Child Labor Is Most Rampant in These 5 Regions, New Report Shows #Childlabor #slavery #SDGs #GlobalGoals #ReducedInequalities #HumanRight #ChildRight

Children continue to toil their childhoods away in dangerous conditions.

In the United States, the first successful effort to end child labor began in 1938. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 16 became the minimum age for jobs during school hours, 14 for jobs after school hours, and 18 for hazardous jobs.

The seedy history of 12-year-olds laboring in factories for 18 hours a day, six days a week seemed to be a thing of the past.

Except that wasn’t the end of child labor. All over the world, and even in the US, children continue to toil their childhoods away often in dangerous conditions, according to a new report.

Today, an estimated 152 million children aged 5-17 work, according to the United Nations’ International Labour Organization.

More than half of the total jobs held by children, 73 million, are in dangerous conditions. The vast majority of children, seven in 10, are working in agriculture, according to the report

“Poverty is the main cause of child labour in agriculture, together with limited access to quality education, inadequate agricultural technology and access to adult labour, high hazards and risks, and traditional attitudes toward children’s participation in agricultural activities,” ILO said in a newly released report, Ending child labour by 2025: A review of policies and programmes.

Across countries, boys are at a higher risk of being forced into work than girls, but the report notes that this figure does not fully take into account domestic chores and labor. Throughout the world, girls are regularly pulled from school so that they clean homes, collect water, and prepare meals, among other tasks.

Since 2000, the number of children working has dropped by 94 million, which the ILO attributes to laws being passed, greater enforcement of these laws, investments in education, and a decrease in conflict in parts of the world.

Conversely, the report found that child labor is 77% higher in countries with armed conflict than the global average, which means that finding solutions to conflicts in countries such as Syria and Yemen will likely lead to less child labor

Overall, the ILO report makes clear that there is a lot of work to be done.

“Now we must turn this renewed commitment into accelerated action and consign child labour to the dustbin of history, once and for all,” the report states.

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The Mordi Ibe Foundation campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.4 Quality Education. which  campaigns to ensure universal access to education, as a tool to combat child labour.

Here are how the five regions of the world compare when it comes to child labor.

1/ Arab States / 2.9% Child Labor Rate / 1,162,000 Children Working

yemen child

The real level of child labor is hard to gauge throughout Arab states because, according to the ILO, many children work in the informal sector. In the United Arab Emirates, it’s common for child victims of human trafficking to work as camel riders, the ILO notes. In recent years, warfare has devastated countries including Yemen, Syria, Libya, and Iraq, and children are being forced to work as sex workers, soldiers, and drug traffickers.  

2/ Europe and Central Asia / 4.1% Child Labor Rate / 5,534,000 Children Working

europe and child labour

In Moldova, for example, some schools have reportedly signed contracts with agricultural groups that require students to work. In Bulgaria, many children work in the the tobacco industry, where putting in 10 hours a day is common. Children in Albania, also work predominantly in agriculture. Drug trafficking, forced begging, and sexual exploitation are some of the worst forms of labor children are subjected to in not just this region, but globally.  

3/ Americas / 5.3% Child Labor Rate / 10,735,000 Children Working


Throughout the Americas, agriculture and domestic work are the dominant forms of child labor, but a high proportion of children are engaged in sex work, according to the US Department of Labor. Progress is being made, however. In 2016, Argentina banned hazardous work for children under 18, Brazil passed a new law criminalizing sexual exploitation, and Belize and Haiti both secured their first child trafficking convictions, according to the DOL.

4/ Asia and the Pacific / 7.4% Child Labor Rate / 62,077,000 Children Working


Child labor throughout this region varies considerably, as do mitigation efforts. In Afghanistan, child laborers are involved in everything from farming to mining to selling goods, and the worst forms of child labor in the country are likely armed conflict and sexual exploitation. In Indonesia, children fish, lay bricks, and drive buses, and, as elsewhere, are forced into sexual exploitation, forced begging, and more. Both of these countries have made efforts in recent years to crack down on wage exploitation, slavery, and the use of child labor in general, but children are still being forced to work.

5/ Africa / 19.6% Child Labor Rate / 72,113,000 Children Working

child labor africa 2

With nearly one in five children working throughout the continent, the forms of child labor in Africa are diverse. More than a million children are engaged in gold mining and cocoa producers across West Africa regularly enlist children. The vast majority of children engaged in agricultural work across Sub-Saharan Africa are working on family farms, highlighting how familial poverty can push children out of school. Young girls in Southern Nigeria are routinely forced into international sex work.

While policies throughout the continent are being enacted to stamp out the worst forms of child labor, enforcement is inconsistent, and six countries in Sub-Saharan lack a framework for dealing with the worst forms of child labor.

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 child labor africa


♥Women & Girls♥: Only about 1% of the 15-Million Girls forced into Sex seek help. Via U.N

LONDON, Nov 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – At least 15 million teenage girls worldwide have been forced into sex – often by partners, relatives or friends – yet only one in 100 sought help, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Cameroon had the highest rate of sexual violence, with one in six teenage girls experiencing forced sex, the U.N.’s children’s agency (UNICEF) said in a report which examined data from more than 40 countries.

“This idea of women being at the disposal of men is a big factor driving the experience of sexual violence of girls,” report author Claudia Cappa told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In the majority of cases, the abuser was known to the victim – with acts of sexual violence carried out by husbands, boyfriends, family members, friends and classmates.

UNICEF said widespread sexual violence against teenage girls could hinder global progress towards achieving the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a plan to end poverty, hunger, achieve gender equality and protect the planet by 2030.

The number of girls who have been forced to have sex is likely to be far higher than 15 million as many are reluctant to come forward and data is lacking in many countries, it said.

Abuses ranged from child sexual exploitation in the Dominican Republic’s tourism industry to online sexual abuse in the Philippines. The report also highlighted projects to combat violence, including self-defence classes in schools in Malawi.

Better laws to protect children and more support from social services are vital to bring about change, UNICEF said.

“What has proved to be particularly successful has been working with governments to develop national action plans that try to bring together different sectors, such as education and the justice system,” said Cappa.

Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women and girls around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo.

Weinstein, accused by a number of women of sexual harassment and assault in incidents dating back to the 1980s, has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.


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(Reporting by Lee Mannion @leemannion, Editing by Kieran Guilbert and Katy Migiro. Via the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience)

Climate Change & Environment: Countries Meet on ‘Aggressive’ Climate Action #COP23

As the planet warms, an extra 125 million each year are being exposed to heat waves, this week.

That risk, and other worsening climate shocks such as hurricanes and floods, mean countries around the world are in a “mode of aggressive climate action and stepping up ambition” ahead of next week’s U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, experts told a webinar on Tuesday.

“But the main focus of the conference will still be on figuring out how to make the Paris agreement work in terms of its temperature, adaptation and finance goals,” said Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

Under the Paris climate deal, reached in 2015, countries pledged to keep the rise in average global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. They also agreed to strive for a lower 1.5 degrees of warming, to try to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

But the agreement, besides, trying to lower emissions, also includes a goal of “enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change.”

Saleemul Huq, director of the Dhaka-based International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said countries could achieve the temperature goal if they quickly enough reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy.

That change, however, is happening too slowly, which means the world may need to resort to “more drastic measures” to hold down temperatures. That could include “geo-engineering” the planet through large-scale, controversial projects that aim to dim sunlight reaching the earth or or capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Huq told a discussion organised by the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme.


Huq said that one of the most desired outcomes of COP23, particularly among vulnerable countries, is to see “real movement” on innovative finance for loss and damage – that is, funding to help countries deal with unavoidable climate losses.

Bangladesh, for example, which is particularly vulnerable to climate impacts such as rising seas, is considering setting up a national mechanism on loss and damage, he added.

Christina Chan, director of the resilience practice at the World Resources Institute, agreed, saying that “we can’t climate proof our way out of every disaster – even the best adaptation policies can’t reduce the risk of loss and damage from a category 5 storm.”

“Millions of Puerto Ricans are still waiting for power to come back after storms destroyed their supergrid, while 38 million farmers across sub-Saharan Africa are grappling with food shortages after prolonged drought,” she said. Countries also face “less visible but just as devastating climate impacts” such as melting glaciers, she added.

She predicted it would be challenging to reach a consensus on how to pay for those losses at the climate conference, however.

While the negotiations inevitably focus on national commitments to action on climate change, pushes by other actors –such as cities, states and civil society – to reduce their emissions will be crucial to sustain the momentum at the talks, panel members said.

“The more radical ideas are coming from civil society,” said Huq, citing a bigger push from citizens for companies to pick up the bill for the damage they do to the planet.

“I think more governments will be willing to sign up to the ‘polluter pays’ principle in Bonn,” he added.

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The Mordi ibe Foundation Campaigns for the United nations Sustainable Development Goals including Goal 13: Climate action

Good Health + Well-Being: November is “Mouth Cancer”Action Month. A-Z! over 460,000 people will die by 2050

Mouth Cancer Action Month

Around 60,000 people will be diagnosed with mouth cancer over the next decade.

  • In the UK alone there were 7,700 cases of mouth, throat and head & neck cancers in 2011.
  • Tobacco use is still considered the main cause of mouth cancer. According to the World Health Organisation, up to half of current smokers will die of a tobacco-related illness – including mouth cancer.
  • Drinking to excess can increase the risk of mouth cancer by four times. Those who smoke and drink are up to 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.
  • Mouth cancer is twice more common in men than in women, though an increasing number of women are being diagnosed with the disease.
  • Age is another factor, with people over the age of 40 more likely to be diagnosed, though more young people are now being affected than previously.
  • Poor diet is linked to a third of all cancer cases.
  • Experts suggest the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted through oral sex, could overtake tobacco and alcohol as the main risk factor within the coming decade.
  • Cancers can occur in any part of the mouth, tongue, lips, and adjacent areas like the throat, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx, sinus, and other sites in the head and neck area.



Without early detection it is estimated that over the next decade around 60,000 people in the UK (alone) will be diagnosed with the disease and around 30,000 people will die. Worldwide, over 460,000 people are expected to die from mouth cancer each year by 2030.

Mouth cancer patients suffer greatly owing to disabilities such as facial deformity, loss of teeth and damage to the tongue and throat, with consequent difficulty in talking and eating in public places. Yet they do not receive the attention and support that other cancer sufferers do.

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is constantly campaigning for early detection and to raise awareness of the risks and signs and symptoms of Mouth Cancer. Dental health professionals are the natural leaders to lead the fight against mouth cancer as follows:

  • Warm patients of the dangers of tobacco use, alcohol abuse and the link to HPV.
  • Alert Asian patients to the dangers of paan and gutka chewing.
  • Carry out a thorough head and neck cancer screening on patients at annual routine check ups.
  • Make an effort to increase awareness of mouth cancers and the need for support for head and neck cancer patients.

Leaflets and posters on lowering the risk of mouth cancer are available free of charge from the Mouth Cancer Foundation and can be used as discussion tools during consultations or displayed in the waiting room. Wristbands and t-shirts are available too.

Mouth Cancer Action Month is held in November every year and is supported by the British Dental Health Foundation and the Mouth Cancer Foundation. You may wish to hold a mouth cancer screening in your dental practice during November.


Reduced Inequalities: With 1Million Urban Homeless; India Is Turning Old Trains Into Homeless Shelters

But advocates say the plan isn’t enough to house the 1 million Indians living on the streets.

By Rina Chandran

MUMBAI, Oct 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Indian officials plan to convert old railway coaches into shelters for the homeless before the start of colder weather, a move campaigners say does not address the issue of a crippling shortage of shelters and affordable housing in the country.

The government this month asked states to consider fitting old passenger coaches with electricity and sewerage connections, and installing them in areas of cities where shelters are needed.

The southern state of Telangana is looking into acquiring up to 10 coaches for this purpose, according to a senior official in the urban development ministry.

“We have asked officials to look into the logistics of converting five to 10 coaches into shelters,” said L. Vandana Kumar, a director in the state department.

“The main issue to building shelters in the cities is the lack of land. We are looking into possible solutions; this is a temporary solution until then,” he said.

There are about 1 million urban homeless in India, according to official data, although charities estimate the actual number to be three times higher.

The urban homeless population rose by a fifth in the decade to 2011, as thousands migrated from villages in search of better prospects. Every year, hundreds die from exposure to the cold or heat on pavements and station platforms.

The Supreme Court in 2010 had ordered one homeless shelter for every 100,000 people in 62 cities, with facilities including drinking water, subsidised meals, beds and lockers.

But few states have complied.

Last year, the Supreme Court slammed the government for failing to provide shelters, despite availability of funds.

A panel appointed by the top court said money earmarked for shelters was being diverted for other purposes, and that the homeless continued to live on the streets, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

“Funding is not a problem anywhere, but homelessness is not a priority for states,” Kailash Gambhir, a former judge who headed the panel, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Land is an issue, and officials are also afraid that more migrant workers will come if there are more shelters. We had made several suggestions, including charging a nominal rent, but states are not following through,” he said.

India has committed to provide housing for all by 2022, creating 20 million new units. But the slow pace of implementation is leaving thousands homeless as slum dwellers are evicted.

Last year, buses and portable cabins doubled up as homeless shelters in northern India amidst a cold snap.

(Reporting by Rina Chandran @rinachandran, Editing by Ros Russell. Credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience.)

Part 1 Violence Against Wo(men): OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (DV) AWARENESS MONTH/WEEK 2017. #DomesticViolence #Dvaw

Domestic violence (also named domestic abuse, battering, or family violence) is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.


It may be termed intimate partner violence when committed by a spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other spouse or partner, and can take place in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, or between former spouses or partners. Domestic violence may also involve violence against children or the elderly. It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death. Domestic murders include stoning, bride burning, honor killings, and dowry deaths.

Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence. In some countries, domestic violence is often seen as justified, particularly in cases of actual or suspected infidelity on the part of the woman, and is legally permitted. Research has established that there exists a direct and significant correlation between a country’s level of gender equality and rates of domestic violence. Domestic violence is among the most underreported crimes worldwide for both men and women. Due to social stigmas regarding male victimization, men face an increased likelihood of being overlooked by healthcare providers.

Domestic violence occurs when the abuser believes that abuse is acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported. It may produce intergenerational cycles of abuse in children and other family members, who may feel that such violence is acceptable or condoned. Very few people recognize themselves as abusers or victims because they may consider their experiences as family disputes that just got out of control. Awareness, perception, definition and documentation of domestic violence differs widely from country to country. Domestic violence often happens in the context of forced or child marriage.

In abusive relationships, there may be a cycle of abuse during which tensions rise and an act of violence is committed, followed by a period of reconciliation and calm. Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in domestic violent situations through isolation, power and control, cultural acceptance, lack of financial resources, fear, shame, or to protect children. As a result of abuse, victims may experience physical disabilities, chronic health problems, mental illness, limited finances, and poor ability to create healthy relationships. Victims may experience psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Children who live in a household with violence often show psychological problems from an early age, such as dysregulated aggression which may later contribute to continuing the legacy of abuse when they reach adulthood.

In 1993, The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women defined domestic violence as:

Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation


The term intimate partner violence is often used synonymously with domestic abuse or domestic violence, but it specifically refers to violence occurring within a couple relationship (i.e., marriage, cohabitation, or non-cohabitating intimate partners). To these, the World Health Organization (WHO) adds controlling behaviors as a form of abuse. Intimate partner violence has been observed in opposite and same-sex relationships, and in the former instance by both men against women and women against men. Family violence is a broader term, often used to include child abuse, elder abuse, and other violent acts between family members.


Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation. It can also mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, and harassment



24 October: “UNITED NATIONS DAY”; 20 Facts & More! #UNDay #UnitedNations #UnitedNationsDay #UN

United Nations Day


The world celebrates the United Nations Day on October 24 each year. This was the day when the international organization’s charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories in 1945. Here are some interesting facts about the prestigious world body you should know.

United Nations logo


The United Nations logo, consisting of the map of the world inscribed in a wreath of crossed stylized olive tree branches, was created by a team of designers led by Oliver Lincoln Lundquist, during the United Nations Conference on International Organization in 1945.

United Nations


U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (C) coined the words “United Nations” while signing the Declaration by the United Nations on Jan. 1, 1942, during the Second World War, when members of 26 nations pledged their united support to their governments to fight against Axis powers. (Pictured) Soviet Union Premier Josef Stalin (L), U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sit together during the Tehran Conference in Tehran, Iran, in this Nov. 28, 1943, file photo. The three leaders, meeting for the first time, discussed Allied plans for the war against Germany and for post-war cooperation in the United Nations

City where U.N Was Created


After months of planning, on April 25, 1945, the U.N. Conference on International Organization opened in San Francisco – paving the way for the founding members of the United Nations to establish the organization.

Number of countries that attended the first U.N. Assembly


The first General Assembly of the United Nations, comprising representatives from 51 nations, convened at Westminster Central Hall in London, England, on Jan. 10, 1946. One week later, the U.N. Security Council met for the first time and established its rules of procedure.

First Secretary General of the U.N.


On Feb. 2, 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was elected as the first Secretary General of the United Nations as a compromise between the major powers, having missed being elected president of the first General Assembly by only a small margin.

Forerunner of the United Nations


United Nations was the successor of League of Nations, an organization established during the first World War in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles to promote international cooperation and to achieve word peace. However, the League of Nations cease to exist after the Second World War. (Pictured) Delegates at the peace conference at Versailles, France, in 1919.

Longest speech at the U.N.


Indian diplomat V.K. Krishna Menon delivered the longest speech in U.N. history in defence of India’s stand on Kashmir. The impassioned oratory lasted five hours on Jan. 23, 1957, and continued for nearly another three hours after session resumed the following day.

U.N.’s official languages


United Nations’ official languages are Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.

First Deputy Secretary General


Louise Frechette became the first deputy secretary general of the United Nations after being appointed to the post by Kofi Annan in 1999.

Latest rotating members of the Security Council


In 2015, the rotating members of the Security Council will be Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria. (Pictured) New York City headquarters of the United Nations Organization.

Approving a Council resolution


To be approved, a Security Council resolution must have nine “YES” votes out of 15 and no “NO” votes from any of the five permanent members (People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.)

Withdrawal from the U.N.


Indonesian president Sukarno’s decision to withdraw from the United Nations in 1965 is the only instance of a withdrawal of membership in U.N. history. Indonesia rejoined the organization a year later.

Newest Member of the U.N.


United Nations and the Nobel Peace Prize


The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2001 to the United Nations (U.N.) and to its secretary general, Kofi Annan (L), in two equal proportions for their continuous endeavor to promote and spread peace throughout the world. (Pictured) United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Korean Foreign Minister and President of the U.N. General Assembly Han Seung Soo (R) show their medals and certificate during the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on Dec. 10, 2001.


1. Failure of the League Of Nations

The first world organization of countries was the League of Nations, founded after the World War I (back then it was called the Great War or the War to End All Wars – yes, ironic). The aim of the League of Nations was to prevent the repeat of the war.

Benito Mussolini, the prime minister of Italy back then, famously said “The League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out.” And indeed, just three decades after the founding of the League of Nations, the world plunged into another war, World War II.

2. Churchill in a Bathtub: The Origin of the Name

The name “United Nations” was proposed by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Winston Churchill back in 1942. Churchill was in Washington, D.C. then – in fact, he was sitting in a bathtub when FDR was wheeled into the bathroom and proposed that the Allies of World War II be called the United Nations. (Source)

FDR and Churchill thought that “United Nations” sounded better than the “Alliance,” a name they were thinking of first. Churchill noted that the poet Lord Byron had used the name to describe the Allies at the Battle of Waterloo in his book Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage:

Here, where the sword United Nations drew,
Our countrymen were warring on that day!
And this much—and all—which will not pass away.

Ironically, the Allies of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, which included the Prussian Army (which later became part of Germany in 1919), fought the French Empire. France, of course, was later part of the Allies of World War II, who fought Nazi Germany.

3. Rockefeller’s Gift: Land for the UN Headquarters

The land of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City was purchased from real estate mogul William Zeckendorf with money donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Zeckendorf was going to use it to build X City, a futuristic real estate development that failed to get off the ground (Source). The UN Headquarters building was designed by Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, and built with an interest-free loan from the United States.

The land and the building of the United Nations Headquarter are considered international territory. It doesn’t even meet all of New York City’s fire safety and building codes.

4. United Nations Stamp


The United Nations has its own post office and its own postage stamp! Though mostly collectibles, you can actually mail stuff using the UN stamps from UN premises in New York, Geneva, and Vienna.

5. The UN Logo Was First Designed for a Lapel Pin

The logo of the United Nations was designed by Donal McLaughlin, who worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the CIA. Donal described the UN logo as an “azimuthally equidistant projection showing all the countries in one circle, flanked by crossed olive branches.” The logo was first designed as a lapel pin. (Source)

6. UN Flags and One That Just Gotta Be Different

Agencies and organizations of the United Nations all have their own flags:

The UN official colors are light blue and white. For some reason, World Food Programme just has to be different: its flag colors are reversed!

7. UN Secretary-General Fun Facts

The head of the United Nations is the Secretary-General. They are appointed based on geographical rotation, but never from the five permanent Security Council member states.

The current Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon from South Korea. He has been described by many as “bland” (indeed, his nickname is Ban-chusa, or “the bureaucrat” in Korean). When he was elected Secretary-General, however, Ban surprised everyone by singing a version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with the lyrics “Ban Ki-moon is coming to town” instead).

Another interesting facts about past UN Secretary-Generals:

– Kofi Annan is a twin, a particularly respected thing in Ghanaian culture. The Akan people of Ghana often name their children after the day of the week they were born. His name, Kofi, is given to boys born on a Friday.

– Let’s face it: Boutros Boutros-Ghali has a funny name. Indeed, an Icelandic soccer team has been named after him! “Boutros Boutros” once said “The best way to deal with bureaucrats is with stealth and sudden violence.” We can’t agree more!

– Kurt Waldheim got embroiled in the “Waldheim Affair” when it was discovered that he was an intelligence officer for Nazi Germany during World War II.

– Forget “Boutros Boutros,” the UN Secretary with the best name has got to be U Thant. Actually “U” is an honorific in Burmese, roughly meaning “mister” – his actually name is only “Thant.”

– Dag Hammarskjöld was killed in a mysterious plane crash (it was rumored that the British MI5, the CIA, and the South African intelligence services were responsible). He is the only UN Secretary-General to die in office and the only person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.

8. Does it Pay to be an Employee of the UN?

The UN Secretariat employed some 15,000 people worldwide (in comparison, the Pentagon employed 23,000 people in Washington D.C. alone!). Salaries for professional staff of the United Nations are determined by the “Noblemarie Principle,” named after the chairman of a committee of the League of Nations who first formulated it in 1920.

The Noblemarie Principle holds that the UN must pay its staff equally for work of equal value, despite differences in levels of pay in various countries from where they are drawn. This translates to a base salary of $113,000 for the Under Secretary-General, to the bottom salary of $32,000 (Source)

Being a diplomat to the United Nations, on the other hand, has its benefits: because of their diplomatic immunity, many of them refuse to pay parking tickets. Indeed, 6 countries have an average of over 100 parking tickets per diplomat! (Source)

9. Newest Member As of 2006: Welcome Montenegro!

The newest member of the United Nations is Montenegro, who became the 192nd member in 2006. Besides member states, there is one non-member observer state, the Holy See in Vatican City.

10. Who Pays for the United Nations?

The UN budget comes from the member states, determined by their ability to pay (for example, France and the UK were assessed 6% of the budget, whereas Liberia was assessed 0.001%, the minimum rate). The United States shoulder the lion’s share: it pays 22% (and 27% of the peacekeeping budget, which is assessed separately). In 2006, this turns out to be $423 million or $1.42 per American citizen.

Despite being assessed the most, the United States is constantly late in payment. By 2005, the US owed more than $960 million in arrears. Thankfully, it’s not alone: only 40 out the 192 members paid on time – in fact, late payment is considered standard practice by many nations! (Source)

Women & Girls: Child Marriage in America Is Not as Rare as You’d Think & its 2017?!

More than 50,000 15- to 17-year-olds are married.

While you might think that child marriage only occurs in developing countries, a study published today proves that’s just not the case.

As many as 57,800 children between the ages of 15 and 17 are married in the US, according to findings by the Pew Research Center.

That’s a population roughly the size of Texas A&M University’s student body.

Numbers vary by state, with West Virginia and Texas having the highest proportion of child marriages (7.1 and 6.9 child marriages per 1,000 people) and Alaska and Maine the lowest (1.8 and 2.2 child marriages per 1,000 people).

So how does this happen in a country where citizens must legally be 18 to marry?

The answer is in the fine print. While 18 is defined as the legal age for marriage in the United States, children as young as 12 or 13 can get married if a judge rules it’s in their “best interest.” (Some states, like Arizona and Missouri, have no minimum age for judicially approved marriages in special circumstances like a pregnancy or birth of a child.) In most states, 15- to 17-year-olds can be married with parental approval.

Generally, the study — which was from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey — found that women are more likely than men to marry at an early age. 55% of married children aged 15 to 17 are women; that number jumps to 66% for 18 to 19 year olds.

Compared to many developing countries, child marriage rates in the US are miniscule. In Niger, roughly 3 in 4 women are married before the age of 18. On average, in developing countries one in three women are married before they become legal adults, according to World Vision.

The non-profit Girls Not Brides estimates that by 2050 there will be 1.2 billion child brides worldwide. Today, 700 million women around the world were married before the age of 18.

Child marriage is often a result of poverty and a lack of schooling. It’s proven that child marriage furthers the cycle of poverty, as women who are married before the age of 18 are more likely to contract HIV, experience domestic violence, and fall into depression, and less likely to receive an education or become employed. 

The US has the resources and the ability to bring the number of child brides and grooms down to zero, but it will require a change of policy on a state-by-state level and not necessarily on a national level. Let’s hope these most recent statistics will spark state legislators to take action.

Read more on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


18th of October “Anti-Slavery Day”: Focus UK; All you need to Know & More!

Anti-Slavery Day, 18th October, provides an opportunity to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery, and encourage government, local authorities, companies, charities and individuals to do what they can to address the problem. It was created by the Anti-Slavery Day Act, a Private Members Bill introduced Anthony Steen CBE, now Chair of the Human Trafficking Foundation.


Each year more and more charities, individuals, local authorities and police forces take action to mark Anti-Slavery Day.

The Human Trafficking Foundation hosts Anti-Slavery Day Awards to recognise journalists, filmmakers and broadcasters who have exposed issues of modern slavery, and to celebrate organisations and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the fight against modern slavery.

Anti-Slavery Day

UK Anti-Slavery Day on 18th October is a chance to raise awareness of modern slavery, highlight good practice, and focus attention on the areas of policy and practice where improvements still need to be made.

HTF (Human Trafficking Foundation)  hosts Anti-Slavery Day Awards to recognise media, press, and filmmakers which have exposed issues of modern slavery, and to celebrate organisations and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the fight against modern slavery.

What is Human Trafficking?

Although human trafficking can take many forms at their core is the control and exploitation of the vulnerable for the profit and gain of their traffickers.

The UN Palermo Protocol provides a definition of which can be simplified as:

The acquisition of a person;

By means of deception or coercion;

For the purpose of exploitation

Facts and Figures

Estimates range from 21 million to 45 million people held in modern slavery around the world today.

The fastest growing international crime and the second largest source of illegal income worldwide, with estimated profits of $150 billion per year.

Human Trafficking in the UK

In 2016, 3,805 potential victims from 108 different countries of origin were referred into the National Referral Mechanism. In reality, however, the extent of human trafficking in the UK is likely to be far greater than the NRM statistics would suggest. The Home Office has estimated in its Modern Slavery Strategy that there may be as many as 13,000 people held in slavery in the UK.

Exploitation in the UK takes a variety of forms, but most commonly forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced criminal activity.

A full breakdown of the NRM statistics can be found here.

The UK’s approach is now governed by the Modern Slavery Act. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, Human Trafficking and Exploitation Acts are also in force.

Trafficking or Smuggling?

Human trafficking and smuggling are often confused.  Although there is often some overlap between instances of trafficking and smuggling, they are legally distinct.

Smuggling involves facilitating someone’s illegal passage over an international border, and once they reach the final destination the ‘customer’ is generally left to their own devices.

Human trafficking, by contrast, involves force, threats and deception and specifically targets the trafficked person as an object of criminal exploitation for labour or services. Human trafficking doesn’t necessarily involve crossing any border: there are many instances of internal trafficking.


  1. Trafficking for forced labour


    The financial crisis cost me my job. I slept rough. Two men approached me. They offered me work near London. I shared an old dirty shed with a tin roof with another man.

    Every day we were picked up by a van at 7am and then knocked on people’s doors asking if they wanted any work doing, digging patios or making drive-ways. We were picked-up at 9pm: if we didn’t get back in time, we’d get beaten. Everyone was afraid. Some got beaten up often, punched in the head or kicked. We worked 6 days a week unpaid. Someone tried to escape, but was beaten with a spanner.

    One Sunday the police raided. I had never heard of trafficking before. When I looked around, I saw how ill everyone looked, skinny and unwell, as if we had all been in a concentration camp. For the first time in my life I am now being cared for, thanks to the Salvation Army. I am still nervous of going out alone.



    I am a Hungarian and was experiencing hard times. My wife had left me and I lost custody of my children. I had to get work to get my family back.

    I was offered a job in the UK by a man who travelled with me and three other men by car. We arrived in North East England. I was kept prisoner in rented property by this man. All our personal documents were taken, and we were closely watched. We weren’t allowed out unaccompanied.  Several times we were physically assaulted. I felt suicidal.

    I was taken to work in a pizzeria as a kitchen porter and later at a chicken factory. I received no payment for any of this work.  The traffickers took my money. I was given just enough food not to starve. This carried on for at least 6 months.

    I tried to escape, but it wasn’t easy, as I was watched all the time. Later I changed my tactics – I got the traffickers to trust me more. I was then told I must work on a building site. There was an opportunity to escape. I did. I went to the police, although I was afraid I’d be sent home. They helped me. I was then placed in the City Hearts* shelter in Liverpool. Now I am improving my English and looking forward to a better life than ever before.

  2. Child trafficking


    When I was 16, my mum forced me to sleep with men to pay for our flat in Romania.  One client, Sorin, suggested babysitting work in the UK. Mum wanted us to go but I didn’t trust him when he provided a false ID.

    Sorin drove us from the airport to a house in Birmingham.  There, a man and woman controlled three girls who worked for them in their spa salon doing massage. I was bought vulgar clothes, taught bad English words. They called me Roxie. It wasn’t massage we did in the spa, but other things. I was forced to provide sexual services for more than a year.

    One day the police saw me with my make-up on getting out of a car. They asked questions. I didn’t understand English. They took me to a police station. I spent the night in a cell. I told them everything through an interpreter. I testified against the traffickers. I was placed in local authority care, the traffickers nearly kidnapped me from there. I am now on a hairdressing course and 18.  My future is uncertain.


  3. Sex trafficking


    I was trafficked from Nigeria two years ago. I was training as a primary school teacher. A man befriended me, offered a cleaning job in the UK earning me enough to go to university – my dream.  Before leaving, he made me participate in a witchcraft ceremony, drinking a mixture of the inside of a hen, and making me promise never to disobey him or else I would go mad. I received false documents, including a script of what to tell border officials in the UK.

    I was picked up at the airport and driven to a house in London. I was locked in a room with three other women and then sexually exploited. The witchcraft ceremony back in Nigeria haunted me. I was moved to different flats, working as a sex worker in all of them. This went on for months.

    When the police raided our flat, I was placed in a detention centre and then a hostel. The traffickers threatened to harm my mother in Lagos if I didn’t return as a sex worker. I had to go back. A further 7 months passed till I was rescued by a police raid. I was placed in City Hearts shelter, which helped and supported me. Perhaps, my university dream can now come true.

  4. Domestic servitude


    I grew up in Indonesia. When my single mother became sick I had to find work. There was nothing in my village. I went to Hong Kong, hoping to earn enough to support her.

    I was put in charge of three children 24 hours a day, with much housework. I worked for 7 months but wasn’t paid. They said I must pay off the debt for my travel first. My employers then arranged a ‘holiday’ to the UK. It turned out to be 16 hours’ work a day, sleeping on the floor, always on call. I was ordered to care for the elderly grandparents as well. That was the last straw.

    I ran away, despite the fear of being homeless and deported. Kalayaan helped me. I cannot get a new job because my visa has expired. I cannot stay here. I must go home with nothing. The family who exploited me gets off “scott free”.


October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2017 #EndPoverty, #GlobalGoals, #SDGs

Theme: “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration by the General Assembly, in its resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992, of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Call to Action by Father Joseph Wresinski—which inspired the observance of October 17 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty—and the recognition by the United Nations of the day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The Call to Action of October 17 that was launched thirty years ago is recorded in the text on the Commemorative Stone at the Trocadero Human Rights Plaza in Paris which was unveiled in the presence of 100,000 people: On the 17th of October 1987, defenders of human and civil rights from every continent gathered on this plaza. They paid homage to the victims of hunger, ignorance and violence. They affirmed their conviction that human misery is not inevitable. They pledged their solidarity with all people who, throughout the world, strive to eradicate extreme poverty.

“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”

Father Joseph Wresinski
sdgs1-300x144The theme for this year’s commemoration reminds us of the importance of the values of dignity, solidarity and voice underscored in the Call to Action to fight to end poverty everywhere. These values are also evident in the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development which sets poverty eradication as the overarching objective and obligated all countries to end poverty in all forms, through strategies that guarantee the fulfilment of all human rights and ensure no one is left behind. The importance of public awareness, voice and the active participation of people living in extreme poverty is recognized both in the Agenda itself and in the process of consultations led by the United Nations that ensured the concerns and priorities of millions of people, especially those living in extreme poverty, were included and heard. The active participation of those living in extreme poverty will be critical to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s event is organized in partnership with the International Movement ATD Fourth World, the NGO Committee for Social Development and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, supported by the Missions of France and Burkina Faso to the United Nations.
In addition to the Commemoration in New York, celebrations of this International Day are being organized worldwide. Through resolution A/RES/47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the General Assembly invited all States to devote the Day to presenting and promoting concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.

HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR OCTOBER 17 Including “Message for the World Day for Overcoming Poverty & the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 17th October 2017”

Thirty years ago, on October 17, 1987, Father Joseph Wresinski launched his historic Call to Action against extreme poverty at the Trocadero Human Rights Plaza in Paris with his declaration that “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated.” This powerful message was ground-breaking because it asserted, for the first time, that poverty is not only about adequate income or meeting basic needs, but, more importantly, is also about being able to live a life in dignity and to enjoy basic human rights and freedoms. Joseph Wresinski believed, and demonstrated through his work with poor communities, that the way to break the vicious cycle of extreme poverty was to support people in their fight for their human rights.


Today, the influence of his vision is self-evident in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights and the implementation of the rights-based approach to poverty eradication and development as a central plank of the United Nations’ development strategy. Every year, since the Call to Action in 1987, people from all walks of life around the world have come together on October 17 to observe the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty as an occasion to renew their commitment to answer the Call to Action and to pledge their solidarity with all people who strive to eradicate extreme poverty. This people-driven observance of a universal day for the eradication of poverty was recognized at the highest level when, in 1992, the United Nations declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Since then, the joint observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, has actively promoted dialogue and understanding between people living in poverty and their communities, and with society at large.

These observances have enabled people living in extreme poverty to break the silence of poverty and to act in solidarity with those who aspire to be their partners. The theme “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” that was selected to mark this auspicious year, reminds us that peace is the universal goal of all people, especially for people living in poverty who are forced to suffer the pain of exclusion, discrimination, injustice and violence.

It also reminds us that only a world free from poverty will provide the sustainable foundation for building peaceful and inclusive societies. It further reminds us of the importance of the values of dignity, solidarity and voice, underscored in the Call to Action, in the struggle to end poverty everywhere. These important values are embedded in the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 which recognizes that strategies to overcome extreme poverty must guarantee the fulfilment of all human rights and ensure that no one is left behind.

Agenda 2030 also recognizes the importance of mobilizing all stakeholders in the fight against poverty and promoting the full and active participation of people living in extreme poverty. However, we must not be complacent because the successful implementation of the United Nations’ ambitious agenda depends not only on our active participation but also on our constant vigilance to ensure that world leaders live up to their commitments to end poverty in all its forms and to build peaceful societies.

So, I invite you to join us as we renew our commitment to answer the Call to Action* and to stand in solidarity with all people around the world who strive to eradicate extreme poverty.

Today, we renew our pledge that no one will be left behind.

Donald Lee President, International Committee for October 17