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Countering human trafficking

A few weeks ago, 69 Vietnamese victims of human trafficking were found in The Philippines. They had been brought from Vietnam two at a time on tourist visas by a syndicate and made to work for three years, on low wages or none at all, by human traffickers.

The whole group was then abandoned by the gang-masters, declared indigent and deported.








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Making children scapegoats for criminals

OLONGAPO (SE): Two bills have been filed in the lower house of the Philippine congress by the speaker, Feliciano Belmonte, one proposing a change in the law to make children possibly as young as nine- or 12-years-old criminally responsible and the other to reintroduce the death penalty.

“This is draconian and repressive for children and not worthy of the administration of Rodrigo Duterte or the Philippine people,” social commentator, Father Shay Cullen, told the Sunday Examiner on July 15.

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Human rights are not novelties

NEW YORK (SE): Human dignity and human rights are getting a tough time today, the permanent observer from the Holy See to the United Nations (UN), Archbishop Bernardito Auza, said at a debate on the nature of a human right marking the 70th anniversary of the formation of the UN and the 50th anniversary of the formation of human rights covenants at the organisation’s headquarters in New York in the United States of America on July 13.

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The killing fields and traumatised people

MANILA (SE): “Three people died today. They were shot. Brutally killed. We don’t know why. We are scared. It is so dangerous,” a note received on July 6 from Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur reads.

The note goes on to describe the fear of going to sleep at night, of walking in the street and the memory of the mutilated, defaced and bloodied bodies.

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Rights report too little too late

HONG KONG (SE): A report from the ruling Conservative Party in the United Kingdom detailing a sharp deterioration in China’s human rights record since Xi Jinping took over the chair of the Chinese Communist Party, has been described as too little too late, Radio Free Asia reported on June 29.

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When is a diplomat not meddling in internal affairs?

HONG KONG (SE): When a consul general to Hong Kong from the United States of America or Britain makes a comment about social or political issues in the special administrative region, they are usually told to butt out and stop interfering in the internal affairs of an independent territory.

However, it seems that it may vary, depending on what is said and who wants to hear it.

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Charity law will squeeze human rights work

HONG KONG (SE): The controversial Charities Law was passed by the National People’s Congress in China on March 16 and is set to take effect on September 1.

The law will restrict the ability of groups to raise money to government-approved charities and their proposed activities for the coming year must receive government approval.

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China promises to freeze the squeeze on Uyghur people

BEIJING (UCAN): Chinese authorities promised to  freeze the squeeze on the Muslim Uyghur population, who have been blamed for fuelling violence in Xinjiang province over the past two years.

They promised that repressive measures would end, even though the fight against terrorism and separatism in the remote region will be renewed.

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Indonesia accused of slow genocide in Papua

BRISBANE (SE): A report from a fact-finding commission of the Justice and Peace Commission from Brisbane, Australia, has concluded that there is a slow motion genocide occurring in the Indonesian province of Papua.

It accuses Indonesia of wanting to replace the Christian religion of the indigenous Papuan population with Islam.

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China cranks up crackdown on critics

HONG KONG (SE): Three Chinese human rights campaigners, who were handed jail sentences on January 22 for publishing books on democracy and activism, are the latest victims of politically motivated national security charges used to silence government critics.

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