Refugees in Europe: Asylum Applications per Country (Chart)

refugees europe

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Contingency Plans

Almost weekend but I was thinking, do people have contingency plans? Are they devising a plan B just in case plan A breaks loose?

Dave Granlund cartoon

Dave Granlund cartoon

I guess it’s wise to think of plan C and D. Having just B around is no longer reassuring.

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Unpaid #UN Intern Sleeps in Tent in Geneva

It has come to my attention that UN interns are forced to live in tents to be able to complete their internship at the UNOG in Geneva. Thanks to the article published by Tribune de Geneve, I have learnt that David Hyde, a 22-year old UN intern from New Zealand was found sleeping in a tent on the shores of Geneva lake, not too far away from Palais des Nations where he had accepted an unpaid 6 months internship.

david hyde

Credit: Patrick Gilliéron-Lopreno / Tribune de Geneve

The poor fellow camped for two weeks before making headlines around the world and forcing UN to hold a special press conference in which three unpaid interns assured journalists they were happy performing 6 months unpaid work. Mind you, professional P-level work!

I read some more articles about the case and it appears that David did somewhat do a mise en scène by camping outside UN. However, he certainly did not have any other means of actually getting a rent.

For anyone who has a basic knowledge of UN, it is a fact that UN interships are unpaid. Period. Most UN System agencies refuse to pay their interns as well. The ILO started paying its interns recently after one poor guy was found sleeping in the basement.

For all the talk there is about this situation being under the sole control of the General Assembly and Member States, the people involved in propagating and abusing the hordes of interns willing to do unpaid work at the UN should feel ashamed.

No press conferences needed. Unpaid is unfair. Trampling on human rights when one is promoting human rights speaks for itself. Period.

And by the way, excellent PR case for supporting intern rights in Geneva, thank you David!

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Happy #WordPress Anniversary!

It’s been 4 years since I opened this blog on WordPress. Ever since, I have posted some 300 news and gathered a few hundred followers for which I am thankful.


I also followed back a certain number of you and have been following some interesting topics and discussions.

As you have noticed, I am not posting regularly which is a shame but things get crowded at certain times which is what makes it difficult to keep a daily contact. I will be making amends in the future hopefully.

All in all, I wish all my followers a happy Sunday and happy summer thoughts!


PS. And of course, the CAKE!!! It just does not read exactly WordPress, but you get my point :)

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Truth and Reconciliation Commission Highlights Decades of Cultural Genocide in Canada

Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future

The full landmark report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has just been released. The 360-page documents sheds crucial light on the sexually and culturally abusive system of residential schools aimed at ‘civilizing’ indigenous underage children.

I could not be more proud of having brought my own work contribution to this achievement and I am happy for the people whose stories are finally heard worldwide.

Commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair says there is a sense of urgency to the report, which he hopes will serve as a reference document for 'generations to come.' (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair says there is a sense of urgency to the report, which he hopes will serve as a reference document for ‘generations to come.’ (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Here is how the report introduces its scope, findings and recommendations:

“For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be

described as “cultural genocide.”Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report

Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next. In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things.”

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Happy Children’s Day! #childrenday

smurfAnd in case you know the following, have a blast :)

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Syrian and Iraqi Refugees vs Tourists in Kos, Greece

Migrants Kos Greece

Uncomfortable: A tourist couple (right) and a group of temporarily detained immigrants take shelter from rain outside a police station in Kos island

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