Our featured image shows Miriam, (1947-2012), a great human rights defender
HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)
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 issue of keeping girls in school in Third World countries. The project is supported via global giving by the American Foundation for Children with AIDS. Their mission statement:
The American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) is a non-profit organization providing critical comprehensive services to infected and affected HIV+ children and their caregivers. Our programs are efficient, promoting self-reliance and sustainability. Since 2005, in collaboration with our in-country partners, we have served tens of thousands of families in some of the most underserved and marginalized communities in Africa. Our areas of impact include: medical support, livelihoods, educational support and emergency relief.
We urge you to donate to this worthy cause.
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 enforced contact which can be deadly. Please act for people on the Peruvian contact border.
THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY
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.
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URGENT ACTION CASES
Urgent Action Victory! Mauritanian Anti-Slavery Activists Released
Two anti-slavery activists Biram Dah Abeid and Abdellahi el Housein Mesoud were released from Nouakchott civil Prison on 31 December 2018. The Tribunal of Arafat in Nouakchott sentenced them to six months, two months of which would be a suspended sentence. Having already spent more than four months in prison, Biram and Abdellahi were released the same day.
NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.
Urgent Action: Two Activists Killed Among Escalating Violence
On 17 January, unidentified armed men attacked demonstrators in Amatán, Chiapas state, southern Mexico. Noé Jiménez Pablo and José Santiago Gómez Álvarez, two economic, social and cultural rights activists and members of the Independent Regional Campesino Movement (MOCRI – Movimiento Campesino Regional Independiente), were taken and deprived of their liberty by the armed men. The following day, their wounded dead bodies appeared in a local dumpster. In reaction to this attack, the government took measures like sending a few law enforcement officials, but members of the community fear further attacks and that these measures are insufficient to protect them.
Urgent Action: Canadian Sentenced to Death in a One-Day Retrial
Robert Schellenberg, a Canadian national, was sentenced to death after he was convicted of drug trafficking at his re-trial. First arrested in 2014, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment by the Dalian Municipal Intermediate People’s Court on 20 November 2018. Schellenberg subsequently appealed the verdict and on 14 January 2019 at his retrial, he was found guilty of a more serious drug-related offense and sentenced to death. Announcing a death sentence at the same time of the conviction was unprecedented, according to Mo Shaoping, a partner of the law firm representing Schellenberg.
Urgent Action: Peaceful Protesters Attacked and One Murdered
Hundreds of workers from southern Philippines have been camping out in Manila since 27 November 2018 to protest the labor conditions on Japanese-owned Sumitomo Fruit Corporation (Sumifru) plantations. Since declaring a strike on 1 October 2018, the workers have faced multiple attacks, including the killing of a prominent union member and the burning down of the union’s office and the houses of some members. A prompt, thorough and impartial investigation by the Philippine authorities into the threats and attacks should be conducted immediately, and the authorities must also guarantee the safety of the protesting workers.
Stop the Outsourcing of Danger – Justice for Kim Yong-gyun!
Kim Yong-gyun, a 24-year-old subcontracted worker was killed after getting stuck in a coal conveyer belt at the Taean Power Plant. Kim was working alone in the dark, doing extremely dangerous work. According to the occupational health and safety rules in the manual, Kim should have been working in a team of two.
Union leaders imprisoned for having negotiated a collective agreement
Guatemala has been going through an institutional crisis in recent months that has now become more acute. The Jimmy Morales government has systematically increased the persecution of community leaders, activists, journalists and trade unionists.
Luis Alpirez Guzmán, General Secretary of the National Union of Health Workers of Guatemala (SNTSG), and Dora Regina Ruano, from the same organization, were detained for nearly ten days (17-28 January) for negotiating and signing a collective agreement between the union and the Ministry of Health authorities back in 2013.