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N. 32 - December 21, 2000
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* Argentina: Ban of CFC is beginning to have a positive effect on the ozone hole.
* EE.UU.: World Report 2001.
* WORLD: UNICEF HIV/AIDS campaign calls for abolishment of school fees and charges.
* Europe: Amnesty International report on the European Human
* Russia: Russian farmers conceal 10-15 per cent of bigger than forecast harvest.
* Russia: Russian organizations campaign against "sex slave" traffickers.
* Russia: National Human Rights congress to be held in Russia in January.
* Latvia: Anti-corruption campaign initiated.
* Puerto Rico: Public call for immediate action on Vieques.
Ban of CFC is beginning to have a positive effect on the ozone hole.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, 4 December 2000
Good News Agency
The ozone hole will likely close within 50 years, according to scientists who ended on 4 December a major conference on the issue in Buenos Aires.
The international ban on cholorofluorcarbons, which resulted from the 1987 Montreal Protocol, is beginning to have effect, although the recovery is not likely to start for a few more years and will not necessarily happen steadily because of natural fluctuations in weather patterns.
World Report 2001.
Washington D.C.EE.UU., December 7, 2000
Human Rights Watch
The Human Rights Watch World Report 2001 blasts the United States for its trampling down of all human rights in all possible categories, essentially saying that the U.S. is the worst human rights offender on the planet.
Right in the opening lines, the report ominously states that for the United States government at the end of the year 2000, "evidence of its domestic human rights legacy was scant."
Also, as ever in world history, the United States continued to be highly reluctant to see itself as part of the human family, and, putting himself above others as something special to whom do not apply normal standards of behaviour, elementary ethical norms and international human rights treaties, it "made little progress in embracing international human rights standards."
So, in the year 2000, most U.S. leaders "remained either unaware of their human rights obligations or content to ignore them."
UNICEF HIV/AIDS campaign calls for abolishment of school fees and
World, 6 December 2000
Good News Agency
In a bold initiative to put education at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy on 6 December called on African leaders to join a global campaign to abolish all education fees and other costs for primary school-age children. "We live in a world where children whose families cannot pay for tuition, uniforms, desks, pencils, books and building repairs are shut out of classrooms," Bellamy said. "And yet we also live in a world that ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child a decade ago, a world that recognized free and compulsory education as the right of every child. Governments have both a legal and a moral responsibility to fulfill that obligation." Noting the theme of the African Development Forum 2000, "HIV/AIDS: The Greatest Leadership Challenge," Bellamy said that educating all children requires strong leadership from African nations and the international community. She stressed that if just one child in a resource-poor country is deprived of schooling, everyone -- the state, donor nations and the family -- must be held accountable.
Amnesty International report on the European Human Rights Convention.
Europe, 4 November
RFE/RL Civil Societies Report
By: Juha Uski
Fifty years after its adoption on 4 November 1950, the European Convention on Human Rights remains an unfinished project, Amnesty International said in a 4 November report on the torture and ill-treatment which persists across Europe. In the first six months of 2000, torture and ill-treatment was documented by Amnesty International in at least 25 countries, 20 of them Council of Europe member states, including Belgium, Russia and Spain.
"Europe is not a comfortable and secure place for all its inhabitants - in many countries discrimination against vulnerable groups leads to torture or ill-treatment. Victims include members of ethnic, racial, and religious minorities; immigrants; refugees and asylum-seekers; children and criminal suspects." Despite the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the political will to bring torturers to justice remains lacking. The full document is on the Amnesty International website at:
Russian farmers conceal 10-15 per cent of bigger than forecast harvest.
Moscow, 16 November
By: Juha Uski
The actual year 2000 grain harvest in Russia will exceed the official Agriculture Ministry forecast of 65m to 66m tonnes and will amount to 70m to 71m tonnes, Arkadiy Zlochevskiy, chairman of the Russian Grain Union board of directors and director-general of the OGO group of companies, told Interfax on 16th November. The higher grain harvest in 2000 will result in an increase in its export, while the emergency store will increase by 0.5m tonnes.
Russian organizations campaign against "sex slave"
Moscow, Nov 12
The Observer (UK)
By: Juha Uski
Early November, 43 anti-trafficking organisations from 25 regions of Russia and six former Soviet republics held a conference to start tackling the problem of trade in women.
The usual pattern is that women are told lies about good life and job in the West and when they get there they are imprisoned and forced to work as prostitutes. According to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe this phenomenon has swept up something like 500,000 Russian women in the past decade (although the trade's clandestine nature makes it impossible to estimate accurately the numbers). Activists say that, despite its scale, human trafficking is still not treated seriously by the Russian government.
The main conclusion to come out of this month's anti-trafficking conference was the need for greater information. A privately sponsored advertising campaign showing pretty young fish being ensnared by evil fishermen is soon to run on regional television, and lectures in schools are being organised to warn girls to be wary of offers of casual labour abroad.
National Human Rights congress to be held in Russia in January.
Moscow, 20 Nov
By: Juha Uski
Russian rights champions are planning a national congress in Moscow on January 20-21. The congress organizing committee includes parliamentary deputy Sergei Kovalyov, Glasnost Foundation head Sergei Grigoryants, and Lev Ponomaryov, leader of the For Human Rights Party.
The committee says that the key goals of the congress are to "influence public mentality in order to avert the establishment of an authoritarian
regime, discuss problems of the rights defense community and help consolidate civic society."
Anti-corruption campaign initiated.
"RFE/RL Newsline", Latvia, 30 November
By: Juha Uski
Latvian Prime Minister Andris Berzins on 29 November announced the beginning of the country's largest-ever campaign to inform the community about the problem of corruption and the means to fight it, BNS reported. The campaign--which is financed by the PHARE anti-corruption legislation, education, and public information program, the Latvian government, and other institutions--will last until July 2001. It will include the publication of various booklets and the production of television programs to explain what corruption is and how to combat it.
Stressing that any anti-corruption efforts will be in vain without public support, the organizers of the campaign said efforts will focus on informing and educating young people as well as journalists. Berzins noted that "there is no way to eliminate corruption in the twinkling of an eye, but it is possible to keep making consistent steps toward curbing it.
Public call for immediate action on Vieques.
Vieques, Puerto Rico, 9 December, 2000
Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques.
Vicente Rodriguez Nietzsche
By: Jesnus Sordo
The movement to achieve peace in Vieques has garnered wide national and international support. This movement has existed for decades, but gained widespread consensus following the death of David Sanes Rodriguez, who was killed by a U.S. Navy bomb in Vieques on April 19, 1999.
The time is now. In order to achieve this, the people of Vieques are calling on all the politicians and leaders who have promised in the past to intervene and intercede with the White House to ACT NOW.
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|ITALY : Olivier Turquet, Founder of the Agency|
|SPAIN : Jesus Sordo|
|FINLAND : Juha Uski|
|Rocio del Valle|
|Writing and correcting:|
|Rocio del Valle|
|MUNDO DEL NUEVO HUMANISMO|
|Olivier Turquet, Buone Nuove|