+ To Stem the Child Migrant Crisis, First Stop Poverty and Violence
Oscar Arias, former Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, thoughtfully examines the root causes behind the child migrant crisis in Central America:
The root cause of this crisis is not U.S. immigration law or the policies of one U.S. president. The root cause is the violence and poverty that make these children’s lives at home intolerable. The root cause dates to the parents and grandparents of the young people fleeing their countries today — our region’s “lost generation,” those who were children and teenagers in the 1980s.
+ U.S. Considering Refugee Status for Hondurans
Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal.
The agrarian crisis associated with the effects of climate change cannot be seen as a self-contained problem whose roots lie somewhere at the global level. Many rural men and women in the Global South experience the environmental stress of climate change as a new challenge connected with longstanding local agrarian struggles against injustice, inequality, and exclusion. The effects of global climate change in the countryside, therefore, are to be understood in connection with multi-scalar political and economic processes that also impinge upon the vulnerability of rural families and their means of survival.
The place of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in the development of this looming global food crisiscan be alarming, as small farmers produce nearly 70% of the food we consume in the region.
+ Haiti: Tourism Development on Île-à-Vache Island – Reconstruction or Another Disaster?
A controversial project in Haiti threatens to displace thousands in order to create a high-end resort destination:
Largely, the island community is not opposed to tourism. They are in favor of development which is respectful of their needs, which does not exploit nor threaten to take away their land; a project in which their participation is central and integral. However, they strongly oppose the current iteration of the project which is systematically violating their rights.
+ Is the International Community Ready for Post-Conflict Colombia?
The Washington Office on Latin America explores this crucial question:
We sought views on preparations for a scenario we view as likely: the signing of a peace accord between Colombia’s government and the FARC guerrilla group, perhaps as soon as mid-2015. If the two sides reach an accord, the international community will have a large role to play, supporting many post-conflict (or at least “post-accord”) activities.
In perhaps a year, donor countries, UN agencies, and multilateral bodies will be compelled to shift gears, increasing and reorienting their aid packages. Are they ready to do that? Is the Colombian government helping them to prepare? What will the most urgent needs be?
+ Bolivia Legalizes Child Labor and Child Labor Might Decline
Many people are very concerned about Bolivia’s new law that legalizes child labor for kids ten and older. This Forbes article argues that this concern may be misguided. I’m not sure whether they’re right, but it’s an interesting perspective to consider:
It’s possible that economic circumstances are so dire that the children simply have to work: or at least some portion of them do, in order for the family to continue to survive.
In such circumstances making child labour illegal leads to lower wages for those children who are working. Obviously: illegal labour always gets paid less than legal given the risks of fines as a result of using the illegal labour. As a result, if child labour is made illegal then families need to send more of their children out to work, or for longer hours, in order to be able to continue to survive.
A divided U.S. appeals court on Thursday threw out claims that Chiquita Brands International was complicit in the deaths thousands of Colombians during years of civil war.
Judges at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that federal courts have no jurisdiction over the Colombian claims. The lawsuits – brought by relatives of an estimated 4,000 deceased people – accused U.S.-based Chiquita of assisting in the killings by paying $1.7 million to a violent, right-wing paramilitary group known as the AUC, the Spanish acronym for United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.