News in the Humanosphere: A ‘hidden threat’ to female aid workers

(Credit: DFAT/Flickr)

A report from The Guardian investigates the troubling trend of female aid workers being the subject of sexual violence and abuse. “Women working for international aid agencies are facing a hidden threat of sexual violence and harassment which their employers routinely ignore or sweep under the carpet, according to testimonies. … In the past few weeks the International Women’s Rights Project, based in Canada, has been attempting to quantify the scale of sexual violence and harassment among humanitarian workers. More than 1,000 people, mostly women, have come forward in response to an IWRP survey that asks them to disclose their experiences of sexual intimidation and violence within the humanitarian sector. Most have started to disclose incidents and then stopped, something the organizers believe is indicative of the fear of coming forward.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1PCqZfy)

Food security crisis in southern Africa
An estimated 27.4 million people in southern Africa face food insecurity in the next six months, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) warned today, announcing the expansion of their operations to respond to the challenge, caused by poor harvests across the region. Lesotho and southern parts of Angola and Mozambique face food insecurity. Areas facing immediate threats are Malawi, Zimbabwe and Madagascar, where severe crop failure due to extended dry spells, extensive flooding and impactful tropical storms have resulted in increasing food insecurity. Malawi is experiencing the worst food insecurity in a decade with nearly 2.8 million people reported to be food insecure.” (UN News Center http://bit.ly/1LGTcQF)

Latest on the Doctors Without Borders hospital bombing
Afghanistan’s acting defense minister said Monday that the Doctors Without Borders hospital bombed by U.S. forces in the northern city of Kunduz was being used by insurgents as a “safe place.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1PCqKRJ)

Richard Branson on drugs
The billionaire leaked a U.N. document calling for the decriminalization of drugs. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime quickly released a statement saying the document was an internal draft and not the final work on the subject. (Vice http://bit.ly/1LGSBP1)

Africa

Human Rights Watch called on Ugandan authorities Monday to stop obstructing peaceful political gatherings, especially with the use of tear gas, saying such interference violates people’s rights to free assembly and expression. (VOA http://bit.ly/1KkA9WU)

A watchdog group says Nigeria, Angola, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo lost more than $4 billion in shady oil and mining deals and calls for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to police the hidden ownership of companies used for such corruption. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Kkzsgc)

Student protests halted teaching at three of South Africa’s top universities on Monday as demonstrations spread against fee increases that many say will force poor black students further out of the education system. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1kkDkZR)

South Africa on Monday criticized a draft United Nations accord on fighting climate change as a form of “apartheid” against developing nations. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1KkzrJa)

Poor harvests across much of southern Africa mean that nearly 30 million people will struggle to get adequate nutrition in the months ahead, the United Nations said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Kkzt3X)

A British nurse who suffered a relapse after contracting Ebola in Sierra Leone has been taken off the critical list while remaining “serious but stable,” the hospital treating her said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Kkzt3L)

MENA

Emergency supplies for 29,500 people arrived in four besieged Syrian towns on Sunday under a local ceasefire agreement but no one was evacuated as the deal provided for, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1kkDksG)

An Eritrean migrant shot by an Israeli security guard and then attacked by bystanders who mistook him for an assailant in a deadly bus station attack has died of his wounds, hospital officials said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KkA9X1)

The Yemeni government has agreed to participate in U.N.-sponsored talks with rebels aimed at ending the country’s conflict, spokesman Rajeh Badi said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OEDeZR)

A Kuwaiti rights group on Monday accused authorities in the Gulf state of discrimination against foreigners by barring them from certain health-care services at public hospitals. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OEDdF1)

After months of  Syrians’ complaints about their living conditions and demands to be sent to another country, many Uruguayans have come to see the refugees more as rude, ungrateful guests. (AP http://yhoo.it/1kkBbxd)

The Iraq director of an organization promoting journalism in conflict zones has been found dead in unexplained circumstances at Istanbul’s main airport, colleagues and British officials said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Lzqm11)

Rebels battling the Syrian army and its allies near Aleppo said on Monday they had received new supplies of U.S.-made anti-tank missiles from states opposed to President Bashar al-Assad since the start of a major government offensive last week. (Reters http://yhoo.it/1LzqnCh)

Asia

Residents of flooded farming villages in the Philippines were trapped on their rooftops on Monday and animals floated down fast-rising rivers, as the death toll from Typhoon Koppu climbed to 16. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1MzG9wL

The deputy prime minister of fuel-starved Nepal said Monday that Indian officials have assured him of increased supplies. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OEDfNf)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned Iran’s execution of two minors last week, while voicing his concern about the rise in executions in the Islamic republic. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1PCqGRY)

Efforts to stop mosquitoes from spreading dengue fever in New Delhi have failed to keep the city from its biggest outbreak in almost two decades: more than 10,190 registered cases, including 32 deaths. Experts say it didn’t need to be this way, and blame health officials for being slow on both prevention work and medical response. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OED84q)

Authorities in the Indian capital plan to speed up rape trials and lower the age at which juveniles can be prosecuted as adults following two alleged gang rapes of young girls, Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Monday. (TRF http://bit.ly/1MzGaAX)

The Americas

For hundreds of thousands of farmers in Guatemala, this year’s harvest is over before it has even begun. The fields in the east of the country are yellow, the ground bone-dry. (BBC http://bbc.in/1RkAXAn)

President Nicolas Maduro has called for the prosecution of Venezuela’s biggest businessman for allegedly conspiring against his government in a phone call discussing a possible international bailout for the crisis-stricken, oil-dependent economy. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OEDibM)

The White House on Monday announced that a total of 81 companies, including Alcoa Inc., General Electric Co. and Procter & Gamble, have backed a U.S.-sponsored pledge supporting action to combat climate change. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Lzqq0J)

…and the rest

More than 10,000 migrants are currently in Serbia, stranded by limits imposed farther west in Europe, the U.N. refugee agency said on Monday, and warned of shortages in aid. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Lzqm18)

Hungary said Monday its shutdown of the border with Croatia had put a stop to the influx of migrants and refugees. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LzqmOG)

Winter is coming to France’s port town of Calais, raising fears among aid groups about worsening conditions for the thousands of migrants living in a makeshift camp. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LzqoWG)

Australia’s hardline immigration policies overshadowed the launch of its bid to join the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday, with the government and rights lawyers arguing bitterly over a pregnant Somali asylum-seeker who claims she was raped. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1kkAXWW)

Australia’s immigration minister has insisted the government correctly handled the case of a migrant woman who sought an abortion in Australia. The 23-year-old, a Somali detainee at Australia’s detention camp in Nauru, says she became pregnant as a result of being raped in July. (BBC http://bbc.in/1LjWCHu)

Opinion/Blogs

Global Dispatches podcast episode 84: Felice Gaer, the longest serving American on a U.N. human rights body, discusses the evolution of women’s rights into the broader U.N. human rights agenda and how she helped “disappear” Andrei Sakharov. http://bit.ly/1hNBu1K

The domestic controversy over China’s foreign aid and the implications for Africa (Brookings http://brook.gs/1M10dhk)

Can Buhari Defeat Boko Haram? (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/1LjWxnp)

Are The SDGs Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) or Simply Over-Ambitious Goals? (Development Diaries http://bit.ly/1W0EFAO)

Poverty goals? No, it’s extreme wealth we should be targeting (Zoe Williams http://bit.ly/1PBRYrt)

Sexual violence in the aid sector: what should NGOs be doing? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1W0ENjD)

Is #witsfeesmustfall an Opportunity to Change South Africa’s Future Trajectory? (Daily Vox http://bit.ly/1M10jFs)

How feminism became capitalism’s handmaiden – and how to reclaim it (Guardian http://bit.ly/1PBRnpV)

Iran Nuclear Deal: What’s Next? (VOA http://bit.ly/1M0xnY1)

Lessons From A Fight To Fix Flint’s Water Supply (NPR http://n.pr/1M2ex93)

Angus Deaton: An Appreciation (IPS http://bit.ly/1LkuNih)

The EU’s dirty deal (IRIN http://bit.ly/1PCr6aX)

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