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Fighting poverty through fair trade

Fifty-seven-year-old Pepito Alvarez and his wife Conchita, are among one of the thousands of small mountain subsistence farmers who have lived just below the poverty line all their  lives. 
 








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Philippine democracy under threat

The young man, Jake, 22-year-old and single laughed when I asked him whom he voted for in the local elections for mayor. He said he abstained, but he went to the house of the mayor and received a payment all the same. “Why not?”, he reasoned, “It was for free everyone was going there.” 
 

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A big victory for exploited children

Mr. AB was convicted after a nearly four-and-a-half year trial. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges and got off lightly with time served. He is a national of the United States of America (US), recently convicted of child trafficking and child sexual abuse in a court in Olongapo, the Philippines,. 
 








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Journalists risk death in pursuit of the truth

Journalists, writers, reporters, commentators will just have to curb their passion for speaking and exposing the truth if they want to continue to live. Too many end up as corpses in a cold dark morgue, with silence their only companion. That is just the way it is in the Philippines and elsewhere. More than 146 journalists have been assassinated since 1986.
 








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Child brides are sex slaves

What more depraved cultural, economic, community-approved practice is there than giving an 11-year old girl to a man more than thirty years her senior as a sex partner and calling it marriage? It is a debasement of marriage itself for a start but so-called child marriage is widely practiced in several developing countries as well as some western countries. 
 








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The voice of women say ‘Time’s up!’

It is a great beginning to the New Year. Prominent women and men in Hollywood and London have launched a movement to end sexual harassment in the workplace and society. They aim to challenge every act of sexual harassment and abuse that comes to light. It is called Time’s Up.
 
Months ago, it began with the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter that encouraged abused women no matter their station in life to speak out and challenge their abusers. It is now a defining moment in history. 
 








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Conviction of a mass murderer

It is a spark of light from the darkness of human rights violations, horrific war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing that caused the suffering, torture, starvation and mass murder of thousands.
 
That spark is the conviction and sentence to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands, on November 22 of Ratko Mladic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb forces, better known as the Butcher of Bosnia.
 








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Father Cullen recognised

KERKRADE (SE): Regular columnist for the Sunday Examiner and longtime advocate for the rights of children, indigenous people and the abused, Father Shay Cullen, was presented with the Martin Buber Plaque Award in recognition of his work at a ceremony in Kerkrade as part of the International Festival of Dialogue in the Netherlands on November 17.
 

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I confess to almighty God…

Imagine Juan, a barangay official in The Philippines, as he sat in the church alone. He was waiting for the priest and when Father Pepito came into the sanctuary, he noticed Juan looking distressed and he went to him and he asked in Tagalog, “Can I help you?”
 
“Yes, Father, I want to confess, but I am ashamed of what I have done, not even God can forgive me,” he answered.
 








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The Persecution of the Rohingya

The hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing the attacks and burning of their villages in Myanmar are walking hundreds of kilometres across mountains and through jungles in the rain to escape the slaughter by the Myanmar armed forces.