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Global Dev (The Guardian)
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Draft documents suggest US will refuse to reaffirm commitment to international declaration on women's rights at New York forum US officials in New York are attempting to water down language and remove the word gender from documents being negotiated at the UN, in what is being seen as a threat to international agreements on women's rights. In negotiations at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which resume at UN headquarters this week, the US wants to replace gender in the forum's outcome document with references only to women and girls. Continue reading.
Wildlife trust that funded 'eco-guards' at the centre of rights abuse claims comes under scrutiny over failure to alert charities' watchdog A British charity set up to fund conservation parks in the Congo basin knew about allegations that tribal people were being abused by park guards but failed to alert the charities' watchdog, the Guardian can reveal. Last week, WWF launched an inquiry into claims that it has funded paramilitary guards accused of torturing, sexually assaulting and murdering people in Africa and Asia. In response to the claims, published by BuzzFeed News, the organisation said it has stringent policies to ensure the safeguarding of indigenous peoples' rights and would take swift action should the review uncover any breaches.
Young unmarried mothers are often forced to live in poverty, unable to find work and shunned by their families and communities Photographs: Carol Allen-Storey/Hope for Rwanda Continue reading...
Senior doctors go on strike as president is warned that lack of medicine could lead to collapse of emergency services A doctors' strike in Zimbabwe entered its second day on Wednesday with health workers claiming patients in the biggest state hospital are dying due to a lack of drugs and medical supplies. Dozens of doctors picketed outside Parirenyatwa hospital demanding improvements and claiming government promises to improve the health service had come to nothing. Continue reading.
Having fled violence, a million Ethiopians now face hunger and disease. Yet Abiy Ahmed seems intent only on their return In southern Ethiopia, tens of thousands of people are enduring what aid workers say is a full-blown humanitarian crisis. But the government of the new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, appears not to be listening.
A visit to the world's fifth poorest country has shown me that battling early and forced marriage begins with communities Islam, for me, is a way of life and the core of my world. As a Muslim woman I have always been encouraged to be who I want to be. I get frustrated when people say: Why do you wear a hijab? Isn't that a sign of women's oppression? I choose to wear a hijab; I choose to be an educated and liberated woman and I choose to follow Islam.
Scores of high-profile signatories mark International Women's Day by signing letter calling for stronger global political support Letter: Women worldwide must be heard and respected Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, and Dame Emma Thompson are among 76 actors, writers, business leaders and campaigners calling on governments to increase support and protection of women fighting for their rights around the world. The letter, published in the Guardian to mark International Women's Day on Friday, says women risk backlash, censorship and violence whenever they defend their rights or speak out over injustice. Continue reading.
Claims that the World Wide Fund for Nature is in bed with paramilitaries point to a wider need for root and branch reform World Wide Fund for Nature, put down your weapons. You are not a mercenary. You are not a government.
Young people taken to UK are exploited in transit through Europe as governments 'pass the buck' on protection Thousands of children trafficked from Vietnam to the UK are being abused and exploited in transit through Europe because governments are passing the buck on their protection, research has found. Victims are typically trafficked through eight countries before arriving in the UK, and at each point are vulnerable to labour and sexual exploitation. Yet governments routinely view Vietnamese children as the responsibility of other states, according to a report published on Thursday by Anti-Slavery International, the Pacific Links Foundation and Every Child Protected Against Trafficking UK (Ecpat UK).
Sweeping health reforms, which also include free provision for pregnant women, heralded as national 'turning point' After decades of suffering some of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world, Mali has vowed to provide free healthcare for pregnant women and children under five in a brave and bold move to revamp its dismal healthcare system. Following a raft of reforms announced by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keta, free contraceptives will also be provided across the country as tens of thousands of community health workers are introduced in a bid to provide more localised healthcare to Mali's population of 18 million people. Continue reading.
As well as global funding, Penny Mordaunt announces creation of 250,000 taskforce to tackle problem in Britain The UK government has announced 2m to support organisations around the world to end period poverty by 2030. The minister for women and equalities, Penny Mordaunt, also announced 250,000 for the creation of a taskforce comprised of government departments, businesses, charities and manufacturers to come up with new ideas to tackle the problem in the UK. Continue reading.
Report says aid to displaced people in Africa undermined by Home Office approach to asylum seekers and refugees The UK government's migration policy is disconnected and incoherent and involves the pitting of one government department against another, a report by MPs has said. The international development committee (IDC) urged the government to double the number of vulnerable refugees offered resettlement in Britain, up to 10,000 a year. Continue reading.
Tauqir Sharif calls on UK to distinguish between humanitarian workers and potential security threats A British aid worker and his family say they are stuck in Syria after his UK citizenship has been revoked and his eldest daughter refused a passport. Tauqir Sharif, 31, from Walthamstow, who lives and works in Idlib alongside his British wife, Racquell Hayden-Best, had his citizenship revoked in May 2017. Speaking to the Guardian this week, he called on the UK government to review its revocation policy for those engaged in humanitarian work in conflict zones.
World Wide Fund for Nature launches inquiry into claims that it works with paramilitaries allegedly involved in serious abuses One of the world's largest charities has launched an investigation into claims that it funds, equips and works with paramilitary forces accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting and murdering scores of people in national parks across Africa and Asia. Human rights specialists will lead an independent review of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) conservation charity, following allegations of abuse in six countries, published by BuzzFeed news on Monday. Continue reading.
Medical experts and victims say practice, deemed by perpetrators to protect girls from sexual harassment and rape, is child abuse Comfort was nine when her older sister told her she was going to flatten her chest with a stone to prevent her breasts from developing too soon, telling her it was for her own good. She said it's so that girls don't get abused as children or as teenagers, Comfort said. Continue reading.
Sihem Bensedrine's explosive report into human rights abuses is written. Now those in power must be persuaded to read it When Sihem Bensedrine, the head of Tunisia's truth and dignity commission, tried to give a speech in parliament last year, she was drowned out. Politicians banged on the wooden desks and yelled, some standing up to hurl accusations and gesture in her direction.
Sweden and France among states found by the World Bank to enshrine gender equality in laws, but implementation haphazard If you're a woman and want to be on an equal footing with men, it's best to live and work in Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg or Sweden. The World Bank, which has tracked legal changes for the past decade, found these were the only countries in the world to enshrine gender equality in laws affecting work. The bank's women, business and the law 2019 report, published this week, measured gender discrimination in 187 countries.
Iran reforms drive 90% fall in death penalty worldwide, but report warns hardline approach to minor cases violates human rights Global efforts to abolish the death penalty are in danger of being undermined by anti-drug governments that use capital punishment to enforce a zero-tolerance approach, experts have warned. The caution comes even though the number of people sentenced to death for drug offences around the world has actually fallen by nearly 90% over the past four years, according to a study by Harm Reduction International, with 91 known deaths last year compared with 755 in 2015. Continue reading.
Unicef calls for improved vaccination as study shows Ukraine, Brazil and the Philippines among 10 worst affected countries Cases of childhood measles are surging to shocking levels around the globe, led by 10 countries that account for three-quarters of the rise. Amid warnings of disastrous consequences for children if the disease continues to spread unchecked, a worldwide survey by the UN children's agency, Unicef, said 98 countries around the globe reported a rise in measles cases in 2018 compared with 2017. Continue reading.
Health agencies re-evaluate approach after attacks on treatment centres in North Kivu A second clinic serving patients affected by the escalating Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been set alight, as concerns mount over widespread distrust of health agencies. Seven months since the start of the outbreak, which has claimed 548 lives, experts warned that the virus is still not under control and said suspicion of agencies is severely undermining Ebola services. Continue reading.