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Index May 2009

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STWR Attends the UN Commission on Sustainable Development

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Linked with Share The World’s Resources STWR.

Published on Share the World Resources STWR, May 27, 2009.

In light of the escalating food and climate crises, STWR participated in the Commission for Sustainable Development  (CSD) at the UN headquarters as governments, international agencies and NGOs negotiated a common position for agricultural reform.

With a billion people now reported to be living in hunger and a further billion malnourished, the role of agriculture in securing food needs sustainably should arguably be the most pressing concern for international governments.

As part of a new Poverty and Hunger Program and an upcoming report on food security, STWR participated in the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development CSD, which convened in New York between the 4th and 15th of May 2009. The current session focussed on a number of themes including agriculture, climate change and rural development, and was the 17th in a series of multi-stakeholder consultations on sustainability issues that began with the ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. The outcome of the Rio summit was a progressive programme for creating a more sustainable future, as extensively detailed in its frequently cited outcome report Agenda 21 …     Continue Reading…

New report on HRE in the Russian Federation

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Linked with The Moscow School of Human Rights.

Received by mail from Anatoly Azarov

The Moscow School of Human Rights and Social and Human Sciences, Sector of the UNESCO Moscow Office, present a new publication, “Human Rights Education in the Russian Federation, Including Prevention Education in HIV/AIDS: Analytical Report”, edited by Anatoly Azarov. The report is published in Russian and English and is available online in full text (to be downloaded):

Anatoly Azarov, Director, Moscow School of Human Rights, Room 2, Entr.3, Luchnikov Lane 4, Moscow 101000,
Russian Federation, Phone/Fax: +7 (095) 5776904, e-mail, Website: in russian, in english.

How fascism (or integrism) grows up easy

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Or in other words: your paradise is my hell

Watch this Video: The wave, 46.12 min, added May 13, 2007.
1981 – Based on the real experience of a high school class in Palo Alto, CA in April 1967, whose teacher wanted to explain the rise of the Nazi party to his students.

See also the corresponding book: The Wave, the classroom experiment that went too far:
(Laurel-Leaf contemporary fiction), by Todd Strasser, (Paperback – Sep 15, 1981), on amazon.

My comment: sure, today our youngsters no more like obedience, and this makes you think this kind of threat is over. But do you get that the overkill of permissibility, as observed ad nauseabond the last 30 -40 years, permits overreactions on the other side? Never heard about yin and yang?


In german: die Welle on Google Web-search; and on Google Video-search;

Die Welle on the german wikipedia: als Disambiguation, als Roman, als deutscher Kinofilm (2008);

siehe auch: das Milgram-Experiment, und Gruppenzwang;

Video mit gleichem Thema: Die.Welle.DVDSCR-MVCD.mpg, 102.37 min, Nov 10, 2008;

Same video in an East Asian (chinese?) language, 100.35 min.

Scholar Rescue in the modern world

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Fellowships for Threatened Academics – a legacy of rescue, a beacon of hope

Linked with Institute of International Education.

Published on (under world report).

Scholar Rescue in the Modern World is the first effort to share with a larger community the breadth and nature of the persecution of scholars around the globe. It is based on the data from the first five years of activity of the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF). SRF is a program created by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to rescue endangered scholars in any field and from any country with support for one to two years at universities in safe countries, permitting them to continue with scholarly work interrupted elsewhere. It grew out of IIE’s work in this field since the Institute’s founding in 1919. In addition to salary support, SRF helps scholars find host institutions, access other resources, and adjust to life in their host countries.  Continue Reading…

China’s Charter 08

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Charter 08 (Chinese: 零八宪章; pinyin: Língbā Xiànzhāng) is a manifesto signed by over 303 Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists to promote political reform and democratization in the People’s Republic of China.

“This year is the 100th year of China’s Constitution, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 30th anniversary of the birth of the Democracy Wall, and the 10th year since China signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. After experiencing a prolonged period of human rights disasters and a tortuous struggle and resistance, the awakening Chinese citizens are increasingly and more clearly recognizing that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal common values shared by all humankind, and that democracy, a republic, and constitutionalism constitute the basic structural framework of modern governance.  Continue Reading…

Poverty reduction programs under fire

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Published on Latin America, by Louisa Reynolds, 5/21/2009.

Colom administration diverts resources from the Health and Education Ministries to fund Social Cohesion Council …

… Funds diverted:

On April 28, the Social Cohesion Council, a government body integrated by ministries, secretariats and funds dealing with social development set up under the Álvaro Colom administration and managed by first lady Sandra de Colom, announced a Strategic Plan to Reduce Chronic Malnutrition which will distribute about US$12 a month to the beneficiaries of the conditioned cash transfer program Mi Familia Progresa, or “My Family Moves Forward” in four Mayan Chortí municipalities of Chiquimula where a high percentage of the population suffers from chronic malnutrition: Camotan, Jocotan, San Juan Ermita and Olopa.

The Mi Familia program gives families $18.50 a month as long as the children attend school, and an additional $18.50 for them to receive regular medical checkups.  Continue Reading…

Médias et démocratie dans le monde arabe

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Cycle de conférences – La communication dans tous ses états

Reçu par e-mail:
De: Yeny Serrano
Date: 25/05/2009

Bonjour, dans le cadre du cycle de conférences La communication dans tous ses états : Comment communiquer. Quelles pratiques pour quels effets, le Service Formation Continue de l’Université de Genève a le plaisir de vous annoncer sa prochaine conférence.

  • Conférencier: Prof. Pascal MONIN, Université Saint-Joseph, Beyrouth,
  • Lundi 15 juin Uni Mail, Bd. Pont d’Arve 40, 18h30 à 19h45,
  • Finance d’’inscription: 35.-,
  • Inscriptions en ligne.

Avec mes meilleures salutations, Yeny Serrano, Coordinatrice Cycle de conférences, La communication dans tous ses états, Université de Genève.
(Homepage UNIGE).

Forum on Human Rights Education

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Budapest, 15 – 17 October 2009

Received by e-mail:
From: Zsuzsanna Molnar
Date: 19/05/2009

The deadline for applications is 10 June 2009. All candidates must apply by filling in the online application form available in English; en Français; (in russian) /Русский.

Dear friends, This is a call for participation for the Forum on Human Rights Education. The forum will be held at the European Youth Centrre Budapest from 15 to 17 October 2009. It aims to promote, consolidate and develop human rights education with and by young people within the Council of Europe’s mission and framework and to associate young people with the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe.  Continue Reading…

USAID training manuals for reducing gender-based violence in schools

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Received by mail:
From: Julie Swanson
Date: 22/05/2009

Student, Community Counselor and Teacher Programs to Reduce Gender-Based Violence in Schools

USAID’s Office of Women in Development is pleased to announce the release of the Doorways training manuals. The manuals, developed under the USAID-funded Safe Schools Program*, were designed to make classrooms safer and more conducive environments for student retention and learning. The set of manuals can be integrated into existing programs for teacher training, Parent Teacher Association strengthening, scholarships, support to orphans and vulnerable children, and HIV prevention education or as part of a comprehensive national or local plan to reduce gender-based violence against children. Piloted in Ghana and Malawi, students (ages 10-14) and adults who participated in the programs demonstrated positive changes in attitudes and knowledge concerning gender-based violence.  Continue Reading…

Requests for Information: 4 May – 17 May 2009

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Received by mail:
From: Global HR-Education
Date: 21/05/2009

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.

Dear All, I am seeking information on different trainings that are being organised or facilitated by international organisations or NGOs in different countries for lawyers, with specific focus on application of CEDAW while litigating in the national courts.
It would be great if anyone of you have already done it or have materials for such trainings. This will help me to create a database on lawyers training on CEDAW and link with the individuals and organisations for strengthening my own knowledge and skills.
There are many lawyers in developing countries and many national groups that work with these lawyers that are keen to know about such resources and knowledge.
Looking forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Gauri Arvind Bhopatkar, e-mail.

*****  Continue Reading…


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Peter Dale Scott (born 1929) is a Canadian poet and a former English professor at the University of California, Berkeley. The son of noted Canadian poet and constitutional lawyer F. R. Scott, he is known for his anti-war stance and his criticism of U.S. foreign policy dating back to the Vietnam War. He spent four years (1957-1961) with the Canadian diplomatic service. He retired from the UC Berkeley faculty in 1994 … (full text on wikipedia).

One of Peter Dale Scott’s poems, published on his HomepageContinue Reading…

Sri Lanka reconciliation

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Linked with the Association of World Citizens AWC.

Received by mail (by way of K.N. Pandita):
From: Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva for the Association of World Citizens
Date: 19 May, 2009

Sri Lanka: After the final round of armed violence: a need for a vision of the future

On 19 May 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka proclaimed an end to the fighting against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan (LTTE), one of the world’s most enduring insurgencies. The LTTE had once controlled a quarter of Sri Lanka’s territory as they had pressed their campaign for an independent state for the country’s Tamil minority.  Some 265,000 people have been displaced during the past several months in this last round of fighting.

Citizens of the World call for creative responses to the challenge of new government structures:  Continue Reading…

New ILO report

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New ILO report says “cost of coercion” to workers in forced labour surpasses USD 20 billion per year (also in french and spanish)

Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International  Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.

Published on International Labour Organization ILO, 12 May 2009, an ILO Press release.

GENEVA (ILO News) – In a new study on the patterns of forced labour worldwide, the International Labour Office (ILO) says the “opportunity cost” of coercion to the workers affected reaches over USD 20 billion per year.

The report, entitled The Cost of Coercion (Note 1), also details the growing number of unethical, fraudulent and criminal practices that can lead people into situations of forced labour, and calls for increased efforts to eradicate the practices. The report also charts the significant progress on the international and national levels in reducing and preventing forced labour (Note 2), but warns of the possible impact of the global economic and jobs crisis. Continue Reading…

Iran: Karroubi to press for womens’ rights

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Published on PressTV, Iran, by ZAP/SME/HAR, May 19, 2009.

One of the leading presidential candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, promises to press the fight for equal rights for women, if elected …

… The cleric said that, after the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the first follower of Islam was a woman – Khadijah – and part of Islam’s mission was to restore the worth and human value of women.”

In an apparent reference to the treatment of some of the organizers of the One Million Signatures initiative for equal rights for women, Karroubi said that he regretted the arrests and intimidation of women activists for defending their rights, and expressed support for women of different political persuasions to hold lawful and peaceful gatherings to present their points of view. Continue Reading…

Will Democracy For Ever Remain an Illusion?

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Published on Axis of Logic, by Siv O’Neall, May 12, 2009.

The country that was:

  • The United States is sinking deeper and deeper into the poisoned slough of their own making. Moral turpitude goes hand-in-hand with naiveté and arrogance. And nothing seems to have changed if it’s not that there is now a president with acute intellectual abilities rather than an insensitive and illiterate clown who couldn’t hold a book right side up.
  • Both men are devoted to the belief that the United States is the self-evident leader of the world and anything goes in the interest of keeping their country number one, including invasions of countries harboring supposed or invented enemies and, as always has been the case, cold-blooded support of dictatorships that are willing to do the bidding of Washington … Continue Reading…

World Report 2009

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by Human Rights Watch HRW

The 19th annual World Report (published on HRW) summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects extensive investigative work undertaken in 2008 by Human Rights Watch staff, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in question.


Sixty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the governments demonstrating the clearest vision on international rights protections, sadly, are those seeking to undermine enforcement. In their foreign policies and in international fora, they invoke sovereignty, non-interference, and Southern solidarity to curb criticism of their human rights abuses and those of their allies and friends. Governments that champion human rights need urgently to wrest back the initiative from these human rights spoilers.

HRW News Release.

Careless talk warning issued in Sri Lanka

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Published on The Guardian, by , 15 May 2009.

International staff working in Sri Lanka have been warned to avoid careless talk amid concern that the government in Colombo is going to extraordinary lengths to suppress dissent.

Staff received a notice from the European Union this week telling them to be careful when discussing the country’s conflict because the government had set up a hotline for the public to call if they heard people criticising the government or the security forces.

The warning followed the detention last week of three members of a Channel 4 News team, including the Asia correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh, after a report contained allegations about the treatment of civilians in internment camps …  Continue Reading…

Diaspora to Promote Job Creation and Youth Development in Africa

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Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International  Development Cooperation and its Newsletter.

… More than 50 Washington D.C.-based members of the African Diaspora participated in the launch of the 2008/2009 Africa Development Indicators (ADI) report at World Bank headquarters last week.

As this year’s ADI focuses on Youth and Employment in Africa – The Potential, The Problem, The Promise, the launch targeted Diaspora with an interest in youth development and promoting job creation in Africa.

The ADI launch in D.C. targets people who can really make a difference to Africa – the Diaspora, said Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Africa Region, in his opening remarks. He further explained that data can be a good tool for accountability to help citizens hold leadership responsible for measurable results …  Continue Reading…

Graines de Paix – opportunités de bénévolat et de formation

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… pour nos membres et amis

Lié avec Graines de Paix (grains of peace).

Reçu par mail:
De: Graines de Paix
Date: 12/05/2009

Chers amis de Graines de Paix, Vous avez été nombreux à vous joindre à nous pour le Salon du Livre de Genève et pour notre Assemblée Générale. Mille mercis à vous tous pour votre soutien aussi joyeux qu’efficace. Pour continuer sur notre belle lancée, et conformément à ce qui vous a été exposé durant l’AG, voici quelques activités auxquelles nous vous proposons de vous associer:

1. Nous organisons un atelier d’initiation aux réflexes de paix conduit par Chloé, pour vous permettre de découvrir puis approfondir ces techniques.
Deux dates au choix vous sont proposées: Jeudi 28 mai, 12h15 – 14h45, ou Mercredi 3 juin, 17h30 – 20h00.
Lieu: Graines de Paix, Rue Cornavin 11, CH-1201 GENEVE – 2e étage à droite en sortant de l’ascenseur.
Membres gratuit, Non-membres CHF 30. Inscrivez-vous sans plus attendre, en suivant ce lien (date limite d’inscription: lundi 25 mai).

*****  Continue Reading…

Thesaurus on country of origin information added to search on

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Received by mail:
From: Boris Panhoelzl
Date: 11/05/2009

Dear colleagues, Please allow us to inform you about a new search interface on, the European Country of Origin Information Network. collects information on the situation in countries of origin of asylum seekers with a focus on the needs of asylum lawyers, refugee counsels and persons deciding on claims for asylum and other forms of international protection.

Since February 2008, the search engine on automatically includes English and German synonyms and near synonyms of search terms. In addition to that, we now introduced a “Moderated Search”, which helps you to narrow down or to broaden your search. Whenever you search for a word included in the COI Thesaurus, the Moderated Search suggests broader, narrower and related terms. You can then add these suggestions to your search terms with a search operator of your choice:    Continue Reading…

Security Council ‘must act in Sri Lanka’

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Published on, by Amnesty International UK, 13 May 2009. (See also Amnesty International).

Amnesty International has demanded that the Sri Lankan authorities allow immediate and unhindered access to the troubled areas – including the “Safe Zone” – to international monitors and humanitarian agencies, who can assess the situation first hand and help ensure that the humanitarian and human rights crisis is addressed …

… There are grounds to fear that the Sri Lankan military will launch an even heavier military offensive, when general elections end in neighbouring India today. India’s regional Tamil political parties have made protection of civilians in Sri Lanka a key election issue.   Continue Reading…

Conférence à Genève – La communication interculturelle

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Reçu par e-mail:
De: Yeny Serrano
Date: 12/05/2009

Bonjour, Dans le cadre du cycle de conférences La communication dans tous ses états : Comment communiquer. Quelles pratiques pour quels effets ?, le Service Formation Continue de l’Université de Genève a le plaisir de vous annoncer sa prochaine conférence:

  • La communication interculturelle, Conférencier: Prof. Edo POGLIA, Université de la Suisse italienne,
  • Mardi 26 mai, Uni Mail, Bd. Pont d’Arve 40, 18h30 à 19h45, Finance d’’inscription : 35.-,
  • Programme, InscriptionsContinue Reading…

What does Google know about you?

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Published on PC Advisor, , May 12, 2009.

Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation recently said: “Google knows more about you than your mother.” A few years ago, it might have sounded far-fetched.

But if you’re one of the growing number of people who are using more and more products in Google’s ever-expanding stable (at last count, I was using a dozen), you might wonder if he isn’t on to something.

It’s easy to understand why privacy advocates and policymakers are sounding alarms about online privacy in general – and singling out Google in particular. If you use Google’s search engine, Google knows what you searched for as well as your activity on partner websites that use its ad services. If you use the Chrome browser, it may know every website you’ve typed into the address bar or ‘Omnibox’.

Google’s 17 biggest secrets: …   Continue Reading…

Eritrea: slender land, giant prison

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Published on openDemocracy, by Ben Rawlence, May 6, 2009.

Eritrea has avoided international attention in recent years in ways that may have protected the Red Sea country’s rulers from proper scrutiny but benefit no one else. Even those who recall that the continent’s youngest state gained its unlikely independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a bloody thirty-year struggle may be shocked to hear that the optimistic nationalism of the 1990s has been dissolved under President Isaias Afewerki into a despairing void, causing thousands of Eritreans to flee the country that they fought so hard to establish …

… The international task:

Even if they do manage to escape, their nightmare is not over. In recent years Malta, Libya, Sudan, Egypt and even Britain have returned asylum- seekers to Eritrea, where they are viewed as traitors to the nation-building cause and treated as such. They face almost certain incarceration, torture and possibly death. The Human Rights Watch report calls for an absolute prohibition on all forcible return of Eritrean asylum-seekers.  Continue Reading…