ICBL Condemns Libyan Land Mine Use

Nobel Peace Laureate Campaign Condemns Libyan Antipersonnel Mine Use

(Geneva) March 31, 2011 — The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) strongly condemns the reported use of antipersonnel mines by the Libyan Armed Forces in recent fighting with rebels in eastern Libya.

On March 28,more than 50 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines were discovered near power pylons outside the town of Ajdabiya by electrical technicians. A Human Rights Watch investigation reported that the mines had recently been laid. The Libyan Armed Forces controlled the area from 17-27 March.

“The use of these inherently indiscriminate weapons poses a great threat to civilians,” said Kasia Derlicka, ICBL Director. “Landmines must not be used by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances.”
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Europe: states violate the basic rights of migrants

Research on migrants identified destitute as a consequence of exclusionary state policies

(Brussels) March 28, 2011 – Throughout Europe thousands of migrants are deprived access to education, healthcare, housing and social welfare services, and employment opportunities. Tuesday Jesuit Refugee Service will present first-hand evidence of how government policies directly contribute to the destitution of migrants on the continent.

The briefing, held at Les Ateliers des Tanneurs, Brussels at 09:10, will feature three key speakers:

· Mr Simon Tesfamichael, an Eritrean refugee, will speak about his experiences of destitution in Italy.

· Ms Louise Zanré, JRS UK director, will describe how state policies force migrants into destitution, based on her daily contact with destitute migrants in London.

· Mr Stefan Kessler, JRS Europe senior policy and advocacy officer, will make policy recommendations based on the 2010 report, Living in Limbo, on migrant destitution in 13 European countries.

“The current migrant crisis in Lampedusa is an indicator of Europe’s larger inability to uphold the most basic rights of migrants. If EU states are unable to protect migrant’s rights in the short term, they risk fostering destitution in the long run. Destitution is a downward spiral of human indignity. Once migrants become stuck, it’s difficult and expensive to get them out of this situation”, says Mr Kessler.
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Senator: “no excuse for continuing to use cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians”

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act

As printed in the Congressional Record on March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011

MR. LEAHY.  Mr. President, on March 10th, my friend from California, Senator Feinstein, and I introduced S. 558, the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2011.  It is identical to the bill that she and I introduced last year, and similar to those in prior years.

Cluster munitions, like any weapon, have some military utility.  But anyone who has seen the indiscriminate devastation cluster munitions cause over a wide area understands the unacceptable threat they pose to civilians.  These are not the laser guided weapons the Pentagon showed destroying their targets during the invasion of Baghdad.

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Alarming Levels of Sexual Violence in Haiti’s Camps for Displaced People

CHRGJ Survey Suggests Alarming Levels of Sexual Violence in Haiti’s IDP Camps
Preliminary Results Substantiate Calls for Immediate Preventive Measures

(New York) March 16, 2011 — An alarmingly high proportion of households surveyed in Haiti’s camps for the internally displaced (IDP) have been victimized by sexual violence since the earthquake, said the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) in a briefing paper <http://www.chrgj.org/projects/docs/Haiti%20Sexual%20Violence%20March%202011.pdf>  released today.

The Center—based at NYU School of Law—released the paper just days before Haitians are set to return to the polls to vote in a Presidential run-off.  The paper makes public the preliminary findings of its survey on gender-based violence and access to food and water, conducted in January 2011 in several IDP camps in Port-au-Prince. The findings add weight to what human rights groups and victims groups have been saying for several months now: that sexual violence and the fear of sexual violence are common in the camps and that significant changes in security and access to basic resources are required.

“Since the earthquake, women’s groups have been receiving daily reports of sexual assault occurring while women engage in ordinary activities, such as walking to gather water or washing in the morning,” said Margaret Satterthwaite, a Faculty Director at CHRGJ and the Principal Investigator for the survey. “The results of this survey amplify these reports through empirical data and suggest that immediate action is needed to prevent further assaults.”

Close to a million people continue to live in tents or makeshift shelters in IDP camps throughout earthquake-affected zones of the country, the majority concentrated in the densely populated capital city of Port-au-Prince. In January 2011, CHRGJ—along with its Global Justice Clinic—conducted a survey of 365 households in four IDP camps in Port-au-Prince. The survey is one component of a larger CHRGJ study assessing the links between gender-based violence and access to food and water. The project responds to community organizations’ concern with increasing sexual violence in the post-earthquake camps.

The survey’s most significant results are as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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12th Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty: The U.S. Should Join Now

Washington, D.C.—As the Mine Ban Treaty celebrates its twelfth anniversary today, March 1, the United States should decide to join the treaty without delay and ban antipersonnel landmines forever, the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL) said.

The Obama administration initiated a comprehensive interagency review of its landmine policy in late 2009. “U.S. citizens and other campaigners from around the world have been calling on the U.S. to join the Mine Ban Treaty since it was negotiated in 1997,” said Zach Hudson, USCBL Coordinator. “Since the policy review began this outcry has only intensified. The administration has received letters of support for the Mine Ban Treaty from 68 Senators, NGO leaders, key NATO allies, 16 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, victims of U.S. landmines, and countless concerned Americans. Enough is enough—it’s time to join.”

By joining the treaty, the U.S. would help send a clear signal that all types of antipersonnel mines are unacceptable weapons and would ensure that these weapons are never used again by the U.S. or anyone else. Joining would also encourage other remaining outliers to accede and strengthen international security.

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