Haiti, the Western hemisphere’s most destitute country, has just experienced a crippling blow in the form of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake, centered just 10 miles from Port-au-Prince, has devastated sections of the city and knocked out important infrastructure, including telephone communications. It is the worst earthquake in 200+ years in the region.
Partners in Health is a reputable organization based out of Boston which has a long, established history promoting social equity and health in Haiti. It was originally founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist and infectious disease specialist from Harvard, who has dedicated much of his life to alleviating the social inequalities rampant in Haiti. PIH states clearly that its mission is a “preferential option for the poor in health care.”
Donate generously at PIH’s website. PIH is actively organizing a mission to provide medical necessities and supplies to the areas that have been hit the hardest. Every little bit counts at this point. Thousands of people lay trapped in the rubble tonight. Natural disasters, like war, do not discriminate with victims. Innocent men, women and children are suffering needlessly. Our heart goes out to them.
The 1990 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child delineates children’s civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. Every country in the world has ratified the Convention except of course for the United States and Somalia.
In article 6, it is stated that a child has the right to life. Governments should “ensure that children survive and develop healthily.” Article 19 states that governments should “ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.” Article 27 declares that a child has a “right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet its physical and mental needs.” Finally, article 38 concerns the right to receive “special protection” in war zones.
In 1991, Israel ratified the Convention. It is therefore bound to respect and promote the rights of all children in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.
This moving video speaks for itself. You are not alone, dear children of Gaza.
He has been quoted as saying “Sleep is the best meditation.” May I suggest his holiness wake up to the fact that the two wars started by his friend George W. Bush are the clearest violations of his own espoused principles of peace and non-violence. Really, does no one else find it absurd that the Dalai Lama has on multiple occasions since 2001 stood unopposed to the brutal, barbaric and illegal wars first in Afghanistan and later Iraq? This sought-after personality loved by celebrities, the CIA, political leaders and civilians alike restated today in Calgary that “It’s hard to tell which category the current military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq will eventually fall into.”