Human rights

Biowatch SA: New Study Shows Flaws in GM Crop Safety Claims

Friday, 16 March 2007

For the first time, a genetically modified (GM) product cleared as safe food for humans and animals has shown signs of toxic effects in internal organs, according to a study published in a scientific peer-review journal this week.

The study, by Greenpeace International and an independent group of scientists, analyses safety test data submitted by Monsanto when the company was seeking authorisation to market its GM maize variety MON863 in the European Union.

Jolie's Humanitarian Heartache

The Star, 13 March 2007.

Angelina Jolie has revealed that her first two years working for the United Nations left her in tears and overwhelmed.

Jolie,  the goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has visited 30 refugee camps in the past six years in Africa Pakistan and Cambodia and argues that she doesn't care about people who described her efforts as celebrity tourism.

Handbook: Human Rights-Based Programming

dgCommunities, 13 March 2007.

The ‘Human Rights-Based Programming’ is a 38-page handbook that can help turn the concept of a 'human rights-based approach' into reality on the ground.

Produced by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), the handbook is a conceptual framework and methodological tool for ensuring that human rights principles are reflected in policies and national development frameworks.

CIVICUS Slams Indian Civil Society Bill

CIVICUS, 12 March 2007.

CIVICUS has made a submission to the Indian Government demanding that the country drop its controversial Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Bill (FCRB).

The organisation argues that the bill, which the Indian Government claims will prevent foreign contributions from being used for anti-national and terrorist activities, will block funding for legitimate and valuable civil society work.

Book: The Shame of War: Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict

‘The Shame of War: Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict’ is a reference book and photo essay of portraits and testimonies of the sexual violence women suffer when men go to war.

Launched by the IRIN, the book examines the scope and nature of this violence and looks at the different ways the international community is addressing sexual violence against women and girls during and after conflict.

To view the book, click here (PDF File).

SA Facing Human Trafficking Problem

IOL, 12 March 2007.

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the University of Pretoria Centre for Child Law (UPCCL) are concerned about the number of children trafficked into South Africa from central and eastern African counties.

The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) says that South Africa is currently facing the human trafficking problem because there are no laws outlawing this exercise. As a result of this oversight, there are thousands of women and children brought into the country every year.

Rights Organisations Oppose Death Sentence of Iraqi Women

IPS, 12 March 2007.

Rights organisations are up in arms concerning the death sentence of three women accused of joining the Iraqi insurgency movement and supposedly engaging in terrorism.

Various right-based lawyers have expressed strong criticism of the three young women’s trials, saying they were "unfair" and violated international conventions. They argue that the accused were denied the right of legal defence, one of the accused lawyer states that he was barred from representing the three in court. 

Fights against Women Abuse Still Strong

IPS, 12 March 2007.

Although Thursday, 8 March 2007 was International Women’s Day, the fight against cultural norms that perpetuate violence against women has not been won in South Africa. 


Sindiswa Ngcongco of the Nissa Institute for Women’s Development says that, "Domestic violence is widespread in South Africa." She points to some cultural norms that allow for the husband to ‘discipline’ their wives and family members through physical abuse.

Zimbabwe at Cross Roads

International Crisis Group, 8 March 2007.

The International Crisis Groups has recently released a new report titled, Zimbabwe: An End to the Stalemate, which examines the deadlock in Zimbabwe and argues that the time is ripe for a chance to resolve the situation in the country.

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