martes, 16 de diciembre de 2008

2 billions out of 12 (so far) for the food crisis

Last October Ofman International published that:
"Five months after countries pledged to give more than $12bn (£6.9bn) to address the global food emergency, less than $1bn has been given.... The number of malnourished people in the world rose by 44 million in 2008. Nearly one billion people are now going hungry. When you consider the speed of the world's response to the credit crisis, the delay in acting is shocking."

This news by the Word Bank.

Read more at this link with the news given by The Guardian

But, one good news we can say today is that:
The European Parliament: MEPs adopted a compromise agreement between Parliament, Council and Commission allowing for adoption in first reading of the regulation establishing the 1 billion euro food facility.
The report by Gay MITCHELL (EPP-ED, IE) which says that the Commission's proposal for a 1-billion-euro fund to address the food crisis is a major, and very timely, contribution to meeting this urgent challenge. The report sets out that the total financial reference amount for the implementation of this Regulation over the period 2008-2010 will be €1 billion. The legislative resolution was adopted with 561 votes in favour, 24 against and 34 abstentions.

Read more at the European Parliament web site

Read more at the Oxfam web site

domingo, 19 de octubre de 2008

Good News about death penalty! Iran

According to a statement by Hossein Zabhi, Assistant Attorney General for Judicial Affairs, a recently-issued directive instructs all judicial officials, when passing sentence, to apply the regulations of the Amnesty and Clemency Commission, which would allow the commutation of death sentences of juvenile offenders firstly to life imprisonment, and then in a second stage to 15 years.

In his interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency, Hossein Zabhi referred to all types of crime currently punishable by execution.

Iran was one of last remaining countries in the world that imposes the death penalty on juveniles aged under 18 at the time of the crime.

This news by Amnesty International.

The news by BBC News.

The Guardian October´s report reveals more countries abolishing death penalty
The world is moving closer to the final abolition of the death penalty, according to the latest figures published to coincide with World Day against the Death Penalty yesterday. At present, five countries are responsible for almost all the state executions carried out in the past year.

jueves, 25 de septiembre de 2008

UN advises people (western people) to eat less meat in order to tackle global warming.

The UN´s Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.) estimates that 18% of the greenhouse gas production comes from the meat industry. As a comparative data, the transport industry is considered responsible of the 16%.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which last year earned a joint share of the Nobel Peace Prize, said that people should then go on to reduce their meat consumption even further. Even he went further by saying that people should have one meat-free day a week if they want to make a personal and effective sacrifice that would help tackle climate change.

On top of that, most health authorities considered, from long a go, that most western people’s health would improve if there were less meat in their diets.

You can read more on this at:


miércoles, 27 de agosto de 2008

Olympic hangover – Self criticism would be seemly for the press

Press release 25 August 2008

Olympic hangover – Self criticism would be seemly for the press

It is hypocrisy of the worst kind, when the press wonders why there hasn’t been more about the human right in China during the Olympics. The truth is, that the 20,000 sports reporters in Beijing were untamable about the sports performances. They have been acting like a bunch of students from a continuation school on a picnic.

China could not dream of a better coverage of the Olympics. Associations to the media coverage during the Olympics in Berlin in 1936 seem obvious. It must be the media’s duty to inform the millions of people who are interested in the Olympics, partly about the sports results, but also about the Olympics being held in a totalitarian dictatorship with a massive violation of the human rights.

The sports journalists have failed totally – critical questions to athletes, the appearing politicians and the Chinese authorities have been almost absent. Even when Ussain Bolt during his 3 legendary races, was wearing an orange bracelet, which could have been a silent signal that there is something wrong with the human rights in China. Maybe it was a coincidence, but it is remarkable that the journalists avoided asking him. Self censorship seems to be looming large.

There have been many actions in Beijing by activists, who have tried to hang up banners etc. They have all been arrested and sent out of the country. Also these actions have only been mentioned sporadically. Many have used orange as a signal color, we don’t know how many, because the journalists, who were supposed to keep an eye on this, have just been interested in sports, and according to IOC rules it’s not allowed to display political symbols, and therefore they can’t tell why they wear orange. group in Denmark has applied the Chinese authorities for permission to demonstrate in the ‘permitted’ areas. Even though we have sent 10 reminders and personally went to the Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen, they won’t respond to our request for a visa and the permission to legal demonstration. The authorities say that 77 have applied, and 77 have been denied. But it is probably only the top of the iceberg. How many have they ignored totally like us? Why aren’t there any questions about that?
All media have apparently sent one or two journalists to cover the critical part of the Olympics, and that has – of course, triggered some critical on-the-spot reports, but they have been few and sporadic.

Operation successful – the Patient Died. We have to admit that our ambitions to get the athletes and others to use the color orange in front of the cameras to focus on the human rights in China, has only partially succeeded. Even though some athletes, including Ussain Bolt, have been wearing an orange bracelet, the interest from the press has been nearly gone. It is at this point, that we from group have made a mistake. We thought that the sports journalists were interested in other things beside sport, and that they would catch every opportunity to bring a story about athletes, who may have been criticizing China. This confidence in the journalists has appeared to be an Achilles’ heel to our project about using the color orange during the Olympics 2008.
On the other hand, we, the grassroots all over the world have managed to put human rights on the agenda ahead of the Olympics, where most of the articles have had a focus critical to China.

TheColorOrange campaign has been very successful, besides the 16 days where the frenzies Olympic fever was going out of control. All over the world local groups have carried out Orange activities. There have been 270,000 hits on our website, and the Orange project has been mentioned in more than 20,000 media.

Maybe in the future the color orange will be used as a symbol in defense of human rights, both inside and outside China. So in the end we are satisfied with the project”, says the initiator of the Color Orange, Jens Galschiot, and concludes: “We shut down the project now, but we will leave our website in function, so it can be used as inspiration to others, who want to use the color orange as a symbolic color.”

martes, 29 de julio de 2008

Shahidulnews: Another View‏

It was a grand opening. The 'Who's Who' of development in Britain was there, championing the noble cause – the Millennium Development Goals, making poverty history.

The Bob Geldof circus could perhaps be pardoned. Geldof is neither a development worker nor someone particularly knowledgeable about the subject. But for the organizers of the 'bash' at the OXO Tower on London's South Bank to produce such a culturally insensitive event was revealing.

Apart from parading a few young black people from Africa, who extolled the virtues of 'development', there was little contribution from the Majority World. The key speakers, typically white Western development workers, spoke of the role that they were playing in saving the poor of the Global South. The token dark-skinned people, having played their part, were soon

The centrepiece of this celebration was an exhibition entitled Eight Ways to Change the World. All the photographs were taken by white Western photographers. No-one questioned the implication of such an exercise. When I confronted one of the organizers he explained that the curator – a director of a Western photographic agency – had decided not to use Majority World photographers because they ‘didn’t have the eye’. The sophisticated visual language possessed by the Western audience was presumably beyond the capacity of a photographer from the South to comprehend, let alone engage with at a creative level.

Full article at: Shahidul Alam

miércoles, 25 de junio de 2008

An interesting article about the way the news and photographic images are shown in western countries

I have read and done a resume about what I have considered interesting from the following web page:

Majority world finds its voice in photos
By Ajay Singh

According to one recent study, Alam said, more than 90% of the photographic images about the majority world are taken by non-indigenous photographers, including those working for development organizations and charities raising money from the Western public. Far too many of these images tend to either romanticize the non-Western world or depict it as a hopelessly poor and violent region, said Alam.

Western images either romantic or hopelessly poor.

It's no secret that most humans live in the "majority world," a relatively recent term that refers to the developing world. Acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam has long been concerned that most photographic images of this vast region are taken not by locals but by Western photographers.

A noted human rights activist, Alam is the first Asian to win the prestigious Mother Jones Award, famously given to individuals who "fight like hell for the living." His photographs have been exhibited in some of the world's leading venues, including New York's Museum of Modern Art.

"I have no problem with white, Western photographers working in my country, but it is their exclusivity that worries me," said Alam, who is a major figure in Bangladesh's public, intellectual and cultural life. He added: "I want people to look at the things I look at."

Alam, who has the distinction of first introducing e-mail to Bangladesh, has worked tirelessly to present local realities in the media. In 1989, he launched Drik, a photo agency in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, devoted to showcasing the works of what he calls "invisible photographers ignored by the mainstream world but who can often sense important stories before they are broken by the mainstream media."

Alam's agency, which has a host of major international clients, including United Nations organizations, regularly organizes mobile photo exhibitions in public on such themes as social exclusion, inequality and people's movements. Among Alam's latest initiatives is a Website,, that champions the cause of indigenous photographers from the majority world.

You can also read more interesting articles at Shahidul Wordpress at: (this link brings you to one of the latest news, that I have also found thrilling and interesting)

miércoles, 14 de mayo de 2008

Orange Press Release: The Dutch Olympic Committee fears

TheColorOrange Press Release 13 May

The Dutch Olympic Committee fears that The Netherlands will be taken as Orange hostage in Beijing 2008. In a letter to the Dutch NOC, the initiator of campaign Danish artist Jens Galschiot claims that the Dutch should be proud. As the only ones, they have the opportunity to support the human rights in China without risking being expelled from the stadium. So the artist emphasizes that his campaign by no means is an attack against the Dutch athletes.

Read more at:

miércoles, 7 de mayo de 2008

Bad news about death penalty

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. executions are all but sure to resume soon after a nationwide halt, cleared Wednesday by a splintered Supreme Court that approved the most widely used method of lethal injection.
The Guardian; 17th of April

Executions in the USA have been suspended since late September 2007 as states waited for the Supreme Court's decision. A majority of the 36 death penalty states, and the federal government, use the same three-drug combination as Kentucky to anesthetize, paralyze and kill the condemned prisoner.
Amnesty International; 18th of April

At least 1,200 people were executed in 2007 and many more were killed by the state, in secret, in countries including China, Mongolia and Viet Nam.

The figures come from Amnesty International's yearly statistics, Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, issued on Tuesday, which say that at least 1,252 people were executed in 24 countries and at least 3,347 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries. Up to 27,500 people are estimated to be on death row across the world.

The figures also show an increase in executions in a number of countries. Iran executed at least 317 people, Saudi Arabia 143 and Pakistan 135 – in comparison to 177, 39 and 82 executions respectively in 2006.

Eighty-eight per cent of all known executions took place in five countries: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the USA. Saudi Arabia had the highest number of executions per capita, followed by Iran and Libya. Amnesty International has been able to confirm at least 470 executions by China – the highest overall figure. However, the organization has said that the true figure for China is undoubtedly much higher.

China, which the report refers to as the world's top executioner, classifies the death penalty as a state secret. As the world and Olympic guests are left guessing, only the Chinese authorities know exactly how many people have been killed with state authorization.
Ammnesty International; 15th of April

Abolish the Death Penalty
The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights. By working towards the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, Amnesty International USA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign looks to end the cycle of violence created by a system riddled with economic and racial bias and tainted by human error

Published here on the 19th of November 2007: GOOD NEWS AGAINST DEATH PENALTY!

lunes, 28 de abril de 2008

Latest news: Orange group denied entrance to HK

Jens Galschiot and the Orange group have been denied entrance to Hong Kong. They are returning to Denmark and will arrive at the airport of Copenhagen Sunday 27th 9.55 am, BA812 from Heathrow. More detailed information about this at:

WashingtonPost: 3 human rights activists barred from Hong Kong

FOX NEWS (27/4): 3 human rights activists barred from Hong Kong

jueves, 24 de abril de 2008

A survey on money, happiness and giving

Elizabeth Dunn (University of B.C. psychologist, Vancouver) together with Laura Aknin and Michael Norton (from Harvard Bussines School), designed and conducted a survey on money, happiness and giving. They found greater happiness among people who give money to charity and buy gifts for friends, regardless of income.

Money may not buy you love but it might buy you happiness if you spend it in the right way, US researchers say. In studies they found that the old adage "it's better to give than to receive" is correct: spending money on others or giving to charity puts a bigger smile on your face than buying things for yourself.
The Guardian

It doesn't surprise me at all that people find giving money away very rewarding," said Aaron Ahuvia, associate professor of marketing at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, who was not involved in the current study.

"It was a remarkably strong effect," said Ms. Dunn. "So strong that we had other people analyze the data again just to make sure."
NationalPost Canada

miércoles, 9 de abril de 2008

More secure but more fearful.

I came across with this article recently and I have considered interesting just to show you a couple of paragraphs and the link to the whole one. I hope you find it interesting too.

Humanity has never had it so good. Most people around the world are better off and will live longer than their ancestors. If we could hold on to that perspective, we would all be much more relaxed. But we aren't relaxed. We are anxious and stressed. We are scared that bad things will happen to us: nuclear war, cancer, child abduction. As for keeping things in perspective, Homo sapiens just isn't cut out for it, as Dan Gardner explains in Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear

Gardner elegantly summarises the results of psychological research proving that people's visceral 'fight-or-flight' reactions always elbow their rational calculations out of the way. Crucially, this happens even when the subjects are instructed to ignore their emotional responses. It happens to everyone, including psychology professors. So - clever clogs - if you think you don't believe everything you see on TV, it doesn't matter. Your Stone Age brain has processed the images and is using them to shape your opinions whether you like it or not.

Sunday March 9, 2008
The Observer

domingo, 30 de marzo de 2008

The ColorOrange News2

Press release Friday 28th March 17.20 pm

Greek police ban orange clothes
during Olympic Torch Relay

Danish activists stopped by the Greek police.

10 orange activists have been forbidden to follow the Olympic Torch in Greece. They were stopped already 70 kilometres from the city of Larissa, where they had planned to be a peaceful part of the Torch Relay.

BBC video: Greek police ban the colour orange

More information about the project on the website

Aur Appeal in Greek:

Previous news announcements and photos about the Danish activists:

miércoles, 26 de marzo de 2008


Dear all,

In January I received Jens Galschiot´s e-mail. He is, in my opinion, a true artist whom has acted both conscientiously and succesfully in numerous humane actions. He operates within the framwork of AIDOH (Art In Defense Of Humanization). For example:

- In 2001 AIDOH acted against certain pharmaceutical companies whose actions would have otherwise left some groups of people in South Africa without essential drugs. Link to that campaign

- In 2007 they also launched a strong campain against the fundamentalist branch of the Christian church that does not believe in contraception and sexual education. Link to that campaign

Inkeeping with this, in January of 2008, Jens Galschiot launched a world wide campaign that proposes people to bear/wear something orange during the Beijing Olympic Games 2008: “We will use the colour orange and make it a symbol of the protest against the human rights violations in China”

I hold the belief that this world wide campaign is an important chance for us to bring attention to one of the big irresposibilities in the world today.

Below you will find details of TheColorOrange appeal. I will leave it up to you to decide on whether to assist the campaign.

lunes, 28 de enero de 2008

NGOs and Philanthropy

I would have like to write a resume of an article I read about the potential risks of big NGOs could be if they hold big responsibilities.

I read information about the “lack of philanthropy” of organiztions like Bill & Melinda Gates. On top of that, while the Bill & Melinda Gates fundation? Increased the capital for the developement of economically poor countries, the USA government frooze their help to these countries.

Said that I am not saying that we should be against the big NGOs and fundations, I just only wanted to rise our attention on to the risk that could appear by depending on the philanthropy of big capitals.

After discussing this matter with friends I felt I should try to make this point and take the chance to offer some information about small, medium and big NGOs that could be of interest in order to let us join them in a more familiar and active way.

Since the 90´s, internet also offers us the oportunity of participate actively in opinion/preassure campaigns as well as creating our own opinion after reading NGOs and other independents information sources.


The premise of Care2 is simple: One person can make a difference.
Whether you are passionate about green living, health, human rights or protecting the environment, Care2 puts the tools for change in your hands.
Over 7 million wonderful people discover, share and take action on Care2 and Care2's The Petition Site. It is the largest online community of people passionate about making a difference.


Oxfam International seeks increased worldwide public understanding that economic and social justice are crucial to sustainable development. We strive to be a global campaigning force promoting the awareness and motivation that comes with global citizenship while seeking to shift public opinion in order to make equity the same priority as economic growth.


They are a not governmental organization (NGO) , without spirit of profit, created by conscious volunteers of the importance of the radio communications in any project of solidarity between groups of cooperating geographically distant.


Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world. TI’s mission is to create
change towards a world free of corruption.


This is an international NGO that has been promoting nonviolence and protecting human rights since 1981. The founders of PBI shared a profound conviction that ordinary people can take action to stop war and human rights violations even when their governments cannot or will not.