The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 28-January 2

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a great friend and human rights defender.


Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.


This week we turn our attention to the Fistula Foundation

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded To Fistula Surgeon – Dr. Denis Mukwege

. Fistula is a childbirth injury largely eradicated in the developed world, but still devastating women in the poorest countries.
It’s treatable with life-transforming surgery.


Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is forced “development.” Forcing “development” or “progress” on tribal people does not make them happier or healthier. In fact, the effects are disastrous. The most important factor by far for tribal peoples’ well-being is whether their land rights are respected.

One of the results of forced contact


We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

You can download this book

Look for these logos:


Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United      and raise your voice to put an end to domestic slavery.


Urgent Action Victory! 200 Families No Longer at Risk of Forced Eviction

Families from the Guahory Community, Eastern Paraguay, are no longer at imminent threat of forced eviction. The implementation of the Joint Action Plan for Punishable Actions for Trespassing on Property has been suspended in their community.

On 13 July, 200 families from the Guahory Campesino Community in Eastern Paraguay were at imminent risk of a forced eviction due to the decision to implement the Joint Action Plan for Punishable Actions for Trespassing on Property in their community. This led to the deployment of about 400 police officers in the area. Following the release of the Urgent Action, the implementation of the Joint Action Plan was suspended, and the police officers left the community.

The Joint Action Plan for Punishable Actions for Trespassing on Property (Plan de Acción Conjunta para Hechos Punibles de Invasión de Inmueble Ajeno) is an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police which sets out the actions these three bodies would take to stop the potential trespass on property. Amnesty International has identified that this procedure leads to veiled forced evictions, carried out without due safeguards to respect and protect the right to decent housing.

Furthermore, after meetings between the Director of Human Rights of the Public Ministry, the Deputy Minister of Security of the Ministry of the Interior, the Director of Human Rights of the Ministry of the Interior and Amnesty International, an interinstitutional working group was created to review the Joint Action Plan. On 31 October, this working group held its first meeting, and it is expected to hold at least two more meetings in which Amnesty International, the Paraguayan Coordination of Human Rights (CODEHUPY – Coordinadora de Derechos Humanos del Paraguay) and the United Nations will be invited to present their positions on the plan.

We will continue to monitor the status of these discussions to determine whether further action is required.

Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.


Urgent Action: Indigenous Communities Attacked and at Risk

The Pemón Indigenous communities in the Canaima National Park (western Venezuela) were the target of a violent attack during a two-day military operation, for which there was no justification. The communities fear for their safety in the context of these operations and the militarization of their ancestral territory ordered by the national government.



Urgent Action: Bill to Give Armed Forces Control of Security

Mexican legislators could pass a bill for a constitutional reform that would broaden the powers of the armed forces providing them wider policing authority and permission to remain on the streets of Mexico permanently. The bill is tabled for voting in the chamber of deputies.



Urgent Action Update: Hunger-Striking Academic In Critical Condition

Dr Nasser bin Ghaith’s health has severely deteriorated. The prominent Emirati economist and academic has been on hunger strike for over 70 days in al-Razeen prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to protest the detention conditions and the denial of access to medical care. He is a prisoner of conscience.


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