Trafficking of humans still rife in Kenya

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By JAMES MBAKA

Kenya: Kenya is leading in human trafficking incidents in the region, as the country is a big source, transit point and destination of trafficked victims.

Participants attending a forum on human trafficking at Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi noted that the country remains on the radar of human traffickers because of its strategic location.

The country borders Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, which are known sources of victims.

Most of the victims involved are children, young men and women. Participants regretted that there were data gaps on local statistics in respect to human trafficking reports, which lacked national perspective.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko told the workshop that his office intends to effectively implement the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act. He said his office will create awareness of the offence and its nature and prevent and combat trafficking, paying attention to women and children.
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Storm Brews at U.N. Climate Talks

By Wambi Michael

NGO representatives lead by Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International’s executive director, stormed out of the climate change talks in Warsaw, Poland. Courtesy: Wambi Michael
NGO representatives lead by Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International’s executive director, stormed out of the climate change talks in Warsaw, Poland. Courtesy: Wambi Michael

WARSAW, Nov 21 2013 (IPS) – Hundreds of representatives from various NGOs walked out of the negotiating rooms at the United Nations climate talks in Poland on Thursday in protest against the reluctance by developed nations to commit towards achieving a global climate treaty.

Donning white T-shirts with the slogan: “polluters talk, we walk”, the protestors, which included representatives from Oxfam International, Greenpeace International, the International Trade Union Confederation, and ActionAid International, marched quietly towards the conference exits as U.N. security ensured they left peacefully. Their departure from the talks sets the stage for renewed civil society pressure on governments to take meaningful action against climate change.
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Technology gives survivors of forced sterilization a voice

New Internationalist
By Vanessa Baird

300,000 women were sterilized in the 1990s.
300,000 women were sterilized in the 1990s.

Mobile phones and ancient Inca technology are coming together to enable survivors of forced sterilization to tell their stories and campaign for justice.
Next year is likely to see a re-opening of the legal case concerning Peru’s scandalous sterilization of 300,000 women – many of them forced or without their informed consent.
And the Quipu Living Documentary project – as the experimental communications initiative is called – could play a key role in helping the women achieve justice.

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‘What more has to happen to bring progress at Climate Change Talks?’

Independent Catholic News
By: Fr Sean McDonagh

Sean McDonagh is an Irish eco-theologian who worked in the Philippines for two decades.
Sean McDonagh is an Irish eco-theologian who worked in the Philippines for two decades.

What more has to happen to concentrate the minds of the officials from 174 countries who are currently in Warsaw, Poland, for the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) at the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change? In 2012, the week before last year’s Conference in Doha, Typhoon Bopha crashed into the province of Davao Oriental in the Philippines and killed almost 600 people in the Compostela valley. By the time it had crossed Mindanao almost 2,000 people were dead. Homes, businesses, schools, churches and power lines were all destroyed.

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Amazon Destruction Could Cut US Rainfall by 50%

Common Dreams

Over 1.4 billion acres of dense forest make up the Amazon basin producing one quarter of the world’s oxygen supply, but new research shows that with the destruction of those forest the negative impact will be global. (Photo: John McColgan)
Over 1.4 billion acres of dense forest make up the Amazon basin producing one quarter of the world’s oxygen supply, but new research shows that with the destruction of those forest the negative impact will be global. (Photo: John McColgan)

As Nilima Choudhury at Responding to Climate Change (RTCC) reports:

The total deforestation of the Amazon may reduce rain and snowfall in the western US, resulting in water and food shortages, and a greater risk of forest fires.

Princeton University-led researchers report that an Amazon stripped bare could mean 20% less rain for the coastal Northwest and a 50% reduction in the Sierra Nevada snowpack, a crucial source of water for cities and farms in California.

Over 1.4 billion acres of dense forest make up the Amazon basin that is one of the world’s natural major carbon sinks producing over one quarter of the world’s oxygen supply.
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What exactly are drone strikes trying to achieve?

New Internationalist

By  Mari Marcel Thekaekara

Soldiers launching unmanned drones are far removed from the horror they cause when they reach their destination.
Soldiers launching unmanned drones are far removed from the horror they cause when they reach their destination.

Collateral damage. Drone strikes. Civilian casualties. These are mere words, lifeless words. They do not, to the average person, conjure images of the horror of what those cold blooded words mean to the families involved. The parents, grandparents, children, who collect the mutilated, lifeless bodies, mostly bits of bodies, of their loved ones when the drones have been and gone. Yes, collateral damage means different things to different people. To the generals who order the strikes, they are surgically targeting terrorists. But for the children who see their father or mother collaterally ‘damaged’, it’s the end of their world as they know it.
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An Anti-Fracking Pope?

First Thoughts
J. David Nolan

A recent image of Pope Francis holding a T-shirt with the slogan “No al Fracking”—“No to Fracking”—has sparked varied response, including worries from Sarah Palin and praise from environmental groups.
A recent image of Pope Francis holding a T-shirt with the slogan “No al Fracking”—“No to Fracking”—has sparked varied response, including worries from Sarah Palin and praise from environmental groups.

Reports from a meeting held on Monday between Francis and Argentine environmentalists hint that the pope may be preparing an encyclical dedicated to environmental issues, including the issue of fracking. If these reports are true, the pope would be following in the steps of Benedict XVI and John Paul II, who both recognized the depths of our current environmental crisis and eloquently encouraged appropriate responses. It also makes sense that the namesake of St. Francis would dedicate thought and energy to environmental action, especially after John Paul proclaimed St. Francis “the heavenly Patron of those who promote ecology” in 1979.

John Paul had some very strong words on the human duty to address the current environmental crisis in his 1990 World Day of Peace address. He explicitly emphasizes the moral character of environmental issues:
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Hello Warsaw, This Is Haiyan Calling

Foreign Policy in Focus

The super typhoon that just hit the Philippines should be a wake-up call for climate-change negotiators in Warsaw.

env3

by Walden Bello

It seems these days that whenever Mother Nature wants to send an urgent message to humankind, it sends it via the Philippines. This year the messenger was Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda.

For the second year in a row, the world’s strongest typhoon barreled through the Philippines, Yolanda following on the footsteps steps of Pablo, a.k.a Bopha, in 2012.  And for the third year in a row, a destructive storm deviated from the usual path taken by typhoons, striking communities that had not learned to live with these fearsome weather events because they were seldom hit by them in the past. Sendong in December 2011 and Bopha last year sliced Mindanao horizontally, while Yolanda drove through the Visayas, also in a horizontal direction.
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After cease-fire, Congo’s bishops say much work remains before peace

GOMA, Congo (CNS) — The Catholic Church rejoiced at the end of a yearlong military campaign in North Kivu by the defeated rebels of the M23 movement, but made it clear that much remains to be done to consolidate that peace.

In Nov. 9 tour around areas held only days before by the rebels, Bishop Theophile Kaboyi Ruboneka of Goma called on citizens to work hard to consolidate a peace that was “acquired at the price of blood,” referring especially to the last offensive, which ended Nov. 5. “We are thankful to God that this nightmare has ended,” Bishop Kaboyi told the U.N.-run Radio Okapi. “Now, as we are condemned to live together, we must be reconciled.”
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The human and environmental responsibilities of the mining sector: Day of Reflection at the Vatican

Eco Jesuit

Josep F Mària Serrano, SJ

Photo credit: siteresources.worldbank.org
Photo credit: siteresources.worldbank.org

A Day of Reflection on the mining industry was held last 7 September in Rome organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Its president, Cardinal Peter Turkson, wisely and carefully prepared the event with a group of collaborators. Participants were mainly chief executive officers (CEOs) and top officials of the main global mining companies, but also included members of global NGOs, some of them linked to the Catholic Church, such as Caritas Internationalis and Misereor.

I was gently invited by Cardinal Turkson to prepare and participate in the Day. The climate of confidence was high, and consequently the discussions turned around deep and fundamental questions related to environmental sustainability and the welfare of workers and communities around the mines.
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