Here's a list of Take Action Web Sites. I subscribe to some of them and occasionally submit my name in a petition.
Customer protests have moved a few companies to quit ALEC (the most extreme of the many conservative lobbying organizations).Will customer protests move companies to reconsider their use of our…Continue
This, from Atheist Alliance International:Dear AAI Members and SupportersAlexander Aan, the Indonesian atheist who was attacked and arrested after posting 'God does not exist' on Facebook, has been…Continue
Bailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of…Continue
I started reading about the reduction of butterflies because of round up and found the links more interesting. Here are a couple of them:A …Continue
Human Rights Watch released a report this month that included, for the first time in our history, photographic evidence collected with an autonomous robotic plane, commonly called a drone.
Built by Sensefly, a subsidiary of Parrot Group, our small, hand-launched drone helped us to investigate the health risks of widespread open burning of household waste in Lebanon – a result of the government’s failure to manage solid waste – in innovative ways that complement our traditional research.
We operated our drone over three open dump sites with official permission and collected several thousand aerial images at a resolution impossible for satellite sensors.
The images revealed fresh burn scars and large ash deposits from extensive prior burns. This corroborated witness testimony about the open burning of waste that has caused respiratory illnesses and other serious health problems in nearby communities.
The potential of drones, and robotic technology more broadly, for human rights investigations is strongest when satellite sensors are not feasible or appropriate to use.
Drones can operate under heavy clouds and at times of the day and night when satellite sensors cannot. And drones allow us to collect images and live video remotely at a level of detail impossible with even the most advanced satellite technology.
Most importantly, drones offer an alternative to field research that can be significantly safer and more secure, for example, when physical access is restricted or denied.
At the same time, the use of drones in human rights investigations presents a range of legal, security, and privacy issues that require special consideration, especially in insecure environments where the possession or use of such technology could endanger ourselves and others.
To address these issues, Human Rights Watch conducts a rigorous review before any drone flight. As we and others deploy new technologies, documenting abuses cannot come at the expense of ethical and professional norms.
When French President Emmanuel Macron sits down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this Sunday – International Human Rights Day – French-Palestinian binational Salah Hamouri will enter his 111th day in Israeli administrative detention – detention without charge or trial.
Israeli authorities detained the 32-year-old researcher, who works for the Palestinian human rights group Addameer, after raiding his home in East Jerusalem in late August. At the time of his arrest, Hamouri had been preparing to visit his wife and toddler son in Paris. The family had been forced to live separately ever since Israeli authorities deported Hamouri’s wife, a French national, last year citing “security reasons.” Hamouri never did make his family reunion, and has been detained since without charge or trial based on secret evidence. In September, an Israeli court confirmed a military administrative order to detain him for six months, and that can be renewed.
This isn’t Hamouri’s first time in Israeli detention – authorities imprisoned him between 2005 and 2011. After about three years in pretrial detention, an Israeli military court sentenced him to seven years in prison for charges related to an alleged plot to kill Israel’s former chief rabbi. In 2011, then French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé expressed regret that the case against Hamouri lacked strong evidentiary support. Human Rights Watch has documented how military trials by the Israeli army, which have a near 100-percent conviction rate, fall well short of any standards of justice. He was subsequently released in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.
Hamouri’s current case is hardly unique – Israeli authorities are also holding Addameer board member Khalida Jarrar and 451 others in administrative detention as of November 1, according to Israel Prison Service figures. While international humanitarian law permits administrative detention in temporary and exceptional circumstances, Israel’s expansive use of administrative detention in year 51 of its occupation raises questions about its legality.
In October, the French Foreign Ministry called for Hamouri’s rights to “be respected” and expressed hope for his release, saying that, “the systematic and abusive use of administrative detention undermines the right to fair trial and the right to a defense.” Macron should use his bilateral meeting with Netanyahu to call for Hamouri to be either charged or released promptly. Macron should also press his Israeli counterpart to end Israel’s other systematic abuses of Palestinian rights.
During its first year in office, the Trump Administration has steadily chipped away at federal laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination. The administration has withdrawn guidance protecting transgender youth in schools, banned transgender people from serving in the military, undermined LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections in federal court, and sided with people and organizations who want to discriminate against LGBT people for religious reasons.
In 2018, another crucial protection is at risk of being erased. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), designed to support survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking, contains important provisions prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in the services it funds and supports. The protections were added when the law was reauthorized in 2013, making it the first federal law to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. With these provisions, VAWA has helped ensure that all survivors are able to better access care.
Support for LGBT people who have survived abuse is critical. A 2015 survey of research by the Williams Institute noted that most studies “found a lifetime prevalence of [intimate partner violence] among lesbian and bisexual women, gay and bisexual men, and transgender people that is as high as or higher than the U.S. general population.” LGBT survivors face unique barriers to accessing services, ranging from a lack of awareness to heteronormative assumptions that they don’t need protection from abuse to overt discrimination and exclusion by service providers.
VAWA helps address these barriers. LGBT-inclusive provisions have encouraged providers to undergo training and ensure services are accessible and effective for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. They have named LGBT people an underserved population, allowing providers to use earmarked funds to address their unique vulnerabilities. And they have ensured that transgender people are able to access shelters consistent with their gender identity.
These 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence are the last before Congress is scheduled to reauthorize VAWA. In 2013, Republican leadership in the House of Representatives fought hard to strip LGBT protections from the bill, delaying VAWA reauthorization for months. Advocates have expressed concern that inclusive provisions of the law will come under renewed threat in the upcoming reauthorization. In 2018, Congress should refuse to make the elimination of intimate partner violence for LGBT people a partisan issue. Instead, it should reauthorize an inclusive VAWA that commits to addressing gender-based violence in all its forms.