The Human Consciousness Now...Our World in the Midst of Becoming...to What? Observe, contemplate Now.

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By Lyse Comins
Our voices must be heard and listened to – now and in the future, say child labour survivors and activists at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in Durban Badaku Marandi (India, survivor), Rajesh Jatav (India, survivor), Selimatha Dziedzorm Salifu (Ghana, survivor), Divin Ishimwe (Burundi activist), Esther Gomani (Malawi, activist), Rebekka Nghilalulwa (Namibia, activist, representative of the 100 million March). Credit: Cecilia Russell/IPS
Our voices must be heard and listened to – now and in the future, say child labour survivors and activists at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in Durban Badaku Marandi (India, survivor), Rajesh Jatav (India, survivor), Selimatha Dziedzorm Salifu (Ghana, survivor), Divin Ishimwe (Burundi activist), Esther Gomani (Malawi, activist), Rebekka Nghilalulwa (Namibia, activist, representative of the 100 million March). Credit: Cecilia Russell/IPS

Our voices must be heard and listened to – now and in the future, say child labour survivors and activists at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in Durban Badaku Marandi (India, survivor), Rajesh Jatav (India, survivor), Selimatha Dziedzorm Salifu (Ghana, survivor), Divin Ishimwe (Burundi activist), Esther Gomani (Malawi, activist), Rebekka Nghilalulwa (Namibia, activist, representative of the 100 million March). Credit: Cecilia Russell/IPS

DURBAN, May 20 2022 (IPS) - Governments of the world must focus on providing quality free education and prosecuting corrupt officials and people who siphon state and donor funds as crucial steps towards taking decisive action to fight child labour across the globe.

These were among the diverse opinions of child labour survivors and young activists in reaction to the Durban Call to Action to eradicate the practice at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in Durban. Hundreds of delegates, including world leaders in business, trade unions and civil society organisations, attended the conference, which ran in the city from May 15 to 20, 2022. Sessions and panel discussions highlighted topics from agriculture, climate change and global supply chains and how these sectors and issues contribute to child labour.

Speaking during the closing ceremony on Friday, International Organisation of Employers vice president for Africa, Jacqueline Mugo,  highlighted the salient points of the 11-page Durban Call to Action.

“The Durban Call to Action is a comprehensive action plan. Employers fully support this plan,” Mugo said.

The Durban Call to Action aims to:

“It is in our hearts to make this crucial turning point happen. We must not fail the children of the world. This implementation of the Durban call will largely be the work of an African who will take up leadership ILO later this year, so we have no reason to fail. We are deeply committed to work for its full implementation,” Mugo said.

Togolese diplomat Gilbert Houngbo ILO Director-General (elected) takes up his new position on October 1, 2022, strategically positioning him to lead the fight against child labour globally.

“This conference is breaking new ground. Let us recall that 160 million children are in child labour, half of which are involved in hazardous work that puts their physical and mental health at risk. We must not forget that behind every number there is a girl, there is a boy like any other who wants to learn, who wants to play, who wants to be cared for and to grow up and be able to get a good job as adults. They are denied the most basic rights to protection. It is intolerable and, quite frankly, morally unacceptable,” Houngbo said.

According to the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) and UNICEF’s latest statistics released in 2020, highlighted at the conference, at least 160 million children are now involved in child labour, a surge of 8.4 million in just four years.

(Read)NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: INTER PRESS SERVICE
May 19,2022 1:18 AM
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Technology used to trace the origin and price of consumer goods to ensure farmers earn fair profits could easily be adapted as a tool to fight child labour Fair Trade living wage and income lead Isa Miralles told delegates at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour. Miralles told a panel discussion […]
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With a strong commitment from governments, businesses, labour and consumers, the scourge of child labour can be eliminated, says Dr Joni Musabayana, Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Pretoria, South Africa. Speaking to IPS in an exclusive interview at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in Durban, Musabayana was […]
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The writers are Deputy Executive Directors of the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
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Global goals to eradicate child labour will not be achieved without a breakthrough in Africa, where most of the world’s 160 million children entrapped in child labour work in rural regions, mostly in agriculture with their families. This is why the “Durban Call to Action” to eradicate child labour, spearheaded by the African Union (AU), […]
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“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to eliminate child labour.” So said Dennis Sinyolo, Director of Education International’s African Regional Office in Accra, Ghana adapting liberation icon and late South African president Nelson Mandela’s famous quote about how education can change the world. Sinyolo was participating in a themed discussion on education […]
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By Baher Kamal
“The good news is that human decisions are the largest contributors to disaster risk, so we have the power to substantially reduce the threats posed to humanity, and especially the most vulnerable among us” Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS
“The good news is that human decisions are the largest contributors to disaster risk, so we have the power to substantially reduce the threats posed to humanity, and especially the most vulnerable among us” Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

“The good news is that human decisions are the largest contributors to disaster risk, so we have the power to substantially reduce the threats posed to humanity, and especially the most vulnerable among us” Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

MADRID, May 20 2022 (IPS) - It is often said that a pessimistic person is an optimistic but well-informed person. Here, a good number of people may believe that human wit and inventiveness are capable of facing both the current and the looming disasters, like the impact of climate change, for instance.

Others, instead, may think that such human ingenuity will once more address the symptoms rather than the causes provoking them. Thus, they would be right to want to be informed and aware of the root causes of such disasters in order to push for eradicating them.

“By deliberately ignoring risk and failing to integrate it in decision making, the world is effectively bankrolling its own destruction. Critical sectors, from government to development and financial services, must urgently rethink how they perceive and address disaster risk”

Anyway, and regardless of people’s level of optimism or informed-optimism, the big problem may fall on the shoulders of ruling politicians, those who are so heavily influenced by big business that they act as mere decision-announcers rather than makers.

Likewise, the other international specialised bodies and the world’s scientific communities, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) reminds that human activity and behaviour is contributing to an increasing number of disasters across the world, putting millions of lives and every social and economic gain in danger.

 

The risks of optimism and underestimation

Its Global Assessment Report specifically blames these disasters on “a broken perception of risk based on optimism, underestimation and invincibility,” which leads to policy, finance and development decisions that exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and put people in danger.

“The world needs to do more to incorporate disaster risk in how we live, build and invest, which is setting humanity on a spiral of self-destruction,” said Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary General, who presented the report Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022.

 

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By R R Rashmi
As India grows and develops, its economic production and energy consumption will increase. | Picture courtesy: Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As India grows and develops, its economic production and energy consumption will increase. | Picture courtesy: Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

NEW DELHI, May 20 2022 (IPS) - The recent IPCC report that came out in the month of March 2022 says that, by the end of the century, the temperature rise is likely to be 2 to 3.7 degrees if global emissions, as they stand today, are not curtailed. In fact, according to the report, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions need to come down by 45 percent globally (compared with 2005) by the end of 2030.

And current trends show that the reduction is falling quite short, as the total impact of all the nationally determined contributions put together is still not more than 11 percent. So, there is a vast gap between what we need to be doing and where we are currently.

 

First, let us understand the global context

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By Sinan Hatahet
Two boys collect fresh bread for their families at a bakery rehabilitated by WFP in Aleppo. Credit: WFP/Jessica Lawson. May 2022.
 
Syria remains one of the World Food Programme’s biggest emergencies, and the numbers are staggering. A quarter of all refugees in the world are Syrian and they have sought safety in 130 countries. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine has made a political solution in Syria even more unlikely. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating dramatically.

Two boys collect fresh bread for their families at a bakery rehabilitated by WFP in Aleppo. Credit: WFP/Jessica Lawson. May 2022.
 
Syria remains one of the World Food Programme’s biggest emergencies, and the numbers are staggering. A quarter of all refugees in the world are Syrian and they have sought safety in 130 countries. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine has made a political solution in Syria even more unlikely. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating dramatically.

ISTANBUL, May 20 2022 (IPS) - Moscow’s decision to intervene militarily in Syria in 2015 effectively preserved the Assad regime in Damascus. Russian air power and intelligence support, along with Iranian-backed militias on the ground, allowed the regime to beat the opposition and brutally reassert its control over much of Syria.

Since March 2020, the conflict seems to be entering a new period of stalemate with the delineation of three distinctive territories with static frontlines.

Yet this latest de-escalation phase is inherently volatile and has persisted chiefly thanks to the Russian-Turkish fragile entente in north-western Syria and the US interim but still ongoing presence in north-eastern Syria.

Ultimately, Assad’s endgame is to regain control of all the Syrian territory, and he has shown no signs of commitment toward negotiating a peaceful epilogue to the conflict.

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By Lyse Comins
Delegates at the Youth Forum at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in Durban, South Africa, demanded that all forums in the future include their participation. Credit: Cecilia Russell/IPS
Delegates at the Youth Forum at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in Durban, South Africa, demanded that all forums in the future include their participation. Credit: Cecilia Russell/IPS

Delegates at the Youth Forum at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in Durban, South Africa, demanded that all forums in the future include their participation. Credit: Cecilia Russell/IPS

Durban, May 20 2022 (IPS) - Ashley has vast work experience. She has laboured by the sweat of her brow in the blistering sun on the streets of Guatemala, in the open fields on farmlands and indoors, toiling for long hours to the hum of a sewing machine.

Her work resume might be impressive to some – street trader, farmworker and tailor – but she, like 160 million children around the world, is trapped in child labour, working desperately to support her impoverished family and provide for her education.

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By Mario Osava
A mountainous landscape in the area of the headwaters of the Velhas River, where "barraginhas", the Portuguese name for holes dug like lunar craters in the hills and slopes, prevent erosion by swallowing a large amount of soil that sediments the upper reaches of the river, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS
A mountainous landscape in the area of the headwaters of the Velhas River, where "barraginhas", the Portuguese name for holes dug like lunar craters in the hills and slopes, prevent erosion by swallowing a large amount of soil that sediments the upper reaches of the river, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

A mountainous landscape in the area of the headwaters of the Velhas River, where "barraginhas", the Portuguese name for holes dug like lunar craters in the hills and slopes, prevent erosion by swallowing a large amount of soil that sediments the upper reaches of the river, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

BELO HORIZONTE/ITABIRITO, Brazil , May 19 2022 (IPS) - The southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais owes its name to the main economic activity throughout its history: mining – of gold since the 17th century and later iron ore, which took on an industrial scale with massive exports in the 20th century.

The so-called Iron Quadrangle, a mountainous area of some 7,000 square kilometers in the center of the state, concentrates the state’s minerals and mining activity, long questioned by environmentalists, who have been impotent in the face of the industry’s economic clout.

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By Angelique Luabeya Kany Kany
Tuberculosis has killed 1,5 million people in 2020 - mostly in African and Asian countries - while two million people died of COVID-19 worldwide during the same period. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS
Tuberculosis has killed 1,5 million people in 2020 - mostly in African and Asian countries - while two million people died of COVID-19 worldwide during the same period. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

Tuberculosis has killed 1,5 million people in 2020 - mostly in African and Asian countries - while two million people died of COVID-19 worldwide during the same period. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 19 2022 (IPS) - It is time to treat the scourge of Tuberculosis scourge with the same urgency as we did the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we emerge from the devastating toll of the pandemic on people’s lives and on global economies, we must wake up to face the staggering toll of 1.5 million Tuberculosis deaths and 10 million new infections recorded in 2020. And these deaths were mostly in African and Asian countries.

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