The International Young Christian Workers (IYCW) is declaring March 15 International Day against Police Violence and State Repression. We have experiences from all around the world of increasing incidents involving the use of force by police and the military to suppress the demands of the population for Just Work, Equality and Dignified life.
For instance, the Walloon YCW noted that in recent months, following the attacks in Brussels and Paris, the Belgian government had decided hastily the implementation of a range of security measures and racistic laws that attack the foundations of democracy in the country. “The evacuation and arrest of undocumented people last September 19, 2016 in Molenbeek, which took place with an extraordinary deployment of police forces (helicopters and heavy weapons) is symptomatic of the way the government is criminalizing undocumented migrants by turning them into potential terrorists. We can also see an intensification of raids carried out in working-class districts and in areas of exploitation of undocumented workers, in particular in Matongé and Saint Josse. In the post-terrorist context, the instrumentalization of fear enables the public authorities to put in place policies and safeguards that lead to mass surveillance.”
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) headed by Daisy Arago, a former Philippines YCW activist, expressed alarm over the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country. “The Philippines government was catapulted to power based on a promise to bring about ‘peace and order’. But an order anchored on killings of drug pushers and addicts, particularly the poor, without due process is not only brazen violation of human rights but a mockery of peace that this nation has long wanted to achieve. Indeed, the poor have become pawns and fall prey to drug syndicates; they risk selling drugs as their means of livelihood. When the oppressed lacks or no access to decent jobs, they also become vulnerable to committing crimes in order to survive.”
Today is 8th March, the International Women's Day. This day reminds us of the long history of the struggle for women's rights which has been carried out until today. It reminds us especially of the demand for women’s suffrage, one of the demands brought forward in several countries as this special day historically evolved into a collective, international symbol.
“I was born in an indigenous community in Guatemala and my parents had to migrate to the capital city. I had to start working at the age of 14 to put myself through school. I have worked for two years at Coransa, a textile maquila (which later changed its name to Denimatrix), in the laundry section where I have a production target of 2,500 trousers that need to be revised to ensure they have no defects. Through the continuous process of education and action of YCW Guatemala we have seen the high level of exploitation and the workers’ rights being trampled on; they have long working hours and unpaid overtime. When I first started, the company had 3,200 workers, it currently has 1,800 and the company has used mass dismissals. – Nadia (YCW Guatemala)
The IYCW at the 2016 International Conference of NGOs
The 2016 International Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in partnership with the Unesco was held from 12 to 14 December in Paris. The conference focused on the theme “The challenge of the digital revolution for NGOs” and was organized around four subthemes: “The digital revolution and its impact on the diversity of cultural expressions”; “The challenge of access to digital information”; “Does e-learning address challenges of education systems worldwide?”; and, “Science and the digital revolution: which ethical implications?” The International YCW took an active part in it and made its contribution to the debate.
by Andy N. Predicala
The Asia and Pacific region includes 47 countries that account for about 61 percent of the total world population. Data suggest that in 2016, more than 4.5 billion inhabitants out 7.4 billion worldwide belonged to that region. Asia-Pacific is home to diversified cultures and traditions.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) during its 16th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting held in Bali, Indonesia, Asia-Pacific also provides more than 60 percent of the labor force worldwide. Over the past years, it has experienced a significant decline in poverty rates, a growth of modern industries and has a more educated labor force. However, employment which is a key factor in helping people move out of poverty remains stubbornly low. The sustained economic growth and dynamism does not translate into social progress and only benefits the few.
The National Congress of KAJ Flanders that took place last November 14-15, 2016 at the Generation Europe youth hostel was a great success. It was attended by around 35 young people coming from different regions of Flanders. The two-day congress was fun, filled with dynamic activities and debates on the reality young people and the movement are facing today.
The National Congress worked on four different themes: (1) strengthening the base groups and actions of the different regions; (2) equal opprtunities for everybody; (3) respect for life and solidarity among people; (4) decent life at work and school. These four themes are the main campaign of KAJ Flanders for the coming four years (2017-2020).