SOCIAL WATCH E-NEWSLETTER - Issue 53 - September 09, 2011

Issue 53 - September 09, 2011

Bahrain: Doctors freed on bail, but other prisoners still on hunger strike

Bahraini doctors protesting in
the streets. 
(Photo: Ahlulbayt News Agency)

Bahraini and international human rights’ organization efforts made progress this week when a special court freed on bail 20 doctors jailed because of political reasons, some of which had gone on hunger strikes, with more than 100 other prisoners. The situation of the fasters “is a matter of concern as it involves the lives of people,” said Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS, focal point of Social Watch) Secretary General Dr Abdulla Al Durazi.
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Pakistan: Authorities don’t help rain-hit population, nor let others do it

Pakistani non-governmental organizations, among them the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP, one of the members of Social Watch in that country), expressed their concern over the government’s silence on neither providing relief to the rain-hit population, nor inviting the international community to assist with rescue and rehabilitation.
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Peru-Brazil: Two faces of mining royalties’ debate

The economic contribution of mining companies to the countries where they operate, and where these funds actually go, should be of interest to the whole of society, especially movements and organizations that are fighting for social and environmental rights. Peru, the world’s biggest producer of silver and the second of copper and zinc, signed last week an agreement with mining enterprises to levy a tax on the exceptional profits these companies are making.
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Burma: Pressure on EU for an international inquiry into war crimes

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and NGOs representatives, including Mr U Aung Htoo, Secretary General of the Burma Lawyers’ Council (focal point of Social Watch), discussed the call for a UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) into war crimes in that country with European Union (EU) diplomats ahead of a European Council meeting on human rights in Brussels on Monday.
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Workshop for African Social Watch Coalitions in Accra

A two-day African Regional Capacity Building Workshop for members of Social Watch Coalitions on the continent was held in Accra this week, with the aim to strengthen the capacity of members to actively monitor the implementation of social policies and programmes by their governments.
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Honduras: Commission against Femicide calls for effective legislation

The civil society organizations that make up the Commission against Femicide (the murder of women) in Honduras expressed last week their indignation and concern at the increase in this phenomenon in the country and the fact that the authorities are showing "little or no interest" in it. They warned that “Femicide is an extreme expression of violence against women based on men’s power to control and dominate us, our bodies and our lives".
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Latin America: Fiscal policy and inequity under the microscope

In Latin America in the last ten years the tax yield has increased thanks to relative stability and macroeconomic growth driven by demand from emerging countries and rising prices for prime materials. But the problem of fiscal sustainability have not been overcome, because of the dependence on the international context, the debt service payments, the ineffective governments management, the informality and the tax evasion. On the other hand, the tax systems in the region put a disproportionately heavy burden on the most vulnerable people. This situation was discussed in Lima this week, by government officials, experts and activists convoked by the Latin American Network on Debt, Development and Rights (Latindadd).
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Spanish civil society organizations mobilize against constitutional restrictions on the deficit

The main union federations in Spain and many civil society organizations including Plataforma 2015 y Más (a member of Social Watch) established last week a programme of demonstrations to express their rejection of the change to the Constitution the governing Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and the opposition Popular Party (PP) are contemplating. The change would set a limit to the public deficit, and the people’s organizations are calling for a public referendum to decide this matter.
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Application deadline for civil society GFMD delegates: September 13

September 13 is the deadline to submit applications to be a civil society delegate to the 2011 Global Forum on Migration and Development that will be held in Switzerland on November in Switzerland.

For further detail and to apply, please go to the new civil society website for the GFMD:

To date, over 200 applications have been received, from a broad range of civil society sectors and all regions of the world. As there will be only 150 delegates, as in prior years, a selection process will be performed to try to balance civil society sectors, geography and gender. Applicants that are accepted to participate will be notified by 1 October.



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