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My body, my rights goes global
5 years ago

https://campaigns.amnesty.org/campaigns/demand-dignity/my-body-my-rights

Activists across the world are speaking out, demanding world leaders live up to their commitments to make sexual and reproductive rights real, now and for the next generation. Browse our map to find out more about the campaign where you are.

Act Current 5,523 Target 50,000
Tell world leaders: protect sexual and reproductive rights now and for the next generation!
Warning: This video could make you furious
5 years ago

http://livewire.amnesty.org/2013/10/03/warning-this-video-could-make-you-furious/

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Warning: This video could make you furious
5 years ago

Signed, thanks for posting Davida P.

5 years ago

Signed

End forced evictions in Romania
5 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/actions/end-forced-evictions-in-romania

End forced evictions in Romania

We urge you to stand up where the Romanian government is failing. Call on the Prime Minister of Romania to put an end to forced evictions.

The right to adequate housing is a human right that everyone is entitled to without discrimination. However, in Romania, the right to housing is not adequately protected in the current legislation.

This affects everybody in Romania, especially the poorest and most disadvantaged. Roma are disproportionately affected. They are denied their right to adequate housing and subjected to continuing poverty, insecurity and social exclusion as a result.

Despite Romania’s obligations under international and regional human rights standards to protect the right to adequate housing for all, Roma and others living in informal settlements remain vulnerable to forced evictions.

In the past decade, numerous Romani communities have been forcibly evicted and relocated next to garbage dumps, sewage treatment plants or industrial areas, on the outskirts of cities. Such human rights violations have tremendous emotional and social impact on the lives of individuals, families and communities who are constrained to face a daily challenge of being denied an equal place in society.

Romanian authorities must put an end to forced evictions and should bring its national legal framework on housing in line with international and regional human rights standards with no further delay.

Malaysia must protect its migrant workers
8 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/malaysia-must-protect-migrant-workers

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07 October 2010
Malaysia must protect its migrant workers
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Drawn by the promise of employment, thousands of men and women from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal and other countries in Asia travel to Malaysia every year.  The country has approximately 4 million documented and undocumented foreign workers, representing almost one-third of its work force.

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This is the story of a 19-year-old Indonesian woman who came to Malaysia to become a domestic worker at age 15.  Physically abused, sexually assaulted, and humiliated, she was not paid for over three years of work. 

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“There was a couple who were looking for people to work in Malaysia.  They talked to me and asked me whether I wanted to work overseas.  I said yes.  They said I would work as a domestic worker, cleaning house, mopping, sweeping.

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After a few days, I was taken to an agency in Jakarta.  That agency did some illegal work—if the girl is underage, the agency will increase her age.  In my passport, I can’t remember exactly what it said, but I remember it said that I was born in 1983.

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The agent sent me to my employer’s house.  I did domestic work for them.  I woke up at 5am,  made food, and began housework by 6am.  I would do the sweeping, mopping, cleaning the furniture, washing the clothes and cooking. I worked until around 9pm.  After four and a half months, my employers sent me back to the agency, saying I did not know how to do the work. 

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I stayed with the agent for six months.  The agent beat me.  She had me take off all my clothes and squat on the floor in front of the other workers and her husband.  She pushed my head into a pail of water so that I almost drowned.  I couldn’t breathe.  Then she had me lick the water on the floor.  She told me I had to clean the floor with my tongue. 

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Another time, the agent forced me to eat five cockroaches while they were still alive.  She also forced me to drink urine from other workers, including one who was having her period at that time.

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She burned my nipple with a cigarette.  It was very painful.  She put her cigarette to my nipple when I was sleeping.  Then she stepped on my stomach and kicked me on my body.

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Another time she had another female worker took a bottle of deodorant and insert it into my vagina forcefully.

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Sometimes she made the other workers do it for her.  Others at the agency were treated the same way. 

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After six months, the agent sent me to another employer.  I was transferred every two or three months.  After that, the agent sent me to do part-time work, so in one day I would clean three or four houses.

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I never received one single cent in pay. 

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Follow link for action...

Action - Stop forced evictions of Roma in Serbia
8 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/stop-forced-evictions-roma-serbia-1

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Stop forced evictions of Roma in Serbia

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The authorities in Serbia's capital Belgrade are preparing to carry out the forced eviction of a Roma community, living in an informal settlement in an area known as Belvil. At least 300 homes will be demolished to make way for an access road for a planned new bridge over the River Sava. The project is supported financially by the European Investment Bank (EI.

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The eviction of Belvil settlement was announced by the Belgrade's Deputy Mayor on 30 March 2010. The eviction was due to take place in April, but was put on hold after appeals made by local and international organizations, including by Amnesty International.

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According to information received by Amnesty International, the City of Belgrade authorities are now drawing up a Resettlement Action Plan for the residents of Belvil. However, the Roma people living in Belvil remain confused and scared. They have not been informed by the authorities about the date of the eviction. Nor have they been consulted about the Resettlement Action Plan, or about alternative accommodation options.

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Representatives of the city visited the site in June and told the residents that they should not move before an eviction date and relocation plan are announced. However, on 29 June 2010, with no advance warning, a bulldozer and some workmen appeared at the site, accompanied by the representatives of the city authorities. They refused to identify themselves when approached by the residents of the settlement. No work was carried out that day, but the incident only increased the feelings of insecurity and anxiety within the community.

8 years ago

As a teacher working in South Africa I'm well aware of the detrimental effects of educational segregation on racial grounds.  Apartheid has been dead for 16 years, but the legacy still remains.  There is a tendency to believe that South Africa, under apartheid, is the only offender in terms of segregation and it is important to be reminded that this is still going on in many other parts of the world.

News - Slovak government urged to end segregation for Romani children
8 years ago

Slovak government urged to end segregation for Romani children

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2 September 2010

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Amnesty International has urged the Slovak government to immediately end the segregation of Romani children in the country's education system.
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This practice leaves thousands of Romani pupils in substandard education in schools and classes for pupils with "mild mental disabilities" or ethnically segregated mainstream schools and classes.
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In a briefing to the Slovak government, Steps to end segregation in education, Amnesty International points to serious gaps in the enforcement and monitoring of the ban on discrimination and segregation in the Slovak educational system.
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"Romani children across Slovakia remain trapped in a school system that keeps failing them as a result of widespread discrimination. It deprives Romani children of equal opportunities and sentences them to a life of poverty and marginalization," said David Diaz-Jogeix, Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director.
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"The Slovak government has much to do to end the segregation that has an impact on a large part of the country's population. Segregation in education means a life-long stigma for children whose future chances are brutally limited. It is a practice that does not belong to 21st century Europe and must be eliminated."
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Segregation of Romani children takes various forms: special schools or special classes within mainstream schools designed for pupils with "mild mental disabilities" and mainstream Roma-only schools and classes.
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While Roma are estimated to comprise less than 10 per cent of Slovakia's total population, they make up 60 per cent of the pupils in special schools, according to a 2009 survey.
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In regions with high Romani populations three out of every four pupils in special schools are Roma. Eighty five per cent of the children in special classes in mainstream schools across the country are Roma.
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The causes of segregation are complex and include entrenched anti-Roma attitudes as well as policy failures in the education system such as early and flawed child assessment and insufficient support for Romani children within mainstream education.
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Widespread anti-Romani sentiment across the country expressed by non-Roma parents and educational professionals, has also led to segregation of Romani children even in mainstream schools and classes.
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This has led to a situation in which Romani children are sometimes literally locked into separate classrooms, corridors or buildings to prevent them from mixing with non-Roma pupils.
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The coalition government's programme adopted in August 2010, included the commitment to eliminate segregated schooling of Roma.
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Amnesty International said it is concerned that this has not been followed by a clear and unequivocal statement by the head of government that ethnic discrimination and segregation of Roma is unacceptable and will be combated as a matter of priority.  
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"The idea that separate can be equal has been discredited. Slovakia cannot continue to deny its Romani children their right to education without discrimination," David Diaz-Jogeix said.
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"The choices that the government makes now will affect the lives of thousands of Romani children. The government holds the key to allow the Roma in Slovakia full participation in Slovak and European society."  
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Amnesty International called on the Slovak authorities to:

  • Provide the State School Inspectorate with adequate resources, including robust, detailed guidelines and procedures on how to identify, monitor and combat segregation in practice;
  • Begin the systematic collection of data on education, disaggregated on the basis of gender and ethnicity;
  • Introduce a clear duty on all schools to desegregate education and provide them with effective support;
  • Introduce adequate support measures for Roma and non-Roma children who need extra assistance, so that they may achieve their fullest potential within mainstream schools.

This work is part of Amnesty International’s Demand Dignity campaign which aims to end the human rights violations that drive and deepen global poverty. The campaign will mobilise people all over the world to demand that governments, corporations and others who have power listen to the voices of those living in poverty and recognise and protect their rights. For more information visit the Demand Dignity pages

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Read more:
Campaigning to end segregation of Romani children Slovak schools
(Blog, 3 September 2010)
Take part in Amnesty International's photo petition for Roma children in Slovakia

Call on the Prime Minister of Slovakia to end the segregation of Romani children in schools

Issue - Discrimination and Exclusion
8 years ago

Discrimination and Exclusion

Action - Put human rights at the heart of the global fight against poverty
8 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/put-human-rights-heart-global-fight-against-poverty-1

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Put human rights at the heart of the global fight against poverty

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Millions of people continue to face a daily struggle to live in dignity. In 2000, countries around the world agreed to eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a global initiative to eradicate poverty by 2015.
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Ten years on - five years from the deadline - these goals are still not a reality.  Progress has been made, but it has been unequal. Goal five on improving maternal health, for instance, is the most off-track of all of the MDGs.  Hundreds of thousands of women and girls continue to die in pregnancy and childbirth each year, and most of them live in the poorest countries and communities.
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No solution to poverty will have any long-term impact without human rights at its core.  At the United Nations MDG Summit in September, world leaders will decided on a plan of action to step up their fight against poverty.
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Join Amnesty International to make sure that human rights are at the heart of the MDGs and the global fight against poverty
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Dear MDG Summit Presidents,
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The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most prominent global initiative to address poverty.  But 10 years on, progress on the MDGs has left many behind.
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MDG 5 to reduce maternal mortality is a key example.  Women and girls continue to face discrimination and inequality that increase their risk of maternal mortality.
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As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recommended, to make real progress, all efforts to meet the MDGs must put human rights at the centre.
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This includes reaching the most excluded, empowering women, ensuring the participation of people in poverty and holding governments to account.
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Protecting the rights of people living in poverty is an essential piece of any solution.  I urge you to ensure that human rights are at the heart of the global fight to end poverty.  The world cannot wait any longer for action.
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Fear of attack leaves Kenyan women prisoners in their homes
8 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/kenya-fear-attack-leaves-women-prisoners-their-homes-2010-07-07

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Fear of attack leaves Kenyan women prisoners in their homes

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7 July 2010

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Women and girls in Nairobi’s slums live under the constant threat of sexual violence, leaving them often too scared to leave their houses to use communal toilet and bathroom facilities, Amnesty International said in a report released on Wednesday.
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Insecurity and Indignity: Women’s experiences in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya details how the  failure of the government to incorporate the slums in urban plans and budgets has resulted in poor access to services like sanitation, which hits women in slums and informal settlements especially hard.
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“Women in Nairobi’s settlements become prisoners in their own homes at night and some times well before it is dark,” said Godfrey Odongo, Amnesty Internationals East Africa researcher. “They need more privacy than men when going to the toilet or taking a bath and the inaccessibility of facilities make women vulnerable to rape, leaving them trapped in their own homes.
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“The fact that they are unable to access even the limited communal toilet facilities also puts them at risk of illness.”
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The situation is compounded by the lack of police presence in the slums and when women fall victim to violence they are unlikely to see justice done. Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum and home to up to a million people, has no police post.
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“I always underestimated the threat of violence,” said 19-year-old Amina of Mathare slum. “I would go to the latrine any time provided it was not too late. This was until about two months ago when I almost became a victim of rape.”
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Amina was set upon by a group of four men while she walked to the latrine at 7pm. They hit her, undressed her and were about to rape her when her cries were heard and a group of residents came to save her. Although she knew one of the men involved in the assault, Amina did not go to the police as she feared reprisal attacks.
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Unable to leave their one-roomed houses after dark, many women in informal settlements resort to ‘flying toilets’ – using plastic bags thrown from the home to dispose of waste.
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Women also told Amnesty International how the poor sanitary conditions they live in – which include widespread disposal of human excreta in the open because of lack of adequate access to toilets – directly contribute to cases of poor health and to high health care costs.
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Other women describe the humiliation of bathing in front of their relatives and children.
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Even by day, public bathroom facilities are few and far between and invariably involve walking long distances. According to official figures, only 24 per cent of residents in Nairobi’s informal settlements have access to toilet facilities at household level.
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Despite some positive features, Kenya’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) policies to meet the target on sanitation do not address the specific needs of women who face the threat of violence because they lack adequate sanitation.
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They also do not address the lack of enforcement of regulations requiring owners and landlords to provide sanitation.
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 “There is a huge gap between what the government commits to do, and what is going on in the slums everyday” said Godfrey Odongo.
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“Kenya’s national policies recognise the rights to sanitation and there are laws and standards in place. However, because of decades of failure to recognize slums and informal settlements, planning laws and regulations are not enforced in these areas.
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“The lack of enforcement of these laws has ensured that landlords and structure owners in the slums can get away without providing any toilets or shower places for their tenants”
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Lack of security of tenure also remains a long standing problem for tenants, despite a national land policy in place, removing any incentives that landlords or owners could have to ensure proper sanitation, and measures to increase security.
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Amnesty International calls on the Kenyan government to enforce landlords’ obligations to construct toilets and bathrooms in the slums and settlements and provide assistance to structure owners who are unable to meet the costs of constructing toilets and bathrooms.
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The government must also take immediate measures to improve security, lighting and policing and ensure that relevant government authorities coordinate their efforts to improve the water and sanitation situation in the settlements.

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http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR32/002/2010/en/12a9d334-0b62-40e1-ae4a-e5333752d68c/afr320022010en.pdf

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US-Israel talks must seek end to Gaza blockade
8 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/us-israel-talks-must-seek-end-gaza-blockade-2010-07-07

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7 July 2010

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Amnesty International reiterated its call on Israel to completely lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip as Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu met US President Barack Obama in Washington this week.
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The two leaders are to enter a second day of talks on Wednesday, two days after Israel's announcement that consumer goods will be allowed into Gaza under their new rules.
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However, despite the easing of the blockade, crucial building materials continue to be restricted. There is also no change to the general ban on exports or the movement of people, while the blockade remains in place through Israel’s tight control of Gaza’s airspace, territorial waters and its crossing points with Israel.
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“Any easing of the blockade is welcome, but this falls far short of what is needed to end the harm being caused to Gaza’s population, four out of five of whom are dependent on aid,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa director.
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“Palestinians are still trapped in Gaza and still face restricted access on the basic construction materials that they need to rebuild their homes,” said Malcolm Smart.
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“It is vital that the bar on exports from Gaza is lifted if Gazans are to be able to rebuild their lives and the economy.”
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Israel says all items will be allowed into Gaza except arms, munitions and what it describes as “dual-use” items.  Building materials such as steel and cement will only be allowed into Gaza under Israeli supervision and if they are to be used in projects overseen by the UN or other international agencies. They must also have been authorized by the Palestinian Authority based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
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“Banning the vast majority of exports, raw materials and the movement of people has destroyed the economy of Gaza and pushed its population into unemployment, poverty and dependency on aid agencies for survival. These problems will not be solved while the blockade continues,” said Malcolm Smart.
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The continued restriction on building materials for general use will further delay the reconstruction by Palestinians in Gaza of their homes, businesses and other property destroyed in Israeli attacks in December 2008 and January 2009. 
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More than 3,000 homes and hundreds of other properties including factories, farms and government buildings were destroyed, and more than 20,000 damaged, in Israel's military operation “Cast Lead”.
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Israeli restrictions prevent the movement of Palestinians through the crossing points from Gaza into Israel in all but a handful of cases, generally in exceptional humanitarian cases. 
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“Instead of continuing these restrictions, Israel must comply with its obligations as the occupying power under international law and immediately lift the blockade in its entirety,” said Malcolm Smart.
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Background
After Hamas took control in Gaza in June 2007, the existing Israeli policy of closure was tightened to a blockade restricting the entry of food, fuel and other basic goods. Movement of medical cases in and out of the area became restricted and delayed. Gazan families are not allowed to visit relatives in Israeli jails.
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This situation was made worse by the general closure of the Rafah crossing (Gaza’s single crossing point with Egypt) to daily use by the Egyptian authorities.  After 2007 Rafah was opened only intermittently to allow some occasional movement.
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Following Israel’s military action on 31 May against the aid flotilla in international waters outside Gaza, the Egyptian authorities announced they were opening the Rafah crossing point “indefinitely”.
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However, Egypt has yet to permit fully free passage of Palestinians into its territory, allowing entry only to Palestinians with specially obtained permits.
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As the occupying power, Israel bears the foremost responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the inhabitants of Gaza.

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News - Ecuador first to ratify new UN mechanism to enforce economic, social and cultural rights
8 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/ecuador-first-ratify-new-un-mechanism-enforce-economic-social-and-cultural-rights-2

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Ecuador first to ratify new UN mechanism to enforce economic, social and cultural rights

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16 June 2010

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Amnesty International has urged other countries to follow Ecuador's example and ratify a new UN mechanism that will provide access to justice for everyone whose economic, social and cultural rights are violated and who is denied an effective remedy in their own countries.
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Ecuador is the first country in the world to ratify the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights which allows individuals and groups within the country to seek justice from the United Nations should these rights – which include the rights to adequate housing, food, water, health, work, social security and education - be violated by their government.  
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"Access to justice is an essential right for victims of all human rights violations," said Widney Brown, Amnesty International's Senior Director of International Law and Policy. "We encourage all countries to follow Ecuador's positive example and ratify within the shortest possible time."
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The Optional Protocol will enable people denied their human rights to have their complaints heard in front of an independent, international panel of experts. The decisions made by this new mechanism are likely to influence decisions of national and regional courts around the world.
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"States that ratify the Optional Protocol will establish a vital tool for people, in particular for those living in poverty, to hold their governments accountable," said Widney Brown. "They should also follow through on this commitment by strengthening national mechanisms for the enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights."
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The Optional Protocol was adopted by the UN General Assembly by consensus on December 10 2008 and was opened for ratification in September 2009. The complaint mechanism will become operational after 10 countries ratify the Optional Protocol.

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In addition to Ecuador, 31 countries have signed the Optional Protocol, indicating their intention to ratify but ratification is necessary to make the Optional Protocol legally binding.  To-date Ecuador is the only country to have ratified the protocol.
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Amnesty International is a member of the NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and has been campaigning for the last six years for an Optional Protocol.
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The 32 States that have signed the Optional Protocol include: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Italy, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Paraguay, Portugal, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Timor-Leste, Togo, Ukraine and Uruguay.
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Economic, social and cultural rights have historically been neglected and given less emphasis than civil and political rights. States agreed at the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights that ‘The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair an equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis’. The Optional Protocol is a tangible development towards this end.
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Support for the Optional Protocol is part of Amnesty International’s Demand Dignity campaign which aims to end the human rights violations that drive and deepen global poverty. The campaign will mobilise people all over the world to demand that governments, corporations and others who have power listen to the voices of those living in poverty and recognise and protect their rights. For more information vist the Demand Dignity website

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Action: Call for the release of Chinese housing rights activists
9 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/call-release-chinese-housing-rights-activists

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30 April 2010
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Call for the release of Chinese housing rights activists
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As the technology and innovation showcase, Expo 2010, begins in Shanghai, many local housing rights activists are being silenced by the Chinese authorities. 
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Over 18,000 families have been evicted in the city to make way for the Expo since 2000, further expanding the Shanghai housing rights movement, which is largely led by women.
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However, human rights defenders who attempt to report on violations, challenge policies that the authorities find politically sensitive or engage others face the serious risk of abuse.
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Many women human rights defenders in China, who started as grassroots activists and are petitioners in their own right, are working to provide practical services and advocate the rights of the community. Very few would label themselves human rights defenders and they are rarely regarded as such by the authorities.
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Yet they face marginalization, prejudice and violence, as well as having to challenge gender stereotypes. Some are held under unofficial house arrest or in unofficial places of detention known as “black jails”.
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Others are assigned to forms of punitive administrative detention such as Re-education Through Labour or ‘residential surveillance' without a possibility to challenge the lawfulness of their detention.
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Amnesty International calls on the Chinese authorities to immediately release the Shanghai women housing rights activists, Duan Chunfang and Mao Hengfeng, and to stop the harassment of other housing rights activists.

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9 years ago

 I added my voice and took action as well Thanks Davida

Dow cannot run from the legacy of Bhopal
9 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/dow-cannot-run-legacy-bhopal-sponsoring-run-water-events-2010-04-16

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Dow cannot run from the legacy of Bhopal by sponsoring 'Run For Water' events

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16 April 2010

  The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) cannot run from its responsibility for the ongoing impacts of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak by sponsoring Live Earth "Run for Water" events, Amnesty International said on Friday.
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Thousands of people died and more than 100,000 continue to suffer from serious health problems as a consequence of 1984's deadly leak of toxic chemicals from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. Dow became 100 per cent owner of the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in 2001.
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Since then survivors and human rights groups have been campaigning for Dow to address the ongoing impacts of the disaster, including contamination of water by chemical waste, but the company has consistently ignored these calls, denying any responsibility for UCC's liabilities in Bhopal.
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On 18 April Dow is sponsoring a series of running events across the globe, organized by environmental organization Live Earth to raise awareness about water scarcity.
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"Sponsoring an event that highlights water scarcity while ignoring ongoing problems with access to clean water and medical care, amongst other issues, in Bhopal is at best hypocrisy, at worst, a flagrant attempt by Dow to try to white-wash its image," said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.
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"Dow may be trying to run away from the legacy of Bhopal, but it can’t be allowed to hide behind sponsorship of 'Run for Water' events."
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For more than 25 years both the government of India and the companies involved have failed to address the human rights abuses that have been the lasting legacy of the Bhopal gas leak.
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"Bhopal raises fundamental questions about the accountability of corporations and the capacity and willingness of governments to address corporate-related human rights abuses," said Audrey Gaughran.
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"For years the government of India, UCC and Dow have played 'pass the parcel' over the issue of responsibility, while the people of Bhopal have struggled to obtain even basic relief such as clean water."
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Amnesty International has called on Live Earth to reconsider the sponsorship unless Dow publicly commits to the forthcoming government clean up process in Bhopal. Dow has not done this.
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Amnesty International shares Live Earth's concerns about the impact of climate change and the urgent need to take action to protect human rights, including the right to water. But the organization fears that Dow’s sponsorship poses a serious risk to the credibility of the Live Earth "Run for Water" events.
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"Companies must understand that they cannot escape responsibility for human rights abuses in one area by engaging in positive action elsewhere. Human rights abuses cannot be 'offset' by corporate good works," said Audrey Gaughran.  
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"The only way for Dow and UCC to finally put the legacy of Bhopal to rest is to work with the affected communities and government of India to fully, and effectively, address the human rights impact of the disaster."
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Shortly before midnight on 2 December 1984, thousands of pounds of deadly chemicals leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, central India.
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Around half a million people were exposed. Between 7,000 and 10,000 people died in the immediate aftermath and a further 15,000 over the next 20 years.
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More than 25 years later, the site has not been cleaned up, the leak and its impact have not been properly investigated, more than 100,000 people continue to suffer from health problems without the medical care they need, and survivors are still awaiting fair compensation and full redress for their suffering.
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Leaking waste material has polluted groundwater on which thousands of people depend for drinking water and other domestic uses.
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Dow has consistently denied any responsibility for the liabilities of UCC in Bhopal, but in stark contrast, Dow accepted asbestos-related liabilities of UCC in the United States that were incurred as early as 1972.
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Amnesty International works in partnership with organisations such as The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal to help support survivors and activists to demand justice, accountability and an end to 25 years of human rights violations.
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Their campaign for adequate clean-up, access to clean water and proper medical care, compensation and accountability has seen survivors and supporter groups, including children and people with disabilities, repeatedly make the 800-kilometre march from Bhopal to New Delhi.
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More than 100 Bhopal survivors are launching an indefinite protest in New Delhi today, urging the Indian government to resolve the liabilities in Bhopal.
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On 26 March 2010 Amnesty International wrote to Live Earth to express concern about Dow's involvement in the "Run for Water" events.  The organization has not received a response to that letter. 
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Read More

Call on chemical company to address the legacy of Bhopal(Appeal for action, 16 October 2009)

Action: Call on President Obama to Issue an Executive Order on Human Rights
9 years ago

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=14213

Bring Human Rights Home and Call on President Obama to Issue an Executive Order on Human Rights

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President Obama is considering issuing an executive order on human rights. The Executive Order would address the human rights obligations of the United States and put concrete action behind President Obama's recognition that human rights begin at home. Amnesty International USA and the ACLU, along with our coalition partners in the Human Rights at Home Campaign, have been pressing the Administration to issue a comprehensive Executive Order that would integrate the U.S.'s human rights commitments into all of the agencies of the government. This Executive Order presents President Obama with an important opportunity to uphold core American values of equality and justice for all by building a much-needed human rights infrastructure here at home. Help us urge the President to issue a strong, comprehensive Executive Order that will result in meaningful progress on domestic human rights.

The time for action is now: call on President Obama to issue an Executive Order that holds the U.S. accountable for its human rights commitments.

Download the printable version PDF | RTF



This post was modified from its original form on 06 May, 15:53
9 years ago

You cannot currently send a star to Davida because you have done so within the last week.

Thanks for letting us know!

News - USA urged to confront shocking maternal mortality rate
9 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/usa-urged-confront-shocking-maternal-mortality-rate-2010-03-12 .

12 March 2010

Amnesty International has called on US President Barack Obama to tackle soaring rates of maternal mortality and pregnancy-related complications that particularly affect minorities and those living in poverty.
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Amnesty International’s report Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA, urges action to tackle a crisis that sees between two and three women die every day during pregnancy and childbirth in the USA.
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A total of 1.7 million women a year, one-third of all pregnant women in the country, suffer from pregnancy-related complications.
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The report also revealed that severe pregnancy-related complications that nearly cause death -- known as "near misses" -- are rising at an alarming rate, increasing by 25 percent since 1998.
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Minorities, those living in poverty, Native American and immigrant women and those who speak little or no English are particularly affected.
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"This country's extraordinary record of medical advancement makes its haphazard approach to maternal care all the more scandalous and disgraceful,” said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA.
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“Good maternal care should not be considered a luxury available only to those who can access the best hospitals and the best doctors. Women should not die in the richest country on earth from preventable complications and emergencies," said Larry Cox.
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With a lifetime risk of maternal deaths that is greater than in 40 other countries, including virtually all industrialized nations, the USA has failed to reverse the two-decade upward trend in preventable maternal deaths, despite pledges to do so. 
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"Mothers die not because the United States can't provide good care, but because it lacks the political will to make sure good care is available to all women," said Larry Cox.
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Amnesty International’s analysis also shows a health care reform proposal before the US Congress does not address the crisis of maternal health care.
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"Reform is primarily focused on health care coverage and reducing health care costs, and even optimistic estimates predict that any proposal on the table will still leave millions without access to affordable care," said Rachel Ward, one of the authors of the Deadly Delivery  report. 
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"Furthermore, it does not address discrimination, systemic failures and the lack of government accountability documented in Amnesty International’s report."
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Rapid and comprehensive federal leadership is required, as the report found numerous systemic failures, including the following:
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•    Obstacles to care are widespread, even though the US A  spends more on health care than any other country and more on pregnancy and childbirth-related hospital costs, $86 billion, than any other type of hospital care.
•    Nearly 13 million women of reproductive age (15 to 44), or one in five, have no health insurance. Minorities account for just under one-third of all women in the US A  (32 percent) but over half (51 percent) of uninsured women.
•    One in four women do not receive adequate prenatal care, starting in the first trimester. The number rises to about one in three for African American and Native American women.
•    Burdensome bureaucratic procedures in Medicaid enrollment substantially delay access to vital prenatal care for pregnant women seeking government-funded care. 
•    A shortage of health care professionals is a serious obstacle to timely and adequate care, especially in rural areas and inner cities. In 2008, 64 million people were living in "shortage areas" for primary care (which includes maternal care).
•    Many women are not given a say in decisions about their care and the risks of interventions such as inducing labor or cesarean sections. Cesarean sections make up nearly one-third of all deliveries in the US A  – twice as high as recommended by the World Health Organization.
•    The number of maternal deaths is significantly understated because of a lack of effective data collection in the US A .
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Amnesty International also called on the US authorities for vigorous enforcement of federal non-discrimination laws and an increase in support for Federally Qualified Health Centers by 2011 to expand the number of women who can access affordable maternal health care.
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This work is part of Amnesty International’s Demand Dignity campaign which aims to end the human rights violations that drive and deepen global poverty. The campaign will mobilise people all over the world to demand that governments, corporations and others who have power listen to the voices of those living in poverty and recognise and protect their rights. For more information visit   http://www.amnesty.org/en/demand-dignity
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For a full copy of the report Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA, please see: amnestyusa.orgdeadlydeliveryreport

9 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/stop-mining-and-refinery-projects-devastating-communities-india

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Stop mining and refinery projects from devastating communities in India

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9 February 2010

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AI_4_8_10_india-vedanta

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Plans to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills in the Indian state of Orissa threaten the very existence of the Dongria Kondh – an indigenous community that has lived on and around the hills for centuries.
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The Dongria Kondh depend entirely on the hills for their food, water, livelihoods and cultural identity. They consider the Niyamgiri Hills as sacred.
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The proposed mine could have grave repercussions for their human rights to water, food, health, work and other rights as an Indigenous community in respect of their traditional lands. International law requires that governments seek their free, prior informed consent before beginning such projects.
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In Lanjigarh, at the foot of the Niyamgiri Hills, air and water pollution from an alumina refinery run by Vedanta Aluminium are threatening the health and well-being of local communities.
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Although the Orissa State Pollution Control Board has reported serious concerns about water contamination and air pollution and documented numerous failures on the part of the company to adequately manage waste disposal from the refinery, this information has never been shared with local people.
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No health monitoring has ever been done. Despite the existing problems and widespread community concerns, Vedanta Aluminium has sought clearance to expand the refinery’s capacity six-fold.
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Vedanta Resources and its subsidiaries have failed to take action to adequately remedy the problems identified above. The companies involved have also failed to abide by internationally-accepted standards in relation to the impact of business on human rights - to provide information, consult with people and refine plans to ensure rights are not harmed.
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Both Orissa state and Indian national level authorities have also failed to protect the human rights of the communities. Government officials have provided misleading and incomplete information to communities on the benefits and risks of the refinery project.
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They have not properly assessed the potential impacts on human rights of either project and have not set up a genuine process of consultation with local people. Enforcement of regulations has been weak and inconsistent, leaving people exposed to ongoing harm.

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This work is part of Amnesty International’s Demand Dignity campaign which aims to end the human rights violations that drive and deepen global poverty. The campaign will mobilise people all over the world to demand that governments, corporations and others who have power listen to the voices of those living in poverty and recognise and protect their rights. For more information visit Demand Dignity section.

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Image: The Vedanta alumina refinery, Lanjigarh, Orissa, February 2009. Copyright: Amnesty International

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This post was modified from its original form on 08 Apr, 12:57
Slovakia plans to remove Romani children from their families
9 years ago

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/slovakia-plans-remove-romani-children-their-families-2010-03-09

Slovakia plans to remove Romani children from their families

9 March 2010

AI_3_9_10_slovakia-children

Amnesty International has warned that establishing boarding schools for Romani children "and gradually detach[ing] them from the way of living they currently experience in the settlements" is discriminatory and a blatant attack on the Roma way of living.

The Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Monday that the government proposes a system, in which Romani children will be taken from settlements and be placed in boarding schools.

"The idea that Romani children have to be removed from their families and put into boarding schools, when they could be educated in normal schools near their homes, is clearly against the best interests of the child. Uprooting them from their surroundings and removing them from their families, is an attack on their identity," said Halya Gowan, director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia programme.

The fact that some Romani families living in settlements – as other families in Slovakia – experience challenges to supporting the education of children because of poverty, language barriers and other factors, highlights the need for government to provide support and assistance to all to overcome such barriers.

"Isolated from the outside world, Romani children will find it more difficult to fully participate in Slovak society. The government's proposal will perpetuate the segregation they experience now. In fact it will make it official," Halya Gowan said.

"The government's proposal is completely out of tune with developments in the European Union. If adopted, it will be in absolute contravention of both Slovak law and international human rights standards on non-discrimination by which Slovakia is bound."

Amnesty International has previously voiced serious concerns about the discrimination and segregation Romani children experience in Slovak schools, including through their placement in special schools and classes for pupils with mental disabilities.  

"Rather than establishing another parallel system of separate education for children based on their ethnicity, it is necessary that the Slovak government focus its efforts towards ensuring that mainstream schools include all children regardless of the social background, language or other abilities," Halya Gowan said.

Amnesty International has called on the Slovak government to address the core of the problem – persisting segregation of Romani children in education which should be overcome by reforms to the education system to ensure truly inclusive education for all children.

The organization said that the government must provide appropriate support to families and pupils who need it, so that they can effectively participate and develop to their fullest potential within mainstream elementary schools.

This work is part of Amnesty International's Demand Dignity campaign which aims to end the human rights violations that drive and deepen global poverty. The campaign will mobilise people all over the world to demand that governments, corporations and others who have power listen to the voices of those living in poverty and recognise and protect their rights. For more information visit the Demand Dignity website.

Read More

Slovakia: Roma Children Still Lose Out: Segregation persists in Slovak schools despite new law (Campaign Digest, 30 June 2009)

Demand Dignity
9 years ago
| Blue Label

http://www.amnesty.org/en/demand-dignity

Over the next six years – at least – Amnesty International will work to shift the balance of power together with those who have been so far denied a say as they tell their own stories and strive to engage in the processes that determine their own future.

Amnesty International’s Demand Dignity campaign will initially focus on a few key areas and patterns of human rights abuse which show particularly sharply the interplay of deprivation, insecurity, exclusion and voices ignored. The overall goal is to end the human rights violations that keep people poor.

For a path out of poverty, take the human rights route

All over the world, people in poverty are demanding dignity. They want an end to the injustice and exclusion that keep them trapped in deprivation. They want to have control over the decisions that affect their lives. They want their rights to be respected and their voices to count. Join them now. Add your voice to Amnesty International’s new campaign.

Please visit the site and see how you can help

 

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