SOCIAL WATCH E-NEWSLETTER - Issue 51 - August 26, 2011

Issue 51 - August 26, 2011

African Descent Summit calls for permanent space at the UN

(Photo: African Descent Summit)

Eight hundred representatives from organizations in 44 countries in America, Africa, Europe and Asia attended the first World Summit for People of African Descent, which was held in La Ceiba, Honduras. They called for the creation of a permanent forum for the affairs of people of African descent in the sphere the international community.
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Land Deals under the Spotlight in Africa

Jatropha plantation in Mali.
(Photo: Eco-Carbone)

As foreign capitals and hedge funds continue to make more forays into Africa's land resources, a study has unearthed some surprising findings about the identity of some of the principal investors, according to research by the US-based think-tank Oakland Institute.
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International and Arab civil society demand the end of the repression

The World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS) and the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND, focal point of Social Watch) declared their full support for the peaceful protests and the legitimate demands of the Syrian people during the Special Session on Syria at the UN Human Rights Council this week. In a statement delivered to the UN in Geneva, CIVICUS and ANND condemned the criminal practices of the Syrian regime and called for the immediate end of the cycle of violence.
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From Independence to the "middle-income trap"

Fifty-four years after Merdeka (freedom from the Dutch colonial rule), Malaysia, like other developing countries, is still fighting for full independence in a globalised world which has grown more complex and crisis-laden, wrote Martin Khor, executive director of South Centre, in his most recent column for The Star, the leading newspapers of that country.
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Gaza-Egypt: Civil society calls the Security Council for an investigation on Israeli attacks

Eleven Egyptian human rights organizations condemned this week the Israeli attacks against the civil population of Gaza and against Egyptian military personnel in the last days, and demanded the U.N. Security Council "a fair investigation" with the aim to "bring the responsibles to trial". One of the signatory groups is the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement, focal point of Social Watch.
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Argentina: Abortion for rape victim blocked by medical and legal delays

In Argentina, in the province of Misiones, 10 civil society organizations have accused the health system and the courts of failing to enforce the right to an abortion of a 14 year old girl who was raped. The child’s parents tried to obtain an abortion from the medical services and from the law courts, but they were met with delays and the case dragged on past the thirteenth week of pregnancy, and they have now withdrawn the petition they submitted to the courts.
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Africa: Digital revolution against female genital mutilation

In the 10 years since the digital revolution got under way there have been more than 25 initiatives to fight female genital mutilation (FGM). The international campaign against this cruel practice, which is traditional in many parts of Africa, began 25 years ago but the spread of the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the continent has made it possible to raise real awareness about this problem among the general population. According to a study by Environnement et Développement du Tiers Monde (ENDA Tiers-Monde), member of the Senegalese group of Social Watch, this campaign originated among young people, who use these technologies the most.
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