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Index June 2007

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5th Session of the Human Rights Council

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Geneva, Switzerland, 11th – 20th June 2007:

Published on African Women Pioneeres / Femmes Africa Solidarité, not dated.

The Human Rights Council (HRC) held its 5th Sessions from the 11th to 20th June 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. Among the reports given was one prepared by the Group of Experts on the human rights situation in Darfur. A report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was to be presented by the independent expert on the situation of human rights in the DRC but unfortunately the session was cancelled. A report on the situation in Somalia was also due to be presented by the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, but in the event Mr. Ghanim Alnajjar gave only an oral presentation. Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) was able to give a statement during the interactive session on Darfur, and plans to participate in the future sessions on the DRC and Somalia.

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Change in Adult Education

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the Ghanaian Perspective:

Published on EAEA, by Kate Adoo-Adeku, of the University of Ghana, not dated.

excerpt: … Conclusion: Future of Adult Education in Ghana: As we prepare towards the 21st century, the focus on adult education would be based on challenges that are facing the country. Professional courses which would enhance the competence of practitioners like agriculturalists, accountants, teachers, and religious leaders would be encouraged and sustained. programmes for upgrading the occupational skills of workers and small-scale industrialists would also be carried out.

Attention would also be focused on major problem areas dealing with health issues like maternal and child health care, family planning, teenage pregnancy, and AIDS, in effect family health issues.

Other areas that need attention include civic awareness, illiteracy and environmental management. At the moment the utilization and management of Ghana’s environment have serious problems such as pollution, deforestation and desertification. These have become major national issues and therefore a big challenge to adult educators.
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Gender poverty and sustainable environmental management

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A Ghanaian experience:

Linked with Kate Adoo Adeku – Ghana, and with .

Published by University of Glasgow, not dated, Kate Adoo-Adeku, of the University of Ghana.

3 excerpts: Introduction: The Concept of poverty is regarded as a multidimensional phenomenon that exists in many parts of the world. However, developing countries including Ghana are the hardest hit by poverty. Nevertheless it is known that wherever there is poverty, development suffers. Many developing countries are faced with numerous development problems of which poverty serves as a central focus …

… The state of poverty in Ghana: Poverty has been a serious problem in Ghana for many years. Ghana has undertaken living measurement surveys on poverty as portrayed in the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS) in 1987-88, 1988-89, 1991-92 and 1998. In the Surveys poverty was examined in monetary terns by locality, region, and socio-economic groups. The results showed that poverty was more pronounced in rural areas than urban centres although some urban poverty was identified. By implication since rural areas have 2/3 of Ghana’s population (72%), it shows that about 2/3 of the total population may experience some degree of poverty. Ghana loses about 30% of it’s agricultural production annually due to poor post harvest handling and inadequate storage capacity. This contributes in making farmers poorer … Continue Reading…

UNHCR study challenges assumptions about refugees and HIV spread

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2 excerpts: A new UNHCR study of seven African nations challenges previous assumptions that conflict, forced displacement and widespread rape have increased the prevalence of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and that refugees fleeing conflict spread the infection in host communities.

The study, published this week in the British medical journal The Lancet, says a survey of data on HIV prevalence in 12 refugee camps showed that nine actually had a lower prevalence of infection than surrounding host communities, while two had similar rates and only one a higher prevalence …

… Dr. Spiegel said that refugees could actually become more vulnerable to HIV infection depending upon the prevalence of surrounding communities with whom they interact. He added that strong and comprehensive prevention programmes needed to be set up to protect refugees against HIV when they were in such vulnerable situations.
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About Michael Moore’s ‘SiCKO’

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Linked with Michael Moore’s ‘SiCKO’ Trailer.

Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.’s article: ‘Nothing funny about ‘Sicko’ state of health care – Gitmo prisoners get better medical treatment than Sept. 11 rescue workers’

Published on mnsbc, June 28, 2007.

2 excerpts: … But “Sicko,” which opens nationwide Friday, is not funny. It is tragic. You should not come out of the movie theater smiling. You should leave angry. “Sicko” is right on target about the mess that is American health care.

Moore’s critics would like you to believe “Sicko” is slicko. Those with vested interests in preserving the current status quo in health care have already activated their lobbyists, media flacks, think-tank mouthpieces and trade organizations to go after Moore and his movie. (There are nearly $2 trillion worth of vested interests out there in insurance, managed care, hospitals, doctors, advertisers and salespeople looking to keep their share of the health care pot of gold.)

But there’s no disputing the key flaws in our system that “Sicko” makes abundantly clear: Nearly one in five Americans doesn’t have health insurance. And even those with insurance often face incredible and sometimes lethal hurdles to adequate health care — from crushing out-of-pocket expenses and co-payments to snail-like bureaucracies unresponsive to the needs of their clients (usually by design in the hope that they simply go away).
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Norwich churches get boost from migrants

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Published on network norwich, by Keith Morris, 27 June 2007.

Hundreds of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants are swelling church congregations across Norwich and Norfolk (England).

African and Chinese congregations exist in Norwich churches and hundreds of people from the Philippines, India and Africa have boosted the congregation at Norwich’s Catholic Cathedral from a weekend average of around 800 up to 1200.

Transforming Norwich, which represents Churches Together in Greater Norwich, has sent a survey to church leaders to try to collect more information on the subject.

John Dubbey, who has sent out the survey, said: “As most of the countries from which the visitors came to England are Catholic we would expect the major recipients would be the Catholic churches”, …

Norwich Vineyard has recently seen new visitors from Nigeria and the Congo:
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News from the Asiahouse-Website

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Homepages: in english, auf deutsch.

Taking the State to Court, Public Interest Litigation and the Public Sphere in Metropolitan India, by Hans Dembowski.

(zur deutschen Version dieser Seite).

Direct link to the download area of the book or single chapters (all only in english).

This is the online-documentation of a book first published in 2001. It is not meant in any way to upset or scandalize the Calcutta High Court or other judicial institutions in India. Rather, we believe that a sociological study, which was initially published by a leading academic publisher, should be available for public debate.

Unfortunately, distribution of the original book was discontinued after the Calcutta High Court started contempt proceedings against the author, the publisher and several other parties. Five years on, however, the author has still not been officially notified by the court. The case is still pending, without having been heard in a long time. This, in turn, raises some poignantly recurring issues concerning the global potential of judicial censorship as well as the freedom of speech and expression.

Therefore, Asia House has decided to republish the book on the internet. After all, the relevance of the book was recognized in a review published in the Cambridge Law Journal (2001, volume 60, issue 03, p. 636).

Link: see this blog of Arun Ramarathnam, Bangalore, IN.

Le Parlement rwandais abolit la peine de mort

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Publié dans Le NOUVELOBS.COM, 10.06.2007

Le projet de loi adopté par l’Assemblée nationale prévoit que tous les condamnés à mort, y compris les condamnés pour génocide, verront leur peine commuée en réclusion à perpétuité.

a chambre basse du Parlement rwandais a voté vendredi 8 juin l’abolition de la peine de mort, première étape de la suppression de la peine capitale au Rwanda pour tous les crimes, y compris ceux de génocide, a annoncé la radio gouvernementale Radio Rwanda.

Le projet de loi adopté par l’Assemblée nationale prévoit que tous les condamnés à mort actuellement en prison verront leur peine commuée en réclusion à perpétuité, selon la même source.

Condition du TPIR: … (full text).

Michael Moore’s ‘SiCKO’ Trailer

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Linked with About Michael Moore’s ‘SiCKO’.

… To Be Projected on Buildings Across the Country on Monday, June 25th

NEW YORK, June 24 /PRNewswire/ — The trailer for “SiCKO,” Michael Moore’s expose of the American health care system, will be projected with full sound and subtitles on the outside of buildings near the headquarters of leading HMOs, insurance companies and hospitals in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Oakland on Monday, June 25th beginning at sundown through 1:00am … (full text).

The Michael Moore YouTube-site.

Some latest videos, by people:

Sicko: A Video Response From A Bypass And Cancer Survivor, 5.36 min., June 19, 2007.

My Healthcare Nightmare, 2.20 min., June 19, 2007.

2 Heart surgeries & a MOUNTAIN of Debt later SICKO Movie, 8.18 min., June 20, 2007.

SiCKO Movie, 6.53 min., June 19, 2007.

SiCKO Movie, 3.47 min., June 17, 2007.

SiCKO Movie, 5.21 min., June 15, 2007.

SiCKO Movie, 9.49 min., June 15, 2007.

SiCKO Movie, 9.52 min., June 18, 2007.

Our Autism Journey…So Far, 4.56 min., June 12, 2007

etc. etc. see the rest of the actually 56 videos on Michael Moore’s SiCKO: Share Your Healthcare Horror Stories.

Asian Labour Update ALU

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Linked with Asia Monitor Resource Center AMRC.

Healthy Working, by Ed Shepherd, ALU Issue No. 39, April – June 2001.

Westerners use the term ‘as mad as a hatter’ to describe someone who is eccentric. The saying is based on a character called the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll’s nineteenth century fantasy, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The Mad Hatter reflected Carroll’s awareness of industrial diseases – in Carroll’s day, hatmakers developed nervous problems, leading to a common misunderstanding that they were crazy. But mercury vapour, formed during hat production, causes nervous problems when we absorb them. Hatters were not mad; they suffered from erethism – memory loss, irritability, depression and anxiety.

The mercury compound was eventually banned from use in factories, one of the first modern protective measures to be implemented for Occupational Safety and Health OSH: Homepage, Contact, Legislation.
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Report LSSSE 2007

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Linked with Bryant G. Garth – USA.

Published on Law School Survey of Student Engagement.


Each spring, the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) collects information from students about the nature of their law school experiences. Since its inception in 2004, 128 different law schools have administered
LSSSE to measure the extent to which their students engage in effective educational practices. The practices LSSSE measures are empirically linked to learning and other desired outcomes. With the results in hand, schools have a picture of how law students spend their time and what programs and experiences are most beneficial to their legal

This year more than 27,000 students at 79 law schools across the United States and Canada completed the survey. To date, LSSSE has collected data from more than 87,000 law students.

Here we give you an overview of the responses — who are these students, how are they spending their time during law school, and what experiences do they find beneficial? More information on trends in legal education and the experiences of all law students in the LSSSE 2007 cohort will appear in the Annual Survey Results to be released at the 2008 AALS meeting. (full text).

VENEZUELA – Afro-descendants Seek Visibility in Numbers

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Published on Inter Press Service IPS, by Humberto Márquez, June 22, 2007.

CARACAS, Jun 22 (IPS) – As their counterparts in other countries of Latin America have begun to do, Afro-Venezuelans want to stop being statistically invisible, and are seeking more precise figures to help them in their struggle against racism and marginalisation.

“To reinforce our demand for recognition, we want to know exactly where we stand. Perhaps we make up 20 percent of Venezuela’s 27 million people,” Jesús García, head of the Network of Afro-Venezuelan Organisations, told IPS.

He protested that “the Afro-descendant identity is excluded from all of the country’s statistical instruments. But we are going to mobilise to correct that shortcoming with a view to the next census,” which is to be carried out in 2010.

“We don’t only want numbers, but also studies that can shed light on the situation in terms of poverty, education, health and labour. In the case of women, we are also affected by European standards of beauty and femininity as applied in the world of employment,” Nirva Camacho, of the Cumbe de Mujeres Afrovenezolanas, an Afro-Venezuelan women’s organisation, told IPS.

The term “cumbe” refers to free communities created in the Spanish colonial era by slaves who escaped from plantations.

On the health front, “there are also signs that we suffer a higher incidence of illnesses like glaucoma or anemia, and perhaps hypertension and diabetes, but there are no studies on this. In addition, there are discriminatory elements in education and in the justice system, where people of colour are more likely to be seen and treated as criminals,” said Camacho. (full text).

The 14 Characteristics of Fascism

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Picked up in the yahoo group ‘WorldCitizen’: posted there by MIRAI, on Jun 19, 2007, and originally written by by Lawrence Britt, in the Free Inquiry magazine, Spring 2003.

Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism (”Fascism Anyone?,” Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine’s policy.

The 14 characteristics are:

1): Powerful and Continuing Nationalism Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen
everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2): Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights: Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
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America’s War on Terrorism reviewed

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Linked with Michel Chossudovsky – Canada.

Published on, 19 June, 2007.

Read Stephan Lendman’s book review of Michel Chossudovsky’s America’s War on Terrorism

Excerpt: … Conclusions:

Chossudovsky wrote an important book in 2002 titled “War and Globalization.” This volume, “America’s War on Terrorism,” updated it with voluminous, heavily documented new information on the state of America today under both parties and the threat that poses for the Republic, hanging by a thread. Though published in 2005, it’s as fresh now as when it first appeared, and his conclusion is essentially the same as what Chalmers Johnson wrote in his 2006 book, “Nemesis – The Last Days of the American Republic.” Johnson explained our well-entrenched militarism and single-minded pursuit of empire saying we have a choice. We can keep on this path and lose our democracy, but history is clear: we can’t have both.
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Educational Evaluation in Youth Work

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Download the T-Kits, a 122 pdf page work.

These T-Kits are a product of the Partnership in the field of Youth between the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Besides the T-Kits, the Partnership has resulted in other areas of cooperation such as training courses, the magazine “Coyote”, research and youth policy activities and an Internet site hosting also the European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy.

To find out more explanations about developments in the Partnership (new publications, training course and seminar announcements, etc.), visit the Partnership website, or go to this page to read more about the agreement.

Supportive States Should Invest Further to Strengthen Council

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Received by mail from HREA:

Geneva, June 19, 2007: The United Nations Human Rights Council ended its disappointing first year by adopting a package of procedural measures that lay a foundation for its future work, but fall short of providing it a firm footing, Human Rights Watch said today.

“The council has left key questions unanswered, which gives leeway to countries that seek to weaken human rights protections,” said Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The decision presents a floor for the council’s work, but a great deal more needs to be built.”

While the council also adopted resolutions on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Darfur, it continued to overlook dozens of other human rights situations that require its attention, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq and Sri Lanka. Yesterday’s procedural decisions, however, should at least enable the council to turn its attention from institution-building to that growing backlog of work.
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Satelite cameras to monitor war-torn Darfur

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Received by mail from


(New York) – Amnesty International is using satellite cameras to monitor highly vulnerable villages in war-torn Darfur, Sudan. The human rights organization is inviting ordinary people worldwide to monitor 12 villages by visiting the Eyes on Darfur project website eyes on Darfur and put the Sudanese Government on notice that these and other areas in the region are being watched around the clock.

“Despite four years of outrage over the death and destruction in Darfur, the Sudanese government has refused worldwide demands and a U.N. resolution to send peacekeepers to the region,” said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International. “Darfur needs peacekeepers to stop the human rights violations. In the meantime, we are taking advantage of satellite technology to tell President al-Bashir that we will be watching closely to expose new violations. Our goal is to continue to put pressure on Sudan to allow the peacekeepers to deploy and to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable civilians on the ground in Darfur.”
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UNHCR’s Refworld

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Refworld is the leading source of information necessary for taking quality decisions on refugee status. Refworld contains a vast collection of reports relating to situations in countries of origin, policy documents and positions, and documents relating to international and national legal frameworks. The information has been carefully selected and compiled from UNHCR’s global network of field offices, Governments, international, regional and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and judicial bodies. June 15, 2007.

Latest Refworld Updates, 15 June 2007:
The Siracusa Principles and the Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
UNHCR’s Recommendations for Portugal’s European Union Presidency, July-December 2007,

Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities Access to Education and Employment: United Kingdom,

Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities Access to Education and Employment: Slovenia.

(full text).

HREA Distance Learning Course

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Received by mail from

From: E-mail.
Subject: HREA Distance Learning Programme

Final call for applications for HREA e-learning course ‘Research & Evaluation in the NGO Sector‘.

Dear subscribers, HREA is calling for applications for the e-learning course 1E07-2, Research & Evaluation in the NGO Sector,
which will be offered from 10 September-16 December 2007. (Instructor: Felisa Tibbitts).

Please note that the registration deadline for this course is 1 July 2007. Further information about the course and other upcoming HREA e-learning courses can be found below.


Best wishes, Sandra Quintin, Distance Learning Programme, HREA.

Modern Slave Work

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Picked up in Weitzenegger’s newsletter. To read many interesting news and articles, go to ‘The website for International Development Cooperation‘, and its (english) Newsletter.

Also published on Corporate Social Responsibility, March 2007, by Alejandro Calvillo Unna and Álvaro de Regil Castilla.

Periodically, The Jus Semper Global Alliance TJSGA publishes commentaries of relevance for The Living Wages North and South Initiative (TLWNSI). This commentary clearly exhibits the absolute impossibility of sustaining the current North-South system of exploitation, of quasi-slavery in which the South’s role is, essentially, to supply labour at a cost that perpetuates it in servitude and to surrender its natural resources to the global corporations of the institutional investors. It also shows us how, despite the official rhetoric that states that the decent work concept has led to the international consensus that productive employment and decent work are key elements to achieving poverty reduction, everything remains the same …

… The disappearance of the Welfare State and, subsequently, the weakening of the Regulator State have run concurrently and are the consequence of the accelerated emergence of corporations; a sort of gradual coup d’état, where big corporations and financial groups have overtaken power. The Reagan-Thatcher era with legislative deregulation against monopolistic practices, with the elimination of governmental regulation, with the thinning and/or privatisation of public services, redirected tax revenue to finance directly and indirectly these power groups and not the people suffering from the inequalities generated by the market. Corporate culture has changed dramatically. In the Welfare State ethos, thirty years ago, many multinationals felt a genuine responsibility for their employees. Many industries were regulated, and competition was not as brutal as today.

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Tätigkeitsbericht 2006 / Agenda 2007-8 der Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung

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Der 17 seitige Tätigkeitsbericht 2006 / Agenda 2007/8 der Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung kann heruntergeladen werden:

The UNHRC concludes …

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Press Release of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Date: 12 Jun 2007.

The United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC concludes discussion on right to food, toxic and dangerous waster, adequate housing and extreme poverty.

The Human Rights Council this morning concluded its interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteurs on the right to food, the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights, and adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the Independent Expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty.

In concluding remarks, Jean Ziegler, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, said 12 billion people could be fed by the food production in the world today – so a child dying from hunger now was a victim of assassination and murder. On Darfur, the Council had carried out remarkable work and an agreement was achieved for a resolution on an expert group working on different ways to ensure the humanitarian situation in Darfur could be improved. Concerning Zimbabwe, he had asked to visit the country and thought that the mission was going to take place. The question of bio fuels and selling food products for bio fuels represented a danger to the right of food.

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Brave women without photos

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Linked with Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold – Switzerland (in german).

Women are doing best work for our humanity. But they are often not recognished for heir work. This inspired the project to nominate 1000 women for the Nobel Peace Prize (see also their Homepage).

My comment: this first step for the 1000 Novel Peace Prize Women (search) was meant to rise consciousness for women’s contribution to our humanity.

But now, more you look on what is happening, more you have to recognish how few this work is honored.

Many women presented for the Nobel Peace Prize show no photo, and many only a short CV of five small lines. Nothing in the internet, beside being named in newspaper for a short moment with the other 999 personalities.

This happens with many other women doing humanitarian work around the globe, not named with these 1000 women, living pratically all of them in developing countries.

And often the community in which they live denies them the right to show their faces, for religious or other tribal reasons.

I am fed up with news about women doing best work around the world and being not worth to have a good photo, or a correct text, presenting them. This is one of the most visible symptoms telling that women are only second class, even when they are proposed for the Nobel Peace price. Even then.

This is simply a shame.

From now on, I will represent on my World People’s Blog every women, for whom no photo is available, with the picture of a rose.

We have still many roses in our parcs of Geneva, so today, mid of June, I was out for a rich harvest of rose photos.

To spend a rose for each one of these brave women.


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Inter-generational Forum on Endogenous Governance in West Africa, Workshop 2, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), 26-28 June 2006, published by the Sahel and West frica Club/OECD.

The KURUKAN FUGA Charter: An example of an Endogenous Governance Mechanism for Conflict Prevention – Working Document prepared by Mr. Mangoné NIANG, Director of CELTHO/AU, 13 pdf pages.

One of the first known texts on municipal organization in our sub-region, the Kurukan Fuga Charter, is being rediscovered today not only by those who work in the field of oral tradition, but also by those who want to go back to the origins of political thought in Africa. The researchers interested in this text included, first of all, historians (and also the Jelis, or scholars of tradition, who are experts trained in western history of traditional); followed by text theorists, jurists, environmentalists, and even philosophers, although as an art of thinking inherited from Greek culture.
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