Sex for Water
Imagine being so desperate for water, you’d do anything to get it. Anything.

That’s the situation tens of thousands of women and girls around the world face every single day.

And now corrupt water vendors in Kenya are taking advantage in the worst possible way, forcing them into sex for just a few litres.

Children are being abused, women’s lives shattered. They have no choice.

But here’s the really crazy thing: there’s no law against this vile exploitation. It’s completely legal!

Kenyan women’s rights groups say the government is considering a law to make this abuse illegal–and that massive show of global pressure could make all the difference.

They’re asking the Avaaz community to help–let’s lend our voices to some of the poorest, most vulnerable people on Earth, and demand an end to sex-for-water abuse. When our call is huge, we’ll deliver our voices to Kenya’s government.

And it’s not just Kenya–wherever extreme poverty bites, sexual exploitation is certain to follow. Sex for water abuse has been documented in India, Mexico and Argentina, too.

Let’s join the brave women rights activists in Kenya and demand an end to this horror–add your voice now!
Bert, Mel, Julian, Nate, Patricia, Antonia, Huiting and the whole Avaaz team

Where is Democracy?
In 2023, 30 bills were passed out of 47 introduced in Parliament and the Winter Session hit a new low in India's democratic process when 146 Opposition MPs were suspended for seeking clarification on a security breach.

Recent reports show a shocking 500% rise in hate-speech cases in India in the last 7 years. CJP's year-end review highlights the resilience of India's Muslims in the face of rising hate.
CJP, Mumbai

Justice for All
Keeping a hawk eye on the most egregious hate violations on television through 2023, CJP filed eight complaints with the News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority, seven of which were against Times Now Navbharat; eight favourable orders came from the NBDSA.

Hate takes various shapes and forms, targets different sections of individuals and communities who are marginalised (stigmatised) but there is a common thread: it renders them open to harm and targeted violence. Hence CJP's Hate Hatao campaign against hatred and hate speech is an effort to bring to account those who seek to divide Indian society along arbitrary lines for the sake of personal and political gains. There are instances of hate speech as well hate offenders and serial hate offenders i.e people who routinely abuse their power to make statements that are not only hateful, but also capable of inciting violence.
Citizens for Justice and Peace, Mumbai

Taliban and Sangh Parivar
Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha statue. Sangh Parivar destroyed the Babri Masjid, before TV cameras. The state Government that facilitated this was dismissed. The world was aghast. President SD Sharma called it a black day in the history of the country.

It would be interesting to see the development of justice Gogoi from telling people through a press conference that the democracy was in danger to dancing to the tune of the very forces that endanger the democracy- the unbelievable power of honey trap, to the point of celebrating his victory of delivering the Babri verdict and posing for the weird photo with his three colleagues.
Faizi S

Israel on Trial
Opening arguments began on January 11 in South Africa’s case accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’s top court.

South Africa has asked the court to order an immediate halt to Israel’s military operation, in which more than 24,000 people have been killed, as well as prevent further forced displacement, deprivation of basic necessities, and lack of access to humanitarian aid.

“Nothing will stop the suffering except an order from this court,” South African lawyer Adila Hassim told the judges in The Hague.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, argues that “it is not we who have come to perpetrate genocide, it is Hamas,” which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by many countries. The October 7 attack by the Palestinian militant group killed about 1,200 people in Israel while 240 people were taken hostage. As the hostage swap negotiations by Qatar failed in the middle, more than 100 people are still in the captivity of Hamas.

Israel described the South African allegations as hypocritical and said that one of the biggest cases ever to come before an international court ‘reflected a world turned upside down’. For one thing South Africa is the only country that has raised the issue of genocide at ICJ. Despite their opposition to Israel, Russia and China didn’t do much beyond issuing some harmless statements and urging the UN Security Council to convene an emergency session.

The court is expected to rule in the next few weeks on South Africa’s preliminary request to end the fighting. But a final decision as to whether Israel has committed genocide could be years away, and such determinations are historically rare.

A final determination of genocide is far off: At this point, the court doesn’t need to determine whether Israel has committed genocide. It only needs to decide whether the case is plausible and “whether the Palestinian population of Gaza faces a real and imminent risk of irreparable harm”.
A Reader

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Vol 56, No. 31, Jan 28 - Feb 3, 2024