A Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education is a 28 minute long documentary which demonstrates the impact of human rights education. Successful practices and projects in India, Australia and Turkey illustrate the power of human rights education in transforming people’s lives and empowering individuals to make a difference in their communities.
The film is a collaborative effort between Human Rights Education Associates, Sokka Gakkai International and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
This week at Media Voices, we are excited to introduce a new contributor, Sarah Johnson. Between her graduation from high school and college, Sarah spent several months working with kids who were living in Egypt as refugees, either internally displaced or fleeing wars in Libya and other trouble spots. She discovered that while it’s important [...]
This video was produced by Mahita in Hyderabad, India. Mahita was established in 1995 to implement socially just, economically viable, and culturally vibrant development programs in the urban slums of Hyderabad. As part of an integrated effort to address the vulnerabilities of girl children in slum areas, Mahita operates 11 community learning centers in urban slums for girls aged 6 to 18.
This week at Media Voices, we have a film, Girl Killers, produced for Austrian Broadcasting by Marion Mayer-Hohdahl and distributed by Journeyman Pictures.
An Indian proverb says raising a daughter is like watering your neighbour’s garden and the burden of having girls means many are killed at birth. We follow the difficult lives of those who survive the practice.
A film by Marion Mayer-Hohdahl for ORF
Twenty seven percent of Indians live below the poverty line and as a women, this economic status brings a life of enmity. A bride’s parents must provide a dowry which often bankrupts the family. As a result female infanticide is a widespread tradition: “We accept the first girl, the second should be killed, then the third will be a son.” But now the women are fighting back by forming self-help groups which offer a range of programmes from skills training, to saving and loan schemes. It’s all in the hope that through giving women a more constructive role in society more girls will be saved.
This week at Media Voices, we are looking at the Dalits’ struggle for full equality and the incremental shifts that are taking place in India and Nepal. SOMO, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, a Dutch NGO, has a follow-up on last year’s report, Captured by Cotton, on young Dalit girls working as bonded [...]
In this report the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) present their findings on the labour conditions in the South Indian garment and textile industry. In Tamil Nadu young women workers continue to suffer exploitative working conditions while making garments for Western brands. Thousands of girls work under recruitment and employment schemes that amount to bonded labour.
‘Maid in India’ features case studies of four large Tamil Nadu-based garment manufacturers that produce for the European and US markets. The majority of the workers are Dalit (outcaste) girls younger then 18 hailing from poor families who are lured with promises of a decent wage, comfortable accommodation and, in some cases a sum of money upon completion of the contract that may be used for their dowry. A large number of these labour migrants live in (factory) hostels where they have little to no interaction with the outside world, let alone trade unions or labour advocates. Workers are expected to work long hours of forced overtime under unhealthy conditions. Trade unions are weak and face enormous opposition. Government enforcement of labour law is not robust. Garment brands and retailers have made promises to abolish labour abuses at their suppliers. Some companies are part of corporate compliance or multi-stakeholder initiatives; others are developing their own approach, including in-depth investigations and social audits at their suppliers. These efforts have had some positive effects, especially in the garment-producing units that supply directly to Western buyers. Still, SOMO and ICN conclude that major violations continue, especially in the spinning units were yarn is produced.
Open publication – Free publishing – More bonded labor
An academic article by Dr. Lorna Grant from the Journal of Knowledge and Best Practices in Juvenile Justice & Psychology (2011)
Sold by her uncle into prostitution at age 15, Laxmi Bishwokarma escaped the brothels, but cannot go home. She rebuilds her life with the help of a NGO in this film from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting by Habiba Nosheen.
Every year, throughout the world, millions of young girls are forced into marriage. Child marriage is outlawed in many countries and international agreements forbid the practice yet this tradition still spans continents, language, religion and caste.
Over an eight-year period, photographer Stephanie Sinclair has investigated the phenomenon of child marriage in India, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia. Her multimedia presentation, produced in association with National Geographic, synthesizes this body of work into a call to action. See also the related article here (Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)
UNAIDS report on the Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive
The phenomenon of human trafficking for bonded labour rears its ugly head in many rural areas in Jharkhand. India Unheard Community Correspondent Mukesh Rajak investigates the issue in Madhupur, where he lives.
The UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights gives evidence that around 90% of bonded labourers are from communities designated as ‘untouchable’ and ‘indigenous’. Women from impoverished families are either sold by family members to middlemen, or, in the hope of making money in the big cities, voluntarily join ‘placement agencies’ who lure them into becoming house slaves.
This week at Media Voices, Len Morris has a review of last week’s 60 Minutes piece, Children in the Fields. While it is certainly heartening to see a reputable nationally known news show feature children working in agriculture, the piece failed to address one of the most important things that is wrong about having children [...]
This report, jointly produced by SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations) and ICN (India Committee of the Netherlands) highlights several labour rights violations faced by girls and young women employed under the Sumangali Scheme in the Tamil Nadu garment industry. The Sumangali Scheme equals bonded labour, on the basis of the fact that employers are unilaterally holding back part of the workers’ wages until three or more years of work have been completed. In addition, workers are severely restricted in their freedom of movement and privacy. Workers work in unsafe and unhealthy circumstances. Local and international NGOs have reported extensively on the Sumangali Scheme. Inevitably, brands and retailers sourcing from Tamil Nadu have Sumangali workers in their supply chain. ICN and SOMO denounce the Sumangali Scheme as outright unacceptable and are of the opinion that sourcing companies have a responsibility to ensure that workers’ rights are respected throughout their supply chain.
This week at Media Voices, we’re considering the Third Millennium Development Goal – the one about promoting gender equality in education and empowering women. Or rather, we’re considering its opposite – several extreme examples of female powerlessness, and the ripple effect on their children’s lives and the societies they live in. We have two videos [...]
This week at Media Voices, we have a wonderful blog from Jamila Larson, Baby on a Tightrope, about the mutually life-changing effect of mentoring a friend’s baby. As I write this, there is a story on the front page of The New York Times “Cuts to Head Start Show Challenge of Fiscal Restraint.” Head Start. [...]
Mari Marcel Thekaekara is a professional journalist on social issues and a media campaigner on the rights of Adivasi, Dalits and other disadvantaged groups. Mari has written in national and international magazines and newspapers as well as on websites which include The Hindu, Statesman, Times of India, Indian Express, Frontline, Economic and Political Weekly, Hindustan Times, Seminar, Infochange, New Internationalist and The Guardian.
For centuries, millions of so-called “untouchables” have faced prejudice and exclusion from Indian society. This United Nations film on the scheduled castes in India explores how sharing in certain ritual processions is beginning to break down the prejudice of centuries.
March 8th, 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day; an event that honors women and their struggle for equal rights. The idea grew out of the women’s labor movement in the U.S. In March of 1908, to protest low pay and deplorable working conditions in factories, members of the International Garment Worker’s Union [...]