India: Urgent call to halt Odisha mega-steel project amid serious human rights concerns

GENEVA (1st October 2013) –Construction of a mega-steel plant in Odisha in Eastern India should be halted immediately, United Nations independent human rights experts* have urged, citing serious human rights concerns. The project reportedly threatens to displace over 22,000 people in the Jagatsinghpur District, and disrupt the livelihoods of many thousands more in the surrounding area.

“The construction of a massive steel plant and port in Odisha by multinational steel corporation POSCO must not proceed as planned without ensuring adequate safeguards and guaranteeing that the rights of the thousands of people are respected,” the group of eight experts stressed.

While India has the primary duty to protect the rights of those whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by the project, the experts underlined that “POSCO also has a responsibility to respect human rights, and the Republic of Korea, where POSCO is based, should also take measures to ensure that businesses based in its territory do not adversely impact human rights when operating abroad.” More

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Rural and indigenous women of Asia voice their concerns at UN Commission on the Status of Women

ORAL STATEMENT TO THE GENERAL DISCUSSION IN THE 56TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

Thank you for this opportunity to participate in the General Discussion and address the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. We, nine rural and indigenous women from Southeast and East Asia are here for the first time to voice out our concerns and recommendations to the CSW.

This statement is on behalf of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) and the Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC), two leading women’s networks representing rural women, including indigenous women, peasants, agricultural workers, Dalit women, fisherfolks, pastoralists, workers and migrants from more than 25 countries in Asia Pacific region. Asia Pacific has over 65% of population living in rural and remote areas. More

Indigenous People Face Health Issues From Climate Change, Study Says

VANCOUVER, CanadaIndigenous people around the world face health threats from more bacteria in drinking water following major weather events such as heavy rainfall or from rapidly melting snow, says Sherilee Harper, a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in Aboriginal People’s Health at the University of Guelph.

Photo: Sherilee Harper, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in Aboriginal People’s Health at the University of Guelph.

A recently published study  co-authored by Harper explores links among weather patterns, water quality and gastrointestinal illness in two communities in Nunatsiavut in Canada’s North.

Weather events also affect the health of Uganda’s Batwa people. Harper is studying Batwa refugees driven from their forest homeland after the Ugandan government created a national park to protect silverback gorillas. More

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