international library for a responsable world of solidarity ritimo

Le portail rinoceros d’informations sur les initiatives citoyennes pour la construction d’un autre monde a été intégré au nouveau site Ritimo pour une recherche simplifiée et élargie.

Ce site ( constitue une archive des articles publiés avant 2008 qui n'ont pas été transférés.

Le projet rinoceros n’a pas disparu, il continue de vivre pour valoriser les points de vue des acteurs associatifs dans le monde dans le site Ritimo.

Detention centres for migrants: Open the doors, We have the right to know!

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’.

More information on Open Access Now

Russia: Stop Syria’s horror hospitals

initiative Avaaz

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.

Sign the petition on Avaaz

[Wanted: the Worst Corportations of the Year]

Call for Nominations for the «2012 Public Eye Awards»

Dear colleagues

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

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: 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

More information on Public Eye

EU: sanction Syrian oil now!

initiative Avaaz

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.

Sign the petition on Avaaz

Stand with Aung San Suu Kyi

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.

Sign the petition on Avaaz

Justice for victims of the conflict in Gaza and southern Israel

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

Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign

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

Petition for a Reduced Sentence for the Injured Worker Liu Hanghuang on Humanitarian Grounds

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.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

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).

Italian and European authorities and Human Rights bodies

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.

Tell Chinese officials: release innocent workers, bring corrupt owner to justice

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:

Colombia: Paramilitaries murder peace community leader

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.

End Mugabe’s brutality in Zimbabwe

initiative Avaaz

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.

Mexico : laws but no justice

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.

Block the escalation in Iraq !

initiative Avaaz

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.

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