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World Day Against Child Labour

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Today June 12, 2007 the UN celebrate the World Day Against Child Labour.

HREA published on this web-page some links to articles, other links and to learning materials about the subject.

UN envoy lays out road map towards peace in Darfur

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Received by mail from HREA, Human Rights Education Associates, which had it from the UN News Service.

8 June 2007 — The United Nations Special Envoy to Darfur today laid out “a road map towards peace” in the war-ravaged region of the Sudan, calling on all parties to cease hostilities and prepare for forthcoming negotiations.

There are three stages of the road map for the coming months, Jan Eliasson told reporters after briefing the Security Council.

Firstly, “there have been tendencies in the past of initiatives being conducted in parallel rather than in a converging pattern” so such efforts must be united, he said.

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Whose War Is It?

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Article published on Countercurrents.org, by Jim Miles, 03 June, 2007.

… (The book) ‘Whose War Is It? How Canada Can Survive In The Post 9/11 World’, by J. L. Granatstein. (Harper Collins, Toronto, Ontario, 2007) … is one of the ugliest books I have read about foreign policy in relation to the Americans and the ‘war on terror’.

It is similar in style to Michael Leeden, Charles Krauthammer, and Thomas Friedman, all writers who support the transcendence of America, and the use of the military to set right the world. They all support the Orientalist approach to the declared war in that ‘we’ are being attacked because they dislike our democracy and licentious freedoms without any consideration given for previous American actions around the globe that have created significant ‘blowback’ – the major and highly unexpected one being 9/11.

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Leading human rights groups name 39 CIA ‘disappeared’ detainees

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Received by mail from HREA, the Human Rights Education Associates, and their Newsletter: an AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE, AI Index: AMR 51/099/2007, 7 June 2007.

Amnesty International, Cageprisoners, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law, Human Rights Watch, and Reprieve:

(London and New York, 7 June 2007) — In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The briefing paper also names relatives of suspects who were themselves detained in secret prisons, including children as young as seven.

In a related action, three of the groups filed a lawsuit in US federal court under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking the disclosure of information concerning “disappeared” detainees.

The 21-page briefing paper, Off the Record: U.S. Responsibility for Enforced Disappearances in the “War on Terror”, includes detailed information about four people named as “disappeared” prisoners for the first time. The full list of people includes nationals from countries including Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan and Spain. They are believed to have been arrested in countries including Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan, and transferred to secret US detention centres.

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an EU Constitution for the 21st century

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Linked with Erni Friholt – Sweden.

Published on TFF, Stocken, Orust, Sweden, December 3, 2005.

We want an EU Constitution for the 21st century, not for the 20th!

Excerpts: … The now suspended constitution for the European Union is bound to reappear more or less in the same form as before. There are some good ideas in it, such as those about gender equality and equal salary levels for men and women. Also, the Christian fundamentalists had to accept that the religious values are mentioned only along with the humanistic and other components in our culture, all on an equal level.

However, the important introductory text or preamble is rather deficient when it comes to the historical perspective on Europe’s relations with its former colonies and its ongoing dominance and power over them, albeit in new ways. It is evident from the military aspects of this constitution that Europe has no intention to create equal rights for its former colonies but rather continue its dominance by military means, if necessary …

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Founding statement of CorA

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Linked with Ravi Kanbur – Ghana & England.

Founding statement of the german Corporate Accountability CorA Network, (Netzwerk für Unternehenrsverantwortung);

Human rights organisations, trade unions, development organisations and church organisations, consumers’ associations and environment associations as well as other civil society organisations centred on socio-political issues work together in the CorA Network. We collaborate within various fields to promote corporate accountability directed towards the public good, and use a variety of instruments and approaches to achieve this goal.

Transnational corporations increase their often already powerful influence on social and environmental development, working conditions, consumption and production patterns and policy on a global scale. There is a lack of public awareness about the global impacts of corporate transactions and the necessary political frameworks to regulate them. We want transnational corporations, their subsidiaries and their suppliers to observe fundamental human rights and to adhere to internationally agreed upon social and environmental standards in their daily and global activities. In order to achieve this target, we intend:

  • to enhance the public debate on the economic and political activities of transnational corporations, and
  • to advocate corporate accountability. By this, we mean binding instruments that compel these companies to respect human rights as well as internationally agreed upon social and environmental norms and standards.

(full text).

New boys, lame ducks add spice to G8 summit

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Published by People’s daily online, on June 6, 2007.

New boys, lame ducks and a problem child head to Germany yesterday for a Group of Eight (G8) summit that will address the world’s most pressing concerns.

The annual major power jamboree is meant to focus on policies, but personalities might steal the limelight this year thanks to significant changes to the longstanding cast list and growing tensions between some of the leading players.

Newly-elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy makes his debut on the G8 stage, while British Prime Minister Tony Blair heads towards the exit after a decade in office, his legacy jeopardised by the never-ending chaos in Iraq.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also promised to stand aside before next year’s summit, and can expect a cold reception after a year of virulent clashes with his Western counterparts that have raised fears of a second Cold War.

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Some more links about G8 Heiligendamm

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(available this european evening of June 5, 2007)

Oxfam: don’t let the G8 stop what you started;

savethechildren.org.uk;

Tell G8 to end poverty;

Caritas sends “Make Aid Work” message to G8 with giant banner in St Peter’s;

Young people debate G8 issues at Junior 8 Summit in Germany;

all’Africa.com: G8 Summit Must Deliver on Two-Year Old Promises on Debt and HIV/AIDS;

media for freedom.com: G8 Summit Must Deliver on Two-Year Old Promises on Debt and HIV/AIDS;

NGOs and Social Movements preparing for the G8 Summit

Some protestors Videos:
Go to Google-Video and put ‘G8 Heiligendamm’ into the search tool (this evening, June 5, mostly german videos-results);

exemple: Anti G8-Protest: Demonstration Rostock 8, 2.36 min.;

ROUNDUP: Protesters prepare sit-ins to disrupt G8 summit;

Q&A: Who are the G8 protesters?

Factbox on upcoming G8 summit;

Analysis: G8-fortress Heiligendamm;

Backgrounder: Major facts about G8 summit;

China’s relations with G8 raise body’s status;

G8 and Heiligendamm on wikipedia;

Heiligendamm is normally a sleepy seaside resort on the Baltic. But with the G-8 coming in June, the town has been transformed into a well-fortified stronghold. And the German authorities aren’t the only ones who have been preparing for confrontation. (full text, May 9, 2007).

Questions for the left …

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… as John McDonnell’s Labour Party leadership bid fails.

Linked with Alex Callinicos – England.

Published on Socialist Worker online, by Alex Callinicos, 22 May 2007.

Something historic happened last week. It wasn’t Gordon Brown’s coronation. That – and the inability of the Blairites to mount a serious challenge – was entirely predictable. No, the historic thing was the inability of John McDonnell, who has been campaigning for a year as the standard bearer of the left, to get enough nominations from Labour MPs to run against Brown …

… Radica: The party structures have now been drastically re-engineered to prevent that happening. But the membership has also changed. It has, of course, shrunk drastically under Blair. Moreover a process of selection has taken place. Thanks above all to Iraq, disillusioned activists – not just from the left but from the old social democratic right – have dropped out, while the suits have stayed.

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Politics of fear creating a dangerously divided world

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An Amnesty International Report 2007, May 23, 2007, (downloadpage, by region, language or subject).

(London) Powerful governments and armed groups are deliberately fomenting fear to erode human rights and to create an increasingly polarized and dangerous world, said Amnesty International today as it launched Amnesty International Report 2007, its annual assessment of human rights worldwide.

“Through short sighted, fear-mongering and divisive policies, governments are undermining the rule of law and human rights, feeding racism and xenophobia, dividing communities, intensifying inequalities and sowing the seeds for more violence and conflict,” said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“The politics of fear is fuelling a downward spiral of human rights abuse in which no right is sacrosanct and no person safe.”

“The ‘war on terror’ and the war in Iraq, with their catalogue of human rights abuses, have created deep divisions that cast a shadow on international relations, making it more difficult to resolve conflicts and protect civilians.”

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Sudan, Darfur refugees reach Sam Ouandja

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Published on all.Africa.com, by UN IRIN, May 31, 2007.

Bangui

The arrival of 1,500 Sudanese refugees in the Sam Ouandja region of northeastern Central African Republic (CAR) could mean more war-displaced people will undertake the 10-day journey in search of safety from Darfur, local sources said.

Sudanese government forces backed by armed militias attacked Daffaq region, near the Sudan-CAR border, between 12 and 18 May, triggering the forced displacement of civilians towards Southern Sudan and various locations in northeastern CAR, including Am-Dafock and Sam Ouandja.

According to local sources, many more are making their way to Sam Ouandja to join those so far registered by the local CAR authorities. The refugees belong to the Masalit, Fur, Dojou, Tama and Kara groups …

… According to local sources, many more are making their way to Sam Ouandja to join those so far registered by the local CAR authorities. The refugees belong to the Masalit, Fur, Dojou, Tama and Kara groups.

“We did not find evidence of the presence of armed elements in the group, and the refugees assured the mission that everyone orginated from Daffaq in Sudan,” said Bruno Geddo, a UNHCR representative.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the civilian and humanitarian character of the operation,” he added. (full text).

The Destruction Of Iraqi Healthcare Infrastructure

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Published on FPIF Foreign Policy in Focus, by Adil Shamoo, May 31, 2007.

Ten thousand doctors have fled the country. Two thousand have been killed. Some hospitals lack the rudimentary elements of care: hygiene, clean water, antibiotics, anesthetics and other basic drugs. Oxygen, gauze, rubber gloves, and diagnostic instruments such as X-rays are absent or rarely evident. This is Iraq today.

Before Iraq suffered through an embargo and two wars with the United States starting in 1990, its healthcare system was considered one of the best in the Middle East. Iraq had well-trained physicians and modern facilities. Today, the healthcare system barely exists at all, with few healthcare workers and hospitals that are battlegrounds.

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Requests for Information 21 – 27 May 2007

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Received by mail from Global HRE, the Global Human Rights Education, June 1, 2007, (from the HREA Human Rights Education Associates).

Below is a compilation of requests for information sent to the Global Human Rights Education listserv during the past week. At the bottom of each request you will find an e-mail address, so that you can respond to the request directly.

1. LOOKING FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO PARTICIPATE IN MA PROGRAMME AT UPEACE – Dear colleagues, I was recently admitted to a master degree programme in Media, Conflict and Peace Studies in the United Nations mandated University for Peace (www.upeace.org), in San José, Costa Rica. The programme starts in August 22nd. I was awarded a partial financial assistance but have to pay expenses such as housing, transportation and meals, besides round trip and medical insurance. I would like to know if you know of any institution who can give financial aid. Without this aid, I won´t be able to pursue my studies. My best regards, Ana Cláudia Menezes, Journalist, Brazil, E-mail.

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Russian Analytical Digest RAD

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Linked with Bettina Renz – England.

RAD is a bi-weekly internet publication, jointly produced by the Research Centre for East European Studies, at the University of Bremen, and the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich).

It is supported by the Otto Wolff Foundation (named at the Institut für Europäische Politik), and the German Association for East European Studies DGO. (In german).

The Digest draws from contributions to the German-language Russlandanalysen, the CSS analytical network Russian and Eurasian Security Network RES, and the Russian Regional Report.

The Russian Analytical Digest covers political, economic and social developments in Russia and its regions, and looks at Russia ’s role in international relations.

Latest Publications to be downloaded here.