Posts Tagged ‘forced displacement’

Angelina Jolie addressed UN forcefully on crucial role of women

May 4, 2019

Angelina Jolie Addresses Women's Rights at the UN

UNTV via AP Video

And just in case you missed it, on Friday 29 March 2019, Angelina Jolie warned at the UN that the world “will remain stuck in a cycle of violence and conflicts” as long as nations continue to put almost every other issue ahead of women’s equality, rights and participation. In her speech to the annual meeting of foreign and defense ministers, the Oscar-winning actress focused primarily on women, but she also talked about the importance of multilateralism and the growing refugee crisis. She showed again that she is an excellent speaker [see e.g. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/02/27/angelina-jolie-gives-2017-sergio-vieira-de-mello-lecture-on-15-march-2017/].

Jolie, who is a special envoy for the UNHCR, added in a keynote address to a ministerial meeting on U.N. peacekeeping that “denying half a population representation in peace negotiations or in government is not the route to long-term stability.” There are many examples around the world of successful and inspiring women, she said, “but women and girls are still the majority of the victims of war,” over half the world’s refugees, and “the vast majority” of victims of rape and sexual violence. If the world accepted the principle that those affected by a problem should be charged with determining a solution, Jolie said, “then the majority of the world’s peace negotiators, foreign ministers and diplomats would be women.” But she quickly said: “We all know the reality.” The reality, Jolie added, is that unequal power relations, “abuse of power, gender bias, violence and lack of justice” have kept many women in a subordinate and vulnerable position internationally.

She pointed to missile strikes on schools and hospitals, families bombed in their homes, chemical weapons dropped on neighborhoods, besieged areas unable to get aid, and mass rapes.

We seem incapable of upholding minimum standards of humanity in many parts of the world,” Jolie said. “That this comes at a time when humankind is richer and more technologically advanced than ever before is all the more painful.”

She recalled that there were fewer than 20 million displaced people when she started working with the UNHCR. “Today there are over 65 million people displaced, and the numbers are rising,” Jolie said. ” Peacekeepers who commit violations must be investigated and prosecuted, she said, and there must be no impunity for crimes committed against women and girls during conflict. Above all, Jolie said, the world needs to understand “that women are themselves protectors: As mothers. As peacekeepers. As human rights defenders.” “As long as we continue to put almost every other issue ahead of women’s rights and participation we will remain stuck in a cycle of violence and conflict. We will have learned nothing. And our institutions will count for less than they should,” Jolie said.

Feed industry ‘in violation of pledges’ say indigenous human rights defenders

March 6, 2018

From a somewhat unusual source comes this interesting insight that the “Feed industry ‘in violation of pledges’ (by Lynda Searby on feednavigator.com 26 February 2018).
Animal feed is one of the industries that has been accused of being in violation of pledges made “at both ends of the supply chain” by lobbyists calling for political action on deforestation and indigenous and human rights protection. On 15 February, a delegation of indigenous and human rights defenders from 11 forest nations issued a warning to the EU and its member states that the global trading system continues to sell products – among them animal feed – that are “destroying the lives and livelihoods of forest peoples in forest countries”​.

Invited by two NGOs – the UK-based Forest Peoples Program and Both Ends in Amsterdam – the lobbyists issued the call for action following a three-day forum in Amsterdam on sustainable trade, indigenous and human rights and deforestation. “Even the so-called legal industries are often linked to corruption, violation of communal land rights and impunity for environmental and human rights impacts, weakening local democratic institutions,”​ read the statement from a delegation made up of leaders and human rights defenders from Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Guyana, Suriname, Argentina, Liberia, Cameroon, DRC, Malaysia and Indonesia.

In its recommendations, the delegation called on the EU to introduce legislation that would close legal loopholes and require companies to complete strengthened human and land rights due diligence. For example, it would like to see agri-business development proposals having to include indigenous and local communities and apply solid protection for their rights – giving forest populations a say in the fate of their lands and resources.

It singled out the soybean industry for falling short of its responsibilities to protect communities and forests impacted by its activities.

“Countries like the Netherlands are major importers of soybeans and soy products, yet industrial soybean farming in my country is linked to forced displacement of communities, mass fumigation of rural communities by soy farmers, illegal deforestation and damage to aquatic ecosystems,”​ said one of the delegates – Franco Segesso of the Land Workers Union in Argentina.

The soybean industry is no stranger to being criticized for unethical practices. Last May, not-for-profit Mighty Earth published a report linking companies like Cargill and Bunge to massive deforestation activities in Brazil’s Cerrado and Bolivia’s Amazon basin.

At the time, Mighty Earth said the revelations cast doubt on the sustainability commitments of Cargill and Bunge, and highlighted “once again, the need for them to establish an effective industry-wide mechanism to stop deforestation”​.

In response to the accusations made this month by the 11 forest nations that the feed industry is in violation of its pledges, a Cargill spokesperson provided FeedNavigator with this statement: “Cargill does not condone violence or violations of human rights. We support the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests to protect human rights and advance national food security. We also endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests to halt deforestation in our supply chains and are working diligently to meet our goal. We adhere to our Statement on Human Rights and we expect farmers, producers, manufacturers, and others to work with us according to our Supplier Code of Conduct– ethically and in compliance with applicable laws.”

The delegation arrived in Europe at a time when the EU faces stiff opposition from Malaysia and Indonesia to its proposal to ban palm oil for biofuel. The delegation made clear it supported the ban, and said that without it, meeting global demand would result in the loss of 45,000 sq km of forests – an area the size of the Netherlands – by 2030.

https://www.feednavigator.com/Article/2018/02/26/Feed-industry-in-violation-of-pledges-say-human-and-indigenous-rights-defenders

Palestinian human rights defenders attacked during forcible eviction of Ein-Hijleh village

February 19, 2014

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedreports that on 6 February 2014, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Border Police forcibly evicted the entire Palestinian village of Ein-Hijleh and declared the village a closed military zone. During the eviction 19 people, including human rights defenders and journalists were temporarily detained whilst at least 32 villagers were injured. Several of the detained were subject to physical aggression. Amongst the 19 detained were human rights defenders Issa Amro, Mahmoud Zawhara, Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, Bassem Tamimi and Mohammad Al Khatib.

The forced displacement follows a series of raids and attacks which have targeted the local community as well as human rights defenders who peacefully opposed the eviction. The campaign began on 31 January 2014, when the IDF blocked access to the village and prevented the delivery of water and food supplies. On 3 February 2014, the IDF attempted to gain entry to the village. On 4 February 2014 a renewed attempt to enter the village included the use of tear gas against peaceful protesters, but was hindered by locals forming a human chain.

Front Line Defenders has previously issued urgent appeals on Issa Amro: http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/IssaAmro.

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/five-un-experts-urge-israel-to-stop-harassment-of-human-rights-activist-issa-amro/