Nick Turse

Cambodian men continued to be frequently trafficked for labour exploitation purposes according to a report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).  According to the United Nations’ Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, “thousands of Cambodians are trafficked annually. Cambodia is the sixth most frequent country of origin for trafficking victims after Ukraine, Haiti, Yemen, Laos and Uzbekistan.”
 

In many societies, marriage is a celebrated institution signifying a union between two adults and the beginning of their future together. Unfortunately, millions of girls still suffer from a vastly different marriage experience every year. Worldwide, many brides are still children, not even teenagers. So young are some girls that they hold onto their toys during the wedding ceremony. Usually these girls become mothers in their early teens, while they are still children themselves. The practice can result in profound negative consequences for the girls, their families and their entire communities.
Too Young to Wed, a multimedia partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and premier photo agency VII, seeks to raise awareness of the practice and ultimately, to end it.
While the global launch of the TOO YOUNG TO WED exhibition at the United Nations in New York was a heartfelt success, the project and the campaign supported by UNFPA and VII continues to raise awareness about child marriage and urge policymakers to enact and enforce laws that will end the practice forever. The work has only just begun.
Follow the stories and get involved at: www.TooYoungToWed.org

In many societies, marriage is a celebrated institution signifying a union between two adults and the beginning of their future together. Unfortunately, millions of girls still suffer from a vastly different marriage experience every year. Worldwide, many brides are still children, not even teenagers. So young are some girls that they hold onto their toys during the wedding ceremony. Usually these girls become mothers in their early teens, while they are still children themselves. The practice can result in profound negative consequences for the girls, their families and their entire communities.

Too Young to Wed, a multimedia partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and premier photo agency VII, seeks to raise awareness of the practice and ultimately, to end it.

While the global launch of the TOO YOUNG TO WED exhibition at the United Nations in New York was a heartfelt success, the project and the campaign supported by UNFPA and VII continues to raise awareness about child marriage and urge policymakers to enact and enforce laws that will end the practice forever. The work has only just begun.

Follow the stories and get involved at: www.TooYoungToWed.org

Given there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013. The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking.
reuters:

More than 60,000 people have died in the Syrian uprising and civil war, the United Nations said on Wednesday, dramatically raising the death toll in a struggle that shows no sign of ending.
Dozens were killed in a Damascus suburb when a government air strike turned a petrol station into an inferno, incinerating drivers who had rushed there for a rare chance to fill their tanks, activists said.
“I counted at least 30 bodies. They were either burnt or dismembered,” said Abu Saeed, an activist who arrived at the area an hour after the raid occurred at 1:00 PM (1100 GMT) in Muleiha, a suburb on the eastern edge of the capital.
U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said in Geneva that researchers cross-referencing seven sources over five months of analysis had listed 59,648 people killed in Syria between March 15, 2011 and November 30, 2012.
“The number of casualties is much higher than we expected and is truly shocking,” she said. “Given that there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013.”
READ ON: U.N. raises Syria death toll to 60,000

reuters:

More than 60,000 people have died in the Syrian uprising and civil war, the United Nations said on Wednesday, dramatically raising the death toll in a struggle that shows no sign of ending.

Dozens were killed in a Damascus suburb when a government air strike turned a petrol station into an inferno, incinerating drivers who had rushed there for a rare chance to fill their tanks, activists said.

“I counted at least 30 bodies. They were either burnt or dismembered,” said Abu Saeed, an activist who arrived at the area an hour after the raid occurred at 1:00 PM (1100 GMT) in Muleiha, a suburb on the eastern edge of the capital.

U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said in Geneva that researchers cross-referencing seven sources over five months of analysis had listed 59,648 people killed in Syria between March 15, 2011 and November 30, 2012.

“The number of casualties is much higher than we expected and is truly shocking,” she said. “Given that there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013.”

READ ON: U.N. raises Syria death toll to 60,000

In East Asia alone - in one of the most disaster-stricken areas worldwide - the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) estimates the number of people living in urban flood plains may reach 67 million by 2060.
Some 3.3 billion people (more than half of the world’s population) live in urban areas, a figure which is expected to rise to five billion by 2030. Ninety-five percent of this growth is taking place in countries least able to afford the cost of expansion.
An Afghan child carries winter relief supply during a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) distribution in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 27, 2012. 
That same day, according to the New York Times, a 3-year-old boy named Janan, who lived in Kabul’s refuge camps, fell ill due to exposure.  By the next day, he was dead.  “He became the first known victim to freeze to death this winter in the mud and tarpaulin warrens of Kabul’s 44 refugee camps, where more than 100 children died of cold last winter.”
(Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)

An Afghan child carries winter relief supply during a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) distribution in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 27, 2012.

That same day, according to the New York Times, a 3-year-old boy named Janan, who lived in Kabul’s refuge camps, fell ill due to exposure.  By the next day, he was dead.  “He became the first known victim to freeze to death this winter in the mud and tarpaulin warrens of Kabul’s 44 refugee camps, where more than 100 children died of cold last winter.”

(Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)

UGANDA: Increasing support to survivors of sexual assault 
Sexual and gender-based violence “is a big problem eating the society. For long, offenders have been escaping the hands of the law because victims fail to [obtain] medical evidence,” Moses Byaruhanga, the head of the medical service in the Uganda Police Force, told the United Nations’ news service, IRIN.

UGANDA: Increasing support to survivors of sexual assault

Sexual and gender-based violence “is a big problem eating the society. For long, offenders have been escaping the hands of the law because victims fail to [obtain] medical evidence,” Moses Byaruhanga, the head of the medical service in the Uganda Police Force, told the United Nations’ news service, IRIN.

IRIN: Rethinking urban poverty
Drawing on 20 years of research, a new book, Urban Poverty in the Global South: Scale and Nature, “documents how the scale and depth of urban poverty in Africa, and much of Asia and Latin America, is greatly underestimated due to ‘inappropriate’ definitions and measurements,” according to the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN.  “Almost all official measurements of urban poverty are also made with no dialogue with those who live in poverty and who struggle to live with inadequate incomes,” according to the book’s summary.  “It is always experts’ judgment that identifies those who are ‘poor’ who may then ‘targeted’ by some program; at best, they become ‘objects’ of government policy, which may bring some improvement in conditions, but they are rarely seen as citizens with rights and legitimate demands who also have resources and capabilities that can contribute much to more effective poverty reduction programs.”

IRIN: Rethinking urban poverty

Drawing on 20 years of research, a new book, Urban Poverty in the Global South: Scale and Nature, “documents how the scale and depth of urban poverty in Africa, and much of Asia and Latin America, is greatly underestimated due to ‘inappropriate’ definitions and measurements,” according to the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN.  “Almost all official measurements of urban poverty are also made with no dialogue with those who live in poverty and who struggle to live with inadequate incomes,” according to the book’s summary.  “It is always experts’ judgment that identifies those who are ‘poor’ who may then ‘targeted’ by some program; at best, they become ‘objects’ of government policy, which may bring some improvement in conditions, but they are rarely seen as citizens with rights and legitimate demands who also have resources and capabilities that can contribute much to more effective poverty reduction programs.”

What we need is a truly transformative development agenda that can drive change on systemic issues and structural causes of discrimination, including unequal power relations, social exclusion and multiple forms of discrimination.

The framework should therefore focus on women’s rights, eliminating gender-based violence, promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, access to essential infrastructure and services and political and economic empowerment – all in the broader context of poverty eradication.

The framework should also recognise that gender inequality is the mother of all inequalities. It is not yet clear what the format of the post-2015 development framework will be, but in any case, U.N. Women advocates for a strong focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

If we are about to turn a new leaf in terms of a more sustainable, equitable and people-centred development model and framework, we need to empower and fully tap the talent and potential of half of humanity.