Child Slavery in Haiti By Stephen Lendman

8 February, 2010 —

In November 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, recognizing ‘that in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally difficult conditions, and that such children need special consideration.’ Then in May 2000, the General Assembly adopted an Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

In 1990, the UN Commission on Human Rights appointed a Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography with a mandate to investigate the problem and submit reports to the General Assembly.

Today, Gulnara Shahinian holds the post, and on June 10, 2009 addressed Haiti’s Restaveks, a century-old system under which impoverished families, mostly rural and unable to adequately provide for their children, send them to live with wealthier or less poor ones in return for food, shelter, education, and a better life in return for tasks performed as servants – de facto slaves subjected to verbal and physical abuse.

Some as young as three are beaten, forced to do anything asked, request nothing, speak only when spoken to, display no emotion, and receive none of the benefits parents expected, just exploitation and mistreatment that’s often severe. Too often it’s from relatives as poor families often send their children to live with those better able to provide care, yet they seldom do.

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PCHR Condemns IOF Pursuit of International Human Rights Defenders in the West Bank

8 February 2010 — Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Press Release Ref: 07/2010

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the continued persecution of international human rights defenders in the West Bank by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and the deportation of international activists from the country.  PCHR is concerned about such measures, as they aim to expel international witnesses of human rights violations perpetrated by IOF against Palestinian civilians during peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 07 February 2010, IOF moved into the cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh. They stormed an apartment building in al-Bireh in which a number of international human rights defenders live.  After checking the visas in their passports, IOF arrested Ariadna Jove Marti, 24, a Spanish journalist, and Bridgette Chappell, 25, an Australian student at Bir Zeit University, and took them to Ofer Prison, pending their deportation from the county, citing their expired visas as the reason.  The two women are activists in the International Solidarity Movement. An Israeli military spokesman claimed that the women are “known for being involved in illegal riots that obstruct Israeli security operations.”

The detention of these two activists from an area controlled by the Palestinian National Authority is part of an IOF campaign against Palestinian and international human rights defenders in the West Bank, aiming to silence voices of Palestinians and hinder internationals from witnessing Israeli violations of human rights in the West Bank.  It is worth noting that IOF have denied international human rights defenders access to the Gaza Strip for several years in order to prevent them from observing serious human rights violations, especially the humanitarian crisis of the Palestinian civilian population due to the ongoing illegal siege imposed on Gaza.

PCHR deeply appreciates the role played by international human rights defenders and solidarity activists, and:

  1. Reiterates its condemnation of the IOF’s persecution, and, in some cases, deportation, of Palestinian and international human rights defenders;
  2. Calls upon the international community to assume its responsibilities with regard to war crimes and serious human rights violations perpetrated by IOF in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; and
  3. Recommends that international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and international solidarity groups, become more involved in the process of locating suspected Israeli war criminals and urge their governments to prosecute them.

Public Document
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail:, Webpage

Haiti Newslinks 8 February, 2010

8 February, 2010

US military plots difficult path in Haiti
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Feb 7, 2010 – From an air-conditioned tent in what used to be a Port-au-Prince bus station, the mighty US military controls its 17,000 troops deployed to help Haiti’s earthquake relief, amid questions over how long they will stay. Colonel Gregory Kane paces across the tent, past rows of personnel – wearing various iterations of camouflage – who tap away at double-thick high-security laptops.

We gave them away say parents of ‘kidnapped’ Haitian kids
Callebasse, Haiti (AFP) Feb 7, 2010 – “I would like to give up my son again,” says Anchello Cantave, a farmer here, who willingly handed over his five-year-old to US missionaries now facing charges of child abduction in Haiti’s post-quake chaos. An hour outside of the devastated Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, Callebasse is a poor town set in the mountains, where a massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake on January 12 destroyed 50 home…

What will it take to rebuild Haiti?
Washington (AFP) Feb 7, 2010 – Even before cataclysm struck, Haiti was so impoverished and vulnerable that the term “rebuilding” could be considered optimistic. The small Caribbean nation relied on foreign aid to feed its population of nearly 10 million, half of them illiterate and half are under age 18. The near-complete deforestation of its hilly terrain made it especially vulnerable to the hurricanes that regularly swee…

Americans Held in Haiti Are Divided Over Leader
New York Times
By MARC LACEY and IAN URBINA PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Divisions emerged within the group of 10 Americans jailed in Haiti on child abduction charges, …

Haiti protesters denounce aid corruption, hoarding
Survivors of Haiti’s earthquake protest to demand food in an area known as Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince February 7, 2010. PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters)…

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The New York Times’ Israel Editor’s Sticky Situation By Alison Weir

7 February, 2010 — Palestine Think TankCounterpunch


Ethan Bronner and Susan Chira

Ethan Bronner’s Conflict With Impartiality

Ethan Bronner is the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief. As such, he is the editor responsible for all the news coming out of Israel-Palestine. It is his job to decide what gets reported and what doesn’t; what goes in a story and what gets cut.

To a considerable degree, he determines what readers of arguably the nation’s most influential newspaper learn about Israel and its adversaries, and, especially, what they don’t.

His son just joined the Israeli army.

According to New York Times ethics guidelines, such a situation would be expected to cause significant concern. In these guidelines the Times repeatedly emphasizes the importance of impartiality.

This is considered so critical that the Times devotes considerable attention to “conflict of interest” (also called “conflict with impartiality”) problems, situations in which personal interest might cause a journalist to intentionally or unconsciously slant a story.

The Times notes that family affiliations may cause such a conflict; as an example, it explains that a daughter’s high position on Wall Street could be problematic for a business reporter.

In situations where such a familial affiliation is considered significant, the journalist may be moved to a different area of reporting.

Ethan Bronner’s situation, therefore would appear to be sticky, at the very least. It is difficult to imagine that a son fighting for the foreign nation an editor is charged with covering does not constitute such a potential conflict with impartiality. Apart from Mr. Bronner signing up with the Israeli military himself, it is difficult to imagine a clearer example of familial partisanship.

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Video: Gaza in Plain Language

7 February, 2010 — Palestine Think Tank

It really is time that the story of what is being done to the oppressed people of Gaza gets as wide a coverage as possible, in these days of overt and blatant mainstream-media bias for Zionist Israel.

If it arouses your anger and compassion as much as it did mine, when reading Joe Mowrey’s fine essay and editing this video, please share it with as many people as you can.

The article “Gaza in Plain Language”, by Joe Mowrey, first published by Dissident Voice.

Video editor: Anthony Lawson (known professionally as Tony Lawson) is a retired international-prize-winning commercials director, cameraman, ad agency creative director and voice over. He used to be known for shooting humorous commercials, but doesn’t find much to laugh about, with the way the world is going, these days.

Watch it on Youtube:

Proposal for a Participatory Socialist International

7 February, 2010 — New International

This is a very important mailing from Z Communications, so please give it a bit of time, when you have a chance.

It addresses two topics:

1 – the New ZCom, which is now live, and
2 – a proposal for a Participatory Socialist International, which is now online and seeking endorsers…

Let’s start with the second focus, first.

Proposal for a Participatory Socialist International

If you visit the following page:
You will see a proposal – in both English and Spanish.

That page also has links to endorse the proposal, a display of the proposal’s initial endorsers, a left menu with links for more information about the origin and writing of the proposal, as well as links to see all endorsers by country, etc., plus a counter of people endorsing, a process just now getting started.

The proposal is a discussion piece offered in hopes that lots of endorsers will indicate their support for the included ideas to be part of any discussion of a new International, urging that the ideas be debated, edited, refined, augmented, etc., and then decided on by participants in any emerging new International.

The proposal is therefore not a call, not a piece of legislation, not a program, not a constitution, not a mandate, and not even a long term document. Nor is it in any sense comprehensive. Rather, the proposal is a time bound statement meant to inspire and perhaps provide some useful content for a wide discussion in the coming period. But that is still a lot.

The proposal comes in context of the Venezuelan call for a Fifth International which was made a few months back, as well the fact that the Bolivarian leadership is currently discussing hosting such a meeting in April. The proposal is thus very timely in trying to contribute positively to that process and to any process to create a new International.

About 100 initial proposal endorsers listed on the site, including a great many who will be very familiar to you from ZCom – Albert, Shiva, Chomsky, Pilger, and so on. Soon, more people will read the proposal, hopefully like its ideas, hopefully desire a wide exchange, and thus also hopefully endorse the proposal by clicking the link on the site.

We sincerely hope you will yourself endorse the proposal to help prod and contribute to a wider discussion. If you don’t want to go to the site, the text of the proposal follows at the end of this message. You will need to go to the site, however, if you want to endorse, or to read more about the origins and process, etc. The page, again, is:

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HLLN 7 February, 2010 – Ratcheting up genocide in Haiti

7 February, 2010 – Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

Before earthquake the killing was by UN bullets, exclusion, NGO false benevolence, US false charity and cruel immigration laws. After Jan 12 it’s all those PLUS our people are allowed to die of critical earthquake injuries, starvation, suffering, trauma and thirst


They’re letting the people die. We see the food and water that the world has sent to Haiti, but the World Relief Organizations who have been entrusted to distribute the world’s aid to Haiti’s suffering earthquake victims are letting it just stockpiled. Tell the world, PLEASE. They’re letting the world die.

Where is the Diaspora? Where is the voices raised against this utter inhumanity?

– A Haitian Lawyer in Haiti Feb. 7, 2010

Ezili’s Response:

Kouraj my sister. The only ones we can count on are ourselves. Give me your location, we’ve trucked some food and water down from the DR, if some is still left, I’ll try and get it to your location.

Ezili Danto.

In this post

– Ratcheting up genocide in Haiti: Before earthquake the killing was by UN bullets, exclusion, NGO false benevolence, US false charity and cruel immigration laws. After Jan 12 it’s all those PLUS our people are allowed to die of critical earthquake injuries, starvation, suffering, trauma and thirst

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