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Index February 2009

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A Very European Story

Linked with Gaither Stewart – USA.

Published on the peoples, by Gaither Stewart, Feb 25, 2009.

Symbols and objects held sacred by a whole people form a more powerful protective barrier than the highest of walls. Even the Great Wall of China was more a scarecrow than a real barrier to Mongol invaders. In that figurative sense I have imagined here the Russian icon as a historical defense of Russia against circling invaders, against mercenary armies and menacing space shields.

(Rome) Even though Russian icons have little meaning in the USA, religious icons lie at the roots of pictorial art in Slavic East Europe. For the seven hundred years from the 11th century until the time of Peter the Great, the icon practically was the only indigenous pictorial art of the vast territories of the Eastern Slavs, which later, in fact, coincided with the former USSR. Though a mysterious object, the icon, that is, the sacred image, or the sacred representation that the museum visitor easily passes up for more conventional art, is nonetheless both pure art … and at the same time sacred art.

Like all culture the icon can also become a defensive arm …


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LdH France – la lettre d’information no 11

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Lié avec Ligue des droits de l’homme LDH – France.

Reçu par e-mail:
De: Ligue des droits de l’Homme
Date: 21/02/2009

tract_votation_citoyenne: Votation Citoyenne (pour l’elargissement du suffrage universel).

Il se passe quelque chose (3): Il paraît que Jacques Séguéla est allé trop loin! Il aurait déclaré que si quelqu’un à 50 ans n’a pas une Rolex au poignet, c’est qu’il n’a fait grand chose dans la vie. C’est qu’il n’a manifestement pas compris qu’il y avait un tournant. Le temps du clinquant n’est plus. « Greed » n’est plus « good ». Et il est de bon ton de faire sobre, d’anoncer son souci des victimes de la crise. Publiquement au moins, il est conseillé de ne plus faire de l’étalage. Car cette semaine fut sociale.

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Programme de formation en droits de l’homme

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du Collège universitaire Henry Dunant (Genève)

Reçu par mail:
De: Isabel Voirol
Date: 23/02/2009

Chers collègues, Je vous annonce le Programme de formation en droits de l’homme du Collège universitaire Henry Dunant, Genève, Swisse.

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Human Rights Council to hold special session on financial crisis

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Linked with Complaints Procedure At The UN and with its links, with International NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the ICESCR. Also linked with op-icescr on wikipedia, and with many texts by key word op-icescr on Google web-search.

Received by mail:
From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 23/02/2009

Received the long introduction speech hold by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on February 20, 2009:

(an excerpt): … I will now describe in greater detail instances of vulnerabilities that are of pressing concern. It is already evident that tensions and hardship are affecting migrant workers in many countries. These workers are most likely to be the first in line to losing their jobs not only because their status is called into question, but also because they are employed in sectors that are particularly affected by the economic crisis. Worse, recession may give rise to xenophobic passions, discriminatory practices and even attacks against migrant workers and their families.

As opportunities for regular migration labor decrease, unemployed migrants may seek to work without authorization. This would render them even more vulnerable. Protection of the rights of migrants in terms of their working and living conditions, and in the event of loss of employment, should be integrated in responses to the crises. Crucially, no effort should be spared to protect migrants from discrimination and xenophobia.

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Philo avec les enfants – Michel Sasseville à Genève

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Chères Amies, Chers Amis de Pro-Philo, la Maison de Quartier de Champel & L’Association Pro-Philo vous invitent à une présentation sur le thème de:

« La pratique du dialogue philosophique avec les enfants »

Animée par: Prof. Michel Sasseville, Faculté de philosophie, Université Laval, Québec,
Date: Lundi 2 mars 2009 – de 19h à 20h30,
Lieu: Maison de Quartier de Champel, 32, Av Peschier, 1206 Genève
Entrée gratuite,


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Linked with Gaither Stewart – USA, with Definitions: The proletariat (firt on online journal); with Definitions: The Intelligentsia (first on; and with Definitions: The Bourgeoisie.

Received by mail:
From: Gaither Stewart
Date: 23/02/2009

DEFINITIONS: MAMMON, by Gaither Stewart

(Rome-Paris) In an essay especially pertinent to contemporary American society, L’Exil d’Hélene, Albert Camus noted, “Greek thought always restrained itself behind the idea of limits. It never exceeded limits, neither the sacred, nor reason, because it denied nothing, neither the sacred, nor reason. It made allowance for everything, balancing shadow and light. Instead, our Europe, launched toward the conquest of totality, is the very daughter of excess (writing in the immediate aftermath of World War II, I’m certain Camus would note here not only Europe but especially the America of our times.) …. In its folly it extends the eternal limits, and immediately obscure Erinys fall on it and tear it apart.”

Reading Camus’ essay in the midst of the bedlam of the ongoing collapse of Capitalism falling to pieces around us helped me pinpoint the idea for this concluding essay of the Definitions series: Definitions: The Proletariat; Definitions: The Intelligentsia; Definitions: The Bourgeoisie. Mammon is the God of Excess and the very personification of the capitalist god (or rather its demon), even though now a fallen god.

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Linked with Gaither Stewart – USA, with Definitions: The proletariat (first on online journal); with Definitions: The Intelligentsia (first on; and with Definitions: Mammon – The God Of Excess (will appear tomorrow on this blog).

Received by mail:
From: Gaither Stewart
Date: 23/02/2009


“We are not fighting against men or a kind of politics but against the class which produces those politics and those men.” (from Dirty Hands, a political play by Jean Paul Sartre, first performed in Paris on April 2, 1948.)

“It takes a day to make a senator and ten years to make a worker.” AND, as Caligula says to the senators: “It is much easier to descend the social ladder than to climb back up.” (from the play Caligula by Albert Camus, first performed in Paris in 1945, words I include here just for fun, mockery and a hint of warning.)

(Rome) It’s a capricious irony of history that the word bourgeois, which pinpoints the capitalist class, is perceived by nearly everyone, including the bourgeois themselves, as an epithet and is almost universally rebuffed!

Generally we conceive of the bourgeois in reference to their over emphasis on form and formality, in total contrast with the image of the bohemian radical. Bourgeois characteristics include emphasis on tradition, pretentiousness, conventionality, propriety, status obsession, respectability at all costs, an affected manner of speech and an overall comportment befitting such a description. The bourgeois personality is one of seeming rather than being.

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Die Entstehung der „Ilias“ – Es geschah in Kilikien

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Linked with Raoul Schrott – Austria.

Published on FAZnet, Von Raoul Schrott, 15.03.2008.

(A short excerpt) … Klare Raum- und Zeitmarkierung:

Damit haben wir es mit einer klaren Raum- und Zeitmarkierung zu tun: denn der Begriff kilikisch leitet sich von einer assyrischen Bezeichnung für die Region – Hilakku – ab und ist als griechisches Toponym erst im siebten Jahrhundert denkbar. Mit dem in der Nähe von Karatepe gelegenen Kastabala identifizierbar, wird dann auch klar, weshalb die Zitadelle von Karatepe mit ihrer Architektur und Umgebung, ihren Reliefs und Inschriften zum Modell Troias werden konnte. Und warum sich die Pylener, Aitoler, Epeier und Kureten, ja selbst Achilleus’ Herrschaftsgebiete rund um Kilikien situieren lassen. Dort überschneiden sich nicht nur die Kulturkreise der Quellen der „Ilias“; neben einer Vielzahl von kilikischen Realien spiegelt sie auch die unmittelbare diese Region betreffende Zeitgeschichte wider: von der Belagerung Jerusalems 701 bis zur Niederschlagung der letzten kilikischen Revolte 676. Wobei all dies auch noch mit der unabhängig davon entstandenen Datierung der „Ilias“ um 660 übereingeht.

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Requests for Information: 9 – 15 February 2009

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Received by mail:
From: Global HR-Education
Date: 19/02/2009

Dear members, 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. SEEKING MATERIALS FOR TEACHING HUMAN RIGHTS IN SCHOOLS IN GHANA – Teaching for Freedom Foundation is a human rights non governmental organisation in Ghana that recruits teachers at the basic level of education as volunteers in the teaching of human rights education. These teachers are trained to incorporate human rights in their lessons during the normal teaching periods. To augment our activities we are in the process of developing a comprehensive manual for the teaching of HR in primary and junior high schools in Ghana. We also require any other learning materials that can promote the teaching of HR in schools. Anyone who has assistance in this direction could contact us via the e-mail address below. The Executive Director, Teaching For Freedom Foundation (TFF), Ghana, E-mail.


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ANF’s work in Pakistan

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Linked with The Aagosh-e-Noorani Foundation ANF.

Received by mail:
From: Ahmad Farooq /ANF
Date: 20 Feb 2009

ANF explains:

  • … We want to work in earth quake affected area in Balochistan NWFP, PUNJAB. We have well experienced staff, male/female.
  • Here is some detail about our organization. We are currently dealing in Health, Education, Water and Sanitation, HIV/AIDS, camp management and for street children (described as: Society Act 1860, Re gd. BJSC/DISTT/Rwp/18 … is a welfare organization working in the sector of Women & Child Programs, Health & Education, Non-Formal Education, Awareness programs in the rural areas of Pakistan).
  • The Aagosh Noorani Foundation purchased a land of 43 kanal (32,00000 Squr.ft) land at main G.T Road, Tahsil Hazro … (and) … Currently ANF has been working on women counseling relief programs (ANF arranges the regular women counseling meetings), primary education for girls (we are running a girls primary school in the village of Hameed where 95 girls are studying), environment on self basis (we have planted over 13,500 plants in rural areas). Regards, Farooq Ahmed, Project Officer, Ph & Fax: +92 5 1 5951373, Cell: +92 300 95631 43, E-mail, Website.

Politkovskaya’s murder: solved or fudged?

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Published on openDemocracy, by Maryana Torocheshnikova, February 19, 2009.

Novaya Gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya was killed on October 7, 2006, in the entrance to the building where she lived. Law enforcement officials said straight away that they thought the murder was connected to her professional activity …

… Evidence pointing at others, not charged

Defence lawyer Musayev said that the investigation had collected a lot of evidence implicating other people in Politkovskaya’s murder, but at some point the decision was taken to abandon the initial version of events.

“They had identified more or less a group of people, especially those who could have been tracking Politkovskaya”, he said. “They were people from the search and operations departments in a number of law enforcement and secret service agencies. They identified the approximate group of people who could have been involved in organising the crime and working out where Politkovskaya lived. But then the prosecutor’s office had to make themselves look good in the public eye by saying they’d solved the Politkovskaya case, and in the end scapegoats were found to appear as the accused in court. In gathering this group of people, implicated and not implicated, they have simply chosen those whose bosses will do nothing to protect them, who will be the most harmless and helpless. There are many suspects against whom real evidence exists: they are not in court today, but are walking free”.

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Professor Chomsky on Sri Lanka and American Affairs

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Published on (first on Sri Lanka Guardian), by Eric Bailey, 12 February, 2009.

Sri Lanka Guardian’s Washington correspondent Eric Bailey interviews Noam Chomsky:

(Excerpt of the last sentences of this interview): … Eric: We’ve been talking about the War on Terror led by the USA and her allies for several questions now, but I’d like to talk about it directly. I know that you are opposed to the Iraq war, as well as several other incursions, such as what we’ve done in Somalia, but what are your thoughts regarding Afghanistan? Was the US right in invading Afghanistan following 9/11?

Chomsky: I felt that was a major crime and still do. The United States invaded Afghanistan for a very explicit reason. It was made public, but there has been a lot of lying about it since, but it was very public. The reason was that the Taliban- the Bush Administration demanded that they hand over Osama Bin Laden to the United States and they asked for evidence of his crime. Well the Bush Administration wouldn’t provide any evidence so they invaded. The reason they didn’t provide any evidence, it later turned out, was because they didn’t have any. Eight months later the FBI conceded that after the most major international investigation in history, they simply didn’t have any evidence. They believed the plot for 9/11 was hatched in Afghanistan, but was probably implemented in the Arabian Peninsula and in Europe.

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Linked with Gaither Stewart – USA

To seduce also means to destroy

By Gaither Stewart

I ran into a reference to The Fable of the Bees: or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits and found the suggestive old poem extensively reproduced and commented on line. The work consists of a poem, The Grumbling Hive, or Knaves Turn’d Honest, and an extensive prose commentary. The poem which first appeared in 1705 was intended as a commentary on England, as the Dutch Englishman, Bernard de Mandeville, saw it. Here is a stanza:

A Spacious Hive well stock’d with Bees,
That lived in Luxury and Ease;
And yet as fam’d for Laws and Arms,
As yielding large and early Swarms;
Was counted the great Nursery
Of Sciences and Industry.
No Bees had better Government,
More Fickleness, or less Content.
They were not Slaves to Tyranny,
Nor ruled by wild Democracy;
But Kings, that could not wrong, because
Their Power was circumscrib’d by Laws.

The ‘hive’ is corrupt but prosperous, yet it grumbles about lack of virtue. A higher power decides to give them what they ask for. It’s all quite familiar and contemporary. Eh?

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UFO abductees are not what expected

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I found a text about UFO abductees, published on, of 17 April 1991 (look the time it takes to make known things we do not want see).

This text having on the website an ugly formation, I pasted it into WORD to make it easier to be read. You may read it on the original website, or click on the link below:


Let me paste out their short Conclusion on page 7:

… SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS: Although it has long been the “common wisdom” of both the professional and lay communities that anyone claiming to be the victim of abduction by UFO occupants must be seriously disturbed, thoroughly deluded or a liar, careful examination of both the reports and their reports calls this assumption into question. Clinical and psychometric investigation of abductees reveals four areas of discrepancy between the expected data and the observable phenomena and suggests further investigation.  These discrepant areas are:

1. ABSENCE OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:  An unexpected absence of severe psychopathology coupled with the high level of functioning found in many abductees is a perplexing and surprising finding. Psychometric evaluation of nine abductees revealed a notable heterogeneity of psychological and psychometric characteristics.  The major area of homogeneity was in the absence of significant psychopathology.  Rather than consulting a subset of the severely disturbed and psychotic population, there is clinical evidence that at least some abductees are high functioning, healthy …

If you like it: Home, about, links … and special: a link to the NASA photo gallery.

Training course on monitoring economic, social and cultural rights

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Geneva-Switzerland, 11-15 May 2009

Received by mail:
From: Claire Mahon
Date: 16/02/2009

Dear colleagues, The course will provide staff from small and medium-sized organisations with the know-how to get started in monitoring economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights), and the in-depth knowledge to enhance their ESC rights monitoring work. At the end of the training, the participants will be:

  • Familiar with the content of economic, social and cultural rights;
  • Able to devise realistic strategies for monitoring ESC rights and documenting the violation/realisation of an ESC right of a particular concern to them or their organization;
  • Able to present findings effectively, and devise an advocacy strategy which makes use of the international human rights mechanisms.

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Compléments alimentaires / about Food complements

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Linked with Rima E. Laibow, M.D. – USA, and with Natural Solutions Foundation.

First my short translation of a mail a friend sent me: it’s about a video in english telling how some try to impose a “Codex Alimentarium” which (also) prohibits food complements like vitamines etc. Please share this video.

My friend wrote: Voici un message avec un lien sur une video qui dénonce le plan mondial pour imposer le “Codex Alimentarium”, lequel veut interdire tout complément alimentaire, vitamines et autres produits naturels. Malheureusement seulement en anglais. C’est une vidéo à regarder absolument et à faire passer! Amitiés, Fernand.

Watch this video: Nutricide – Criminalizing Natural Health, Vitamins, and Herbs, 40.07 min, added 2 sept. 2006.

Please share this link with your friends.

URGENT – your support for statement to UN Human Rights Council about important developments in human rights education

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This morning I find the following mail with a pdf attache in my mailbox. It’s a call to contribute … until today’s night (Monday, 16 February 24h00 GMT/UTC)

… your support for statement to UN Human Rights Council about important developments in human rights education.

As known friends of mine do not can read pdf, I translated for them the following pdf-text also into WORD:

Text in PDF: .statement-un-framework-for-hr-education-hrc-feb2009-in-pdf.

same text in WORD: .statement-un-framework-for-hr-education-hrc-feb2009-in-word.

Frank Elbers, Deputy Director, HREA – Human Rights Education Associates writes the following mail:

Subject: your support for statement to UN Human Rights Council about important developments in human rights education
From: Frank Elbers
Date: 15/02/2009 20:29:37

We need your support! As you may be aware in its next session the Human Rights Council, the United Nations’ highest human rights body, will be addressing human rights education. Specifically, it will discuss a Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training that is under development, and the follow-up to the current World Programme for Human Rights Education. We have developed a statement for the Council on behalf of civil society organisations from around the world.

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The Largest Wave Of Suicides In History

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Published on Counterpunch, by P. Sainath, 13 February, 2009.

The number of farmers who have committed suicide in India between 1997 and 2007 now stands at a staggering 182,936. Close to two-thirds of these suicides have occurred in five states (India has 28 states and seven union territories). The Big 5 – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh– account for just about a third of the country’s population but two-thirds of farmers’ suicides. The rate at which farmers are killing themselves in these states is far higher than suicide rates among non-farmers. Farm suicides have also been rising in some other states of the country.

It is significant that the count of farmers taking their lives is rising even as the numbers of farmers diminishes, that is, on a shrinking farmer base. As many as 8 million people quit farming between the two censuses of 1991 and 2001. The rate of people leaving farming has only risen since then, but we’ll only have the updated figure of farmers in the census of 2011…

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Requests for Information: 2 – 8 February 2009

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Received by mail:
From: Global HR-Education
Date: 12/02/2009

Dear members, 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 RESEARCH AND PARTNERS FOR WORK ON REFUGEE WOMEN ISSUES IN UGANDA – Dear all, We are the Women for Dignity and Development Foundation (WODIDEF), based in Kampala, Uganda in East Africa. WODIDEF was founded in 2006 by 7 women and 3 men who were very concerned about the degradation of the social, economic and cultural situaton of refugee women within refugee settlements in Uganda, including rape, sex slavery, trafficking, domestic violence, defilement, sexual assault, the upsurge of HIV/AIDS contamination as a consequence of rape and other gender based violence. Our mission is to improve the lives of refugee women and girls by using intermational human rights standards to advocate for them. We seek to empower refugee women and girls through research, education, training, advocacy, and entrepreneurship so that women refugees play an active role in the community in whch they feel marginalised. We are looking for parteners or we would welcome everybody who can make his/her research on refugee women’s situation available. Kind regards, Ms Patricia Kalambayi, Executive director, Uganda-Kampala, Nsambya West, Keevina road, Makindye division, Tel. +256-755372-107, e-mail.


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Musawah: there cannot be justice without equality

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Linked with Cassandra Balchin – England, and with Women Living Under Muslim Laws WLUML.

Published on openDemocracy, by Cassandra Balchin, 13 feb 2009.

A call for equality and justice “in the Muslim family” is being launched by a group of Muslim scholars and activists who insist that in the 21st century “there cannot be justice without equality” between men and women.

Musawah (which means ‘equality’ in Arabic) insists that change is possible by combining arguments from Islamic teachings, universal human rights principles, fundamental rights and constitutional guarantees, and grounding these arguments in the realities of women and men’s lives in Muslim contexts today.

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The World-Uniting Force of a New American President

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Linked with Mary Liston Liepold – USA, with National Science Teachers Association, and with What Women want: RESPECT.

Published on, by Mary Liston Liepold, January 21,2009.

Yes, the Nobel Prize surprises are over for this year, and the winners got lots of well-deserved press. But October is also the month for The Right Livelihood Awards, popularly known as the Alternative Nobels. Swedish-German journalist and philatelist Jakob von Uexkull sold his business to endow the first awards in 1980 because the six Nobel categories didn’t fully cover the fields of human endeavor that mattered most to him: independent journalism, peacebuilding, and social justice.

This year’s Right Livelihood Awardees are three women (Somali, German, American and an Indian couple … )

Here at Peace X Peace, we know some 1,200 women-led Circles and more than 6,000 individual women who deserve international recognition for the noble work you’re doing-quietly, patiently, day by day, and peace by peace. We want to hear your stories, and to let the world hear them … (full text).

Click here to get NewsBlaze News in your email.

Time for domestic workers to receive their rights

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Linked with Lita Anggraini – Indonesia, and with Urban Poor Linkage (uplink) – Indonesia.

Published on The Jakarta Post, by Prodita Sabarini , 10/12/2008.

In the weeks before and after the Idul Fitri holidays many middle-class households are busy with domestic matters. Now, however, is when families go hunting for maids.

As the holiday ends and employees in the public and private sector return to work, anxiety begins to creep into the minds of families whose maids failed to return after joining the annual exodus (mudik) back to their hometowns …

… Djazirotin Nikmah, Care International Indonesia project officer for programs on child domestic workers said a third of the domestic workers were children.

“These children are more prone to exploitation and abuse as they are not as mentally developed as adults,” she said.

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TUC New Year Message

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Linked with Trades Union Congress TUC – Britain at work, and with Brendan Barber – England.

Published on HRM Guide, by TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, December 30, 2008.

“2009 has to mark a decisive turning point, away from the neo-liberal market-always-knows-best conventional wisdom that brought our economy to the brink of a catastrophic collapse, towards a fairer, more balanced economy delivering sustainable prosperity.

“This is going to be a grim year. Unemployment will increase every month. Some predict it will hit three million, but in truth no-one knows.

“First because we have little experience of a recession driven by a financial collapse, and secondly because we do not know how bold our Government – and as importantly, other governments meeting together as the G20 in April in London – will be.

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Feminisation Of Medicine

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Published on HRM Gide, A debate in the British Medical Journal, June 12 2008.

A debate in the British Medical Journal earlier this year questioned whether the UK is producing too many female medical graduates. Brian McKinstry, senior research fellow at the University of Edinburgh commented:

“Increasing numbers of female graduates will create a major shortfall in primary care provision and may also affect education, research, and development. Evidence is growing to demonstrate the negative consequences of the feminism of primary care in the UK and elsewhere. For example, fewer women than men choose to work out of hours, and the increase in women doctors may have partly influenced the recent abandonment out of hours work by general practitioners in the UK”.

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