Things are not always as theys eem when you’re travelling. That dodgy-looking road-side cafe actually serves up the tastiest food. A bargain is often not and whan you work it out later you’ve been ripped off. Or that short cut ends up taking you all day. But some things have a more sinister side to them and deserve more of your attention, and visiting an orphanages in Cambodia definitely does. For more info see this blog: www.jeanloncle-photographe.com/?p=1066
Did you know: 80% of the world’s refugees are women and children fleeing violence, persecution, starvation, slavery and sexual exploitation. What’s more, the poorest nations are hosting 80% of the world’s forcibly displaced population, while richer countries close their borders. So, on World Refugee Day 2011 I thought it apt to resurrect an article I wrote back in 2003, regarding the plight of women around the world (the tea-making refers to my own battle at the time, where the female teachers in the Japanese staff rooms were always expected to jump up and make tea).
â€œThey came with trucks and police and vans. We all had to leave in 20 minutes. I lost…everything. I wasn’t even there when the house was taken downâ€. Tomica, Belgrade
Since 2009, Roma communities in Belgrade, Serbia, have been living under the constant threat of forced eviction by the authorities. Some, like Tomica, have already lost their homes. This is a violation of their right to adequate housing.
[…] When a friend of mine, realizing that her last summer of unrestrained pleasure before entering into careerdom was upon her, asked me to take her on an adventure I thought what better place to go for a little culture and excitement than the crossroads between Europe and Asia … Turkey.
Turkey – more than just a good kebab (September 2003)
To mark the centenary of International Women’s Day events are taking place globally to highlight not only the outstanding achievements of women over the past 100 years but also the work that still needs to be done for women who are desperate to have their voices heard, who are living with the daily threat of violence and rape, or who simpy wish to attend school or control their own fertility.
I first read ‘Before Night Falls’ (Antes Que Anochezca, 1992) while studying for my under-grad degree. Then I discovered the movie, and if Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn and Olivier Martinez (plus a small part by the then unknown Diego Luna) aren’t four reasons-enough to watch the film then there’s also the amazing black and white actual footage of Castro triumphantly entering Havana in 1969. An autobiography of the Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, both paper and celluloid describe vividly his life under the repressive socialist rÃ©gime, his sexual experimentation, stints in and out of prison, the danger and importance in defending freedom of expression and the life-threatening lengths people will go to in order to find liberty.
China’s president Hu Jintao was on a four-day tour of America last week, which was hailed as the most important state visit from China in over 30 years. The Obama adminsitration planned to use this time to heal the rift which has developed between the two world powers, along side raising concerns about nuclear energy and currency protection and broaching the terrible human rights record of the Chinese government, highlighted by the protests outside the White House by supporters of the persecuted Falun Gong and a ‘Free Tibet’ for example.
‘Roma are the largest pan-European minority, with a significant presence in every major European state’ (Oakley 2005, pp.2) existing at ‘a level of destitution almost indescribable’ (Refugee Council 1999, pp.37) and yet until recently they have been largely ignored by European institutions and the international community.
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