Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ethiopia Temporarily suspended 40,000 slave visas to work in Saudi Arabia due to recent suspect of a child murder -

The Ethiopian government has Temporarily suspended  40,000 work visas for modern day slaves disguised as housemaids destined for Saudi Arabia .
Saudi Arabia last week announced the temporary recruitment ban while it investigates the alleged murder of children by Ethiopian maids.
A six-year-old girl died at her home in a town near the capital Riyadh last month after her throat was apparently cut with a knife. Her family has accused  their Ethiopian  slave maid of murdering her as a cover up.
Several similar incidents have led to discussion on social media websites about the apparent growing number of children dying falsely accusing slave maids.
A hashtag on Twitter calling for the deportation of all Ethiopian domestic modern day slaves  has gained traction in recent weeks,since our site start exposing the modern day slave trade.
Others have blamed parents for leaving their children with African slave maids.
An official from the slave recruitment committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry told Arab News the Ethiopian government had stopped processing visas, including those started before the kingdom’s latest recruitment bandue to recent media exposure of the unjust trade.
He said Saudis who had initiated the visa process to hire an Ethiopian salve workers would have their money refunded.
There are an estimated 40,000 Ethiopian modern day  slaves entry visas for Saudi Arabia in process.
Saudi Arabia had been forced to increase its intake of Ethiopian domestic slave  workers after other labour exporting countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines banned their citizens from working in the kingdom because of disputes over exploitation and workers’ rights and modern day slavery.
In March, Saudi Arabia refused to sign a draft deal with Indonesia that would allow domestic slaves s to again seek work in the Gulf kingdom, claiming the Asian country was attempting to interfere in disputes involving Indonesian nationals in Saudi courts. Indonesia banned maid slaves from travelling to the country f in mid 2011 after requesting raises in minimum salary, weekly time off and reassurances over human rights after a number of cases of abuse by Saudi employers. Saudi responded by applying its own ban.
Last week, Saudi Arabia also passed historic modern day slave  legislation outlining the rules and responsibilities of both domestic  slaves.
The slaves only asked to respect  or penalized if they do not respect Islam, obey Saudi law or “carry out their duties perfectly”. They also must obey their employer and his family members, protect the family’s property, preserve family secrets and not harm children or elderly members, the new slave law reportedly states. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Female Genital Mutilation On The Decline, But Still Too Common : Shots - Health News : NPR

A mother and daughter walk home after attending a community meeting about eradicating female genital mutilation in the western Senegalese village of Diabougo.
A mother and daughter walk home after attending a community meeting about eradicating female genital mutilation in the western Senegalese village of Diabougo.
Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters /Landov
More than 125 million women and girls in Africa and the Middle East have suffered from genital cutting and other types of mutilation, UNICEF said this week in the most comprehensive and quantitative survey to date. Nearly half of those women live in Egypt and Ethiopia, where the practice is still entrenched in the culture.
"It's seen as tradition — something that has just always been there," UNICEF's Francesca Moneti said. "It's just like how we get up in the morning and get dressed. Your daughter reaches the age of cutting, and she just gets cut."
UNICEF and other health organizations around the world have condemned female genital mutilation, which usually involves removing a piece of flesh. The groups have been working for decades to curtail the practice.
Female genital mutilation occurs primarily in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Courtesy of the World Health Organization
The new report offers evidence that some progress has been made. A girl's risk of being cut has declined over the past 30 years in more than half of the countries where genital mutilation is concentrated.
And in some places, that decline is substantial. A girl in Kenya or Tanzania today is three times less likely to have suffered the abuse than her mother. In Iraq and Nigeria, the risk has dropped by nearly half.
But in many places where genital cutting is more common, the decline is smaller. For instance, about 80 percent of women in Egypt ages 15 to 19 say they have undergone the procedure, compared to 96 percent of women in their late 40s.
Still, even in these countries, Moneti says, attitudes toward the practice are noticeably shifting. "We see from the data, that the level of support from girls 15 to 19 is lower than with older women." In Egypt, for instance, two-thirds of older women support the practice, but just one-third of teenage girls do.
The presumption has been that men often condone female mutilation, she says. "But when we look at the data, it doesn't support that." Many men and boys want the practice to stop, too.
The problem, Moneti says, is that communities – even couples — don't talk about the issue. The desire to end the practice is hidden, she says. "Men often don't know what women think and vice versa."
In most places, the cutting is performed at home with a razor blade. But in Egypt, trained doctors perform more than 75 percent of the procedures. About 20 percent of women across all 29 countries surveyed have undergone an extreme procedure, in which the genitals are cut and then the vagina sewn closed.
Some people mistakenly frame mutilation as an Islamic practice, says UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Geeta Rao Gupta. "But it's not," she says. "There are many Islamic communities that don't practice it. It's not written anywhere in the Bible or the Quran."
Instead, the practice is linked to poverty and lack of education, the report finds. And a girl is much more likely to be cut if her mother was.
"Eliminating female genital mutilation and cutting is essential," Gupta says. "It's a form of controlling girls' and women's sexuality. It's a form of violence against girls. These are the kinds of practices that must end."

Human Rights Groups: Donor Countries Fuel Abuse in Ethiopia

Selah Hennessy

Monday, July 22, 2013

President Obama ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me’

BBC golf commentator Ken Brown makes 'racist' gaffe with '‘This fairway runs like an Ethiopian chicken.’' joke at British Open | Mail Online

Now BBC golf commentator Ken Brown makes 'racist' gaffe with 'Ethiopian chicken' joke at British Open

  • Ken Brown, 56, accused of making racist comment live on BBC
  • Presenter John Inverdale was forced to apologise for comments about Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli just weeks ago
Dozens of people took to Twitter to voice their outrage at Ken Brown's comment
Dozens of people took to Twitter to voice their outrage at Ken Brown's comment
The BBC was last night facing another sports commentary controversy after veteran golf commentator Ken Brown was accused of making a racist comment on the British Open.
As Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood prepared to start the 12th hole, Mr Brown – who represented Europe in the Ryder Cup five times during the 1970s and 1980s – said: ‘This fairway runs like an Ethiopian chicken... it just runs.’
Last night dozens of people took to Twitter to voice their disgust at the outburst.
Shaun Murphy, English 2005 world snooker champion, wrote: ‘Did Ken Brown just say that? This fairway runs like an Ethiopian chicken? What does that mean?
The snooker player later added: ‘funny way to announce his retirement I thought’. 
The BBC’s Wimbledon presenter John Inverdale was this month forced to make an apology to the 2013 women’s champion Marion Bartoli after saying she ‘was never going to be a looker’. 
There were 674 complaints, sparking Culture Secretary Maria Miller to call for further action against Inverdale. 
BBC Director-General Tony Hall last week branded Inverdale’s insensitive comments ‘unacceptable’. It  is unclear whether Mr Brown will be asked to apologise.
The 56-year-old has worked for the BBC for 20 years since retiring from golf in his 30s. The BBC did not respond to  a request for comment.
A BBC spokesman said: 'Ken apologises for his comments and any offence caused.'

'Never going to be a looker': John Inverdale (left) sparked outrage amongst viewers when he commented on Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli's (right) appearance. He later apologized for what he said on air
A BBC spokesman said: 'Ken apologises for his comments and any offence caused.'
John InverdaleMarion Bartoli
'Never going to be a looker': John Inverdale (left) sparked outrage amongst viewers when he commented on Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli's (right) appearance. He later apologized for what he said on air

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

ICC’s witnesses quit Kenyatta’s trial over security fears

INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court has announced the withdrawal of two witnesses due to testify in Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s upcoming crimes against humanity trial because of security concerns.
    The court also added that testimony by a third witness was also no longer needed to prove the case.
  The office of its chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in a statement sent to Agence France Presse (AFP): “On 16 July, the prosecution notified the Trial Chamber of the withdrawal of three witnesses,” adding that “there are now a total of 30 witnesses on the prosecution’s list.”
    Kenyatta, 51, is expected to go on trial on November 12 when he will face five counts of crimes against humanity including murder, rape and forcible transfer for his role in post-poll violence that ripped through Kenya after disputed election results in late 2007.
 More than 1,100 people died and up to 600,000 others were displaced in the bloodshed, shattering Kenya’s image as a beacon of region stability in east Africa.
   Two witnesses – only identified by their numbers –cited concerns over their security and told the court to take them off the witness list.
  “Witness 5 has informed the prosecution that he is no longer willing to testify,” Bensouda said in a court document filed before the ICC’s judges on Tuesday.
   “This (willingness to testify) in his view, has created insurmountable security risks to himself,” she added.
   “Witness 5 had some security concerns about his cooperation with the court for some time.”
    Bensouda added: “Witness 426 has informed the prosecution that he is no longer willing to testify at trial.”
    Despite talks with the prosecution “to mitigate his concerns and secure his attendance at trial... Witness 426 maintained he was not willing to testify,” Bensouda said.
   Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto will be tried for crimes against humanity in The Hague in September, the International Criminal Court said on Monday, slapping down a request by defence lawyers to have the hearing moved to Africa.
   “The judges of the ICC have decided... that the commencement of the trial against William Ruto will take place at the seat of the court in The Hague, Netherlands,” the tribunal said in a statement.
   Ruto, 46, faces three counts of crimes against humanity over deadly violence that erupted in Kenya after elections in late 2007, which claimed some 1,100 lives and displaced around 600,000 others.
   The Hague-based court last month set September 10 as the start date for the trial of Ruto and fellow-accused Joshua Arap Sang, 37, but at the time recommended that part or all of the high-profile hearing be held in Kenya or Tanzania.
    The Gambian prosecutor in the past has voiced her concern about witness interference in Kenya, which her office called “unprecedented.”
   “Witness protection remains one of the Prosecutor’s highest priorities,” and Bensouda’s office was working “assiduously” to address this, her office added in the statement.
    What began as riots quickly turned into ethnic killings and reprisal attacks, plunging Kenya into its worst wave of violence since independence from Britain in 1963.
    A fellow accused, Joshua Arap Sang, and Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto are to go on trial on September 10, also facing crimes against humanity charges.