Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Human Rights Action Update, July 16-22

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012


Survival International provides a useful tool for locating the embassy of any country in your country. You can also find embassies at this link.


In the wake of the closing of the Titan and Pollyanna blogs, we are continuing the charity corner here.This week, we are referring you to ZanaAfrica. This nonprofit, founded  by American Megan Mukuria,  deals with what some may consider a delicate subject. It has to do with keeping African girls from losing six weeks or more of school each year because of menstruation. The fund is supported by the Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada and other charitable organizations. Please donate what you can. The goal is to provide up to 150,000 sanitary pads to East African girls in 2016. Their mission statement is clear:
We envision a world where every woman and girl is able to access opportunities necessary to thrive:
–confidence from affordable feminine hygiene products;
–health in body and environment;
–knowledge through education;
–dignity through work.


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.
This week we call your attention to the health problems of the aboriginal people of Australia. We link you to a letter to the Prime Minister calling on him and his government to give the aboriginal people greater control over their lives and health issues.


We have added a new section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. We refer you to the site of Walk Free where you can find a large number of campaigns against manifestations of slavery in different countries. The number of people living in slavery is of the order of 35 million, which indicates the extent of the problem. We suggest that you look up the Fair Trade movement in your country and make an effort to avoid buying slave-produced products.
 Look for this logo:

This week we call your attention to the issue of child slavery in crisis situations. In particular, we ask your support for a unique opportunity to help more children living in dangerous areas, such as South Sudan,  access education and find the support they need. A Global Fund for Education in Emergencies has been set up to help provide education to children in emergency areas across the world, supporting children in the very worst situations. Please open the link and call upon world leaders to step forward to support this unique school.


Let us start at home this week. The New Israel Fund is calling for people to take a stand against the rising racism in the country. They inform us:
Israel has a serious racism problem that is quickly building to a crisis. Just consider these three tough facts:

   — Since 2009, more than 43 churches, mosques, and monasteries have been torched or desecrated in Israel and the West Bank – without a single perpetrator indicted.

   — According to a recent survey, 70.2% of Israelis believe the government isn’t doing enough to combat racism.

   — Another survey of Israelis found that 35% of Jewish students and 27% of Arab students reported they have never interacted with peers from the other group.
   Please add your name to the call for a firm stand and struggle against racism.


Please step up to break the barriers to contraception for women and girls in Burkina Faso. Please join the petition to the President of Burkina Faso to to break the barriers to contraception for women and girls by:

-       Making  contraception free for all women and girls in Burkina Faso

-       Improving the accessibility of  sexual health information and services for women and girls

-       Guaranteeing their right to decide if and when to have children and if so, how many


Sandra Bland  was pulled over  for changing lanes without signaling, a routine traffic stop.   She died in police custody. Go to #JusticeforSandraBland and add your tweet to the protest. You can also sign a petition here. This is a terrible case of police racist brutality and cannot be left for investigation by the perpetrators.


Mahmoud Hussein is a 19-year-old student languishing in an Egyptian jail for wearing a “Nation Without Torture” t-shirt and a scarf marking the “25 January Revolution”. He was arrested on his way home from a protest against military rule and the Muslim Brotherhood more than 500 days ago, and has not been charged or tried for any offenses. He has been tortured and ill-treated in detention and forced into signing a confession. Please join the call for his release.


The American journalist Austin Tice disappeared in Syria in 2012. He is alive. Help us to bring him safely home. Please join the protest at #FreeAustinTice and sign the petition.


Support SABMiller Panama workers on strike for bargaining rights. Please join the fight for basic collective bargaining rights on behalf of workers at  Cervecería Nacional, Panama's beer and soft-drink subsidiary of global brewing giant SABMiller, who have been on indefinite strike since July 10 in a conflict over basic trade union rights.


Mulberry is a British company that produces luxury goods like leather bags.  It proudly proclaims its commitment to "corporate social responsibility".
On its website you can read that Mulberry insists that its "suppliers should respect the rights of employees to join or form an association of their choosing (such as workers council, union, or workers association)".

Sounds great, doesn't it?

Except that it's not true.

One of Mulberry's key suppliers, SF Leather in Turkey, is now engaged in a campaign of relentless union-busting. Please raise your voice in protest

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