Since 2007, World Day of Social Justice has been observed annually on 20 February. Through this, the United Nations hopes to mobilse all national governments to implement measures to eradicate any forms of discriminations, inequalities and barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or culture, so that one’s income, education opportunity, rights to basic care, decent job, shelter, water, and political participation will not be determined by their birth, residence, gender, religion or race; and that one can be free from threats and physical violence.
The Baharka camp, 5km north of Erbil in northern Iraq, is home to thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) following the takeover of large swathes of the country by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Updates on Iraq Crisis
- The United Nations have declared a ‘Level 3 Emergency’, the highest level of humanitarian crisis, for Iraq. Three other crises in the world are currently sharing the same emergency status: Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
- The situation of displaced people on Sinjar Mountain remains of critical concern, in addition to helping meet the needs of a further 12,000 displaced Christians who are now sheltering in the Kurdish capital, Erbil.
- The Newroz camp in Syria currently hosts about 15,000 Yazidis from Iraq. After a few days at the camp, many refugees head back to Iraq to reunite with families in the Dohuk area of northern Kurdistan, but still thousands continue to come.
- Many refugee families have been separated, scattered between Sinjar, Syria and the Kurdistan region of Iraq; children have been torn from their parents — killed, kidnapped or disappeared in the chaos. Many refugees report they had to leave behind their elderly whom they could not carry. Others who made it safely to the camp gave reports of young girls and women forced to stay behind and being sold. Families say that their young men were killed.
In the past few days, various UN Agencies have responded as follows:
- UNCHR> providing shelter and relief items
- WFP> providing meals
- UNICEF> providing support to displaced children
- WHO> providing emergency health care
- UNFPA> distributing hygiene supplies, clothing and medical supplies
- IOM> transporting IDPs from affected areas to agreed safe areas, distributing non-food Item kits
*Integral Alliance (IA), a global alliance comprising of 19 Christian relief and development agencies, is now providing disaster responses to humanitarian crisis in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and is closely monitoring the crisis in Iraq. CEDAR is one of the member agencies of Integral Alliance.
[ePrayer – Pray for Global Nuclear Disarmament]
Security is based on people’s welfare and not on military annihilation, UN said, marking the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and later Nagasaki which together killed more than 400,000 people. ‘We are united in countering the erroneous view that security is achieved through the pursuit of military dominance and threats of mutual annihilation,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. There is a ‘surge of new interest’ in nuclear disarmament based largely on an increasing awareness of the horrific humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. UN has made nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation a top priority. Disarmament frees up resources which could be channelled to address major global threats, including poverty, hunger and disease.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans all nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the General Assembly in September 1996 but has not yet entered into force. China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States have yet to ratify it. [UN News]
Pray for Global Nuclear Disarmament:
- Pray that the governments of the nations will put all their efforts to improve the people’s welfare and create the peaceful atmosphere. Pray that they will give up the military competition and nuclear weapons.
- Pray that the UN can rope in the nations to sign, ratify and implement the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).