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August 08th, 2018

Protect LGBTQ families in America

by:Yair Oded

In yet another attempt at weakening the LGBTQ family unit in the U.S., Republican lawmakers advanced an amendment to the funding bill for the Department of Health, Labor, and Education, that would cut by 15 percent the federal funding of child and welfare services in states that ban adoption agencies that refuse to work with same-sex couples.

In the guise of defending religious freedom of discriminatory child services providers, such as Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services, Republicans, lead by congressman Robert Aderholt from Alabama, are launching a full blown attack against LGBTQ families.

The funding bill pushed by Aderholt will not only infringe on the rights of same-sex couples across the country to lead a decent family life, but also deprive tens of thousands of children from the chance of finding new homes, seeing as LGBTQ parents in America are six times more likely to adopt than heterosexual ones.

The recently proposed amendment is but one of numerous bills introduced by Republicans that seek to encroach on the freedoms of LGBTQ community members and block their access to government services. According to the Human Rights Campaign, in 2017 alone 120 ‘anti-gay’ bills were introduced in 30 different states, 12 of which had become law by 2018.

Using the Care2 Petitions platform, Jamie McGonnigal and Sean Carlson, a gay couple, have launched a petition last month in a bid to pressure Rep. Aderholt, as well as other Republican and Democrat congress members, to tank the amendment to the funding bill and prevent federal dollars from financing intolerance and bigotry.

Please consider signing the petition and raising your voice against the systemic and ongoing discrimination of LGBTQ families.

Let the U.S. become an example to governments elsewhere that are struggling to end institutionalized discrimination of LGBTQ people; let it not morph into a case study in how to slyly enshrine anti-gay sentiments in law and carefully craft draconian policies that cripple their rights.

Photo: Care2 Petitions
July 26th, 2018
type:Donation, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Some of the world’s largest multinational tobacco companies purchase tobacco grown in Zimbabwe, either directly or at auction, including British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco Group, and Imperial Brands.

Under human rights norms, companies buying tobacco from Zimbabwe have a responsibility to ensure that their business operations do not contribute to child labor and other human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch contacted the companies that collectively bought 86 percent of Zimbabwe’s tobacco in 2016. Most of the multinational companies involved have policies prohibiting their suppliers from using child labor and engaging in other human rights abuses, but Human Rights Watch’s findings suggest serious gaps in carrying out and monitoring these policies in Zimbabwe.

Tobacco companies should explicitly prohibit direct contact by children with tobacco in any form, conduct regular and rigorous human rights monitoring in the supply chain, and report transparently on their findings, Human Rights Watch said.

If you want to support the work of Human Rights Watch covering this topic, feel encouraged to support them by making a donation. Child labour is a serious abuse of children's rights and has to end!

Credits: Human Rights Watch

Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/ AP Photo, 2017
nazanin ratcliffe family
July 24th, 2018
by:Murat Suner

British-Iranian mum Nazanin was brought in front of a parole judge in Iran this week. After spending over two years in prison for allegedly trying to overthrow the Government, she was told that she won’t be released until the UK pays a £400m debt owed to Iran since the 70s.

Her husband Richard has been campaigning for her release and is calling on the UK Government to save Nazanin from being treated like a political pawn and urgently bring her back home.

Help Richard to bring his wife and daughter home by signing his petition calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to use her power and intervene.
indian muslims
July 22nd, 2018
type:Donation, NGO, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

A 2016 report on caste-based discrimination by the UN special rapporteur on minority issues noted that caste-affected groups continue to suffer exclusion and dehumanization. Such is the case in India, especially in the Assam region close to the border of neighbouring Bangladesh.

Limits on free speech and attacks on religious minorities, often led by vigilante groups that claim to be supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are an increasing concern in India. Often muslims or Dalit people are targets of violence, exclusion and other severe forms of discrimination.

The Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) is a collective of lawyers and social activists dedicated to the use of the legal system to advance human rights in India and the sub-continent. HRLN collaborates with human rights groups, and grass-roots development and social movements to enforce the rights of poor marginalised people and to challenge oppression, exploitation and discrimination against any group or individual on the grounds of caste, gender, disability, age, religion, language, ethnic group, sexual orientation, and health, economic or social status.

HRLN provides pro bono legal services, conducts public interest litigation, engages in advocacy, conducts legal awareness programmes, investigates violations, publishes 'know your rights' materials, and participates in campaigns.

Support this important network of human rights activists and lawyers in India by donating, volunteering or spreading their contents through your channels!

Credits:Amnesty Report India 2017/2018; Human Rights Watch India Report 2016

Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
July 12th, 2018
type:Allgemein, Petition, Protest
by:Yair Oded

Following an ongoing attempt to pressure Justice Anthony Kennedy to resign, President Trump has recently won a second pick for the Supreme Court. Naturally, Trump and his aids have chosen a hard-line right winger, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, as their nominee for the bench. Their ultimate goals are ensuring that their conservative agenda would permeate the judiciary and casting a Supreme Court that would function as an obedient extension of the executive branch.

Molding an ultra-conservative Supreme Court has been a calculated, meticulously executed plan of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who in February 2016 organized a filibuster to torpedo the nomination of Merrick Garland by former president Barack Obama. Unlike Democrats, however, who in 2016 refrained from promoting legislation that would eliminate Republican resistance (recognizing that such a move would deal a tragic blow to the democratic process), McConnell and House Republicans passed a bill in 2017 that lowers the confirmation limit from 60 votes to a simple majority (51), in order to secure the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Now, with a comfortable majority in both the House and the Senate, Republicans face virtually no hindrances to score their confirmation and alter the landscape of the Supreme Court for decades to come. Such a move could result in the reversal of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision (which legalized abortion in the United states) an abolishment of the Affordable Care Act (which requires health providers to grant coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions), and an ease on gun regulations.

This is not a reality we can accept.

Numerous campaigns are currently operating to raise awareness of the dangers surrounding a Trump nominee and to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation., a grassroots platform dedicated to supporting inclusive and progressive socio-political agendas, have launched a campaign designed to tank Kavanaugh’s nomination. Please consider contributing to their cause and joining their movement.

Indivisible, an organization committed to establishing and connecting grassroots networks across the country in order to fight Trump’s agenda, have started a nationwide campaign to tackle the upcoming Supreme Court nomination. Their campaign, titled #saveSCOTUS, informs people of upcoming events near them and supports the organization of new events and rallies to promote the cause. Visit their website for information on an event near you, and to learn about ways in which you can take action locally.
uphill battle screenshot
July 10th, 2018
by:Yair Oded

In 2018, a group of five Afghan women will set out to summit Mount Noshaq, Afghanistan’s highest peak and the second highest in the Hindu Kush range, which was neither climbed nor summited before by an Afghan woman. To this day, women in Afghanistan are regarded as property of their husbands and family, and are barred from participating in sports or any physical activity in public. Thus, the women’s planned expedition bears great significance, as by attempting to climb the mountain they will challenge the strict societal boundaries they are subject to. Such an act of defiance and courage could send a message to millions of Afghan women and men, inspiring them to abandon their oppressive attitudes and espouse a new view regarding women’s status in society.

An Uphill Battle is a documentary film which chronicles the journey of the Afghan women, beginning in the early stage of preparations for the expedition, with the intention of documenting the actual process of climbing as well. 

Theresa Breuer and Erin Trieb, the film’s creators, have launched a Kickstarter to help raise funds that will enable them to complete their mission, which currently entails chronicling the expedition itself and acquiring funding for post production expenditures. “We plan to give these Afghan women, hopefully, a chance to tell the story through our film and let their voices be heard in a way that the world hasn’t seen before...and in a time when women all over the world are standing up for their right to be heard, we feel like this is a timely and compelling story. ” Says Trieb. “The expedition requires an incredible amount of logistics- assistance, equipment, and financial help. And we promise you that if you help us fund this project that every cent will go directly to the expedition and to the post production of our film.” Says Breuer. 

“I want to stand on the highest point, strong on my feet. To be strong. To lift up those who have fallen and be the hero of the women of Afghanistan. I want to be a hero.” Says one of the five women who by the end of the year will embark on the historical climb. 

Please consider supporting the filmmakers and ensuring the message of these women vibrates across Afghanistan and the world. The campaign has four days to go. 

Image: Taken from "The Uphill Battle" teaser video
Flüchtlinge auf Rettungsschiff
July 07th, 2018
type:Donation, NGO, Protest, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Babys drowning to death, masses of rescued people trapped on life boats for weeks, people in need seeking for help and encountering inhumane migration politics, helping hands being criminalized - this is crucial point in human history: If we, as independent, enlightened, socially engaged, politically participatory people who value and live human rights will not come together, join forces and fight against the criminal asylum politics of several governments, then the knowledge and insights of all mistakes made in history, all those deaths and suffering, will be in vain.

Letting people drown in the Mediterranean Sea to further seal off Europe and win political points is unbearable and against any humanitarian values. Migration is and has always been part of our society! Instead of closing borders, we need a Europe that is open, cities that show solidarity and harbours that are safe.

SEALIFT is an international movement, supported by several civil society alliances and people. They declare their solidarity with people who are forced to flee their homes. From German and European policy makers, they are demanding the establishment of safe routes for refugees, to stop the criminalisation of sea rescue and to receive them in a humane way whilst respecting their rights.

How you can support SEALIFT:

TAKE A STAND! Use the orange colour everywhere to show your unconditional solidarity with refugees and sea rescue.

GET ACTIVE! Convince your city, your borough or local community to welcome refugees.

TELL EVERYONE! Follow their social-media-channels, report on your blog about the movement and encourage journalists to write about SEALIFT

Worldwide engagement welcome!
July 01st, 2018
type:Donation, Education, NGO, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) is a decentralized collective of educators, researchers and grassroots activists working to promote an economy based on democratic participation, worker and community ownership, social and economic justice, and ecological sustainability. Their strategy implies all forms of grassroots journalism, organizing support, cross-sector networking and movement-building.

GEO is a founding organizational member of the Data Commons Project, a collaborative effort to create a shared, public database of the cooperative economy in North America.

The members of GEO are deeply committed to honoring the self-respect and self-empowerment of others without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, or class. They see profiteering, wealth extraction, and neo-colonialism as substantially underpinning all systems of oppression and underrepresentation. 

Feel encouraged to support GEO by either joining their network, becoming a contributor in several areas, making a donation or simply spreading their contents through your channels.

Credits: Grassrot Economic Organizing
June 27th, 2018
type:Donation, Education, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Electric shocks. Water forced into your mouth. Rape. Mock executions. Exposure to light for weeks. Torture has many facets, but aims at the single goal of breaking one's dignity as a human being.

We are currently witnessing a global crisis on torture, although laws against it are in place almost everywhere. It is evident that laws alone are not enough. Torture is thriving because rather than respecting the law, many governments are either actively using torture or turning a blind eye on it.

This is also the case in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Therefore the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) works on behalf of all human beings – Israelis, Palestinians, labor migrants, and other foreign nationals residing in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Established in 1990, PCATI works to protect them from torture and ill-treatment at the hands of Israeli law enforcement and investigatory authorities. The vision of the Jerusalem based non-profit organizsation is to eradicate the culture of torture and to end the absolute impunity granted to torturers in Israel.

Feel encouraged to raise awareness of this topic and support the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel by spreading their message or donating to support their work against torture.

Credits: Amnesty International, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)
Immigration Kids
June 20th, 2018
type:Donation, NGO, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Immigration judge John J. McCarrick recognized the gap in representation left by the absence of a public defender system in immigration removal proceedings—a gap that in his view threatens the statutory and constitutional rights of detained indigent immigrants. With the aim of publicly urging Arizona attorneys to fill this gap, the Florence Project was created in 1989.

Today, the Florence Project is dedicated to providing free legal services to the more than 3,000 people detained on any given day in remote detention facilities in Florence and Eloy and children’s shelters in Phoenix. The Project also participates in local and national advocacy and outreach initiatives to amplify the voice of immigrant detainees.

The vision of the Florence Project is to ensure that all immigrants facing removal have access to counsel, understand their rights under the law, and are treated fairly and humanely.

Feel encouraged to support The Florence Project by donating or volunteering and spreading their content through your preferred channel to a wider public!