Indigenous Peoples Find A New Dialogue Forum

By R. Nastranis | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

ROME (IDN) – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, has opened a new chapter in its longstanding engagement with indigenous peoples, majority of whom live in rural areas and face the dual challenges of poverty and marginalization. They were offered an important platform of dialogue at the first meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD.

Upsurge in Support for Death Penalty Abolition

By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) – There are miles and miles to go before capital punishment is at last accepted as a remnant of the gory past and abolished. But indications are that it is slowly on its way out. Amnesty International has welcomed an upsurge in global support for abolition of the death penalty, after the UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

In the vote on December 20, the fourth such vote by the plenary session of the UNGA since 2007, 111 states voted for the resolution – an increase of two from the last vote in 2010. There were 41 votes against, with 34 abstentions.

The Coming Paradigm Shift in Migrant Labour

By Murray Hunter* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

KANGAR, Malaysia (IDN) – Late last month, 171 Chinese national bus drivers who were employed by the Singapore Government-controlled bus and underground railway company (SMRT) took industrial action by staging a two day walkout. The bus drivers were protesting their relatively lower wages vis-à-vis other foreign workers doing the same job, as well as the poor sanitary state of their accommodations.

This was reportedly the first strike in Singapore since 1986.

Italy Faulted for Xenophobia and Ignoring Human Rights

By Jaya Ramachadran
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

STRASBOURG (IDN) -The 47-nation Council of Europe has faulted Italy for “the presence of racist and xenophobic political discourse” targeting Roma and Sinti, and the protection of the human rights of migrants, including asylum seekers.

The Council’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, says a racist and xenophobic “type of discourse is a powerful vector of anti-Gypsyism in Italian society and as a result, it also offsets the benefits of social inclusion work for Roma and Sinti carried out around the country.”

Faith Injects Hope in Crisis Situations – UN Learns

By Karina Boeckmann
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

BERLIN (IDN) – Whether it goes down in the history of the United Nations as a milestone or not, the world body’s “refugee agency” UNHCR has taken a significant step by acknowledging that when natural disasters and violent conflicts uproot entire communities and hope is slipping away, faith is the last straw at which the displaced and the forlorn clutch. [GERMAN] [JAPANESE]

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