Read more about the article Camp Ashraf Story – The Truth
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Camp Ashraf Story – The Truth

In June this year freelance journalist Gabrielle Pickard spoke to Shahriar Kia, a political analyst expert on Iran since 1982 and spokesperson for Camp Ashraf, Iraq, about the role women have played in helping to improve the lives of Iranian exiles living in "poverty and squalor" in a refugee camp in Iraq, known as Camp Ashraf. Determined to publicise the truth about the inhumanity and degradation this group of so-called "protected persons" are facing, Gabrielle Pickard spoke to Shahriar Kia once more, who was more than happy to reveal the…

Read more about the article Women and Camp Ashraf
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Women and Camp Ashraf

Iran’s Biggest Empowerment Inner courtyards and roads are paved with gravel and mud, intolerable for the sick and the handicapped. Sky-high towers bestowed with cameras and armed forces with semi-heavy machine guns patrol regularly. A malfunctioning sewage system runs down the streets, there is no serviceable water supply. Residential trailers are filthy, the beds are broken. Accommodation that could not contrast more vividly to the spotless, orderly and hygienic photographs the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) decorated, misleading residents. Welcome to Camp Liberty. These people aren’t just living in…

Read more about the article Early Marriage: what is the right age?
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Early Marriage: what is the right age?

What is the right age for a girl to become a woman? “The transformation of gender relations in the developing world is the greatest social revolution of our era, and we need to keep that in mind in everything we do” Dr. John Coonrod, Executive Vice President of The Hunger Project. In a barren region of southern Ethiopia, 13-year-old Dhaki worries about whether she will be pregnant as a result of her husband – 11 years her senior – forcing himself upon her last night, and whether her neighbours heard…

Read more about the article Combat Child Labor
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Combat Child Labor

Turn Rhetoric into Action to Combat Child Labor.. “My Christmas shopping seems to have not cost as much this year”, I overhear a middle-aged lady tell her friend as she leaves the ‘cheap and cheerful’ British clothing chain Primark laden with bags and boxes. With dresses for sale for £8, jumpers costing as little as £4 and jeans being snatched up for a mere £10, it is little wonder people are choosing to do their Christmas shopping at the likes of Primark. Cheap and cheerful clothing outlets may be the…

Read more about the article Trade and Human Rights
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Trade and Human Rights

Trade and Human Rights should be treated as separate issues.. It’s plastered across the British press, mentioned on every newspaper front page, broadsheets and tabloids alike. Each TV news channel you flick through is dedicated to David Cameron’s first visit to China as Prime Minister. Whenever there is an important and hugely significant summit between nations and world leaders, criticism and outcry predictably accompanies the meeting, stirred up of course by the media. The British media are particularly notorious for stirring up trouble and whipping the public into frenzy, and…

Read more about the article Will Nobel Peace Prize free Liu Xiaobo?
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Will Nobel Peace Prize free Liu Xiaobo?

It has been hailed as an inspirational choice. Leaders from across the globe are commending the Nobel Peace Prize committee for honouring a ‘selfless nonconformist political prisoner’ and electing Liu Xiaobo as this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner. But will the world’s most honourable award actually bring Liu Xiaobo closer to freedom and in doing so, be evolutionary in the democracy movement? During serving his forth prison sentence, Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Naturally the prize…

Read more about the article UNFCCC and Cancun Climate Change Summit
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UNFCCC and Cancun Climate Change Summit

How can the UN avoid a repeat of the disastrous Copenhagen summit in Mexico? In the wake of the unsuccessful climate change conference held in Copenhagen last year, another summit is to be held in Cancun, Mexico this December. Intent on not ‘getting it wrong’ a second time, a series of meetings are to take place in the run up to Cancun, to discuss, deliberate and streamline negotiations. “Governments have a responsibility this year to take the next essential step in the battle against climate change.” These albeit ‘underestimated’ words…

Read more about the article Mexico and UN Convention Against Corruption
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Mexico and UN Convention Against Corruption

In 2003, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) was formed, obliging its States Parties to “implement a wide and detailed range of anti-corruption measures affecting their laws, institutions and practices.” These measures were aimed to promote “prevention, criminalization and law-enforcement.” Ironically the Convention was formed in Merida, Mexico. I say ironically, because Mexico, seven years since UNCAC was established, is wearied by years of violence and corruption and is currently amid the throes of one of the worset and most shocking corruption cases the country has ever experienced –…

Read more about the article International Labor Movements
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International Labor Movements

“Workmen of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains!” were the words of Karl Marx in late 1800s. Just a few of decades ago finding a Polish lady employed in a British pub, a Romanian working on a building site in France, or a man from Morocco picking fruit in Southern Spain, would have been a much less frequent prospect than it is today. As we move into the 21st century, patterns of employment are changing as workers are becoming increasingly globalized and free of national…

Read more about the article Will Gates Foundation Replace the UN?
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Will Gates Foundation Replace the UN?

“Don’t just go for safe projects, take on the really tough problems”, were the words of advice, Warren Buffet, co-trustee of the Gates Foundation, gave to Bill Gates about philanthropy. When the foundation was founded in 1994, known then as the William H. Gates Foundation, after Bill Gate’s father, there was little doubt that the charity was going to succeed, because after all, everything associated with Bill Gates - the richest man on the planet - succeeds. Some 16 years later the Gates Foundation has been cited as being the…

Read more about the article The UN and The Queen
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The UN and The Queen

Will the Queen’s visit to the UN influence the quest for world unity and peace? Or do actions speak louder than words? Whenever you make a trip to Buckingham Palace, regardless of the day, month or year, American accents are always the most prominent intonation to be heard outside the palace, as eager tourists from the States excitedly ogle the British Monarch’s abode. With such devoted enthusiasm, wonderment and intrigue many Americans hold of the British royal family, it was little wonder that New Yorkers were excitedly distracted by the…

Read more about the article Poverty in Morocco
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Poverty in Morocco

As the unevenness in wealth grows in Morocco, the age of excess needs to be replaced by an age of equality. If I was given a Dirham every time a Moroccan person picked up my two young sons and kissed them lovingly on the cheek during our recent five-day visit to Marrakesh, I would probably have made enough money to buy myself a "meat tagine" at one of the more up-market restaurants in the city. Touching and kissing fair-haired children, I am told by particularly enthusiastic and friendly local, is…

Read more about the article Green Revolution and Hunger
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Green Revolution and Hunger

The Failings of the Green revolution puts Hunger back on the Priority Agenda. It was born and developed to boost agricultural production and feed the world’s growing population. Four decades later as hunger, particularly in the Asia- Pacific region climbs, the Green Revolution is unable to meet new demands, unable to feed new mouths. Launched in the late 1960s, the Green Revolution was a series of initiatives aimed at increasing agricultural production and feeding the world’s population affected by hunger. The initiatives, which included making grants and loans available to…

Read more about the article Scandal of Pregnancy Mortality
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Scandal of Pregnancy Mortality

The “scandal” surrounding child-birth deaths. Who is letting women and our future generations down? The joy a woman feels when she first finds out she is pregnant is quickly surpassed by natural feelings of apprehension. Not only about the prospect of looking after a helpless, newborn baby, but more so,  fear about the birth, with one morbidly frightening question lying deep in an expectant mothers overactive imagination, “will I die during labor?” Surely these thoughts are insane, absurd and paranoid, as in the 21st century mother mortality during child birth…

Read more about the article Slavery in Brazil
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Slavery in Brazil

Slavery, A Modern-Age Slur on a Country Thriving in Prosperity. Reports of Brazil as a nation thriving with a strong economy growing healthily, cause both envy and intrigue to hang over the many countries, who far from managing to pull themselves out of recession, are plunging further into economic breakdown. Although this rosy picture of Brazil, which has been colorfully filling our television screens on recent news bulletins, is far from representative of the whole picture. In reality, slums slur the cities borders and slavery maims the rural areas. Why…

Read more about the article Human Rights in Malawi, is it Misunderstood?
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Human Rights in Malawi, is it Misunderstood?

The United Nations secretary general, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, is to travel to Malawi this weekend to discuss with the country’s president, Mr. Bingu wa Mutharika, among other issues, the 14 year sentencing of a homosexual couple, a sentence which Mr. Ban Ki-moon has described as “violating human rights principles that ban both discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as the criminalization of sexual acts between consenting adults”. The conviction, which dates back to the colonial era laws, has predictably caused shock and outrage to ripple across the…