One of the most significant ongoing scourges that befalls humanity worldwide is the ongoing exploitation and sexual abuse of over two million girls and boys through sex trafficking. UNICEF estimates that two and a half million children, most of them girls, are tricked or forced into the multibillion dollar global sex industry.
So far 2011 is proving to be an eventful year for Myanmar, formerly known as and still generally called Burma. Despite the slight easing of restraints put on Aung San Suu Kyi, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Shan State in northeast Burma on March 24, which the junta controlled media says killed 75 people but aid agencies believe killed over 150, leads to widespread distrust of the country’s rulers and their version of reality. Now the U.S. is sending a new envoy to Myanmar, Derek Mitchell, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific affairs. It is an open question: What will be his role in Burma?
The severe blow from nature with which the Japanese people were struck with on Friday, March eleventh purportedly took the lives of over ten thousand people while forever altering the lives and emotional well-being of hundreds of thousands more. The need to address the multifaceted nature and ongoing complexity of Japan’s disaster is evident with each day’s news updates. Within minutes after the 9.0 earthquake, northeastern Japan was engulfed by a tsunami that has done more damage then the initial earthquake.
Reports indicate that the hardships from Pakistan’s earlier monsoon floods have been exacerbated by the onslaught of winter. The floods impacted 20 million of Pakistan’s population of just over 180 million people. As the temperature dips, hundreds of thousands of displaced children and adults are susceptible to pneumonia and other cold related diseases. According to Director of the National Institute of Child Health (Pakistan), Professor Jamal Raza states that the flood victims becoming ill from cold related causes, particularly children, could almost double from the current number.
The issue of immigration was brought to the forefront recently by Arizona’s discriminatory immigration law SB 1070, which would require police and other public officials to ask all or any Latino looking people to show their ID’s. This demonstrates an attitude oriented towards criminalizing immigrants in general and a hostile outlook towards Hispanics in particular. The anti-immigrant attitude was also evident in Utah a few months ago when a list was published and widely distributed with the names and personal information of 1,300 supposedly illegal immigrants concerning which some were actually born in the U.S., but happened to have Hispanic looking names. The people that created the list signed it “anonymous”, i.e.- cowards.