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I have a friend in Papua New Guinea named Monica Paulus who was accused of casting sorcery spells because a person died in her village. Her neighbors almost murdered her until she fled the region. Now she works to save other women falsely accused of sorcery who are targets of torture and killing. This is a window into the mob violence Western civilization crawled slowly out of through the establishment of principles like the presumption of innocence.
To millions of Americans, Brett Kavanaugh seems just as guilty as Monica seemed to her accusers. They sincerely believe, because the power groupthink has over the human mind, that Kavanaugh has all the signs of their suspected profile of an abuser of women: rich, white, elite Catholic school attendee, conservative, and nominated by Donald Trump. Millions of people have repeated this so often that it feels deeply true. Plus, there were accusations!
Monicas accusers believed she fit the profile of a witch. Once the first accusation was levied, it was easy for others to believe it was true. From an outside vantage, charges of deadly sorcery seem absurd to third-party observers. But in Monicas culture, belief in the power of sorcery to kill children and cause calamity has been universal for millenia. Though recent infections of Christianity have shaken it, sorcery is still a fact of life.
Personhood has been a hard-fought prize of Western civilization. The idea that an individual person has a right to their own life and liberty regardless of the passions of the collective is a relatively new and fragile gain for humanity. For most of history, the individual person accused by a crowd or community had no ability to escape its all-consuming wrath.
Humans without Christ-rooted protection for the individual quickly descend into very dangerous, unthinking crowds.
In the book of Genesis, Potiphars wife accused her Hebrew servant Joseph of trying to rape her when, in fact, she tried to seduce him. Joseph was thrown into prison for this false accusation without any need for corroboration except the cloak she had ripped from him.
Believe Our Women! was the slogan organizers used during Jim Crow against black men falsely accused of sexual violence. The justice crowds felt as sure about their scapegoats guilt as new partisan crowds do about their conservative targets. To mobs, a persons wealth or poverty or race is sufficient reason to ignore their humanity and cast shame.
Even popular cinema reflects a healthy suspicion of collective accusations. In the film Edward Scissorhands, Edward was falsely accused by a woman of sexual assault after spurning her advances in a barber shop. Her tears led to an angry mob destroying the life of an innocent one....
ODIs Soumya Chattopadhyay looks at new data on global poverty. Poverty is still falling, but not as fast as previously.
Jasper Cooper has a fascinating looking discussion paper based on a recent impact evaluation of a community policing project in Bougainville. A central finding: As police enforce a more equal rule of law, and empower women, men seek to preserve their advantage by increasing their reliance on local chiefs.
Why did al-Qaeda succeed in some countries and fail in others? Why did it adopt different approaches in different parts of Middle-East? In this podcast on the Lawfare blog, academics Aaron Y. Zelin and Barak Mendelsohn discuss recent research on the terrorist groups strategies and the barriers it has faced.
Commentary on The Conversation asks whether a better tsunami warning system could have saved lives in Indonesia.
Have you heard about the Albanian miracle? Ricardo Hausmann argues on Project Syndicate that its unfolding right before our eyes thanks to a savvy grab bag approach to economic reform. (Its worth reading the comments under the article for some skepticism too, though.)
Also on Project Syndicate, the UNDPs regional gender adviser for Eastern Europe and Central Asia on how making women part of the planning process can guard against reproducing gender bias in disaster mitigation and recovery.
Joint ATRs are good for employers who get to share some of the costs, like half the return airfares, and theyre good for workers because they get [a] longer time in New Zealand to earn more money James Dalmar, Operations Manager for Immigration NZs Wellington area office.
In 2009, the joint Approval to Recruit (ATR) system was made available for employers in New Zealands Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, allowing them to share Pacific workers across different crops and regions. This significant change has led to an overall increase in the number of RSE workers employed and has provided smaller enterprises in New Zealands horticulture and viticulture industries with the opportunity to participate in the RSE scheme.
Prior to the joint ATR system, a single approved employer was responsible for the recruitment and transport costs for their RSE workers as well as providing guaranteed hours of work.[i] For smaller enterprises, these costs and minimum guarantees of work made participation in the scheme difficult, particularly as employers without work were not allowed to place their RSE workers in other temporary employment (though, out of concern for their workers, there had been a few cases of employers illegally placing workers in other employment). With the joint ATR system, smaller approved employers are able to work with other employers to share workers and the associated costs over the season, ensuring guaranteed hours of work are met, and extending workers periods of employment. The system is increasingly popular with employers as their enterprises expand and they require workers at different times, and for different tasks, throughout the season. By 2017, there were over 2,000 workers employed on joint ATRs across the country.
Approved employers submit joint ATRs together to Immigration New Zealand, specifying the number of workers and periods of work on both ATRs. RSE workers enter into individual employment contracts with each employer. Costs of recruitment and transport of RSE workers to and from New Zealand are generally shared by the employers, and each employer is responsible for the workers pastoral care during the employment period. Once approved, workers are allocated to the employer...
In 2013, my colleague and I wrote about the difficulties of development in Timor-Leste, citing the MDG Suco Program (a housing program) as an example of poor infrastructure development. Aligned with the broader United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Timor-Leste Government constructed over 5,000 houses nationwide for social housing, to improve the quality of life of the most disadvantaged members of society.
The MDG housing initiative aimed to provide vulnerable Timorese with modern Western houses with solar energy, water and sanitation. When we wrote our blog post in 2013, we were concerned that the diverse housing needs of beneficiaries (in relation to their capabilities, livelihood activities, socio-cultural contexts and physical environments) were overlooked.
In August, I had the opportunity to revisit the case study site in Manatuto Municipality to see how things have evolved. Five years on, the lack of a consultative social housing approach has become more apparent.
At first glance, the Oma Boku MDG settlement looks more liveable than it did on my last visit. Many households now have established gardens and trimmed bushes. The settlement has social amenities such as a village meeting hall, chapel, health centre and a kindergarten. Yet it continues to experience a low occupancy rate: approximately 56%. Beneficiaries are allocated a two or three bedroom house on a 15 square metre plot of land. With much of the plot taken up by the house, only a marginal area is left for cultivation. Most rural Timorese households are subsistence farmers with some off-farm and seasonal cash crop incomes. For the poorest and most vulnerable individuals and families, having adequate and secure access to land is even more crucial, not only for household food security but as a means to a livelihood. For example, lack of land near the home means that larger livestock must be raised away from the settlement.
A number of households in this settlement have cleared up larger plots of land in the surrounding area land held communally by the village to cultivate staple food crops such as maize, cassava, and sweet potato. Others farm on their own fields or that of their relatives at a further distance. In accordance to traditional Timorese tenure systems, households cultivating on communal or leased land are limited to user-rights, neither having the rights to grow trees as cash crops nor to pass the land down to their descendants, which in turn limits income-earning opportunities.
We also cautioned against separating vulnerable people from their familial support networks. The large majority of rural Timorese households are multi-generational, comprised of two and three generations of families residing...
ACT NOW! is calling on the Minister for Lands, Justin Tkatchenko to name the Special Agriculture Business Leases he claims have been cancelled.
The Minister has stated on social media that of 53 Special Agriculture Business Leases reviewed, 34% have been cancelled via voluntary surrender, 2% cancelled via consent or court order and 12% have been referred for further verification.
However, the numbers reported in various other media are different and contradictory. TVWAN for example has published a table showing 68 leases have been reviewed.
The Minister needs to publish a full list of the SABL leases with their names, portion numbers, locations and size, and identify those that have already been cancelled, those recommended to be cancelled, those that have been surrendered and those whose files are missing.
It is also noted that while the Minister says 53 leases have been reviewed, there were 77 that were investigated by the Commission of Inquiry, so what about the additional 24 leases?
These are leases that affect customary land and the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people. We all have a right to know the details of which leases the Minister is talking about and he should not be trying to hide the facts or confuse the public.
Femili PNG is advertising for a new Development Officer in Canberra. This person will work with the Development Manager on a range of areas to support Femili PNG, including communications, stakeholder engagement, fundraising, reporting, policy development, finance and administration.
This position provides an exciting opportunity to work on an innovative and pioneering project that is making a real difference on the ground while also contributing to the development of PNG civil society. We require an individual with practical problem solving skills, who is patient, organised and hands-on, and combines a considered approach with a strong commitment to improving services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse in Papua New Guinea.
It is envisaged that the position will be filled on a full-time basis for a twelve month period, but part-time offers and/or availability for shorter periods will be considered. The position will be reviewed after this initial period.
This is a salaried position, with superannuation. Details on remuneration will be available to shortlisted candidates. We are working to a tight deadline, so get your application in as soon as possible and no later than Thursday 25 October 2018. Please indicate when you can start.
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