Preventing sexual violence means ending impunity

(United Nations) April 27, 2010 –Fresh from her visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which she described as the “rape capital of the world,” a senior United Nations official today urged the Security Council to make the prevention of sexual violence a top priority, and stressed the need to end impunity for the scourge.

“Women have no rights, if those who violate their rights go unpunished,” Margot Wallström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, told the 15-member body.

Ending impunity for sexual violence is a critical part of the Council’s broader mandate to shepherd situations “from might to right, from rule of war to rule of law, from bullets to ballots,” she noted.

“If women continue to suffer sexual violence, it is not because the law is inadequate to protect them, but because it is inadequately enforced.” Read the rest of this entry »

Secretary-General seeks to bolster UN in Haiti

(United Nations) April 27, 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the Security Council to endorse a rapid strengthening of the technical capacity of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to enable it provide better support to recovery efforts following January’s earthquake in the Caribbean island nation.

In his report to the Council, the Secretary-General noted that much of the required “surge” can be achieved by scaling up activities within the current mandate, while a few areas of the mission should provide greater technical, operational and logistical assistance to Haiti’s Government and State institutions.

“Whereas before the earthquake, the mission was entering a period of consolidation, a surge effort is now needed for the next 18 months to two years, in which the mission will help the Government preserve the gains of stabilization to date and enable a smooth transition to long-term reconstruction,” Mr. Ban said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Congressman heads to Arizona to stand with immigrants

(Chicago) April 23, 2010 – U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) announced that he would travel to Phoenix, Arizona to join immigrant and Latino leaders at a rally at the State Capitol on Sunday. He also reacted today to remarks delivered by the President of the United States at a Rose Garden naturalization ceremony where 24 immigrant servicemen and women were sworn in as U.S. citizens. The President addressed the Arizona state legislative measure (SB 1070) that Gov. Jan Brewer will either veto, sign, or allow to become law by Saturday afternoon and the President addressed comprehensive immigration reform.

The following is a statement from Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez:

We held a press conference this week at the U.S. Capitol, with my colleague from Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, calling the nation’s attention to the serious civil rights catastrophe that Republicans in Arizona are unleashing on immigrants and all Latinos in the state. Now the national spotlight is focused squarely on Arizona and people from all over the country are making their way to Phoenix to stand up with and stand up for immigrants and Latinos in the state.

I am going there to let the people of Arizona know that they are not alone in fighting against bigotry and hatred and thousands will join me this weekend at the State Capitol. I have not seen the Latino community nationwide react in such a forceful way to an attack on immigrants since 2006, just after House Republicans passed a measure to criminalize and deport all undocumented immigrants and their families. It is remarkable how citizens and non-citizens, faith leaders, labor unions, and community-based groups from across the country have responded to the call to help defend the people of Arizona from the short-sighted political stunts of their own legislature playing election year politics with people’s lives and families.
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World Social Forum seeks translators

(Quito, Ecuador) April 22, 2010 – The World Social Forum on Migration is an event that takes part as component of the World Social Forum, and constitutes a space of democratic debate of ideas, reflection, proposal formulation, experience exchange and social movement articulation. The Forum becomes the meeting point for NGOs, networks and other civil society organizations that oppose the neoliberal scheme and back the recognition of civil, political, economical, social and cultural rights of migrants, IDPs, refugees and stateless people.

WSFM

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Ecuador to host World Social Forum on Migrations

The World Social Forum on Migrations (WSFM) is an event that falls in line with the World Social Forums, which is a space for democratic debate of ideas, reflection, formulation of proposals, exchange of experiences and articulation of social movements , networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations that are opposed to neo-liberal globalization and the restriction of granting citizenship and civil rights, political, economic, social and cultural rights of migrants, displaced, refugees and stateless persons.

Ecuador is the site of the fourth edition of WSFM, in Quito from October 8 through 10, 2010. Thus, the social movements and networks on five continents that are part of the WSFM’s International Committee hope that the path traced by the Ecuadorian state towards the realization of their constitutional and legislative developments is reinforced by the process of the IV WSFM.

The organization of the IV World Social Forum on Migration, in Quito, has been delegated to the Migration, Communication and Development Plan, whose role as Technical Secretariat of the Forum is to form a National Preparatory Committee, among civil society organizations in Ecuador, to coordinate actions towards the IV WSFM.

World Social Forum

If you wish to participate in the Fourth World Social Forum on Migrations 2010, you register as:

PARTICIPANT: Any person who is interested in the contents of the Forum may participate individually, or if he/she belongs to an organization that has already filled its two seats as delegates.

DELEGATE: In order to participate as a delegate a person must represent an organization or social movement of immigrants or refugees, an organization that develops projects related to immigration or refuge, or an organization that has any link with migration flows.

The register fee for an organization allows a maximum of two delegates; if an organization wishes to register a third member, it must be done as participants.

OBSERVER: The Charter of the WSF principles establishes that political party representations and military organizations are not allowed to participate. Political leaders, representatives of political organizations or government officials may participate as observers.

Learn more and then  register here.

Cardinal: Arizona immigration law is ‘retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless’

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Mahony has penned an article both elegant and blistering in response to recent anti-immigrant legislation passed in Arizona.

The Arizona legislature just passed the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law [SB 1070, awaiting the expected signature of Gov. Jan Brewer]. The tragedy of the law is its totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources. That is not only false, the premise is nonsense.

What led the Arizona legislature to pass such a law is so obvious to all of us who have been working for federal comprehensive immigration reform: the present immigration system is completely incapable of balancing our nation’s need for labor and the supply of that labor. We have built a huge wall along our southern border, and have posted in effect two signs next to each other. One reads, “No Trespassing,” and the other reads “Help Wanted.” The ill-conceived Arizona law does nothing to balance our labor needs.


Read Cardinal’s Mahony’s full article here. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA agrees with Cardinal Mahony that our focus should not be on exclusion, but on “passing a federal comprehensive immigration law which is forward-looking and which will help balance our need for adequate labor forces in the coming years.”

LA Times: Arizona’s anti-immigrant bill a reminder of fascism

Last week, Arizona lawmakers passed a strict anti-immigrant bill (SB 1070) that makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper paperwork in Arizona. The law would require police officers, if they have “reasonable suspicion” that someone is undocumented, to ask for the person’s documents.

Arizona lawmakers passed anti-immigration legislation that is unique in its stringency and harshness. The bill would strongly encourage police officers to engage in racial profiling by ordering them to check the status of people they merely suspect – suspect – of being in the U.S. illegally. Even legal immigrants, in a move that harks back to fascist Europe, would be required to carry their papers at all times or risk arrest.

(Read the Los Angeles Times editorial about “A Hostile Arizona.”)

“Alto Arizona!” is a targeted call to action that is asking opponents of AZ SB 1070 to contact Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) to ask her to veto this bill!

The passage of SB 1070 by the House of Representatives in Arizona will have chilling repercussions if signed into law by Governor Brewer. The bill dramatically expands police powers to stop, question and detain individuals for not having proper identification, a move that will instigate racial profiling and fear and driving a wedge between groups.

Click here to Take Action! Urge the Arizona Governor to Veto the Bill.