We invite local, national, and international inhabitants’ organisations, networks, and citizens, who are involved in the livability of the city and are struggling for rights related to habitat, to participate in the second Urban Social Forum (USF) in Naples, Italy, September 3-7, 2012, which will be held as an alternative to UN-Habitat’s World Urban Forum (WUF) 6.
We launch this call, based on the shared principles of the World Social Forum (WSF), convinced on the necessity to continue to develop successful convergences at local, national and international levels, such as: the World Assembly of Inhabitants (Mexico City, 2000), World Social Forum 1 (Porto Alegre, 2001), Urban Social Forum 1 (Rio de Janeiro, 2010), World Assembly of Inhabitants and the Popular Neighbourhood Forum (Dakar, 2011), World Days for the Right to Habitat (October 2011), the People’s Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 2012), and the upcoming World Assembly of Inhabitants during the World Social Forum in 2013.
The second Urban Social Forum in Naples will be held in a beautiful territory rich with resources, however severly damaged, which is an additional reason to build this inclusive space together. Naples will represent another milestone in the consolidation of dialogue and alliances to reach a consensus on a platform and program for common action between urban and rural inhabitant movements and all those organizations, networks and institutions that fight for the rights to housing, land, common goods, and to the city. These rights can only be protected by building more just, democratic and sustainable territories and by defending inhabitants against attacks steming from the crisis caused by neoliberal globalization.
We are very concerned about the growing influence of big corporations and business lobby groups within the UN, through government delegations, and in multilateral negotiations. As governments gather again in Rio this month, we believe it is time to reclaim the UN from corporate capture, and restore it as a peoples’ space!
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as the Rio Earth Summit. For 20 years governments have tried to agree on ways to save our planet - and ultimately our lives. As we are facing multiple global crises today, people around the world can no longer remain silent about the false solutions offered and the environmental injustices that remain unresolved – 20 years is enough!
The UN is the only forum we have to address global problems, in which all of the world’s 192 countries have an equal voice. However more and more we see that UN policies do not necessarily serve the public interest but instead promote the interests of corporations.
We are very concerned about the growing influence of big corporations and business lobby groups within the UN, through government delegations, and in multilateral negotiations.
As governments gather again in Rio this month, we believe it is time to reclaim the UN from corporate capture, and restore it as a peoples’ space!
Join our campaign. Send a letter to the UN Secretary General to stop the business lobby and reclaim the UN.
Who’s planet is it? It’s our planet!
In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine - The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations: The Great Binding Law.
We Occupy Wall Street and thousands of other locations around the World, we are swarming, live streaming and communicating globally and in cyberspace, and we are in the hearts and futures of the 99% of the population that we represent. We are the people; business people, workers, farmers, the unemployeed, the homeless, the hungry, we are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, we are everyone and everywhere. We are here in the tradition of Martin Luther King’s 1976 Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. where thousands of poor people of all races set up a shantytown known as Resurrection City.
Why direct non-violent action? Why are we Occupying? It’s pretty simple. It works! It’s worked for millions of people. Non-violent direct action is what made the civil rights movement and Indian independence from the British possible. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.” The spirit of the Martin Luther King Jr. Poor People’s Campaign has evolved into an All People’s Campaign. To protect the future of our planet and of our children and for generations to come we must act now to take back the power of the people and not allow the interests of global greed to remain in power. Our objective in this dialog is to initiate an open and true discussion about how things really are. The key issues facing the world have been obscured by main stream political dialog and corporate controlled media.
We need a different approach to tackle the crisis, and a different Europe
Spring 2012. Merkel and Sarkozy rush from summit meeting to summit meeting, in order to save the euro. The yellow press smears the people of Greece. The struggle over a solution to the crisis is intensifying dramatically: by early 2013, an authoritarian-neoliberal alliance of business lobby groups, the financial industry, the EU Commission, the German government, and other exporting countries, hopes to rush the ‛Fiscal Treaty that has just been concluded in Brussels through the national parliaments. The Fiscal Treaty prescribes an antisocial policy of cuts, and includes penalties for countries that oppose this policy. Thus the Fiscal Treaty restricts democratic self-determination even further. It is the momentary climax of an authoritarian trend in Europe.
We are fed up with these unsocial and antidemocratic policies, and with the racist slander campaign against the people of Greece. Instead, we should talk about the inhuman consequences of these policies. We should talk about Europe’s authoritarian turn, and low German wages as a cause of the crisis. We should talk about the untouched fortunes of the few, and the sufferings of the many. We should talk about our admiration for the resistance and solidarity among the Greek people. Let us demand what should go without saying: real democracy and a good life in dignity for everybody – in Europe and elsewhere.
Today, in most EU countries, journalists and civil society have very limited access to migrant detention centres. The Open Access campaign focuses on visits by journalists and civil society groups to detention centres for migrants, in order to document and argue for the following call.
Because European citizens have the right to know the consequences of the policies implemented in their name. We demand that the right of access to detention centres be granted to journalists and civil society.
In Europe today, roughly 600,000 people including children are detained every year, most often without a court decision. This detention can last up to 18 months until the detainee is removed merely for breach of EU member states’ immigration laws. These people are not just deprived of their freedom of movement. Often, they are deprived of access to legal advice, health care and the right to live as a family...
Can European citizens say that they do not know all this? Unfortunately they can.
Today, in most EU countries, journalists and civil society have very limited access to migrant detention centres. Often, even when one accesses it is impossible to meet people in detention, or even to talk to them. Generally, only Members of national and European Parliaments have right of access.
This lack of transparency increases the risk of malpractice and numerous rights violations.
Yet access to information is an inalienable right of European citizens, defended by all European institutions (article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights refers to the ’freedom... to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority’).
Even the ’Return’ Directive of 16 December 2008, which our organisations continue to clearly condemn in particular on the issue of length of detention, states that ’relevant and competent national, international and non-governmental organisations and bodies shall have the possibility to visit detention centres’.
In days, the European Commission will try a last ditch attempt to revive ACTA. But we can shine a light on their dirty trick and foil their plans.
Governments are turning their back on ACTA one by one, so the EC is asking their Court of Justice to give the treaty the greenlight and renew its momentum — but they plan to manipulate the process by giving the court only a narrow, uncontroversial question to consider, hoping it will lead to a positive outcome.
We can push the court to see though the EC’s ploy and look at all the legal implications of this censorship treaty on our freedoms — forcing a negative decision that kills ACTA for good.
In 24 hours, Americans sent more than 802,000 messages urging senators to reject any attempts to revive the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.
The Senate could vote soon on an amendment that would force approval of Keystone XL. Every call you make will help convince wavering senators to stand with us.
Can you phone your senators now and tell them to reject the Keystone XL pipeline?
1. Call the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with one of your senators. (You can call again to reach your second senator.)
2. Deliver your message. Here is a sample script you can use:
"Hello. My name is _________ and I am a constituent calling from [CITY, STATE]. I’m calling because in 24 hours alone, Americans sent more than 802,000 messages opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. I expect you, and your colleagues, to stand with us against Big Oil, and reject any attempts to resurrect this dangerous tar sands oil pipeline that threatens ecosystems, water and our climate.”
3. Report the results of your call using the form below.
We urge all civil society to remind Heads of States of their duty to attend the UN CSD RIO+20 Summit, that will take place in Brazil on June 2012. We need their engagement and urgent implementation of sustainable policies to create a better future for us and up coming generations. Rio+20 is an outstanding opportunity for fundamental change and its importance is not only measured by the urgency of the problems it tackles but also by the highest level of attention it is given by many of the World leaders. In the challenging world of today, it is crucial that the people’s representatives engage in the Conference that fights urgent global issues such as unequal consumption, overexploitation of natural resources, increasing poverty, to stop short-sighted solutions, and the greed of companies, banks and individuals. It is urgent that together, they commit on finding strategies to promote global economic and social transitions in ways that avoid marginalization of peoples, environmental degradation, over-exploitation or pollution.
Knowing that the Heads of State take every opportunity to connect with and hear the concerns of their constituents, we urge civil society to formally express its strong wish for their leaders engagement in the Rio+20 Conference, whose goals are: to secure renewed political commitment for global Sustainable Development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges. From soaring food prices to the crippling effects of climate change, our economies are now confronting the reality of years of spending beyond our financial and environmental means and millions of people are suffering and dying because of that. If we are to maintain stable societies and enjoy good lives, we can no longer sustain a widening budget gap between what nature is able to provide and how much our infrastructure, economies and lifestyles require.
The campaign “Stop Paraquat”, conducted by non-governmental organisations, trade unions, and scientists around the world, calls to end the production and ban the use of the highly toxic and harmful herbicide.
The critics’ main target is the agri-concern and leading distributor of paraquat, Syngenta. The company markets the herbicide in over 100 countries, usually under the brand name ‘Gramoxone’. Paraquat is regularly used on banana, coffee, palm oil, rubber, fruit, or pineapple plantations. Growers large and small use it copiously on their maize and rice fields. Many workers and farmers exposed to paraquat on a regular basis have serious health problems, and deaths caused by the high toxicity of the herbicide, which has no antidote, are not infrequent.
This website contains important information concerning the campaign (links on the right side), as well as many facts about the use of paraquat and various studies on the health problems associated with it (links on the left side).
The “Zero Evictions” campaign, which was inspired by World Assembly of Inhabitants, has been launched in Yaoundé by Réseau National des Habitants du Cameroun (RNHC) under the slogan, “Say no to evictions without rehousing!”
Everyone is invited to spread the word and support the campaign by signing the petition online!
Members of the local Promotions Committee for the Zero Evictions Campaign, traditional and religious authorities, and organizers of the Urban Network for Inhabitants of the 7 districts of Yaoundé took part in the campaign launch, which was covered by a number of radio and television stations, as well as local newspapers.
The agenda’s primary focus was on the petition, which serves as key document to the memorandum that will be presented to the government of the Republic of Cameroon- a memorandum which is testament to the determination of Cameroon inhabitants to put an end to all mass evictions where no adequate measures for rehousing are provided.
The Syrian regime has reached a new low — its death squads are using ambulances and hospitals to lure and kill wounded protesters. But Russia, Syria’s key backer and arms supplier, could bring an end to this carnage.
There are two governments that can influence Russia — Turkey and Germany — both of them support the Syrian democracy protesters and have strong ties with Russia. If we call on them to act now, they could weigh in behind mounting regional pressure and push Russian President Medvedev to stop propping up this brutal regime and help urgent global action.
Syria’s horror hospitals are the latest in a string of unspeakable crimes against peaceful protesters. So far, Russia has faced little condemnation for its complicity in these atrocities, but we can change that. Let’s build a massive petition to Merkel and Erdogan now to speak out and work with the Arab League to stop the brutality. Sign now, and share this with everyone — it will be delivered to their Foreign Ministries this week.
With the prospect of further global food crisis, this is not the time for leaders to back-out of their commitment to halving hunger. France’s President Sarkozy will host this year’s G20 meeting which could create a breakthrough in global hunger eradication – if countries agree the right actions. Make sure they do.
All countries agreed to half hunger by 2015, as set out in the millenium development goals. So far – on the whole – they’ve failed miserably. At this year’s G20 meeting, hosted by President Sarkozy in Cannes in France, the leaders of the world’s most powerful economies must take decisive action to end continuing food crisis. We know it is possible. There are no excuses. And there are very specific things they can agree to.
Firstly the G20 can reverse 30 years of bad ‘neo-liberal’ policies which have left poor countries hungrier than ever – by investing again in the small holder farmers who are proven to be the key to food security.
Secondly they can regulate their own financial institutions by stopping them from gambling on food stocks – a practice which creates food price flucuations. They can also make sure that their own companies are regulated to stop them from grabbing land in hungry countries, land which should be used for growing food by local people.
Thirdly can stop using food from hungry countries for fuel – by retreating on their biofuels policies which take food out of the system and cause land grabs in hungry countries.
And finally they can champion national and regional food banks to act as buffers in times of high prices or shortfalls.
There are almost no credible food experts in the world that disagee that these steps can help eradicate hunger.
Call for Nominations for the «2012 Public Eye Awards»
The Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland are once again searching far and wide for corporations that pursue profits without regard for social and/or environmental harm. To succeed, we need your support and the critical eye of civil society!
Whether inhumane working conditions, reckless environmental sins, deliberate disinformation, or the disregard for human rights by corporations: In the run-up to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in late January 2012 in Davos, Switzerland, the worst corporate sins will appear on the 2012 Public Eye Awards short list. We thereby place corporate offenses in the international spotlight and help NGO campaigns succeed. A number of firms have already felt the considerable pressure from the unwelcome exposure in the media and the social Web! Over 50,000 people worldwide took part in the online voting for the People’s Award last year.
We are looking for corporations that have caused social and/or environmental damage in a well-documented case. Two awards will be given:
GLOBAL AWARD (selected by an internal expert panel) PEOPLE’S AWARD (selected by online voting at www.publiceye.ch)
Two awards, two opportunities: Tell us who you nominate and why the company deserves one or even both 2012 Public Eye Awards. The easiest way is to send us brief answers to the following questions, totaling no more than two A4 pages:
* What is the company? How big is it? Where are its headquarters? * Which of its activities do you find socially or environmentally irresponsible? * What concrete consequences do the firm’s activities have for humans and the environment? * What is the current status of things, or of your campaign? What are the next steps? * Where on the Internet can we find further information on the case you present?
It pays to participate: If the corporation nominated by your NGO wins, we will bring you to Davos in late January, where you will present your case at our international press conference.
Send nominations to Claudio De Boni, Public Eye Coordinator: email@example.com DEADLINE: September 30, 2011.
Thank you for your participation and for telling your colleagues!
Good luck and best regards,
François Meienberg Michael Baumgartner The Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
A deadly siege on 1.6 million people living in Gaza has been imposed by Israel since 2006. It was partially and momentarily lifted when the revolutionary Egyptian movement ousted Hosni Mubarak and made clear that emancipation and the freedom of Palestine were joint and connected goals.
Yet today, and daily, approximately 35,000 people wait to cross the border. Meanwhile, Israeli air strikes last week on ‘the largest open air prison on earth’ killed at least 15 people, including 2 children, and injured at least 50 more. The denial of freedom of movement for Palestinian people is also an offense to the immense ongoing struggles of the Egyptian people in pursuit of human rights and dignity.
Sign the call from Gaza. Open the Rafah crossing permanently and unconditionally.
For months, Syria’s brutal President Assad has paid henchmen to wage war on his own people. Governments across the world have condemned these atrocities, but key European leaders could cut off the cash flow that finances this bloodbath.
Germany, France and Italy are the three main importers of Syrian oil. If they move to impose immediate EU sanctions, Assad’s slaughter funds will dry up. Assad has ignored political appeals for him to rein in his assault, and EU leaders have discussed ramping up sanctions, but only a massive global outcry will push them to act urgently.
We have no time to lose — every day dozens of Syrians are shot, tortured or disappeared simply for calling for basic democratic rights. The EU can stop subsidising it now. Sign the petition to EU heads of state to immediately adopt oil sanctions on Syria.
Almir Narayamoga Surui, tribal chief of the Surui people from Western Rondonia in the Brazilian Amazon and internationally-recognized indigenous rights defender who participated in an indigenous delegation to Europe last March with Amazon Watch and our allies to expose the destructive lending practices of the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES), is once again at high risk as he works to defend the ancestral territory of the Surui people in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. It is the same threat looming over many indigenous leaders, rural agriculturalists and environmental activists who oppose destructive development, such as illegal logging and ranching, in the Amazon. One difference in this case, however, is that Chief Almir has traveled the world and has over 3,000 friends on Facebook where he’s posted his concerns in an open letter (see below).
We urgently call upon you to take action once more in support of Thai human rights activist and journalist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, who has been in jail now on charges of ’lese majeste’ for 2.5 months.
Thailand has a new government since 3 July and it is essential that Somyot’s case is brought to the attention of the new Prime Minister before 24 July 2011 which is the deadline for the indictment. On that day the prosecutor has to submit the case to the court and if he fails to do so Somyot will have to be released immediately. If the case is put forward Somyot is likely to stay in jail for at least 2 years.
The future of Aung San Suu Kyi and her amazing movement for democracy in Burma is hanging in the balance this week, and we could make the difference.
Suu Kyi has bravely called on the military regime to free the thousands of monks and peaceful activists still held in horrific prisons, some in cramped dog cages. Unprecedentedly, thousands of Burmese have risked their own safety to join her call for freedom through an online petition! Yesterday, the regime issued an ominous warning to Suu Kyi – and the Generals may be deciding right now between dialogue or another brutal crackdown.
This could come down to us. Activists in Burma have appealed to the world for help, saying that pressure from the international community is crucial to preventing violence and freeing political prisoners. Let’s stand with Suu Kyi and the brave Burmese, sign on to their petition, and send it to the EU, India and other key governments who can press the regime.
The Amazon is in serious danger. The lower house of the Brazilian congress has approved a gutting of Brazil’s forest protection laws. Unless we act now vast tracts of our planet’s lungs could be opened up to clear cutting devastation.
The move has sparked widespread anger and protests across the country. And tension is rising — in the last few weeks several prominent environmental advocates have been murdered, purportedly by armed thugs hired by illegal loggers. The timing is critical, they’re trying to silence criticism just as the law is discussed in the Senate. But President Dilma can veto the changes, if we can persuade her to overcome political pressure and step onto the global stage as a leader.
79% of Brazilians support Dilma’s veto of the forest law changes, but their voices are being challenged by logger lobbies. It’s now up to all of us to raise the stakes and make Amazon protection a global issue. Let’s come together now in a giant call to stop the murders and illegal logging, and save the Amazon. Sign the petition below — it’ll be delivered to Dilma when we reach 1,000,000 signers.
On 2 June 2011, OCEAN2012 will launch a photo and documentary exhibit at ZSL London Zoo Aquarium. The event is one of more than 100 being organized by the OCEAN2012 coalition to launch the second annual European Fish Week (June 4 – 12, 2011), which will engage citizens across Europe to call for an effective reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). These collective actions coincide with World Oceans Day on June 8 and the anticipated publication of the European Commission’s proposal for a reformed CFP in mid-July.
Most EU fish stocks are now overfished, many of them below safe biological limits. It was not always like this. In the recent past, stocks were healthier and fishing communities were wealthier, with more fish, boats, fishers and communities dependent on fisheries in Europe.
During this week of action, OCEAN2012 member groups are inviting EU citizens to witness the impact overfishing has had on the marine environment and learn how the EU’s CFP reform is an opportunity to go back to the future.
On the occasion of the 40th International Roma Day and the 5th European Roma Platform, we, the undersigned organisations and individuals, denounce all forms of anti-Roma violence, including intimidation and hate speech. As the European Commission presents the long-awaited European Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, we cannot ignore that there are Roma living in Europe today whose daily lives are threatened by violence and harassment. Recalling the past and present acts of anti-Roma violence in Europe and the threat of future incidents, we remember the victims and demand justice for all of those affected. Whether the threat comes from ordinary citizens, paramilitary groups, far-right political organisations or the hate speech of public figures, we demand that the racism and violence which undermine our common European values no longer be tolerated or ignored.
We call on the European Union and national governments to:
Swiftly and clearly condemn all acts of anti-Roma violence, recognising and denouncing their racial motivation;
Ensure prompt State response to protect Romani European citizens against threats to their security and to conduct effective investigations and prosecutions to deliver justice to victims of violent attacks;
Implement a “zero tolerance policy” for public officials engaged in hate speech or other violations of the rights of Roma.
To sign the petition, click here.
The tragedy in Japan has aroused worldwide solidarity due to the loss of thousands of human lives and of vast regions and cities caused by the magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated major parts of Japanese territory. The undersigned networks, organizations, and individuals wish to first express our deepest condolences to the Japanese people and make known our shared grief and sympathy for the humanitarian emergency caused by this disaster.
Meanwhile, we find extremely worrying the impact of the natural disaster on the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, causing explosions and leading to serious risks due to the release of radioactive material, a situation that may worsen if the elements of this plant are fused by overheating. Two more nuclear plants are also at risk in Onagawa and Tokai. The Japanese government has been forced to shut down at least 11 nuclear plants in order to prevent further disaster, leaving more than 6 million people without electricity. Some 200,000 people have been evacuated to avoid possible exposure to the harmful effects of a nuclear accident, and public health measures are being taken for the exposed population. The nuclear damage and risk show how unjust is this system, Fukushima plant is to supply the metropolitan area with electricity but residents near the plant have suffered its risks the most, meanwhile profit-making enterprises promote the exportation of nuclear power-generating plants as "clean energy".
This tragic situation alerts us ONCE MORE to the enormous danger nuclear plants pose to the survival and security of the world, and reminds us of the resistance of those Japanese activists who refused to build the plants 40 years ago. Today the world is changing not only because of the threat of natural disasters but also due to climate change, which has produced major flooding, landslides and severe changes in the habitability of the planet, such as recent mudslides in Rio de Janeiro that threatened nuclear plants in the area and caused them to be stopped until the situation stabilizes. This global vulnerability requires much reflection, but above all, an awareness of the fact that technology and money will not save lives once tragedies occur.
The climate crisis and the demand for energy have led large corporations and developed countries to discuss nuclear energy as a clean and sustainable alternative energy. The World Bank’s own energy programs consider nuclear power, along with large hydroelectric dams, to be an important possibility. But it is increasingly clear that these are false solutions that only increase danger and the vulnerability of humanity in the face of global changes.
Nuclear energy is being proposed as an alternative, "clean" source of energy in climate change negotiations, but it has repeatedly proven capable of escaping both technical and human control and affecting millions of people, particularly future generations, with potential adverse effects on life. The same danger is related to the treatment of toxic waste that contaminate our planet. Multilateral forums such as the Rio+20 process, the UN Climate Convention, and forums related to alternative energy should take seriously the dangers of nuclear energy. We urge governments to listen to their peoples and to the voices of civil society around the world that express opposition to the false solutions. We call on governments to focus on ensuring the survival of millions of people around the world and their right to shelter, health, and food sovereignty, instead of weakening conditions on the planet by following the dictates of capital.
We demand a move toward decommissioning nuclear plants throughout the world, and a search for real solutions for the people, and ask that every precaution be taken to avoid regrettable damage. Chernobyl and Fukushima are warnings that should compel governments to stop insisting on continuing to promote these projects. The use of nuclear power for energy supply, and worse, for the purposes of war, must stop.
Business does not interest us, what interests us is the life and safety of the population without increasing their vulnerability.
FUKUSHIMA AND CHERNOBYL ARE ENOUGH! NO MORE NUCLEAR ENERGY!
To support this declaration you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
FUNDACION SOLON - Bolivia REDES - AMIGOS DE LA TIERRA - Uruguay ECOLOGISTAS EN ACCION - España BLUE PLANET PROJECT - Canadá TWN (La RED DEL TERCER MUNDO) FoEM FRIENDS OF THE EARTH - Malasia CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION OF PENANG - Malasia PLATAFORMA BOLIVIANA FRENTE AL CAMBIO CLIMATICO COLECTIVO VIENTOSUR - Chile HIJOS DEL MONTE, FRENTE NACIONAL CAMPESINO - Argentina FOCO - Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos - Argentina FEDAEPS - Ecuador MOCICC (Movimiento Ciudadano Frente al Cambio Climático) - Perú COMDA (Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua) FOCUS ON THE GLOBAL SOUTH (Thailand, Pilipinas, India) ALIANZA SOCIAL CONTINENTAL SEEN PROJECT- IPS - USA FUNDACION ECOSUR – Argentina FUNDACION TERRAM - Chile ASAMBLEA CIUDADANA POR LA VIDA de Chilecito - Argentina Coordinadora por la defensa del agua y la vida - Chile Asociación Colectivo Poder y Desarrollo Local - Guatemala Asociación Vidas Verdes - Perú GREENPEACE - México GREENPEACE - Argentina JUBILEO SUR ACCION ECOLOGICA - Ecuador OILWATCH - SUDAMERICA OTROS MUNDOS A.C. Amig@s de la Tierra - México FEDERACION UNIDAD ECOLOGICA SALVADOREÑA (UNES) - El Salvador RED DE AMBIENTALISTAS EN ACCION - El Salvador PACJA - África GRAIN CEUTA (Centro Uruguayo de Tecnologías Apropiadas) MMM (MARCHA MUNDIAL DE MUJERES) REMTE - Ecuador WOMEN COLECTIVE ANAMPER- Chiclayo - México CNMSPP "MICAELA BASTIDAS" - México Women for Peace in Finland, Helsinki Women Against Nuclear Power, Finland, Helsinki Friends of the Siberian Forests, Rusia Bureau for Regional Outreach Campaigns - BROC – Rusia Space Allies, Japón Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres de Perú Red Latinoamericana Mujeres Transformando la Economía -REMTE Perú REMTE – Bolivia Foro de Acción Social (INSAF) - India Centro Latino Americano de Ecología Social- CLAES Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Chile Sustentable Consumidores por el Desarollo PERU Agua Sustentable – Bolivia ATTAC – Francia ALARC – Suiza NGO Provincial Women - Russia NGO Viola – Russia Friends of the Environment in Negros Oriental (FENOr), Philippines Center for Cultural Interchange – United States Fundación por el Futuro – España Radio Ecos 93.9 FM - Venezuela Associação Paraibana dos Amigos da Natureza (APAN) - Brasil Centro de Promocion y Desarrollo Andino (CEPRODA MINGA) - Perú ATTAC – Japón Ecoportal.Net, Argentina Asociación Americana de Periodistas Bolivarianos – Capítulo Panamá IBON INTERNATIONAL, Philippines PEOPLES MOVEMENT on CLIMATE CHANGE, Philippines NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) – Indonesia Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development El Ojo con Dientes - Argentina ATTAC - Catalunya
After several major breakthroughs in Latin America in recent years, it is now on the Arab world that a wind of freedom and hope is blowing. The Tunisian revolution has not only brought down a bloodthirsty dictator; it has also blazed the way to a world without oppression and exploitation. One after another, Arab peoples are breaking away from the logic of fear and taking their destiny into their own hands as they burst onto the political scene.
A symbol for all those who fight for freedom, dignity and social justice, it is greatly to be hoped that this revolutionary process will spread beyond the Arab world. But History has taught us never to underestimate the forces of capital. Day after day imperialist powers and domestic reactionary forces organize to counter this movement of emancipation and regain control. They use all possible tools to prevent these movements from succeeding or expanding. And these tools are quite powerful: banks, media, and economic power.
Faced with this ongoing, organized threat, faced with global capitalism, populations have no choice but to support each other and fight together. Peoples of the Arab world urgently need our active support. Who can resist this call for help and solidarity?
When it met on 10 February 2011 during the World Social Forum in Dakar, the Social Movements Assembly  called on all popular forces throughout the world to mobilize on Sunday 20 March 2011  to support the revolutionary process in the Arab world 
Social movements the world over, on Sunday 20 March 2011, let us stand by the Arab populations who demand genuine democracy and power to the people.
Social movements the world over, on Sunday 20 March 2011, let our massive mobilization send a clear signal to the powers that be: as the Tusisian and Egyptian peoples have just shown, people in the South and in the North are no longer ready to pay for the recession and seek to fashion their own destiny and promote social justice and respect for nature.
Social movements the world over, let us make Sunday 20 March 2011 a symbol (and indeed, in some cases, the beginning) of the assertion of popular sovereignty against the forces of capital.
For more info, Fathi Chamki email@example.com
We, farmers organizations, non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, unions and other social movements, gathered in Dakar for the World Social Forum 2011:
Considering that small and family farming, which represent most of the world’s farmers, are best placed to:
* meet their dietary needs and those of populations, ensuring food security and sovereignty of countries,
* provide employment to rural populations and maintain economic life in rural areas, key to a balanced territorial development,
* produce with respect to the environment and to the conservation of natural resources for future generations;
Considering that recent massive land grabs targeting tens of millions of acres for the benefit of private interests or third states - whether for reasons of food, energy, mining, environment, tourism, speculation or geopolitics - violate human rights by depriving local, indigenous, peasants, pastoralists and fisher communities of their livelihoods, by restricting their access to natural resources or by removing their freedom to produce as they wish, and exacerbate the inequalities of women in access and control of land;
Considering that investors and complicit governments threaten the right to food of rural populations, that they condemned them to suffer rampant unemployment and rural exodus, that they exacerbate poverty and conflicts and contribute to the loss ofagricultural knowledge and skills and cultural identities ;
Considering also that the land and the respect of human rights are firstly under the jurisdiction of national parliaments and governments, and they bear the greatest share of responsibility for these land grabs;
We call on parliaments and national governments to immediately cease all massive land grabs current or future and return the plundered land. We order the government to stop oppressing and criminalizing the movements of struggle for land and to releaseactivists detained. We demand that national governments implement an effective framework for the recognition and regulation of land rights for users through consultation with all stakeholders. This requires putting an end to corruption and cronyism, which invalidates any attempt of shared land management.
We demand that governments, the Regional Unions of States, FAO and other national and international institutions immediately implement the commitments that were made at the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) of 2006, namely securing land rights of users, the revival of agrarian reform process based on a fair access to natural resources and rural development for the welfare of all. We ask that the elaboration process of the FAO Guidelines on Governance of Land and Natural Resources be strengthened, and that they are based on Human Rights as defined in the various charters and covenants - these rights being effective only if binding legal instruments are implemented at the national and international level to impose on the states compliance with their obligations. Moreover, each state has to be held responsible for the impact of its policies or activities of its companies in the countries targeted by the investments. Similarly, we must reaffirm the supremacy of Human Rights over international trade and finance regimes, which are sources of speculation on natural resources and agricultural goods.
Meanwhile, we urge the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to definitively reject the World Bank principles for responsible agricultural investment (RAI), which are illegitimate and inadequate to address the phenomenon, and to include the commitments of the ICARRD as well as the conclusions of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) in its Global Framework for Action.
We demand that states, regional organizations and international institutions guarantee people’s right to land and support family farming and agro-ecology. Appropriate agricultural policies should consider all different types of producers (indigenous peoples, pastoralists, artisanal fishermen, peasants, agrarian reform beneficiaries) and answer specifically to the needs of women and youth.
Finally, we invite people and civil society organisations everywhere to support - by all human, media, legal, financial or popular means possible - all those who fight against land grabs and to put pressure on national governments and international institutions to fulfil their obligations towards the rights of people.
We all have a duty to resist and to support the people who are fighting for their dignity!
Read explanatory note and sign sign on on-line... The appeal will be open for the endorsement until 15 June 2011.
The Dakar Appeal, together with the names of organisations endorsing it, will be presented during the mobilizations against the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Paris on 22-23 June.
Tunisia urgently needs to marshal all of its financial resources to meet immediate needs, including extreme poverty, benefits for the unemployed, improving workers’ material conditions, etc.
Meanwhile, we’re getting reports of foreign initiatives to develop an emergency “aid” package for Tunisia, including 17 million euros from the European Commission and 350,000 euros from the French state. The European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank are also preparing to lend Tunisia millions of euros.
We don’t need to add to our debt, because Tunisia already has sufficient financial resources to address the current social emergency, as proven by a statement on the part of Mustapha Nabli. The former senior executive of the World Bank, ex-finance minister under Ben Ali and, since January 15, 2011, governor of Tunisia’s Central Bank, has announced he intends to allocate 577 million euros from the country’s budget to service the 2010 external public debt!
We demand that the Ghannouchi government suspend this debt payment considering the exceptional situation in which our country finds itself and the enormous social needs. This demand is based on the legal argument related to the state of necessity, which allows states in financial difficulty to suspend debt payments unilaterally and give priority to the needs of the population. It is all the more necessary to suspend debt payments given that a significant portion of Tunisia’s external public debt is actually dictator Ben Ali’s private debt, a debt that did not benefit the Tunisian people. During the suspension of payments, an audit of Tunisia’s entire public debt (domestic and external) should be undertaken to determine what portion was illegitimate.
Raid Attac/Cadtm Tunisie is calling on all of the Committees for the Protection of the Revolution, as well as the political, social, labor and youth movements, to unite for the immediate suspension of debt repayment. This is all the more urgent because the Ghannouchi government plans to hand over a large portion of this payment – 410 million euros – by April 2011.
Raid Attac/Cadtm Tunisie proposes to form a collective that will decide on the collective actions to be taken to achieve this goal.
Suspending the payment of 577 million euros will not hurt Tunisia’s creditors; however, making the payment will worsen the already dire situation of the Tunisian people !
Tunis, February 22, 2011 Raid Attac/Cadtm Tunisie Fathi Chamkhi Phone +216.98.522.378 / +216.23.787.380 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.tunisie.attac.org
Translation: Karen Wirsig Correction: Elizabeth Bell
Between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, Israel’s major military offensive on the Gaza Strip, codenamed Operation “Cast Lead”, caused massive destruction and suffering. Approximately 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the Gaza conflict. Three of the Israelis and the majority of the Palestinian fatalities were civilians. Much of Gaza was razed to the ground.Both sides violated international humanitarian law. Israeli forces attacked civilian buildings and launched indiscriminate attacks which failed to distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilians. (...)
I call on the UN Human Rights Council to take action to ensure international justice for all Palestinian and Israeli victims of the 2008-9 conflict in Gaza and southern Israel by adopting a strong resolution at its March 2011 session that:
* condemns the inadequacies of the investigations conducted by Israel and the Hamas de facto administration; * calls on the International Criminal Court Prosecutor to urgently seek a determination from the judges of the Court on whether his office can investigate crimes committed during the Gaza conflict; * calls on other governments to fulfil their duty to investigate and prosecute crimes committed during the conflict before their national courts by exercising universal jurisdiction; and * refers the situation of impunity to the UN General Assembly for action. Read more
We are the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana. Together with our children, we number around 1,000 people. The government has forced us off our ancestral land, and now we live in resettlement camps. Since being relocated we have problems we never knew before: drinking, violence, HIV/AIDS. Many of us are dying in the camps. When we try to hunt or gather we are arrested and sometimes tortured.
In December 2006 we had a historic victory in the Botswana courts. The judges ruled that our forced relocation from our beloved land was unlawful, and that we have the right to go back and hunt there as we have always done. However, despite the judgment, the government won’t let us hunt and is stopping us using the water borehole on our land. It has also refused to help us with transport home. Because of this, most of us have not yet been able to return.
We just want to go home.
Israel destroys Palestinian lives, livelihoods and homes daily, refuses to stop building its illegal settlements and apartheid wall on stolen land, continues to control Gaza while slicing the West Bank into Bantustans, denies Palestinian refugees their right to return, grows produce and sets up industrial zones on stolen Palestinian land, and operates an apartheid, racist system on both sides of the ‘green line’. Only international pressure can make Israel cease its violations of international law and human rights. As Governments have failed to hold Israel accountable, it is up to people of conscience in civil society worldwide to heed Palestinian calls for protection and justice. The campaign for Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) is part of the worldwide movement of civil society in support of the Palestinian people for national, civil and human rights. Read more
GreenPeace launches a campaign of denunciation against the bank BNP-Paribas. BNP Paribas is planning to finance a nuclear reactor in Angra, Brazil that will be built with severely out-of-date materials and will no longer meet international safety or technology standards.
Günter Verheugen is one of the six Commissioners from the previous Commission team who have moved into private sector jobs which might entail conflicts of interest (out of 13 Commissioners that left in February 2010). Many of these cases, such as Charlie McCreevy’s move to RyanAir and Meglena Kuneva’s move to BNP Paribas, give serious cause for concern. By launching his own lobby consultancy, Verheugen is blatantly violating the rules. However in an interview with EurActiv, the former Commissioner said he doesn’t see he did anything wrong.
Hold the Commission to account! By sending an email you help to put pressure on President Barroso and the Commission to close the revolving door and to tighten up rules for ex-Commissioners and former Commission staff.
Introduce a financial transaction tax for people and the planet now!
A small change for the banks. A big difference for the world.
Introduce the Robin Hood Tax now!
A humanitarian catastrophe of terrifying proportions is unfolding in Pakistan, with a fifth of the country under water, and millions of people homeless and desperately needing assistance.
Some relief efforts are underway, but the international response to the mega-disaster has been irresponsibly slow and weak — the UN has urgently appealed for $460 million of vital aid, but just 60% has been committed. Relief workers warn that without an immediate increase in aid the death toll could sky-rocket.
With the expert advice of leading humanitarian NGOs on the ground, we’ll offer donations to trusted local organizations, including: Hirrak Development Centre (HDC) and Participatory Welfare Services (PWS). With these partners on the ground our community will help provide much needed humanitarian aid. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to helping Pakistanis cope with this disaster and strengthen their local systems. Click below to make a contribution to the Pakistan disaster relief fund:
Lake Baikal, a unique UNESCO world heritage site, is under threat from the Russian Government, after permits have been given to open a toxic pulp and paper mill on its shore. Petition General Director of UNESCO Irina Bokova to step up and defend this unique world heritage! Take action
For more than two months, the Red Shirts have mobilised with decisiveness and purpose in the streets of Bangkok to support their demands of democracy and social justice.
The government led by Abhisit Vejjajiva chose to respond to these demands with violence and repression. It committed a serious violation against human rights when it authorised the use of military hardware to dissolve the demonstrations. The result was extremely serious: there were at least 89 dead and nearly 2000 wounded.
Today, democratic rights are not respected: there are 99 arrest warrants against opponents. The places where most of the detainees are held are kept secret. The government has imposed censorship on the alternative media. The penalties incurred are especially severe: from 3 to 15 years for “lese majesty” to the death penalty for “terrorism”.
The Red Shirts are being treated by the government as if they were “terrorists”. It is a complex movement, but its members are mainly ordinary poor people whose most elementary political rights –like the respect due to the result of an election—have been ignored.
The Thai government can continue to repress the Thai people freely, because its constant violations against human rights have not been confronted by international solidarity and condemnation. We make a call to all progressive and democratic organizations to demand the end of the repression and the respect of fundamental rights in Thailand; to start an international campaign to obtain the freedom of political prisoners and the end of intimidation and inculpation of the Red Shirts.
We demand from the Thai government that it raises the State of Urgency and immediately re-establishes democratic freedoms in the country; that it ends the repression against the Red Shirts and that all prisoners are freed without any delay.
To sign the call: solidaritythailand (AT) gmail.com,(Leave your first name, family name, quality and country)
The list of signatories can be viewed on the ESSF website: http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spi...
Israel’s deadly raid of the Gaza humanitarian flotilla has sparked worldwide outrage. This time, we can’t accept mere words from our leaders. It’s time for action.
This petition will be delivered to the UN and world leaders when it reaches 200,000 signatures — sign on to join the global call for truth, accountability, and justice for Gaza!
A disastrous oil spill is gushing as much as 2,500,000 gallons of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico.
Before the spill, U.S. leaders were ramping up offshore drilling. Now, the Obama administration says no new drilling will be allowed until an investigation is concluded. But that’s not enough: offshore drilling is dirty, dangerous, and the wrong strategy for a safe climate future for all.
The world needs the US to move away from oil, and work with us instead to drive forward the global clean energy revolution. Let’s use this moment to send a world-wide message to President Obama, urging him to overturn offshore drilling expansion — our global outcry will be delivered in Washington with a massive banner when we reach 500,000 signers:
To President Obama and members of Congress:
We urge you to permanently call off plans to open up more of the US coastline to dangerous offshore drilling. Instead, invest in a clean and safe energy future.
We may not know the full impact of BP’s disaster in the Gulf for a long time to come, but one thing is clear- this is BP’s fault and it should pay for the harm it’s causing.
There is currently a $75 million cap on how much an oil company has to pay in the event of a disaster. Unfortunately, the fishing communities, restaurant owners, tourism industry and other individuals affected by this current disaster have lost more than this much already and will lose more in the days, months and years to come.
Can you take action to make sure the $75 million cap is lifted, and that BP will have to pay for all of the harm it has caused?
Hands Off Mother Earth (H.O.M.E) is a global campaign to defend our one precious home, planet earth, against the threat of geoengineering experiments.
Join with us to send a clear message to the geoengineers and to governments worldwide that our home is not a laboratory
With a request for a $3.75 billion World Bank loan for a new coalfired power plant, South African political leaders seem determined to entrench a policy on climate change that disregards clear evidence of catastrophic consequences, echoing the earlier disastrous policies of former President Thabo Mbeki on AIDS. But opposition is mounting to the current plan, which would consolidate South Africa’s Eskom as the continent’s leading producer of greenhouse gases.
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan defended the plan in a March 22 op-ed article in the Washington Post, contending that alternate energy sources were not practical to meet the country’s power needs. But critics say that the power is primarily intended to benefit large multinational companies, rather than South African consumers, and that Eskom has an abysmal record of mismanagement and indifference to public needs. Critics of the loan include not only a large South African civil society coalition, but also international groups and even the U.S. Treasury.
The European Commission has just approved growing genetically modified crops for the first time in 12 years, putting the GM lobby’s profits over public concerns — 60% of Europeans feel we need more information before growing foods that could threaten our health and environment.
A new initiative allows 1 million EU citizens a unique chance to make official requests of the European Commission. Let’s build a million voices for a ban on GM foods until the research is done.
To the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso:
We call on you to put a moratorium on the introduction of GM crops into Europe and set up an independent, ethical, scientific body to research the impact of GM crops and determine regulation.
Last year, University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher disrupted an oil and gas land auction in order to allay further climate change. Now he faces trial and ten years in prison. It’s time for us to descend on Salt Lake and tell the world:
“Put the polluters on trial, not the planet!”
On March 15-18, join concerned citizens and activists alike–from around the country–for a mass convergence around Tim’s trial. While Tim is inside being tried, we will be outside making direct and clear statements that The People are taking the fate the climate into our own hands, and not leaving it in the hands of big business. Read more
The war in Sri Lanka commenced in July 2006 with the final collapse of the internationally backed 2002 peace process between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The declared objective of the Sri Lankan government was to eliminate the LTTE and capture all areas previously controlled by it. This war, with such a terrible humanitarian cost, was declared as over by the Sri Lankan government on 18 May 2009. The international media characterised this last phase of the war as a ’war without witness’ due to the fact that journalists and other potential witnesses like aid workers were prevented by the government from remaining in the area.
In May 2009 the members of the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka (IFPSL), in consultation with sister lobby groups in Europe, decided to appeal to a group of internationally renowned eminent persons to write to the Sri Lankan government to seek permission to visit the detention camps in Sri Lanka. As scepticism grew regarding obtaining permission from the Sri Lankan government (due to the deportation of several groups and individuals who reported to the world about the detention camps) members of IFPSL initiated a discussion with the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) based in Milan which has a long history of carrying out independent investigations into human rights abuses ranging from Vietnam to Guatemala. The meetings with PPT were facilitated by Prof Francois Houtart who is an expert in People’s Tribunals ranging from Vietnam to Iraq. As a result of these discussions the PPT has agreed to conduct a People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka following the methodology of the Bertrand Russell-Sartre Tribunal on Vietnam.
Two important summits take place at the end of 2009 in Europe: the 7th conference of ministers of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva and the UN climate summit in Copenhagen (COP15). With a week between them, 60 activists from the global South will travel across Europe through Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and Denmark. They will draw attention to the consequences neoliberal globalization and climate change have on their lives and show how to fight against them. Together with local activists, they look for alternatives to free trade and the privatisation of resources, and unite the North and South in their fights for another world.
Klimaforum09 is your climate summit, the global civil society counterpart of the official UN conference in the Bella Center.
With ten thousand daily visitors, participants from over 100 countries and a comprehensive programme of events, Klimaforum09 will be the biggest climate event in Copenhagen besides the official UN conference.
The programme features international guest speakers, over 150 open debates, 60 exhibitions, music, film and art.
Cast your vote in the Angry Mermaid Award and help decide which company or lobby group is doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change.
Voting is open until Sunday 13 December 2009.
Crucial UN climate talks take place in Copenhagen this December. While people, organisations and social movements around the world are calling for strong action to prevent climate change and ensure climate justice, big business has been lobbying to block effective action to tackle the problem, while also seeking to benefit from it. Lobbying is defined as attempting to influence the decision-making process.
The Angry Mermaid Award has been set up to recognise the perverse role of corporate lobbyists, and highlight those business groups and companies that have made the greatest effort to sabotage the climate talks, and other climate measures, while promoting, often profitable, false solutions.
Named after the iconic Copenhagen mermaid who is angry about the destruction being caused by climate change, the Angry Mermaid Award winner will be decided by a public poll. Read the story of the Angry Mermaid.
As politicians meet for more climate talks in Barcelona, they continue to be fixated on measures like carbon trading that will only exacerbate the climate crisis. Fortunately the last year in the UK and worldwide has shown that direct action against carbon-intensive projects can deliver results. Read more
Ten thousand men and women displaced by Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar and other dams on the Narmada marched for their right to rehabilitation in alternate lands with the slogan "Give us land or give back our villages!"
The State of Madhya Pradesh, instead of providing alternate lands has brutally lathi-charged the displaced farmers and unlawfully arrested activists Alok Agrawal, Kailashbhai, Kalubhai and some other villagers. Sign Petition to release Narmada activists, farmers and tribals.
Livestock keepers in India conserve a large number of valuable breeds of animals like cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats, camels as well as poultry. The livelihoods of livestock Keepers are under threat by the progressive loss of grazing lands, limitations to mobility and lack of participation in decision making, as also by industrial and corporate models of livestock breeding, which include privatization of genetic resources through intellectual property rights and the free market system, These communities are entitled to have rights over their germplasm and their knowledge.
Nearly 800 detainees have been held in Guantánamo, the vast majority without charge or trial
Only 3 detainees at Guantanamo have been convicted of any crime through the military commissions system
The Federal court system has convicted 145 terrorists since 2001.
Estimated annual cost of operating Guantánamo: US$90 million to $118 million
It’s time to stand up to the right wing and say NO to torture once and for all. Join New Security Action’s new campaign "Close Guantanamo Now!"
Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.
We provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.
Check in particular Commoner Letters, a series of letters written by prominent members of the CC community and sent out during our annual fundraising campaign. These exceptional "commoners" write about their past and present projects that involve CC, what CC means to them, why they feel the commons is a vital public resource in our digital age, and where they think CC is headed in the future.
The broad consensus among Palestinian civil society about the need for a broad and sustained Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resulted in the Palestinian Call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel that was launched in July 2005 with the initial endorsement of over 170 Palestinian organizations. The signatories to this call represent the three major components of the Palestinian people: the refugees in exile, Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the subjugated Palestinian citizens of the Israeli state.
On 16 June 2009, Liu Hanghuang, a factory worker in Dongguan, fatally stabbed two of his Taiwanese employers and left a third critically injured. This is definitely an unbearable tragedy for both sides, especially an irreparable regret for the family of the Taiwanese businessmen.
However, based on the following reasons, we hope that the courts in China can take into consideration the extenuating circumstances.
As a migrant worker from the Province of Guizhou, Liu Hanhuang hoped to improve the economic conditions of his family, but unfortunately his hand was severed in an industrial accident. All hope was lost with a crippled body. Liu had tried to discuss the issue of compensation with his employers for a year without reaching agreement. It is fully understandable how a worker in a subordinate position, facing the much more powerful company and lacking necessary support, felt both helpless and hopeless.
The fact that Liu attempted suicide by threatening to jump from a fifth-floor ledge at the factory before the murder bears witness to his pressures and pains. It is of course illegal and unacceptable to commit homicide, but a sympathetic understanding is indeed possible if this case is placed in the context of “going off to work → occupational injury → prolonged negotiation of compensation → the subordinate position of the worker → the worker’s pressures and pains.”
Therefore, we hope the courts in China can take into account the extenuating circumstances.
We should emphasize that the transformation of the labor system over the past twenty years has had many negative effects for the working class. The case of Liu Hanhuang highlights the inhumane situation for workers who are injured on the job. The Chinese government should pay more attention and do something to improve this situation.
The Chinese government should not attach exclusive importance to economic investment and political interests. The working conditions of the vast majority of workers should not be sacrificed to promote a so-called favorable investment environment.
Appeal to International Solidarity Action
We, inhabitants’ associations, international networks, voluntary groups, NGOs, public agencies, citizens of the world, express our indignation at and denounce Israel’s continual policies of eviction and demolition carried out against the Palestinian people, both Palestinians ’48 (citizens of Israel) and Palestinians ’67 (in the Occupied Palestinian Territories). These demolitions and evictions clearly violate international law.
The European Union is currently rushing through secret negotiations on a trade deal with a group of Central American countries. This trade deal could increase poverty and inequality in a region where 40% of the population live off less than US $2 a day.
There is a crucial opportunity to put the brakes on the proposed trade deal. Several Central American governments are expressing reservations about the deal and we need to take action to demand European negotiators change their approach.
1,800 workers at the Jerzees de Honduras factory in Honduras are facing the prospect of unemployment after Russel Corporation closed the factory in February 2009. The closure followed a long campaign by the SITRAJERZEESH union, who had finally won the right to represent workers at the factory. Since the closure was announced several union leaders have received credible threats to their safety and their lives.
In 2007, workers at Jerzees de Honduras won a hard-fought struggle for union representation - an unprecedented victory in an industry where workers’ rights are rarely respected. However in October 2008, just days after negotiations came to a standstill, Russell Athletic announced their decision to close the factory.
Since then management has openly blamed union members for the closure of the plant. This has created a perception among workers that they are about to lose their livelihoods because of the actions of union activists. Over the last few months union leaders have received numerous threats against their lives. The threat of violence in Honduras is real: last year the leader of the country’s largest union federation was assassinated after a meeting regarding the closure of a different maquila factory.
Russell continues to maintain that the economic reasons were central to its decision, however it would seem its customers are not convinced. Following a campaign by the Workers Right Consortium and United Students Against Sweatshops over a dozen US universities have cancelled their contracts with Russell Corporation as result of code of conduct breaches at Jerzees de Honduras.
* Take action: http://www.labourbehindthelabel.org/campaigns/...
Think it’s fair for a woman to be fired just because she joined a union? If not, then buyers at the DESA factory in Turkey – including Prada, Debenhams, M&S, Mulberry, Aspinalls of London, Nicole Fahri and Luella – need to hear from you today!
As we approach the first anniversary of the beginning of the union struggle at DESA, workers are still protesting every day outside the factory to demand the reinstatement of 44 workers dismissed for organising a union.
In December 2008 and April 2009 the Turkish court confirmed that 25 workers had been illegally dismissed as a result of union activities and demanded their reinstatement. DESA decided to appeal the court’s decision. No new evidence was brought by DESA to the recent court hearings – an indication that the appeal is just another attempt to delay the process. This is a common tactic to drag out disputes in the hope that workers will be forced to end their campaign through economic hardship.
Demanding change from the world’s giant retailers
Discount retailers like Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Carrefour, and Walmart try to lure consumers into their shops with low, low prices. A man’s suit for £25 at Tesco, a woman’s dress for $9 at Walmart, or jeans for €8 at Carrefour. How do they do it?
...If you’re a worker in the workshops or factories that supply these stores, you’ll have some of the answers – poverty wages, forced or unpaid overtime, no work contract, harsh repression of any attempts to organize to improve working conditions. CCC believes these workers deserve a better bargain.
The CCC Better Bargain campaign focuses on the policies and practices of large global retailers such as Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour, Aldi, and Lidl – referred to as “Giant” retailers. These retailers all have huge market shares and exercise enormous buying power – they are truly giants in the field of retail. Although they sell many different products from a range of sectors, they have profound and ever-increasing power in the garment retail market. Consumers should be able to do their shopping in stores where they can be sure that every effort is being made to ensure that no human rights have been violated in the production of their clothing.
The financial crisis is a systemic crisis that emerges in the context of global crises (climate, food, energy, social…) and of a new balance of power. It results from 30 years of transfer of income from labour towards capital. This tendency should be reversed. This crisis is the consequence of a capitalist system of production based on laissez-faire and fed by short term accumulation of profits by a minority, unequal redistribution of wealth, an unfair trade system, the perpetration and accumulation of irresponsible, ecological and illegitimate debt, natural resource plunder and the privatization of public services. This crisis affects the whole humanity, first of all the most vulnerable (workers, jobless, farmers, migrants, women…) and Southern countries, which are the victims of a crisis for which they are not at all responsible.
River Ganga is now a ‘national’ river. The Prime minister of India announced this on November 4, 2008 after a meeting, with the ministers for water resources, environment and forests and urban development, to discuss how to bring the river back to life. Though a very important step, it is too early to predict what this ‘national status’ would actually mean to India’s most revered river and its people.
What gives us hope is the fact that government has accepted that all is not well with the Ganga Action Plan (GAP)—a dedicated programme launched in 1985 to restore the river back to bathing water quality. This certainly is winning half the battle. Press communiqué from the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) reads:“there is a need to replace the current piecemeal efforts taken up in a fragmented manner in select cities with an integrated approach that sees the river as an ecological entity and addresses issues of quantity in terms of water flows along with issues of quality.”
On November 27, 2008, a Bangkok labour court gave Body Fashion Thailand, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Triumph International, the green light to dismiss union president Jitra Kotshadej.
The company filed a case against Ms. Kotshadej in relation to her participation, during her private time, in a national television debate wearing a t-shirt saying: ‘Those who do not stand are not criminals. Thinking differently is not a crime.’ The t-shirt refers to the right of people not to stand when the royal anthem is played and the abuse of lèse-majesté legislation to suppress political opposition.
Claiming that her appearance damaged the company’s reputation, Body Fashion Thailand first dismissed Ms. Kotshadej in July 2008 after an earlier labour court hearing.
In response, more than 2000 of her co-workers walked out to demand her reinstatement. After a 45-day strike, the company and the union agreed to a retrial of the dismissal case, since Ms. Kotshadej, who had never been properly informed of the company’s charges against her, was not able to present a defence at the initial labour court hearing.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Women’sNet hosts information about the campaign on it’s website - including a calendar of events, and participates in the campaign through it’s activities (see also the ‘Take Back the Tech’ campaign).
We are launching an appeal to organise a World Zero Evictions Days 2008 throughout the month of October 2008 as a concrete follow-up of the Global Campaign: Act together - housing for all! This is also a collective preparatory exercise for the World Assembly of Inhabitants.
Join the Days!
Body Fashion Thailand, a subsidiary of Triumph International, has fired a union leader for wearing a political t-shirt. Thousands of workers are protesting her unjust dismissal.
On July 30, 2008, a Thai subsidiary of Triumph International, one of the world’s largest makers of intimate apparel, dismissed union president Jitra Kotshadej for wearing an unfashionable t-shirt. She wasn’t wearing the t-shirt at work, and it wasn’t the colour or the design of the t-shirt that caused offence. It was the message that caused the problem: ‘Those who do not stand are not criminals. Thinking differently is not a crime.’ The t-shirt refers to the abuse of lèse-majesté legislation to suppress political opposition and the right of people to refrain from standing during the royal anthem. Ms. Kotshadej was participating in a late night TV debate on women’s reproductive rights when she wore the t-shirt. Despite the fact that she was speaking in her private time and did not claim to speak for Triumph’s Body Fashion (Thailand) Ltd Factory, she was dismissed. Since then, 3000 of her co-workers walked out of the factory in a show of solidarity, demanding the reinstatement of their union president.
SAY NO to the the ethnic filing of the Rroms - with or without fingerprints’ record
The Home Minister of Italy and member of North League, Roberto Maroni, announced recently that he intends recording the fingerprints of Rroms located in Italy. In the most cynical way, he justifies this measure by the need to protect the children!
This proposal has been widely criticized by Italian politicians, culture’s personnalities, by civil society, the Council of Europe and the European Commission, but Mr. Maroni continues despite everything to defend his proposal. Berlusconi government is criticized in Europe and in democratic world for its persecution policies towards the Rroms. In its 27th June editorial, The Independent qualified this behaviour a «spasm of cruelty» and the party of Mr. Maroni as a « notoriously xenophobic » one. The editorial ends with this lapidary statement : « Every act of popular violence against foreigners, every instance of official discrimination against the Roma, diminishes the country’s claim to be regarded as a civilised nation.»
We fully agree and say NO to this proposal, which recalls the darkest years of European and world history! Let us not forget that the Rroms were often « guinea pigs » of repression and extermination policies, as those Rromani children from Czech on which the Nazis tested the "Zyklon B" before generalizing its use it in the gas chambers.
A request to all organizations concerned about the Food crisis and which reject the hypocritical hijacking of the crisis to attempt to push through a Doha Round of WTO expansion, to endorse this letter.
We have all seen the cynical appropriation of the devastating food crisis to call for a conclusion to the Doha Round of the WTO, as if increased liberalization of agriculture will help solve crisis rather than being a part of the cause of it!
On our last OWINFS WTO strategy call, we identified this as a key issue, and in our subsequent OWINFS Agriculture Working Group call we decided to organize a sign-on letter about it - the first in a long time specifically on Agriculture.
We therefore request all organizations concerned about the Food crisis and which reject the hypocritical hijacking of the crisis to attempt to push through a Doha Round of WTO expansion that has yet to be able to be concluded on its own "merits", to endorse the attached letter, which is in English, Spanish, and French.
Please send endorsements to Anuradha Mittal at the Oakland Institute, at amittalAToaklandinstitute.org as soon as possible.
Dockworkers in South Africa have blocked a Chinese arms boat from reaching Zimbabwe... but the crackdown continues. As the ship moves up the Southern African coast looking for a new port—and China weighs whether to recall the weapons—African unions, citizen groups, and church organisations are launching a campaign to stop arms from fuelling the Zimbabwe crisis.
Avaaz is joining with them and a global coalition including Oxfam, Amnesty, and IANSA to build support throughout Africa and round the world. Stopping the arms is a concrete step leaders can take to help bring justice to Zimbabwe. Add your name below now—we hope to unveil the petition in Southern Africa before next week!
On February 13, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, some 700 workers at the Panyu Li Chang Footwear Co. Ltd in Panyu district of Guangzhou City returned from their New Year holiday. They were expecting to receive their back wages - estimated to be around 2,000 Yuan per worker - and resume work. Instead, they found that the owner had stolen their wages, closed the factory and sold all the equipment. The gates to the factory and their living quarters were locked. Dozens of long-term workers discovered that the owner had not paid their social insurance and other entitlements for around ten years. Others found that payments had not been made for the last nine months despite being deducted from their monthly wages.
In an attempt to seek justice, approximately 400 workers peacefully walked from the factory to the Guangzhou Municipal government offices. The police stopped the workers and detained about 50 of them. Five were formally arrested and detained on criminal charges for illegal assembly and demonstration.
For more information about this campaign on the Clean Clothes Campaign website: www.cleanclothes.org/component/content/article/8-urgent-appeals/87
We, the undersigned members of African civil society organisations, as well as organisations from other parts of the world, do urgently call for a moratorium on new agrofuel developments on our continent. We need to protect our food security, forests, water, land rights, farmers and indigenous peoples from the aggressive march of agrofuel developments, which are devouring our land and resources at an unbelievable scale and speed.
We call for:
A moratorium on new agrofuel developments in Africa. Our governments urgently need to stop and think before delivering our continent to the fuel demand of foreign investors.
No agrofuel targets for Governments in Europe and the rest of the world.
An international moratorium on agrofuel exports, until the true social and environmental costs can be assessed, and disaster averted.
We have chosen to name this problem “agrofuels” instead of the more common term “biofuels” to make clear that we are talking about the large-scale growing of crops specifically to produce liquid fuels. We are not talking about the use of wood, dung or waste matter. Nor are we talking about small-scale production that is integrated into food production and used for household and local energy supplies. We wish to make clear that the agrofuels push is about large-scale fuel production on massive privatised plantations, driven by the fuel demands of export markets. more
Extractive Industries: Blessing or Curse? - An awareness raising campaign to improve the performance of the extractive industry in relation to poverty and the environment.
Overall objective of our campaign is to achieve substantial improvement of the extractive industry performance in developing countries, in order to ensure that it has a positive impact on poverty reduction and that it does not contribute to social and environmental problems.
We will focus on EU based companies and investors involved in the extractive industry activities in developing countries and on national and EU policies that can reverse these negative impacts.
To achieve this goal, Friends of the Earth Europe will work together with Friends of the Earth Netherlands, CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth France.
The campaign will run in the following countries: Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Slovakia. It will also have activities focused on EU institutions.
We will also work together with local partners outside the EU from DAC countries in Cameroon, South Africa, Nigeria, Georgia, Russia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Peru, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia.
Women’s right to equal citizenship is guaranteed by the majority of Arab constitutions, as well as by international law. Yet across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the Gulf, women are denied their right to nationality – a crucial component of citizenship.
In almost every country in the MENA and Gulf regions, women who marry men of other nationalities cannot confer their original nationality to their husbands or children. Only fathers, not mothers, can confer their nationality to their children.
Discriminatory laws denying women equal nationality rights undermine women’s status as equal citizens in their home countries. Such laws send the message that women do not enjoy a direct relationship with the state, but must access their citizenship rights through mediation of a male family member, such as a father or a husband. Until women in the MENA and Gulf regions are recognized as full nationals and citizens, they cannot participate fully in public life, nor claim the other rights to which they are entitled as equal members of their societies.
The denial of women’s nationality rights also created real suffering for dual nationality families living in the woman’s home country. Children and spouses are treated as foreigners and must obtain costly residence permits. Children are often excluded from social services such as social security, healthcare and subsidized or free access to education. In many countries, spouses and children have limited employment opportunities and are unable to own property. In terms of psychological impact, many women feel isolated and guilty because they feel responsible for the difficulties faced by their families, while children suffer from low self-esteem because of their second-class status.
Play Fair 2008 is organized by:
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and the International Textile, Garment and Leather Worker’s Federation (ITGLWF). The campaign is also supported by a diverse coalition of organizations worldwide. PlayFair 2008 Supporters
We support the aims and demands of the PlayFair 2008 Campaign.
We believe that sportswear and athletic footwear companies, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Olympics Committees, as well as national governments must take steps to eliminate the exploitation and abuse of workers in the global sporting goods industry.
We urge them to take inspiration from the spirit of the Olympics and demonstrate to the world how the principles of fair play can be extended to the workplace...
Dairo Torres, coordinator of the Alto Bonito humanitarian zone, was murdered on July 13 by members of the "Black Eagles" paramilitary organization.
On July 13, 2007 at 12:15 p.m. two men who had the previous day identified themselves as members of the “Black Eagles” paramilitary organization, stopped a public transport vehicle, forced Peace Community member Dairo Torres out of the vehicle, and shot and killed him. Dairo was the coordinator of the Alto Bonito humanitarian zone, located about 4 hours walk from the San Josecito Peace Community, since 2004. He was a serious, responsible leader in the hamlets in the San Josecito area.
Dairo was murdered less than 2 minutes drive from a police checkpoint on the road between Apartado and San Jose. His murderers had been seen at about 9:10 a.m. talking to and sitting next to the police at the checkpoint. It is clear that the police were complicit in the murder of Dairo.
Please write to President Uribe to tell him the international community supports the Peace Community and is watching what happens to Community members. Ask him why the paramilitaries keep killing with impunity in association with the Police, as has frequently happened and as if no demobilization of paramilitaries had happened at all. We all expect an investigation to be carried out by his government, with the murderers arrested and tried for their heinous crime. We also expect the Uribe government to bring the Police to justice for their collaboration with the paramilitaries in this killing.
The Colombian government is threatening to reject Plan Colombia II funding if they don’t get the FTA - let’s make sure this threat is realized!
Congress is gearing up for a vote on the U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement while the House drafts its version of the foreign aid bill. The bill will determine the make-up of "Plan Colombia II," which plans to extend more than $600 million to fund the War on Drugs that has failed to reduce production and trafficking of cocaine. You can sway their vote.
What’s at stake
U.S. policy is on the path towards making the conflict in Colombia worse if military aid continues and the FTA is ratified. In Mexico NAFTA caused 1.7 million peasants to be displaced it will likely do the same in Colombia. Let’s not carry on policies that will add to the 3.8 million people who have fled their homes from violence over the last two decades.
Call today to tell Congress to change direction on trade and war in Colombia!
Establish a Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children
Violence is a daily reality for millions of children around the world, affecting girls and boys of all ages, all social contexts, and all nationalities. In every part of their lives -their homes and families, schools, institutions, workplaces and communities - children may be beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured, and even killed. The perpetrators of this violence are often the very individuals who are responsible for protecting children - their parents, guardians, teachers, employers, the police and security forces. Violence is a global epidemic of scandalous proportions, violating every child’s right to a safe and healthy environment.
The UN Secretary-General’s 2006 Study on Violence against Children exposes the shocking scope of violence against children and documents its devastating effects on children, their families, their communities, and broader society. The Study clearly establishes the urgent need for immediate action to prevent and respond to violence against children in all of its forms.
We, as local, national, regional, and international non-governmental organisations from every part of the world, call on each UN member state to fully implement the Study’s important recommendations.
Having carefully considered alternative ways of ensuring global leadership on this issue, we also call on member states to act at the 2007 UN General Assembly to establish a Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Violence against Children to work with the UN system, member states, NGOs, children and youth as a high-level and high-profile advocate to ensure concrete action to end violence against children in all parts of the world.
The United Nations Human Rights Council’s special rapporteurs and representatives, independent experts and working groups - collectively known as the “Special Procedures” - are among the most innovative, flexible and responsive tools created by the UN to promote and protect human rights.
Over the 40 years of their existence, the Special Procedures have made urgent interventions concerning thousands of individuals whose lives and physical integrity were at risk; through their country missions and studies, they have made recommendations for the improvement of human rights at the national and international levels; they have facilitated a better understanding and encouraged the development of human rights law.
The Special Procedures continue to play a unique role and are as essential to the improvement of human rights in the world in 2007 as they were in 1967, when the very first mandate was created.
Today their coverage ranges from freedom from torture, arbitrary or extrajudicial executions, "counter-terrorism", racism and violence against women to respect for the rights to health, to food and to adequate housing. They help to protect individuals and groups, such as migrants and indigenous peoples, and address situations of human rights violations both globally and in specific countries.
For over a decade governments and donors have forced water privatisation on developing countries as a condition of debt relief and aid. This ideological faith in the free market combined with a lack of understanding about alternative solutions has been a disaster for the world’s poor. From Bolivia to Argentina, the Philippines to Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania to Guinea, case after case shows that privatisation does not work.
Critically, private companies have not significantly boosted the number of people connected to water. Companies are now starting to withdraw from these projects, and the international debate is finally starting to shift away from privatisation, but where is it shifting to ?
The World Development Movement’s (WDM) Dirty Aid, Dirty Water campaign explores the issues surrounding the global water crisis, asking tough questions of the existing trend towards privatisation of water services. It also calls on the UK government to stop misusing aid money to push a corporate takeover of the world’s water and to start supporting public solutions to the global water crisis.
Robert Mugabe’s desperate attempts to cling on to power are plunging Zimbabwe into ever greater chaos. His attacks on democratic opposition leaders must end now.
In Mexico, the criminal justice system is gravely flawed. The country’s law and enforcement agencies and judicial system do not effectively protect people from human rights abuses, and perpetrators are rarely brought to justice. These systemic deficiencies lead to arbitrary detentions, torture, fabrication of evidence and unfair trials.
Human rights activists, Martin Barrios and Felipe Arreaga were detained on the basis of politically motivated criminal charges, still commonly used against human rights defenders and political activists in several states. Elionai Santiago Sánchez and Ramiro Aragon were arrested, beaten and tortured in Oaxaca in 2006. Many people are subjected to unfair judicial proceedings. Despite these abuses, no-one has been held to account.
The explicit right to the presumption of innocence is absent in Mexico’s constitution. In practice most individuals accused of a crime are presumed guilty. Lack of access to effective defence counsel further undermines the right to a fair trial. Often the poorest and most vulnerable in society, such as indigenous peoples, suffer the most. The government and Congress must introduce reforms placing the protection of international human rights standards at the core of the public security and justice system.
Just when we thought the war in Iraq couldn’t get any worse, it has. On January 10th, President Bush rejected reality, spurned the American people’s verdict, and announced his new policy : military escalation in Iraq. The newly elected United States Congress has the power to stop this madness, but it’s critical to show immediate, unified opposition from the international community.
After years of failed occupation, it’s clear to everyone but George Bush that the US cannot solve this civil conflict through force. As Bush’s own top military advisors and commanders in the field have said, sending tens of thousands more American troops will only fan the flames of this war.
World opinion matters : the American people understand the US can’t police the globe by itself. That’s why, before the original invasion, Bush worked so hard to promote the involvement of Tony Blair and a few other select world leaders to win over reluctant members of Congress.
Today, Bush stands completely alone, but it’s our job to bring this point home in Washington. The advertisement in Roll Call highlights Tony Blair’s decision to withdraw troops in direct opposition to Bush’s proposed escalation. And the petition will help show where the global public stands.
« Blood diamonds » have been used by rebel groups to fuel brutal wars in Africa. These conflicts have resulted in over 4 million deaths and the displacement of millions of people in Angola, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and now in Ivory Coast. These diamonds have been sold to international diamond dealers giving rebels profits to buy large quantities of small arms.
In 1998, the NGO Global Witness began a campaign to expose the role of diamonds in funding conflicts. As the largest grassroots human rights organization in the world, Amnesty International has been instrumental in educating the public about the problem, and pressing governments and industry to take action. Over the years, international pressure has increased from a large coalition of NGOs.
In 2003, the government-run Kimberley Process scheme was launched to stop the trade in conflict diamonds. Over seventy governments taking part in the process are required to certify that diamond shipments through their countries are conflict-free, and they are required to set up diamond control systems to ensure this is true. Governments must pass national laws implementing the Kimberley Process and they must only trade with other participants in the process.
The diamond industry agreed to police itself to support the Kimberley Process by tracking diamonds from mines all the way to retail stores - this is generally referred to as the « system of warranties » or the « system of self regulation ». But this isn’t fully implemented. Every company dealing in diamonds should have a policy in place to ensure their diamonds are conflict-free.
Amnesty International and Global Witness urge you to call for the governments to better enforce its diamond law and for all sectors of the diamond industry to develop a credible, independently-verified tracking system to make sure that conflict diamonds don’t enter diamond markets.
Detention of minors should not be allowed on the bases of immigration status. This principle has been reiterated by numerous international bodies (High Commissioner for Refugees, International Alliance Save the Children, etc.) who called for the immediate admission of minors in the territory. In the framework of children’s rights for protection and the respect of the principle of the best interest of the child as defined by international law (art. 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child), forced return of minors is not allowed.
However, the majority of European countries detain and remove foreign minors whether they are alone or with their family. National legislations allowing for practices of the detention and forced removal of children which have very bad consequences, are regularly denounced by NGOs and childhood professionals who point out that many alternatives to these practices are available. Currently, EU Member States are discussing an EU directive on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (COM 2005-391). The draft text allows for the detention and forced removal of minors.
Reporters Without Borders organises 24-hour online demo against Internet censorship.
More than 60 cyber-dissidents around the world are currently in prison for expressing themselves online. Something that is fairly simple for anyone to do in most countries is nonetheless banned in 13 of them. You can go to prison for posting your views on a blog or website in China, Tunisia or Egypt, for example.
In order to fight this kind of censorship and to make as many people as possible aware of the situation, Reporters Without Borders is for the first time launching a major protest : 24 hours against online censorship. The general public, Internet users, bloggers, journalists, students - everyone is invited to register their opposition to censorship with a simple click.
Everyone is invited to connect to the Reporters Without Borders website http://www.rsf.org between 11 a.m. on 7 November and 11 a.m. on 8 November.
Site de la campagnehttp://www.rsf.org
Paraquat is easily the most controversial herbicide in the world. Paraquat is not approved for use in Switzerland. But in a number of developing countries plantation workers and small farmers regularly spray Paraquat to kill weeds. As a result, tens of thousands of people are poisoned every year and become ill. Thousands die painful accidental deaths or commit suicide. There is no antidote to Paraquat poisoning.
The Swiss agrochemical corporation Syngenta is the world’s foremost producer of Paraquat. (Syngenta sells it under the trade name Gramoxone). Syngenta sells hundreds of millions of US Dollars worth of Paraquat every year. By knowingly marketing their herbicide in countries where experts agree it cannot be safely used, the company is responsible for countless cases of serious or deadly poisoning caused by Paraquat.
The Berne Declaration is an independent organization engaged in a campaign together with many other NGOs and unions to ban the use and production of Paraquat across the world. To highlight the urgency of these campaign, it calls on civil society to publicly condemn Syngenta’s inhuman business policies. They hope to enlist the support of 50.000 people to vote and pronounce a guilty verdict in the case against Paraquat.
As citizens of the world, attached to the universal values at the basis of civilisation and to the absolute respect for the UN Charter as well as for other international conventions stating the leading principles to be respected by all States worldwide, or human rights will suffer tragic setbacks, we do express our strong condemnation over crimes committed by the Israeli army in Qana, which resulted in the voluntary killing of dozens of civilian Lebanese, including children and babies.
Such potentially describable « war crimes » cannot and should not remain unpunished. Human justice throughout the world and the future of international relations are at stake.
Caretaker Prime Minister of Thailand
Subject: Please review plans to cooperate with the Burmese military regime for the construction of hydropower dams on the Salween River
Dear Caretaker Prime Minister of Thailand,
Cc: Minister of Energy and Governor of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
We, the individuals and organizations from Burma, Thailand, and other countries listed below, are gravely concerned about the likely environmental and social impacts from hydropower projects on the Salween River, a joint-project between the Thai and Burmese governments, the Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Corporation, and Thailand based MDX subsidiaries. If the dams are built, ecological integrity, human security, and local livelihoods will be jeopardized. Therefore, we call for the Thai government and concerned agencies, including the Ministry of Energy and EGAT, to review and withdraw from the projects for the following reasons:
Lack of transparency in the decision-making process
The entire decision-making process for the planning of the Salween hydropower development projects has been shrouded in secrecy. There has been a total absence of public participation among the dam-affected communities in Burma already suffering the atrocities of civil war, or the over fifty ethnic Thai-Karen villages living along the Salween River in Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Thai Ministry of Energy and Burma’s Ministry of Electric Power was signed in May 2005 for the development of five hydropower projects on the Salween and Tanaosri river basins. Then in December 2005, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed for joint-investment and implementation of the Hutgyi dam construction between EGAT Plc and Burma’s Department of Hydropower stating that the construction would commence in late 2007. Recently, in June 2006, EGAT and Sinohydro Corporation, a state enterprise from the People’s Republic of China signed an MoU for the development of the Hutgyi dam.
What’s going on in Nigeria?
On November 28th 2005, President Obasanjo gave the go-ahead for the most massive and violent operation of forced evictions in living memory, not just in Africa, but in the world. The demolitions and forced evictions affect over 4 million inhabitants, out of a total of 7 million residentsin the federal capital, Abuja. Acting on the orders of the Minister, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, Chairman of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), officials of the FCDA escorted by the police, the army and bulldozers, began to destroy the houses, schools, hospitals, churches and mosques of Abuja.
Local organizations and NGOs denounce the action and stress the incredibly large number of people involved: no adequate notice was given; no government plans were proposed for the re-housing or compensation of those evicted; 800,000 people were forced into homelessness particularly in the area along the International Airport Road, at Pyakasa, Kuchingoro, Garamajiji, Aleita, Chika, Galadimawa, Gosa A., Gosa Sarki, and Sabon Lugbe. Other forced evictions took place in Gwagwa, Karimu and Dei dei. Over 2,000 families are forced to sleep amongst the rubble of their former homes or in makeshift camps. Over 15,000 children have been forced to give up school. The extreme conditions give rise to violence, especially against women - including pregnant women - and girls, who are thus even more exposed to the dangers of prostitution and AIDS. The reason for all this cruelty lies in the decision to implement the master plan drawn up in 1978 by the International Consortium of Planners, Urban Designers and Architects (USA), to develop the city of Abuja, which at that time had just been nominated the new federal capital of Nigeria. The master plan, which has been in the pipeline for years, envisages a population of 3 million inhabitants at the most. According to the logic of the master plan, therefore, the extra 4 million inhabitants are outside the legal limit and must be expelled from their homes.
The goal of the Computer TakeBack Campaign is to protect the health and well being of electronics users, workers, and the communities where electronics are produced and discarded by requiring consumer electronics manufacturers and brand owners to take full responsibility for the life cycle of their products, through effective public policy requirements or enforceable agreements.
The campaign website proposes news, ressources, tool kits and proposals of actions.
Contact [-email@example.com>] Website: http://www.computertakeback.com/
Site de la campagnehttp://www.computertakeback.com/
Communications Rights in the Information Society (CRIS) is a campaign formed in November 1996 in London with the aim to ensure that communication rights are central to the information society and to the upcoming World Summit to the Information Society (WSIS). The campaign is sponsored and supported by the Platform for Communication Rights, a group of NGOs involved in media and communication projects around the world.
Address: Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS), c/o WACC, 357 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5QY - UK
Phone: +44 207 582 9139
Fax: +44 207 735 0340
Email: act AT crisinfo.org
Site de la campagnehttp://www.crisinfo.org
Make Trade Fair is a global movement calling for an end to unfair trade rules. It is organised by Oxfam International and its 12 affiliates and is part of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. It calls on governments, institutions, and multinational companies to change the rules so that trade can become part of the solution to poverty, not part of the problem. Make Trade Fair brings together The Big Noise (a global petition to Make Trade Fair) as well as other campaigns, such as the Vote for Trade Justice campaign, Tescopoly campaign and many other campaigning tools and ideas. It organises campaigns directed at specific groups, either by lobbying appropriate political figures, or targeting specific companies.
Site de la campagnehttp://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/trade
Publish What You Pay is a campaign which aims to help citizens of resource-rich developing countries hold their governments accountable for the management of revenues from the oil, gas and mining industries. It is a coalition of over 280 NGOs worldwide which call for the mandatory disclosure of the payments made by oil, gas and mining companies’ to all governments for the extraction of natural resources.
Address: Henry Parham, International Coordinator, Publish What You Pay, c/o Open Society Foundation, 5th Floor, Cambridge House, 100 Cambridge Grove, London W6 0LE - UK
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7031 020
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7031 0201
Email: coordinator at publishwhatyoupay.org
Education is a basic human right and fundamental to the fight for human dignity and freedom. For 125 million children and 880 million adults, that right is violated everyday. The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) promotes education as a basic human right, and mobilizes public pressure on governments and the international community to fulfill their promises to provide free, compulsory public basic education for all people; in particular for children, women and all disadvantaged, deprived sections of society.
The campaign is driven by the conviction that quality education for all is achievable, and by the concern for the immense costs of failure. The GCE believes that in an increasingly knowledge-based economy, exclusion from education will translate into growing poverty, inequality and deprivation. The Global Campaign for Education commits itself to achieve its mission with objectivity, transparency and accountability and to follow democratic norms and processes in all its plans and actions.