Capital punishment no answer to rape crimes in India

By |14 January 2013|

Caritas India says capital punishment is not a deterent against crimes of sexual violence, but improved protection for women and a national school curriculum that tackle these issues will help. Last month, a 23-year-old student died of her injuries after being raped in the capital Delhi. Five men have been charged with her murder and are facing trial. If convicted, they face the death penalty. In recommendations to the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, formed by the government to recommend safety measures for women, Caritas India urged for curriculums from school levels onwards to tackle the issue of violenece and abuse agaisnt women and girls. “The need of the hour is to revolutionize our thinking through education,” said Patrick Hansda, a young public relations officer at Caritas India. The Verma committee’s recommendations in less than a month from now will be considered in amending laws for speedier justice and punishment in sexual assault cases [...]

Pope Benedict calls for Syrian ceasefire

By |7 January 2013|

Pope Benedict has called for a ceasefire in Syria and for the international community to engage in a constructive dialogue. In an address to the Holy See's diplomatic corps, Pope Benedict called on diplomats "to resolve the numerous conflicts causing bloodshed in our human family, beginning with that privileged region in God’s plan, the Middle East. "I think first and foremost of Syria, torn apart by endless slaughter and the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population. I renew my appeal for a ceasefire and the inauguration as quickly as possible of a constructive dialogue aimed at putting an end to a conflict which will know no victors but only vanquished if it continues, leaving behind it nothing but a field of ruins." Read more...

Caritas concerned for migrant health on World Migrants Day

By |18 December 2012|

By Msgr. Robert Vitillo, Caritas Internationalis Head of Delegation to the UN in Geneva In many countries of the world, in both global North and global South, much attention is given to the legal status of migrants. As we observe World Migration Day 2012, Caritas Internationalis wishes to call attention to the full range of needs of migrants, including their right to enjoy good health as well as access to health care. Much discrimination is experienced by migrants as a result of national and local health policies that are founded on such factors as racial, ethnic, cultural and religious prejudice; xenophobia; fear that migrants drain financial resources from a host population; and misunderstanding or misperception of the contributions made by migrants to host populations. Faith-inspired organisations, such as Caritas, engage in health-related advocacy with migrants in order to assure equitable access to health care, in accord with the vision developed by [...]

Youth make big climate splash in Oceania

By |17 December 2012|

While the Doha climate talks were wrapping up, over 700 young people from throughout the Pacific came to this event in Auckland, to learn, be inspired, have fun and take action. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand sponsored 12 from New Zealand and two from Vanuatu to attend.

Deadline in Doha

By |6 December 2012|

By Emilie Johann, guest blogger in Doha for CIDSE Overall, discussions have been difficult and ministerial roundtables have taken several thorny issues from the technical to the political level. Will Ministers be up for the challenge to inject some political will and move beyond national interests to respond to the urgent needs of the poorest and for the sake of our common future? Concerning the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) there is no sign of progress on ambition. The EU will not move beyond its current -20% target unless other parties move, and it is unwilling to consider the cancellation of carbon credits in KP2. So far none of the parties present have announced urgently needed more ambitious emission cuts. A weak KP2 is a bad sign in terms of the trust and ambition needed to build a new global climate deal which includes all parties, not […]

Appel au dialogue du Pape Benoît

By |5 December 2012|

Le pape Benoît XVI a lancé mercredi un vibrant appel au “dialogue” et à la “réconciliation” entre les parties en conflit dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, et à la communauté internationale pour “subvenir aux besoins des populations”. “Je renouvelle mon appel au dialogue et à la réconciliation”, a déclaré le Pape, lors de l’audience générale, soulignant le sort tragique de milliers d’habitants de la région du Kivu “contraints d’abandonner leurs maisons” ou qui sont “privés des biens de première nécessité”, après des “mois d’affrontements armés et de violences”. “Je demande à la communauté internationale de subvenir aux besoins de la population”, a-t-il ajouté. Cependant la situation dans la région du Nord Kivu ne semble pas s’améliorer pour beaucoup de déplacés dans les camps. Particulièrement  inquiétant est  le problème de protection des personnes vulnérables comme les femmes et les enfants.

Wake up call for the Doha climate talks

By |4 December 2012|

By guest blogger Roeland Scholtalbers, CIDSE Media & Communication Officer in Doha After a week of negotiations with little to no progress, Ministers arrive in Doha among increasing uncertainty about a positive outcome of the climate talks. Once a modest fishing village, Doha rapidly transformed into a busy capital of a rich nation when enormous gas reserves were discovered. The plane that took me to Qatar circulated for nearly an hour in the dark above the luminous city. It felt like hanging over a giant pinball machine and I couldn’t help wondering whether planet earth was going to finish beyond the flippers of the climate change negotiations. Organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), this year’s climate talks entered their second and final week yesterday (Monday, December 3rd). Today, Government Ministers make their appearance in Doha to firm up agreements their climate negotiators prepared during 2012 […]

World AIDS Day: “Where have we gone, where are we going?

By |1 December 2012|

World leaders gathered at UN headquarters in June 2011 to assess progress in the global AIDS response. They noted that global HIV incidence was declining, access to combination anti-retroviral treatment was expanding, and a global movement had been mobilized to respect and protect the dignity of all affected by HIV.

World AIDS Day in Papua New Guinea

By |30 November 2012|

The Catholic Church’s work on HIV and AIDS in Mendi stretches back to 1995. Then the work revolved around explaining the virus, how it is transmitted and challenging the stigma attached to those people living with HIV.

World AIDS Day

By |29 November 2012|

More than 30 years into the pandemic, UNAIDS estimates that 34.2 million people worldwide are living with HIV. This number includes an estimated 3.4 million children under the age of 15 years. The number of people living with HIV increases each year because fewer people are dying, thanks to the increasing availability of lifesaving antiretroviral medication. The number of people receiving medication rose by 20 percent between 2010 and 2011. Meanwhile, the cost of a year's supply of the medication decreased from more than $10,000 per person in 2000 to less than $100 in 2011. Despite this progress, HIV still presents a serious global health crisis. In 2011, more than 7,000 people were infested every day. Catholic Relief Services (a caritas member in the US)  has been on the forefront of the epidemic since launching our first HIV project in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1986. Today, CRS and its partners directly support more than [...]

Caritas exhibit in Doha attracts many guests

By |29 November 2012|

by Zar Gomez, Caritas Asia coordinator Now on its third day since the start of the UNFCCC meeting in Doha, Qatar, the exhibit booth of the 4-member delegation of Caritas Internationalis proves to be among the largest crowd-drawers at the Exhibit Hall 4 of the Qatar National Convention Centre.

Domestic workers – ratification campaign

By |27 November 2012|

Across the world, vulnerable people—particularly women—are exploited when they go abroad as domestic workers. With no laws to protect them, housemaids suffer abuse, withheld wages and more. Caritas Internationalis has participated in an international advocacy campaign for the adoption of an ILO Convention regulating domestic work. The Convention (No. 189) with an attached recommendation (No. 201) was adopted on 16 June 2011 during the International Labour Conference in Geneva. It was a major breakthrough and the recognition of domestic work as real work. Caritas has joined with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) to promote the ratification and implementation of Convention No. 189. The ITUC has launched the “12 by 12” worldwide campaign to have 12 countries, as a start, ratify Convention No. 189 by the end of 2012.

12 by 12: Support domestic workers right to decent work

By |27 November 2012|

The 12 December 2012 is a worldwide day of action in support of decent working conditions for domestic workers, both adults and minors. Caritas has joined up with the International Trade Union Federation in asking 12 governments to ratify International Labour Organisation (ILO) ‘Convention 189’ by this date. Five countries, Uruguay, Philippines, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Bolivia, have so far ratified the convention. Ratification means that domestic workers have real access to redress mechanisms, when their contracts or their rights in general are not respected. It’s also a deterrent for employment agencies and employers who do not play by the rules. On 12.12.2012 we want added pressure on those government who have not ratified to do so and ensure millions domestic workers worldwide can now look forward to being treated with the respect they deserve. Caritas members in Latin America for example are urging all people who employ a domestic worker or who [...]

Mongolia goes to Doha

By |26 November 2012|

Even though – in the eyes of climate change decision-makers - the problems of Mongolia may not even amount to 1% of the world’s climate change issues, they are gradually worsening. On the ground, Caritas Mongolia intervenes by implementing a Food Security Project introducing Passive Solar Greenhouses, absorbing natural solar warming and releasing it to the vegetables.

Keeping faith in the climate talks

By |23 November 2012|

As the international climate negotiations re-open in Doha, should we keep faith in the possibility of a successful outcome despite the difficulties of brokering a deal among 194 countries?

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