The Human Impact

Al Qaeda ideology is weakening – Algerian activist Abdullah Anas

 

Abdullah Anas spoke with AlertNet after a panel discussion titled “The Death of Global Jihadism, a Disparate al Qaeda?” at the “Reporting on International Security and Terrorism” seminar in Istanbul. YouTube Preview Image

Panel discussions at the event are hosted by international security experts and attended by 25 journalists from around the world.

Sponsors of the seminar include Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Stanley Foundation, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, Stiftung Mercator, Istanbul Policy Center and Sabanci University.

Picture Credit: An army soldier stands near a tank and a building destroyed during recent fighting between the army and al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar, Abyan June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Careless social media use can endanger journalist sources – NPR’s Andy Carvin

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Andy Carvin, social media strategist at National Public Radio (NPR), was part of a panel discussion on authoritarianism and social media at “Reporting on International Security and Terrorism” in Istanbul.

The seminar examined the role of the media and how journalists can avoid being exploited.

EU could do better on sub-Saharan Africa water, sanitation projects – audit

Fewer than half of 23 drinking water and sanitation projects funded with development aid from the European Union (EU) in six Sub-Saharan countries have met the needs of beneficiaries, and 19 are at risk of failure without ongoing financial support, according to an auditors’ report.

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) assessed the projects to see if the European Commission has managed aid for drinking water and basic sanitation in a manner that would lead to effective and sustainable results.

In only four of the projects were fees for services set at a level to cover running costs, the audit report said, adding that unless future aid, or subsidies from national or local governments are made available, their sustainability is at risk.

iPhone app helps UK strip-club dancers know their rights

A new iPhone app offers workplace tips for strippers to help them protect themselves against financial exploitation, abuse and a lack of safety.

The “Dancers Information” application and a related website were conceived by researchers after findings from a study of the erotic-dance industry in England and Wales showed that current regulations of nightclubs in the sexual entertainment sector do not automatically address issues of employment status, welfare and security.

Researchers at the University of Leeds surveyed more than 300 women dancers about their working conditions in two separate sets of interviews beginning in 2010-2011, after a new law regulating the sex entertainment industry was introduced in England and Wales in 2009. It was not clear how the law would be implemented, and how it would affect up to 10,000 dancers who researchers said perform in clubs on peak weekend nights.

What makes a man rape a young girl?

As I listen to the girls’ stories, coaxed out with hot tears, I struggle to find an answer to this question: what makes a man rape a young girl?

 

Mercy Chidi, who runs Tumani Girls Rescue Centre in the Kenyan town of Meru, has several theories. She has dealt with over 240 rape cases since she opened the centre in 2006, including cases involving girls as young as three.

 

“We have had several girls who have been sexually abused by their immediate relatives, like a grandfather, an uncle, because they believe they are going to get cured of HIV,” she said.

U.N. considers ban on female genital cutting

At seven years old, Khady Koita’s childhood was torn apart when she was pinned down and attacked by two women wielding a razor blade. The violence inflicted on her that day would change her life forever.

Last week the global campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM) took a major step forward when a draft resolution on eliminating the practice was submitted to the United Nations General Assembly.

“FGM is horrific, brutal, degrading and indefensible,” said Koita, a leading figure in the campaign against FGM. “My big hope is that one day no girl will have to go through what I have been through.”

London sanitation show aims to make “poo” hot topic

Human defecation remains a taboo subject, despite the fact that 2.5 billion people lack toilets, causing a global health crisis that kills more than a million children each year.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) hopes a new exhibition opening on Thursday will make sanitation easier to discuss. The show is part of its efforts to help fight diseases causing diarrhoea, which kill more children than malaria, HIV/AIDS and measles combined.

“People don’t talk about poo enough, and if we don’t talk about poo, how are we going to solve the problem of diarrhoeal diseases?” asked Val Curtis, director of the LSHTM’s Hygiene Centre.

UN education goals off track, progress on gender-report

Afghanistan has overcome the biggest obstacles of any country in its efforts to educate girls, according to a new global education reportreleased on Tuesday by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

In 1999, at a time when the ruling Taliban barred girls from getting an education, fewer than 4 percent of girls were enrolled in school, but by 2010 female enrolment was 79 percent, the UNESCO Education for All (EFA) report said.

Community schools, which make travel distances shorter, are credited with increasing security for girls and pushing up enrolment.

Swift action needed in fight against child marriage – UNFPA report

Despite gains in some countries, more than 14 million girls under age 18 will be married each year over the next 10 years, a figure expected to increase to more than 15 million girls a year between 2021 and 2030, according to a new report from the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) released on Thursday.

As the number of girls who are married as children grows, the number of children bearing children will increase, and deaths among girls will rise, said the report, timed to mark the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child.

International conventions declare that child marriage is a violation of fundamental human rights because it denies girls the right to choose when and with whom to marry.

Conway book urges united global action plan to end hunger

Global food security can be achieved for almost 1 billion chronically undernourished people by promoting strong political leadership, technological innovation, investment in smallholder farmers and efficient markets, according to a new book.

In “One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?”, author Gordon Conway, a professor of international development and director of advocacy group Agriculture for Impact at Imperial College London, emphasises the importance of reducing hunger and poverty by increasing food production within an environmentally sustainable framework, which  recognises climate change as a serious hindrance to future food security.

“Food price spikes, malnutrition and population growth, high costs of fertilizers and oil, degradation of land and water, and most importantly climate change must all be addressed,” Conway said at the launch of the book in London on Tuesday, where he said that policymakers need to tackle more than 20 issues to help solve the hunger problem.

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