10 FOCAL POINTS, 10 COUNTRIES WHERE INJUSTICES HAPPEN

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones.

With this section we want to tell the story of dramatic situation and the conflicts of 10 countries from where people are trying to escape with the hope to find a better life and a place where to live in freedom and peace.

WHAT AI DOES Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. We are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. Link to www.amnesty.it

WHAT“INSIEME SI PUÒ”  DOES  “Insieme si può…” (together we can) is a non-profit-making organisation and NGO. Through meetings in schools and groups of the civil society, it is committed to educating and spreading awareness of the great problems of underdevelopment, marginalization and conflicts. “Insieme si può…” operates in 20 countries of the Global South and in the local area; through development projects it supports those living in extreme poverty and provides food, water, school, health and it helps build a better future.
http://www.365giorni.org/

CONTEXT
In the first eight months of 2015, more than 350,000 people reached the EU in search of protection or a better life. More than 244,000 people have arrived on the Greek islands alone, almost 90% of whom have come from war-torn Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. This unprecedented refugee flow is the inevitable result of the worst global refugee crisis since World War II, with around 19.5 million refugees globally, 80% of whom are hosted in developing countries.

We face the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Millions of people are fleeing unthinkable violence and abuse in their home countries – from barrel bombing and gas attacks in Syria, to torture and enslavement in Eritrea.

We ask for those people and for those who suffers across the world because their rights have been denied a safe passage to protection in the Eu.

KNOW TO ACT: 10 COUNTRIES THAT NEED US
The Human Chain is divided into 10 sectors, named with 10 countries in which human rights are violated. Upon arrival of the Three Peaks, the day of the event, each participant will be assigned and accompanied by one of the sectors and will become part of the chain.

We want to tell you the story of these 10 countries where people like us, are victims of violence, barbaric attacks, repression, without any right, desperate for asalvation to exit from oblivion.

 

SYRIA

Syria’s internal armed conflict continued relentlessly through the year and saw both government forces and non-state armed groups commit extensive war crimes and gross human rights abuses with impunity. The civilians of the city of Aleppo undergo terrible human rights violations at the same level as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Many inhabitants are forced to live underground to flee from incessant aerial bombardment by government forces against the neighborhoods of opposition forces.

Since the beginning of the war around 220,000 people have been killed and 12.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria. Almost 7,6 million people are currently displaced and there are more than 4 million refugees from Syria around the world.
In April 2015 at least 85 attacks have been recorded. These attacks caused at least 110 civilian deaths. The government, however, denied that there were any civil victims. Furthermore, Amnesty International denounces the use of massive torture, arbitrary arrests and kidnapping that happens within government forces and the armed opposition groups. Amnesty International requests that each group involved in the conflict stops attacks against civilians, buildings and civilian structures. Amnesty International asks that they allow the entry of humanitarian aid in Aleppo and in all of Syria.

To read more about human rights around the world visit https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol10/0001/2015/en/

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/syria/

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MEXICO

There were new reports of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and torture in the context of violent crime and lack of accountability in the police and military. Impunity for human rights violations and ordinary crimes remained the norm. More than 22,000 people remained abducted, forcibly disappeared or missing, according to official records, including 43 students from Guerrero state. Search efforts for missing people were generally ineffective. Reports of torture and other ill-treatment continued to be widespread, as was the failure on the part of federal and state prosecutors to adequately investigate complaints. The Supreme Court strengthened legal obligations to exclude evidence obtained under torture. Many human rights violations continued to be attributed to soldiers and navy marines, who continued to be deployed widely to carry out law enforcement operations including combating organized crime.

Military jurisdiction over human rights violations committed by military personnel against civilians was abolished after decades of campaigning by victims and civil society organizations. Human rights defenders and journalists were harassed, threatened or killed. Some faced politically motivated criminal charges. Irregular migrants in transit faced the threat of murder, abduction, extortion, sexual violence and human trafficking; perpetrators were rarely brought to justice. Despite laws to combat violence against women, gender based violence was routine in many states. Development and resource exploitation projects in different parts of the country affecting Indigenous communities led to protests and demands for adequate consultation and consent.

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/americas/mexico/

 

NIGERIA

Crimes under international law and serious human rights violations and abuses were committed by both sides in the conflict between the Nigerian military and the armed group Boko Haram, which escalated during the year. Boko Haram increased its attacks on towns in the northeast of the country and captured major towns across three states. In response to the attacks by Boko Haram in the northeast of the country, in 2009 the Nigerian armed forces arrested at least 20,000 adults, young people and children, some of which were nine years old. They were often arrested because a single informer secretly denounced them. Most of people were arrested during the massive operation of “control” or in roundups. Almost nobody that was arrested was seen in front of a court and all were deprived of the fundamental protection of murder, of torture and of mistreatment. From July onwards Boko Haram captured and occupied more than 20 towns across Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, targeting and killing several thousand civilians in towns across the northeast, in areas under the group’s control, and in bomb attacks nationwide. During the attacks on the cities, Boko Haram abducts young girls and forces them to marry forcibly recruited men. They loot markets, stores, and private homes by targeting schools and other public buildings. Amnesty International that Boko Haram to put an end to all the killings of civilians and for the Nigerian government to take responsibility for all legal measures to guarantee the protection and the restoration of the security in the Northeast of the country.

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/nigeria/

 

ERITREA

In Eritrea last year severe restrictions were imposed on the freedom of expression and of association. Massive and severe violations in human rights were conducted by the controlling, the silencing, the exploiting and the enslaving of the population. Thousands of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners continued to be held in arbitrary detention, in harsh conditions. Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are common. Eritreans continued to flee the country in large numbers. In the 22 years of independence, Eritrea has become a state prison where any attempt of opposition is crushed and is punished with imprisonment and with torture.

The freedom of religious belief is only permitted if confessions are authorized and it does not extend to Evangelical Christians and to Pentecostals. Service in the military is obligatory and for a potentially unspecified time, often resulting in forced labor. Thousands of diverse political prisoners are often left to suffer in isolated prisons, in underground cells or in containments in the middle of the desert. Hundreds of families do not know where they are detained, nor do they know if these people are alive. Power of the country extends beyond its borders though criminalization of refugees, through the infiltration of spies and informants within the displacement, and through the retaliations against relatives who back at home. Amnesty International asks that the freedom of expression and association is guaranteed and that each form of torture and mistreatment is stopped immediately and is investigated. 

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/eritrea/

SOMALIA

Armed conflict continued between pro-government forces, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Islamist armed group al-Shabaab in southern and central Somalia. Pro-government forces continued an offensive to take control of key towns. Over a hundred thousand civilians were killed, injured or displaced by armed conflict and generalized violence during the year. All parties to the conflict were responsible for serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law, including AMISOM.

Armed groups continued to forcibly recruit people, including children, and to abduct, torture and unlawfully kill people; rape and other forms of sexual violence were widespread. Aid agencies’ access remained constrained by fighting, insecurity and restrictions imposed by parties to the conflict. Journalists and media workers were attacked and harassed. One journalist was killed. Perpetrators of serious human rights abuses continued to enjoy impunity.

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/somalia/

AFGHANISTAN

There was growing insecurity throughout the country in expectation of the planned withdrawal of 86,000 foreign troops in December, as the mandate of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) ended. The USA committed its troops to remain engaged in combat until the end of 2015. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that casualties among civilians not involved in hostilities in Afghanistan were at an all-time high. The Taliban and other armed insurgent groups were responsible for more than 74% of civilian casualties, with 9% attributed to pro-government forces. A further 12% of casualties occurred during ground engagement between pro-Afghan government and Taliban insurgents and could not be attributed to any group.

The remaining were as a result of the conflict. A lack of accountability in cases where civilians were killed or otherwise harmed unlawfully left many victims and their families without access to justice and reparation. During the year, the Parliament and the Ministry of Justice approved or amended a number of laws, including the Criminal Procedure Code, which barred family members of both victims and perpetrators of crimes from testifying. Since most gender-based violence was reported as happening within the family, this would have made successful prosecutions in such cases nearly impossible. The law was approved by both houses of parliament but was not signed and was rejected by then President Karzai following an outcry from national and international human rights organizations. 

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/asia-and-the-pacific/afghanistan/

CHINA

The authorities continued to severely restrict the right to freedom of expression. Activists and human rights defenders risked harassment and arbitrary detention. Torture and other ill-treatment remained widespread and access to justice was elusive for many. Ethnic minorities including Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians faced discrimination and increased security crackdown. Record numbers of workers went on strike demanding better pay and conditions. In November 2013, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in its Third Plenum issued a blueprint for deepening economic and social reforms, paving the way for modifications to family planning policies and China’s household registration system. The abolition of the Re-education Through Labour system was also announced in 2013. The Fourth Plenum in October 2014 focused on the rule of law.

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/asia-and-the-pacific/china/

BRAZIL

Brazil is a country characterized by huge economic and social inequalities, in particular for what concerns the distribution of income and land ownership. Despite the level of economic aid given to the neediest families by the government, in Brazil 21.4% of the population lives below the poverty line. There are 16 million absolute poor. Those who live in the favelas, the Brazilian slums, are now more than 12 million, that is 6% of the country’s population; in most cases, they have no access to services and decent sanitation. In recent years there has been an increase in social violence, which has been widely used by the police to crack down on demonstrations of political dissent; in 2014, on the occasion of the World Cup, violence was used against those who were peacefully demanding improvements in the health and education systems and respect for the rights of workers. Something critical is the situation of indigenous peoples, such as the Guarani-Kaiowá and Terena communities, who are confined in small areas, in which they live in precariousness and suffer from malnutrition and lack of safe water.

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/americas/brazil/

UGANDA

Uganda’s difficult social and economic conditions were determined by its long domestic instability, which lasted until 2009. Despite this, between 2000 and 2014 the GDP of Uganda continued to grow. However, there has been an increase in the disparity among different population groups and among regions of the country which are characterised by different levels of development. Large groups of the Ugandan population still suffer from the denial of social and economic rights and live in backwardness.

Currently, Uganda has a human development index of 0.456 (position no. 161) and 4 out of 10 Ugandans live below the poverty line. Poverty is particularly rooted in rural areas, where the majority of the people live and where the negative effects of climate change have a striking destructive impact.

Something which deserves particular attention is the Karamoja sub-region, unhappily known to be one of the most backward areas of the planet. According to the data, only 6.8% of the population below the age of 15 has completed primary school in Karamoja, and there are major disparities in access to education between males and females at all levels of education. Uganda’s acute malnutrition rate (13, 4%) greatly exceeds the alert threshold and only one in three has access to drinking water.

To read more about human rights around in this country: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/uganda/


IVORY COAST

From 2002 to 2011, the country experienced a period of great instability and civil war. Protracted conflict in the region has resulted in a considerable deterioration of human rights conditions, of the social fabric, infrastructure and economic conditions. The country ranks 171 out of 187 nations on the Human Development Index scale. The looting and destruction of healthcare facilities and schools represent some of the most burdensome legacies of the long period of instability. These facilities have become inaccessible to the majority of the population and many of them still remain unusable. This results in an alarmingly high level of illiteracy: in fact, one out of two Ivoirians cannot read or write, and the values of illiteracy are particularly high with regards to women and girls. This leaves a wide margin to the scourge of child labour (over 30%), which is also closely related to the cocoa trade. In fact, Ivory Coast is the world’s larger cocoa producer, and thousands of cocoa farmers are children. Cocoa workers do not get paid or receive paltry compensation, therefore the rural economy in the villages replenishes unemployment, poverty and internal tensions for the control of resources.

In terms of health, things are not better (the share of GDP invested in healthcare is less than 2%) and the Ivory Coast ranks among the ten countries which are less safe in terms of health for mothers and children. Because of backwardness, social exclusion and the lack of affirmation of basic social and economic rights, only 22% of the population have access to health services.