Protecting livestock can greatly improve rural communities’ ability to recover after a major disaster, relief organizations have found. “Without animals, families lose one of their main sources of income and are often left with no way to rebuild their lives,” said a veterinarian who works on such disaster prevention and recover efforts.
Hong Kong will soon mark 20 years since Britain returned the former colony to China and Chinese state media is touting the milestone by promoting the city’s greater prosperity under its “one country, two systems” strategy. But few Hong Kongers are feeling very prosperous or celebratory given that recent data has revealed the wealth gap is now the widest it’s been since the city began tracking income equality 46 years ago.
Venezuela’s political and economic crises have human rights experts concerned about the country’s rate of gender violence, for which legal systems are in place but no government data is available. Luz Patricia Mejía, a lawyer at the Organization of the American States (OAS) and women’s rights expert, says there is reason to believe the rate of violence against women may be rising.
The total number of children that die of preventable causes worldwide continues to decline, says the United Nations children’s agency, but such progress disguises a still-massive and intolerable death toll. At the current pace of progress, UNICEF has estimated, some 70 million children will die before turning 5 years old by 2030 from easily preventable causes.
Colombia’s Marxist Farc rebels have concluded their disarmament, handing in all but a few of their individual weapons to the United Nations and ending their role in a half-century war that killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions.
U.S. President Donald Trump wants to cut funding to one of the government’s most effective global health programs. Trump’s budget proposal reduces support for the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) by nearly half, 44 percent. The PMI was launched by the George W. Bush administration to reduce the spread of malaria around the world. Research published earlier this month shows it has been highly effective.
Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo was released from prison Monday on medical parole after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer. Human rights advocates say Liu’s tragic fate is representative of many others who have also fallen victim to China’s growing clampdown on civil society and dissent.
A year after witnessing the murder of his friend by a gang of farmers in Brazil’s agricultural heartland, indigenous activist Elson Gomes still fears for his life. Gomes also misses his friend, Clodiode Rodrigues was one of 61 land rights campaigners killed across Brazil last year, the highest level of violence since 2003. Gomes and Rodrigues are fighting for rights to their land.
Women’s rights groups have condemned Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s comments that schoolgirls who give birth should be banned from state schools. More than 55,000 Tanzanian schoolgirls have been expelled from school over the last decade for being pregnant. Experts warn that low education rates are tied to a lack of proper healthcare for mother and child, illiteracy and poverty.
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that President Trump’s “travel ban” can still go into effect for foreigners who lack a “bona fide relationship” with someone in the United States. Unless they can satisfy that requirement, this also includes a total ban on all refugees from everywhere in the world for 120 days. (UN Dispatch)
A factory fire in Lima, Peru, that killed four young people has drawn official and international attention to the sometimes deadly risk posed by the country’s use of forced labor, or slave labor. This tragedy, the International Labor Organization says, revealed that the Peruvian factory had operated in an abusive manner that “approaches modern forms of slavery such as forced labor, which affects millions of people around the world.”
The situation for the 20 million people at risk of famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria remains dire, warned the U.N.’s chief humanitarian. “Twenty million people remain at risk, and 10 million more could join them without sufficient funding and improved access,” U.N. humanitarian coordinator Stephen O’Brien warned.
Congolese authorities have identified 10 more mass graves in a region where the military and militia fighters accuse each other of summary executions and burials. The 10 new graves announced by the military on Monday bring to 52 the total number of such sites found in the Kasai region since the start of an insurrection last August by the Kamuina Nsapu militia which wants the withdrawal of military forces from the area.