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Executive Director and Founder of BTFF

Monday, February 25, 2013

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Global development podcast transcript: ending gender violence
Next month's meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women will bring together nearly 6,000 leaders from civil society to address ways to eliminate violence against women and girls, said Lakshmi Puri, deputy executive director of UN Women. About one-third of the delegates will be from grass-roots organizations, which Puri said means that "what is accepted here globally by member states will be implemented at the regional level, national level and at the local level.

'It was like dying': a raped woman in Congo DRC speaks out Mark Tran interviews female rape survivors at a rehabilitation center in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 200,000 women have been sexually assaulted since 1998, according to the United Nations. Tran also interviews a former child soldier who says he was forced to rape women by militia commanders. Marie was 13 when she and her mother fled their village as it was attacked by Rwandan Hutu militia, but they were caught. Marie was taken into the bush where she spent eight months being repeatedly raped. Marie. Now 26, this softly spoken woman lives with other abused women at a rehabilitation center outside Goma, the main city in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Heal Africa , where Marie receives support, life and job skills; says the number of women and children raped rose sharply last year because of a surge in rebel militia activity. It registered 2,517 cases in the first half of 2012.

Irish leader apologizes for infamous Magdalen laundries Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny offered an emotional apology Tuesday for government involvement in a harsh system of laundries run by Roman Catholic nuns, where women and girls labored long hours behind locked doors, unpaid and often bewildered about why they were there. The apology came two weeks after a report found that the Irish government had been involved in the infamous Magdalen laundries, helping to send girls and women into the workhouses, paying them through government programs and contracts, and bringing runaways back in the hands of police. The report painted a picture of a punishing regime of work and prayer, imposed on women and girls who felt trapped, often told little or nothing about why they were at the laundries and when they could leave. More than 10,000 women worked in the laundries between 1922 and 1996, it found.

Myanmar lauded for child soldiers' release The release of 24 child soldiers from Myanmar's military should help the country reach its vow to end child rights violations sooner, the United Nations said. The two dozen children were officially discharged Monday at a ceremony in Yangon, attended by senior officials of the armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, and government and U.N. officials, UNICEF said in a release. In June, the United Nations and the Myanmar government signed an action plan establishing a timetable and measurable activities for the release and reintegration of children associated with armed forces, as well as the prevention of similar recruitment in the future. Myanmar is one of 14 countries with armed forces or armed groups identified as committing grave child rights violations that is working with the United Nations to end grave violations against children in situations of armed conflict.

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