According to the “Top United Nations officials marking the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery ” yesterday with a call for concerted action to eradicate the contemporary forms of this heinous practice.
“It is vital that we give special consideration to ending modern-day slavery and servitude which affects the poorest, most socially excluded groups – including migrants, women, discriminated ethnic groups, minorities and indigenous people’s,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp“>said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 2 December.
The International Day marks the date in 1949 of the adoption by the General Assembly of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The focus of the day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
Today, 21 million women, men and children are trapped in slavery all over the world, according to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), which has teamed up with prominent artists, athletes and advocates in its campaign to “End Slavery Now.”
Mr. Ban noted that there has been important progress in the last year, including stronger legislation and greater coordination by a number of countries to combat slavery. Also, more and more businesses are working to ensure their activities do not cause or contribute to contemporary forms of slavery in the workplace and their supply chains.
“I strongly support these initiatives and urge all Member States to ratify the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, develop robust and effective domestic legislation and boost enforcement on the ground. The partnership of the private sector in implementing these efforts is critical,” said the Secretary-General.
He also urged continued support for the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which has helped restore human rights and dignity to tens of thousands of children, women and men for over 20 years, he said.
General Assembly President John Ashe said in his message that the Day serves as a reminder to all people that, much like its historical antecedent, modern slavery is an egregious violation of a person’s basic human rights. “The majority of those who suffer are the most vulnerable and marginalized in society,” he <“http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/news/international_day_for_the_abolition_of_slavery2013.shtml“>stated.
“Each year, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are kidnapped and sold into bondage across international borders. Trafficking in persons is an issue of great global concern and affects almost all countries,” Mr. Ashe noted.
“This inhumane activity continues to flourish owing to vast economic disparities between nations, increasing flows of labour and commodities across international borders and transnational organized criminal networks.”
He called on Member States to eradicate slavery in all its forms; to boost initiatives that promote social inclusion; and to end all forms of discrimination. “We must promote and protect the rights of those most vulnerable within our societies, and help to restore the dignity of victims of slavery.”
New York, Dec 2 2013 11:00AM
- London slaves: why slavery exists in the UK today (theweek.co.uk)
- ‘Modern slavery’ practised in the most modern of societies (thehindu.com)
- Urgent and effective action needed for the eradication slavery and child labour in Ghana (appablog.wordpress.com)
- The faces of modern slavery: photographer Lisa Kristine… (tedx.com)
- Modern-day slavery – news and teaching resources round up (oddonion.com)
- Modern-day slavery – news and teaching resources round up (theguardian.com)
- Slavery – a shameful truth (ireport.cnn.com)
- “International Day for the Abolition of Slavery” (larryferlazzo.edublogs.org)
“There is a genuine choice for every country over how to respond. They can choose to see China’s rise as a threat or an opportunity. Britain’s answer is clear. We want to see China succeed,” continued Cameron.
Cameron’s push for an E.U.-China trade deal will irritate the European Commission, which is understood to be strongly opposed to such a move on the grounds that it risks flooding the bloc with cheap Chinese imports and comes as the bloc is embroiled in a dispute with Beijing over solar panel exports.
It is also likely to be seized upon by political opponents, as he has put a question mark over Britain’s continued membership of the 28-nation E.U. by promising Britons an in/out referendum on leaving the bloc if re-elected in 2015.
“I now want to set a new long-term goal of an ambitious and comprehensive E.U.-China Free Trade Agreement,” Cameron wrote.
“And as I have on the E.U.-U.S. deal, so I will put my full political weight behind such a deal which could be worth tens of billions of dollars every year,” promised Cameron.
Cameron is expected to raise the subject in a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday. His office said he was the first European leader to champion such a deal in this way.
He had already discussed the idea of an E.U.-China trade deal with other E.U. member states, it added. Such a deal would address services liberalization and better intellectual property rights protection.
Cameron told reporters on the plane to Beijing he was aware the idea was not universally popular among E.U. member states, but said it could be a chance to tackle Beijing on intellectual property rights and trading standards.
“It’ll be the normal thing in the EU which will be a discussion where there will be some skeptics. There will be some enthusiasts and I think the enthusiasts have the wind in our sails,” said Cameron.
British finance minister George Osborne opened the door to further Chinese investment in Britain during a visit to Beijing last month, during which he announced less stringent rules for Chinese banks operating in London in a push to make the British capital the main offshore hub for trading in China’s currency and bonds.
He also paved the way for Chinese investors to take majority stakes in future British nuclear plants.
A senior source in his office said before the trip that Britain had turned the page on a rift with China over Tibet, adding that Cameron had no plans to once again meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader-in-exile, after their meeting last year angered Beijing.
Asked on the plane whether he would be raising Tibet, Cameron was non-committal, but said nothing was “off limits” in Britain’s relationship with China.
As permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Cameron said the two countries would also discuss Iran and North Korea.
Cameron visited a training academy for Jaguar Land Rover sales staff in Beijing on Monday to mark its official opening as the carmaker unveiled a deal worth 4.5 billion pounds to provide 100,000 cars to the National Sales Company in China.
England’s Premier League is also expected to announce an agreement with the Chinese Super League to develop football in China and boost the Premier League’s profile.
The business delegation also includes Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline. The company was drawn into a bribery case in China earlier this year which resulted in police detaining four Chinese GSK executives.
Peter Humphrey, a British man running a risk advisory group, was also detained and is still being held.
- Britain’s Cameron travels to Beijing to push EU-China trade agreement (panarmenian.net)
- Britain’s Cameron flies to Beijing, pushing EU-China trade deal – Reuters (topbreakingnews.info)
- Britain’s Cameron flies to Beijing, pushing EU-China trade deal (trust.org)
- UPDATE 2-Britain’s Cameron pushes EU-China trade deal in Beijing (xe.com)
Security Council: Reports on LRA “Massacres in Villages and Mutilating of Boys to Prevent Them Becoming Child Soldiers and Forcing Girls into Sexual Slavery”
#AceHumanRightsNews says reiterating its strong condemnation of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its use of children in armed conflict, the Security Council today demanded that the group immediately cease all hostilities, release all abductees’, and disarm and demobilize.
Issuing presidential statement the Council urged the United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the UN political and peacekeeping missions in the region, and the Organization’s other relevant presences, to enhance their support for the implementation of the UN Regional Strategy to address the threat and impact of the activities of the LRA. It called on the international community to support the implementation of the Strategy where possible.
The LRA, notorious for carrying out massacres in villages, mutilating its victims and abducting boys for use as child soldiers and forcing girls into sexual slavery, was formed in the 1980s in Uganda and for over 15 years its attacks were mainly directed against Ugandan civilians and security forces, which in 2002 dislodged it. It then exported its activities to Uganda’s neighbours, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.
The 15-member body reiterated its strong support for the African Union Regional Cooperation Initiative against the LRA, commending the “significant” progress by the African Union Regional Task Force. It urged all regional Governments to fulfil their commitments under the Initiative and provide basic provisions for their security forces.
Welcoming steps taken to deliver an enhanced, comprehensive and “more regional” approach to the humanitarian situation, the Council underlined the primary responsibility of States in the LRA-affected region to protect civilians. In that context, it welcomed efforts by the DRC, South Sudan, Uganda and the CAR, in coordination with the African Union, to end the LRA threat, urging additional efforts from those countries, as well as others in the region.
Further, the Council expressed serious concern that the increased security vacuum in the CAR continued to negatively affect counter-LRA operations. As LRA attacks have reportedly taken place outside the Task Force’s principal area of operations, it emphasized the need for strong coordination among the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), the Task Force, and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) in the context of protecting civilian activities and counter-LRA operations.
Regionally, the Council encouraged the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to reinforce efforts to address the LRA through improved responsiveness to imminent civilian threats, training and capacity-building of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and implementation of the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration, and resettlement programme to encourage further LRA defections.
In addition, the Council urged MONUSCO and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to enhance their cooperation with the Regional Task Force to coordinate operations, patrols and protection of civilians strategies, and to provide logistical support within their existing mandates and resources. It took note of reports of a LRA base in the disputed enclave of Kafia Kinga, on the border of the Central African Republic, and between South Sudan and Sudan.
New York, Nov 25 2013 7:00PM
- Over 3500 people sign anti-LRA petition (sudantribune.com)
- South Sudan Blames LRA for Deadly Attacks (voanews.com)
- UN Council calls for new fight against Kony’s LRA (nation.co.ke)
- UN Security Council Condemns ‘War Crimes’ Committed By Lord’s Resistance Army (eurasiareview.com)
Congress the Other Day Forced Asbestos Victims and Their Families to Release Private Information that will Put Them at Risk of Identity Theft
#AceWorldNews says ” Asbestos Victims React To House Vote On H.R. 982 a few days ago that requests them to release private information ,that will put them at risk of identity theft”
Susan Vento, widow of Rep Bruce Vento (D-MN):
“I’m deeply disappointed in the vote, but grateful to the Members of Congress who stood up for asbestos victims and their families in opposing legislation that hurts cancer victims. We will continue to oppose this legislation and ensure that it never becomes law.”
Judy Van Ness, widow of Naval Veteran Richard L. Van Ness, commented after the vote:
“Congress today forced asbestos victims and their families to release private information that will put them at risk of identity theft. This delays and could deny badly needed compensation to victims and their families.”
Contact: Joy Howell, ACVRC
SOURCE Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign
Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign
WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
- Asbestos Victims React To House Vote On H.R. 982 (prnewswire.com)
- Take Action: Tell Congress to Protect Veterans & Cancer Victims (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Veterans oppose Wisconsin asbestos bill (jsonline.com)
- Privacy VS Double-Dipping: FACT Act Up for Debate in House (mesothelioma.com)
- H.R. 982 is anti-victim, anti-veteran and anti-privacy (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Honeywell Pushes Asbestos Bill Opposed by Trial Lawyers – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- How a California Mesothelioma Attorney Can Help Mesothelioma Patients (jedwards19.wordpress.com)
- Don’t Deny Justice to Asbestos Victims: Stop SB 13. (wisaflcio.typepad.com)
- Grieving daughter hopes new asbestos bill will make a difference for Wales (walesonline.co.uk)
- Welsh NHS could benefit as asbestos treatment laws passed by AMs (walesonline.co.uk)
#AceWorldNews says that on 25 November 2013 it was “International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women”
On 25 November 2013, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the British High Commission recalled the recent visit of The Duchess of Cornwall to Women In Need (WIN)’s Colombo Crisis Centre during Her Royal Highness’ stay in Sri Lanka.
Established in 1987, WIN provides services and support for women and children subject to domestic and other forms of violence. They operate in all nine provinces in the country.
WIN’s work covers several areas: medical, psychological counselling, temporary shelter and legal. They provide crisis intervention services in hospitals, a 24 hour hotline accessible to women who are subject to violence, counselling desks in six police stations island-wide and training for counsellors. WIN is the only organisation in the country that offers a multi-faceted approach to victims/survivors of violence. WIN also works with men and boys on a campaign called “Men against Violence Against Women”.
- Women march against violence (fijitimes.com)
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (crimeandviolence2013.wordpress.com)
- News story: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (gov.uk)
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: PLEASE READ (laurabwilliamsdesigns.wordpress.com)
- News: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (UN) (femalereport.wordpress.com)
- International Day for the Elimination of violence against women (contentisart.wordpress.com)
- Gallery: Anti-violence protesters march on International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women (globalnews.ca)
- News story: The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (gov.uk)
#AceWorldNews says four people have been arrested for alleged witness tampering in the war crimes trial of former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today announced.
The four men are accused of “corruptly influencing witnesses before the ICC and presenting evidence that they knew to be false or forged,” according to a <“http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/press%20and%20media/press%20releases/Pages/pr962.aspx“>news release from The Hague-based Court.
It is alleged that the suspects were part of a network for the purposes of presenting false or forged documents and bribing certain persons to give false testimony in the case against Mr. Bemba, whose trial started in November 2010.
The four men, arrested today and yesterday following a warrant issued on 20 November by Judge Cuno Tarfusser, include Mr. Bemba’s Lead Counsel Aimé Kilolo Musamba taken into custody by Belgian authorities, and Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, a member of Mr Bemba’s defence team and case manager, who was arrested in the Netherlands.
The two other men are Fidèle Babala Wandu, a member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Parliament and Deputy Secretary General of the Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo – who was taken into custody in the DRC – and Narcisse Arido, a Defence witness, who was arrested by French authorities.
“On behalf of the Court, the Registrar of the ICC, Herman von Hebel, expressed his gratitude to the States’ authorities for their cooperation,” the ICC said, adding that these are the first arrests made in relation to such charges before the Court.
Mr. Bemba is the alleged President and Commander-in-Chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo being tried for two counts of crimes against humanity (rape and murder) and three counts of war crimes (rape, murder and pillaging) allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Established by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.
New York, Nov 24 2013 6:00PM
- Bribery suspects held in Bemba’s ICC case (nation.co.ke)
- ICC announces arrests for falsifying evidence in Congo rebel leaders’ war crimes trial (jurist.org)
- Bemba faces trial at the ICC for crimes against humanity (grantgarland520.wordpress.com)