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Posts tagged ‘Pacific’

Human Trafficking: An Ancient Curse on Mankind

In the present world where mankind has moved out to other celestial bodies and is inventing something new every day, there still are some who are not bothered about this progress and are just trying to pull the civilisation back to those times where humanity and courtesy were not even invented. It is very sad to see that even in the most developed nations, there are some who do not want to look up to modern ways of progress and are just exploiting humanity in every way for their petty vested interests.

Although life has moved a lot ahead, still issues like human trafficking appal us. Not only the under-developed countries, this demon has even engulfed a huge number of people, especially women and children, hailing even from the most developed nations of the world. Human trafficking can be better defined as the illegal trade of human beings for the purpose of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labour, or modern day slavery in different industries and also for household work.
Human trafficking has been identified, world over, as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. This comes second only to drug trafficking. This is substantially different from people smuggling as in smuggling, people voluntarily request to be hired for services. On the other hand, human trafficking involves forced ways like kidnaping and buying and selling of people.
The majority of trafficking victims all over the world are between 18 and 24 years of age. Besides, an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked from 127 countries and are sent across to different geographies to be sold and used for different requirements by the buyers.
The main reason that can be attributed to the growth of this industry is lack of education and financial disparity among different sections in each economy. Most of the victims of this human evil are bought or kidnapped from weaker economies or regions like north-east part of India, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Afghanistan and several other countries in Africa like Nigeria and Sudan and are sold to the well offs in developing and developed economies for a whopping amount of money. In totality, as many as 161 countries are reported to be affected by human trafficking by being either a source, transit or a destination point.
The statistics revealed by different agencies related to human trafficking are rather alarming. According to different surveys, 95% of the victims of human trafficking experience physical or sexual violence during the transportation or after being sold. Most of these victims, even if bought for household chores, are subjected to inhuman conditions and are often raped and killed at some point of time or the other.
The nexus of human trafficking is growing and is already worth US $31.6 billion. Out of this, 49% is generated from industrialised economies, 30.6% from Asia and Pacific, 4.1% generated from Latin America and the Caribbean, and 4.7% is generated in the Middle East and North America. Such is this nexus that even the most prominent people of several regions are a part of it. The people who profit by victimising the children and women into this sex trade are only 50% of the problem. The other half is constituted by the ones who patronise this exploitative industry. This whole system is being run under the protective shelter of several important and effective people of different regions.

The traffickers who are also known as pimps when sex trade is the main reason for trafficking exploit vulnerability and lack of opportunities in remote areas. They offer promises of marriage, employment, education, and an overall better life and finally sell the victims to the effluent.
The story does not end here. The buyers who buy these ‘commodities’ put these victims into difficult conditions and often make them live without food and minimum requirements for days. They often beat them up, bruise them black and blue, give them electric shocks, and even give them scars that do not go away for their entire lives. There also have been instances when a victim has even died after being put to such tough physical and unacceptable sexual tyranny.
Even as the society wakes up to a new age wherein progress of technology and mankind is the key, the evil of human trafficking has stricken and has bled many a lives. When women are matching steps with men and are getting advantageous position in different industries, it is extremely depressing to see more and more women being pushed into this exploitation that often claims their lives and many a times leave them with diseased bodies for the rest of their lives.
The worst part about all this is that all governments worldwide recognise this human trafficking as the most heinous crime against humanity, still not much has been done till now to eradicate this evil from the surface of earth. The governments and administrations all over the world are just neglecting this major crime against humanity. Although, several regulations and laws cover this issue, but not of much avail. Nothing significant is actually happening in this direction that can protect the victims from being trafficked in the first place.
It needs to be understood by the people as well as the governments that human trafficking cannot be abolished by putting things into place proper regulations and laws. The need today is that the people should be more active and aware about their fundamental rights and the administration should ensure proper protection to the under privileged sections of the society.
On behalf of the team of The Oslo Times, I want to send out this message to the people in different geographies that this evil can only be abolished when we all join hands and determine to free our society of this evil. We strongly condemn this ill practice and want that the administrations take some firm steps to improve the situation.

International Water Day

Approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.

More than half of this area is over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) deep. Average oceanic salinity is around 35 parts per thousand (‰) (3.5%), and nearly all seawater has a salinity in the range of 30 to 38 ‰. Scientists estimate that 230,000 marine species are currently known, but the total could be up to 10 times that number.

The major oceanic divisions are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, and other criteria. These divisions are (in descending order of size):

Click at the picture for a larger image

  • Pacific Ocean, which separates Asia and Australia from the Americas
  • Atlantic Ocean, which separates the Americas from Eurasia and Africa
  • Indian Ocean, which washes upon southern Asia and separates Africa and Australia
  • Antarctic Ocean, sometimes considered an extension of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which encircles Antarctica.
  • Arctic Ocean, sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic, which covers much of the Arctic and washes upon northern North America and Eurasia.

Click at the picture for a larger image

The Pacific and Atlantic may be further subdivided by the equator into northern and southern portions. Smaller regions of the oceans are called seas, gulfs, bays, straits and other names.

Geologically, an ocean is an area of oceanic crust covered by water. Oceanic crust is the thin layer of solidified volcanic basalt that covers the Earth’s mantle. Continental crust is thicker but less dense. From this perspective, the earth has three oceans: the World Ocean, the Caspian Sea, and Black Sea. The Mediterranean Sea is at times a discrete ocean, because tectonic plate movement has repeatedly broken its connection to the World Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar. The Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean through the Bosporus, but the Bosporus is a natural canal cut through continental rock some 7,000 years ago, rather than a piece of oceanic sea floor like the Strait of Gibraltar.

Lack of clean water


Almost 50% of the developing world’s population; 2.5 billion people lacks improved sanitation facilities, and over 884 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more.

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.

Source; UNICEF, July 2010

Facts about water

Today’s water crisis is not an issue of scarcity, but of access. More people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet. And as cities and slums grow at increasing rates, the situation worsens. Every day, lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills thousands, leaving others with reduced quality of life.

  • 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people.
  • 3.575 million People die each year from water-related disease.
  • The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
  • People living in the slums often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city.
  • An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.

Sanitation

  • Only 62% of the world’s population has access to improved sanitation – defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact.
  • Lack of sanitation is the world’s biggest cause of infection.
  • 2.5 billion People lack access to improved sanitation, including 1.2 billion people who have no facilities at all.
  • Of the 60 million people added to the world’s towns and cities every year, most occupy impoverished slums and shanty-towns with no sanitation facilities.

Children

  • Diarrhea remains in the second leading cause of death among children under five globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
  • Diarrhea is more prevalent in the developing world due, in large part, to the lack of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as poorer overall health and nutritional status.
  • Children in poor environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at any time.
  • In the developing world, 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from preventable causes like diarrhea contracted from unclean water.
  • 1.4 million Children die as a result of diarrhea each year.

Women

  • In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use.
  • This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal*Mart, United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, IBM, Target, and Kroger, according to Gary White, co-founder of Water.org.
  • Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.
  • A study by the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) of community water and sanitation projects in 88 communities found that projects designed and run with the full participation of women are more sustainable and effective than those that do not. This supports an earlier World Bank study that found that women’s participation was strongly associated with water and sanitation project effectiveness.

Diseases


  • At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
  • The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter.
  • Almost one-tenth of the global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and management of water resources. Such improvements reduce child mortality and improve health and nutritional status in a sustainable way.
  • 88% of cases of diarrhea worldwide are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.
  • 90% of all deaths caused by diarrheal diseases are children under 5 years of age, mostly in developing countries.
  • It is estimated that improved sanitation facilities could reduce diarrhea-related deaths in young children by more than one-third. If hygiene promotion is added, such as teaching proper hand washing, deaths could be reduced by two thirds. It would also help accelerate economic and social development in countries where sanitation is a major cause of lost work and school days because of illness.

Economics

  • Over 50 % of all water projects fail and less than five percent of projects are visited, and far less than one percent have any longer-term monitoring.
  • Investment in safe drinking water and sanitation contributes to economic growth. For each $1 invested, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates returns of $3 – $34, depending on the region and technology.
  • Almost two in every three people who need safe drinking water survive on less than $2 a day and one in three on less than $1 a day.
  • Households, not public agencies, often make the largest investment in basic sanitation, with the ratio of household to government investment typically 10 to 1.
  • Investment in drinking-water and sanitation would result in 272 million more school attendance days a year. The value of deaths averted, based on discounted future earnings, would amount to US$ 3.6 billion a year.

Environment


  • Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.
  • More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas.
  • The UN estimates that by 2025, forty-eight nations, with combined population of 2.8 billion, will face freshwater “stress” or “scarcity”. Our Water.org High School Curriculum
  • Agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater by far: about 70% of all freshwater withdrawals go to irrigated agriculture.
  • At home the average American uses between 100 and 175 gallons of water a day. That is less than 25 years ago, but it does not include the amount of water used to feed and clothe us.
  • Conserving water helps not only to preserve irreplaceable natural resources, but also to reduce the strain on urban wastewater management systems. Wastewater is costly to treat, and requires continuous investment to ensure that the water we return to our waterways is as clean as possible.

Source; http://www.water.org

Ring of Fire washed away by Tsunami – Short Report on Japan Earthquake.

Japan is used to natural calamities especially earthquakes. Shaking the whole nation at 2:30pm afternoon Japan’s Time, the whole nation was now under threat from the massive calamity which has struck Japan paralysing nation to halt. Hundreds & thousands of people have been evacuated from the low lying areas especially in the north eastern islands. With its epi centre near the coast of North Eastern Islands of Japan measuring 8.9 on ricter scale not only shookes the nation in Sendai city but also triggering in the massive tsunami which with the force of more than 10 mtr waves full of filth & debris caused the massive damage to the infrastructure & taking the death toll of 300 which is still increasing, flooding towns & sweeping away cars, ships, boats & houses reaching almost 10 kms inland. It struck with such a huge force that one train was swept away which went missing near Kyodo & derailing the other leaving no traces of the number of people on board where water crossing the roof tops. Airports are shut down. One of the major terminal of Tokyo Airport was completley damaged. Train service through out Japan has been cancelled. It is in nature of Japanese People that in such a massive catastrophy they were seeing helping people & were in their full senses which have resulted in the lower death toll as compared to the Earthquake which struck Kobe in 1995.

Now the major concern of Japan & his people is that Fukushima nuclear plant has been shut down due to the Tsunami flooding & aftershocks continued to be felt across the Pacific. Now the danger is of a radioactive reactor which due to power shut down it wasn’t cooled as the cooling systeme which flows cool water into the reactor was got malfuntioned.

Aftermath & Resque Operations: Across the Pacific aftershocks are being felt. The Tsunami warning is been sounding in Hawaii, North American West Coast, Chile, Peru, & South East Asia, schools & offices are asked to remain closed for tommorrow as precaution. Nuclear Emergency has been declared by the Japanese Prime Minister due to the shut down of Nuclear Power Plants & the danger of the leakage of radiation from Fukushima plant. UN has organised the world’s biggest rescue operation for Japan involving 3000 – 4000 forces, 300 ships & the same number of air planes. From now the assumptions are being drawn that insurance sector has been hardest hit & now in Japan claim against natural catastrophy will be the most expensive. The infrastructure of Japan has suffered the most & it will now going to take months to bring it to complete functionality.

 

 

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