Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Haiti: One year later

One year later the island is still devastated, and for some people, conditions are worse than they were last January.

Today marks the first anniversary of the earthquake, and a million people still live in squalid tarp camps that offer no protection against the blazing heat or monsoon rains. People are literally starving in the camps because aid workers in many cases are being denied access inside. The cholera epidemic has obviously made the situation that much worse.

In November, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights directed Haiti to take steps to improve conditions in the camps in a response to a petition brought by You. Me. We. and other human rights groups. The challenge now is making sure the government complies with the directive, and that requires repeat follow-up investigations.

Please take a moment today to remember the people of Haiti and continue to support efforts to effect change to the inhumane conditions in which they live.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Starved for Attention

You know what goes really well with accessible clean water? Food. Please sign.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF):
Right now, the food aid system provides nutritionally inadequate foods to malnourished children under two years old in developing countries. Help Doctors Without Borders fight the double standard in food aid. Sign the Starved for Attention petition to help rewrite the story of malnutrition for 195 million children around the world.
Picture by Franco Pagetti

Blog Action Day 2010

Take a moment to sign the petition and help make accessible, clean water a right, a Human Right, for everyone. 1 in 8 people on the planet do not have access to clean drinking water. 38,000 children under the age of 5 die everyday. Do something. Sign the petition.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You.Me.We. in Pakistan

You.Me.We. is consulting with two organizations in Pakistan on protecting human rights in mass settlement camps post-floods. 

For Volunteers for Pakistan, we're consulting on best practices for setting up camps to avoid human rights violations that have occurred post-disaster in other mass settlement camps.  Although the problems, for example, of violence against women were issues long before we became aware of them, we have first-hand experience talking with mass settlement residents about these issues following both Hurricane Katrina and the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti.  Combining that experience with international law, we're able to give camp administrators some "best practices" advice with some legal "teeth."

For Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy, we're providing monitoring and assessment of camps, specifically focusing on the treatment and safety of children.  Cheryl will be on the ground in Pakistan later this fall and through much of the winter, monitoring conditions in mass settlement camps. 

Stay tuned to this blog for Cheryl's first-hand accounts of her work in the camps.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hattiesburg, MS

We spent the day in Hattiesburg, MS, checking in on our friends, the residents, that have lived generations on land that is contaminated with creosote. Some of you - who followed our work from before we were "You. Me. We." - might remember Hattiesburg. For those that don't remember and for those just joining us:

WE DON'T DRINK THE WATER: The story of the Hattiesburg residents on the other side of the tracks
Residents on the east side of Hattiesburg, Mississippi are being ignored. Worst then that they are being forced to live with contaminated water. The city knows. The environmental agencies know....
Click the following link to view the full article:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 a bad year for earthquakes?

[cross-posted from Tracy's blog, Millennial Law Prof]

That seems like a silly question, all things considered.  But the following from Reuters for journalists covering disasters suggests otherwise:

IS 2010 WORSE THAN USUAL FOR QUAKES? To the untrained eye, it may seem like an unusually high number of earthquakes has occurred in 2010, including fatal tremors in Haiti, Chile, Mexico and China. But scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) say the level of earthquake activity is nothing out of the ordinary, despite the devastation caused. The important thing about quakes is where they happen - how near major urban centres, in poor or rich countries, how far below the surface? A researcher with the Brussels-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) says the risks are growing in low and middle-income countries  with rising populations concentrated in cities. Meanwhile, aid workers are struggling to help those made homeless in the remote quake-hit Chinese county of Yushu after a choking sandstorm and heavy snow severed a vital air link. And May 12 marks two years since the Sichuan earthquake killed more than 80,000 people, including thousands of children who were crushed to death by collapsing schools.  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's raining.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince.

There is no end in sight.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince

And thousands are without shelter tonight.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince.

Tarps and Twine will not do.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince

And will continue at least through June.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince.

That’s where I met a baby only a few weeks old.

It’s raining in Port Au-Prince

And she can’t protect him from the cold.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince.

I wonder what they will do.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince

But I don’t see it on the news.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince.

I wonder what we can do.

It’s raining in Port-Au-Prince

And I ask you to feel the rain, too.

It’s Raining in Port-Au-Prince.