Sunday, January 23, 2011

23 January 2011


South Africa = This week, Johannesburg hosted a summit on global poverty. The participants were in general agreement that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are falling short of targets and will not be reached by the originally anticipated 2015 deadline. (IRIN)

  • Do the MDGs remain helpful targets? Is there a way to address accountability which would prompt leaders to work harder toward achieving these goals?

Sudan = The 9th-15th January voting period in Sudan on the Referendum for Secession was “peaceful and calm,” according to observers. The final results of the vote will be revealed on 14th February and are expected to return strongly in favor of Secession. (IRIN)

  • The women’s vote may be the deciding factor in the outcome of this Referendum. Local rights activists see separation as “liberation” for the women of the South, freeing them from the rule of Islamic law, which many see as the primary limit to their freedom. Polling returns show that the majority of women voted for Secession. (IPS)

Haiti = This week the City University of New York’s International Women’s Human Rights Clinic issued a press release regarding the incidence of sexual violence against displaced women in Haiti. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is now pushing the Haitian government to “take immediate measures” to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in the displacement camps, based on advocacy by CUNY and other Haitian and American human rights activists. (CUNY)

  • The decision is available online here.

Thailand = 85 detained Pakistani people remain in detention in Bangkok over a month after arriving in the country seeking asylum. The refugees are of Pakistan’s Ahmadi sect; while they consider themselves Muslim, Pakistan does not and discriminates against Ahmadi people. Local rights groups are concerned that the Ahmadi refugees face either indefinite detention in Thailand or persecution and prejudice back home in Pakistan. (IRIN)

Germany = This past Tuesday marks the start of Germany’s first Rwandan genocide trial. A former Rwandan mayor who sought asylum in Germany in 2002 is now being tried in a Frankfurt court for murder, genocide, and incitement to both. The German prosecutors partnered with the Rwandan government to gather evidence and secure over 50 witnesses. This case could mark the beginning of a trend: because many Rwandan refugees fled to European countries, the future will likely bring similar continued cooperation between European governments, the Rwandan government, and the International Criminal Court. (DW)

  • Is this a positive justice-sharing program? Are the European courts over-stepping their bounds? Should the ICC support these types of cases? What role does the Rwandan government have here? Would justice be better served by trying all of the accused within Rwanda?

Liberia Women Democracy Radio is now in its 6th operating month. The station was launched in August 2010 by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with funding from the UN Democracy Fund to focus on women’s advancement. The UN funding expires in March 2011 and the station is now looking for donations and sponsorships. The station focuses on both producing gender-relevant radio shows and on training female reporters, who are currently a tiny minority in Liberia’s media. (WEN, YWCA)

• The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights is offering an Advanced Training Course on Monitoring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva from 9th-13th May 2011. Course information and registration form are available here.

• Open Society Foundations just published a new study regarding the rule of law in international criminal cases in 3 African States, entitled “Putting Complementarity into Practice: Domestic Justice for International Crimes in DRC, Uganda, and Kenya” and available online here.

• The Final Report of the Organisation of American States Mission to Haiti regarding Vote Tabulation of the November 2010 Presidential election is available online here.

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