Sonke Gender Justice Network calls on men to join 'ONE BILLION RISING CAMPAIGN' to stop violence against women and girls
- Published on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:21
- Written by Patrick Madden
On February 14, South Africa will be part of a global movement for change - ONE BILLION RISING, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Sonke Gender Justice and partners will take to a rooftop overlooking Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, and welcome dawn rising on Table Mountain in Cape Town, to express their outrage, demand change, and RISE against injustice, demanding an end to violence against women.
A United Nations panel should use its influence by adopting a new plan to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, Save the Children says.
The High Level Panel – co-chaired by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and British Prime Minister David Cameron – will meet later this month to discuss a new system to replace the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015.
Save the Children’s new report Ending Poverty in Our Generation outlines an ambitious new development framework which, it says, can help all countries end extreme poverty in the next 20 years. This is the first time that an organisation proposes specific new targets to replace the MDGs.
“We have an historic opportunity to put an end to the devastating cycle of poverty. By committing to these ambitious but achievable new targets, we really can become the generation that ends extreme poverty forever,” said Save the Children International’s Chief Executive, Jasmine Whitbread.
The MDGs were eight international targets adopted by every United Nations member state in 2000 with commitments to tackle global ills such as extreme poverty, child deaths and a lack of free education. Progress has been mixed, with some developing countries on track to achieve all targets and others looking unlikely to meet any.
Ms Whitbread added: “The Millennium Development Goals have lifted 600 million people out of poverty and helped 56 million more children to go to school. But there were gaps in that framework that must be addressed and we call on the UN Panel to commit to new targets to secure a prosperous, sustainable future for the world's poorest children.”
The report says the end of extreme poverty is now in sight because of remarkable progress made in improving the lives of millions over the last two decades. For example, the number of under-five deaths worldwide declined from nearly 12 million in 1990 to under 7 million in 2011, and an additional 56 million children enrolled in primary school from 1999 to 2009.
The report warns of three major threats to the process:
- A failure to tackle inequality in the framework will mean progress will be too slow and some groups will be left behind.
- A desire to cram too much into the framework leading to a lowest common denominator outcome.
- A fragmented and already fractious political process at UN level. A copy of “Ending Poverty in our Generation – Save the Children’s Vision for a Post 2015 Framework” is available for download.
The Global Alliance against child sexual abuse online is a joint initiative primarily from the EU and the US reaching out to third countries.
The Global Alliance builds upon the successful work of the EU-US Working Group on cyber-security and cyber-crime, where the fight against child online abuse has been identified as a key priority.
The Alliance was endorsed by Member States in the Council conclusions on 7 June 2012, and by the US in the EU-US Joint Statement on 21 June 2012 –IP/12/680.
The launching conference will take place on 5 December 2012 in Brussels. Experts from governments, police and judiciary, NGOs, Industry or academia will discuss on different targets to pursue in order to protect children from sexual abuse online. Ministers from the participating countries will have the opportunity to express their endorsement of the Alliance.
Who will participate in the Global Alliance?
To date, Ministers from 48 countries are willing to participate in the Global Alliance:
Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vietnam.
How will the Global Alliance work?
Authorities, mainly Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of countries joining the Global Alliance commit to pursue a number of policy targets. These include efforts to identify and protect child victims, investigate cases and prosecute offenders, increase awareness of risks for children online, and reduce the availability of child pornography online. They will aim to reach operational goals and undertake specific action within their jurisdiction for that purpose. Specific actions, their extent and content, will be decided by participant countries, in accordance with their national situation.
To make commitments meaningful, a light monitoring mechanism would be set up. First, Ministers will take stock of existing actions at national level and announce what actions they will be undertaking in the near future. Then, two years later, they will report on the implementation of those actions, and gather again to look back, assess progress and decide what type of additional actions to take.
Secretarial functions to collect the national reports, make an overview on progress and organise regular conferences should be borne by participants on a rotating basis. European Commission services have volunteered to conduct those functions in the first round, and the US is willing to take the second round, followed by other participants.
What are countries in the Global Alliance expected to do?
Ministers from participating countries should commit to pursue a number of policy targets and operational goals (e.g. enhancing investigations). They would then decide what specific actions to take to achieve them, on the basis of their domestic situation (e.g. set up Joint Investigation Teams, participate in the Virtual Global Task Force).
Ultimately they are expected to take steps at national level to follow-up on those actions. This implementation part, under the responsibility of each Minister and each country, is the essence of the Global Alliance.
Will the Global Alliance overlap with other international initiatives, like the Virtual Global Task Force?
The Global Alliance is an initiative aiming to sustain political momentum at national level to improve the fight against child sexual abuse online. It is different, but complementary to other existing international initiatives.
Specific cooperation schemes, like Interpol or the Virtual Global Task Force are very effective tools through which participating countries can achieve the goals of the Global Alliance. Some of those goals are particularly topical, like increasing the number of identified victims or improve joint efforts to investigate and prosecute offenders. The Virtual Global Task Force can be a privileged channel to achieve them.
In turn, higher priority at national level for the fight against child sexual abuse online, deriving from participation in the Global Alliance, is likely to improve resources, legislation and cooperation of national forces with Interpol or the Virtual Global Task Force.
NEWTOWN, Conn. — A vigil Friday night for the victims of a school massacre in western Connecticut brought out hundreds of community members, including some parents who were struggling with mixed emotions after their own children survived the rampage.
With the church filled to capacity, hundreds spilled outside, some of them holding hands in circles and saying prayers. Others lit prayer candles and sang "Silent Night."
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was among the speakers at the service inside the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic church.
"Many of us today and in the coming days will rely on what we have been taught and what we believe, that there is faith for a reason," Malloy said.
The residents were gathered to mourn those killed Friday, when a man killed his mother in their home and then opened fire inside the elementary school where she taught, massacring 26 people, including 20 children, as youngsters cowered in fear to the sound of gunshots reverberating through the building and screams echoing over the intercom.
The 20-year-old killer, carrying at least two handguns, committed suicide at the school, bringing the death toll to 28, authorities said.
At the vigil, the priest said the altar holds 26 candles, all of which were lit in memory of the victims. Lyrics of the last hymn of the ceremony rang out: "I will raise him up on eagle's wings."
The parish priest, Robert Weiss, said he spent much of Friday with victims of the families but he could not give them more answers about what happened.
Strategies for talking with your kids about the bad stuff that happens in the world.
By Sasha Emmon
With the tragic story of a mass shooting in Connecticut flashing on the news this morning, parents may find themselves awkwardly fielding questions from their kids. How do you explain that scary events do occur while still making your children feel safe?
We talked to Dr. Paul Coleman, author of How to Say It to Your Child When Bad Things Happen, to find out the best ways to talk to kids about disturbing images and events.
Wait until they're older. Until around age 7, Dr. Coleman suggests only addressing the tough stuff if kids bring it up first. "They might see it on TV or hear about it at school (or heaven forbid even witness it), and then you have to deal with it. But younger children might not be able to handle it well, says Dr. Coleman.
Keep it black and white. Yes, the world can be a cruel place, but little kids, well, can't handle the truth."Younger kids need to be reassured that this isn't happening to them and won't happen to them," says Dr. Coleman. Parents may feel like they're lying, since no one can ever be 100% sure of what the future holds, but probability estimates are not something small kids can grasp, and won't comfort them.
Ask questions. Don't assume you know how they feel. Instead, get at their understanding of what happened. "They might be afraid -- or just curious. You have to ascertain that by asking things like 'What did you hear? What do you think?'" says Dr. Coleman. "If they are scared, ask what they're afraid of - don't assume you know. They could be using twisted logic, like they see a building collapse on TV and think it's Mommy's office building. Correct any misconceptions, and then offer assurance."
Don't label feelings as wrong. Let them know that their feelings make sense, and that it's ok to feel whatever they're feeling. Never make them feel bad about being scared.
Use it as a teaching moment. Talking about bad things can lead to discussions about how to help others, and gives parents an opportunity to model compassion. Talk about donating to a relief organization, or make the message even more personal. "You can say, 'It makes me think of Mrs. Smith in a wheelchair down the road - maybe we should make her a pot roast,'" says Dr. Coleman.
When Tragedy Affects Someone Your Kids Know
Sometimes tragedy strikes closer to home, and there's no way to shield your kids. If you're dealing with the death of a friend or family member, be truthful about it, but offer some separation between what happened and what they fear might happen. "Say 'Grandma was very old and very sick, but I'm not,'" says Dr. Coleman. "Distinguish yourself clearly from that person so your child can rest comfortably knowing Mommy's not going anywhere."
“Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children” said Albert Camus, Nobel Laureate, at a Dominican monastery in 1948. He called on our responsibility as human beings “if not to reduce evil, at least not to add to it” and “to refuse to consent to conditions which torture innocents.” It is time for a critical mass of Americans to refuse to consent to the killing of children by gun violence. Read more at the Children’s Defense Fund website.
NEW YORK, 29 November 2012 – Following reports by Human Rights Watch and others this week that Syrian children are being killed and maimed by cluster bombs and used as fighters and guards, UNICEF renews its plea to all parties in this conflict that children be protected at all times.
“It is more than disturbing – it is outrageous and unacceptable to see the rights of children being violated in these ways,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “The longer this goes on, the more lasting the damage to children, to their future and thus the future of Syria itself.”
UNICEF is working in Syria and four neighbouring countries to deliver essential needs and supplies to hundreds of thousands of children and family members.
For further information, please contact:
Sarah Crowe, Spokesperson for the Executive Director,
Tel + 1 212 326 7206 / Mobile + 1 646 209 1590,
Peter Smerdon, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 303 7984 / Mobile: + 1 917 213 5188,
Simon Ingram, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa,
Tel + 962 79 590 4740,
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