Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Human Rights - 13 January

In today’s show, we were joined by Yousuf Gabru – Member of the African National Congress. We discussed the issue of Palestine. Last week Friday IOL reported that about 600 local Palestinian supporters joined the protest against Israel's ongoing military assault in the Gaza Strip at a public meeting in Mowbray hall. ANC members outside the hall handed out pamphlets condemning the attacks, which have left hundreds of Palestinians, including women and children, dead. One of the themes of the meeting was an appeal to all South Africans to band together to help end the attacks. On Thursday the city was brought to a near standstill when thousands of marchers protested against the Israeli attack on Gaza. The marchers called on the government to sever diplomatic relations with Israel and implement sanctions. According to a statement issued by Owen Futeran – Chairperson of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Town council) says the Jewish community deplores the loss of any life, Palestinian or Israeli, that is taking place within the current conflict. They take no joy in any death or injury of any human being. However, they firmly support the right of any sovereign nation, including Israel, to defend its citizens against attack, in this case vicious and ongoing attacks that have come in the form of thousands upon thousands of bombs and rockets rained down with the stated intention of killing civilians. They understand that the conflict in the Middle East is a very emotional once for many South Africans and they urge all communities to ensure that the conflict is not imported from the streets of Gaza into the streets of South Africa. They pray that peace and a duly negotiated settlement will be reached as soon as possible.

We also spoke to Charlotte Powell – from the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre. In October last year, Disaster Risk Management started a campaign to reduce the number of fires in informal settlements. As part of the campaign, Disaster Risk Management staff distributes pamphlets that provide practical tips on how residents can reduce their vulnerability to fires. Last week Friday, the team visited the Egoli Informal Settlement in Philippi Farmland, which is listed as one of the city’s high fire risk areas. Charlotte will explain more about the campaign. Charlotte explained more about the campaign. For Further information please contact her on 021 597 5000.

And our last interview was with Mathipa Mwamuka– Trafficking Co-ordinator of the Activists Networking against the Exploitation of Child Domestic Workers. Anex is a child rights organisation, who focuses on child domestic labour. The establishment of the organisation was inspired by the plight of the girl child, who is sourced or trafficked from the rural to the urban areas to work in the domestic work sector. For more information go to www.anexcdw.org.za or contact 0800 555 999.

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