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The Brazilian black rights movement grapples with hostile officials | Instant News


RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When the head of an influential government body assigned to preserve the culture of Black Brazil called the country’s anti-racism movement “foam”, it did not surprise many.

Sergio Camargo, a black journalist who was appointed president of the Fundaçao Cultural Palmares last year by Brazilian right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, has been at odds early on because he has a history of denying racism even in his country.

Under his term of office, a government-funded agency responsible for protecting the cultural and economic rights of slave originators has published articles criticizing the most famous Black abolitionist leader in Brazil.

But the Brazilian quilombolas, descendants of African slaves, are more worried about their strength to obstruct their efforts to secure the rights to the land they have occupied for generations – something Bolsonaro repeatedly wants to prevent.

“(Camargo) has been put there to cause damage,” said Biko Rodrigues of CONAQ, the organization representing quilombos in much of Brazil. “We will not talk to him.”

Palmares did not respond to requests for comment, or a list of questions for Camargo.

In a statement on June 5, after the recording of Camargo’s comments about race was publicly announced by the O Globo newspaper, it was said that all actions taken under his presidency were in accordance with “institutional, legal and ethical mission”.

There are no reliable figures for the number of people living in 5,000 Brazilian quilombos – rural settlements originally built by former slaves – but the number is in the millions. Many do not have access to electricity or running water.

Quilombolas sees obtaining a formal certificate on the land they occupy as a key to securing their rights because without deeds, they cannot access social benefits such as subsidized housing.

The Brazilian constitution of 1988 enshrined their rights to the land, but the first step to obtaining the act was for Palmares to recognize a community as a quilombo – something that according to Rodrigues they no longer believed to do so.

In recent years, Fundaçao Palmares issues around 100 recognition certificates a year, he said. So far this year, Rodrigues said, they only received about a dozen.

LEGACY OF SLAVERY

Although the president of Palmares in the past was unable to overcome the high poverty rates among the quilambolas, no one openly opposed them, and the Camargo presidency had been troubled from the start.

A judge postponed his appointment in December after an earlier comment he made on social media downplayed the rights of the Brazilian black people, but he won an appeal in February.

He previously worked as a journalist and editor, and is the son of Brazilian writer Oswaldo de Camargo.

Earlier this month he tweeted that his critics “did not tolerate black people having their own opinions. This is an insult to the minds of those who are enslaved.

The Brazilian high court will decide on August 5 whether Camargo is fit to become president after public defenders – state lawyers who can sue the government for the protection of vulnerable people – argued that it has no legitimacy.

This case arises when communities around the world try to overcome historic racism and the legacy of slavery, which according to the Brazilian quilombas has never been handled properly.

Bolsonaro was charged with racism before taking office, for saying in 2017 that black people in quilombos were “not suitable even for breeding”, although he was later released.

When Brazil abolished slavery in 1888 – the last place in America to do so – at least 4 million slaves had been brought to the country from Africa to work in sugar plantations and in other sectors of the developing economy.

Most of their descendants in quilombo still live below the poverty line.

Estimates vary, but government data shows that only about 250 quilombo settlements have ownership rights to their land.

Muratubinha in the northern state of Para is one of four quilombos who will soon have power lines built after Palmares gave the green light to the project in June.

Community leader Raimundo Ramos da Silva said residents had not consulted about the process, which he said was “disappointing”.

Carolina Bellinger, a lawyer for Comissão Pró-Índio de São Paulo, who helped quilombos in Para, said not including them in the initial discussions left them with no opportunity to ask for changes or compensation for those affected badly.

“Fundaçao Palmares is very strategic. No quilombola community owns their land without going through them, “said Danilo Serejo, a leader of Canelatiua quilombo in the northeastern state of Maranhao.

“On the campaign path, (Bolsonaro) said that if he was elected, the quilombolas would not be given a centimeter of land. Sergio Camargo was there to confirm that. ”

Reporting by Fabio Teixeira @ffctt; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Thomson Reuters charity branch, which covers the lives of people throughout the world who are struggling to live free or just. Visit http://news.trust.org

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An Australian coronavirus outbreak raises concerns over online child sex abuse | Instant News


KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Australian police on Tuesday warned of “bad” online predators targeting new child victims after a surge in corona virus infection that put the country’s second largest city under partial locking.

The Australian health authority said it would take weeks to tame the COVID-19 outbreak after hundreds of new cases were reported in the state of Victoria, whose capital Melbourne was partially locked.

The steps encourage Australian federal police to urge parents to ensure their children are not victims of “dangerous online predators”, after cases of abuse surged during national lockdown in March.

Traffic to websites containing online child sexual abuse content skyrocketed during previous lockouts and such material posted on the dark web doubled, police said.

“We suspect that the perpetrators will use the second wave of COVID-19 as an opportunity to find more potential child victims, because young people spend more time online with limited adult supervision,” said police commander Jamie Strauss.

“Our message to online criminals has not changed – if you obtain, access and send child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted,” he added in a statement.

From Europe to Asia, cases of child sexual abuse online have surged during coronavirus locking because children spend more time online, making them more vulnerable to abusers.

In Australia, child exploitation has increased in recent years. Nearly 22,000 cases were reported between July 2019 and June 2020, up nearly 50% from last year, official figures show.

“Sex offenders are always online, that’s their playground,” said Karen Flanagan, head of Australian child protection at the charity Save the Children.

“But COVID-19 might give them access to new groups of children who previously did not spend much time online,” he said last week, urging more parental supervision.

State authorities in Victoria reported on Tuesday 374 new COVID-19 cases, up from 275 on Monday, reducing hopes of slowing infection two weeks after nearly 5 million people were told to stay at home except for important reasons.

Australia has recorded around 12,000 cases of the corona virus and more than 125 deaths.

Reporting by Beh Lih Yi @behlihyi; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Thomson Reuters charity branch, which covers the lives of people throughout the world who are struggling to live free or just. Visit http://news.trust.org

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In increasing green jobs, the community has a greater role in managing Pakistan’s national parks | Instant News


ISLAMABAD (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – For 20 years, Khunjerab National Park has been a point of tension between the Pakistani government – which made the park in 1975 a sanctuary for endangered species – and local residents who have been tending their cattle on the ground for generations.

When land disputes broke out, poachers destroyed Khunjerab’s wildlife, villagers said – until 1995, when local residents and authorities decided to work together to better protect the park.

“Our community knows that our (and) natural resource management is well organized,” said Muzaffar ud Din, a founding member of the local Shimshal Nature Trust, which contributes to members of the community-led management group formed to manage the park.

“Now I would say Khunjerab is better managed than many other parks in the country. Local people guard it. The wildlife population has increased exponentially, “he said.

In its final step to produce jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic while increasing conservation and reducing the impact of climate change, Pakistan has announced the creation of Pakistan’s first National Park Service, modeled on US agencies.

Underneath, the country aims to involve more local people in managing national parks and earning income because they protect nearby conservation areas.

The first phase of the Protected Areas Initiative, launched on July 2, will focus on 15 national parks that make up a total of 7,300 square km (2,800 square miles), from Khunjerab in the north to the area around Astola Island in the south. .

The project aims to create up to 5,000 new jobs, especially for young people who will work as park guards and carers, and increase eco-tourism in the country, authorities said when the initiative was announced.

Malik Amin Aslam, climate change advisor for Prime Minister Imran Khan, said the park plan was in line with Pakistan’s post-coronavirus “green stimulus” vision, which also included employing thousands of unemployed daily workers to plant trees as part of the 10 Billion Tsunami Trees in the country it’s a program.

here

“The dual aim is to protect nature while also producing jobs for unemployed young people,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“All of this green activity will help overcome the unexpected surge in COVID unemployment across the country.”

‘PAPER PARK’

Pakistan currently has around 30 national parks that should be protected and preserved by law.

But most are “paper parks” – areas classified as national parks but with little or no management, said Aslam, who helped design new initiatives.

Conservation expert Anis ur Rahman estimates that only about 5% of the country’s parks are well managed.

Others suffer from conflicting priorities and lack of cooperation between the government and the people who live around them and depend on them for grazing, hunting and firewood, he explained.

“In many cases, the government changed the status of the old community-managed forest area or grazing area to a national park where (suddenly) everything was prohibited by law,” said Rahman, who heads the Bukit Margalla National Park management board, one of them which is included in the new project.

“But there is weak enforcement. The government does not have the resources to pay for adequate protection, “he said.

Many state environmental experts see Khunjerab, the country’s oldest and largest national park, as a successful community-led management model.

The park was founded 45 years ago as a way to protect glaciers, alpine pastures, rivers and ravines.

Parts are closed to create undisturbed habitats for animals ranging from the rare Marco Polo sheep to snow leopards and Siberian ibber.

But the move pits the government against local farmers, who have long used the area.

here

Ashiq Ahmed Khan, a wildlife specialist who worked at the Pakistan Forestry Institute in the 1990s, helped develop the first management plan for the park that unites local residents and the provincial wildlife department.

Under the plan, eight villages in the park agreed not to pasture cattle in the core zone of 12 square kilometers.

Instead, other grazing areas are set on rotation which gives every time to recover after use, said Khan, who is now retired.

Community members are employed as game watchdogs and supervisors, with 80% of the job opportunities in the park given to local residents. It was also agreed that the local community would receive 75% of the revenue generated by visitor fees.

“It was truly the first national park in the country that management plans were actually implemented,” Khan said.

“Today there are 100 Marco Polo sheep in the park, more than eight or nine that I saw (in the 1990s) and there are more than 5,000 ibexes.”

STRONG LAW?

So far, Pakistani authorities have revealed some details about the new Protected Areas Initiative.

Aslam, climate change advisor, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the project will be overseen by the new Pakistan National Park Service, which will be launched in September.

He said the country had allocated 4 billion rupees ($ 24 million) for the first phase of the initiative over the next three years, where at least 80% would be spent on creating green jobs and increasing community involvement.

Through this project, the amount of protected land in Pakistan will increase from 13% to 15% by 2023, Aslam added.

But environmental lawyer Rafay Ahmad Alam said that although this initiative was a positive step, it would help little to protect Pakistan’s green space without legislation to support it.

The initiative “will not make up for the fact that (the vast majority) of provincial national park laws are weak and do not provide adequate specifics for conservation, protection or law enforcement actions,” he said.

Aslam agreed that the appropriate provincial law was very important and noted that policy changes were also part of the new plan.

The shift to community-managed parks offers the opportunity to utilize the “amazing indigenous knowledge” local communities have about land, said Muzaffar ud Din.

“Local people have more information and they can manage their own natural resources better. They have a better vision, “he said.

“National parks should not be seen as separate entities, but as part of the overall socio-economic and physical landscape. That is the future of conservation. ”

Reporting by Rina Saeed Khan, Editing by Jumana Farouky and Laurie Goering. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charity branch of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people throughout the world who are struggling to live free or just. Visit http://news.trust.org

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In increasing green jobs, the community has a greater role in managing Pakistan’s national parks | Instant News


ISLAMABAD (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – For 20 years, Khunjerab National Park has been a point of tension between the Pakistani government – which made the park in 1975 a sanctuary for endangered species – and local residents who have been tending their cattle on the ground for generations.

When land disputes broke out, poachers destroyed Khunjerab’s wildlife, villagers said – until 1995, when local residents and authorities decided to work together to better protect the park.

“Our community knows that our (and) natural resource management is well organized,” said Muzaffar ud Din, a founding member of the local Shimshal Nature Trust, which contributes to members of the community-led management group formed to manage the park.

“Now I would say Khunjerab is better managed than many other parks in the country. Local people guard it. The wildlife population has increased exponentially, “he said.

In its final step to produce jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic while increasing conservation and reducing the impact of climate change, Pakistan has announced the creation of Pakistan’s first National Park Service, modeled on US agencies.

Underneath, the country aims to involve more local people in managing national parks and earning income because they protect nearby conservation areas.

The first phase of the Protected Areas Initiative, launched on July 2, will focus on 15 national parks that make up a total of 7,300 square km (2,800 square miles), from Khunjerab in the north to the area around Astola Island in the south. .

The project aims to create up to 5,000 new jobs, especially for young people who will work as park guards and carers, and increase eco-tourism in the country, authorities said when the initiative was announced.

Malik Amin Aslam, climate change advisor for Prime Minister Imran Khan, said the park plan was in line with Pakistan’s post-coronavirus “green stimulus” vision, which also included employing thousands of unemployed daily workers to plant trees as part of the 10 Billion Tsunami Trees in the country it’s a program.

here

“The dual aim is to protect nature while also producing jobs for unemployed young people,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“All of this green activity will help overcome the unexpected surge in COVID unemployment across the country.”

‘PAPER PARK’

Pakistan currently has around 30 national parks that should be protected and preserved by law.

But most are “paper parks” – areas classified as national parks but with little or no management, said Aslam, who helped design new initiatives.

Conservation expert Anis ur Rahman estimates that only about 5% of the country’s parks are well managed.

Others suffer from conflicting priorities and lack of cooperation between the government and the people who live around them and depend on them for grazing, hunting and firewood, he explained.

“In many cases, the government changed the status of the old community-managed forest area or grazing area to a national park where (suddenly) everything was prohibited by law,” said Rahman, who heads the Bukit Margalla National Park management board, one of them which is included in the new project.

“But there is weak enforcement. The government does not have the resources to pay for adequate protection, “he said.

Many state environmental experts see Khunjerab, the country’s oldest and largest national park, as a successful community-led management model.

The park was founded 45 years ago as a way to protect glaciers, alpine pastures, rivers and ravines.

Parts are closed to create undisturbed habitats for animals ranging from the rare Marco Polo sheep to snow leopards and Siberian ibber.

But the move pits the government against local farmers, who have long used the area.

here

Ashiq Ahmed Khan, a wildlife specialist who worked at the Pakistan Forestry Institute in the 1990s, helped develop the first management plan for the park that unites local residents and the provincial wildlife department.

Under the plan, eight villages in the park agreed not to pasture cattle in the core zone of 12 square kilometers.

Instead, other grazing areas are set on rotation which gives every time to recover after use, said Khan, who is now retired.

Community members are employed as game watchdogs and supervisors, with 80% of the job opportunities in the park given to local residents. It was also agreed that the local community would receive 75% of the revenue generated by visitor fees.

“It was truly the first national park in the country that management plans were actually implemented,” Khan said.

“Today there are 100 Marco Polo sheep in the park, more than eight or nine that I saw (in the 1990s) and there are more than 5,000 ibexes.”

STRONG LAW?

So far, Pakistani authorities have revealed some details about the new Protected Areas Initiative.

Aslam, climate change advisor, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the project will be overseen by the new Pakistan National Park Service, which will be launched in September.

He said the country had allocated 4 billion rupees ($ 24 million) for the first phase of the initiative over the next three years, where at least 80% would be spent on creating green jobs and increasing community involvement.

Through this project, the amount of protected land in Pakistan will increase from 13% to 15% by 2023, Aslam added.

But environmental lawyer Rafay Ahmad Alam said that although this initiative was a positive step, it would help little to protect Pakistan’s green space without legislation to support it.

The initiative “will not make up for the fact that (the vast majority) of provincial national park laws are weak and do not provide adequate specifics for conservation, protection or law enforcement actions,” he said.

Aslam agreed that the appropriate provincial law was very important and noted that policy changes were also part of the new plan.

The shift to community-managed parks offers the opportunity to utilize the “amazing indigenous knowledge” local communities have about land, said Muzaffar ud Din.

“Local people have more information and they can manage their own natural resources better. They have a better vision, “he said.

“National parks should not be seen as separate entities, but as part of the overall socio-economic and physical landscape. That is the future of conservation. ”

Reporting by Rina Saeed Khan, Editing by Jumana Farouky and Laurie Goering. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charity branch of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people throughout the world who are struggling to live free or just. Visit http://news.trust.org

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Britain has 100,000 modern slaves but most are undetected, the study said | Instant News


LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Britain is home to at least 100,000 modern slaves according to a new study, 10 times more than the official estimate, because activists warn 90% of victims may be undetected.

Anti-slavery charities, Justice and Care, and the think tank Center for Social Justice say the actual number could be higher, and warned that a coronavirus pandemic is likely to push more people into forced labor in car washes and brothels.

The study came after media reports and campaigners that online fashion supplier Boohoo was a supplier of low-paid garment workers in Leicester, central England, and failed to protect them from COVID-19. Boohoo said last week he was investigating.

Justice and Care said political leadership to tackle modern slavery had diminished in recent years, and that the 2015 anti-slavery law might have created a “false sense of security”.

“While Britain has made progress in combating modern slavery, the Modern Slavery Act is no exception five years ago, so much work is needed to combat this problem,” the charity’s chief executive, Christian Guy, said in a statement.

The first law in the world has been reviewed after being criticized that it was not used fully to imprison human smugglers, encourage companies to handle forced labor, or help enough victims.

“Ninety percent of the victims may go undetected and thousands of traffickers are rioting,” Guy added.

A record 10,627 of alleged victims were identified last year in the UK – up 52% ​​from 2018. Most were victims of labor abuse and many came from countries such as Albania, Nigeria and Vietnam.

GOVERNMENT ‘JUST STARTED’

The British interior minister (home minister) Priti Patel said his department would closely watch the report’s findings.

“While the Modern Slavery Act is a breakthrough in dealing with this heinous crime, we have only just begun in the struggle to get rid of this crime from Britain,” Patel said.

Government research in 2018 said the crime brought Britain back to 4.3 billion pounds ($ 5.6 billion) per year, based on previous estimates of 10,000 – 13,000 slaves living in the country.

Charities and think tanks say the government needs to update its estimates, and the costs of crime, to taxpayers.

The study reached an estimated 100,000 by taking police statistics from one area of ​​the UK – West Midlands – which estimated the number of victims locally using a new artificial intelligence model, and extrapolated the data nationally.

Academics at the University of Nottingham’s Rights Laboratory, the world’s first large-scale research platform on slavery, said the research offered “a very interesting and new way” to measure problems.

“It is very difficult to estimate the size of the hidden population and this report has the potential to provide a new piece of anti-slavery measurement device,” Zoe Trodd, director of the Rights Lab, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation via email.

The 2018 Global Slavery Index by the Walk Free Foundation says the number of slaves in Britain is 136,000, and 40.3 million globally. But this methodology has been widely questioned and criticized by several activists and academics in the field.

Reported by Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Claire Cozens. Please give credit to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charity branch of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people throughout the world who are struggling to live free or just. Visit http://news.trust.org

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