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Fuelling the fire

Pakistan bought the Erieye radar surveillance system from Sweden, for $10 billion: Photo Saab AB.

India is the second largest arms importing country in the world, just after China. Pakistan has been, for a long time, a standing customer of European arms, making it the eleventh largest arms importer in the world. Given this, the region is indeed a lucrative market for the arms industry to engage in. Armed conflicts between the two nations have been used by eager European arms producers, aided by their governments.

Vs. Sharia

Sharia enforced dress code: Photo by Nick Treacy.

There is a world of difference between sexists and bigots who believe religion gives them the go ahead to think that gays are perverts and unveiled women whores and a state that puts those beliefs into laws, under which gays are executed and badly veiled women are fined, imprisoned or have acid thrown in their faces by Hezbollah and Basiji thugs. When this is the case, speaking of personal beliefs is at best misleading.

Do you know who made your guitar?

Abandoned Cor-tek factory: Photo by Noh Suntag.

After dedicating decades of their labour in unventilated rooms full of fumes and solvent; enduring forced overtime and below-minimum wage pay; incurring injuries and lung diseases; and undergoing the abuse of their managers, these workers found themselves padlocked out of their factory. It turned out that Cort had moved its operations overseas, for much cheaper and non-unionised labour in Chinese and Indonesian factories.

Not a fair deal

Turkmen president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, with Hillary Clinton: Photo by US State Department.

The West must not validate a dictator by buying gas or other resources from him; but instead make him understand that gas purchases are based solely on the democratisation process and on improvements in the human rights situation.

Unwelcoming shores

Young Afghan girl at a detention centre: Photo by Noborder Lesvos.

Greece gives refugee status to 0.05% of asylum seekers after a first interview and recently abolished meaningful appeals… Yet, EU member states continue to return migrants, asylum seekers, and even unaccompanied children to Greece, simply pretending that everything is perfectly fine.

Stop feeding the generals

Soldiers attacking protesters in Rangoon: Photo courtesy Alternative Asean Network on Burma.

As there was no UN mandated arms embargo, there were plenty of countries willing to keep supplying Burma’s newly enriched generals. China, Russia, Israel, Ukraine and others ensured Burma’s enlarged military was equipped with modern weaponry, paid for largely by Western investment.

Suffer the statelessness

Bihari woman, Bangladesh: Photo by Shafiur Rahman.

Since 2004, Refugees International has visited over a dozen countries to assess the situation of people who are stateless or at risk of statelessness. The organisation’s most recent report – Nationality rights for all: A progress report and global survey on statelessness – provides an updated global survey of statelessness in over eighty countries and assesses progress made since 2005.

Impunity in the Philippines

Migrante International picket: Photo via Arkibong Bayan.

Accusing the military of being in a state of denial, Philip Alston pointed to its counterinsurgency program, where activists were accused of supporting the communist party, and then systematically hunted down. According to Alston, activists were killed following a campaign of individual vilification by the military and that the strategy was designed to instil fear of the military in the community.

Slavery begins at home

Photo by Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons.

As the workplace for the domestic worker is in a private household it means that, in practice, the protections that do exist are not extended to her. Alarmingly, as the abuses take place behind closed doors and away from prying eyes it means that the treatment of domestic workers has become a hidden human rights issue.

Caught between a crocodile and a snake

Rohingya refugee child in Teknaf, Bangladesh: Photo by Tin Soe, Kaladan Press Network.

Originating from the Rakhine State in western Myanmar, most of the Rohingya refugees have been denied official refugee status by the government of Bangladesh. Out of the estimated 250,000 Rohingyas who fled Myanmar, only a paltry 28,000 men, women and children are officially recognised as refugees and eligible for basic support from UNHCR.

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