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  1. #21
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    Jan 2007


    1,600 cases of enforced disappearance among Palestinians in Syria

    Task Group for the Sake of Palestinian Refugees in Syria documented 1,600 cases of enforced disappearance among Palestinian refugees in Syrian regime prisons since 2011, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

    In a report issued yesterday, the Task Group said that the real number of enforced disappearance cases is much larger but there are no official statistics issued by the Syrian regime.

    It added that it could not get the real number of cases because many families are afraid to report that their relatives are missing.

    According to Anadolu, the Task Group called for the Syrian regime to reveal information about hundreds of such cases and other Palestinian detainees whose fate remains unknown.

    It described what the Palestinian refugees face in Syrian regime prisons as a “war crime”.

    According to UN reports, approximately 450,000 Palestinian refugees are still living in Syria, with around 95 per cent in need of medical assistance.


  2. #22
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    UN Human Rights Chief Attacks Europe's 'Chilling Indifference' to Refugees as 2017 Sees Record Deaths

    More than 5,000 asylum seekers have died at sea over the past year

    By Lizzie Dearden - 8 March 2017

    The UN's human rights chief has attacked the "chilling indifference" to the deaths of thousands of refugees shown by European leaders
    as the crackdown continues across the continent.

    Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that although "heroic efforts" are underway to save lives in the Mediterranean, governments are turning their backs on those who survive the treacherous journey.

    "Many ordinary people in Europe have welcomed and supported migrants, but political leaders increasingly demonstrate a chilling indifference to their fate," he told a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva.

    "I am particularly disturbed by lurid public narratives which appear deliberately aimed at stirring up public fear and panic, by depicting these vulnerable people as criminal invading hordes."

    The issue became a topic of debate during the EU referendum, when Nigel Farage unveiled a poster depicting migrants being escorted through Slovenia by police with the caption "breaking point".

    It followed criticism of David Cameron’s description of a “swarm” and “bunch of migrants”, while a Sun columnist compared refugees to “cockroaches.

    More asylum seekers are dying attempting to reach the continent than ever before but those who survive the journey face border closures and tightening legal restrictions making it ever more difficult to gain asylum.

    The British Government has
    scrapped a programme to resettle unaccompanied child refugees, while Hungary is building a new fence to keep out migrants and the EU is considering initiatives to keep refugees in war-torn Libya.

    The vast majority of boats are launched by smugglers in the country, where a fragile government has been unable to regain control of territory controlled by rival armed groups including Isis.

    Libya’s agencies, including the coastguard, are themselves accused of torturing, abusing and killing migrants forcibly returned to land and imprisoned in squalid detention centres.

    Despite a growing body of evidence raising concern from the UN and humanitarian groups, Britain is among the countries training the Libyan coastguard, while world leaders have agreed to help bolster its capability and Italy has pledged millions of euros in funding for anti-smuggling initiatives.

    Mr al-Hussein said he was concerned at calls to establish processing centres for asylum seekers in North Africa and "engage external actors in migration issues, with little regard for human rights".

    "Migrants apprehended at sea by the Libyan coastguard or similar agencies may be put at risk of further violence," he added.

    "I reiterate the importance of abiding by the principle that people must not be sent back to countries where they may face torture, persecution or threats to their life."

    Crossings over the Central Mediterranean have increased after the EU-Turkey deal was imposed to stop refugees taking boats over the Aegean, and countries along the Balkans route from Greece to western Europe closed their borders.

    Hungary is building a new and reinforced fence to keep refugees out, while passing a
    new law allowing all asylum seekers on its territory to be detained and forcibly returned over the border to Serbia.

    Mr al-Hussein hit out at the "toxic notions of so-called ethnic purity" put forward by anti-immigration leaders including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, warning that they "hark back to an era in which many people suffered atrociously, Hungarians included".

    More than 40 countries
    were examined in a wide-ranging speech on Wednesday, where the UN was warned that 2017 could prove to be a "pivotal year" for human rights amid terror attacks, security crackdowns, populism and the rise of "authoritarian-minded leaders".

    Mr al-Hussein launched a wide-ranging attack on Donald Trump, voicing his concern over the President's new immigration ban, attacks on the press and judiciary and the administration's handling of a series of human rights issues.

    "Greater and more consistent leadership is needed to address the recent surge in discrimination, anti-Semitism, and violence against ethnic and religious minorities," he said.

    "Vilification of entire groups such as Mexicans and Muslims, and false claims that migrants commit more crimes than US citizens, are harmful and fuel xenophobic abuses."


    xenophobic hypocrites!

  3. #23
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    Jan 2007


    Microsoft and Accenture Unveil Global ID System for Refugees

    Jun 19, 2017

    Americans can show all sorts of documents, such as Social Security cards and diplomas, to show who they are. But for those from countries torn apart by war or political chaos, it's much harder to prove their identities.

    That's why a new software tool, unveiled on Monday at the United Nations, is a big deal. It will let millions of refugees and other without documents whip out a phone or other device to quickly show who they are and where they came from.

    The tool, developed in part by Microsoft and Accenture, combines biometric data (like a fingerprint or an iris scan) and a new form of record-keeping technology, known as the blockchain, to create a permanent identity.

    In practice, this means someone arriving at a border crossing could prove he or she had come from a refugee camp and qualify for aid. Or a displaced person in a new country could use the ID system to call up his or her school records. The tool doesn't have a name yet since it's at the prototype stage but will get one soon.

    "Approximately one-sixth of the world’s population cannot participate in cultural, political, economic and social life because they lack the most basic information: documented proof of their existence. Establishing identity is critical to accessing a wide range of activities, including education, healthcare, voting, banking, mobile communications, housing, and family and childcare benefits," Accenture explained in a news release.

    The companies have been working on the new system since last year, and unveiled the prototype at a summit in New York called United Nations ID2020. Here is a picture that shows how the system looks on the phone of a user:

    "Digital ID is a basic human right," David Treat, a managing director at Accenture, tells Fortune. He likens the new ID technology to the Internet-naming system, which gives a unique address to any given website.

    The new ID system is especially promising because of the blockchain technology, which provides crucial privacy features—and allays obvious concerns about the system being abused by all-knowing global governments.

    Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

    Blockchain is a tamper-proof ledger system run across multiple computer systems. Once a certain number of computers confirm a given piece of information—such as a financial transaction or, in this case, an identification tool—the fact is recorded as a permanent record on the chain.

    In the case of the new global ID system, it works by storing personal information in such a way that the person who owns it is the only own who grants access to it. Other entities—such as an organization or a school—can share relevant records tied to that person, and write it to the blockchain, but the person controls who else can see it.

    Treat explained that cryptography helps ensure that organizations who access a person's ID record can only do so for purposes of authentication—confirming they are who they say they are—and not for tracking them, or getting access to all their data.

    Microsoft's main contribution to the project is supplying computing infrastructure through its Azure cloud service. The company also works closely with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, an open-source software group that develops blockchain standards.

    Accenture, which caused waves last year by proposing a system to edit blockchains, predicts the ID system will be in use soon but as yet to identify targets for its adoption.



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