The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict t0 happen again.
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people, Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law, Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations, Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge, Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
- Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
- Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
- No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
- No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
- All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
- Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
- Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
- (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
- (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
- (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
- (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
- (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
- (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
- (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
- (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
- (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
- (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
- (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
- (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
- (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
- (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
- (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
- (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
- (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
- (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
- Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
- (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
- (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
- (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
- (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
- Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
- (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
- (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
- (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
- (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
- (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
- (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
- (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
- Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
- (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
- (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
- (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
- Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
In 1950, on the second anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, students at the UN International Nursery School in New York viewed a poster of the historic document. After adopting it on December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly had called upon all Member States to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”
UN Announces New Sustainable Development Network led by @JeffDSachs to help solve global problems #MDG #SDSN @earthinstitutePosted: August 10, 2012
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute and Special Advisor to the Secretary‐General on the Millenium Development Goals, to lead new Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
Substantial emphasis will be placed on collaboration across countries to analyze common problems and learn from each other’s experiences. The network will accelerate joint learning and help to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated “systems” approaches to addressing the complex economic, social and environmental challenges confronting governments.
The UN Security Council must call on the Rwandan government to stop providing support for the M23 armed group in DR Congo’s North Kivu province, Amnesty International said as the UN redeployed peacekeepers to the main eastern city of Goma.
The M23 have driven back the Congolese government army in a determined offensive over the last few days. The UN and authorities in eastern DR Congo say Rwanda has backed the non-state armed group, M23, a claim denied by Kigali.
“While redeploying UN troops to Goma to protect civilians is a positive step, the situation in the North Kivu is so tense that it has the potential to turn into a regional conflict if the international community does not take urgent measures,” said Aster van Kregten, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa.
Rio+20 Legacy: Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon’s #ZeroHungerChallenge for a future without hunger! @zerohungerchallPosted: July 5, 2012
From the UN News Centre: Rio+20: Secretary-General challenges nations to achieve ‘zero hunger’
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ at Rio+20, where all countries were invited to work for a future where every individual has adequate nutrition and where all food systems are resilient.
“In a world of plenty, no one – not a single person – should go hungry,” Mr. Ban said during the launch of the initiative at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday night. “I invite all of you to join me in working for a future without hunger.”
“Zero hunger would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and safeguard the environment. It would foster peace and stability,” Mr. Ban added, calling on farmers, business people, scientists, civil society and consumers to join the challenge by honouring past promises and work together to put an end to hunger.
The ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ has five main objectives: to achieve 100 per cent access to adequate food all year round; to end malnutrition in pregnancy and early childhood; to make all food systems sustainable; to increase growth in the productivity and income of smallholders, particularly women; and to achieve a zero rate of food waste.
Inspiration for the initiative came from work being carried out by many countries and organizations to end hunger, including Brazil.
The ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ is supported by UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFP), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank and Bioversity International.
“Big problems call for bold goals. The Zero Hunger Challenge can help us mobilize political commitment, the first step to eradicate hunger,” said FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, said at a high-level meeting in Rio de Janeiro today. “This is a personal challenge from the Secretary-General, but one that all of us should answer, as individuals and collectively. FAO embraces this challenge of a Zero Hunger World.
More than 40,000 people – including heads of State and government, parliamentarians, mayors, UN officials, business and civil society leaders – are attending Rio+20, which ends on Friday. It seeks to shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.
By Proloy Bagchi July 04, 2012
“World leaders having failed them, many in Rio believed that progress on environmental issues must be made locally without the help of international accords. That probably is the only way ahead to avoid the approaching catastrophe. The time has come when every country, every state, every local body, every individual and every organisation – public or private – needs to work towards a greener and safer world.”
Despite a dire warning issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) about the catastrophe that Planet Earth was headed for, the recent United Nations Rio+20 Conference at Rio de Janeiro on sustainable development proved to be a damp squib.
Branding the current era as the “Age of Irresponsibility”, the UNEP, in a 525-page report, warned that “the earth’s environmental systems are being pushed towards their biophysical limits beyond which loom sudden, irreversible and potentially catastrophic changes.”
Painting a grim picture, the report indicated melting of the polar ice caps, desertification in Africa, deforestation of tropical jungles, spiralling use of chemicals and the emptying out of the world’s seas of fish as some of the myriad environmental disasters that pose a threat to life as we know it.
The report adds that “several critical global, regional and local thresholds are close or have been exceeded… Once these have been passed, abrupt and possibly irreversible changes to the life-support functions of the planet are likely to occur, with significant adverse implications for human well-being.”
One such threshold was crossed only recently.
Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring detected more than 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Readings of 400ppm and higher have been recorded in Alaska, Greenland, Norway, Iceland and even Mongolia. Currently, only the Arctic has attained the 400 level, but the unrestrained way the things are going there is no reason why the rest of the world will not follow soon.
The number isn’t quite a surprise, because it’s been rising apace for some decades. It is a disconcerting new milestone. Years ago, it passed the 350ppm mark that many scientists consider the highest safe level for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for restricting the rise of global surface temperature below 20 C (over pre-industrial level) to save the planet from catastrophic changes. But, globally it now stands at 395 and already rising seas and extreme weather patterns are much in evidence.
Indicating the gravity of the problem, climate scientists say it’s been at least 800,000 years since the Earth saw carbon dioxide levels in the 400s.
Before the industrial age the level was around 275-280 ppm. It has been in 300s during the last sixty years. Scientists say that increasing use of fossil fuels like coal and oil caused the alarming rise in the levels of CO2.
Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels hit a record high of 34.8 billion tonnes in 2011, up 3.2%, the International Energy Agency announced recently.
Those who are committed to 350ppm say that it was the upper limit for the planet if we wished to have it “similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.” The figure is virtually irrefutable as a constant flow of additional evidence from many directions supports it. They claim that though the atmospheric concentration of CO2was around 390 parts per million and the temperature increase is still a shade below 10 C yet it would be prudent to restrict it to 350 ppm to completely obviate the risk of surface temperature rising to and beyond 20C.
Already, they claim, the world has witnessed rapid melt of the Arctic ice, high-altitude glacial systems and perennial snowpack in Asia, Europe, South America and North America, the rapid and unexpected acidification of seawater, warming of seas and rise in their levels, excessive intense short-spell rains, frequent violent storms and damage to coral reefs disrupting the marine eco-system and depriving numerous fish of their habitat.
Many scientists feel that since the CO2 level has reached the 400 mark it would be impossible to immediately arrest its further rise. One cannot shut down all thermal power plants and stop use of gasoline all at once.
Over 80% of world’s energy sources emit large amounts of CO2. During the last few decades the rate of emissions has gone up, particularly since the 1970′s as a result of increased consumption and growth in population.
High economic growth rate in the emerging economies has further boosted up the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. None of these countries would like to cutback on its developmental effort as uplift of millions of poor is involved. The CO2 level is, therefore, set to rise.
Kevin Anderson, a climate scientist, feels that avoiding dangerous climate change is no longer possible because the temperature rise is already close to 10 Celsius “with effects formerly assumed for 2°C”.
According to him, temperature rise of 40 C by 2060 is very likely “given the level of action taken so far on climate, world’s economic realities and the short window of time remaining for limiting the average surface temperature rise to 2°C or even 3°C” – a frightful scenario.
If a rise of 10 C is causing such havoc, widespread death and destruction that is likely to occur on the rise of 40 C just cannot be imagined. It will be Apocalypse itself.
Some climate researchers, however, offer consolation. They feel that that 2 °C was likely to be exceeded at the level of 550 ppm, at 450 ppm there would be a 50% likelihood of limiting global warming to 2 °C and that it would be necessary to achieve stabilisation below 400 ppm to give a relatively high degree of certainty of not exceeding 2 °C.
With the global CO2 level pushing 400ppm restricting its rise to 450 seems to be an impossibility. Perhaps, 475 or 500ppm would be a better target (with all the risks involved) from where humanity, with a concerted effort, could try and bring CO2 concentrations back to 350. But that would require significant reduction in emissions.
Unfortunately, that concerted effort of world leaders is not quite visible. The much-heralded Rio+20 proved to be a fiasco. Martin Khor, executive director of the Geneva-based South Centre, said “We’ve sunk so low in our expectations that reaffirming what we did 20 years ago is now considered a success”.
“Everything has been kicked down the lane a few years”, said another participant from G 77. Nothing was agreed upon; what was agreed upon is to have a few more conferences even if, in the mean time the planet gets saturated with CO2.
World leaders having failed them, many in Rio believed that progress on environmental issues must be made locally without the help of international accords. That probably is the only way ahead to avoid the approaching catastrophe. The time has come when every country, every state, every local body, every individual and every organisation – public or private – needs to work towards a greener and safer world.
By Proloy Bagchi July 04, 2012
“Give Me The Money That …” by Anti-Slaver Charles Sumner #quote #inspiration #EndHumanTrafficking #StopSlavery #taolifePosted: June 28, 2012
Give me the money that has been spent in war and I will clothe every man, woman, and child in an attire of which kings and queens will be proud. I will build a schoolhouse in every valley over the whole earth. I will crown every hillside with a place of worship consecrated to peace.” Charles Sumner 1811-1874
Charles Sumner -Anti-Slaver
Charles Sumner, American politician and senator from Massachusetts, was the leader of the anti-slavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction.
As leader of the Radical Republicans he sought to destroy slavery and radically transform the South, and worked to guarantee equal rights to the Freedmen ( a freedmen was a former slave who had been released from slavery).
Sumner fought hard to provide equal civil and voting rights for the freedmen and devoted his enormous energy to the destruction of “Slave Power” and all attempts and efforts of slave owners to take control of the federal government to ensure the survival and expansion of slavery. Sumner died while still in office at 63 years of age.
It was reported at the time of Sumner’s death, “Not since the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 had the nation grieved so deeply at the loss of one of its statesmen.”
From The Pen Of Charles Sumner
“From the beginning of our history the country has been afflicted with compromise. It is by compromise that human rights have been abandoned.”
“The age of chivalry has gone; the age of humanity has come.”
“No true and permanent fame can be found except in labors which promote the happiness if mankind.”
Because we are still fighting slavery and human trafficking today,
PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG & VIDEO.
Below is a fairly exhaustive list of organisations and groups
working to put end to contemporary slavery, child slave labour, and human trafficking.
List of United Nations Agencies, Programmes, NGOs and Foundations working on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.
Amnesty International http://amnesty.org
Human Rights Watch www.hrw.org
Derechos Human Rights http://www.derechos.org
Front Line, The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders http://www.frontlinedefenders.org
Human Rights Internet http://www.hri.ca
Human Rights Network International database http://www.hrni.org
Human Rights Resource Center http://hrusa.org
Human Rights Web http://hrweb.org
New Internationalist http://www.newint.org
Anti-slavery society www.anti-slaverysociety.com
American Anti-Slavery Group (ASSG) www.iAbolish.org
Free the Slaves www.freetheslaves.net
Save a slave www.saveaslave.com
The Wyndham Charitable Trust http://uk.geocities.com/wyndham_ct
Polaris Project www.PolarisProject.org
Committee Against Modern Slavery http://www.esclavagemoderne.org
SOS Esclaves Mauritania www.sosesclaves.org
Slavery Footprint.org http://slaveryfootprint.org/
Trafficking and sexual slavery
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: www.unodc.org
The Emancipation Network www.emancipationnetwork.org
Coalition against Trafficking in Women www.catwinternational.org
Project to end Human Trafficking www.endhumantrafficking.org
People Against Trafficking Humans http://www.orgsites.com/mi/people-against-trafficking-humans/
Ban-Ying (Germany) www.ban-ying.de
Bangladesh National Women Lawyer’s Association www.bnwla.org
Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women www.gaatw.org
Global Rights, Initiative Against Trafficking in Persons www.globalrights.org/trafficking
Human Trafficking Search (National Multicultural Institute) www.humantraffickingsearch.net
International Organization for Migration, Prevention of Trafficking in Women in the Baltic States project www.refocusbaltic.net/en
La Strada International www.lastradainternational.org
Perm Center Against Violence and Human Trafficking (Russia) www.cavt.ru
Stop Albanian Slavery www.stopalbanianslavery.blogspot.com
The Barnaba Institute www.barnabainstitute.org
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking www.castla.org
Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition www.bsccoalition.org
Shared Hope International www.sharedhope.org
Action to End Exploitation www.endexploitation.org
Protection Project www.protectionproject.org
Forced labour and migrant exploitation
International Labor Organisation www.ilo.org
International Labor Rights Fund www.laborrights.org
International Organization for Migration www.iom.int
Kalayaan – Justice for migrant workers www.kalayaan.org.uk
Matahari Eye of the Day www.eyeoftheday.org
Global Workers Justice Alliance www.globalworkers.org
Human Rights for workers www.senser.com/index.htm
Irish Congress of Trade Unions www.ictu.ie
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions www.icftu.org
Trades Union Congress UK www.tuc.org.uk
Instituto Sindicale per la Cooperazione et lo Sviluppo www.iscos.cisl.it
Coalition of Labor Union Women www.cluw.org
International Organization of Employers www.ioe-emp.org
World Confederation of Labour http://www.ituc-csi.org
Children – forced labour and sexual slavery
International Initiative to End Child Labor www.endchildlabor.org
ECPAT International (child prostitution and trafficking of children for sexual purposes) www.ecpat.net
Justice for Children International www.jfci.org
Save the children www.savethechildren.org
Child Labor Coalition www.stopchildlabor.org
World Tourism Organization – Task to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism www.world-tourism.org//protect_children/index.htm
South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude http://bbasaccs.org
Child Rights Information Network http://www.crin.org/resources/index.asp
Action Against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ALTEN) http://atsec.tripod.com/atsecbangladeshchapter/id1.html
Association pour la lutte Contre le Travail des Enfants au Niger (ALTEN) http://alten.apinc.org
Butterflies Programme for Street and Working Children (India) www.childrightsindia.org
Casa Alianza Latina America www.casa-alianza.org
Casa Alianza UK www.casa-alianza.org.uk
Child Labour Awareness http://childlabour.typepad.com
Child Rights Information Network www.crin.org
Child Workers in Asia www.cwa.tnet.co.th
Child Workers in Nepal www.cwin.org.np
Child Watch www.phuket.com/island/child.htm
Concerned for Working Children www.workingchild.org/htm/cwc.htm
Free the Children www.freethechildren.org
Free the Children India www.ftcindia.org
Global March Against Child Labour www.globalmarch.org
HAQ: Centre for Child Rights and Campaign to Stop Child Labour www.haqcrc.org
International Federation of Free Trade Unions (Child labour section) www.icftu.org
ILO – International Programme of the Elimination of Child Labour www.ilo.org/ipec/index.htm
Child Trafficking Digital Library www.childtrafficking.com
World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children http://www.csecworldcongress.org
The World Bank- Child Labour www.worldbank.org
Understanding Children’s Work: An inter-agency research cooperation project on child labour http://www.ucw-project.org/
ECLT Foundation – addressing the challenge of child labour in tobacco growing www.eclt.org
World Congress against Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) www.csecworldcongress.org
RugMark Foundation www.rugmark.org
Stop Child Labor http://stopchildlabor.org/
Don’t Sell Bodies http://dontsellbodies.org/
Please feel free to provide any organisation names or links that you find are missing from this list.
And thank you for sharing this,
#ECSL2016 – End Child Slave Labor by 2016 (please read)
#SayNØkay2FGM – SayNØkay to Female Genital Mutilation (please read)
Fact Sheet: Obama Administration Accomplishments in Sub-Saharan Africa
From The Briefing Room, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary.
“I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world – as partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect.”
The new U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which is derived from a Presidential Policy Directive, builds on numerous accomplishments of U.S.-Africa policy to strengthen democratic institutions, promote regional peace and security, engage with young African leaders, and promote development, trade, and investment. Some of these accomplishments are set forth in greater detail below:
• Engaged Young African Leaders Who Will Shape the Continent’s Future. We have deepened our engagement with Africa’s next generation of leaders through the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative, the Obama Administration’s long-term program to engage those leaders who are actively promoting positive change in their communities.
This engagement began with the President’s Forum with Young African Leaders in 2010. The First Lady’s Young African Women Leaders Forum was held in South Africa in June 2011, and, in June 2012, the State Department sponsored a Young African Leaders Innovation Summit and Mentoring Partnership that connects young African leaders with mentorship opportunities in the United States.
The President’s Young African Leaders Initiative, which seeks to provide tools to support leadership development, promote entrepreneurship, and connect young leaders with one another and the United States, has so far included more than 2,000 programs for young leaders across sub-Saharan Africa.
• Strengthened Democratic Institutions. The United States has worked to strengthen democratic institutions in sub-Saharan Africa through high-level diplomatic engagement, institution building, and programs that develop the capacity of judiciaries, legislatures, media and civil society. We have held governments accountable to their commitments to democratic principles and to their obligations under universal human rights norms, and we have spoken out when democratic processes have been subverted. Examples of these efforts include:
–Supported Democracy in Cote d’Ivoire.
The United States worked aggressively to resolve the crisis in Cote D’Ivoire and to support democracy. Immediately after election results were certified in December 2010, President Obama personally communicated to former President Laurent Gbagbo a choice between stepping down or facing greater isolation. When Gbagbo refused to leave office, the United States swiftly imposed sanctions on Gbagbo and his associates, and helped lead efforts with our European allies through the United Nations, and with African organizations like ECOWAS to pressure Gbagbo and support a democratic resolution that enabled the elected leader of Cote d’Ivoire – Alassane Ouattara – to take power.
President Ouattara was inaugurated in May 2011, and was subsequently hosted by President Obama at the White House along with heads of state from two other emerging African democracies – Niger and Guinea – and another democracy that has made great progress, Benin. The United States continues to work closely with the Government of Cote d’Ivoire and all Ivoirians as the country prioritizes reconciliation, economic recovery, and reform of the security sector.
Advanced Reform in Kenya.
The United States helped lead an international effort to support Kenya’s ambitious reform agenda developed in the wake of the 2007-8 post-election violence.
The President’s outreach to the Kenyan government and the Kenyan people, as well as the Vice President’s 2010 trip to Kenya, contributed to a credible national referendum in August 2010 and the historic adoption of a new constitution. The United States continues to support efforts to deepen reform and to promote justice and reconciliation.
We launched the OGP in 2011, with strong participation from African governments and civil society organizations, to advance government transparency and accountability worldwide. South Africa is a founding member, and Ghana, Liberia, Tanzania, and Kenya have also joined.
Advanced Peace and Security.
In Fiscal Year 2011, the United States provided $262 million in assistance to improve the overall professionalization of African militaries and to enhance their ability to better respond to challenges such as peacekeeping, maritime security, and counterterrorism.
Additionally, the United States provided, and continues to provide, significant support to peacekeeping operations across the continent, including the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Through the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, we continue to advance efforts to strengthen women’s participation in peacebuilding and protect women from sexual and gender-based violence in conflict. Examples of U.S. support to peace and security include:
Promoted Peace in Sudan.
The Obama Administration has built on U.S. leadership in international efforts to broker the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of civil strife by galvanizing international support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement’s (CPA) implementation.
Under the President’s direction, the United States launched an intense multilateral effort to keep the parties on the path of peace that ultimately culminated in an on-time and peaceful referendum on southern secession and the birth of the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan.
In December 2011 the United States hosted an international conference to garner support for the Republic of South Sudan’s development plans and to spur investment. The United States remains fully engaged in supporting Sudan and South Sudan in reaching final agreement on outstanding post-CPA issues in order to achieve the international vision of two countries living side by side in peace.
Supported Regional Efforts to Help Communities Affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
The United States continues to pursue a comprehensive strategy, in partnership with the African Union and United Nations, to help the governments and people of central Africa in their efforts to end the threat posed by the LRA and to address the impacts of the LRA’s atrocities.
This includes working to protect local populations, promoting defections from the LRA’s ranks, and the deployment of a small number of U.S. forces to advise the national militaries in the region that are pursuing the LRA’s top commanders.
The United States is also funding programs to help affected communities employ strategies to address their security needs and to connect with one another using communications technologies.
The United States has been a strong backer of AMISOM, providing training for its forces and supporting its expansion from 12,000 to 17,731 troops in recognition of its ongoing success against al-Shabaab.
As AMISOM continues to expand the reach of the Transitional Federal Government, the United States is committed to assisting the force meet the evolving operational, security, and humanitarian challenges as it seeks to bring real peace and stability to Somalia.
Invested in Africa’s Sustainable Development.
The United States is investing in development partnerships across Africa to accelerate sustainable economic growth, promote food security, improve the capacity of countries and communities to respond to diseases and rebuild health systems, and to combat climate change.
These investments in smart development align with country-owned plans, include civil society and the private sector, and strategically deploy our assistance funding for maximal impact. Examples of U.S. investments in sustainable development include:
Feed the Future supports country-driven approaches to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. Through this Presidential initiative, the United States is investing in 12 African focus countries to drive inclusive agriculture-led growth encompassing improved agricultural productivity, expanded markets and trade, and increased economic resilience of vulnerable rural communities.
U.S. efforts work to unleash the proven potential of small-scale agricultural producers to deliver results on a large scale and are undertaken in support of Africa’s Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program. In 2012, the U.S. led the G-8 to launch the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a partnership between the G-8, African governments, the African Union, international partners, private investors, and civil society to substantially accelerate agricultural growth across the continent and help more than 50 million people emerge from poverty over the next ten years.
Launched the Global Health Initiative (GHI).
The GHI is strengthening the U.S. government’s existing international health programs and building upon those programs to create integrated, coordinated, sustainable health systems with our partner countries.
The majority of U.S. investments to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria, and to improve maternal and child health, are focused in Africa.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is leading prevention efforts and treating over 3.8 million people in Africa, has dramatically decreased HIV infections and improved life expectancy across the continent, and will support over 6 million people with lifesaving treatment by the end of 2013.
U.S. malaria and child survival efforts (including investments in the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations) are contributing to the historic reductions of child mortality seen in Senegal, Rwanda, Kenya and in other African states.
Through the GCCI, we are helping African countries to better prepare for extreme weather and climate events, reduce deforestation in the Congo Basin and elsewhere in Africa, and develop clean and affordable energy systems.
Launched the Partnership for Growth (PFG).
The PFG puts into practice the principles of the President’s Policy Directive on Global Development, elevating sustainable, broad-based economic growth, transforming our partnership with countries demonstrating leadership and commitment to their own development progress, and investing in the next generation of emerging markets. Two of the four countries selected for PFG – Ghana and Tanzania – are in Africa.
Promoted Economic Growth through the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
Since taking office, the Obama Administration has signed multi-year grant agreements with five sub-Saharan Africa countries, totaling over $1.3 billion in investments that seek to reduce poverty through economic growth.
Responded to Humanitarian Crises and Disasters.
In fiscal year 2011, the United States Government provided over $2 billion in humanitarian funding to address food insecurity, food crises, and other natural and man-made disasters in Africa. To assist in breaking the cycles of famine and the shocks from drought, especially following the 2011 crisis in the Horn of Africa, the Unites States Government, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and the international development community are partnering together to strengthen country drought preparedness, enhance resilience, and promote long-term solutions.
Promoted Trade and Investment.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), for the first time in its history, approved projects totaling more than $1 billion in 2011 to support the exports of U.S. companies to sub-Saharan Africa. Two of the nine countries in the world selected by Ex-Im Bank as priority strategic markets for U.S. exports – South Africa and Nigeria – are in sub-Saharan Africa.
In fiscal year 2011, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) supported over $1 billion in private-sector investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, representing over one-third of its total commitments for the year. This is in addition to OPIC approving $367 million for four private equity funds that could mobilize an additional $1 billion for investments made in the health, agricultural, and small and medium enterprise sectors. Examples of efforts to promote trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa include:
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
President Obama designated 40 sub-Saharan African countries to be eligible for AGOA benefits in 2012.
Strengthened Trade and Investment Engagement throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
The United States currently has Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs), agreements which provide strategic frameworks and principles for dialogue on trade and investment issues, with 11 countries or regional economic communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
These communities include Angola, Ghana, Liberia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the EAC, and the West African Economic and Monetary Union. Additionally, the Obama Administration is using bilateral investment treaties (BITs) as one of many tools to assist reform-minded African countries.
Trade and Investment Partnership with the East African Community (EAC).
During the June 2011 AGOA Forum in Lusaka, Zambia, the United States proposed a new partnership with the EAC to include the exploration of a regional investment treaty, creation of trade enhancing agreements in areas such as trade facilitation, and the development of stronger commercial engagement.
Introduced New U.S. Initiatives to Boost Trade and Investment Opportunities for Least Developed Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In December 2011, the United States announced steps aimed at enabling Least Developed Country (LDC) members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including a number from sub-Saharan Africa, to benefit more fully from global trade.
The United States will use a Development Credit Authority guarantee and public-private partnerships to drive private debt to investment funds and organizations that will make debt and equity investments in small- and medium-sized enterprises operating in agricultural value chains in West Africa.
In June 2011, the United States announced the new African Competitiveness and Trade Expansion (ACTE) Initiative to provide up to $120 million over four years to improve Africa’s capacity to produce and export competitive, value-added products, including those that can enter duty-free under AGOA, and to address supply-side constraints that impede African trade.
Finally, since the launch of the Aid for Trade initiative, the United States has provided over $9 million in assistance to support LDC accessions to the WTO.
Juan Somavia Director-General of the ILO on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour, 12 June, 2012
|Decent work for parents means that children are less likely to fall victim to child labour.”
However, the road to full eradication is long and challenging. The reality remains extremely worrying. The bottom line is that 215 million children are still trapped in child labour, 115 million of them in the worst forms. Our latest estimates indicated an increase of 20 per cent in child labour among young people aged 15 to 17, mainly involved in hazardous work.
On many counts the world is failing short on its responsibilities towards children and young people. Today, we call on all countries which have not ratified the international child labour Conventions to make a special effort to do so. We call on countries to apply as yet unratified Conventions and we call on all to respect the principles and rights embodied in these Conventions.
We can put together a combination of policies founded on respect for those principles and rights so that children can be free from child labour and have the chance of a better life. Effective education and training policies backed by social protection measures can produce significant increases in school enrolment and a decline in child labour. Decent work for parents means that children are less likely to fall victim to child labour. And better enforcement of national laws, including strengthening child labour inspection and monitoring, enhancing victim assistance and improving prevention strategies are critical to success.
In a world of growing inequality we must link policy agendas with basic standards of fairness and do right by the world’s children. In a world of incredible wealth, the means exist to end child labour. On this World Day with will and solidarity let us renew our efforts, stay the course, and reach the goal.
“Whereas Mankind Owes To The Child The Best It Has To Give…”
Were you even aware that, on June 12, hundreds of thousands of people around the globe were working to raise awareness of, and focus attention on, the global extent of child labour and what we as a global community need to do to eliminate it.
Did their message reach your corner of the world?
If so, was it effective in silencing the daily demands that swamp you? Was it able to focus your attention on the plight of the estimated 215 million children (127 million boys and 88 million girls) trapped in some kind of heinous child labour role RIGHT NOW … who need our help?
Did it inspire you to do something to help those 215 million children? And especially, to help the 115 million who are being subjected to ‘the worst form’ of child labor RIGHT NOW?
What is ‘The Worst Form?’
“For the purposes of this Convention, the term the worst forms of child slave labour comprises:
(a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of (child soldiers) children for use in armed conflict;
(b) the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;
(c) the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties;
(d) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
World Day Against Child Labour
The World Day Against Child Labour, launched by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2002, is celebrated each year on June 12, with the very worthwhile target of eliminating the ‘worst forms’ of Child Labour by 2016.
The UN’s latest figures estimate that of the 215 million children (127 million boys and 88 million girls) currently trapped (RIGHT NOW AS YOU READ THIS) in some kind of child labour, 115 million are trapped in ‘the worst form’ of child slave labour.
It’s quite shocking, especially when you realise that 115 million children subjected to slave-labour is a number greater than the total number of children, under the age of 18 years, living in the United States today.
‘Only’ 215 Million Children?
215 million! That’s quite a number! And it’s so easy to say it without giving it too much thought. 215 million … 215 million… 215 million. So, just how many people is 215 million … 215 million children to be more precise?
According to the US Census Bureau Population Clock it’s equivalent to approximately 3/4 of the total population of the United States, which at June 2012 is nearly 314 million people.
For my Australian friends, 215 million people is 10 times the total population of Australia.
That’s quite a substantial number of people …. children!
The Real War Against Child Slave Labor Is Against Our Complacency!
Juan Somavia, ILO Director-General said: “There is no room for complacency when 215 million children are still labouring to survive, and more than half of these are exposed to the ‘worst form’ of child labour, including slavery and involvement in armed conflict. We cannot allow the eradication of child labour to slip down the development agenda — all countries should be striving to achieve this target, individually and collectively.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently stated, “The exploitation of children anywhere should be a concern to people everywhere.”
Abolishing The ‘Worst Forms’
Abolishing the “worst forms’ of child slave labor means ensuring the world’s children achieve freedom from exploitation, and remain free. For this to happen the people and governments worldwide need to work to persist in keeping children’s rights in the headlines, under the spotlight, and on the table.
Strong international treaties to outlaw the practice of child slave labour are not enough. It also demands we, the consumers, make supportive purchasing decisions that signal to manufacturers and suppliers we are committed to the target set by the ILO – To End Child Slave Labor by 2016.” #ECSL2016
If we are serious about putting an end to the ‘worst forms’ of Child Labour by 2016, we need to overcome any complacency and take a stand.
We need to decide to play a part, however small, in ending Child Slave Labour. And it’s surprisingly easy to get involved. There are some very simple actions we can take. For example, if you’re a chocolate lover like I am, you might commit to only consume chocolate products where the chocolate used is fully certified to be Fair-Trade and Child-Labor-Free.
The internet makes it very easy to check on food, clothing or household goods purchases, to ensure they’re free from illegal child slave labor practices. And there are growing numbers of organisations producing apps and websites which make this information freely and readily accessible.
If you have a favourite organisation, app, website or forum that helps you make child-friendly buying decisions, please feel free to share the link with us in the comments box below.
If you have any suggestions of things we can do to help these children, please feel free to comment below.
As the DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD preamble proclaimed in 1959: “Whereas Mankind Owes To The Child The Best It Has To Give…”
Let’s find ways to work together and do our Best to help these children. Let’s be the generation that makes Child Slave Labour a practice of the past. #ECSL2016
Together we can 🙂
Wishing you health and happiness friends,
Gaye Crispin #ECSL2016
End Child Slave Labor by 2016