous utilisons les fermetures planifiées de sujets pour supprimer les tâches courtes ou éphémères lorsque aucune trace n’est requise.

Nous utilisons :

  • Discourse Assign pour allouer le travail à un membre de l’équipe.
  • La planification des sujets pour fermer ou supprimer des sujets une fois la tâche accomplie.
  • Des labels pour organiser les tâches en groupes de responsabilité.


Gestion du support

Nous utilisons également Discourse comme un portail de support par courriel privé qui permet à l’ensemble de l’équipe de partager la charge du support. Quiconque peut envoyer un message à team@discourse.org et nous prenons en charge ces interactions dans une boîte centralisée, comme messages à un groupe privé.


Les comptes d’utilisateurs distants sont configurés de sorte que nous pouvons conserver un historique de contact par individu. De plus amples détails sur cette approche sont documentés.

Cette configuration assure à tous les membres de l’équipe une visibilité complète des tickets en cours et permet également une recherche à travers les tickets passés, soit pour apprendre ou se tenir au courant de ce qui a été discuté ou promis.

Les personnes peuvent s’impliquer naturellement quelle que soit leur fuseau horaire. Les notifications de Discourse nous alerte des nouvelles requêtes. Nous pouvons mentionner les personnes lorsque nous avons besoin d’elles, assigner des membres de l’équipe lorsqu’une tâche doit être accomplie, marquer les messages pour en assurer le suivi, utiliser la planification des sujets pour relancer les personnes et utiliser la fonctionnalité des murmures pour s’entraider, prendre des notes et favoriser la résolution des problèmes en équipe.

Nous utilisons :

  • Les labels pour organiser les messages privés, de la même manière qu’on le ferait sur Gmail*.
  • Discourse Presence pour s’assurer de ne pas répondre en même temps qu’un autre membre de l’équipe au même message.
  • Discourse Assign pour s’approprier un sujet de support.
  • Les “murmures” nous permettent d’effectuer en privé des recherches de solution ou de résoudre un problème en équipe tout en conservant l’ensemble des informations pertinentes au sein même du sujet.


Bonus : il est souhaitable de modifier le titre des messages pour les rendre identifiables par tou·te·s en un clin d’oeil.

Base de connaissances

Nous utilisons Discourse comme dépôt de savoirs aussi bien public que privé. La catégorie howto sur Meta est une base de connaissance participative qui recouvre des tutoriels sur des sujets, écrits par la communauté, décrivant comment mettre en place, configurer ou installer Discourse sur des plateformes ou des environnements spécifiques.

En interne, nous utilisons notre serveur privé de Discourse pour conserver les runbooks. Ils offrent une superbe opportunité pour les employés répartis dans des fuseaux horaires variés de documenter des procédures de sorte que les autres employés peuvent être productifs sans avoir à attendre une réponse à leur question.

Nous utilisons :

  • Des sous-catégories (ou sections) pour regrouper les sujets similaires.
  • Des labels pour la catégorisation.
  • Les niveaux de confiance pour restreindre aux membres les plus expérimentés la capacité de contribuer.

Nous croyons fermement que l’usage de Discourse nous aide à construire Discourse et nous sommes constamment en train d’améliorer autant nos procédures que le logiciel afin d’en faire un meilleur outil de collaboration en équipe.

Notes du traducteur

* NdT : ces outils peuvent être avantageusement remplacés par un NextCloud et un canal sur IRC.
* NdT : runbook : voir l’article de Wikipedia
* NdT : catégorie dans le vocabulaire de Discourse, est ici entendu comme conférence, ou conteneur de sujet (topics).
* NdT : Gmail, ou n’importe quel client de courriel qui utilise des étiquettes ou dossiers virtuels.

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by @how hellekin at June 24, 2018 01:40 PM

June 23, 2018

Hambach Forest Occupation

Förwilda-Camp in Sweden

“The summer in Sweden is cold and the sun never sets. That’s what we found out during our week-long stay in the diverse Forest ‘Vilseskogen’ near Gässjö in Angermanland in middle/north Sweden. There grow mostly pines and spruces, and some of them are 400 years old. Other characteristic species are mooses, different kinds of berries and lickens. When we went for inventory we found some red-listed species and our first… more…

by hambacherforst at June 23, 2018 10:29 PM

Raids and arrests in Bure (F)

https://de.indymedia.org/node/22037 https://de.indymedia.org/node/22035 http://de.vmc.camp/ On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, the fight against the CIGEO project was hit by a wave of house searches. At 7 o’clock in the morning, the Resistance House in Bure was searched. At the moment (when the German version of this article was published), the searches are still in progress. 8 apartments and collective houses were searched simultaneously. In all these places, the reasons for the raids… more…

by hambacherforst at June 23, 2018 10:08 PM


Tear Down The Bastille. Hunger Strike as a Means or Struggle. Voices From Inside the Walls

‘Tear Down The Bastille. Hunger Strike as a Means or Struggle. Voices From Inside the Walls. ‘ contains texts about the history of hunger
strikes within the prison walls and about the struggle of anarchists within prison. The texts were written by anarchist prisoners themselves
who are held in the dungeons of the Greek prisons.

In April 2016 the texts were published in Greek by Solidarity Fund For Imprisoned And Persecuted Fighters. The assembly of the Solidarity Fund
has added texts about the history of hunger strikes as a means of action within the walls. The texts were distributed inside as well as outside
the prison walls.

The Solidarity Fund writes this about the texts: Through publishing the thoughts and experiences of prisoners, through the spreading of their
words, we seek to make them as present as possible in the daily processes of the fighters outside the walls, we want to shake the barriers of silence, fragmentation, the division among the oppressed, we chose to incarnate the projects of struggle and solidarity in one more way.

This specific issue refers to hunger strike as a means of struggle, a matter that has intensely concerned not only those directly involved but also those in solidarity, as well as a large part of greek society. A hunger strike, as a means of struggle, was never a desperate move, or simply a “peaceful” protest in order to project the victimization of the hunger striker and extract sensitivity and charity. It is a conscious struggle, where the coordination of those inside and outside is a necessary condition in order for there to be a result, but also to maintain the strengths of those fighting. Despite all this, we realize that the hunger strike is the ultimate means that a prisoner could
choose, we think it is of imperative need to cultivate a bidirectional struggle dynamic inside and outside the walls, that will prevent the condition of someone placing their own body as a mound. The struggle for revolution and the tearing down of every prison still remains open.

Revolt Press now publishes the booklet in English on paper, in order to contribute to the publication and dissemination of texts written by
anarchist prisoners.

‘Tear Down The Bastille. Hunger Strike as a Means or Struggle. ” is for sale at Bookstore Opstand in The Hague, Fort van Sjakoo in Amsterdam and online at Active Distributions.

If you want to buy the book as a distro or bookstore, please send an email to revoltpress (at) riseup.net.


by Прамень at June 23, 2018 11:44 AM

В Челябинске прекратили уголовное дело о баннере «ФСБ — главный террорист»

В Челябинске прекратили уголовное дело о хулиганстве (часть 1 статьи 213 УК), возбужденное против анархистов после того, как на заборе у здания регионального управления спецслужбы вывесили баннер «ФСБ — главный террорист». Это следует из соответствующего уведомления, которое получил один из фигурантов Дмитрий Семенов.

June 23, 2018 10:56 AM

Trans-HackerSpaces Francophones

@how wrote:

Suite à la proposition de former une liste de discussion centrée sur les hackerspaces francophones, nous sommes en train d’établir une conférence THSF dotée d’une nouvelle expansion reflétant à la fois l’origine (THSF) et la destination (l’ensemble des hackerspaces francophones). À suivre…

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by @how hellekin at June 23, 2018 07:45 AM

Debian news

Updated Debian 8: 8.11 released

The Debian project is pleased to announce the eleventh (and final) update of its oldstable distribution Debian 8 (codename jessie). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

June 23, 2018 12:00 AM

June 22, 2018

InterPressService (global south)

Savagery of Rapes of Minors

Geetika Dang is an independent researcher; Vani S. Kulkarni is lecturer in Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, USA; and Raghav Gaiha is (Hon.) professorial research fellow, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, England, and Visiting Scholar, Population Studies Centre, University of Pnnsylvania, USA).

By Geetika Dang, Vani S. Kulkarni and Raghav Gaiha
NEW DELHI, Jun 22 2018 (IPS)

Rapes of minors surged from 16 per day in 2001 to 46 per day in 2016. As if this was not horrendous enough, their savagery adds to it.

In 2016, 43.3% of the total female rape victims were minors. Around 13% of the minor female victims were of age 11 and below. The deceased victim in the Kathua rape case from a nomadic Muslim community was barely eight years old. Her crumpled body was found in a blood-smeared dress in January, 2018. A group of Hindu men lured her into a forest, kidnapped her, drugged her, locked her in a Hindu temple, gang-raped her and then strangled her.

Geetika Dang

In another depraved and cruel assault, an eight-month-old baby girl was raped in New Delhi in January, 2018, by her 28-year-old cousin. As reported, the baby was on life support as her internal organs were damaged during the assault. In yet another case in Hisar’s Uklana town in December 2017, a 6-year old Dalit girl was brutally raped and murdered. The post-mortem revealed that the murderer had inserted a wooden stick in her body. Her body parts were badly brutalized, bore multiple injuries and scratch marks, and blood was spilt all over her body.

In April 2018, a four-month-old baby was raped and murdered in the historic Rajwada area in Madhya Pradesh. The infant’s body was found in the basement area of the heritage Shiv Vilas Palace, with blood smears on the stairs telling a barbaric tale. The ravaged body was carried away in a bundle. Many more gruesome cases could be cited but are omitted as they differ in location but not in the brutality. At the risk of overstating it, the surge in the frequency of rapes of minors has been inextricably linked to their brutality in recent years. Why bestial masculinity has risen in recent years is unclear.

Our analysis with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data and from other sources over 2001-16 yields useful insights into changes in incidence of rapes of minors (per lakh minors) across different states and over time.

Rapes of minors spiked between 2010-14, dropped sharply in 2015, and then spiked again in 2016. Surprisingly, after enactment of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) in 2012, the incidence of rapes of minors surged. It covers crimes such as child rape, sexual assault and harassment and using children for pornography. However, NCRB began collecting data under POCSO in 2014. This may be partly linked to the spike in 2014.

Vani S. Kulkarni

There are some striking variations across the states (including Delhi as a sole union territory because of its infamous characterisation as the ‘rape capital’ of India). In 2001, the top three states (with lowest incidence of rapes of minors per 1,000,00 minors) were West Bengal (0.03), Jharkhand (0.12) and Arunachal Pradesh (0.19). In 2016, the top two states changed, with Bihar as the best (0.33), followed by Jammu and Kashmir (0.35) and Jharkhand (1.24) slipping from the second to the third best. So not just the states changed but the incidence was much higher among them.

In 2001, the three worst states/union territory were Delhi (4.44), followed by Chattisgarh (4.16) and Madhya Pradesh (3.24). In 2016, the three worst were Delhi (8.32), followed by Arunachal Pradesh (7.97) and Chattisgargh (7.58). Thus, while two out of the three worst states remained unchanged, the incidence of rapes rose.

At the regional level, the central was the worst in 2001 (33.53% of total rapes of minors), followed by a considerably lower share of the northern (19.01), and a slightly lower share of the southern (16.90%). In 2016, the central contributed the largest share (33.62%), followed by the southern (18.41 %), overtaking the northern region (16.10 %).

Raghav Gaiha

Using the NCRB and other data sets for the period 2001-16, we conducted an econometric panel analysis of rapes of minors during 2001-16, designed to isolate the contribution of each of the several factors associated with the surge in rapes of minors. Specifically, the panel model allows for individual state heterogeneity The larger the pool of minor girls (<17 years relative to men), the higher is the incidence of rapes of minors (hereafter just rapes). The greater the affluence of a state (measured in terms of state per capita income), the lower is the incidence of rape. The effect, however, is small. The lower the ratio of rural to urban population, the lower is the incidence of rapes, implying higher incidence in the latter. Congress and its coalition- ruled states lowered the rapes while President- ruled states saw a rise, presumably because the latter resulted from a breakdown of law and order. There are two surprising findings. One is that after the enactment of POCSO in 2012, the rapes increased. This is contrary to the spirit and intent of POCSO which was enacted as part of an initiative to make anti-rape laws more stringent. As convictions for rapes of minors are not available for the entire period of our analysis, we have used convictions for rapes as a proxy. This has a positive effect on rapes albeit small. This is not surprising as in 2016, out of 64,138 cases of child rapes for trials in courts, trials were completed only in 6626 cases and 57,454 (89.6%) cases are still pending. Of the cases in which trials were completed, offenders were convicted only in 28.2% of the cases.The problem is not just underreporting of rapes of minors for familiar reasons such as incest and fear of retaliation but also the incompetence and corruption of the police and judicial systems. So the recent legislation of capital punishment for rapists of girls below 12 years is a mere distraction from the imperative of systemic reforms. Worse, the capital punishment could add to the butchery of rapes of minors.

The post Savagery of Rapes of Minors appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Geetika Dang is an independent researcher; Vani S. Kulkarni is lecturer in Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, USA; and Raghav Gaiha is (Hon.) professorial research fellow, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, England, and Visiting Scholar, Population Studies Centre, University of Pnnsylvania, USA).

The post Savagery of Rapes of Minors appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Geetika 3 at June 22, 2018 09:56 PM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 40,944 in 2018; Deaths Reach 960

By International Organization for Migration
GENEVA, Jun 22 2018 (IOM)

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 40,944 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 171 days of 2018. That total compares to 84,675 at this time last year, and over 215,997 at this time in 2016.

In other words: Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at significantly below half of last year’s total to date, and some 19 per cent of 2016’s volume at this same point during that year. Deaths, too, are much lower than at comparable periods of the past two years. In 2017 IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported 2,133 deaths through 21 June; at this point in 2016 the figure was 2,911 – or over three times 2018’s estimated total of 960.

The largest shortfall since last year has been on transit via the so-called Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy. IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo notes that this year’s traffic towards Italian ports – 16,228 men, women and children through 20 June – is at a level nearly 78 per cent below that recorded through 20 June last year.

With the year swiftly approaching its mid-point, IOM notes that in none of the past four years have irregular migrant sea arrivals fallen short of 119,000 – last year’s total.

This year migrant arrivals to Italy by sea are below 17,000 – a remarkable turnaround for a country that has witnessed an annual average arrival rate of 156,000 migrants per year over the last four years (see chart below).

June arrivals to Italy, Di Giacomo recorded, are running now at less than 25 per cent of their 2017 rate, and less than 33 per cent of 2016’s volume (see chart below).

Nonetheless, the perils faced by migrants remain daunting. IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo notes that Italy’s most recent landing was recorded on 19 June in Pozzallo, where the ship of the Italian Coast Guard “Diciotti” brought a total of 523 migrants saved during the previous days in the Mediterranean.

Among them were survivors of a shipwreck that occurred on 12th June, migrants who had been rescued by the US Navy ship USS Trenton. Those, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, said they had left Zuwara, in Libya, during the night of 11 June, sailing on a dinghy carrying 117 people, including 20 women and a one-year-old child.

After seven hours of navigation, the boat began to deflate and many migrants fell into the water. The US Trenton, patrolling nearby, intervened and managed to bring 41 people to safety. Overall, 76 migrants lost their lives, survivors said, including 15 of the 20 women and the one-year-old child.

Upon arrival in Italy, these migrants were exhausted by the stress and the trauma they experienced; many also reported being victims of terrible violence perpetrated by their smugglers: kept locked for months in a house near the sea, where men reportedly were beaten and women were raped.

Early Thursday (21 June) IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported on several ongoing search and rescue operations unfolding along Libya’s coastline. The Libyan Coast Guard, she said, returned 301 migrants (252 men, three women and 46 children – all boys); the majority from Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire were transferred to Trig al Seka detention centre. IOM offered emergency assistance.

The migrants said they started their journey in Garaboli, leaving on two rubber dinghies. The migrants received emergency primary health assistance, and protection screenings were provided at the disembarkation point.

Petré added that on Wednesday (20 June), the Libyan Coast Guard returned 42 migrants (36 men, four women and two children) who also received IOM emergency assistance. The migrants started their journey in Garaboli on one rubber dinghy.

All migrants were registered by the Libyan Coast Guard. The migrants, the majority from Guinea, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria, were then transferred to Ain Zara detention centre.

Tragically, the body of a Guinean national was retrieved during the operation. Later that day, 20 migrants (19 from Mali and one from Guinea) were returned to Basis disembarkation point by the Libyan Coast Guard and transferred to Tajoura detention centre.

For the week, IOM Libya is reporting 936 migrants returned to shore by authorities. The latest incident occurred Friday morning when 85 migrants were returned near Tripoli. Most were from Pakistan and Algeria.

So far this year, 8,310 migrants have been returned to the Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard, Petré reported. A total of 37 corpses were retrieved on Libyan soil this week after washing ashore. Additionally, there are reports of a capsized dinghy on Tuesday (19 June) north of Almaya. Survivors reported most passengers were from Sudan.

“We know there were five survivors taken to hospital,” said Ms. Petré. “There were life vests found on the beach, which would indicate other survivors. But we don’t know how many to consider missing.”

IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday Spanish arrivals in June through the 20th of the month are 3,993, by far the heaviest volume for any month this year so far, and on track to be the busiest month off Spain in over four years of the current Mediterranean emergency (see charts below).

IOM’s team in the Balkans reported this week that during the first two weeks of June, authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina registered 1,076 new migrants and asylum seekers which totals to more than 6,600 arrivals since the beginning of 2018 (almost six times the 1,119 reported for all of 2017).

Pakistan is the most commonly reported origin country by irregular migrants and asylum seekers registered this year in Bosnia and Herzegovina (27% of all cases), followed by Syrian Arab Republic (18%), Afghanistan (13%) Iran (11%) and Iraq (8%).

Authorities in Montenegro reported 285 irregular apprehensions in the first two weeks of June, adding up to a total of 1,733 migrants and asylum seekers intercepted by the authorities in Montenegro since the starts of this year. This shows nine times increase in arrivals to Montenegro when compared to 187 registered in the same period in 2017 and increase of more than double when compared to the 807 registered arrivals in the whole of 2017. Migrants and asylum seekers registered in Montenegro are mostly of Syrian origin (45%), followed by those declaring Pakistani (16%), Algerian (11%) and Iraqi (8%) origin.

In Albania, another 46 irregular apprehensions on entry were reported in the first two weeks of June 2018 giving a total of 1,733 since the beginning of the year. Further on, another 421 migrants and asylum seekers were registered on exit from the country on the border with Montenegro between April and June. More than a third of the overall registered population were of Syrian origin and another 28% reported Algerian origin and 13% Libyan.

According to available data, intensified movements have been observed also in Slovenia where in May only, authorities apprehended 1,158 irregular migrants, almost double than the 573 reported in April 2018. Between January and May authorities registered a total of 2,383 migrants and refugees, four times increase compared to the 567 registered in the same period 2017. One quarter of individuals declared themselves as nationals of Pakistan (27%), followed by Algeria (19%), Syrian Arab Republic (9%), Afghanistan (7%) and Morocco (7%).

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported Thursday that over three days (18-20 June) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Lesvos. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 48 migrants off the island of Samos and 38 migrants off the island of Lesvos – a total of 86 migrants – and transferred them to the two islands.

IOM Greece further reported that besides those 86, another 75 irregular migrants arrived during the three days, landing in Oinouses and Kos, and bringing to 12,514 the total number of irregular migrants entering Greece via sea since January 1 – an average of around 73 persons per day (see charts below).

IOM Greece also reports that “Omed,” a three-year-old boy, lost his life in the open accommodation site located at Thiva, Greece. The boy, who was found dead in the sewage tank, was from Iraq. The incident took place Monday evening (18 June), just hours after his family reported his disappearance. Greek authorities have started an investigation; IOM has no update regarding autopsy results or the investigation.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 1,592 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018 (see chart below).

In the Mediterranean alone, 960 people have lost their lives at sea since the beginning of the year. In the Central Mediterranean, at least 12 people have died in the past four days off the coast of Libya.

On 18 June, the remains of five people, including two women, were recovered from a sinking boat 8 miles of Melittah area in Tripoli, Libya. The day after, a boat capsized north of Al Maya. Five survivors were rescued and transferred to the Janzour Hospital, while the remains of six people, including two children, were retrieved on the shore. On 20 June, the Libyan Coast Guard intercepted 82 migrants and recovered one body from a boat north of Tajura, Libya.

There were several other additions to the Missing Migrants Project database since Tuesday’s update.

On the US/Mexico border, the remains of a young man who died from dehydration were recovered on 18 June on the side of highway 131 between Eagle Pass and Brackettville. Previously, on 10 June, the remains of one migrant were found in a ranch near Falfurrias in Brooks County, Texas. The same day, a man drowned in the Río Bravo – his body was recovered in McAllen, Hidalgo County.

In Europe, a 20-year-old Guinean man was crushed by a bus near Brussels, Belgium. The young migrant was clinging to the axle underneath the bus, which was bound for the UK, when he was tragically killed as the vehicle stopped.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

Download the Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here.
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:

Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IIOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel : +216 29 240 448, Email : chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

The post Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 40,944 in 2018; Deaths Reach 960 appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by International Organization for Migration at June 22, 2018 06:47 PM

West Africa Building Renewable Energy Sector Partnership and Capacity

Solar panels, Dakar, Senegal. Credit: Fratelli dell'Uomo Onlus, Elena Pisano


“Financing NDC Implementation in the Energy Sector” will feature in an upcoming regional capacity development workshop at Hôtel Royal Beach in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on June 26-28. The upcoming workshop will be attended by representatives of Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Guinea, and Senegal.


High profile technical input

The workshop is co-organized by the Government of Burkina Faso, in collaboration with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

H.E. Dr Bachir Ismaël Quedraogo, Minister of Energy of Burkina Faso and H.E. Mr. Nestor Batio Bassiere, Minister for Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change of Burkina Faso will officiate the opening sessions.

Participants, including technical government officials, private sector, private finance, and academia working in the energy sectors, will gain skills in developing realistic strategies based on knowledge and tools for effective implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) the five countries ratified under the 2016 Paris Agreement.


Best practices and regional cooperation

All five countries have made significant progress toward meeting their NDCs to cutting emissions in the energy sector. The workshop will provide cross-country lesson learning and best practices sharing platform exploring the renewable energy opportunities and associated challenges in the region. Senegal, for example, has experience of the development of innovative financing mechanisms through the renewable energy and energy efficiency fund.

To build on these lessons, the training workshop will explore how regional cooperation and further private and public-sector efforts in the five countries can meaningfully contribute to their climate goals through policy instruments and investment.

Capacity development in the sector is central to the achievement of this goal.

This includes capacity in designing packages of enabling policies in NDCs, strategies for financing NDCs of the energy sector, the current state of financial flows in support of NDCs, mainstreaming NDC implementation into national budgets, tracking and monitoring NDC progress, centralized and decentralized energy solutions, relevant Paris Agreement provisions, and encouraging private sector engagement.


Project pipelines and high-quality project proposals

The workshop will share knowledge on development of NDC implementation plans, ensuring clear linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A key goal will be to identify the capacity needs of national development agencies and national/regional direct access entities to enable them to develop project pipelines and submit high quality project proposals to GCF, which will outline its financing requirements during the workshop.


About the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.

GGGI delivers programs in 27 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning & implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects.

More on GGGI’s events, projects and publications can be found on www.gggi.org. You can also follow GGGI on Twitter and join us on FacebookYouTube and LinkedIn.



The post West Africa Building Renewable Energy Sector Partnership and Capacity appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by GGGI at June 22, 2018 04:06 PM


Scotland Promotes Local, Shared Ownership of Renewable Energy Infrastructure

In 2011, the Scottish government established the policy goal to dramatically reduce its reliance on nonrenewable energy sources. In 2015, the 500 MW target of local renewable energy capacity was achieved. This target may not have been ambitious, but the support base is there to greatly exceed it.

by Wolfgang Hoeschele at June 22, 2018 02:43 PM

Claims Against Meat Fail to Consider Bigger Picture

Free range cows

I can see big advantages, both environmental and ethical in reducing the production and consumption of grain-fed meat, be it chicken, pork or beef. But there is an overwhelmingly important case why we should continue to produce and eat meat from animals predominantly reared on grass, especially when it is species-rich and not fertilised with nitrogen out of a bag.

by Richard Young at June 22, 2018 02:30 PM

Democracy Now Interview Rev. William Barber, Co-Chair of the Poor Peoples’ Campaign

Poor People's March in 1968

The release of the U.N. report on extreme poverty in the United States comes amid a nationwide, weeks-long direct action campaign known as the new Poor People’s Campaign, aimed at fighting poverty and racism in the United States.

by Amy Goodman at June 22, 2018 01:53 PM

InterPressService (global south)

Gaming Disorder: A New Disease Experts say is Hard to Diagnose

A young woman plays a video game on her phone. Credit: UN News/Elizabeth Scaffidi

By Carmen Arroyo and Emily Thampoe

The World Health Organization (WHO) has formally added “Gaming Disorder” as a disease recognized by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in its 11th revision of its official collection of recognized conditions.

However, since it is a very new condition, no one is really sure about its extent, its impact or how best to treat it.

Ali M. Mattu, Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, told IPS: “The vast majority of people who play video games do not become addicted, similar to how most people who use alcohol do not develop substance abuse problems”.

On the other hand, Professor Mattu said that it is still hard to make a diagnosis regarding Gaming Disorder: “However, as this is a new diagnosis, we do not know how common Gaming Disorder is. We also don’t know how much Gaming Disorder is a unique problem or how it is related to anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or other psychiatric problems.”

The WHO defines Gaming Disorder as “a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities [..]”.

The new ailment has been included in ICD-11 based on an existing consensus of experts in different fields, who were consulted during the drafting of the document; a document that had not changed since the early 90s.

The WHO says the disorder“follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures”.

Some studies during previous years had already drawn attention to Gaming Disorder as a pathological disease. For example, an Oxford study conducted in 2016 showed that only 0.5% of the general population had symptoms of what is now known as Gaming Disorder, which implies that gaming is addictive.

This meant that, at the time, almost one million Americans had the possibility of suffering from Gaming Disorder, in accordance with the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM-5) criteria regarding addiction to online games.

Moreover, a 2016 study presented by the internet security company ESET found that around 6% of respondents spend 24 hours gaming and 10% spend between 12 and 24 hours gaming.

And finally, Professor Douglas Gentile, expert on the impact of media on youth, concluded in a 2009 Iowa State study that one every ten players is addicted to video gaming.

But none of these studies were definitive.

So, how can we diagnose it?

Given some disagreement amongst the medical community of the easiness with which this disease could be diagnosed, the WHO specified that “the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months”.

Thus, doctors should wait 12 months to diagnose patients with this disorder, although, the WHO adds, if the symptoms are evident, they can diagnose earlier.

According to Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, who had talked to CNN, there are three major diagnostic features that would call for a diagnosis of the mental health condition.

The first is that gaming becomes more important than other things that an individual may do, even coming to the point that activities that were once important are no longer at the forefront of the individual’s mind.

The second one is that no matter the consequences that may come with playing games, the behavior will continue or increase.

The third and final diagnostic feature shows that Gaming Disorder might cause negative sensations such as distress, irregular sleeping habits, changed dietary patterns, and impaired relationships with loved ones.

When asked to comment on the diagnostic features of Gaming Disorder, Professor Mattutold IPS: “Based on what we do know about addictions, Gaming Disorder likely occurs when individuals play video games in a self-destructive way, despite negative consequences in their life”.

“In other words, video games get in the way of school, work, personal self-care, and relationships. We are wired to experience joy, connection, and meaning in our lives. When we don’t have enough of that in our lives, some of us can seek it out from other sources, like video games. Video games are also engineered to create the psychological state of flow. During flow, experience meets the challenge of a task leading time to pass by without one’s awareness. For some, this could lead to a greater vulnerability in becoming addicted to video games”.

Specialists also argue that it is hard to separate Gaming Disorder from other diseases, and as Professor Mattu told IPS “we do not yet know what are the most effective ways to treat Gaming Disorder”.

Given this disagreement, the American psychiatric community has currently not accepted Gaming Disorder as a disease, so its coverage in American insurances will likely be limited.

When asked to comment on the possible consequences of the WHO’s decision, Professor Mattu concluded: “The ICD Gaming Disorder classification is likely to encourage more research which will lead us to have a better understanding of what this problem looks like, how common it is, and the best way to treat it. We will know much more when the next major version of the ICD is released”.

The post Gaming Disorder: A New Disease Experts say is Hard to Diagnose appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Carmen Arroyo and Emily Thampoe at June 22, 2018 01:53 PM

Tor Browser

Rompiendo barreras de censura, incluso cuando Tor está bloqueado

Rompiendo barreras de censura, incluso cuando Tor está bloqueado
Antonela June 22, 2018
Mientras que el navegador Tor provee muchas propiedades de seguridad y privacidad, no todas las personas alrededor del mundo tienen el lujo de poder conectarse a la red para utilizarla. Por defecto, el navegador Tor hace que todos los usuarios conectados luzcan iguales, burlando a tu UserAgent (y otros métodos) para prevenir ataques de reconocimiento de huellas digitales. Sin embargo, no oculta el hecho de que estás conectado a la red Tor, una red abierta en la que todos pueden tener acceso a la lista de nodos (relays). Esta transparencia de la red tiene muchos beneficios, pero también cosas negativas: Muchos gobiernos represivos y autoridades gubernamentales se benefician al bloquear a los usuarios de tener un acceso a internet abierto y libre. Simplemente, toman la lista de relays y los bloquean. Esto impide que millones de personas accedan a información libre, incluso aquellos que más lo necesitan. A nosotros en Tor, nos preocupa la libertad de acceso a a información y nos oponemos a la censura firmemente. Por eso es que desarrollamos métodos para conectar a la red y saltar la censura. Este método se llama Transportes Intercambiables (Pluggable Transports (PTs))
Los Transportes Intercambiables son un tipo de puente para conectarse a la red Tor. Tienen la ventaja de que aprovechan varios transportes y hacen que el tráfico encriptado de Tor parezca tráfico poco interesante o basura. A diferencia de los relays normales, la información del puente se mantiene oculta y se distribuye entre los usuarios a través de BridgeDB. Si estás interesado en ayudar a los usuarios censurados, puedes convertirse en un operador puente. Y si sos un desarrollador y tenés ideas interesantes sobre cómo hacer nuevos PT o contribuir con un código, tenemos documentos para ponerte al día.
Y finalmente, si sos un usuario censurado y querés usar los PT, tenemos buenas noticias. Los PT's ya están incluidos en el navegador Tor y este gráfico te muestra cómo hacerlo y te ayudará a configurarlo para eludir la censura. Para usuarios en Venezuela (y China), recomendamos seleccionar "meek-azure."
Si necesitas más puentes, escribinos a bridges@torproject.org o visita bridges.torproject.org.

by Antonela at June 22, 2018 01:04 PM


Remembering Grenfell: Who Are Our Cities For?

Grenfell Tower Tribute Wall

This is not the previous generation’s gentrification.  The housing crisis in many of our urban areas is not the result of normal real estate market forces. Local gentrification cycles have been “supercharged” by the fact that many cities are now a global destination to park investment capital.

by Chuck Collins at June 22, 2018 12:16 PM

What Science Fiction Ought to Be

The Road film image

If you think there is hope for a decent future — and I do — then make that future come alive for your family and friends. I ask only two things: that it shows a realistic future, and that it be fun.

by Brian Kaller at June 22, 2018 10:37 AM

Trump Takes Italy by Storm: the Rise of Matteo Salvini and of the Italian Right

Matteo Salvini

With enormous changes going on worldwide, with the ecosystem collapsing, with natural resources dwindling, with the human population still expanding, we may be rather facing a Seneca Collapse that will make short work of the European nation-states, just as the current crisis is destroying the American Empire. 

by Ugo Bardi at June 22, 2018 10:05 AM

InterPressService (global south)

Tackling Goal 8 and Modern Day Slavery through Technology

Vatican City, Jun 22 2018 (GSN)

Pursuant to the ‘Joint Declaration of Faith Leaders Against Modern Slavery’ signed under the auspices of Pope Francis at the Vatican on 2 December 2014, the ‘Global Sustainability Network – GSN’ and ‘Rani’s Voice’, commemorate and reaffirm support for the victims in the lead up to the ‘World Day Against Trafficking in Persons’ on July 30th, 2018

Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo – Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences hosts the Global Sustainability Network ( GSN ) gathering on Tackling Goal 8 and Modern Day Slavery through Technology and in conjunction with ‘Rani’s Voice’ commemorate the ‘Freedom of Former Victims’ and announce the ongoing support of the GSN to those at the coal-face of battling Modern Day Slavery in the lead up to the ‘World Day Against Trafficking in Persons’, on July 30, 2018.

The GSN is a network of over 700 global change-makers across the Government, Business, Faith, Media, Community & NGOs and Academia sectors committed to achieving Goal 8 ( with special emphasis on Goal 8.7 of tackling Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking ) of the United Nations 17 Sustainability Goals.

Rani Hong, is the CEO of Rani’s Voice, and President of the Tronie Foundation and a survivor of child slavery and has had the privilege of speaking at the Pontifical Academy on their plans to place a focus on refugees and how to keep them from being at risk of falling into slavery or forced labor. She advocates, campaigns and tells her personal story in lectures and presentations to bring a voice to the voiceless as an advocate for those who are still enslaved around the world. “This is why I’m telling my story today,” Hong explains, “There are millions of other individuals, like that little girl I was — imprisoned, enslaved, and silenced — unable to tell my story. I therefore speak for those without a voice”.

“Today, the GSN is providing its further endorsement and support of Rani’s Voice in the call upon all that recognize the ongoing need to protect the rights of the victims of human trafficking. The GSN will continue to engage in supporting those, whom like Rani, are taking concrete action aimed at permanent and sustainable change” says Romy Hawatt – Founding Member – Global Sustainability Network ( GSN ).



In 2010, the General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which urges governments around the world, as well as the UN’s programs to integrate and encourage integrate human trafficking awareness, security, and an establishment of a trust fund for victims of trafficking.

Due in part to Rani’s advocacy, in 2013, the United Nations designated July 30th as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. On this powerful day, individuals and communities are invited to gather together, consider the lives of victims, and share the facts and truths about human trafficking, in order to honor and recognize those who still suffer from modern day slavery while also spreading awareness of this global issue. “I call upon all of you to commit yourselves-to create a world we know is possible: a world in which every person has the right to human dignity,” says Hong,

In 2014, the UNDOC and world leaders spread the awareness of human trafficking and slavery through social media campaigns and other events that engaged the community and the world, Continuing to 2015, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda was adopted by the world and embraced goals that targeted the eradicated of modern day slavery. Target 8.7 of the Agenda commits States to take strong, immediate measures to eradicate forced labor in all its forms.

In 2016, the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking collaborated with the UNDOC and the Tronie Foundation organized a high-level event to discuss the topic of slavery and the eradication of the issue.

Following up in 2017, the Trust Fund created for victims of human trafficking showed that it had produced positive and hopeful results, assisting an average of 2,500 victims per year.



The Global Sustainability Network ( GSN ) is a network of over 700 global change-makers across the Government, Business, Faith, Media, Community & NGOs and Academia sectors committed to achieving Goal 8 ( with special emphasis on Goal 8.7 of tackling Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking ) of the United Nations 17 Sustainability Goals.

Global Sustainability Network ( GSN )

Contact: Romy Hawatt – Founding Member
Tel: +447788200528
Email: romy@rianagroup.com



The Tronie Foundation is an organization that mentors survivors of slavery to both help them become leaders and empower them to work with global leaders in the movement to end human trafficking. The organization was co-founded by Rani and Trong Hong, both survivors of child trafficking and two of the world’s leading voices in the fight against modern-day slavery. For more information please visit www.troniefoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RanisVoice.

Rani’s Voice

Contact: Rani Hong, CEO of Rani’s Voice International
C: 360-790-5159 (media only)
email: rani@ranisvoice.com

The post Tackling Goal 8 and Modern Day Slavery through Technology appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by GSN at June 22, 2018 08:55 AM

EU Urged to Ban Early & Forced Child Marriages

Rashmi Hamal is a local heroine who helped to save her friend from an early marriage. She campaigns actively against child marriages in the Far Western Region of Nepal. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

Rashmi Hamal is a local heroine who helped to save her friend from an early marriage. She campaigns actively against child marriages in the Far Western Region of Nepal. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

By Rangita de Silva de Alwis

Something historic was initiated at the European Development Days (EDD) in early June: the EDD placed women and girls at the forefront of Sustainable Development. Since its inception in 2006, EDD has become a barometer for ideas in global development.

Ever since then, the EDDs have developed into the Davos of Development and shapes how the European Union constructs its development policies. In 2018, the EU development agenda was transformed and shaped by a gender equality agenda.

This year’s speakers included the Norwegian Prime Minister, the director-general of the World Health Organization, the Crown Princess of Denmark, and Head of UN Women and Under Secretary General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Along with H.R.H Princess Mabel of Oranje-Nassau of Netherlands, the chair of Girls not Brides; Aichatou Boulama Kane, the Minister of Planning of the Republic of Niger; and Linda McAvan,Labour MEP for Yorkshire & The Humber, Chair of European Parliament Committee on Development, I served on the panel on child marriage to examine closely the Draft Resolution “Toward an EU external strategy against early and forced marriage” introduced before the European parliament by Member of the EU Parliament, Charles Goerens who moderated the panel at EDD on June 6.

The Resolution was unique in the way in which it called on European Union, in the context of its foreign policy and its development cooperation policy, to offer a strategic pact to its partners and to that end require that all its partner countries prohibit early and forced marriage in law and practice.

The Resolution points out that in order to comprehensively tackle early and forced marriage, the European Union, as a major actor in global development, must play a leading role.

The Resolution was drafted at an important political moment and captured the extraordinary global shifts and crises as a stated goal: “…whereas during the recent migrant crises, many parents, seeking to protect their daughters from sexual aggression, chose to have them marry before the age of 18.”

The Resolution also took into consideration of girls all over the world, including Yazidi girls and Chibok girls who are forced into marriage: “…calls for the act of forcing a child to enter into a marriage and that of luring a child abroad with the purpose of forcing her or him to enter into a marriage to be criminalized.”

The bedrock of the Resolution is that it calls upon all Member States to include a ban on early and forced marriage in their legislation. In a remarkable use of development cooperation, the Resolution sets out that: “The level of public development aid is made dependent on the recipient country’s commitment to complying with the requirements in the fight against early and forced marriage.”

My recommendation addressed the fact that around the world, even when the law is changed, the loopholes in the law remain. For example, I cited the recent Bangladesh Child Marriage Restraint Act of 2017 signed into law by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last year. The law significantly increased the punishment for contracting or conducting child marriage.

However, it includes a provision in Section 2(10) of the law that undermines the spirit of the law reform: “Within the definition of the law will not be considered an offense if the marriage takes place in special circumstances in the best interest of the underage woman in question.”

Co-opting the primacy of the best interest of the child principle as set out in the Convention of the Rights of the Child helps the government to legitimize child marriage in a way that the principle was never envisioned.

General Comment 14 issued by the Committee of the Rights of the Child recognizes that the best interest standard is vulnerable to manipulation of governments and obliges states parties to ensure the full rights recognized by the Convention.

“The best interest of the standard is rendered meaningless if not seen in the context of all the rights in the Convention. The right to education, access to health care services and protection from physical, and mental violence are in no way promoted and are in fact impeded by child marriage. ”

The EU has a critical role to play in influencing policy reform both in the EU member states and outside. The EU and many of its member states contribute significant amounts of development cooperation to countries with high rates of child marriage. However, it is important for the EU to acknowledge that law reform itself can be complicit in undermining the prevention of child or forced marriage.

Development cooperation must be aimed not only at addressing legislative reform but also on closing the loopholes in the law that render law reform meaningless. This calls for aligning development cooperation not only with changes in law and practice but with the transformation of political will.

The post EU Urged to Ban Early & Forced Child Marriages appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Rangita de Silva de Alwis is Associate Dean of International Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania Law School & Advisor, UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund

The post EU Urged to Ban Early & Forced Child Marriages appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Rangita de Silva de Alwis at June 22, 2018 06:39 AM

Debian security

June 21, 2018

InterPressService (global south)

America First or America Alone?

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage

The United States’ move to withdraw from the Human Rights Council will have “reverberations” throughout the world in years to come, say human rights groups.

This week, the U.S. announced its intention to withdraw from the 47-member Human Rights Council, accusing it of bias against Israel.

“The Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” said U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in a statement.

Nikki R. Haley, new United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations presented her credentials to Secretary-General António Guterres. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

While it comes as no surprise to many, the move has been condemned by global human rights groups.

“It is the latest in a series of gestures that says we’re really only interested in transactional diplomacy—you give us something we want, and we give you something you want and we better get a better deal,” Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead Scott Paul told IPS, noting that it undermines human rights around the world.

Human Rights Watch’s Deputy UN Director Akshaya Kumar echoed similar comments on the U.S.’ “one dimensional” policy to IPS, stating: “By turning their back on the UN with this decision, they also turn their back on victims in Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and Burma—all just because of this concern with Israel.”

Created in 2006, the Human Rights Council (HRC) plays a vital role in addressing rights violations around the world. It has initiated investigations in Syria, Yemen, Burundi, Myanmar, and South Sudan while also raising awareness and discussing key topics such as disability rights and violence against women.

Last month, the Council accused Israel of excessive use of force during demonstrations at the border and voted to probe killings in Gaza.

Paul also noted that the U.S. withdrawal is ill-timed as the country’s human rights record is “rightly” under the spotlight.

Most recently, the human rights body blasted President Donald Trump’s immigration policy of separating children from parents at the southern border. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called the policy “unconscionable.”

A new report by the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston has also found and criticized the North American nation’s policies which have “overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality.”

“Quitting this body doesn’t in any way protect you from the scrutiny of the world, or from being assessed by international standards of human rights law…all of those issues are going to continue to be discussed,” Kumar said.

In a letter, Haley attacked human rights groups including Human Rights Watch for opposing her recent push for a General Assembly vote on changes to the Council.

“You put yourself on the side of Russia and China, and opposite the United States, on a key human rights issue. You should know that your efforts to block negotiations and thwart reform were a contributing factor in the U.S. decision to withdraw from the council,” Haley wrote.

Human Rights Watch’s UN Director Louis Charbonneau called it “outrageous” and that blaming organizations for the country’s own failure is “taking a page out of the book of some of the worst governments around the world.”

Though Haley promised to continue to work to reform the HRC and to engage in human rights in other fora such as the Security Council, it could be difficult to make significant progress.

For instance, China, a member of both the HRC and the Security Council, has blocked a number of justice and accountability measures at the Security Council including those concerning Syria.

Russia has vetoed Security Council action on Syria 12 times, and very little progress has been made to help protect Syrians.

“So its a rhetorical slight of hand for her to say that the U.S. is still committed to human rights and will pursue it in other spaces when they are walking away from the primary body dedicated to human rights,” Kumar told IPS.

Not only are they withdrawing their membership, the U.S., with almost 18 months remaining on its term, is refusing to attend anymore meetings.

Kumar noted that the move is “really rare” as countries often attend meetings if they come up on the body’s agenda and even if they are not members but are committed to human rights.

“To say that they are not going to come at all is a pretty significant step away from multilateralism,” she said.

“It is really deeply disappointing,” Paul said, noting the withdrawal is a major step back from the U.S.’ legacy at the HRC.

While their engagement with the Council has been spotty, the U.S. has helped some of the body’s key decisions such as the creation of a commission of inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea.

The U.S. has also played a leading role on initiatives related to Syria, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka.

While the HRC is not a perfect institution, the U.S. move to abandon ship does not help the Council either, Paul noted.

“I don’t think we should expect perfection over institutions, I think we should work to make them more perfect…simply walking away because it’s not going so well or because we are not getting everything we want isn’t actually the way to make things better,” he told IPS.

“They are taking themselves off the field and out of really important conversations and that’s something that is going to have reverberations for years to come,” Kumar reiterated.

And just because the U.S. is leaving the Council also does not mean that the North American nation should leave behind its commitments to human rights.

“At some point, we will be back at the table. And in the meantime, we will be doing everything we can to hold our own government to account,” Paul concluded.

The U.S. joined the HRC in 2009, previously refusing to be involved under the Bush administration due to concerns over the body’s members.

Among the HRC’s members are Burundi, the Philippines, and Venezuela.

It is the first time a member has voluntarily withdrawn from the Council.

The post America First or America Alone? appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Tharanga Yakupitiyage at June 21, 2018 07:50 PM


In-Depth: BP’s Global Data for 2017 Shows Record Highs for Coal and Renewables

Carbon Brief runs through the 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, which, for the first time, covers all sources of electricity and the key materials needed for electric vehicles.

by Simon Evans at June 21, 2018 04:52 PM

The Tales of History are a Dead-End Road

Culture is what people do. It decays when people stop culturing. Changing a culture means changing what we do. Often, that will need a step by step transition as we negotiate obstacles.

by Patrick Noble at June 21, 2018 04:26 PM

InterPressService (global south)

Finding My Migrant Voice

By International Organization for Migration
Vienna, Jun 21 2018 (IOM)

Bärli Nugent, Assistant Dean, the Juilliard School of Music, New York, reflects on the journey that led to her curating a musical selection for a unique concert presented by the United Nations Migration Agency at the UN Vienna Headquarters on June 28

As a first-generation American on my Austrian mother’s side, I was a deeply shy child who grew up aware that my household was not like those of my all-American friends. We sometimes ate food that no one else did; my friends found my mother’s accent hard to understand, and yes, her English could be awkward.

Bärli Nugent is the Assistant Dean of the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

But she could also be fearless and always principled. When we encountered segregated facilities on a trip to the American South, she defiantly marched our white feet into the spaces marked “colored.”

I was quiet child; hiding, watching.

Music was where I found my voice – with a flute in my hands, I discovered I could bring beauty and engage with just about anyone. Later, as a professional performer touring internationally for 20 years, my goal was always to share stories and change lives through music. And in my work as a dean and faculty member at the Juilliard School since then, that goal remains.

I attended an International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance lecture a year ago in New York given by Argentina Szabados of IOM. She spoke passionately about the modern scourge of international trafficking in human beings.

She quoted an African proverb, “Until lions start writing their own stories, the hunter will always be the heroes.”

Humanity seems increasingly estranged in a never-ending generational cycle. I am an artist-citizen seeking to make a contribution towards understanding and fellowship amongst peoples.

So this concert on June 28th in Vienna is my first effort to let the lions of music from countries affected by migration tell their own stories. Stories from Afghanistan, Austria, China, Germany, Iran and Turkey shared through the efforts of performers from Austria, Hungary, Japan, Kenya and the United States.

The composers

I first encountered the music of the late composer LIU ZHUANG when the American Brass Quintet, the first brass group invited to the People’s Republic of China in 1982, returned with some. A former faculty member at both the Shanghai Conservatory and Beijing Central Conservatory and member of the Chinese collective that composed 1969’s Yellow River Piano Concerto, she later migrated to the US to teach at Syracuse University and became my friend (her music a subject of my doctoral research). I perform her Soliloquy on a handmade raku pottery flute.

The distinguished late Austrian composer RICHARD STÖHR was forced out of Austria after the Anschluss of 1938, immigrating to the US, teaching Leonard Bernstein (among others) at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. While still teaching at the Akademie in Vienna, his youngest student was pianist Irene Schneidmann: my mother. She rarely spoke about the war years, but often about her beloved teacher Stöhr. I performed part of his Flute Sonata in December at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien as part of their 200-year Jubilee, and present another portion in this concert.

As administrator of the SYLFF* fellows at Juilliard (a group of exceptional students given scholarships by the Tokyo Foundation) and co-coordinator of the SYLFF Chamber Music Seminar between Juilliard, the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien and the Paris Conservatoire, I reached out to the Tokyo Foundation for recommendations of exceptional SYLFF fellows living in Vienna. The result was introductions to Iranian composer SHAYAN MOKHTARANI and Kenyan actress MERCY OTIENO. It was a stroke of luck that Shayan was about to begin work on a piece for soprano, flute and piano that will receive its world premiere at this concert; Mercy will present a dramatic reading of the poem Hour by American poet Carol Ann Duffy upon which Shayan’s piece is based.

Composer CEM GÜVEN is a first-year undergraduate student from Turkey studying at Juilliard. When I reached out to him, he too was in the middle of writing a short piece for flute and piano. When I told him about the concert, he altered the emphasis of the piece and named it after the three-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a Turkish beach after his family’s failed attempt to reach Greece, documented in a wrenching 2013 photograph seen around the world. This piece will also receive its world premiere on the programme.

In a recent casual conversation with Juilliard faculty member Philip Lasser where I mentioned that I was working on the programming for this concert, Afghani composer MILAD YOUSUFI’s name came up. Currently studying composition at the Mannes School of Music, his music has already been performed by members of the New York Philharmonic.

When we met in person just a few weeks ago, we discovered that as a student at Kabul’s Afghanistan National Institute of Music, he participated in a 2013 tour to the US in which I was instrumental in arranging a performance for the group at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center; I was also in attendance at the group’s Carnegie Hall concert in Isaac Stern Auditorium. He is also a poet and visual artist. He is unable to be in Vienna for this concert and will be represented in a piece for violin and piano. But he promises to write something for flute soon.

The future

I will present some of these pieces on a programme in September 2018 as part of the year-long observance of the Centennial of Juilliard’s preparatory education programs. I am in the early stages of researching more composers from countries affected by migration and will produce additional concerts of their music in the future. There are so many stories to tell; this is just the beginning.

* Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund

The post Finding My Migrant Voice appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by International Organization for Migration at June 21, 2018 03:18 PM

P.s.: hcklabxl

@system wrote:

HCKLABXL Avenue Princesse Elisabeth 46 1030 Schaerbeek forum

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://hacklab.brussels/

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by @system system at June 21, 2018 03:06 PM


Southeast Asia’s Vanishing Sand Bans are Destroying the Region

A recent review of Malaysia’s “stone, sand and gravel” exports to Singapore and Singapore’s purchases of those resources over two decades suggests that Mahathir’s sand ban, initiated to protect a fragile Malaysian environment, was seemingly ignored, including by his own government.

by Piyali Banergee at June 21, 2018 02:49 PM

Брюс Шнайер о цензуре Telegram в России

Цензоры Интернета нашли новую стратегию блокировки приложений и веб-сайтов: теперь они давят на провайдеров облачных сервисов, где размещаются эти приложения и сайты. Интересы этих провайдеров гораздо шире, чем у тех, кто подвергается цензуре. Поэтому эти провайдеры могут либо сопротивляться цензуре, либо капитулировать перед ней, чтобы улучшить положение своего бизнеса. Сегодня в Интернете доминируют несколько корпораций, основанных на облачных сервисах, поисковиках и мобильных платформах. Именно они определяют технологический ландшафт.

June 21, 2018 01:36 PM

Welcome to the Hacklab BXL

@ptr_here wrote:

Hacklab Brussels is located avenue Princesse Elisabeth 46 in 1030 Schaerbeek.

@ptr_here is your host.

You can post to this conference by sending email to: hcklabxl@hackerspaces.org.
You may become a member by requesting participation in the @hcklabxl group.

web: https://hacklab.brussels/
rules: Be excellent to each other ; speak up! (never let problems untold)

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by @ptr_here ptr_here at June 21, 2018 12:32 PM

Hedgespoken, ‘a Vehicle for the Imagination’


What are the unhealthy stories that we tell now? The story of unlimited growth.  The story that we are separate.  Any number of stories about who we are and our place in the world, and what it means to be alive. 

by Rob Hopkins at June 21, 2018 11:43 AM


The Colors of the Parallel World now avaiable online

The Colors of the Parallel World is a collection of 16 essays, written by our comrade Mikola Dziadok who spent 5 years in Belarusian prison, being accused in symbolic direct actions on behalf of the anarchist movement. The book is dedicated to an analysis of a Belarusian prison system trough the anarchist perspective.

“The Colours of the Parallel World” initially was issued in a bilingual edition (Russian and Belarusian), but during the last 1,5 years it was translated on Russian, Belarusian, English and Czech languages.

The book is free to download here: https://radicalbook.tilda.ws/

by Прамень at June 21, 2018 09:23 AM

InterPressService (global south)

Countries are Using Domestic Laws to Criminalize Health Care

Dr. Dainius Pūras is UN Special Rapporteur on “the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”.

By Dr. Dainius Pūras
GENEVA, Jun 21 2018 (IPS)

Ambulance drivers attacked, nurses detained, doctors tortured, pharmacists arrested, dentists facing more than a decade in prison—all for delivering healthcare to people considered enemies of the state.

There is a disturbing global phenomenon of governments using domestic laws, policies, and practices to punish health professionals for doing their job to treat those in need. Whether it’s vague counter-terrorism legislation, misguided domestic laws and policies, or harsh administrative sanctions, states are often turning to domestic laws to criminalize health care.

Dr. Dainius Pūras

I have been privileged to be part of the medical profession for more than three decades. In recent years, I have seen the ways in which laws provide a pretext for states to enact violence and punitive sanction against my fellow health workers. These alarming trends undermine the ethical foundation of medicine and the human rights of communities we have pledged to serve.

Health professionals have a duty to care for the sick, wounded and injured, regardless of their patients’ political affiliation or which side of a conflict they are on. The core human rights principle of non-discrimination is not only a key component of medical ethics, but an essential part of our humanity: every human being has a right to medical care. Whether a foe or an ally, a patient is a patient.

For more than half a century, governments have recognized this concept, enshrining the protection of healthcare in international humanitarian and human rights instruments, as well as their national constitutions. Just two years ago, 80 states adopted a resolution specifically condemning attacks on health providers and their patients.

As the UN special rapporteur on the right to health, I have examined this issue during my country missions and engaged directly with governments as cases of medical professionals under threat have come to my attention.

Regrettably, health professionals continue to be harassed, fired, arrested, prosecuted and even killed for caring for those in need. I am convinced that these egregious human rights violations against health professionals and the communities they seek to serve emerge from a systemic failure to explicitly safeguard healthcare in law and policy at the national level.

These practices in countries around the world do not occur in a vacuum, but emerge from embedded legal systems that ensnare health workers in a widening punitive net.

I recently requested a review of the role domestic laws play in fostering the criminalization of healthcare to understand how health workers experience extraordinary violence, harassment or sanctions. The findings are alarming: of the 16 countries analyzed in the report, authorities in at least 10 of them could interpret the provision of healthcare as supporting terrorism.

The implication of this general state of legal affairs is dire. If nurses, doctors and paramedics are afraid to treat people because they may be prosecuted, whole communities could suffer.

Some countries have begun to understand how these laws and practices undermine healthcare and are taking steps to safeguard it. But much more needs to be done. Everyone must be able to access healthcare—it is an obligation under the right to health and incumbent upon states to secure.

States must review and amend their laws to ensure they explicitly shield the sick and wounded and those who care for them. Military, police and security forces must be instructed that patients cannot be denied care, regardless of their affiliation.

This requires both a normative as well as a cultural shift in how state structures uphold everyone’s basic dignity and rights. The international community must elevate this issue to ensure the protection of healthcare permeates the entire UN family.

In times of unrest and conflict, accessing medical care can mean the difference between life and death. Laws must be there to protect those providing that essential medical care, not be used as weapons against them.

The post Countries are Using Domestic Laws to Criminalize Health Care appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Dr. Dainius Pūras is UN Special Rapporteur on “the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”.

The post Countries are Using Domestic Laws to Criminalize Health Care appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Dainius Puras at June 21, 2018 06:01 AM

Ukraine Puts Water Strategy High on Development Agenda

A lake in Ukraine, which has a relative scarcity of naturally-occurring water supplies in populated areas. Credit: Vitaliy Motrinets/cc by 4.0

A lake in Ukraine, which has a relative scarcity of naturally-occurring water supplies in populated areas. Credit: Vitaliy Motrinets/cc by 4.0

By Ed Holt
KIEV, Jun 21 2018 (IPS)

A campaign to raise awareness of water security in Ukraine could be an inspiration around the world, activists behind it say, after it forced a change in the country’s approach to its water resources.

After almost five years of promoting a vision of water security and proactive water management among various stakeholders and the government in Kiev, the issue of water security is now a top development priority for the government.“Ageing infrastructure dating back to Soviet times, canals, dams and reservoirs require huge resources – financial, human and technical – and there are new challenges as the climate changes." --Andriy Demydenko

Anna Tsvietkova of local NGO MAMA-86, a partner of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) intergovernmental organisation, and which was involved in the campaign, told IPS this was an example of how expert knowledge combined with awareness-raising could move water, or potentially other topics, to near the top of a country’s development agenda.

“Our work could be an inspiration for groups in other countries. We were active and we gave the best advice. Our government had to accept our proposals [on water security],” she said.

Like many countries, the issue of water security is becoming increasingly important for Ukraine.

Groups like GWP Ukraine have said that the state of water resources and water supply in Ukraine is a serious threat to national security, with its effects exacerbated by economic and political crisis, military conflict and climate change.

The country has a relative scarcity of naturally-occurring water supplies in populated areas and studies have shown that surface and ground water resources are unequally distributed between seasons and across the country.

The inefficient management of available water resources, including excess abstraction and pollution, has led to depletion and contamination of water resources, according to local environmental groups.

Meanwhile, ageing and poorly-maintained infrastructure and outdated water and wastewater treatment and technology have caused further problems, including serious sanitation and related health issues.

But until relatively recently, water security in Ukraine was not viewed by the authorities as a concept on its own and was dealt with as part of wider, overarching environmental protection legislation. Authorities – and the wider public at large – were fixed on the concept of water protection rather than risk-based management.

“One of the main threats to water security is that water management is perceived by the people managing it as management of water infrastructure and extracted water, which leaves all other sources of water unmanaged,” Dr Andriy Demydenko of the Ukrainian Center of Environmental and Water Projects told IPS.

“As a result authorities just control water quality and quantity parameters without having any responsibility to reach water targets,” he explained.

He added: “Ageing infrastructure dating back to Soviet times, canals, dams and reservoirs require huge resources – financial, human and technical – and there are new challenges as the climate changes.

“Also, a lack of a scientific basis for decision making and management, shortages in in knowledge and capacity building leave Ukraine very vulnerable and unprepared for events such as water scarcity, droughts and floods.”

However, through campaigns and national stakeholder dialogues over the last five years, GWP and local partner groups introduced and promoted the new concept of risk–based or proactive water management.

In 2016 GWP Ukraine organized four stakeholder consultations on the strategic issues of water policy entitled “Rethinking of Water Security for Ukraine”.

As a result, GWP Ukraine prepared a publication presenting a proposed set of national water goals, targets of sustainable development, and indicators to assess the progress in achieving goals on the water-energy-food nexus.

And in the last year, multi-stakeholder consultations have taken place to push Ukraine to an integrated water resources management approach.

Indeed, the GWP Ukraine’s work has helped change the Environment Ministry’s policy on water strategy.

Having initially said its water sector development programme was covered under other state programmes and strategic documents for water sector development, after seeing GWP’s proposals for a water strategy the ministry decided to approach the EU Water Initiative+ project to help develop its strategy.

Of GWP Ukraine’s original proposals in its consultation document, the Ukrainian government has already accepted proposals on some targets and indicators for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on ensuring access to water and sanitation for all.

The group continues to work with the government to accept other SDG 6 indicators and include them in the country’s development strategy.

It is hoped a concept paper on water sector reforms will be formulated this summer and then passed to government for approval. A draft of the country’s water strategy is to be presented and discussed at the next National Water Policy Dialogue, which is expected to take place sometime at the end of this year.

But, stresses Tsvietkova, the importance of GWP Ukraine’s work is not confined to Ukraine.

The group’s success in pushing change in Ukraine has led to other groups within the GWP CACENA network – covering Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia – to ask for support in the development of their countries’ water policies as part of national development programmes.

“They have been very interested,” she said.

The post Ukraine Puts Water Strategy High on Development Agenda appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Ed Holt at June 21, 2018 12:01 AM

June 20, 2018

Article 13 : vraiment vraiment très grave

@natacha wrote:

C’est le truc contre lequel on se bat depuis 15 ans.

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by @natacha at June 20, 2018 08:11 PM

Looking to the Sky for Solutions to Mexico’s Water Scarcity

Photomontage by the organisation Isla Urbana, a pioneer in the promotion of rainwater harvesting as part of a new model in the management of water supply and consumption in Mexico, where the benefits of the system to get access to water are recreated in informal settlements in the west of the capital. Credit: Isla Urbana

Photomontage by the organisation Isla Urbana, a pioneer in the promotion of rainwater harvesting as part of a new model in the management of water supply and consumption in Mexico, where the benefits of the system to get access to water are recreated in informal settlements in the west of the capital. Credit: Isla Urbana

By Emilio Godoy
MEXICO CITY, Jun 20 2018 (IPS)

Twenty-five years ago, Mexican engineer Gustavo Rodriguez decided to collect rainwater to solve the scarcity of water in his home and contribute to the care of natural resources.

“We did it to seek a better integration with the care of nature. We wanted to have a sustainable home,” this resident of the indigenous town of San Bartolo Ameyalco, on the west side of Mexico City, told IPS.

Rodriguez installed a roof catchment, cistern, filters and piping, a system that retains 90 cubic metres (m3) of water and meets for at least seven months a year the water needs of the 12 people who live in three houses on his land.

“We use between 80 and 90 liters per person per day,” said Rodríguez, who has also incorporated a biodigester to generate biomass as energy to increase the sustainability of his farm.

San Bartolo Ameyalco, which means “place of springs” in the Nahuatl language, with a population of some 20,000 people, is supplied with water from a spring connected to the local water network which it feeds. But many people lack piped water, even though tjey pay for it.

“There is trade in water in tanker trucks and this has caused tension with its management. There is access to water, but not all people receive it and this is because the valves are manipulated to get people to pay political favours” in exchange for the supply, said Rodriguez, who has not received piped water for four months.

Rain can help this Latin American country of 130 million people to cope with the water crisis projected by experts from 2030 onwards, while it is currently causing floods, landslides and generally ending up in the drains.

At the same time, it can help Mexico achieve the goal of ensuring availability and sustainable management of clean water and sanitation for all, the sixth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be met by 2030.

The country receives an estimated 1.45 billion m3 of water per year in the form of precipitation, according to Mexico’s Water Statistics 2017.

Of the rainfall, 72 percent evaporates and returns to the atmosphere, 21 percent drains through water bodies and 6.3 percent infiltrates the subsoil and recharges aquifers, of which 105 out of 653 are overexploited.

In Mexico, rainwater ends up in the drains, when collecting it could supply water to households that lack the service. In the picture, a storm hits Mexico City on April 28, 2018. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

In Mexico, rainwater ends up in the drains, when collecting it could supply water to households that lack the service. In the picture, a storm hits Mexico City on April 28, 2018. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS


Between 1981 and 2010, 740 millimeters of annual rainfall fell on this nation, while in 2016, rainfall rose slightly to 744 millimeters.

Data from the government’s National Water Commission indicate that the average natural availability of the resource fell from 18,035 m3 per inhabitant per year in 1950 to 3,687 m3 in 2016.

Despite the decrease, availability is not a problem, according to the parameters set by the United Nations, which establishes that a country with less than 1,000 m3 per inhabitant per year has a shortage of water and a country with a range between 1,000 and 1,700 m3 per person of water supply suffers water stress.

Data from the non-governmental Oxfam in Mexico indicate that almost 10 million people have no water in their homes, in violation of the right to water established in the constitution since 2012.

In addition, Mexico is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as prolonged droughts and heavy rainfall within a wet season that traditionally goes from May to October. Several studies foresee a water crisis by 2040, especially from the centre to the north of the country.

There are 8.8 million people living in Mexico City proper and more than 20 million in Greater Mexico City, and on average almost 16 m3 of water per inhabitant per day are extracted and only about 11 are replaced.

Water shortages prompted Matilde Jiménez to seek rainwater collection for her home in the Cerrada del Bosque Xochitonalá shantytown in the Santa Cruz Alcapizca neighbourhood of Xochimilco, one of the 16 boroughs into which Mexico City is divided, on the south side of the city.

“We didn’t have water, and a neighbour heard about the Isla Urbana organisation, their people visited us and registered several neighbours to get collectors installed,” Jiménez, a homemaker who is studying creative writing, told IPS.

After paying 150 dollars, her home, where she lives with her husband and three children, now has a collection system that has provided them with about 11,000 litres since its installation, which covers more than five months of consumption. They no longer have to spend money to buy water from the tanker trucks.

A large rainwater collection tank that serves for irrigation, water for animal consumption and, once properly purified, human consumption. Neta Cero has installed more than 2,000 of these systems in four states of Mexico. Credit: Neta Cero

A large rainwater collection tank that serves for irrigation, water for animal consumption and, once properly purified, human consumption. Neta Cero has installed more than 2,000 of these systems in four states of Mexico. Credit: Neta Cero

Rainfall reduces the need to obtain or import water from conventional sources, allows for the creation of supplies at specific locations, and does not depend on the traditional system, thus reducing the vicious circle of dependency and crisis.

Seven out of 16 boroughs in the capital suffer from water insecurity, calculated from the degree of marginalisation, access to water and distribution of the resource, according to the non-governmental organisation Isla Urbana, a pioneer in the promotion of rainwater harvesting in the country.

This organisation estimates that 21,693 hectares of rooftops would contribute 16 million m3 per month. The city consumes 32 m3 per second, so rainfall could provide 20 percent of that demand.

Water scarcity has led several organisations to develop rainwater harvesting systems in remote areas of the country, such as the social enterprise Neta Cero.

“There are communities without access to water. What we are doing is solving these problems with these systems that represent a very important source for these communities,” its founder, Tirian Mink, from the United States, told IPS.

This social entrepreneur, who created the organisation in 2013, recalled how he himself built the first “spring-roof” that year in the town of Palo de Marca, in the municipality of Huautla de Jiménez, which has a population of over 31,000 people and is located in the southern state of Oaxaca.

“It was in a preschool, it was a very important learning experience. We installed it in a couple of weeks with local materials, the tank was filled in less than a week,” said Mink, who chose the site because of the high levels of water stress and heavy rainfall and where nine systems already operate to provide a supply of water to the community.

The water is stored in tanks with a capacity of between 200,000 and 500,000 litres, at a cost of between 4,800 and 146,000 dollars, depending on the complexity and size of the facility, and with a total capacity to collect up to five million litres. Neta Cero has already connected 2,315 systems in four states since 2013.

The Mexican government is implementing the National Programme for Rainwater Harvesting and Eco-techniques in Rural Areas, which in 2017 was implemented in 94 highly marginalised areas in eight of the country’s 32 states, with the installation of 944 rainwater harvesting systems.

The government of Mexico City has also installed hundreds of rainwater systems in an attempt to alleviate the crisis that threatens to worsen in the long term.

Engineer Rodríguez proposed the promotion of rainwater harvesting. “There is little awareness, aggravated by political patronage. Politicians need to be aware of the problem and its solutions. The problem is not technical, it is social, a problem of governance. There is a lack of incentives,” he said.

Mink proposed more funding for the installation and maintenance of systems.

“We seek interventions with greater impact with the least investment. The biggest impact is achieved with large systems, but one difficulty is that the water service is free of charge so there is no maintenance. That is a challenge, and to have sustainable systems” environmentally and financially, said Mink.

The post Looking to the Sky for Solutions to Mexico’s Water Scarcity appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Emilio Godoy at June 20, 2018 06:48 PM

A Journey from Science to Diplomacy: Rescuing Somali Migrants Stranded in Libya

Somali migrants, once stranded in Libya, arrive home in Somalia via an IOM charter flight. Photo: UNSOM Somalia/2018

By International Organization for Migration
Somalia, Jun 20 2018 (IOM)

As the sun begins to rise, 150 migrants welcome their first morning on Somalia’s soil in, what is for some, years and, others, months. Disembarking an IOM, UN Migration Agency, charter flight from Libya, at the end of May 2018 is the final haul of a long and hard journey. It is not the end that they had expected when they had first set out from Somalia. It isn’t Europe but it is home and it is safe.

Among the passengers is Ali Said Faqi, Ambassador for the Somali Government to the European Union (EU), and a major part of the mission to help Somali migrants stranded in Libya return home to their families. While few might have missed the stark media headlines on the abuse African migrants have faced at the hands of smugglers, traffickers and criminal gangs in Libya, Ali is one of the few, who have travelled to the source of these stories.

Ali with a returnee from Libya as he travels home to Somalia

Like most Somali diaspora, who were forced to flee the civil war, he is well acquainted with, what can be for many, the agonizing feeling of leaving home. After Ali left Somalia in the 1990’s, he passed through Kenya, Italy and Germany, before finally arriving in the United States in December 1998. He went on to become a prominent scholar in toxicology. His academic resume includes a PhD in toxicology from the University of Leipzig, more than 100 published scientific papers, two text book in toxicology and various impressive academic tenures.

In June 2013, Ali received an unexpected call from the Speaker of the Somali Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari and the former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. They were looking for a nominee for the post of Somali Ambassador to the EU. ‘I never harboured any political ambitions, but nonetheless contributing to my country’s welfare was always close to my heart,’ Ali says. The decision was therefore easy, and by the following day Ali Faqi was an Ambassador.

Ali speaks with a group of Somali migrants in a detention centre in Libya.

His journey to Libya several years later came about through another request from the highest echelons of the Somali Government. In the wake of the harrowing news stories of Africans being sold as slaves in Libya, President Mohamed Abullahi Farmajo called upon his Ambassador for help. ‘First, I was only to do a three-day mission to Libya but I ended up staying altogether 25 days,’ says Ali. When seeing the conditions in which the Somalis were held in Libya and hearing their harrowing stories, Ali could not return back before having done everything in his power to help them. ‘The stories I was told were like horror movies – all marked by experiences of hunger, thirst, torture, rape, forced labour and a long list of unimaginable abuses,’ Ali says.

This was his big chance to pay tribute to the country he loved so dearly – and he certainly rose to the challenge. When he eventually boarded a plane to Libya, he was not alone. Through IOM’s humanitarian voluntary return assistance, 75 Somalis reunited with their families. This attested to the importance of Ali’s hard work in getting Somali migrants out of Libya’s detention centres and of IOM’s operations to get them home. It was not long before Ali received a new wave of pledges for support.

IOM staff assist migrants as they are travelling home to Somalia. Photo: UNSOM Somalia

Ali’s strong commitment and hard work has gained him wide international recognition, such that, on 18 May 2018, he was granted the African Leadership Award for Outstanding International Humanitarian Service by the Independent Pan African Youth Parliament. With such a commitment to stranded Somali migrants, the sky is the limit for what Ali can achieve.

Through this project, altogether 235 Somali migrants have been assisted with voluntary return from Libya since March 2018, and an additional group of 200 people are expected to be assisted in the month of June 2018. This return and reintegration assistance of Somali migrants is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.

The reintegration support under the Joint Initiative aims to address returnees’ economic, social and psychosocial needs and foster inclusion of communities of return in reintegration planning and support whenever possible. To address these needs, the programme promotes an integrated reintegration approach that supports both migrants and their communities, has the potential to complement local development and aims to mitigate some of the drivers of irregular migration. The reintegration assistance is tailored to needs and opportunities. The value and duration of the assistance is not fixed and can vary. The programme does not foresee specific one size fits all reintegration packages.

The post A Journey from Science to Diplomacy: Rescuing Somali Migrants Stranded in Libya appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by International Organization for Migration at June 20, 2018 06:42 PM

EU Funds Giant Research Project on Migration

Migrants being loaded on to a cargo plane in Kufra. Credit: Rebecca Murray/IPS

By Bibiana Piene
OSLO, Jun 20 2018 (IPS)

What is the relationship between migration and development? And why do people choose to leave or stay in their home countries? Those are among the questions an international research project will explore.

The project, estimated to cost about 5 million euros, is the largest ever EU-funded research project on migration .

It will be Ledheaded by the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Norway, in collaboration with research communities in both Europe, Africa and Asia, a. A total of 36 researchers will be involved in this research project.

“We will contribute to long-term solutions to migration challenges, among other things, by looking at the links between Europe’s immigration policy and development policy”, says PRIO researcher and project manager Jorgen Carling to IPS.

Should I stay or should I go?

Among the questions the researchers are asking is what it takes for people to want to stay and create a future in their home countries.

The connection between migration and development is essential in developing constructing a more effective and sustainable migration policy, and tackle the challenges and opportunities that migration brings, Carling states believes.

The researchers will also take a closer look at the term “development”.

“This is not as simple as it sounds, because more development has proven to create more migration, not less. We’re going to analyze this gap and figure out what’s going on”, says Carling.

“We will try to understand how different types of changes work. Development is often used as a collective term for all possible social changes in a positive direction, but in reality some things can be better, for example more prosperity. At the same time, crime can increase, as well as the gap between the poor and the rich,” he adds.

Important piece in political game

The project will start in September.

“I am looking forward to using research in a way that can create a better policy. We’re sure to get new knowledge”, says Carling, who acknowledges that research probably is just a piece in the political game on migration.

“But it’s an important piece”, he emphasizes.

The post EU Funds Giant Research Project on Migration appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Bibiana Piene at June 20, 2018 06:02 PM

Tor Browser

Workshop: Explorar o Tor em Lisboa, Portugal (Meetup: Explore Tor in Lisboa, Portugal)

Workshop: Explorar o Tor em Lisboa, Portugal (Meetup: Explore Tor in Lisboa, Portugal)
steph June 20, 2018


[English version below]

Recuperar a privacidade na internet pode parecer extremamente difícil, mas na verdade não é: na próxima semana daremos um workshop em Lisboa, Portugal em que explicaremos como é que o Tor pode ajudar nesse sentido.

Juntem-se a nós para aprenderem como é que o Tor funciona e como é que pode ser usado para melhorar a privacidade pessoal na internet. Vamos explicar como é que o Tor consegue atingir um elevado grau de privacidade para os seu utilizadores, como utilizar o Tor Browser, bem como outras maneiras como o Tor pode melhorar a nossa privacidade. Depois responderemos a questões sobre o Tor, o Tor Browser e outros tópicos relacionados com a privacidade e anonimato na internet. Se o tempo chegar, aboradaremos também o tema de como correr um relay do Tor.

O workshop será dado por Kevin Gallagher, um candidato a Doutoramento do Centro para Cibersegurança da Universidade de Nova Iorque e que colaborou no meetup Explore Tor, NYC!, e Francisco Core, um estudante de engenharia informática no Instituto Superior Técnico. O workshop será em Inglês, mas as questões poderão também ser feitas em Português. Poderemos também facultar alguma tradução durante o evento.


Apesar de preferirmos eventos sem registo prévio, o espaço onde ser realizará requer inscrição para terem noção do número de participantes. Para se inscrever, envie um e-mail para hemeroteca@cm-lisboa.pt. Não há necessidade de dar informação pessoal durante a inscrição. Se se sentir desconfortável em contactar a biblioteca, pode contactar os organizadores: Kevin Gallagher em kevin.gallagher@nyu.edu ou Francisco Core em francisco.core@protonmail.com, referindo que se quer inscrever.

Onde e Quando

Quinta-feira, 28 de Junho às 15:30h
na Hemeroteca Municipal
Rua Lucio de Azevedo, 21B
Lisboa, Portugal

O workshop é gratuito

Reclaiming your privacy on the internet may seem to be an overwhelming task. You aren't powerless, however. Next week, we're holding a meetup in Lisboa, Portugal to talk about how Tor can help.

Join us to learn about how Tor works and how it can be used to enhance your personal privacy on the internet. We will discuss how Tor achieves a high degree of privacy for its users, how to use Tor Browser, and other uses of Tor for enhancing privacy. After this, we will answer questions you may have about Tor, Tor Browser, and other topics pertaining to privacy and anonymity on the internet. If time permits, we will also discuss how to run a Tor relay.

This workshop will be lead by Kevin Gallagher, a PhD candidate at New York University's Center for Cyber Security who has also helped with Explore Tor, NYC! meetups, and Francisco Core, a computer science student at Instituto Superior Tecnico. The workshop will be primarily in English, but questions will be taken and addressed in both English and Portuguese. Some translation will be available.

Signing up

Though we prefer events not to be conducted this way, the venue requires that people who wish to attend the event sign up so they have an idea of how many people expect. To sign up, send an e-mail to hemeroteca@cm-lisboa.pt. There is no requirement to provide identifying information when singing up. If you feel uncomfortable contacting the library, you can contact Kevin Gallagher at kevin.gallagher@nyu.edu or Francisco Core at francisco.core@protonmail.com to state that you wish to sign up.

Where & When

Thursday, June 28th at 3:30 PM
Hemeroteca Municipal
Rua Lucio de Azevedo, 21B
Lisboa, Portugal

There is no admission fee for this event.


by steph at June 20, 2018 05:15 PM

В Санкт-Петербурге фигурантам дела «Сети» продлили арест

18 и 19 июня Дзержинский райсуд Санкт-Петербурга продлил на четыре месяца (до 22 октября) срок содержания под стражей Виктору Филинкову, а также Юлию Бояршинову и Игорю Шишкину — обвиняемым по делу об участии в группе «Сеть», которую ФСБ считает террористической организацией. Вопреки требованиям Уголовно-процессуального кодекса общественность и представителей СМИ на оглашение решений не допустили, а одного из журналистов приставы обвинили в нарушении порядка, разбив при задержании очки.

June 20, 2018 12:50 PM

InterPressService (global south)

UAE stresses keenness to deal with Human Rights Council mechanisms with honesty and transparency

The UAE has reiterated its keenness to deal with the mechanisms of the Human Rights Council with honesty and transparency within the framework of mutual respect, constructive dialogue and fruitful cooperation

GENEVA, Jun 20 2018 (WAM)

The UAE has reiterated its keenness to deal with the mechanisms of the Human Rights Council with honesty and transparency within the framework of mutual respect, constructive dialogue and fruitful cooperation. The country also reaffirmed its belief that all people share common rights – regardless of colour, gender or race – saying a universal understanding of the concepts of human rights and a broad consensus among all states is vital in order to achieve negotiation.

In a speech delivered at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva, expressed his thanks and appreciation to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, for the valuable briefing of the activities carried out by his office during the past year.

Al Zaabi noted that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the UN in 1948 carries noble universal values, some of which developed into moral principles that contributed to the remarkable development of human rights and the service of humanity. While some principles, Al Zaabi noted, have gradually diverged into “strange concepts” which emerge in some societies because those principles are incompatible with the social and cultural beliefs of many societies and ethnicities.

At the political level, Al Zaabi said that some of the principles of the Human Rights Declaration have been used as a mean to apply pressure in foreign relations, for political purposes and as part of foreign diplomacy.

Regarding the work and performance of the various mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, Al Zaabi affirmed the UAE’s keenness and constant effort to apply them with honesty and transparency within the framework of mutual respect, constructive dialogue and fruitful cooperation between the two sides.

He went on to express “deep regret” that many of these mechanisms had come out of the framework of their mandates, causing a consequent negative impact on the effectiveness of the Council’s work and performance.

On the occasion of the end of Zeid Al Hussein’s mandate, Al Zaabi expressed his thanks and appreciation to the High Commissioner for his efforts in supporting the human rights system, despite the difficult tasks and diverse challenges he faced, wishing him success in the future.

WAM/Rasha Abubaker/Esraa Ismail

The post UAE stresses keenness to deal with Human Rights Council mechanisms with honesty and transparency appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by WAM at June 20, 2018 12:03 PM

Chairman of the Geneva Centre: World Society Must Express Greater Solidarity for Refugees Worldwide

By Geneva Centre
GENEVA, Jun 20 2018 (Geneva Centre)

Dr. Hanif Hassan Al Qassim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, has appealed to international decision-makers to express greater solidarity to destitute refugees from the Arab region and to work jointly to address the protracted refugee crisis.

The Geneva Centre’s Chairman made this call to action on the occasion of the 2018 World Refugee Day which is observed annually on 20 June. Dr. Al Qassim highlighted that there are more than 5 million refugees in the Arab region owing to the proliferation of conflicts and the rise of violent extremism in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. The efforts of Jordan and Lebanon in hosting and in providing assistance to refugees – that may add up to 25% of their own nationals – stand out as shining examples of countries driven by the principles of international solidarity and justice, Dr. Al Qassim remarked.

In relation to the situation in Europe, the Geneva Centre’s Chairman said the inflow of displaced people has been exploited by a populist tidal-wave fuelling xenophobia and in particular Islamophobia. Although the arrival of displaced people to Europe only add up to 0.2% of Europe’s population, human solidarity and justice are being frayed by the fear of the Other. The campaign of fear waged against migrants and refugees is bringing back the spectre of nationalism and chauvinism threatening international cooperation and peace over the long run, he observed.

In conclusion, Dr. Al Qassim appealed to countries in the West and in the Middle East to step up their joint efforts to eliminate the root causes which have fuelled extremism. Peace and stability in the Middle East need to be restored before refugees can safely return to their home societies. This calls for a radical political change of approach in problem solving in the region. The world society must express greater solidarity for refugees worldwide, he highlighted.

The post Chairman of the Geneva Centre: World Society Must Express Greater Solidarity for Refugees Worldwide appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Geneva Centre at June 20, 2018 11:53 AM

Boodaville permaculture, Matarranya, Spain

Day 1,2,3 Living Permaculture course June 2018

by boodaville at June 20, 2018 10:38 AM

InterPressService (global south)

Oil industry stands on threshold of historic step change in demand for its products: ADNOC CEO

Oil industry stands on threshold of historic step change in demand for its products: ADNOC CEO

ABU DHABI, Jun 20 2018 (WAM)

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, said that the oil and gas industry stands on the threshold of an historic step change in the demand for its products, driven by growth in every major market.

Speaking at the opening keynote session, at a seminar titled, “Sustainable Global Energy Future” of the 7th OPEC International Seminar, in Vienna, Dr. Al Jaber said that the demand for oil and its derivative products is growing and the future of the oil and gas industry is bright due to robust global economic growth.

"While we can never predict the future price of oil, the global economic outlook gives us reasons for optimism. Every major economy is growing and this is reinforcing demand for every product we supply along the extended hydrocarbon value chain."
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO

“While we can never predict the future price of oil, the global economic outlook gives us reasons for optimism,” he said. “Every major economy is growing and this is reinforcing demand for every product we supply along the extended hydrocarbon value chain.”

Dr. Al Jaber noted the positive role that OPEC and non-OPEC producers have played together to help rebalance the market and re-stabilise prices.

“This is a success story based on trust and collaboration that is worth commending and acknowledging. In fact, it proves, once again, that OPEC’s ability to apply a constructive influence over the market is as strong today as it has ever been,” he said.

The ADNOC Group CEO was joined in the Keynote session by Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, Omani Minister of Oil and Gas; Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive of BP; Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman of CEO of Total; Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni; Scott D Sheffield, Executive Chairman of the Board of Pioneer Natural Resources; and Nizar Mohammed Al-Adsani, Deputy Chairman and CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

During the session, Dr. Al Jaber said that ADNOC had learned the lessons of the recent past to re-imagine what a modern, progressive, integrated oil company should look like.

“We are embedding efficiency, commerciality and innovation into every aspect of our business. We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to optimising costs and no avenue unexplored in the search for value creation,” Dr. Al Jaber said, adding that while ADNOC is well on track to expand oil production to 3.5 million barrels a day, it would adhere to OPEC quotas that “ensure sustainable supplies, stable prices and a fair, commercial return.”

Highlighting ADNOC’s plans to invest US$45 billion to transform the Ruwais industrial complex into the largest integrated refining and petrochemicals site in the world, to maximise the value of the company’s downstream potential, Al Jaber said that ADNOC is “more than ready to collaborate with like-minded, progressive and forward thinking partners to capitalise together on the massive potential of our time.”

Earlier, the two-day International Seminar had been officially inaugurated by Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, who is the President of the OPEC Conference, following welcome remarks by Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary-General of OPEC. The opening ceremony was attended by energy ministers, heads of delegations and oil and gas industry CEOs.

An OPEC spokesperson said that the International Seminar is intended to provide fresh impetus to key petroleum industry issues and challenges, helping to enhance existing avenues of dialogue and cooperation, while stimulating new ones. It will seek to reinforce OPEC’s longstanding commitment to strive towards a secure and stable market in support of a healthy global economy. It will also highlight the need for continuing promotion of cooperation and dialogue with all oil industry stakeholders, including producers and consumers.

Some of the topics to be discussed include global energy cooperation, technological breakthroughs, energy transition, industry investments, as well as the world economy and the future outlook for the oil industry.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Tariq alfaham

The post Oil industry stands on threshold of historic step change in demand for its products: ADNOC CEO appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by WAM at June 20, 2018 10:35 AM


La Via Campesina | e-newsletter | May 2018

The May 2018 edition of La Via Campesina’s monthly e-newsletter is now online. The latest edition carries the DECLARATION OF GÜIRA DE MELENA from the First Global Encounter of Agroecology Schools and Formation Processes of La Via Campesina in Cuba.

The edition also carries important update from the Climate Justice meeting held in Harare in May 2018 among other news from around the world. Two important papers published by members of La Via Campesina in Africa and Europe regions are also part of the monthly update, as well as our statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

We hope you enjoy reading this update and request you to share this widely. Access the online newsletter here. Globalise the Struggle, Globalise Hope!

This is a screenshot of the original newsletter. To access the online click on the image.

The post La Via Campesina | e-newsletter | May 2018 appeared first on Via Campesina English.

by abhilash at June 20, 2018 10:05 AM

Back down to earth – European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) publishes a reflection paper on new entrants in agriculture

We want new entrants to agriculture to be the CAP’s top priority in all Member States.

The CAP works as a subsidy system and uses approximately 40% of the total EU budget.

Instead of being a support system, it makes small-scale farmers increasingly dependent on constantly receiving subsidies to run their farms. The situation for each new entrant varies widely between EU countries. Many countries do not use all available opportunities to help young people and/or new entrants to agriculture.

Currently, agricultural subsidies are paid per hectare, which leads to land concentration and competition for agricultural land. This makes access to land difficult for those who wish to work in the agricultural sector, especially for those who do not inherit a farm. The current CAP has made land increasingly expensive, hindering access to the means of production.

At the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that we have an unresolved issue concerning decent pensions for those at the age of retirement. The absence of these pensions means that the land is not free and farmers carry on receiving CAP aid, which makes it more difficult for younger generations to establish themselves in this sector.

Many small-scale farmers are still fighting for survival, while wholesalers profit from the food supply chain. At the same time, local markets have dwindled and often farms do not even play a role in feeding their communities. Similarly, cities are dependent on large food supply chains.

For new entrants to agriculture, it is often difficult to enter into the subsidy system unless they inherit land or rights. Many of these new entrants, mostly young people, are bringing life to rural areas. They provide food for sale directly to their local communities, towns and cities in addition to being committed to the people, environment and climate of their area. Often, these farms are of a very high social and environmental value and they have breathed new life into towns and villages across Europe.

Despite its valuable work in regions across Europe, the CAP does not reward these young, small-scale farms. In many cases, these farms do not produce for traditional wholesalers, but rather for citizens, cooperatives and other direct sales outlets, such as community-supported agriculture.

Unfortunately, the Common Agricultural Policy does not support these new farms and new entrants. Given the current situation in which citizens demand more and more high-quality, locally-sourced food, the time has come to encourage and support farms and small-scale farmers that are trying to rebuild the fractured local markets in Europe and pave the way for a new generation of food producers.

It is also important to situate the CAP in its global context and to see that, as it stands, it is a harmful policy for African, Asian and Latin American agricultural systems. To deal with this problem, we should adopt a position that promotes public policies that offer protection and that are not geared towards global agribusiness but rather food sovereignty and making European towns rural again.

In this regard, the new CAP should consider the recommendations of the FAO voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests as guidelines for good practices.

This document offers suggestions for a new Common Agricultural Policy which specifically seeks to support and boost the production and consumption of local agricultural produce.


In many of the EU Member States, new farmers receive either little or nothing to establish themselves in farm or livestock production. In many cases, they need to already own land or a farm to receive these funds. Moreover, the amount they receive depends on the number of hectares that they own. There are also exclusion criteria to receive these funds, such as being less than 40 years old, having a minimum income or owning a minimum number of hectares.

We believe that every farmer who wishes to establish himself/herself should receive direct, punctual, financial aid. This aid should not be dependent on the number of hectares that the small-scale farmers wish to use, but rather on the farmer wishing to establish himself/herself in the farming community and the specific needs of each new entrant, given that a person wishing to take over a farm is not in the same situation as someone who wishes to start from scratch. There also needs to be the implementation of concrete strategies so that women and other groups that support sexual diversity can overcome the added difficulties at the time of their integration into the sector.

Currently, the aid limit in the European Union is €70,000 and the Court of Auditors has analysed that the aid for young people is ineffective because there is no analysis of what the new entrants’ real needs are. Therefore, it would be interesting to use this initial aid for the new entrants’ real needs, such as housing, training or marketing. This aid would enable people to live on farms at a human scale. It would also work to guarantee the right to safe and adequate food and breathe new life into rural areas.

We are aware that the average age in the European agricultural sector is high and that difficulties often arise when the time comes for younger members of farming families to take over the family farm. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the need for structural financial support aimed at young people taking over small-scale farms. This support can be integrated into the second pillar of the CAP, effectively directing subsidies to young people who are taking over their family farm.


In the same way that it is necessary that there be financial aid for people wishing to establish themselves in this sector, it is challenging to make newly established farms financially viable in the long term. When a young new entrant sets up his/her farm, it is difficult to earn a decent income during the first years, which often leads to abandonment of the project.

In some Member States, some of the settling-in grants are aimed at salaries. However, in reality it is clear that they end up as part of larger investments, which moves us towards a more intensive agricultural model.

Therefore, we believe that the income aid should be part of the settling-in grants and that the aid should last as long as settling-in grants are received. This would be means-tested measure, which progressively decreases the amount received as the income increases. This aid should be divided and paid per month to ensure that it truly is an addition to incomes and that it will not be directed towards investment.


An effective way to support local production and encourage a new generation of farmers to move to the European countryside is through the development of a new support method specifically aimed at farms that supply local and regional markets.

This support should promote farms that choose to encourage direct sales and strengthen local markets in terms of Food Sovereignty. The participating farmers will need to meet various criteria:

– The farm has a minimum annual turnover from direct sales of its own produce (the figures would have to be adjusted according to local conditions)

– It is possible to prove that the farmer is actively engaged in agriculture as a main activity

– The farm can prove that 75% or more of its output is consumed within a 100km radius in the case of fresh produce, and a radius of 250km for processed goods (exceptions apply for certain geographical areas/depending on the density of the population, etc.)

– No obligation to own land or have a specific qualification in agriculture, recognition for agricultural day-labourers

Farmers can work together and form producer cooperatives to enter local markets. Together, they can also rebuild infrastructure which has been destroyed in many areas, such as dairies, abattoirs and mills. The CAP should promote local and small-scale farming cooperatives. Young small-scale farmers are essential for dynamic rural areas, local production and regional food systems.


Investment aids need to be adjusted. Up until now, in order to benefit from this aid, small-scale farmers had to buy new material. It is unacceptable to force them to run such risks, forcing them to buy new material at higher prices.

If the purchase of second hand material were possible within the ambit of the investment aid, new farmers could benefit more. Guarantees would be necessary that the material has been well looked after and, in cases where the goods come from a farm, that farm should not have purchase the same material through public finances in recent years.


There should be a new free advice service for new small-scale farmers. Up until now, in many European countries, there are few or no advice services available, or they are fee-paying. Starting a farming project according to agroecological principles is complicated, especially for those who are new to farming. Duly-prepared advice services are essential to facilitate establishing oneself in the sector.

We believe that these measures will bring about positive secondary effects that will help to support and encourage the integration of more assets into agriculture and therefore promote the production and consumption of local agricultural produce.

Examples of some of the effects that these measures will have that we would like to highlight include employment opportunities in rural areas, the social benefits of short supply chains, improvement of food, better access to food, integration of urban and peri-urban farms, diversification and decentralisation of food production, a reduction in transport emissions and food storage as well as recognition for the role that food producers play in society.

Photo credit: ECVC

Download as PDF

The post Back down to earth – European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) publishes a reflection paper on new entrants in agriculture appeared first on Via Campesina English.

by abhilash at June 20, 2018 06:32 AM

InterPressService (global south)

Three Countries Protect Half the World’s New Refugees

Refugees on the move. Credit: UNHCR/Ivor Pricket

By Jan Egeland
OSLO, Norway, Jun 20 2018 (IPS)

Turkey, Bangladesh and Uganda alone received over half of all new refugees last year. Never before has the world registered a larger number of people displaced by war and persecution.

International responsibility-sharing for displaced people has utterly collapsed. Rich countries are building walls against families fleeing war, at the same time as less money is available for aid to people in conflict areas.

The number of people forced to flee reached 68.5 million at the start of 2018, according to figures from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and NRC’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. This is as many people as there are living in the United Kingdom.

International cooperation and peace diplomacy are in deep crisis. The number of people displaced worldwide is increasing for the sixth year in a row, and fewer people are safely returning home.

Forty million people are displaced within their own countries, and another 28.5 million have crossed a border and become refugees.

Turkey was the country that received most new refugees last year – 700,000 people. It now houses over 3.8 million refugees, most of them from Syria. In comparison, the rest of Europe as a whole received about half a million refugees last year, and the US received about 60.000.

When so few asylum seekers are arriving in Europe and the US, we have the responsibility to increase our support to less rich countries that are currently hosting a large number of refugees, like Bangladesh, Lebanon and Uganda, and increase the number of people we receive for resettlement.

The safety net we put in place after Second World War and which has provided millions of refugees with protection, is now being upheld by an increasingly small number of countries.

If these countries do not receive sufficient support, the whole protection system will unravel. If so, this will have dramatic consequences not only for the people affected, but also for the stability and security in many parts of the world.

By May this year, Uganda had only received 7.0 percent of the money needed for UN and other organisations to be able to provide necessary support to the large number of refugees from South Sudan and DR Congo. In Bangladesh the equivalent figure was 20 percent.

In addition to economic support to countries receiving a large number of refugees, 1.2 million refugees need to be resettled in a new country, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). These are people that are not safe where they currently are. Last year the UN member countries only received about 103.000 resettlement refugees.

The consequences of the lack of responsibility sharing were evident this month when the rescue vessel Aquarius with 629 refugees and migrants was denied entry to Italian ports.

When people in need at sea become pieces in a political game, it is a grotesque symbol of the current lack of a proper system for international responsibility sharing.

NRC is concerned to see new border barriers raise in front of people fleeing war and persecution, and the refugees’ rights being under threat.

In many of the countries NRC work, people in power are referring to how European countries are closing their borders, when they want to defend their decision to close their own borders.

We have to end this race to the bottom, and rather let us inspire by generous recipient countries like Uganda, where vulnerable refugees are being protected.


• 68.5 million people were displaced at the entry of 2018.
• 40 million people are displaced within their own country, according to NRC’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
• 28.5 million people have fled their country and are refugees or asylum seekers, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
• In 2017, 3.6 million sought protection in another country, either by themselves or through resettlement programs. Turkey received close to 20 percent of all new refugees in 2017, Bangladesh 18 percent, Uganda 15 percent and Sudan 14 percent.
• 667,000 refugees returned to their home country last year. Most returned to Nigeria (283,000)

Sources: UNHCR, NRC’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

The post Three Countries Protect Half the World’s New Refugees appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Jan Egeland is Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council and former United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator

The post Three Countries Protect Half the World’s New Refugees appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Jan Egeland at June 20, 2018 04:41 AM

Project Population: Addressing Asia’s Ageing Societies

A seventy-year-old woman laughs with family members inside a grocery store in Tachilek, Myanmar. UN Photo/Kibae Park

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage

While populations have seen and undergone changes since the beginning of time, one trend in particular is unfolding across the world: less children, older people. In an effort to tackle the complex issue in Asia, government officials are convening to help create a sustainable society where no one is left behind.

In Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar, 40 Members of Parliament (MPs) are gathering to discuss sound policy approaches to population issues such as ageing and fertility transition which threaten the future of many Asian nations.

“This is an essential step to mitigating the impact of ageing on social systems and structures to achieve SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals),” the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Mongolia’s Director Naomi Kitahara told IPS.

By 2030, Asia could be home to over 60 percent of the total population aged 65 years or older worldwide, consulting group Deloitte calculated.

According to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), East and Northeast Asian countries have the largest such population, accounting for 56 percent of all older persons in the Asia-Pacific region and 32 percent in the world.

Not only is the scale of population ageing in Asia unprecedented, but so is its speed.

In France, the percentage of older people grew from 7 percent to 20 percent in approximately 150 years. However, the same demographic shift was seen in Japan within just 40 years.

Kitahara particularly pointed to Japan’s case as a prime example of population issues and their repercussions.

According to the United Nations, Japan’s fertility rates were approximately 2.75 children per woman in the 1950s, well above the total fertility rate of 2.1 which has been determined to help sustain stable populations.

Today, Japan’s birth rate is 1.44 children per woman.

The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research found that if such trends continue, Japan’s population is expected to decrease from 126 million today to 88 million in 2065 and 51 million by 2115.

With fewer children and young adults, a vicious cycle is set in motion: a smaller labor force and spending decreases which weaken the economy and discourage families from having children, which then weakens the economy further.

“Without the younger generation, this system will not be able to maintain,” Secretary-General of the Asian Population Development Association (APDA) Dr. Osamu Kusumoto told IPS, highlighting the importance of fertility research.

“To achieve the SDGs, an understanding of fertility transition is essential. Proper social policies on fertility to mitigate rapid changes have to be considered,” Dr. Kusumoto said.

“High fertility and extremely low fertility may harm the society,” he added.

At the same time, as people have a higher life expectancy, the elderly now make up 27 percent of Japan’s population in comparison to 15 percent in the United States.

This means less revenues and higher expenditures for the government, and when the number of older persons grows faster than the working-age population, there are less funds for pensions and social security, thus creating an even weaker economy.

As many Asian countries are expected to follow in Japan’s footsteps, the parliamentarian gathering seems come at a critical juncture.

“This meeting gives countries the opportunity to learn from Japan’s current challenges, as well as successes…[it] provides an opportunity for other countries to share their experience,” Kitahara said.

And it is no coincidence that the meeting is taking place in Mongolia.

Mongolia, unlike many other Asian nations, has had a stable fertility rate of 3.1 and a slowly ageing population of 6 percent. This is in large part due to its population policies which have allowed for not only population growth, but also economic growth.

For instance, the recently approved Youth Development Law supports young Mongolians’ needs in relation to the economy, employment, health, and education including through the Youth Development Fund which provides access to development fund opportunities.

The new policy has also led to the establishment of youth development centers across the country which focus on skills development, helping young people grow into resilient and self-sufficient adults.

The East Asian nation is among the few countries in the region to have a law designated specifically for young people.

However, more must be done in Mongolia, Kitahara noted.

“To achieve the SDGs by 2030 Mongolia must give more attention to social and demographic issues, as well as giving and spending budgets for social and environmental aspects of sustainable development,” she told IPS.

“For instance, there is not sufficient funding to meet the need for modern contraceptives, and this has led to increased unmet need for family planning and reduced contraceptive prevalence,” Kitahara added.

Despite having been one of nine countries in the world that achieved the Millennium Development Goal’s (MDG) maternal mortality reduction target, Mongolia’s maternal mortality rate doubled in 2016 largely due to state budget cuts and a lack of access to contraception.

The role of parliamentarians is therefore critical in not only making laws, but also providing state budgets and fiscal management, issues that are set to be discussed during the meeting in Ulaanbaatar.

Kitahara also emphasized the need to employ a human rights lens in population policies and programs, giving individuals and couples to choose when and how many children they wish to have.

In an effort to address its ageing population and a shrinking labor force, China is now considering abandoning its two-child policy which put a cap on a family’s size.

The controversial policy contributed to its uneven demographics as the East Asian nation predicts that approximately a quarter of the population will be over the age of 60 by 2030.

It has also led to a gender imbalance with over 30 million more men than women.

Kitahara highlighted the need to provide equitable access to quality family planning information and services, in line with the SDGs.

“The ability to have children by choice and not by chance transforms communities, lives and countries…by ensuring that the rights of women and girls are respected, and they have access to reproductive health information and services, including contraception and family planning,” she concluded.

Dr. Kusumoto echoed similar sentiments to IPS, stating: “Nobody should interfere in other’s lives, but a constructive healthy society is essential to future of each society.”

Organized by the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA), the “Strengthening the Capacity of Parliamentarians for the Achievement of the SDGs: Ageing, Fertility and Youth Empowerment” meeting is also supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

Among the countries participating in the 12-13 June meeting is Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Lao, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

The post Project Population: Addressing Asia’s Ageing Societies appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Tharanga Yakupitiyage at June 20, 2018 12:02 AM

Debian security

DSA-4232 xen

security update

June 20, 2018 12:00 AM

June 19, 2018

the final straw radio

June 2018 B(A)DNews: Angry Voices From Around The World

This is episode 12 of “B(A)D NEWS – Angry Voices From Around The World,” a news program from the international network of anarchist and antiauthoritarian radios, consisting of short news segments from different parts of the world.

by The Final Straw Radio at June 19, 2018 11:56 PM

InterPressService (global south)

2.5 Million Migrants Smuggled Worldwide, Many Via Social Media

The Italian Navy rescues migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit: Italian Coastguard/Massimo Sestini

By Emily Thampoe and Carmen Arroyo

At least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled worldwide in 2016, generating an income for smugglers which ranged between $5.5 billion and $7.0 billion, according to a newly published report “2018 Global Study On Smuggling Of Migrants” by the Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Coincidentally, the release of the report followedthe arrival in Spain, over the weekend, of more than 600 stranded migrants, initially rejected by Italy’s new populist government which followed through on its anti-immigration campaign policies.

During the launch of the report, many member states’ representatives were also concerned with the rising role of social media in the illegal smuggling of migrants. The report concluded that many social media platforms are used to advertise smuggling services.

This promotion can be seen through published advertisements on Facebook or other platforms that migrants themselves make use of to share their opinions and experiences with smuggling services.

On the one hand, smugglers will often gander the attention of those thinking to migrate through the creation of enticing advertisements with very nice photos and also provide logistical information such as payment options and methods of getting in contact with them.

While migration has long been an issue handled by member states; since 2016, they decided to work together to produce the Global Compact for Migration through the UN. Intergovernmental negotiations are still ongoing and the states will meet next December in Morocco for the final Intergovernmental Conference.

The report, launched at the meeting,described as the “New York Launch of the First Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants” at the UN HeadquartersJune 13, discusses the topic of smuggling migrants in great lengths, but specially highlights the use of social media by both migrants and smugglers.

The researchers Kristiina Kangaspunta and Angela Me presented the report and discussed its results with the member states’ representatives attending the meeting.

According to the study, smuggling processes vary widely, depending on the area and the type of routes they follow. The duration of the journey, for example, depends on the travel -which can be through sea, air or land- and the organization.

The fastest journeys can last between 15 and 20 days, when smugglers give contacts to the migrants for the different steps of the route. This method is used specially to move migrants from South Asia into Greece.

Once again, this report raised the question of how to handle the migration crisis; and different individuals provided different answers. From UNODC the general claim, held by Kangaspunta and Me, was to encourage member states to share their information on migrants.

On the other hand, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) urged the international community to act faster in order to prevent the refugee crisis.

Oussama El Baroudi, Communications Officer at the IOM, told IPS: “Stopping one boat or more in the Mediterranean Sea is not an answer to Europe’s migration challenges. A comprehensive approach to migration governance is needed, combining opportunities for safe and orderly movement, humane border management and countering migrant smuggling and trafficking. Saving lives should always be our top concern. We must urgently find a means to help these rescued migrants and work for a comprehensive method of supporting migrants and States throughout Europe.”

Asked what IOM is proposing, he added: “IOM urges the EU to re-consider a revision of the Dublin regulation based on the European Parliament’s proposal, and to reach agreement in Council to ensure solidarity among member states fully respecting the provisions of the Treaties”.

However, for some non-profit organizations, member states act too slow to stop the migrant crisis. “European governments and institutions have not always coped well with this crisis and have struggled to provide safe, humane options and adequate care and support for those affected by the trauma of conflict and displacement”, Chelsea Purvis, Mercy Corps Policy and Advocacy Advisor, told IPS.

The Mediterranean is not the only area of concern when talking about the migrant crisis, as some nonprofit organizations emphasize.

David Kode, who leads campaigns and advocacy for global civil society alliance, CIVICUS, urged member states to rethink their approach to the Palestinian refugees: “There are currently about 7.0 million Palestinian refugees across the world including the approximately 1.3 million refugees in the Gaza strip. If some states continue to support Israel’s actions and other states remain silent in the face of the atrocities committed against Palestinians, very little will change as Israeli forces continue to use unnecessary, indiscriminate and disproportionate force against protesters”.

The role of social media

The smuggler’s key to success, says the report, depend on building trust with migrants. That’s why, often times “they have the same citizenship as the migrants they smuggle”, and they target the youth in small villages -which are more eager to believe them.

Other tactics used by smugglers may be deceptive and manipulative. Sometimes they use Facebook to pose as employees for NGOs or personnel who are involved with fake European Union organizations.

Some smugglers, especially in relation to Afghan migrants, have made themselves appear to be legal advisors for asylum on various social media platforms. El Baroudi, from IOM, shares his concern with IPS: “Criminal organized groups show unfortunately great capacity in exploiting new technologies to expand their benefits. Social networks are obviously a great leverage of coercion and may result into the trafficking of human beings as observed in Libya”.

On the other hand, migrants also take advantage of social media to discuss the specifics of migrating and using the services of smugglers. In some cases, social media may be used as a sort of “consumer forum” to share experiences with specific smugglers with fellow migrants; akin to a research tool.

For example, Syrians use social media extensively to research the smugglers, asking other migrants for information through Skype, WhatsApp or Facebook.

When asked how the UN, member states, and NGOs can use social media to counter illegal smuggling, Kangaspunta and Me replied that they must harness the power of social media in creating communities, in the same way that migrants warn each other of the risks of hiring a smuggling service.

Sharing her insights with IPS, Purvis said: ”Mercy Corps’ focus is on using technology and social media to help refugees on the move find safety, and our Signpost programme operates in Europe and Jordan. Using an online platform provides refugees with accurate and factual information in their own language about their options and how they can access services in the country they are in.”

El Baroudi shared with IPS what seems to be IOM’s goal: “The desired future outcome is that states, international organizations, and other actors work towards a situation where migration systems, at a minimum, do not exacerbate vulnerabilities but rather guarantee protection of the human rights of migrants irrespective of status, while migration takes place within the rule of law, and is aligned with development, social, humanitarian and security interests of states”.

The post 2.5 Million Migrants Smuggled Worldwide, Many Via Social Media appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Emily Thampoe and Carmen Arroyo at June 19, 2018 03:43 PM

Closing Africa’s Wealth Gap

South African youths protest outside the Cape Town Convention Centre against inequalities. Credit: AMO/ Esa Alexander

By Kingsley Ighobor

From “Africa Reeling” to “Africa Rising,” there’s a new narrative for the African continent, now showing promising signs of sustainable growth under more stable governments.

McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, predicts that Africa’s combined GDP will be $2.6 trillion by 2020 and that “Africa’s consumer spending by 128 million households with discretionary income is expected to be around $1.4 trillion.”

Among the countries attracting investors are Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo.

But a new report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) finds that Africa’s new wealth is increasingly concentrated in a few hands. Disappointingly, 10 of the world’s 19 most unequal countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Economic inequality, sometimes referred to as income inequality, is the unequal distribution of a country’s wealth. In highly unequal societies, such as South Africa, most people live in poverty while a minority amasses enormous wealth.

South Africa, the continent’s most developed economy, is also the world’s most unequal. Botswana, Namibia and Zambia are also among the top 19.

While Ethiopia’s economy is growing at 8%, it is impossible to miss its impoverished citizens in the streets of its capital, pulling on donkeys to transport goods while the rich and famous drive around in luxury cars.

Inequality drivers

In Nigeria “the scale of inequality has reached extreme levels,” reports Oxfam, a UK-based charity, in a study published in May 2017. Five of Nigeria’s wealthiest people, including Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, have a combined wealth of $29.9 billion—more than the country’s entire 2017 budget. About 60% of Nigerians live on less than $1.25 a day, the threshold for absolute poverty.

“Everything [in South Africa is] was skewed racially—education, access to finance, and access to land,” maintains Haroon Bhorat, an economics professor at the University of Cape Town.

Several factors drive inequality in Africa, according to the group of economists who authored the UNDP report “Income Inequality Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Divergence, Determinants and Consequences”.

First, under Africa’s two-track economic structure, growth often occurs in sectors characterized by low absorption of unskilled labour, high earnings inequality and high capital share in total income.

The authors note that growth in those sectors may spur GDP headline growth but will also exacerbate inequality. It’s a rising tide that doesn’t lift all boats.

Second, infrastructure, human labour and land are highly concentrated in Eastern and Southern Africa. Third, authors of the report make reference to the “natural resource curse, an urban bias of public policy and ethnic and gender inequalities.” It appears, they note, that countries with abundant natural resources, such as Botswana and Zambia, are also some of the most unequal.

Inequality also results from regressive taxes [tax rate decreases when taxable income increases], unresponsive wage structures and inadequate investments in education, health and social protection for vulnerable and marginalized groups.

In the 1980s and 1990s, many African countries buckled under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and Western nations to implement structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), which led to cuts in subsidies for health, education, transportation and other sectors that help poor citizens.

Some historians and economists now say those cuts fostered inequality. “Under the influence of Western donors, austerity became African leaders’ default coping mechanism for periods of economic stress,” writes Nicholas William Stephenson Smith, a freelance researcher and historian.

Social unrest

For many countries SAPs widened the wealth gap rather than providing macroeconomic stability, argues Said Adejumobi, director of Southern Africa’s subregional office for the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

Adejumobi adds that structural adjustment stalled mobility, frayed communities and sharpened divisions along socioeconomic lines. Currently “a tiny group of 4% captures a large chunk of the income and wealth in Africa’s changing tide of capitalist progress,” he says.

Inequality now threatens social cohesion on the continent. In recent months thousands of Ethiopians have been on the streets protesting harsh economic conditions, forcing factories, hospitals and public transportation to shut down operations.

Economic inequality is fueling conflicts in the Central African Republic, Libya, Nigeria and South Sudan, says Adejumobi. “The warped motive of Boko Haram insurgency may not relate to inequality but…ignorance and deprivation are two factors that may have made it possible for the terrorist group to recruit young people to kill and maim their fellow citizens.”

Expect deprived people to push back against inequality at some point, says renowned French economist Thomas Piketty, because the rich will always try to protect the status quo and resist efforts to achieve an egalitarian society.

Piketty’s book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” makes a moral argument against excessive wealth accumulation, describing it as unfair and unjust and something to be resisted.

Countries adopted the Millennium Development Goals (2000–2015) to, among other targets, halve the number of people living in absolute poverty. Globally, after 15 years, some 50% of participating countries had met that target, 30% had made progress and 20%, mostly developing countries, had not made significant progress.

The Gambia and Ghana met the target, but Ethiopia was among the countries that did not.

The authors of Income Inequality Trends in sub-Saharan Africa argued that poverty reduction efforts do not necessarily bridge the inequality gap, which was a conceptual underpinning of the MDGs.

To achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an offshoot of the MDGs, experts hope countries will embrace a range of policies that tackle various forms of inequalities, not just poverty.

“Policies that help reduce poverty are not necessarily the same as those that help reduce income inequality,” writes Abdoulaye Dieye, director of UNDP’s regional bureau for Africa, in the preface to the report.

Closing the gap

Quality education may dent poverty but will not close the inequality gap unless accompanied by “progressive taxation [tax rate increases with increases in taxable amount] and well-targeted social protection,” Dieye further explains.

Also, countries need to focus on growth pattern rather than growth rate, because inequality falls when growth is in labour-intensive sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and construction, and it rises when growth is in sectors high in capital and the use of skilled labour, such as mining, finance, insurance and real estate, according to the UNDP economists.

Currently most African countries allocate a significant share of their national budgets to recurrent overheads and/or debts, leaving little or nothing for other projects.

Corruption, mismanagement and illicit financial flows (IFFs) also deplete state coffers.

According to a 2015 report by a high-level African Union panel on IFFs headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, Africa loses up to $50 billion annually to illicit financial flows. Mr. Mbeki urges countries to punish multinational companies that are over-invoicing, underpricing or funneling money to tax havens.

“Gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa “on average $US95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014—or six percent of the region’s GDP—jeopardizing the continent’s efforts for inclusive human development and economic growth,” according to the UNDP publication Africa Human Development Report 2016: Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa.

The authors of the UNDP report highlight that in sub-Saharan Africa, household income disproportionately favours adult males and “gender discrimination is acute and endemic.”

The UNDP correlates gender equality with human development. Mauritius and Tunisia Mauritius have low levels of gender equality and high levels of human development. Conversely, Chad, Mali and Niger have high levels of gender inequality but low levels of human development.

Former vice president of the World Bank’s Africa division Obiageli Ezekwesili said last November that men are mostly to blame for Africa’s economic problems. “When many more women are at the decision-making level, there is less corruption. Nobody does any favour to women by involving them in governance.”

Ayodele Odusola, the lead author of the UNDP report, maintains that no single solution can address inequalities on the continent. “You have to take countries’ context into consideration,” he says, advising countries to adopt progressive taxation, invest in education and agriculture, increase direct taxation and institute efficient tax administration.

*Africa Renewal is published by the UN’s Department of Public Information.

The post Closing Africa’s Wealth Gap appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Kingsley Ighobor, Africa Renewal*

The post Closing Africa’s Wealth Gap appeared first on Inter Press Service.

by Kingsley Ighobor at June 19, 2018 03:15 PM


Ancient River Could Flow Again in Tucson, Thanks to Recycled Wastewater

The Santa Cruz River was once the lifeblood of Tucson, Arizona. Due to heavy development and groundwater overdraft, it hasn’t seen year-round flow in 70 years. The city plans to revive the storied desert river with recycled effluent.

by Matt Weiser at June 19, 2018 01:59 PM

Why Building Collectively is Greener, Easier, and Cheaper

The buildings of eco-communities shape many communities’ functions. As Jan Martin Bang argues, “we are what we live in. When we plan our buildings, we are also planning what kind of society we want to create…we make the buildings and the buildings make us.”

by Jenny Pickerell at June 19, 2018 01:27 PM

Why It Matters If Fracking Companies Are Overestimating Their ‘Proved’ Oil and Gas Reserves

Shale oil well

Under the updated SEC rules, which went into effect in 2009, drillers can count oil and gas from wells that won’t be drilled or fracked for up to five years as part of their proved reserves. Those as-yet-untapped wells can be put on a company’s books as a subset of their “proved” reserves, listed under the label “proved undeveloped” reserves.

by Sharon Kelly at June 19, 2018 11:43 AM

Farming as Resistance

It had been 10 long years of fighting, but even a decade wouldn’t age or persuade the women to put down their stones, or to keep Amelia’s tongue in her mouth, to silence her words in a language that wasn’t her own.

by Trina Moyles at June 19, 2018 11:26 AM