Thursday, August 25, 2016
Standing Rock Sioux Seek UN Assistance
The Standing Rock Sioux and the International Indian Treaty Council opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline have asked four UN Special Rapporteurs to intervene to stop the work on the project. According to a report in Indian Country Today, the groups cited “ongoing threats and violations to the human rights of the Tribe, its members and its future generations.” The urgent communication was submitted to UN Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights defenders, the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, and Environment and Human Rights, as well as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A more detailed description of the communication is available here. Pipeline construction was halted pending resolution of a court proceeding, with the hearing now scheduled for September 8.
August 25, 2016 in Environment, Martha F. Davis, Native American | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, July 7, 2016
August Human Rights Conference -ICJSHR
On August 4th and 5th Vancouver will host the 18th International Conference on Justice, Security and Human Rights.
The conference has an impressive range of topics including science based presentations on Fish Stock Habitats, business enterprises addressed in Sustainable Entrepreneurship,and Creating Shared Values, medical approaches to Treating Diabetes; and political topics such as Rights of Refugees and Promoting Gender Equality.
For more information, click here.
July 7, 2016 in Environment, Global Human Rights, Health | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, May 5, 2016
The Hidden Human Cost of the Flint Water Crisis
Imagine finding out that the contamination of your water was deliberate. And the perpetrator was your local government. Much more is at stake beyond the already significant physical health risks that the contamination brings. Along with the potential, if not likely, short and long term health conditions the water brings, comes the knowledge that those on whom you rely for that element most critical to life cannot be relied upon.
The residents of Flint are experiencing mental health problems as a direct consequence of the contamination. In addition to the uncertainty of accessing safe water, residents experience isolation as friends and family stop visiting, reluctant to expose themselves and loved ones to the risks. Children are experiencing anxiety resulting from exposure to frequent discussion of the crisis. Some are experiencing guilt resulting from the inadvertent exposure of their children to the contaminated water.
Mental health counsellors have organized centers such as the Flint Community Resilience Group to assist residents experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
Michigan State University School of Social Work has a website updating the public on the crisis and available resources.
May 5, 2016 in Environment, Margaret Drew | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, January 14, 2016
“Poetry has a lot to offer a world in crisis — and, in particular, in environmental crisis. For centuries, poets have given voice to our collective trauma: naming injustices, reclaiming stolen language, and offering us courage to imagine a more just world. In a world such as ours, poetry is an act of cultural resilience.” – Melissa Tuckey, “Introduction on Ecojustice Poetry”, Poetry Magazine, January 2016.
I want to gently urge you all to read the January 2016 issue of Poetry Magazine, which is dedicated to ecojustice poetry. The human right to a healthy environment feels clear, alive, and magical when you are in the midst of reading these poems and prose. Sitting in what seems to be the middle of this grey, frigid, winter landscape, finally arrived, I need inspiration to put on the several layers of clothes required to walk outside, let alone inspiration to seek environmental justice for all. While I have never thought of myself as a lover of poetry; it’s growing on me. I appreciate the celebration of language, the oddity of content and structure, the imagery, and the freedom of poetry. Also, I’m learning not to dwell on logic when reading poetry, which seems to be a good lesson for reading emails from my law students as well.
If you don’t know where to start or don’t have time to savor each and every poem, start with From “summer, somewhere” by Danez Smith, which more obviously than others touches directly on race, environment and justice. Maybe then read Crossing a City Highway by Yusef Komunyakaa to see the urban landscape come to life with its subtle references to severe environmental degradation. And don’t miss Water Devil by Jamaal May, who makes me feel like I can reach out and grab the things he is describing.
January 14, 2016 in Environment, Lauren Bartlett, writing | Permalink | Comments (0)