Posts Tagged ‘Kanada’

Global: You gotta move?

Mittwoch, September 25th, 2013

“Nur 3,2 Prozent aller Menschen sind aus ihrem Geburtsland ausgewandert

Nach UN-Schätzungen wandern nicht mehr Menschen aus dem globalen Süden in den reichen Norden als in ein anderes Entwicklungsland, 90 Prozent der Flüchtlinge leben in Entwicklungsländern

Von Florian Rötzer | 24.09.2013

Globalisierung, so könnte man meinen, ist nicht nur die globale Bewegung von Gütern, Vermögen und Informationen, sondern auch der Menschen, die zu Migranten werden. Interessant ist, dass sich zwar viele Menschen zeitweise als Touristen oder beruflich über Grenzen hinweg reisen, aber dass die Migration weiterhin ein ziemlich kleines Phänomen ist.



Durchschnittliche Veränderungsrate der internationalen Migration in Prozent.

Durchschnittliche Veränderungsrate der internationalen Migration in Prozent.

Gerade einmal 3,2 Prozent der Menschheit, das sind 232 Millionen Menschen, leben in Ländern, in denen sie nicht geboren wurden, so der UN-Bericht International Migration 2013[1]. Das ist überraschend wenig, wenn auch 33 Prozent mehr als 2000, zumal die reichen Länder sich in Festungen, in gated nations, verwandeln, um die fantasierten Migrationsströme abzuwehren, die in Krisen wie jetzt beispielsweise im syrischen Bürgerkrieg in die nicht sonderlich reichen Nachbarländer Jordanien, Libanon oder den Irak, aber natürlich auch in die Türkei gelangen. Flüchtlinge machen 2013 mit 15,7 Millionen oder 7 Prozent nur einen kleinen Teil der Migranten aus. Fast 90 Prozent davon leben in Entwicklungsländern!

60 Prozent der internationalen Migranten, zwei Drittel im arbeitsfähigen Alter zwischen 20 und 64 Jahren, weit mehr als die 58 Prozent im weltweiten Durchschnitt, leben in den reichen Ländern des Nordens. 2013 am meisten in den USA, gefolgt von Russland, Deutschland – das wirklich als Einwanderungsland gelten muss -, Saudi-Arabien, die Vereinten Arabischen Emirate, Großbritannien, Frankreich, Kanada, Australien und Spanien. Hingegen sind in Europa Portugal, Polen, Finnland oder Norwegen nicht so interessant.

 

 

Schaut man auf den prozentualen Anteil internationaler Migranten an der Gesamtbevölkerung, dann ist deren Anteil etwa in den USA, Kanada, in der Ukraine, in Saudi-Arabien, Libyen, Australien, Deutschland. Österreich, Schweiz, Frankreich, Belgien oder Norwegen höher als 10 Prozent. In Steueroasen wie Andorra, San Marino oder Monaco ist der Ausländeranteil natürlich wesentlich höher, im Vatikan steigt er sogar auf 100 Prozent. Global leben allerdings zwei Drittel der internationalen Migranten ziemlich gleich verteilt in Europa und in Asien. In China, Indien und einigen afrikanischen Ländern, aber auch in Mexiko oder erstaunlicherweise Brasilien haben Migranten nur einen Anteil von weniger als einem Prozent. Allerdings ist der Eindruck nach den UN-Schätzungen falsch, dass die überwiegende Mehrzahl Migranten aus armen Entwicklungsländern in die reichen Länder auswandert, was man auch Süd-Nord-Migration nennt. Auch wenn in den Industrieländern die Migranten einen durchschnittlichen Anteil von 11 Prozent der Gesamtbevölkerung stellen und in den Entwicklungsländern nur 2 Prozent, aber die Unterschiede sind hier groß, so täuscht der Eindruck.

 

 

Nach neuen Schätzungen, die Geburtsland und Zielland der Migranten einbeziehen, war die Süd-Süd-Migration 1990 am stärksten ausgeprägt. Danach wusch der Anteil der Süd-Nord-Migration stärker, ab 2000 lag die Süd-Nord-Migration in etwa gleich mit der Süd-Süd-Migration, wobei allerdings die Migration vom Süden in den Süden wieder etwas stärker wuchs als die vom Süden in den Norden. 2013 sollen nach den Schätzungen 82,3 Millionen, die in Entwicklungsländern geboren wurden, in anderen Ländern des globalen Süden leben, während mit 81,9 Millionen fast genau so viel aus dem Süden in den Norden abgewandert sind. Die meisten dieser Migranten stammen aus Asien, gefolgt von Menschen aus Lateinamerika. Aus dem Norden in den globalen Süden wandern hingegen nur 13,7 Millionen aus, von Norden nach Norden sind es 53,7 Millionen.

Die “Süd-Süd-Migration” könnte man dadurch erklären, dass Auswanderer und Flüchtlinge nicht die notwendigen Mittel haben, um in die reichen Länder zu gelangen, und/oder den einfacheren, schnelleren und billigeren Weg in die Nachbarländer bevorzugen, wo sie auch leichter in Kontakt mit ihren Familien bleiben können. Möglicherweise wird diese Migration durch wirtschaftliche Fortschritte in den Entwicklungsländern begünstigt, dazu tragen aber auch regionale Konflikte vorbei.

Anhang

Links

Afrika: Kanada – nicht China

Samstag, Juni 1st, 2013

“How Canada Dominates African Mining

Foreign companies from a range of countries compete in Africa’s mining sector. But according to a number of measures, those from one country dominate: Canada.

ARTICLE | 18 APRIL 2013 – 9:42AM | BY TRAVIS LUPICK

When asked to think about foreign mining contracts in Africa, many people’s minds will jump to China, or perhaps one of the former colonial powers such as the UK or France. China’s construction and agricultural projects in particular are at the core of the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative, as are the Asian giant’s more than 1.3 billion consumers (…).”

Weiterlesen…

 

(Quelle: Think Africa Press.)

Mali: Fette Beute

Montag, Januar 28th, 2013

“France launches bombing of northern Mali, with Canadian support

BY ROGER ANNIS | JANUARY 18, 2013

France, the former slave power of west Africa, has poured into Mali with a vengeance in a military attack launched on January 11. French warplanes are bombing towns and cities across the vast swath of northern Mali, a territory measuring some one thousand kilometers from south to north and east to west. French soldiers in armoured columns have launched a ground offensive, beginning with towns in the south of the northern territory, some 300 km north and east of the Malian capital of Bamako.

A French armoured convoy entered Mali several days ago from neighbouring Ivory Coast, another former French colony. French troops spearheaded the overthrow of that country’s government in 2011.

The invasion has received universal support from France’s imperialist allies. The U.S., Canada and Europe are assisting financially and with military transport. Earlier this week, Stephen Harper announced that Canada’s contribution would include the use of one C-17 military transport plane. 

To provide a figleaf of African legitimacy, plans have been accelerated to introduce troops from eight regional countries to join the fighting (map here).

“Islamist terrorists” etc., etc.

The public relations version of the French et al invasion is a familiar refrain. “Islamic terrorists” and “jihadists” have taken control of northern Mali and are a threat to international security and to the well-being of the local population. Terrible atrocities against the local populace are alleged and given wide publicity by corporate media. Similar myths were peddled by the warmakers when they invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

It is true that Islamic fundamentalists have ruled northern Mali with an iron hand since taking over in 2012. But the reasons for this latest intervention lie in the determination of the world’s imperial powers to keep the human and natural resources of poor regions of the world as preserves for capitalist profits. West Africa is a region of great resource wealth, including gold, oil and uranium.

The uranium mines in neighbouring Niger and the uranium deposits in Mali are of particular interest to France, which generates 78 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy. Niger’s uranium mines are highly polluting and deeply resented by the population, including among the semi-nomadic, Touareg people who reside in the mining regions. The French company Areva is presently constructing in Imouraren, Niger what will become the second largest uranium mine in the world.

Notwithstanding the fabulous wealth created by uranium mining, Niger is one of the poorest countries on Earth. As one European researcher puts it, “Uranium mining in Niger sustains light in France and darkness in Niger.”

Mali (population 15.5 million) is the third-largest gold producing country in Africa. Canada’s IAMGOLD operates two mines there (and a third in nearby Burkina Faso). Many other Canadian and foreign investors are present. 

A key player in the unfolding war is Algeria. The government there is anxious to prove its loyalty to imperialism. Its lengthy border with northern Mali is a key zone for the “pacification” of northern Mali upon which France and its allies are embarked.

Further proof of the hypocrisy of the “democracy” that France claims to be fighting for in Mali is found in the nature of the Mali regime with which it is allied. Often presented in mainstream media as a “beacon of democracy” in west Africa, the Mali government was little more than a corrupt and pliant neo-colonial regime before last year when the U.S.-trained and equipped Mali army twice overthrew it–in March and again in December. The Mali army now scrambling to fight alongside its French big brother was condemned and boycotted by the U.S., Europe and Canada during a brief, sham interlude of concern following the first coup.

Today, the Mali government is a shell of a regime that rules at the behest of the Mali military, the latter’s foreign trainers, and the foreign mining companies that provide much of its revenue.

The Touareg people

At the political heart of the conflict in Mali is the decades-long struggle of the Touareg, a semi-nomadic people numbering some 1.2 million. Their language is part of the Berber language group. Their historic homeland includes much of Niger and northern Mali and smaller parts of Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Libya. They call themselves Kel Tamasheq (speakers of the Tamasheq language).

The Touareg have fought a succession of rebellions in the 20th century against the borders imposed by colonialism and then defended by post-independence, neo-colonial regimes. They are one of many minority nationalities in west Africa fighting for national self-determination, including the Sahwari of Western Sahara, a region controlled by Morocco and whose Sahwari leadership, the Polisario Front, is widely recognized internationally, and the Biafrans of Nigeria (whose story is told here and in a new book, ‘The Biafran War: The Struggle for Modern Nigeria,’ by Michael Gould).

The Tuareg were brutally subdued by colonial France at the outset of the 20th century. Following the independence of Mali and neighbouring countries in 1960, they continued to suffer discrimination. A First Touareg Rebellion took place in 1962-64.

A second, larger rebellion began in 1990 and won some autonomy from the Mali government that was elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1997. A third rebellion in Mali and Niger in 2007 won further political and territorial concessions, but these were constantly reneged. A Libya-brokered peace deal ended fighting in 2009.

The Mali state and army constantly sought to retake what they had lost. Violence and even massacres against the Touareg population pushed matters to a head in 2011. The army was defeated by the military forces of the National Liberation Movement of Azawad and on April 6, 2012, the MNLA declared an independent Azawad, as they call northern Mali and surrounding region. The Touareg are one of several national groups within the disputed territory.

The independence declaration proved premature and unsustainable. The MNLA was soon pushed aside by Islamist-inspired armed groups that oppose Touareg self-determination and an independent state. The army, meanwhile, continued to harass and kill people. A group of 17 visiting Muslim clerics, for example, were massacred on September 22, 2012.

According to unconfirmed reports, the MNLA has renounced the goal of an independent Azawad. It entered into talks with the Mali regime in December for autonomy in the northern region. A January 13 statement on the group’s website acquiesces to the French intervention but says it should not allow troops of the Mali army to pass beyond the border demarcation line declared in April of last year. 

Militarization of Mali and west Africa

Mali is one of the poorest places on earth but has been drawn into the whirlwind of post-September, 2001 militarization led by the United States. U.S. armed forces have been training the Mali military for years. In 2005, the U.S. established the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership comprising eleven ‘partner’ African countries-Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

The ‘partnership’ conducts annual military exercises termed ‘Flintlock.’ This year’s exercise is to take place in Niger and according to the January 12 Globe and Mail, “Canada’s military involvement in Niger has already commenced.”

Canadian troops have participated in military exercises in west Africa since at least 2008. In 2009, Mali was named one of six “countries of focus” in Africa for Canadian aid. Beginning that year, Canadian aid to Mali leaped to where it is now one of the largest country recipients of Canada aid funds.

In 2008, Canada quietly launched a plan to establish at least six, new military bases abroad, including two in Africa. (It is not known exactly where the Africa part of the plan stands today.)

War atrocities

Only days into the French attack, evidence is mounting of significant civilian and military casualties. In the town of Douentza in central Mali, injured civilians can’t reach the local hospital, according to Médecins sans frontières (Doctors Without Borders). “Because of the bombardments and fighting, nobody is moving in the streets of Douentza and patients are not making it through to the hospital,” said a statement by the agency’s emergency response co-ordinator Rosa Crestani.

The International Red Cross is reporting scores of civilian and military casualties in the towns coming under French attack.

Amnesty International is worried. Its West Africa researcher, Salvatore Saguès, was in the country last September and saw the recruitment of children into the Mali army. He is worried about retaliatory attacks by the army if it retakes control of the towns and cities it has lost, notably in the northern cities of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.

He also warned of the plans to bring neighbouring armies into northern Mali. “These armies, who are already committing serious violations in their countries, are most likely to do the same, or at least not behave in accordance to international law if they are in Mali,” he said.

According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, the latest crisis has internally displaced nearly 230,000 Malians. An additional 144,500 Malians were already refugees in neighbouring countries.

UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards says half the population of the town of Konna, some 5,000 people, sought as French bombs threatened to fall by fleeing across the River Niger.

In an ominous sign of more civilian casualties to come, and echoing the excuses for atrocities by invading armies against civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine in recent years, French military commanders are complaining of the difficulty in distinguishing fighters they are bombing from non-combatant populations. France’s army chief Edouard Guillaud told Reuters that France’s air strikes were being hampered because militants were using civilian populations as shields.

No to the war in Mali

The military attack in Mali was ordered by French President François Hollande, the winner of the 2012 election on behalf of the Socialist Party. His decision has been condemned by groups on the political left in France, including the Nouveau parti anticapitaliste and the Gauche anticapitaliste. The latter is a tendency with the Front de gauche (Left Front) that captured 11 percent of the first-round presidential vote last year.

Shockingly, the Left Front leadership group has come out in favour of the intervention. Deputy François Asensi spoke on behalf of the party leadership in the National Assembly on January 16 and declared, “The positions of the deputies of the Left Front, Communists and republicans, is clear: To abandon the people of Mali to the barbarism of fanatics would be a moral mistake…”

“International military action was necessary in order to avoid the installation of a terrorist state.”

His statement went on to complain that President Hollande did not bother to seek the approval of the National Assembly.

A January 12 statement by the French Communist Party (PCF), a component of the Left Front, said, “The PCF shares the concern of Malians over the armed offensive of the Jihadist groups towards the south of their country… The party recalls here that the response to the request for assistance by the president of Mali should have been made in the framework of a United Nations and African Union sponsorship, under the flag of the UN…”

Unlike the overthrow of Haiti’s elected government in 2004, which the PCF and Socialist Party supported at the time, France and its allies did not feel the need to obtain a rubber stamp of approval from the UN Security Council this time in Mali. But doing so would not have changed the predatory nature of this latest mission, just as it didn’t in Haiti.

 A January 15 statement by the Canadian Peace Alliance explains, “The real reason for NATO’s involvement is to secure strategic, resource rich areas of Africa for the West. Canadian gold mining operations have significant holdings in Mali as do may other western nations…

“It is ironic that since the death of Osama Bin Laden, the US military boasts that Al-Qaeda is on the run and has no ability to wage its war. Meanwhile, any time there is a need for intervention, there is suddenly a new Al-Qaeda threat that comes out of the woodwork. 

“Canada must not participate in this process of unending war.”

That’s a call to action which should be acted upon in the coming days and weeks as one of the poorest and most ecologically fragile regions of the world falls victim to deeper militarization and plundering.

 

Roger Annis is a social rights and trade union activist in Vancouver, B.C. He can be reached at rogerannis[at]hotmail[dot]com

 

(Quelle: rabble.ca)

Siehe auch:

Frankreichs Militär mordet in Mali
Der Ali in Mali – Schnell mal Krieg machen

Global: Strahlendes Loch im Himmel

Montag, Juli 30th, 2012

“NASA’s Dangerous Alliance With the Nuclear Industry

Nukes on Mars

by KARL GROSSMAN

World Nuclear News, the information arm of the World Nuclear Association which seeks to boost the use of atomic energy, last week heralded a NASA Mars rover slated to land on Mars on Monday, the first Mars rover fueled with plutonium.

“A new era of space exploration is dawning through the application of nuclear energy for rovers on Mars and the Moon, power generation at future bases on the surfaces of both and soon for rockets that enable interplanetary travel,” began a dispatch from World Nuclear News. It was headed: “Nuclear ‘a stepping stone’ to space exploration.”

In fact, in space as on Earth there are safe, clean alternatives to nuclear power. Indeed, right now a NASA space probe energized by solar energy is on its way to Jupiter, a mission which for years NASA claimed could not be accomplished without nuclear power providing onboard electricity. Solar propulsion of spacecraft has begun. And also, scientists, including those at NASA, have been working on using solar energy and other safe power sources for human colonies on Mars and the Moon.

The World Nuclear Association describes itself as “representing the people and organizations of the global nuclear profession.” World Nuclear News says it “is supported administratively and with technical advice by the World Nuclear Association and is based within its London Secretariat.”

Its July 27th dispatch notes that the Mars rover that NASA calls Curiosity and intends to land on August 6th, is “powered by a large radioisotope thermal generator instead of solar cells” as previous NASA Mars rovers had been. It is fueled with 10.6 pounds of plutonium.

“Next year,” said World Nuclear News, “China is to launch a rover for the Moon” that also will be “powered by a nuclear battery.” And “most significant of all” in terms of nuclear power in space, continued World Nuclear News, “could be the Russian project for a ‘megawatt-class’ nuclear-powered rocket.” It cites Anatoly Koroteev, chief of Russia’s Keldysh Research Centre, as saying the system being developed could provide “thrust…20 times that of current chemical rockets, enabling heavier craft with greater capabilities to travel further and faster than ever before.” There would be a “launch in 2018.”

The problem—a huge one and not mentioned whatsoever by World Nuclear News—involves accidents with space nuclear power systems releasing radioactivity impacting on people and other life on Earth. That has already happened. With more space nuclear operations, more atomic mishaps would be ahead.

NASA, before last November’s launch of Curiosity, acknowledged that if the rocket lofting it exploded at launch in Florida, plutonium could be released affecting an area as far as 62 miles away—highly-populated and including Orlando. Further, if the rocket didn’t break out of the Earth’s gravitational field, it and the rover would fall back into the atmosphere and break up, potentially releasing plutonium over a massive area. In its Final Environmental Impact Statement for the mission, NASA said in this situation plutonium could impact on “Earth surfaces between approximately 28-degrees north latitude and 28-degrees south latitude.” That includes Central America and much of South America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

The EIS said the costs of decontamination of plutonium in areas would be $267 million for each square mile of farmland, $478 million for each square mile of forests and $1.5 billion for each square mile of “mixed-use urban areas.” The Curiosity mission itself, because of $900 million in cost overruns, now has a price of $2.5 billion.

NASA set the odds very low for a plutonium release for Curiosity. The EIS said “overall” on the mission, the likelihood of plutonium being released was 1-in-220.

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space , for more than 20 years the leading opposition group to space nuclear missions, declared that “NASA sadly appears committed to maintaining its dangerous alliance with the nuclear industry. Both entities view space as a new market for the deadly plutonium fuel…Have we not learned anything from Chernobyl and Fukushima? We don’t need to be launching nukes into space. It’s not a gamble we can afford to take.”

Plutonium has long been described as the most lethal radioactive substance. And the plutonium isotope used in the space nuclear program, and on the Curiosity rover, is significantly more radioactive than the type of plutonium used as fuel in nuclear weapons or built up as a waste product in nuclear power plants. It is Plutonium-238 as distinct from Plutonium-239. Plutonium-238 has a far shorter half-life–87.8 years compared to Plutonium-239 with a half-life of 24,500 years. An isotope’s half-life is the period in which half of its radioactivity is expended.

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, a nuclear physicist and president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, explains that Plutonium-238 “is about 270 times more radioactive than Plutonium-239 per unit of weight.” Thus in radioactivity, the 10.6 pounds of Plutonium-238 being used on Curiosity is the equivalent of 2,862 pounds of Plutonium-239. The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki used 15 pounds of Plutonium-239.

The far shorter half-life of Plutonium-238 compared to Plutonium-239 results in it being extremely hot. This heat is translated in a radioisotope thermoelectric generator into electricity.

The pathway of greatest health concern for plutonium is breathing in a particle leading to lung cancer. A millionth of a gram of plutonium can be a fatal dose. The EIS for Curiosity speaks of particles that would be “transported to and remain in the trachea, bronchi, or deep lung regions.” The particles “would continuously irradiate lung tissue.”

There hasn’t been an accident on the Curiosity mission. But the EIS acknowledged that there have been mishaps previously—in this spaceborne game of nuclear Russian roulette. Of the 26 earlier U.S. space missions that have used plutonium listed in the EIS, three underwent accidents, it admitted. The worst occurred in 1964 and involved, it noted, the SNAP-9A plutonium system aboard a satellite that failed to achieve orbit and dropped to Earth, disintegrating as it fell. The 2.1 pounds of Plutonium-238 fuel onboard dispersed widely over the Earth. Dr. John Gofman, professor of medical physics at the University of California at Berkeley, long linked this accident to an increase in global lung cancer. With the SNAP-9A accident, NASA switched to solar energy on satellites. Now all satellites and the International Space Station are solar powered.

The worst accident of several involving a Soviet or Russian nuclear space systems was the fall from orbit in 1978 of the Cosmos 954 satellite powered by a nuclear reactor. It also broke up in the atmosphere as it fell, spreading radioactive debris over 77,000 square miles of the Northwest Territories of Canada.

In 1996, the Russian Mars 96 space probe, energized with a half-pound of Plutonium-238 fuel, failed to break out of the Earth’s gravity and came down—as a fireball—over northern Chile. There was fall-out in Chile and neighboring Bolivia.

Initiatives in recent years to power spacecraft safely and cleanly include the launch by NASA last August 8th of a solar-powered space probe it calls Juno to Jupiter. NASA’s Juno website currently reports: “The spacecraft is in excellent health and is operating nominally.” It is flying at 35,200 miles per hour and is to reach Jupiter in 2016. Even at Jupiter, “nearly 500 million miles from the Sun,” notes NASA, its solar panels will be providing electricity. Waves

Solar power has also begun to be utilized to propel spacecraft through the friction-less vacuum of space. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in 2010 launched what it termed a “space yacht” called Ikaros which got propulsion from the pressure on its large sails from ionizing particles emitted by the Sun. The sails also feature “thin-film solar cells to generate electricity and creating,” said Yuichi Tsuda of the agency, “a hybrid technology of electricity and pressure.”

As to power for colonies on Mars and the Moon, on Mars, not only the sun is considered as a power source but also energy from the Martian winds. And, on the Moon, as The Daily Galaxy has reported: “NASA is eying the Moon’s south polar region as a possible site for future outposts. The location has many advantages; for one thing, there is evidence of water frozen in deep dark south polar craters. Water can be split into oxygen to breathe and hydrogen to burn as rocket fuel—or astronauts could simply drink it. NASA’s lunar architects are also looking for what they call ‘peaks of eternal light’—polar mountains where the sun never sets, which might be a perfect settings for a solar power station.”

Still, the pressure by promoters of nuclear energy on NASA and space agencies around the world to use atomic energy in space is intense—as is the drive of nuclear promoters on governments and the public for atomic energy on Earth.

Critically, nuclear power systems for space use must be fabricated on Earth—with all the dangers that involves, and launched from Earth—with all the dangers that involves (1 out of 100 rockets destruct on launch), and are subject to falling back to Earth and raining deadly radioactivity on human beings and other life on this planet.

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.”

 

(Quelle: Counterpunch.)

USA: Kinder- was?

Mittwoch, Juli 25th, 2012

“U.S. Military Treatment of Juvenile Detainees Undergoes International Scrutiny

By Allison Frankel, ACLU Human Rights Program at 11:37am

When the U.S. ratified the international treaty on the rights of children in armed conflict in 2002, it committed to protecting children under 18 from military recruitment and deployment to war and guaranteeing basic protections to former child soldiers, including those in U.S. military custody. Formally known as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), the treaty requires ratifying nations to submit periodic reports on the progress they have made to implement their treaty obligations to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, a body of independent human rights experts charged with monitoring countries’ compliance with the treaty.  The U.S. government’s latest report will be reviewed by the Committee in January 2013. The list of issues to be discussed during this review, which was adopted by the Committee on July 3, raises serious concerns regarding U.S. compliance with the Protocol and provides an opportunity for the United States to provide transparency and accountability for its treatment of juveniles in military custody. 

The Committee requested that the U.S. provide detailed information regarding the number of juveniles detained by U.S. military forces, their treatment in detention, reasons for their detention, and the physical and psychological recovery assistance available to them.  As of 2008, the most recent year for which public data is available, 2,500 juveniles had been detained in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay since 2001. Responding to an ACLU request for updated figures in February 2010, the Department of Defense stated that fewer than five juveniles remained in U.S. military custody in Iraq and Afghanistan at that time. But we have insufficient information about measures the U.S. has taken to rehabilitate or reintegrate the children it has detained, or the remedies provided to children who suffered harm in U.S. custody.  Indeed, although the U.S. maintains that, “in detaining juvenile combatants, the United States seeks to restore some hope for their future and to prepare them for reintegration into society,” evidence suggests that the U.S. has failed to provide rehabilitation or reintegration assistance to former juvenile detainees as mandated by the Protocol, let alone remedies for children subjected to abuse and wrongful detention.  

Jan Sher Khan is just one of the many children whose lives have been damaged by the U.S. failure to adhere to international human rights standards for children detained in armed conflict. Khan, now 24, was detained for six years at Bagram without ever being charged with a crime. According to a recent Reuters article, he was repeatedly beaten while in U.S. custody, and as a result has suffered from frequent headaches, mood swings, and the stigma of being labeled a “terrorist,” which he fears will make it nearly impossible for him to rebuild his life, find a job, get married and start a family. “Sometimes I feel like I’m still in prison,” he told Reuters. Another former juvenile detainee, Kamil Shah, who was 16 when he was captured and was held in Bagram for five years without charge, said of his detention: “I was innocent. I lost my education. I lost everything.”  

The prolonged detention, often without charge or trial, and ill treatment of juveniles by the U.S. military extends from the mountains of Afghanistan to the shores of Guantanamo, where Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen and former child soldier who was detained in 2002 at the age of 15 and was convicted by a military commission, continues to linger in a legal limbo. Although the Canadian and U.S. governments struck a deal in 2010 for Khadr’s repatriation to Canada provided he served one more year at Guantanamo, the Canadian government has yet to request the transfer of Khadr into Canadian custody.  Canadian Senator Romeo Dallaire recently circulated an online petition to bring Khadr to Canada, which has garnered significant public support. Khadr is the youngest prisoner still detained at the naval base. Friday marks the fateful ten year anniversary of his detention

Mohammed Jawad, another former child soldier and ACLU client was illegally held at Guantanamo for almost seven years.  He was released in August 2009, after a federal court found that the government had no credible evidence to justify his detention. Jawad’s mistreatment during detention, as well as an assessment of the U.S. government’s failure to adequately respond to allegations of detainee abuse, is chronicled in a July 2011 University of San Francisco Law Review article written by his military defense lawyer. The Committee is seeking information regarding allegations of torture and ill-treatment of Khadr and Jawad, as well as what remedies were provided to Jawad once he was released.

The U.S. reply to the Committee’s list of issues is due on November 16. For the sake of Khan, Khadr, Jawad and the other children who have been traumatized by U.S. detention, we hope the United States will fully answer the Committee’s questions, and take immediate, meaningful action to bring its policies and practices into compliance with the Protocol.

Learn more about children’s rights: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.”

 

(Quelle: ACLU.)

Kanada: Nicht nur im globalen Süden

Sonntag, Juli 8th, 2012

“Innu Continue to Protest the Plan Nord and Romaine River Hydro Project

By Alexis Lathem | Wednesday, 04 July 2012 13:09

Marching against dam
Marching against dam

On the morning of June 10th, a group of Innu people from the community of ManiUtenam, near the Quebec City of Sept Isle, set out on a 360 kilometer march towards a Hydro Quebec dam construction site on the Romaine River. Dressed in florescent vests, they departed from an encampment at the entrance to the reserve, beside Route 138, the only major road in the region, where the group has maintained a continual protest since the end of April.

Impossible to miss as vehicles pass along the route, the encampment strikingly asserts the presence of the Innu –who have been consistently ignored by governments and developers as they continue to encroach upon Innu territory.

The Innu people (not to be confused with the Inuit) are the indigenous people of the northeastern part of what is today called Quebec and Labrador. To the Innu, this is Nitassinan, “our land”, which they have never ceded to Quebec or to Canada. Having escaped the predations of agricultural and industrial encroachment for centuries, the Innu were not settled onto reserves until the 1960s – most of them located at the mouths of the rivers emptying into the Gulf of St Lawrence – at the same time that the provincially owned utility, Hydro Quebec, began to construct a series of large dams in Nitassinan, effectively ending a way of life. The dams destroyed the salmon, flooded forested valleys, and paved the way for the industrialization of the Innu homeland.

“We demand to be recognized,” reads a hand-scrawled sign at the site. Plumes of woods moke rise from small canvas – and spruce- pole tents (the style of tent used by the Innu when they are in the forest) clustered around a large structure called a chapetoine, traditionally used for ceremonies and councils. Children play in the sand beneath overhanging banners that read (in French), “No Plan Nord! We want a Plan Innu!” and “Protect the Romaine River!”

The $8 billion Romaine Complex –involving four large hydroelectric stations, dikes, spillways, canals, and 279 sq kilometers of reservoir – marks the first phase of Quebec’s multi-billion dollar Plan Nord, a massive soviet-style 25-year scheme to industrialize the remote region north of the 49th parallel. A territory twice the size of France, which proponents themselves boast is “the largest intact ecosystem in the world,” belongs entirely to First Nation’s peoples.

“We were not consulted,” said Elyse Vollant, speaking in French, a mother of eight children from Mani Utenam, who has been living in the encampment since April. “The government says the First Nations have approved the Plan Nord but we have not. This is a violation of our rights.”

This is the first organized opposition coming from First Nations communities to Hydro Quebec since the 1990s, when the James Bay Cree campaigned to stop the massive Great Whale project, at the same time that the Innu of ManiUtenam opposed Hydro Quebec’s St. Marguerite 3 (SM3) project. The Great Whale project was cancelled in 1994, but the SM3 project was built.

Protests began in March, when a group of Innu blockaded the highway to disrupt supplies to the Hydro Quebec construction site, after Hydro Quebec began to illegally install its transmission lines associated with Romaine complex. The towers would pass directly through the Innu’s ancestral lands, which have never been ceded to Quebec.

In two community-wide referenda, the community of Uashat/ ManiUtenam voted down a compensation package of $125 million offered in exchange for their consent to the project. Hydro Quebec is nevertheless proceeding to construct the lines – clearing swaths of forest for the corridor – in the absence of an agreement from the community.

After blockading the route and disrupting work on the complex for four days, the Quebec police arrived on March 9 in riot gear to break up the protest. Thirteen people were arrested, including Elyse Vollant. After the police broke up the blockade, and the protesters were placed under an injunction, prohibiting their assembly near the road, they “were not sure what to do,” Vollant explained. “My father told me not to be afraid of the injunction. He said we should continue to defend Nitassinan.”

A group of women then decided to carry out a long march – 900 kilometers to Montreal. Some 40-plus Innu women arrived in Montreal on April 22, in time for the Earth day festivities.

“We are doing this for our children,” Vollant said. “In the future, there will be no more trees, no more animals, no more fish. Everything will be polluted. What will be left for our children? What kind of a life will they have?”

On June 16, after walking for six days, the marchers arrived at the construction site near the Romaine River where they were joined by Innuat from Ekuanit shit and Natasquan, the two closest communities to the Romaine River, and Uashat/ManiUtenam, as well as by supporters from the Quebecois communities in the region. Some fifty people formed a human chain before the entrance to the site, where they held their ground for eleven hours.

According to Chris Scott with the Romaine Alliance, an environmental group that is working to protect the river, the first vehicle to attempt to pass was a Hydro Quebec tour bus. The tourists were “dumbfounded” at the sight of a large group of Innu people, some dressed in traditional clothing, singing and chanting in the road. A group of children, both Innu and Quebcois, held a large colorful banner that read (in French): “Protect the Romaine River!”

“After fifteen minutes they were allowed to pass,” Scott said, “but not without an appreciation for the fact that – contrary to what one hears – there is not unanimous approval for this project, neither among the Innu nor the whites.”

Scott told the visitors to “take a good look at the Grandes Chutes, because they will not be here once the dam is built. Neither will the salmon beds at the base of the falls.”

The Grandes Chutes is the largest and most spectacular waterfall on the river. Once the Romaine 1 hydroelectric station is built, directly over the site of the falls, the river behind the dam will be stored in a reservoir, then diverted around the falls. Only a trickle of water will pass, where once a volume of white water second only to Niagara crashed over a precipice, in a tempestuous display vapor and spume. This summer, the salmon returning from their two-year sojourn at sea will spawn in the gravel beds below the falls for the last time.

The Romaine River – one of the longest in Quebec – is one of the last wild Atlantic salmon rivers that has not been dammed. The Innu have fished the Romaine River salmon, reputed to be some of the biggest in the world, for millennia. Of the sixteen rivers in Quebec listed as large rivers, the Romaine is the fourteenth to be dammed. The Romaine complex will be the fifteenth hydro-complex in Nitassinan, the Innu homeland, where already the landscape– wherever there are dams- is dominated by armadas of massive 740 kv powerlines, carrying power from the once mighty rivers that crisscross the mountainous eastern seaboard before they flow into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Plan Nord calls for developing 3,500 MW of additional hydroelectric energy (to add to the staggering 47,000 MW already produced by a province with a population of 7.5 million), including the Romaine complex. Hydro complexes are also planned for the Magpie and Petit-Mecatina Rivers in the region.

As they passed through Innu communities along the way, the group circulated a petition demanding a halt to the Plan Nord, a settlement of the Innu’s legal claims against the province of Quebec, complete information on the effects and impacts of the Plan, and a comprehensive consultation with all members of the Innu nation. The signatures will be presented to the Quebec General Assembly.

After their demonstration at the entrance to the Romaine construction site, the Innu group returned to the encampment by the highway. They continue to gather in the evenings under the canopy of the chapetoine, while they plan more actions for the coming months. At night they sleep on its fragrant carpet of spruce boughs.

“People are rising up,” said Vollant. “The Innu are going to come together to oppose the Plan Nord. People from the outside will join us. It’s not just the Innu who are affected – all human beings depend upon nature. We are all going to come together.”

 

(Quelle: Towards Freedom.com)