måndag 11 april 2011

France bans religious symbols - law entering into force today

Today, Monday the French law about banning religious symbols entered into force. This means that about 2,000 women in France who has the burqa or the niqab are not longer allowed to wear it in public.

To wear the niqab and burqa in public can lead to arrest and 150 euro will be charged for those wearing it.

It's not everybody who is forced to wear it. Some people do it for their own personal reasons. But if there is somebody who is forced to wear it they can actually report the person who forced them into wearing it and that person may be put in jail or charged for 30,000 euro.

This is how the law is going to be from today on. To be arrested or charged for a certain religious lifestyle you’re either born into or chosen is reprehensible. People should be able to dress however they want and not be arrested.

That France has implemented this law is horrific, especially since they are members of the European Union and also a permanent member of the UN. The solution should have been something else.

What of if you actually are one of those who traditionally have to wear this? What do you do? Do you dress European in public just to avoid being arrested? And what will happen if somebody outside sees you without the niqab/burqa?

I don’t think the French government thought this through properly. The law is supposed to protect people not put them at risk, because that’s really what is happening. Those who follow the law are at risk of being hurt, or in some cases they might not even solve it like that. They’ll just be sent back to their native country so that they can continue wearing it.
In other cases some women have been killed.

The president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy stated that the plan with putting this law into force was to win back votes that extremist parties had won.
Well, depriving people of their rights is not the way. You can’t deprive others of their rights in order to win votes back. That just doesn’t seem reasonable and it seems that there is something else behind this. I mean, just take a look at the European countries. Almost in every country in Europe there is an extremist party, extremist who are especially against Muslims.

Other reasons for implementing this law are because of identification. Yes it may be hard to identify a person whose eyes are the only visible part. But I don’t think that problem has to be solved like this. I can imagine that it is a huge problem especially when they need to be identified when doing a test at school, taking a drivers license etc. but I believe it could be solved in other ways. Like letting female teachers identify them or something. It may be farfetched to have to take the person into a room for identification every day just to make sure that it’s the person.

I don’t really know how identification should be solved. But I know one thing; all Muslims do not wear a niqab, burqa or a veil. Putting this law into force is not just banning religious symbols. It is pointing out people as outsiders, making people feel discriminated. It does not only concern those who for some reason wear the religious outfit it concerns everybody, people who are not of European origin and also people of European origin.

What are those 2,000 women obliged to do now that this actually is law? Sit at home and hide from the cops? There must be another way of solving this issue.

This law was not a great move…..

lördag 9 april 2011

New update coming soon....


As you've noticed I've not updated my blog for a little bit more than a month now. I've been a little busy with school and everything.

I'm not really sure what to write about next time. For instance political problems in North of Africa or the tsunami in Japan. Or issues within the humanitarian law.

Anyways, I'll get back very very soon:)

Later :)

tisdag 8 mars 2011

International Women's Day 2011

It’s been a hundred years since the first International Women’s Day was celebrated. This day is for celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. It’s a day to honor women of the past who have fought for women of the future. They opened doors for women today.

In 1979, the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) was adapted by the UN General assembly. It consists of 30 articles that define what constitutes discrimination against women. The convention also sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.
I would like to honor women all over the world, especially women in parts of the world who still are exposed to discrimination in many forms. Women who are forced to do certain things or act in certain ways, women who are victims of rape in war or peace and women who are deprived of the human rights.

I read an article about women’s situation The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The country has suffered years of colonization and conflict. It’s been very known that rape has become a weapon at war or conflict. There was recently a report about a village in DRC that was attacked by rebels. The victims were raped and in this case women were not the only victims even men were victims of these attacks that took place in August 2010. Those of the victims who survive are not all able to get medical aid. Because of many years of conflict there is a lack of medical aid, equipment and educated nurses. That is not the only problem.
Problems that rape victims are facing are problems such as discrimination or being abandoned by their families or husbands.

This incident in August is not the only one. In 2009 the UN reported that at least 15. 000 women and girls were raped. Systematic rapes are used as a tool to terrorize and punish the population. It is also used as an exercise of authority.

Systematic rapes are gross violations against human rights but if impunity is not abolished the systematic rapes will continue and so will the violations of the human rights. Only few of those who commit these serious crimes are indicted.

The legal system must be reformed if justice is to be made for the victims and those who are survivors need to get satisfying medical aid.

The struggle for women’s rights has gone, and is going towards the right direction but in many parts of the world there is still a long way to go and much to struggle for. Not only should women in DRC struggle for their rights but women all over the world should fight for each other.

So this day, I dedicate to women all over the world who are beeing deprived of their human rights...

onsdag 2 mars 2011

Olof Palme, 1937-1986

At the beginning of this week, February 28th was 25 years since our former Prime minister (the Prime minister of Sweden) was murdered. He was the leader of the Social democratic party of Sweden.
He touched the hearts of millions of people with his speeches and was one of the greatest leaders Sweden has ever had.

Prime Minister Palme was really a committed politician. Palme brought up issues on the agenda that had already been discussed such as gender equality or the vision on racism or even xenophobia in a different way which made him unique as a politician. He changed Swedish politics with his way of speaking and acting and even opened ways for women’s rights issues.

A passage from a speech that Palme held that I find very interesting and true is this:

“A person’s skin color, race, language and birth of place have got nothing to do with human qualities. To rate people with such yardstick is in direct contrast to the principles of human equality. But it is shamefully easy to act that way for the one who feels inferior at their working place, social life, in competition of the girl or the boy.
That is why prejudices always are around the corner, even in an enlightened community. It can flare in a jibe, an unwary replica, simple meanness. Maybe the one acting does not mean any harm. But for the one who gets hit it can reopen wounds that will never heal. Most of us have a need of asserting ourselves towards each other. That is when prejudice against the deviant – the foreigner, the stranger – becomes an option.”

Another passage from the same speech that I love is this:

“Sweden has for a long time been a very uniform country. We have not had minority issues. But reality is changing. We are becoming more and more depending on contact and impulses over state boundaries. We cannot build walls against the outside world, walls that means isolation and back time. The development brings people closer and closer towards each other, in a contact that means stimulation but also difficulties. Internationalism cannot only be a feeling in distance. It is becoming part of our everyday. That means that foreigners in Sweden is becoming a part of a new time. They want to become a part of our community and we on the other hand have to seek communities over the state borders. The world is coming to us and we need to get out in the world as well. The future we have ahead will bring many strains and difficulties when we Swedes have to adapt ourselves to a new reality. But if we have to survive we have to learn how to live together.

To sum up the passages: he wanted changes just like any other politician. But as I said, he brought up issues that were discussed but not properly discussed. I think it was great that he could talk about those issues because those are issues that, if they are not brought up on the political agenda, opens up doors for xenophobic parties to take hold in parliaments. We can already see this in many European countries. That is why I love these passages because here, he brings up issues that politicians nowadays don’t put so much energy on. Maybe because there are other issues to concentrate their energy on, but if migration policy or issues of that kind is forgotten the consequences might turn out as we have seen today - Xenophobic parties establishing themselves.

In memory of Prime Minister Palme an institute by name “International Palme Center” was started in 1992 and works for democracy, human rights and peace .

måndag 17 januari 2011

Martin Luther King day

"We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools" - Martin Luther King jr.

Today the 17th of January is a special holiday in America. It’s a holiday in memory of one of the greatest persons i know of - It's Martin Luther King-day.

Martin Luther King jr. was a pastor, an African American civil rights leader and one of the greatest speakers throughout history. The most famous speech that he held is probably the one in 1963 when he organized a march to the capital, Washington – “I have a dream”. Dr. King used nonviolent methods to claim rights that African Americans were deprived of. In his speech his goal was to make American values colorblind meaning, rights should be for all to hold not just a certain group. Racial segregation and discrimination, of which he received the Nobel peace prize in 1964, were also other goals Dr. King had.

Unfortunately this great man was assassinated in 1968.

This day makes me think of not only segregation in America but all kinds of violations of civil or human rights in Africa, Latin America, Europe Asia... practically every corner of the world have a dark history of rights violation.

People like Dr. King who take a stand when rights are being violated are remarkable. They are courageous and smart and it’s just this kind of people the world needs more of.

It's sad that he didn't live to see his dream come through but let us remember his great work and how his actions have lead to rights being respected no matter what color or race people are.

onsdag 12 januari 2011

Just give it a thought...

I was thinking of all the posts that I’ve posted on this blog so far and I got to realize something
Our world is full of misery, political or armed conflict, poverty and corruption is an everyday experience for some people.
I know it’s nothing new because we constantly hear about this on the news. If it’s not poverty, it’s conflict and if it’s not that there’s always something else that’s negative. If you take your time and think of everything it really is sad.
The population of our earth is not living by the same life standards. If we all would have to live by the same equal standards that would mean that a great amount of the population would have to lower their high life standards. Are people ready to do that? Are people ready to give up their fancy lifestyle in order to give other people on earth a chance for a better life?
That is what is required in order to give other people a chance. I think that will be a very difficult project, to pursue millions of people to lower their standards, especially because they’re so used to that type of life.

It’s difficult to make such a drastic change in your lifestyle but I believe it’s worth it. I mean, think about it. A person in a poor country may not live on more than a dollar a day, while people in rich countries use a dollar for chewing gum or sweets. Can you imagine? One dollar is used to support an entire family.

A dollar has such different meaning in different parts of the world.

That’s unfair.

tisdag 11 januari 2011

Haiti - one year later

Yesterday was exactly one year since the earthquake killed and destroyed many lives in Haiti.

The earthquake stole more than 23.000 lives and more than one million of Haitians are still living in camps and the disaster is still affecting the people of Haiti.
With such disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti diseases, criminality, and homelessness becomes a common problem. The corrupt system in Haiti doesn’t make the situation better either. UN forces and other nongovernmental organizations are now in Haiti to keep a somehow stabile situation. The question is what the future bears for Haiti.

Problems that Haiti is facing are many and it will take time to restore the country. Education, water, hygiene, nutrition, health, protection from criminality and poverty are serious issues today, one year after the catastrophe, issues that affect their rights, the human rights. The need for help is huge.

Knowing this we also know that rights such as civil rights, social and cultural rights, children’s rights and women’s rights are being violated and these rights are just a few of those that are being violated. Restoration of the disaster is going to be a long process, also because the country itself before the disaster was and still is corrupt and the life is of poor standard.

A fact is that out of the population a great number of them are children, children who died at school or at home. Our children are our future. What I believe is one of the most important issues is how the children can be given a chance of a decent future, a future where they fulfill their dreams and hopes.

I saw a news segment on TV about Haiti which showed me that there must be some hope for the children in Haiti. Schools have been built which is great.

The change that Haiti really needs if you ask me is to get rid of the corruption. In fact the corrupt system in Haiti is also a link to the crumbling of the buildings. Corrupt construction workers use material of poorer quality when constructing buildings, for a certain amount of money. This makes the constructions non-resisting to natural disasters like earthquakes.

Haiti is also one of the 192 countries who have ratified the convention on the rights of the child, which means that Haiti has an obligation of protecting children’s rights which they haven’t done.

To criticize Haiti is also difficult since they have suffered a history of conflict and poverty which makes it even harder to support and protect the rights of the population, but that still is not a legitimate life for anybody.

During the year, people have been vaccinated against the most dangerous diseases, schools have been built and restoration is on the way, but much is still to do to restore Haiti.
The situation is still rocky in Haiti but there still is a gleam of light in the country.

tisdag 4 januari 2011

Making changes !

I just watched the first part of a documentary on TV (Swedish) called “Drömmar om ett leende” (Dreams of a smile). The documentary is about a project called Operation smile which started in 1982 by an American plastic surgeon and his wife who is a nurse and a social worker. Their goal is that no child in the world should have to live isolated or feel violated because of a facial deformation that could easily be treated.
Many of these children are outcasts in their community because of their condition, which truly is horrible. All people no matter what condition they are in have the right not to be discriminated.

I think the project “Operation smile” is so wonderful because it’s life changing for those who get the opportunity to do the operation. Many who suffer from this condition are often bullied or believed to have some kind of curse over them and just imagine what bad self-confidence those children have because of that. Discrimination is also a daily experience for many because of this condition which in the future doesn't allow them to live a normal life or to get a normal job.

The documentary follows a group of volunteers(doctors and nurses) from all over the world who have the goal of doing a hundred operations in one week which is awesome!!The project now takes place in different parts of Ethiopia.

I advise everybody to watch this on TV it’s interesting and you can even donate a little something as support for the great work. Note that it could even help for more operations than planned. I know I will anyway :)

For more information about the project and what they do you can visit their international website: http://www.operationsmile.org/

Make a change in somebody else’s life! :)

Stay tuned for next post !

måndag 3 januari 2011

Terrorist threats - Still an issue?

I read an article about terrorism which brings me back to my first post "First post :)", about the negative effects of globaliszation.

September 11 and the bombings on London underground 2005 shook the whole world. I couldn’t hear anything else on the news anyway. That terrorism had become globalized was then a fact and lots of people feared travelling because of that. The years after, we heard a little about bombings on the news but not as serious as those past horrific attacks.
Anyways, what I want to say is that it seems that we’ve forgotten about that, and people are now calmly travelling around the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that people shouldn’t travel, but I would be cautious because I believe informal violence such as terrorism seem to have become more organized in these days.
For example last month about 5 kinds of terrorist activities around the European and African continent were reported and about 30 people were arrested for criminal activities. It seems like criminal activities are taking more and more advantages of the tools that come with globalization which is quite scary.

That brings me to another thing. This should be taken seriously. Seriously as in higher security and so on, but then again nothing serious has happened, yet. That’s for us to see, but for now I think threats about terrorist attacks still is an issue, just as it was back in 2001. Especially because there is some kind of anger growing towards the Western countries. It’s some sort of anger that has grown with, for example the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan or any attempt of controlling the Middle Eastern countries.
The reason for that may be that the Middle Eastern countries might feel some sort of threat of imperialism going on with the invasions. That anger later on results in globalized crime such as informal violence with the West as their target.

This is not the latest news, but it is scary news. As I said I believe terrorism still is an issue.

Stay tuned for next post : )