Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights in resolution 1994/45, adopted on 4 March 1994, decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on violence against women, including its causes and consequences. The mandate was extended by the Commission on Human Rights in 2003, at its 59th session in resolution 2003/45. In the same resolution the Commission on Human Rights:”Strongly condemning all acts of violence against women and girls and in this regard called, in accordance with the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence in the family, within the general community and where perpetrated or condoned by the State, and emphasized the duty of Governments to refrain from engaging in violence against women and to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women and to take appropriate and effective action concerning acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State, by private persons or by armed groups or warring factions, and to provide access to just and effective remedies and specialized, including medical, assistance to victims;Affirmed, in this light, that violence against women constitutes a violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and that violence against women impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms.”Since March 2006, the Special Rapporteur reports to the Human Rights Council, as per Human Rights Council’s decision 1/102. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was lastly renewed in 2013 by resolution 23/25.According to his/her mandate the Special Rapporteur is requested to:a Seek and receive information on violence against women, its causes and consequences from Governments, treaty bodies, specialized agencies, other special rapporteurs responsible for various human rights questions and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, including womens organizations, and to respond effectively to such information;

via Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

Do the crime, do the time? Not if youre a banker in Australia

Recently, the head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Greg Medcraft, called Australia a “paradise” for white-collar criminals. Soon after he recanted, claiming he didn’t want the country to become a haven for financial fraudsters. This rephrasing likely followed when Finance Minister Mathias Cormann leaned on Medcraft.The mass media has done an admirable job bringing the CBA financial planner scandal to light, forcing ASIC to finally investigate, the Senate to inquire and the CBA to apologise and provide compensation. Despite this, frauds like these are universally downplayed as isolated events, perpetrated by “bad apples” in an otherwise trustworthy FIRE finance, insurance and real estate sector.Australia’s economic history shows otherwise. Our past is littered with a surprisingly large number of control frauds, which government and regulators have done next to nothing to prevent and rarely prosecute. The mounting frauds appear emboldened by deregulation and liberalisation of banking and finance.

via Do the crime, do the time? Not if youre a banker in Australia.

Fees debate obscures purpose of higher education – University World News

A common misconception is that making students pay will increase the amount of funding for education. More often than not, public funding decreases in systems with tuition fees and, for quite a few countries, substantially.

Nor does the money collected from fees go towards improving the quality of teaching. In many cases it goes towards funding activities and projects aiming at increasing a university’s prestige and reputation so that it can get ahead in the international rankings that we know do not give us an accurate picture of educational quality.

via Fees debate obscures purpose of higher education – University World News.

While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar – Bloomberg

Solar will be the world’s biggest single source of electricity by 2050, according to a recent estimate by the International Energy Agency. Currently, it’s responsible for just a fraction of one percent.

Because of solar’s small market share today, no matter how quickly capacity expands, it won’t have much immediate impact on the price of other forms of energy. But soon, for the first time, the reverse may also be true: Gas and coal prices will lose their sway over the solar industry.

via While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar – Bloomberg.

Moostoos faces discrimination from OXFORD Property Group

“Gary’s work is recognized across Canada and he worked along with Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings across the nation. Media, Edmonton Police Services and the community of Edmonton have recognized Gary as an elder, teacher and healer.

Gary Moostoos has dedicated his life to assisting and supporting indigenous peoples who are in need. Gary’s commitment to helping people started over a quarter century ago. He worked in a hospital supporting people whom were sick, then as a youth worker for many years he assisted youngsters in connecting with cultural practices and spiritual teachings. Gary currently is employed as he works with homeless populations and survivors of the residential school system.

Instead of recounting his words I am going to offer you Gary’s facebook post of an incident he faced this week at the downtown Edmonton City Centre:…”

Jane Kelsey: Secret talks bring threat of financial crises – National – NZ Herald News

The story of the past week in terms of the Trans Pacific Partnership TPP agreement was not Prime Minister John Keys visit to the White House.The more startling news is that our Government, with almost 50 other countries, is negotiating another secret deal in the shadows of the World Trade Organisation. They are calling to negotiate a Trade in Services Agreement Tisa.It is part of a troika: along with the TPP and the deal the US is negotiating with the European Union, it aims to create a new set of global rules that are designed exclusively to serve commercial interests.This is no exaggeration. Last week US corporates held a launch for what they call Team Tisa. The co-chairs are Citigroup, Liberty Mutual, IBM, MetLife, UPS and Walmart. Leading members of Congress and the US Trade Representative were invited to speak.If we thought the TPP was secretive – background documents remain secret for four years after any deal is done – Tisa proponents want to keep their documents secret for five years.They aim to create an unrestricted global market for services, just as TPP is aimed at the Asia-Pacific. That means locking open the door to foreign corporations that dominate the worlds media, IT, finance, tourism, transport, healthcare, education sectors and more.They also want to make light-handed regulation the global norm. A standstill rule aims to freeze the existing level of regulation as the new bottom line.What Wikileaks posted was the draft chapter on financial services. We can assume it will be very similar to the TPPs financial services chapter.This is especially scary, because it aims to extend the model of liberalised and deregulated financial markets that brought us the global financial crisis.

via Jane Kelsey: Secret talks bring threat of financial crises – National – NZ Herald News.

Evo Morales’ victory demonstrates how much Bolivia has changed | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

… Morales’ election heralded much more than the arrival of the first indigenous person to the presidential palace. It marked the onset of a political revolution that has gradually seen Bolivia’s old political elites dislodged from power and replaced by representatives from the country’s indigenous peoples and popular classes.For this majority, the MAS government represents a safeguard against a return to the Bolivia of yesteryear, run by corrupt white elites. More than that, for most indigenous people and social movements, the MAS government is “their” government.This does not mean that the people have handed the MAS a blank cheque. Already on several occasions the MAS government has been forced to back-down on certain policies due to popular pressure.However, none of these protests have posed a fundamental challenge to the MAS’ overall vision for Bolivia, precisely because this vision is largely informed by the struggles and demands of the people themselves.Instead, these conflicts have primarily been disputes over how best to make this vision a reality.The MAS response to date has been to follow an approach of seeking dialogue and consensus, retreating where necessary, but always attempting to continue to drive the process forward towards its goal.Morales constantly sums up this approach using the Zapatista slogan “to govern by obeying”.It was this approach that enabled the MAS to come into the elections with the backing of the country’s main indigenous, campesino, workers and urban poor organisations and ensured its thumping victory.The failure of opposition forces and critics to recognise or accept the fact that a political revolution that has taken place and important economic transformations are underway explain why they are so far out of touch with the majority of Bolivian society.

via Evo Morales’ victory demonstrates how much Bolivia has changed | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.

The Courage to Speak Up.


I brought up the subject of climate change at a dinner party over the weekend, giving my quick pitch about how we must immediately end fossil fuel subsidies and invest in clean energy. Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 2.31.17 PMI got nods all around, especially from the women, but my husband didn’t talk to me the rest of the night.  Later he asked “Why do you always have to be such a downer? Why do you insist on hijacking every conversation?”

Thinking it over, I realized he was right. I can be an awkward nerdy jerk sometimes. I get frustrated at something someone says and just blurt it all out like some crazy lady on a street corner.  My frustration has grown over the decades from seeing just how little has been accomplished toward what Bucky called “the most critical task our species will ever face.”

I did not choose this issue. It chose me the same day I spent…

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Exxon: Destroying Planet Necessary to Relieve Global Poverty » EcoWatch

The fossil-fuel divestment movement has been on a roll lately to the tune of $50 billion, but one of its biggest successes happened last month: The world’s most profitable oil company squirmed. ExxonMobil’s vice president of public and government affairs published a critique of divestment that concluded by saying that destroying our planet’s climate by recklessly extracting and burning fossil fuel reserves is necessary to relieve global poverty.

via Exxon: Destroying Planet Necessary to Relieve Global Poverty » EcoWatch.

Informing Climate Negotiators about emerging Climate Justice Research – News

New research on equity and human rights informed the ADP Intercessional in Bonn – October 2014The October session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, taking place in Bonn from 20-25th of October, is informing and shaping the draft text of a new climate agreement which is expected to be the key outcome from COP 20 in Lima and is a milestone to the final agreement at COP21 in Paris.  The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, used this opportunity to convene a group of 23 senior negotiators representing a range of regional groups on the evening of the 23rd October to present new climate justice research.Tara Shine, Head of Research and Development at the Foundation presented the key findings from the Foundation’s latest research on human rights and climate change and the equity dimensions of a carbon phase-out. Participants discussed how these considerations could inform the draft text for Lima/ COP20.The recommendations in the Foundation’s research are supported by two recent proposals, an open letter from 28 UN independent human rights experts to all Governments; and the International Bar Associations’ recently published task force report on “Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Disruption”.

via Informing Climate Negotiators about emerging Climate Justice Research – News.