PRESS RELEASE-IFJ Demands Justice for Journalist Dismissed after Filing Harassment Complaint #Vaw


 

Media Release: India                                                                                       

April 4, 2013         

 IFJ Demands Justice for Journalist Victimised after Filing Harassment Complaint

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins partners and affiliates in demanding justice and fair treatment for S. Akila, a journalist placed under suspension by the Sun TV news channel based in the southern Indian city of Chennai, after she filed sexual harassment complaints against two of her seniors in the organisation.

According to information provided by the Network of Women in Media, India, Akila joined Sun TV in its Chennai headquarters in December 2011 as a news anchor and producer and faced, from that moment on, extraordinary pressures on the job. Two of her immediate seniors were reportedly explicit in the demands she would be expected to fulfill.

Refusal to comply led to Akila’s probation being extended, her earned perks – such as the annual bonus – being denied, and finally, to her being threatened with “dire consequences” if she went public with the situation she faced. Despite a time-honoured convention that women would not be put on shifts at odd times of the 24×7 news cycle, she was soon assigned as anchor for the 6 a.m. news bulletin, requiring her to report at work an hour ahead.

After repeated protests failed to fetch any relief, Akila on 19 March, filed a complaint of sexual harassment with the nearest police station. Her two immediate seniors, both named in the complaint, were soon afterwards arrested and charged under the relevant law applicable in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Akila reportedly began receiving threatening telephone calls afterwards. A male colleague who had supported her struggle against harassment was soon afterwards placed under suspension. On 25 March, Akila reported for work at her appointed time but was not allowed to anchor the noon news bulletin she was assigned to. A day later, one of the men named in her complaint rejoined Sun TV after securing bail.

Akila was served an order of suspension the following day.

“We are shocked at this sequence of events in one of India’s largest and most diversified media conglomerates”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

“The IFJ demands a quick and impartial inquiry into the entire range of circumstances leading to Akila’s dismissal from her job and prompt restitution for the mental trauma she has suffered.

“The news organisation that has permitted this manner of exploitative culture to flourish should without further delay, hold out reassurances to all its female employees and institute strict sanctions against any further recurrence of such behaviour”.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter@ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebookwww.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific 

 

Call for endorsements – Our planet is not for sale! ADB Quit India! Quit Asia! #mustshare


 Peoples Front against IFIs

We, peoples’ movements, mass organisations, struggle groups, trade unions, communityorganisations and many others from India and the Asia-Pacific region, call for a protestagainst the 46th Annual Board of Governors’ Meeting (AGM) of the Asian DevelopmentBank (ADB) in Greater Noida, Delhi during May 2-5, 2013. The AGM will make decisionson key development issues for the Asia-Pacific region, that will affect all of us now and inthe future. India, which is touted as ‘the emerging power in the region’ and in the ADB, ishosting the AGM for the third time to showcase and endorse a ‘development throughempowerment’ model put forth by the ADB. In fact, over the years, the Indian ruling classhas been working hand in glove with the ADB in a mutually beneficial complicity at theexpense of hundreds of millions of poor, marginalised and other toiling sections of thesociety.The ADB has earned the notorious title of actually being an “
 Anti-human DestructiveBank
,” whose devastating acts are not limited to India, but are evident across the Asia-Pacific region and also at the global level in collusion with the World Bank, InternationalMonetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions of global capitalism. Likewise, our protest andresistance is not limited to the ADB but extends to all International Financial Institutions(IFIs) whose primary missions are to appropriate and commodify the natural, human andsocial wealth of the planet, and force nations into indebtedness and political subordination. A self-acclaimed “development” financial institution, the ADB claims to combat poverty inthe region. But its poverty reduction strategy is merely a masquerade for prescribing adoomed model of rapid economic growth powered by the privatisation, commodificationand financialisation of natural resources and basic needs like water, power, education, etc.Under the guise of “good governance,” the ADB supports profit-mongering, un-accountableand non-transparent private sectors. The Long-Term Strategy Framework (Strategy 2020)of the Bank is a recipe for the transfer of wealth, means and capacities from the poor andmiddle classes to the wealthy, upper classes. Using grand slogans such as ‘inclusivegrowth’, ‘environmental sustainability’ and ‘regional integration’, the Strategy 2020 focuseson private sector development and explicitly advocates private sector participation in ADBand borrower operations. In 2011, the Bank spent nearly $6 billion as private sector finance. Not surprisingly, in India the number of billionaires rose from 2 with a combinedworth of $2 billion in the mid-1990s, to 46 in 2012 with a total net worth of $176 billion!With nearly $22 billion in annual financial investment for nearly 350 projects (loans, grants,equity investments and Technical Assistance) in Asia-Pacific, governments have given the ADB a mandate to direct the development path for the region. Under the pretext of addressing environmental and climate crises and alleviating poverty, the ADB continues todisplace and alienate large numbers of people from their lands, homes, water sources andforests, and violates their rights to livelihood, ctizenship and participation in decisionmaking.
Join hands against the ADB AGM
While it is our governments who borrow, the onus of debt repayment falls on the publicexchequer and the people of the country, and is transferred to subsequent generationsand the environment. Debt repayment depletes scarce foreign exchange reserves, andredirects national revenues away from spending on essential public goods such as
education, health, housing, water, sanitation, electricity and job-creation towards servicingan upward spiralling illegitimate debt.The struggles, movements and campaigns against ADB funded projects in West Bengal,Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand,J&K, Himachal Pradesh, and the North Eastern States take this opportunity to expose the ADB’s collusion with the Indian Government to enable the concentration of wealth,resources and capacities in the hands of the economic-political elites. People led byvibrant struggles in these states to halt nuclear power, land and water grabbing, forcedevictions, anti-people laws, farmers suicides and environmental destruction send out thisappeal to challenge the asymmetrical, ill-designed and anti-people developmentprescriptions of the ADB.The 2013 ADB AGM in Delhi offers a much-needed opportunity for us to come together toexpose the destructive developmental model promoted by the ADB and our governments.We invite all of you to join us in voicing our opposition to institutions like the ADB, whichmutilate our democratic institutions, perpetrate untold violence on our societies and foster continuing marginalization and pauperization of our peoples.
ADB QUIT INDIA! QUIT ASIA!
PEOPLES FRONT against IFIsENDORSED BY
(27March’13)
:
India
: Adivasi Moolvasi Astitva Raksha Manch (Jharkhand), All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM), All India Union of Forest Working people ( AIUFWP/NFFPFW), ANBALAYAM – Pondicherry , Andhra PradeshMuslim Organization, Bongiyo Paromparik Kaaru O Bastra Shilpi Sangho (West Bengal), Behavioural Science Centre (Ahmedabad), Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), CASA-ACT, CitizensForum for Mangalore Development, GM-Free Bihar Movement, Haldia Dock Complex Contractors Shramik Union, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, India FDI Watch, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Indianoil PetronasContractors Shramik Union, Janpahal, Kabani – the other direction,Kisan Manch, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti,KSMTF – Kerala Fishworkers Forum, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Mines, minerals & People (MmP), Nadi Ghati Morcha, National Fishworkers Forum, National Hawkers Federation, New Socialist Alternative(CWI-India), Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), Radical Socialist,River basin Friends, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People – SANDRP, Sundarban Banadhikar Sangram Committee, Tamil Solidarity & others
 Asia/International
: Alternatives Asia, Asia Europe Peoples Forum, Asia-Pacific Movement on Debt & Development (JubileeSouth), CADTM International Network, Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (ESSF, France), FOCUS on theGlobal South, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), Socialist Alternative (Australia)
 Asian Countries
:
Bangladesh
; EQUITYBD, Humanitywatch, Initiative for Right View – IRV, Nabodhara, Online KnowledgeSociety, Participatory Research Action Network-PRAN, VOICE
Indonesia
: Solidaritas Perempuan
Nepal
: All Nepal Peasants’ Federation (ANPFA), All Nepal Women’s association (ANWA), Forum for theProtection of Public Interest
Pakistan
: Awami Workers Party, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Umeedenao Citizen Community Board
Philippines
: AMA- Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (Union of Agricultural Workers)
Sri Lanka
: Centre for Environmental Justice/Friends of the Earth, Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions
SEND ENDORSEMENTS – email: willyindia@gmail.com

 

Press Release- #India- Legal challenge threatens the release of journalist , Naveen Soorinje


February 8, 2013

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned to learn of a
legal challenge to the decision to drop charges against
http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-condemns-continuing-detention-of
-indian-journalist-naveen-soorinje> Naveen Soorinje, now under arrest for
over three months on charges of involvement in a July 2012 vigilante attack
on a group of partying teenagers in the city of Mangalore, in the southern
Indian state of Karnataka.

Soorinje, who is a reporter for the Kasturi TV channel based in Mangalore,
was alerted to the possibility of an attack by local witnesses and arrived
at the site soon after activists of a group that styles itself as the Hindu
Jagaran Vedike began assembling. According to the testimony he has filed
both before the police investigators and a civil rights organisation based
in Karnataka, he was unsure initially about the intentions of the group that
had gathered. As soon as the attack began, he made efforts to inform local
police authorities, while a cameraman who accompanied him recorded the
violent events – footage that was later used by police to identify the
perpetrators.

Soorinje pleas for bail were rejected and his arrest resulted in widespread
protests in November 2012. In a review of Soorinje’s case on January 31,
the cabinet in Karnataka state decided to drop all charges. But with the
cabinet decision awaiting the signature of the chief minister of Karnataka,
a lawyer based in the state capital of Bengaluru made a plea to the high
court that the decision to drop the charges was illegal.

The high court has since, issued notice to the state government and
suggested that if charges against Soorinje are dropped, the court may order
their reinstatement.

“We are seriously concerned at this move to further detain Soorinje” said
the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

“Journalists cannot be held responsible to stop civil unrest or illegal
activities. To pursue the case against him any further would be a serious
deterrent to journalists in conscientiously carry out their professional
responsibility to report cases of civil unrest or illegal activities.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on  +612 9333 0950

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ifjasiapacific>
@ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific>
www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific

 

#India-As farmers suffer, NABARD offers soft loans to corporates


NEW DELHI, December 10, 2012

Shalini Singh, The Hindu

Private companies get loans at 6.5% with additional cash refunds; for farmers it is 7%
Private companies get loans at 6.5% with additional cash refunds; for farmers it is 7%

 The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which is dedicated to promoting rural development by providing soft loans to State governments for social sector projects, has given hundreds of crores as loans to corporates on concessional terms.

In the Union Budget of 2011-12, Rs. 18,000 crore was allocated by the Centre to NABARD’s Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), of which Rs. 2,000 crore was exclusively earmarked for the creation of warehousing facilities. While the allocation of Rs. 16,000 crore to the States was made by NABARD’s State Projects Department, the allocation of Rs. 2,000 crore towards warehousing was entrusted to a new team set up on the recommendation of global consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), after being awarded the mandate for a repositioning exercise.

In a circular of September 27, 2011, NABARD, making a significant deviation from its earlier policies, included private entities as eligible institutions without consulting the RBI. In another circular of December 23, 2011, NABARD further revised the scheme, again without consulting the RBI, to provide private firms an interest rate rebate of 1.5%. In violation of the regulated 8% rate levied by RIDF, an avenue was created for flow of funds to corporates and release of the interest rate rebate to the borrowers directly by NABARD.

According to documents available with The Hindu, a total of Rs. 759 crore was disbursed, including as refinance at 8% to various banks to fund 516 warehouses and cold storage projects of private entities in March 16-31, 2012. Shubham Logistics Ltd, a subsidiary of the over Rs. 6,000 crore Kalpataru Group, was handpicked for a rebate of 1.5%, allowing it to access Rs. 115 crore under a government scheme at a concessional 6.5% rate of interest. Shubham Logistics would have paid a 10.5% rate of interest had the funds been sourced from the market. The company, which was disbursed a total of Rs 180.87 crore, to set up 18 warehouses, became the beneficiary of a further 15% subsidy under another government scheme, entitling the company to a refund of over Rs. 20 crore.

The two schemes that were used to favour Shubham Logistics are Grameen Bhandaran Yojana which offers subsidy of 15% to 33.33% for construction of rural godowns. For corporates the subsidy is 15% of total financial outlay up to a maximum of Rs 28.12 lakh. Under the other scheme, ‘Warehousing scheme under RIDF’, banks are offered refinance at 8% which can be further reduced to 6.5% as an incentive for prompt repayment.

Documents reveal that the RBI has questioned NABARD’s interest rate manipulations in financing warehousing projects without its permission and demanded a recall of the Rs. 759 crore allocated to private firms. Compliance with this directive means that NABARD will have to return the money to the RBI and raise debt from the market to honour its commitments. This is likely to hit NABARD’s balance sheet by roughly Rs. 150 crore. The Ministry of Agriculture has further questioned irregularities in Shubham Logistics storage projects in Deesa, Banaskantha, pointing out that the project is ineligible for sanction of the subsidy.

Meanwhile, Aditya Bafna, Executive Director of Shubham Logistics Ltd (SSLL), a subsidiary of Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd was appointed Director on the board of NABARD Consultancy Services Private Ltd (NABCONS) — a wholly owned subsidiary of NABARD — on January 15, 2010. He refused to comment on either the allegations of special favours or the conflict of interest arising from his appointment on the NABCONS Board.

NABARD’s response to a RTI query reveals that it released Rs 13.3 crore BCG for a ‘repositioning’ report that it admits has never been submitted. Sources in NABARD allege that an additional payment of Rs. 9 crore has also been released to “rollout the recommendations”. NABARD Chairman Prakash Bakshi, under whose leadership these transactions were sanctioned, did not respond to detailed questions that were emailed to him on December 3, including on the fresh release of Rs 9 crore to BCG or what hit NABARD’s balance sheet was likely to take after the repayment to RBI of the unauthorised fund transfers to corporates.

BCG’s Chairman, Asia Pacific, Janmejaya Sinha did not respond to detailed questions regarding whether the firm had any exposure to working with any developmental financial institution prior to its consulting assignment with NABARD, especially in the Asia Pacific region, the terms of reference and payment for the assignment or whether it was true that BCG was scouting for fresh business opportunities with the RBI.

 

We are WOMEN and Our VOICES COUNT!- #HumanRights Day-2012


Dear Friends,

Greetings from IWRAW Asia Pacific!

It is the 10th of December once again and we would like to wish you all a Happy Human Rights Day!

The theme this year – My Voice Counts –reminds us about the guarantees in the UDHR on freedom of speech, thought, belief and the right to participate in public life and impact policy and decision making.  It acknowledges and respects each individual’s voice and helps us to remember that it is about the person no matter our differences and that there are those of us whose voices are silenced or ignored because we lack the political power to make ourselves heard.

Yet it implies so much more in terms of vision:  it speaks towards a world of inclusion, diversity, respect for difference of opinion, free and open social debates, right to collective action and the recognition of the legitimate role of CSOs and NGOs in public policy and social change towards equality, non-discrimination, justice and peace, the right to take part in politics and hold office.

In the past year, we have seen numerous attempts to silence women’s voices, including the heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring story of Malala, a young girl nearly killed for expressing her right and the rights of young girls to education. For women, marginalisation and exclusion from representation and decision-making, spells danger and risk to their individual freedoms and collective rights. Examples have shown that exclusion of gender perspectives and obstacles to women’s participation in public and civic roles negatively impact democratic principles, good governance and rule of law. Women’s demands for equality in the family and in the workplace, and struggles to end domestic violence and sexual harassment at the workplace, recognition of the separate reality of women, need to be heard and acted upon by governments, society and private actors.

To pursue gender equality, it is important to ground and socialise the culture of international human rights norms, including an appreciation for the principles of substantive equality and non-discrimination established by the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The ability to articulate these will strengthen their demands for equality, justice and recognition as a cohesive, political constituency; grounded ideologically in principles of democracy, peace, respect for rights and being knowledgeable in the practice of citizen governance.

We can celebrate the fact that CEDAW nears universal ratification with 187 ratifications, and further ratifications of its optional protocol (OPCEDAW).  The CEDAW state dialogue process and the OPCEDAW mechanism is a way for women’s voices to be heard by their states and supported by the global standards practices of the member states of CEDAW articulated by the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee and challenges states to prioritise and act in compliance with international law to address violations to women’s human rights.

64 years ago, this day would have been celebrated very differently. But today, we are lucky to have successes that we can commemorate. It is a good time for all of us to reflect on the good and the bad and continuously challenge ourselves to think of creative and innovative rights-based approaches to achieve our human rights goals to have a better future together.

In the coming year IWRAW Asia Pacific will undertake efforts to strengthen women’s voices in public policy and decision making through  specific projects including one to strengthen the voices of young feminists in Asia Pacific, supported by the UN Women Gender Equality Fund.

There is still a lot of work to be done so let’s continue as a global women’s movement, seeking to make governments, families, business more accountable in ensuring promotion, protection and realisation of human rights
On this day, IWRAW Asia Pacific congratulates and thanks courageous men and women who have fought and are still fighting for the right to express our thoughts and feelings about the world and who fight for the rights and freedoms inherent in our shared humanity. We raise our voices in support of this struggle – We are WOMEN and Our VOICES COUNT!

Warm wishes,

The IWRAW Asia Pacific team

10 December 2012

 

UN wants prostitution decriminalized to help curb spread of HIV #sexwork


October 23rd, 2012 | News | 


By Gian C. Geronimo/GMANEWS - If the United Nations will have its way, soliciting sex or paying for it in the Asia and the Pacific region will no longer risk imprisonment.

In a recent report, the UN recommended the decriminalization of the world’s oldest profession to help curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV.

“Removing legal penalties for sex work assists HIV prevention and treatment programmes to reach sex workers and their clients,” the UN said in its report titled “Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific.”

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, known to condemn prostitution, cannot be reached for comment on the subject, as the organization’s secretariat said the bishops authorized to talk about the issue are out of town on official business. But at least one bishop has blamed prostitution for the spread of HIV and has urged a crackdown on the illicit livelihood.

The UN report makes the opposite argument. By legalizing prostitution, the government can make sex work safer, extend health services to sex workers and thus slow the spread of the virus.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said in a briefing Friday that it will leave the issue of legalization of sex work to the country’s legislators.

“We have no comment. We would rather leave it to our legislators,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte at a press briefing.

But Valte stressed that Philippine laws make prostitution in any form illegal. “Primarily, that’s illegal. Under our present laws that’s illegal which is why the LGUs are also in charge of cracking down and making sure that hindi lang doon sa establishments but rather people who traffic [are also apprehended].”

Susceptibility to HIV

The UN said the criminalization of sex-related jobs increases workers’ susceptibility to HIV by “fuelling stigma and discrimination, limiting access to sexual health services, condoms and harm reduction services; and adversely affecting the self esteem of sex workers and their ability to make informed choices about their health.”

The recommendation is also a move to stop the exploitation of sex workers and to give them basic rights by suggesting that their jobs, too, should have typical workplace standards in line with the law and government.

Decriminalization enables sex workers to organize within their communities and register their organizations, obtain identification documents so that they can fully access services and entitlements, engage in advocacy and respond to the health and safety needs of their peers,” the UN said.

The UN noted that, with the exception of New Zealand and the state of New South Wales in Australia, all countries in Asia and the Pacific criminalize sex work or associated activities.

In the Philippines, for one, sex work and soliciting sex work are illegal, as well as the establishment of brothels.

According to the Revised Penal Code, vagrancy is an offense, with the code defining prostitutes as vagrants. Sex workers caught may be fined up to six months in prison under the code’s vagrancy provision.

Valte said the government is continuously fighting prostitution and trafficking in the Philippines. “It is a point of concern which is why the IACAT (Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking) continues to work on improving ‘yung mga conviction when it comes to trafficking in persons. We continue to work with—or the member-agencies in ensuring na nababawasan at mawawala po ‘yung mga ganitong kaso.”

Condoms

The UN study said in the Philippines, despite the government’s support for efforts to promote condom use among sex workers, many people in the sex industry still steer clear of condoms for fear that it may be used by the police as evidence against them once they are arrested.

The UN report referenced a 2003 study that found that many street-based sex workers refused free condoms offered by outreach workers because of the police issue.

“Police impeded their access to HIV prevention services by confiscating condoms, using possession of condoms as evidence of sex work, or arresting them for vagrancy,” the UN report said.

Ways to decriminalize sex work

The UN listed ways to decriminalize sex work.

“To enable the sex industry to be regulated as a legitimate form of work requires removal of the range of laws that criminalize activities associated with sex work, including removal of offences relating to soliciting, living on the earnings of sex work, procuring, pimping, the management and operation of brothels, and advertising,” it said.

Its report also debunked claims that countries in Asia and the Pacific where sex work is illegal have low HIV rates and prevented the epidemic to spread among sex workers and their clients.

In fact, the study said evidence suggests areas that decriminalized sex work have “very high” condom use rates and increased access to sexual health services. —

with Patricia Denise Chiu/KBK/RSJ/HS, GMA News

Your chance to influence UN Special Rapporteur’s report on access to medicines and the right to health -



Add your voice today!
We would like to encourage you to add your voices to the UN Special Rapporteur‘s report on access to medicines and the right to health. Your voices will significantly contribute to integrating women’s human rights and a feminist perspective to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health.

Background Information

Pursuant the Human Rights Council resolution 17/14, Anand Grover, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, is working on a study on existing challenges with regard to access to medicines in the context of the right to health, ways to overcome them and good practices, to be presented to the Council at its twenty-third session in June 2013.

Add Your Voice

In preparation for this study, the questionnaire has been prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur to seek the views of relevant stakeholders on this important subject. It is an important opportunity for women in the Asia Pacific to critically inform the Special Rapporteur on the situation of access to medicines and the right to health in the region. Your contribution in sharing issues, persistent structural challenges, promising practices and innovative strategies will be crucial in informing the report.

To add your voice, please complete the questionnaire (click here to download) and submit it electronically to srhealth@ohchr.org by Friday, 12 October 2012.

 

For more information,http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Health/Pages/AccessToMedicines.aspx

Consultation on access to medicines and the right to health

The Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover invites all relevant stakeholders (States, UN agencies, national human rights institutions, civil society and community groups) to participate in the consultation on access to medicines and the right to health.

The objective of this consultation is to enable interested parties to submit information and comments to the Special Rapporteur, who was mandated by the Human Rights Council (resolution 17/14, para 11) to prepare a study on existing challenges with regard to access to medicines in the context of the right to health, ways to overcome them and good practices, to be presented to the Council at its twenty-third session in June 2013.

Your information will substantively inform the forthcoming study on access to medicines and the right to health.

Please make your submissions (in English, French or Spanish) by completing the relevant questionnaire below (in Word) and emailing it to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on srhealth@ohchr.org.

You can read the overview of the Special Rapporteur’s study on access to medicines here

Thank you for your submissions.

The closing date for all Government submissions is Friday, 14 September 2012.

Questionnaires for Governments: English - French - Spanish

The closing date for all submissions from pharmaceutical companies is Friday, 28 September 2012.

Questionnaires for pharmaceutical companies: English only.

The closing date for all submissions from international civil society organizations is Friday, 12 October 2012.

Questionnaires for international civil society organizations: English only.

 

Indian Photo-Journalist, Tarun Sehrawat, Dies at 22 #Tehelka


June 18,2012

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and its affiliates and partners in the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN), are deeply grieved at the death on June 15 of photo-journalist Tarun Sehrawat, after he contracted multiple infections on assignment in the Abujmarh region of India’s Chhattisgarh state.

 

Sehrawat was on assignment with the weekly news and current affairs magazine Tehelka and with his colleague, reporter Tusha Mittal, spent a week early in May in the thickly forested area, believed to be among the main operational bases of the Maoist insurgency that has been active in parts of Chhattisgarh and neighbouring states in recent years.

 

Their account of life in an area that remains for the most part beyond the media gaze was published in the print edition of the magazine dated May 12.

 

Both Sehrawat and Mittal came down with severe infections and fevers at about the same time. Mittal recovered after two weeks under intensive care but Sehrawat was hit by a combination of jaundice, typhoid and malaria, and had slipped into a coma. He regained consciousness early in June, but suffered a severe cerebral haemorrhage on June 10. He died on June 15 aged 22, the cause of death identified as cerebral malaria.

 

Tarun Sehrawat’s portfolio of pictures from his final assignment in Abujmarh can be viewed here.

 

In mourning the loss of a dedicated young professional, the IFJ urges the news industry to pay heed to the imperatives of care and preparation, when assigning reporters to areas of potential safety risk and health hazard.

 

“We urge renewed attention to the code evolved by the International News Safety Institute and widely endorsed by news industry managements”.

 

Titled “Surviving the Story”, the code observes by way of preface, that the “preservation of life and safety is paramount”.

 

“Staff and freelancers equally should be made aware”, it goes on, “that unwarranted risks in pursuit of a story are unacceptable and strongly discouraged. News organisations are urged to consider safety first, before competitive advantage, for journalists in hostile environments.”

 

The safety code requires that “assignments to war and other danger zones must be voluntary and only involve experienced news gatherers and those under their direct supervision.”

 

Employers are responsible under the code, for providing “efficient safety equipment and medical and health safeguards appropriate to the threat to all staff and freelancers assigned to hazardous locations”.

 

“We appreciate that Tarun Sehrawat and his colleague volunteered for this assignment and that the Tehelka team took all decisions in good faith and the belief that an important public interest was served in getting the story out of a region that few media persons venture into”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

 

“We urge that in future, all such decisions be made after due deliberation over the risks and the consequences involved”.

 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific 

Call for Written Submission to CEDAW Committee


United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

Image via Wikipedia

Inviting Written Submissions – The Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) Asia Pacific Regional Consultation for the Proposed General Recommendation on Human Rights of Women in Situations of Conflict and Post Conflict

Dear Friends,

CEDAW Committee’s Asia Pacific Regional Consultation for the Proposed General Recommendation on Human Rights of Women in Situations of Conflict and Post-conflict is scheduled to be held on 27-28 March 2012, In Bangkok (Thailand)

This is a call for national and regional level women’s rights groups, NGOs and networks in the Asia Pacific actively engaged in protecting women’s rights during conflict and in peace-building and reconstruction processes during the post-conflict & transition settings to submit Written Submissions to the CEDAW Committee’s Working Group organising the CEDAW Committee’s Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on the Proposed General Recommendation on Human Rights of Women in Situations of Conflict and Post-conflict on 27-28 March 2012 in Bangkok.

The CEDAW Committee pursuant to its mandate on elaboration of the nature and scope of State Obligations on realisation of women’s human rights in conflict and post-conflict settings based on the CEDAW framework have called for a consultation for this region. The Consultation is aimed to assist the CEDAW Committee in developing provisions of its General Recommendation on Women in Conflict and Post-conflict situations, in light of the diversity of conflicts and diversity of experiences and issues faced by women in realisation of their human rights in CEDAW and recognised in other international human rights treaties.

The organisation of this Consultation of the Committee is being supported by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of the Women (UN Women) and the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific is assisting the Committee, the UN Women and the OHCHR in organisation of this Consultation in Asia Pacific. As space for participation at the Consultation is limited, the CEDAW Committee welcomes and urges additional written inputs from women’s human rights groups and peace advocates who are not able to be physically present to be submitted.

The CEDAW Committee’s Working Group on the Proposed General Recommendation on Human Rights of Women in Situations of Conflict and Post Conflict presented the Concept Note of the General Recommendation on the Day of General Discussion held on 18 July 2011 (in conjunction with the Committee’s 49th Review Session in New York). The purpose of the General Recommendation is to provide appropriate and authoritative guidance to State Parties on the measures to be adopted to ensure full compliance with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human rights during times of armed conflict and in all peace-building processes, which includes the immediate aftermath of conflict and long term post-conflict reconstruction. The rationale of the CEDAW Committee to organise regional consultations for the proposed General Recommendation is to highlight the impact of conflict on women in the region and focus on the context specific priorities as well as women’s priority concerns in the post-conflict context, e.g. impact of conflict on women from minority communities, and bring the regional perspective to the four thematic areas covered in the Concept Note on the General Recommendation, namely, Access to Justice, Women’s Participation in Peace-building Processes, Violence against Women and Women’s Economic Opportunities in the post-conflict settings, as well as other relevant thematic areas.

We would like to encourage national level groups and organisations involved in addressing the impact of conflict and post-conflict & transitions settings on recognition, exercise, access and realisation of women’s human rights as envisioned in the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) submitting their written submissions:

Illustrating the challenging realities of women both as victims, as active member of conflict (women combatants) and as agents of change in post-conflict peace-building and reconstruction processes;

Describing the actions, non-action and omissions on the part of State and its agencies resulted in aggravating the negative impact of on-going conflict and post-conflict situations on women and girls in exercise and protection of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights;

Identifying gaps and challenges in drawing accountability of State as well as non-state & private actors including private militia & armed groups under the humanitarian and international human rights law, in particular CEDAW;

Providing recommendations to the CEDAW Committee’s Working Group on elaboration of the nature and scope of State Obligation to protect women’s human rights in situations of conflict and post-conflict, and scope of authoritative mandate of CEDAW to the women’s realities in these contexts

The Written Submissions must be prepared in English and must be precise and specific on the factual as well as theoretical/conceptual framework details. It will be useful to include 1-2 case studies on different and distinct roles played by women in situations of conflict and post-conflict to substantiate the recommendation put forward to the CEDAW Committee for the Proposed General Recommendation.

Preferably the Written Submissions should not be more than 10 pages including the annexures. We would welcome soft copies of analytical research papers, reports and studies that your organisation and/or network would like to share with the CEDAW Committee’s Working Group on the Proposed General Recommendation on Human Rights of Women in Situations of Conflict and Post-conflict to build its understanding on the specificities of conflict and post-conflict settings from the region to be addressed in the proposed General Recommendation to ensure women’s human rights under CEDAW are fully and equally realised and protected.

Please find attached an Outline to guide you in preparation of the Written Submission. Attached with this email are the Concept Note and Summary Report of the Day of General Discussion organised by the CEDAW Committee on the Proposed General Recommendation on Human Rights of Women in Situations of Conflict and Post-conflict.

Please send us your Written Submissions at iwraw_ap@yahoo.com or iwraw-ap@iwraw-ap.org by 25 March 2012 (16 hrs. Bangkok Time)

For further inquiries, please feel free to write to Gauri Bhopatkar (Programme Officer, IWRAW Asia Pacific) at iwraw-ap@iwraw-ap.org or gauri.bhopatkar@gmail.com

IWRAW Asia Pacific

10-2, Jalan Bangsar Utama 9

59000 Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

Tel: (603) 2282 2255

Fax: (603) 2283 2552

Email: iwraw-ap@iwraw-ap.org / iwraw_ap@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.iwraw-ap.org