Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crisis in Pakistan

From the Partnership for Global Justice:

Now that the waters are beginning to recede, we are becoming even more aware of the terrible situation that the Pakistan people are faced with from by the heavy monsoon rains and floods. These monsoon rains have caused devastating floods all around the country. According to the UN report 1,600 people have died, 6 million are homeless and about 17 million people are directly affected by these worst floods of our history of the country.

UN officials are raising the alarm for Pakistan’s children and the dangers posed by diarrhea, dehydration and malnutrition. Officials warn that 72,000 malnourished children in the flood hit area are at particular high risk.

We are enclosing what have heard from our colleagues, Good Shepherd Sisters, The Dominican Family, Presentation Sisters, Medical Mission Sisters, Catholic Relief Services and Caritas International who are on the ground in Pakistan. All of them are asking our prayers and our assistance. Let us hold all the people of Pakistan in your prayers.

The Good Shepherd Sisters

The Good Shepherd Sisters in Multan are involved in relief work together with the Justice and Peace commission and the Parish; they are trying their best to reach out to the people with the resources they have. Sr. Stella who is part of the ‘caritas’ is presently attending the ‘Lay Partnership’ program. When she returns she hopes to visit the people in the North. Any donations for relief work will be much appreciated. Please continue to pray that the rains will stop and the cry of the people for relief and wellbeing will be heeded to. We count on your prayers and support.

If anyone would like to make donation to the ongoing needs of the people of Pakistan and would like to channel them through Good Shepherd Sisters in Pakistan, please send checks, with note “for Pakistan” to: Sisters of Good Shepherd Notation – “for Pakistan, “ Ms Leela Fernandez, Good Shepherd Provinc ial Center, 25-30 21st Ave, Astoria, NY 11105

(We will post the responses of the Dominican Sisters, Medical Mission Sisters, Presentation Sisters, CRS, and Caritas Internationalis as time goes on. Each will be accompanied by an address for contributions. Stay tuned!)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

In today's fast-paced technological age, 20 minutes is a very long time. However, there is a 20-minute video produced by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture that is very well worth the time it will take you to view it. Click here to see the video and to find other information related to the campaign against torture.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NCADP urges messages to Ohio governor

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) has been working to spare the life of Kevin Keith, scheduled to be executed by the state of Ohio on September 15 for the murders of Marichell Chatman, Marchae Chatman and Linda Chatman, but who may be innocent. Click here to send a message to Governor Strickland. Responses from Ohio are particularly encouraged.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Aid for Pakistan

Caritas Internationalis (CI) not only gives us an opportunity to support its efforts in Pakistan, but also to view photos and read the blog and related articles. Click here to go to the CI website.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conference Call on Federal Funding for Anti-Trafficking Programs

A message from Humanity United and ATEST:

Please join Humanity United and the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) for a conference call TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010 FROM 3-4:30PM EASTERN for an update on critical anti-trafficking appropriations for fiscal year 2011. The call will provide an update on the current status of anti-trafficking funds in the FY11 Commerce, Justice, Science; State, Foreign Operations; Labor, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security appropriations bills.

This call will do four things: 1) provide an update on the current status of the funding bills; 2) tell us what to expect next; 3) tell us what we can do to help ensure we achieve maximum funding to fight human trafficking; and 4) provide plenty of time for Q&A.

The phone number is 866-200-6965 and the passcode is 468853#.

We hope you will join us. Please RSVP to Aryan Rodriguez at arodriguez@humanityunited.org or Cory Smith at csmithhu@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Trafficking and Hotel Chains

You may recall our efforts to encourage hotel chains to take action against human trafficking during the recent soccer World Cup in South Africa. Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) took a real leadership role in these efforts. Here is a follow up from CBIS with some important information about hotel chains that may still require further education and encouragement:

In April, 2010, 300 clients of Christian Brothers Investment Services, faith-based organizations, and socially responsible investors, including members of theInterfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), sent a letter to eight major hotels with chains in South Africa to learn about actions being taken to combat human trafficking and child sexual exploitation in advance of The World Cup. While not responsible for these crimes, hotels can help to stop the use of their facilities for these purposes. We asked the hotels if they were training staff to be observant to signs of human trafficking, working with local authorities to protect victims, encouraging employees to report incidents to hotel management, and publicly reporting to stakeholders on progress.

Thanks to your support, we now have information from all the hotels we contacted. To read CBIS’ full report, go to http://www.cbisonline.com/page.asp?id=1047for a review of hotel responses, policies and programs to address child sexual exploitation. The report’s major findings include:

- Only three of the hotels surveyed have a human rights policy that specifically addresses child protections – Starwood (brands include Westin and Sheraton), Accor (brands include Mercure, Motel6, Formule1, Novotel), and Carlson (brands include Radisson, Country Inns & Suites).

- We were pleased that Hyatt, Accor, Carlson and NH Hoteles took action to address human trafficking and combat child sexual exploitation in South Africa.

- Accor (http://www.accor.com) and Carlson ((http://www.carlson.com) have the most robust and substantive programs and policies to address child sexual exploitation. When evaluating your travel or conference needs, you may want to consider these hotel chains and let them know that you considered their policies on this issue when deciding on a hotel.

- We applaud NH Hoteles, Accor, and Carlson for endorsing the tourism code of conduct against child sex tourism known as The Code (www.thecode.org), to protect children’s rights.

- Best Western, Hyatt, and Hilton do not appear to have programs or policies to combat child sexual exploitation.

A chart summarizing the results and additional analysis is available in our full report online.

Remember, when you stay at a hotel, be sure to give a letter to the front desk to share your concerns about human trafficking. To download the letter, visithttp://www.cbisonline.com/page.asp?id=1017. Please let us know if you have used the letter and if you have taken other steps to encourage hotels to combat human trafficking.

CBIS and members of ICCR will continue to engage hotels about their policies and practices to stop sexual exploitation of children around the globe. We view the commitment of hotel chains to train, report, partner with local authorities, and craft policies as important elements to combat human trafficking and demonstrate corporate responsibility.

Be sure to check CBIS’ SRI Action Center at www.cbisonline.com in the coming months for more ways to become involved and share your concerns. Thank you for your interest in and assistance with improving the social and environmental performance of corporations.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Debt Cancellation

The August 2010 message from Partnership for Global Justice:

It has been 6 months since Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake. With your activism, Haiti was able to win full debt cancellation as a first step toward its long road to recovery. On July 21, 2010, the IMF answered our call and fulfilled its pledge to cancel Haiti's remaining debt to the institution. We have heard that debt cancellation was great news, but unfortunately it came years too late. For decades, debt payments took precious money away from investments in the most basic human needs, making the country much more vulnerable to disaster.

Because the issue of debt cancellation will emerge during the September Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, we need to urge the leaders of our countries to incorporate expanded debt cancellation and responsible finance for poor countries into the plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which will be presented to the United Nations in September.

As we remember Haiti, we must continue to push our leaders to address the deeper issues that cause so much suffering in Haiti and around the world.


Write to the leader of your country and encourage him/her to expand debt cancellation in their program for the upcoming MillenniumDevelopment Summit held at the United Nations in September.

President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500. Email: www.whitehouse.gov go to contact us. Phone: 202-456-1111, FAX: 202-456-2461.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Office of the Prime Minister, 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, KIAOA2, CANADA. Email: http://pm.gc.ca go to contact us. FAX: 613-941-6900.


Dear ______________,

I am deeply committed to ending global poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), I urge you to take leadership as you plan for the upcoming MDG Review Summit at the United Nations in September to include expanded debt cancellation for impoverished countries and responsible sovereign finance in your plan to achieve the MDGs.

I urge you to support the following policies:

1. Expand debt cancellation for impoverished countries – There are 20 countries, like Kenya and Lesotho, that are struggling to meet the MDGs and could greatly benefit from debt cancellation but have been left out of previous debt cancellation deals.

2. Actively engage in the creation of frameworks for responsible lending and borrowing such as fair and transparent sovereign debt arbitration and curbing predatory vulture fund behavior.

3. Ensure continued World Bank and IMF reform to increase institutional transparency and accountability, and end harmful conditions attached to loans and debt relief.

With the economic crisis and the Millennium Development Goals only five years away, it is a critical moment for our country to play a leading role in the fight against poverty.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


Thanks to Sister DeSales for sending this link to the Sojourners blog, "The Immigration Fight Isn't Over."