New study highlights need to scale up violence prevention efforts globally

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 reveals that 475 000 people were murdered in 2012, and homicide is the third leading cause of death globally for males aged 15-44 years, highlighting the urgent need for more decisive action to prevent violence.

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Despite indications that homicide rates decreased by 16% globally between 2000 and 2012, violence remains widespread. Non-fatal acts of violence take a particular toll on women and children. One in four children has been physically abused; one in five girls has been sexually abused; and one in three women has been a victim of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in her lifetime.

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 and related materials may be found here: www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/status_report/2014.

Jointly published today by the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int), the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the report indicates that:

• only one third of the 133 countries surveyed are implementing large-scale initiatives to prevent violence, such as bullying prevention programmes, visits by nurses to families at risk, and support to those who care for older people;

• just over half the countries are fully enforcing a set of 12 laws generally acknowledged to prevent violence, although 80% countries have enacted them;

• only half of all countries have services in place to protect and support victims of violence.

The consequences of violence on physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health often last a lifetime. Violence also contributes to leading causes of death such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS, because victims are at an increased risk of adopting behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, and unsafe sex.

“The consequences of violence on families and communities are profound, and can result in lifelong ill health for those affected,” states Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Yet we know what works to prevent violence in our homes, schools and workplaces and on our streets and playgrounds. We should take inspiration from governments which have demonstrated success in reducing violence by taking the steps needed. They have shown us that indeed violence is preventable.”

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse. Individual country profiles reflect the extent to which key violence prevention programmes and laws and selected services for victims of violence are being implemented.

The report assessed the scale of implementation of 18 “best buy” violence prevention programmes. It shows, for example, that:

• one half of countries are implementing school-based programmes to teach children and adolescents “life-skills” such as non-violent conflict resolution;

• one half of countries are promoting efforts to change gender norms supportive of violence against women;

• one third of countries are putting in place programmes to improve parenting in families at risk of violence

• less than one quarter of countries are developing public information campaigns to prevent elder abuse.

“High levels of family and community violence cripple both people’s ability to sustain their individual livelihoods, as well as a nation’s options for political, social, and economic development”, said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. “This report takes stock of the measures countries are taking to prevent and respond to interpersonal violence, but the report also reveals gaps in global violence prevention which must be filled, such as the quality and reach of prevention programmes, the access to services for victims, particularly for women and girls who are disproportionately affected by violence, and the enforcement of existing laws.”

The report also reviewed 12 laws which are relevant for violence prevention. It shows, for example, that:

• 98% of countries have laws against rape;

• 87% of countries have laws against domestic violence;

• 84% of countries have laws against carrying weapons in schools;

• 40% of countries have laws against abuse in institutions for older people.

On average 80% of countries have enacted each of these 12 laws relevant for violence prevention. However, only just over half of countries report that these laws are fully enforced.

“Laws protecting citizens against violent crime send a clear message to society about what is acceptable,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “With this Global status report on violence prevention 2014, we have a useful tool for identifying the gaps in legislation and enforcement in countries, which can help to indicate what further action is needed to ensure reductions in violent crime.”

Providing care and support to victims of violence is important for reducing psychological trauma, helping victims heal, and preventing further involvement in violence. Despite strong evidence linking experiences of violence to mental health problems, under half of countries have mental health services to address victim needs, with only 15% of countries in Africa offering such services. Over two thirds of countries make available child protection services and medico-legal services for victims of sexual violence.

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 calls for a scaling up of violence prevention programmes in all countries; stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention; strengthened justice and security institutions to uphold the rule of law; and enhanced services for victims of violence. It also advocates for better and more effective use of data to inform violence prevention programming and to measure progress. The report is intended for use by governments to help identify gaps and encourage and guide actions, and by nongovernmental organizations and experts to assist governments in their efforts.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Note to Editors:

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 and related materials may be found here: www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/status_report/2014.

To have access to an advance copy of the report, and for more information, please contact:

Laura Sminkey

Communications Officer

Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention

World Health Organization, Telephone: +41 22 791 4547; Mobile: +41 79 249 3520; E-mail: sminkeyl@who.int

Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist Media & Advocacy

BERA / Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

United Nations Development Programme

Telephone: +1 212 906 5043; Mobile: +1 917 530 8980; Email: sangita.khadka@undp.org

Preeta Bannerjee

Public Information Officer

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Telephone: +43 1 26060 5764; Mobile: +43 699 1459 5764; Email: preeta.bannerjee@unodc.org

Categories: AFRICA

averda widens its services in Angola, its second operation in Africa

LUANDA, Angola, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — averda (http://www.averda.com), the largest, and one of the fastest growing, waste management companies in the Middle East and Africa, is delivering city cleaning services in Ingombota, a major urban district within Angola’s capital city of Luanda. The five-year contract, awarded recently, sees averda operate in joint venture agreement, under the name Ecoverde.

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Ingombota covers 10 sq km on the North Eastern coast of the country. It is the political and economic hub of the capital, with more than 160,000 residents. The population almost doubles during the day as it is home to the country’s Parliament, major banks, hotels, the presidential palace, three European embassies, the central bank, three towers and the headquarters of a multinational company. averda cleans 6,000km of streets in the district per month.

MohamedAli Hodeib, Chief Operating Officer for the Levant & Africa, averda said: “We are happy to be serving the people of Luanda. The stabilisation phase of the operation, debuted in April, is now complete. averda is fully deployed through Ecoverde, having achieved the initial target of bringing the city streets to the desired level of cleanliness, in par with our international standards. We are proud to be partners in Luanda’s waste management, its economic growth and with the main stakeholders in the city, its residents and visitors. We are looking forward to inspire a change in practices and to raise awareness of sound waste management.”

The contract was averda’s inaugural in Angola and its second in the region, having entered the market in Morocco in 2012. averda started with a mobilisation phase in Angola in August 2013 during which experienced teams conducted on the ground surveys to design specific and durable waste solutions. Equipment has been brought in later that year, better and newer vehicles and containers, mechanical bin washers, small vehicles to get into the narrow city streets. In September this year the scope of work widened from waste collection to include sweeping. averda introduced a new efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle for mechanical sweeping and automatic bin washing for the first time in Angola.

averda employs 350 Angolan personnel including laborers, supervisors and drivers. averda provided its Angolan workforce with safety and environmental awareness training as well as technical training on equipment.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of averda International.

Averda Public Relations:

London, UK

Tel : +44 207 5817163

Email: comms@averda.com

About averda:

averda International (http://www.averda.com) is the largest environmental solutions provider in the MENA region, specializing in integrated resources management. averda is at the forefront of innovation in the regional market, providing sustainable solutions and more than 35 years of experience in the effective management of waste for both private and public sector clients across pedestrian, residential, commercial and industrial areas.

averda’s extensive portfolio of services ranges from street cleaning through to waste collection, treatment, disposal and recycling. The company’s capabilities also include the development of solutions for water, wastewater and solid waste of public, residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, all within a sustainable framework that respects the natural environment. averda also designs and implements full-scale solutions to recover valuable and recyclable resources like paper, metals, and water.

With 10,000 employees serving millions of people every day, averda operates in full compliance with international standards for quality control throughout Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Morocco and Jordan. averda is supported by GrowthGate Capital Corporation since 2008.

To download the averda App, please visit the App Store.: http://store.apple.com/

Categories: AFRICA

flydubai announces three new routes including Hargeisa, Somaliland

HARGEISA, Somaliland, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Dubai-based flydubai (http://www.flydubai.com) announced the addition of three new routes to its growing network. Flights to Hargeisa (Somaliland), Chennai (India), and Nejran (Saudi Arabia) will commence in the first quarter of 2015, further expanding the carrier’s footprint to 89 destinations in 46 countries.

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From 05 March 2015, flydubai will become the first carrier to operate to Hargeisa, Somaliland from Dubai with four weekly flights. flydubai has expanded its network in Africa in 2014 to 13 points served by 60 weekly flights.

Commenting on the new announcements, Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer at flydubai, said: “2014 continues to be a very busy year for flydubai. We have announced 26 new routes since January and took delivery of eight new aircraft to support the phenomenal growth plans. We are very excited about the untapped opportunities in the emerging African markets, the progress the UAE has made on the bilateral front in India and the ongoing strong ties with Saudi.”

The new announced routes underline flydubai’s commitment to connecting the UAE to previously underserved markets. The carrier has linked Dubai to 56 underserved destinations since it started its operations in 2009.

Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President Commercial (GCC, Subcontinent, Africa) for flydubai, said: “We are committed to bringing flydubai’s high quality and reliable services to underserved markets like Hargeisa and giving passengers more options to travel to the UAE and beyond through Dubai’s aviation hub. We are sure that both our Economy Class and Business Class will exceed the passengers’ expectations and live up to the Dubai brand we proudly carry in our name.”

flydubai has a brand new fleet of 43 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and operates more than 1,200 flights a week across the Middle East, GCC, Africa, Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent.

Flight Details

Hargeisa Flight Details:

flydubai will operate four flights a week between Hargeisa and Dubai starting from 05 March 2015.

Round trip fares

Economy Class return fares from Hargeisa will start at USD575 including 20kg checked baggage, while Business Class return fares will start at USD1,900 and are inclusive of all taxes and 40kg checked baggage.

flydubai is offering a USD549 round trip inaugural fare in Economy Class valid for bookings done between 10 December 2015 and 10 January 2015.

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Flights can be purchased starting today from flydubai’s website (flydubai.com), its Call Centre (+971 600 54 44 45), flydubai travel shops or through travel partners. Further information and details of the carrier’s car rental and travel insurance services can also be found on flydubai.com.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of flydubai.

Media contact:

Houda Al Kaissi

Senior Press Officer

t. +971 4 603 3073

m. +971 56 683 0336

houda.alkaissi@flydubai.com

About flydubai:

Dubai-based flydubai (http://www.flydubai.com) strives to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network. Since launching its operations in 2009, flydubai has:

• Created a network of 89 destinations, with 26 new routes announced so far in 2014.

• Opened up 56 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.

• Built up a fleet of 43 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and will take delivery of more than 100 Boeing aircraft by the end of 2023.

In addition, flydubai’s agility and flexibility as a young airline has enhanced Dubai’s economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai’s vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously underserved markets.

For more information about flydubai services, please visit http://www.flydubai.com.

Categories: AFRICA

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the announcement of an election date in the Kingdom of Lesotho

NEW YORK, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary-General notes the recent announcement by His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho that national elections will be held on 28 February 2015.

The Secretary-General welcomes the progress achieved so far in the efforts to uphold democratic principles and secure the restoration of political stability and security in the Kingdom. He encourages all Basotho leaders to comply with the Maseru Facilitation Declaration and work together in a spirit of compromise to ensure an environment conducive to peaceful and credible elections.

The Secretary-General commends the leadership shown by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in facilitating an agreed way forward and a return to political normalcy. He reaffirms the continued commitment of the United Nations to support the efforts of the Government and the people of Lesotho to consolidate peace in the Kingdom.

Categories: AFRICA

UN expert urges Tunisia to strengthen independence of judiciary by fully implementing the Constitution

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Special Rapporteur Gabriela Knaul called* on the Tunisian authorities to adopt the legislation needed to implement the provisions of the 2014 Constitution guaranteeing the independence of judges, prosecutors and lawyers, in full consultation with representatives of the judiciary and other relevant parties.

Ms. Knaul’s appeal comes at the end of her first information-gathering visit to Tunisia as the independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the independence of judges and lawyers worldwide.

“The achievements of the Tunisian Constitution related to the justice sector need to be translated into reality,” Ms. Knaul said. “This should be done within the timeframe stipulated in the Constitution, which means that the Supreme Judicial Council should be set up by April and the Constitutional Court by October 2015.”

“The judicial system must enjoy real administrative and financial independence, as well as be provided with appropriate human and material resources to ensure improved conditions and methods of work that are conducive to the exercise of the courts’ fundamental functions,” the expert stressed.

The Special Rapporteur noted that the law should clearly specify the number of members of the Supreme Judicial Council, their appointment procedure and the term of their mandates. “The law should also set out fair, transparent and objective criteria and procedures for the selection, appointment, and promotion of judges and prosecutors,” she said.

On the issue of accountability of the judiciary, Ms. Knaul was concerned about the “chilling effect” on the judiciary as a whole of the unilateral decision by the Ministry of Justice in May 2012 to summarily dismiss en masse more than 80 judges and prosecutors.

“A code of conduct or ethics for judges should be put in place that clearly sets out reprehensible behaviour and respective sanctions, to tackle the issues of accountability, and corruption in the judiciary,” she highlighted.

The human rights expert encouraged the Parliament to continue improving the legal framework which should be reformed in accordance with international human rights law and principles.

In that regard, she recalled that a person placed under arrest should be immediately informed of his or her rights and have access to a lawyer to represent him/her, as enshrined in the Constitution. “However,” she pointed out, “in the Code of Criminal Procedure a person is allowed to consult a lawyer only after being brought before an investigative judge and not during the crucial period of pre-trial detention.”

During her nine-day visit, the UN independent expert travelled to Tunis, Nabeul and Grombalia, where she met with representatives from the Government and members of the National Constitutive Assembly, as well as judges, prosecutors, and lawyers. She also met with representatives from civil society, academia, UN agencies and other inter-governmental organizations.

Based on the information collected during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will prepare a report to be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2015.

(*) Check the Special Rapporteur’s end-of-mission statement: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15387&LangID=E

Categories: AFRICA

Ebola: Ask your questions LIVE to the Minister of Information and Communications of Sierra Leone

MONROVIA, Liberia, December 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — It is now seven months since Sierra Leone recorded the first case of Ebola and, in spite local and international efforts in the fight against the virus, the numbers continue to spike, particularly in the Western areas of the country.

The President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has himself been touring the length and breadth of the country mobilizing paramount chiefs and other stakeholders for community involvement in the fight against the Ebola virus disease.

The message of the President has been very clear: Sierra Leone can get the best of treatment centers, the best of clinicians and doctors but unless and until the chain of transmission is broken at the community level by respecting the health measures being put in place of avoiding body contacts, not to touch or bury corpses, and above all, to always call the national Ebola response toll free number of 117, the fight against the virus can still be a herculean challenge.

The Minister of Information and Communications of Sierra Leone Alpha Kanu will host an international press conference to dilate on this and several other issues, including concerns over the spike of cases particularly in the western areas of the country, on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 3pm Sierra Leone time.

Journalists interested in attending this event will be able to ASK QUESTIONS LIVE VIA THE INTERNET.

Speaker: Honorable Alpha Kanu, Minister of Information and Communications of Sierra Leone

Date: Thursday, December 11

Time: 15:00 GMT (Time Converter: http://bit.ly/1BwsZzD)

Languages: English

How it works: This service is FREE and only requires a computer connected to the internet.

REGISTER: http://www.apo-opa.com/application.php?L=E&vc=SIE

Technical Contact: +41 22 534 96 97, sec.sg@apo-opa.org

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of The Republic of Sierra Leone.

Categories: AFRICA