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Cuba Invites United Nations human rights Investigator for first time in decade regarding Human Trafficking

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, U.N. special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, will visit the Caribbean island nation from April 10-14

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Jean Ziegler (2nd R), UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, speaks with a translator during a news conference in Havana Nov. 6, 2007, VOA
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Geneva, April 7, 2017: Cuba has agreed to a visit by a United Nations human rights investigator for the first time in decade, inviting an expert on human trafficking this month, a U.N. statement said on Thursday.

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, U.N. special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, will visit the Caribbean island nation from April 10-14, making stops in Havana, Matanzas and Artemisa.

“Her visit will be the first to the country in 10 years by an independent expert of the U.N. Human Rights Council,” the statement said.

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Authorities in communist-run Cuba have long resisted what they regard as external interference in their human rights record.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama initiated secret negotiations leading to normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations in 2015 after decades of enmity.

U.S. organizations that worked closely on the effort have called on the Trump administration not to act rashly toward Cuba, saying that the policy has improved human rights and internet access there.

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Giammarinaro, an Italian judge and trafficking expert serving in the independent post since June 2017, said she would meet Cuban authorities and activists to discuss challenges in addressing trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation.

“Particular attention will be paid to measures in place and those planned to prevent trafficking, to protect victims and provide them with access to effective remedies,” she said.

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The last U.N. human rights expert to visit Cuba was the then U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, Swiss expert Jean Ziegler, in November 2007. (VOA)

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  • oaguilar

    Every country has prostitution, even more if they are poor. I know Cuban police chase prostitutes and pimps.

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As Climate Talks Come to a Halt, Africa Suffers From Global Warming

The World Health Organization warns that climate change will exacerbate the impact of some disease and health problems.

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Drought, Climate change, global warming
A farmer stands on cracked earth that three weeks earlier created the bottom of a reservoir on his farm, in Groot Marico, South Africa. VOA

Efforts to boost global action against climate change are stuttering, as several key nations have objected to a key United Nations-backed report on the impacts of rising temperatures at the COP24 talks in Poland.

Many developing nations say they are already suffering from the impact of climate change, especially in south Asia and Africa, where water shortages and intense storms are putting lives and livelihoods in danger.

In Malawi in southern Africa, a bustling fish market stood at Kachulu on the shores of Lake Chilwa just five months ago. Now, hundreds of fishing boats lie marooned across the vast bay as vultures circle over the cracked, sun-baked mud. Water levels here fluctuate annually, but scientists say climate change is making the seasonal dry-out of the lake far more dramatic. Fishermen are being forced to leave and look for work elsewhere, says Sosten Chiotha, of the non-governmental organization ‘LEAD’ – Leadership for Environment and Development.

“Climate change contributes to the current recessions that we are experiencing, because you can see that in 2012 there was a recession where the lake lost about 80 percent of its water. Then it recovered in 2013, but not fully. So since then every year we have been experiencing these recessions,” Chiotha said.

Scientists gathering at the COP24 climate talks say it is developing countries like Malawi that are being hit hardest by the impacts of climate change.

The charity Water Aid has released a report ranking the countries worst-hit by water shortages, with Sudan, Niger and Pakistan making up the top three.

“There are people who are living with the impact of climate change right now. And they’re feeling those impacts not through carbon, but through water. And as we’ve seen over the past few years and will continue to see for many years to come unfortunately, is a huge increase in water stress and absolute water scarcity,” Water Aid’s Jonathan Farr told VOA from the climate talks currently underway in the Polish city of Katowice.

Richer nations have pledged $100 billion a year for poorer nations to deal with the consequences of climate change. Water Aid says they are failing to deliver the money.

Scientists say emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 to have any hope of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius – the target agreed in the Paris climate deal.

 

 

Global Warming, Climate Change, Africa
Climate activists attend the March for Climate in a protest against global warming in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 8, 2018, as the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference takes place in the city. VOA

However, the number of coal-fired power stations – the most polluting for

m of energy generation – is growing. The German organization ‘Urgewald’ calculates that $478 billion had been invested into expansion of the coal industry between January 2016 and September 2018.

Also Read: To Help Poor Countries Adapt To Global Warming, World Bank Doubles Its Funding

Meanwhile the World Health Organization warns that climate change will exacerbate the impact of some disease and health problems, including malaria, malnutrition and heat exposure.

Also Read: To Help Poor Countries Adapt To Global Warming, World Bank Doubles Its Funding

There is little optimism at the talks that much concrete progress will be made, as several countries including the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia have already voiced objections to a key scientific report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (VOA)