10,000 People a Day Must be Freed to End Slavery by 2030 by IPS, 09/30/19


“Six years after initiating my term as Special Rapporteur, it is sobering to say that the way to freedom from slavery remains long in spite of the legal abolition of slavery worldwide,” said UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery, Urmila Bhoola.

“Clearly, preventing and addressing slavery is not as simple as declaring it to be illegal but much more can and must be done to end slavery by 2030.” According to the International Labour Organization, over 40 million are enslaved around the world. While presenting her latest report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Bhoola pointed out that servitude will likely increase as the world faces rapid changes in the workplace, environmental degradation, migration and demographic shifts.

“Slavery is economically clearly unprofitable; it leads to broader public health costs, productivity losses, negative environmental externalities and lost income,”

Urmila Bhoola, UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery, further indicated that over 64 percent of those enslaved work in the private sector, a quarter of global servitude is of children, and a chocking 98 percent of enslaved women and girls have endured sexual violence.

Shakira to perform at upcoming Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show, 09/30/2019

Super Bowl

Photo Credit: Victoria WIll/Invision/AP

Shakira can be on a hiatus from her music career, but when she makes a comeback and hits the stage, her concerts sell out like hotcakes. Her recent El Dorado World Tour is perfect proof of that, marking it the first time Shak went on tour in seven years, where she visited her fans around the world in Europe, the U.S. and Latin America with more than 50 shows.

Not only does the Colombian singer serenade her fans, singing everything from her classic ‘90s pop-rock ballads to her English-language bops to her reggaeton smashes, but she also knows how to steal the spotlight with her energetic dance moves, sparkly outfits and powerhouse vocals.

It is a no-brainer that she will deliver an amazing performance when she takes the stage as one of the headliners for the upcoming Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show, taking place Feb. 2, 2020, at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.

Turkish attack on Syria endangers a remarkable democratic experiment by the Kurds by James L. Gelvin for the Conversation, 10/13/19

Turkey and Syria

Photo Credit: AP Photo

Turkey's attack on Kurdish–run territory in northern Syria will likely snuff out a radical experiment in self–government that is unlike anything I have seen in more than 30 years studying the Middle East. In a surprise Oct. 6 statement, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw its troops from northern Syria.

Approximately 1,000 American soldiers had been stationed in that region as a buffer separating Kurdish forces – who had been working with the Americans in the fight against the Islamic State – from Turkish troops. Turkey feared that the Syrian Kurds would link up with Turkey's Kurdish minority who have demanded autonomy or independence.

On Oct. 9, the Turkish military began its assault, pummeling Kurdish-held territory with artillery and airstrikes. Kurds are rapidly evacuating the region and at least 24 people have been killed in northern Syria. Retaliatory strikes from Syria have killed civilians in southern Turkey. According to Turkish president Recep Erdogan, Turkey's goal is to create a buffer zone separating Syria’s Kurds from the Turkish border. But his country's attack will do much more than that. If successful, it will destroy the most full-fledged democracy the Middle East has yet to see.

Stepping Up: Refugee Education in Crisis by UNHCR, 9/8/2019

Refugee, Youth

Hina Shikhani, 21, an Afghan refugee, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Peshawar in Pakistan. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters

Of the 7.1 million refugee children of school age, 3.7 million - more than half - do not go to school, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, says in a report released today. The report, Stepping Up: Refugee Education in Crisis, shows that as refugee children grow older, the barriers preventing them from accessing education become harder to overcome: only 63 per cent of refugee children go to primary school, compared to 91 per cent globally. Around the world, 84 per cent of adolescents get a secondary education, while only 24 per cent of refugees get the opportunity.

“School is where refugees are given a second chance,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “We are failing refugees by not giving them the opportunity to build the skills and knowledge they need to invest in their futures.”

The steep decline in refugee enrolment between primary and secondary school is the direct result of lack of funding for refugee education. As a result, UNHCR is calling on governments, the private sector, educational organizations and donors to give their financial backing to a new initiative aimed at kick-starting secondary education for refugees.


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