The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called for an immediate aid package from donor nations of $252 million today, as part of its preparation for the largest humanitarian operation the agency has undertaken since the Kosovo refugee crisis in 1999. Believed to be only a small fraction of what will be needed to provide for the expected 1.5 million Afghan refugees heading for the Pakistan and Iran borders. And some 3.5 million refugees already in Afghanistan and the 1.5 million refugees already in Iran. Other U.N. agencies, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Food Program are also expected to request immediate aid from donor countries in the coming days. The new request may amount to more than $1 billion total. UNHCR will use the requested funds to build camps and shelter. Other named U.N. agencies will coordinate food, medical, and child-related assistance.
The Feminist Majority Foundation has been urging the United States, the largest donor country, to drastically increase its humanitarian aid for refugees, especially women and children, which make up 75% of refugees.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .