All posts by Lia Morese

Villaggio per la Terra

Schermata 2018-03-20 alle 15.40.45

Dal 21 al 25 aprile 2018 a Roma
Terrazza del Pincio – Galoppatoio di Villa Borghese

La manifestazione ambientale più partecipata d’Italia 5 giorni di sport, concerti, esposizioni, mostre, convegni, spettacoli, laboratori didattici, attività per bambini e buon cibo


Russia Backs Syria in Unlawful Attacks on Eastern Ghouta

Schermata 2018-03-19 alle 18.11.08

(Beirut) – With Russia’s continued support, the Syrian government is using unlawful tactics in its assault on Eastern Ghouta, including what appears to be the use of internationally banned weapons, Human Rights Watch said today. There are significant concerns about how government forces will treat residents in areas that come under its control, given past reports of reprisal executions.

The UN Security Council should urgently demand a United Nations monitoring team be granted immediate access to areas of Eastern Ghouta, now under government control. The team should document any crimes already committed; their presence may deter further violations. They should also visit sites to which the government is transferring Eastern Ghouta residents, as there are significant concerns about their treatment. If Russia again vetoes council action, the UN General Assembly should call for the immediate deployment of monitors.

“Instead of just watching while the Syrian-Russian military alliance annihilates Eastern Ghouta, the UN Security Council should act to put a stop to these unlawful attacks,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “If Russia again tries to protect the Syrian government by preventing council action, the General Assembly should demand monitors for Ghouta’s residents. For weeks these people endured starvation and bombardment and now they’re at risk of detention and even execution.”

Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Syria’s capital, Damascus, and home to an estimated 400,000 civilians, has been under attack by the Syrian-Russian military alliance since February 19. Syrian government forces have besieged Eastern Ghouta since 2013, severely restricting humanitarian aid in violation of the laws of war and preventing civilians from leaving. The alliance has bombarded Eastern Ghouta, failing to distinguish between civilian and military targets, hitting residential areas, hospitalsschools, and markets. According to the Ghouta United Relief Office, at least 1,699 residents have been killed since February 19.

On March 17, Human Rights Watch received a distress call from a member of the Syrian Civil Defense who told Human Rights Watch that he and 19 colleagues, five of whom are wounded, have been surrounded by government forces. According to him, in addition, there are 90 members of the Syrian Civil Defense and their relatives trapped in a second location, and they are all requesting safe passage to non-government-held areas. He said they fear retaliation, including summary execution, when the government takes the area.

After government forces retook Aleppo, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations received reportsof reprisals and mass executions. Human Rights Watch has not been able to verify the Aleppo reports and has not yet documented reprisals against Eastern Ghouta residents who have come under government control, but it has previously reported mass executions of civilians by Syrian government forces in areas that have come under their control.

The UN General Assembly’s landmark decision in December 2016 to establish a quasi-special prosecutor mechanism for Syria was prompted by outrage at the way Russia prevented the council from taking action to protect civilians during the brutal Syrian-Russian operation to retake Aleppo.

On February 24, the Security Council passed a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, to allow in humanitarian aid and stop indiscriminate attacks on civilians, as required by international law. But the resolution was never fully implemented and the council has taken no action. Russia, which shares responsibility for violations committed by joint operations of its military alliance, has used its veto 11 times to shield Syria from accountability.

There is evidence that Syria’s operation with Russia in Eastern Ghouta involves the use of internationally banned weapons, including cluster munitions, incendiary weapons, and chemical weapons.

Human Rights Watch spoke to three witnesses who said that on March 7, 2018, the military alliance attacked residential areas in al-Hammouriyeh with ground-launched and air-dropped cluster munitions, among other munitions. According to local doctors and first responders, at least 20 residents died in the attack. Human Rights Watch examined photos of weapon remnants taken by a local media activist at one of the strike sites and identified the munition as an OTR-21 “Tochka” surface-to-surface, short-range tactical ballistic missile. A first responder told Human Rights Watch that there were several consecutive attacks with cluster munitions that day, including in al-Hammouriyeh, but that he could not recall precise details of their location because he had responded to many such attacks. He said the Syrian Civil Defense rescued more than 40 victims that day.

There is evidence that cluster munitions have been used in several attacks on Eastern Ghouta in March. Photographs shared by Syria Civil Defense of weapons remnants from a reported attack on March 11 show unexploded AO-2.5RT submunitions delivered in RBK-500 cluster bombs. A witness to an air attack on Hammouriyeh on March 7 gave Human Rights Watch a photograph of a AO-2.5RT submunition he said was left over from the attack. Human Rights Watch has documented Syrian government use of banned cluster munitions since 2012.

Syria Civil Defense reports that at about 11:48am on March 16, air-dropped incendiary munitions were used on the Eastern Ghouta residential area of Kafr Batna, killing at least 61 and wounding more than 200. It said that most victims were women and children who were burned alive. Photographs and video provided to Human Rights Watch by doctors, and publicly available, show at least 15 bodies with serious burns.

Photographs reported by the Syrian Civil Defense to have been taken immediately after the attack show multiple small fires burning brightly, indicating the possible use of ZAB submunitions which are delivered by Soviet or Russian-made RBK-500 bombs.

Since November 2012, Human Rights Watch has documented civilian harm from Syrian government use of air-dropped incendiary weapons. Attacks using air-delivered incendiary weapons in civilian areas are prohibited under Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, which Syria has not ratified.

Doctors in Eastern Ghouta told Human Rights Watch that they have treated symptoms of chlorine use from multiple attacks, including on February 25 in Chifouniya, March 7 in al-Hammouriyeh, and on March 11 in Arbin. Human Rights Watch has not independently corroborated the use of chlorine in these strikes but has previously documented use of chlorine as a chemical weapon in Syria, including during the government’s operation to re-take Eastern Aleppo. Syria acceded to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013.

As Syrian government forces entered the town of al-Hammouriyeh on March 14, there was a frenzied aerial bombing campaign, witnesses said. Among the casualties was Ahmad Hamdan, a media activist and resident of al-Hammouriyeh, reported to have been killed by an airstrike. One witness told Human Rights Watch that on March 14: “I was trying to escape with my family, and I saw an entire family get blown up in front of my very eyes. I immediately turned back and took my children back to the basement.”

As government forces retake territory in Eastern Ghouta, civilians have started to evacuate. On March 15, Syrian and Russian media livestreamed the evacuation of what was claimed to be 12,000 residents from al-Hammouriyeh crossing to government-held areas. Human Rights Watch reviewed the footage which showed many people leaving. According to one witness and media reports, residents who have moved into areas under government control are being transported to sites around the enclave, including camps and schools, where they are being screened.

International law unequivocally prohibits summary and extrajudicial executions. In situations of armed conflict, combatants are legitimate targets as long as they take part in hostilities, but deliberately killing injured, surrendered, or captured soldiers (those hors de combat) would constitute a war crime. Any evacuation must be safe and voluntary, and protected by guarantees of security and non-reprisals. Civilians are entitled to protection whether they choose to leave or stay in an area, and parties to the conflict should not block civilians from leaving. Parties must allow impartial humanitarian relief reach civilians in need, regardless of whether the civilians have an option to leave.

The Syrian government should verifiably guarantee that the fundamental rights of individuals who were living under the control of non-state armed groups in Eastern Ghouta will be respected and protected, in particular when they are subject to security screenings and in detention. Authorities should ensure that the screening process is limited to a period of hours rather than days, and that anyone held longer is treated as a detainee and afforded all protections to which detainees are entitled under international law. No one should be presumed to be a combatant based on age or gender absent individualized evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The authorities should allow UN and other independent monitors access to all screening and detention centers.

“For every hour that a potential Russian veto prevents any decisive action by the UN Security Council, civilians on the ground in Eastern Ghouta are facing a real threat of reprisals,” said Fakih “The least the Security Council can do now is to deploy monitors to offer some protection for civilians. If the council can’t do so, the General Assembly should act as it did for Aleppo.”

Newsletter n.1/2018

Schermata 2018-03-14 alle 17.02.13


Non chiamateli effetti collaterali.

Il 1 febbraio si è celebrata la prima edizione della Giornata Nazionale delle vittime civili delle guerre e dei conflitti nel mondo, istituita con legge dello Stato 25/01/2017 n°9.

Come Campagna Mine abbiamo condiviso il sostegno alla legge che ne ha istituito la celebrazione promossa dall’Associazione Nazionale Vittime Civili di Guerra (ANVCG) ottenendo questo importante riconoscimento, felici di poter portare la nostra testimonianza di ambito internazionale come parte della ICBL-CMC alla prima celebrazione della Giornata partecipando alla Conferenza “Stop alle bombe sui civili”.

Riteniamo che, coerentemente con quanto espresso dai Trattati sul disarmo come la Convenzione di Ottawa sulla messa al bando delle mine, la Convenzione di Oslo sulle Munizioni Cluster ed ora anche del Trattato per la messa al bando delle armi nucleari, al centro del nostro lavoro, al cuore delle nostre attività devono esserci sempre le vittime, di tutte le guerre e di tutti i conflitti, come ricordato dal titolo della Giornata Nazionale.

L’evoluzione della natura dei conflitti, come ho avuto modo di descrivere durante la Conferenza, ha dimostrato il grande fallimento di leggi e norme, che non tutelano nel concreto i civili. Purtroppo, infatti diversi Paesi, i gruppi non statali, i gruppi terroristici, molti tra i ribelli ed i rivoluzionari abdicano al principio di umanità prima che a qualsiasi altro tipo di legge e non si sentono vincolati da Trattati né da altri principi di consuetudine. Questo ha reso le comunità “drasticamente vulnerabili” come definite dal Presidente della Repubblica Mattarella, ma l’eleganza della diplomazia mal si accorda con le sofferenze umane di chi è vittima inerme.

“Drasticamente vulnerabili” può essere tradotto agli occhi di chi quelle pene le soffre nel paradosso di un’elegante biasimo internazionale vuoto e privo di conseguenze per i carnefici. In sintesi, poco o niente.

Non riesco ad immaginare il peso in chilogrammi degli studi, linee guida, raccomandazioni, risoluzioni etc. di cui a rotazione Paesi che pongono veti incrociati fanno virtuale carta straccia da tirare in faccia ai civili sopravvissuti sbeffeggiandoli. I civili colpiti, in fondo, sono solo “effetti collaterali” secondo principi di proporzionalità di cui nessuno conosce l’esatto coefficiente. I barbari sono meno diplomatici uccidono e poi negano, bombardano e poi disconoscono l’errore. Le coscienze si anestetizzano in fretta …

Se non proviamo ribrezzo per questo sistema, ammettiamolo i malati siamo noi.
Estendendo lo spazio di riflessione e non limitando il ragionamento alle vittime di conflitto, vulnerabili siamo tutti, perché ad essere preso di mira è il principio di umanità, che subisce attacchi su più fronti e livelli.

Giuseppe Schiavello

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Giornata Internazionale delle Donne

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Giornata Internazionale delle Donne: il momento di agire è ora!

(Roma 8 marzo 2018): Time is now, il momento è ora! Il momento di cambiare la vite delle donne ovunque esse siano. Questo il motto scelto dall’Ente delle Nazioni Unite (UN Women) per celebrare la Giornata Internazionale delle donne.

“Per noi agire ora per trasformare la vita delle donne significa chiedere a gran voce la fine delle violenze di genere e dell’uso dello stupro come arma di guerra durante i conflitti” afferma Tibisay Ambrosini coordinatrice di Stop Rape Italia membro della International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict1.

La violenza sessuale durante i conflitti rappresenta una strategia di guerra in grado non-solo di colpire la singola persona, ma di distruggere tutta la comunità. È un fenomeno sottostimato, poco denunciato a causa della stigmatizzazione a cui sono spesso sottoposte le vittime o della paura che queste provano nel denunciare personale in uniforme, ma la mancanza di denunce non significa assenza della violenza. Come riportato a seguito della recente missione in Sudan della Rappresentante Speciale del Segretario delle Nazioni Unite Pramila Patten la cultura della negazione alimenta la cultura del silenzio che molto spesso porta le vittime di questo crimine a non denunciare e a non cercare assistenza.

Questa tattica “terroristica” consiste nel mettere in atto un insieme di azioni e comportamenti che vanno dalle offese verbali di carattere sessuale allo stupro, gli stupri di gruppo, la schiavitù sessuale, la prostituzione forzata, le mutilazioni genitali, la sterilizzazione e le gravidanze forzate, l’inserimento di oggetti nelle parti intime delle vittime così come le uccisioni provocate da colpi sparati al loro interno, il tutto collegato direttamente o indirettamente ad un conflitto armato e al desiderio di annientamento psicologico e fisico del nemico.

“Lo stupro come arma di guerra è stato largamente impiegato ad esempio contro le donne della minoranza Rohingya, vittime due volte, per essere donne e per appartenere ad una minoranza. In molti casi gli stupri, anche di gruppo, venivano compiuti unitamente ad altri atti di violenza, crudeltà ed umiliazione, espressione di una vera e propria logica dell’annientamento, della pulizia etnica” prosegue Ambrosini.

“Purtroppo, questa tortura non risparmia neanche le bambine ed i bambini” afferma Giuseppe Schiavello direttore della Campagna Italiana contro le mine, associazione che ha curato l’avvio di Stop Rape Italia “la Siria purtroppo è un esempio di come gli abusi sui minori siano un’arma per umiliare, ferire e far pressione sui genitori considerati ribelli affinché si costituiscano o rilascino una confessione forzata. I bambini vengono trattenuti in centri di detenzione ufficiali e non, insieme agli adulti, dove avvengono violenze annoverate tra le “sei violazioni gravi” dal Consiglio di sicurezza dell’Onu. Del tutto insufficiente l’impegno internazionale per mettere fine a questo scempio.” conclude Schiavello.

Nella Giornata Internazionale delle Donne vogliamo essere la voce di tutte le donne, madri, mogli, figlie, che hanno subito e stanno subendo queste atrocità durante i conflitti. Raccontare le storie di chi ha avuto il coraggio di parlare. Donne nella condizione più vulnerabile, che hanno perso tutto anche il senso del futuro, che non solo non devono “essere lasciate indietro” ma a cui deve essere garantito accesso alle cure psicologiche e fisiche, ai servizi, alla giustizia comprensivo di risarcimento. Farlo è un prerequisito per la costruzione di un future in pace.

Per interviste
M. Tibisay Ambrosini 34971049619

1 –  La International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict nasce nel 2012 dalla volontà della Nobel Womens’s Initiative una piattaforma composta da alcune Donne Nobel per la Pace (Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Tawakkol Karman, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchù, Leymah Gbowee, Wangari Maathai, Betty Williams) per rispondere alla diffusione sistematica dello stupro durante i conflitti.

Sri Lanka bans cluster bombs

Schermata 2018-03-02 alle 16.18.39

Sri Lanka officially renounced cluster bombs yesterday when it joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Congratulations! The instrument of accession to the Convention was deposited at the United Nations headquarters in New York, and the Convention will enter into force for Sri Lanka on 1 September 2018.

“I’m proud of this demonstration of leadership by my government,” said Vidya Abhayagunawardena, head of the Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines. “This sends a clear signal to others in South Asia: cluster bombs do not belong in the arsenals of modern armies. They are outdated, indiscriminate, unacceptable weapons.”

Sri Lanka had officially announced in September 2017 that it agreed “on principle” to join the Convention. Sri Lanka has participated as an observer in every Convention’s meetings since 2011, and in December 2017 it voted in favor of United Nations General Assembly resolution 72/41 that calls on states outside the Convention to join as soon as possible.

Sri Lanka is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions. It has repeatedly denied allegations that its armed forces used cluster munitions in the 2008–2009 operation against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

In South Asia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan must still join the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Operazione Parakram

Schermata 2018-02-23 alle 10.59.38

Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan while interviewing an insurgent about mines used by his group in Myanmar

Antipersonnel minefields have never discouraged an attacker despite the fact that mines constitute a psychological hazard, according to a recent study by Indian Centre for Land Warfare 

A research coordinator with Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan has worked in a dozen countries, spending most of his life in Southeast Asia. In 1995, he co-founded the Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines and has been associated with the Monitor since its inception in 1998. Since 2005, Yeshua has worked for Mines Action Canada, providing ban policy research coordination to the Monitor for Asia, the Pacific, and Middle East and North Africa regions, and on Non-State Armed Groups globally.

A co-founder of the International Action Network on Small Arms, he also serves voluntarily as a consultant to the International Peace Bureau and on the grant making Advisory Board of the International Nonviolence Trainers Fund of the AJ Muste Institute.

Here’re the edited excerpts from his interview with the National Herald:

Q: When did the world wake up to the landmine crisis and what has been India’s response to it since then?

A: The International community began to seriously discuss the global landmine crisis in the mid-1990s. In 1996 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution urging states to vigorously pursue an international agreement banning anti-personnel mines. India voted in favour of that resolution, however, since 1997 when the Mine Ban Treaty came into existence, India has remained outside it. This is a surprising choice for the world’s largest democracy, given that now 80 per cent of governments in the world have joined this treaty.

Q: How do you examine the main reasons provided by Indian diplomats in explaining it’s position?

A: India has stated it has abstained and remains outside the global landmine ban due to the lack of “the availability of militarily effective alternative technologies that can perform cost effectively the defensive function of antipersonnel mines”. This is a surprising explanation for abstaining, since certainly Indian military engineers are aware that such technologies already exist.

Q: And what are those alternatives?

A: Trip flares serve the same function as an anti-personnel mine detonation it alerts soldiers to a possible crossing of an area by someone or animals. Trip flares have the added advantage of illuminating the area in the dark. As they are nonlethal they do not have the humanitarian consequences of anti-personnel mines, which can and do regularly kill or maim civilians and soldiers in India. Other alternatives to anti-personnel mine fields which exist are a combination of other weapons, such as command detonated mines combined with more intensive patrolling practices which eliminate the humanitarian consequences of anti-personnel mine fields. India should certainly benefit from the rich experience available within the 163 nations who have joined the mine ban treaty, and who do not use anti-personnel mines along their borders, many of whom have similar concerns of long rugged borders and irregular cross border movement, smuggling and insurgency.

Q: Does India need landmines to deter incursion by armed militants, especially in Jammu and Kashmir?

A: Has this proved effective? Mines laid long ago along the Line of Control (LoC) were in the ground during the rise of the insurgency in the 1990s as well as during its subsequent decline- it seemed to have no clear impact on the increase or decrease of militant activity. The role existing mines played in suppressing insurgency is speculative at best. However, what is clearly measurable, and reported in the Landmine Monitor’s annual report on India, is that hardly a month goes by without reports of deaths or injuries to Indian soldiers or civilians due to anti-personnel mines laid — many of them Indian made — along the LoC in Kashmir. In the past 5 years, despite continuing Indian military and civilian casualties in these mine fields, the Indian government has not reported even one insurgent casualty. A recent Indian Centre for Land Warfare study found that, “Anti-personnel minefields have never prevented an attacker from assaulting an objective despite the fact that anti-personnel mines-constitute a psychological hazard.

On the contrary, they impose restrictions on the defending force as the defender is conscious of the fact that the area concerned is mined and tends to avoid the same. In conflict after conflict, own minefields have impeded the movement of friendly forces and resulted in fratricidal accidents. In many instances,patrols were frightened of using the ‘‘safe lanes’’ through minefields and patrolled up to the minefield edge and no further, thus reducing rather than enhancing the security of the position. Yet we continue to lay them.”

Q: Indian Army planted landmines along its Pakistan border in Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir following a terrorist attack on its Parliament in 2001. What have been the consequences?

A: The largest known use of antipersonnel mines, by any government since the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty came into existence, was India’s deployment of hundreds of thousands of anti-personnel mines along the international border during Operation Parakram in December 2001. Land forces were mobilized on a large scale and mine-laying covered a huge parcel of agricultural land along the border, thereby disrupting the lives of lakhs of Indian citizens. According to an April 2005 report of the Lok Sabha Standing Committee on Defence, the Indian Army suffered 1,776 casualties while laying and removing its minefields on the border between December 2001 and April 2005.

The total number of civilian casualties remains unknown. However, an Indian NGO survey in 2004 counted at least 1,295 civilian casualties from Operation Parakaram-laid mines. Despite many rounds of manual and mechanical mine clearance, by 2004 the Army declared that at least 3 lakhs of its mines planted along 400 kilometres of the international border in Punjab and Rajasthan were untraceable, and proposed that the area be permanently cordoned off.

This needs to be seriously reflected upon. If Pakistan were held responsible for a military attack which killed and maimed a combined total of 3,000 Indian officers and citizens, what would India’s military response have been? When India’s military activities and defense policy causes the same number of casualties, what has its response been? This damage was not inflicted by a terrorist group or by an enemy; it was the outcome of the Indian Army’s unquestioned reliance on mine warfare.

Q: A recent Monitor report claims that India continues to be the third largest stockpiler of anti-personnel landmines. Does it also export these antiquated weapons?

A: India has a very large antipersonnel landmine stockpile. Precise amounts are unknown, but is likely one of the largest in the world, especially since the US and China have been destroying many of their anti-personnel landmines. While India has stated that it has not exported its anti-personnel landmines, that does not appear to be the case. Declaration and destruction of landmine stockpiles by Mine Ban Treaty signatories is required, and five of them have reported Indian-made mines in their stockpiles during destruction: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mauritius, Sudan, and Tanzania.

Q: What is India’s current position on the Mine Ban Treaty?

A: India frequently highlights in its statements the fact that it joined the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons, a limited regulatory measure on anti-personnel landmines. The Optional Protocol does not remove the hazard posed by antipersonnel mines or the humanitarian cost associated with the use of antipersonnel mines. But since 1997, India has repeatedly abstained from voting in favour of an annual UN General Assembly resolution in support of the global landmine ban. During the past two decades, India has regularly attended, as an observer, meetings of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. India has also regularly delivered a statement which has noted that the Mine Ban Treaty’s humanitarian goal has universal appeal, and that India supports a world free of landmines. It is time to act on that appeal. India needs to undertake a public policy debate on its stand on the global landmine ban, and that debate must include the voices of India’s many civilian landmine casualties.



“Linee Guida per la disabilità e l’inclusione sociale negli interventi di cooperazione 2018”

20 Febbraio  11.30 – 13.00


presso la SNA (Scuola Nazionale dell’Amministrazione) in  Via Maresciallo Caviglia n. 24  - Sala eventi 1 – piano terra

Alla  conferenza stampa per il lancio del documento interverranno:

-       Laura Frigenti, direttrice AICS (Agenzia Italiana Cooperazione allo Sviluppo)

-       Luca Maestripieri, Vice Direttore DGCS – MAECI

-       Mina Lomuscio AICS (Comitato editoriale)

-       Maura Viezzoli Link 2007 (Comitato editoriale)

La Cooperazione Italiana è da sempre attenta alla promozione e protezione dei diritti delle persone con disabilità. Sulla scorta del lavoro svolto nell’ultimo decennio, le presenti Linee Guida intendono fornire un quadro di riferimento aggiornato sulle policy, indicare approcci e strategie, e fornire raccomandazioni utili per includere la tematica dei diritti delle persone con disabilità nell’ambito degli interventi della cooperazione italiana. Le linee guida sono volte alla promozione dei diritti delle persone con disabilità negli ambiti della formazione, dell’accesso al lavoro, alla salute e all’educazione.

Intendono accompagnare tutti gli attori della cooperazione (Organizzazioni della società civile, Istituzioni, mondo imprenditoriale, Università etc.) nel rafforzare le organizzazioni delle persone con disabilità, nel fare advocacy sui diritti delle persone con disabilità, nel proteggerle dalla violenza. Sono basate sulla centralità della persona umana e sulla valorizzazione e inclusione delle persone con disabilità nell’ambito di società e comunità che promuovono le pari opportunità.

Il documento è stato redatto dal gruppo di lavoro *composto da vari attori italiani impegnati nel settore nel  periodo maggio-settembre 2017 e ha lo scopo di dare indicazioni affinché gli interventi siano orientati all’eliminazione o alla riduzione delle barriere di diversa natura,  culturali, strutturali, o ambientali, che possano ostacolare l’accesso ai diritti delle persone con disabilità di natura fisica, mentale, sensoriale e/o intellettuale, in linea con l’obiettivo “no one left behind”   dell’Agenda 2030.


*AICS, DGCS/MAECI, RIDS, Link 2007, Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale, AOI, Global Forum on Law Justice and Development WB, CINI, Conferenza Universitaria Nazionale dei direttori di Scienze della Formazione, Forum Terzo Settore, INAPP, Ministero della Salute, MIUR, Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali, Presidenza del Consiglio Ministri. 

Syria: Landmines Kill, Injure Hundreds in Raqqa

Schermata 2018-02-13 alle 12.34.03

(Beirut, February 12, 2018) – Homemade landmines have killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including more than 150 children, in Raqqa, Syria since the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) was pushed out of the city in October 2017, Human Rights Watch said today.

ISIS had planted the antipersonnel mines when it controlled the city. They include devices often called booby traps or improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Most appeared to be victim-activated and therefore banned under international law.

“The defeat of ISIS in Raqqa was heralded as a global international victory, but international support for dealing with the aftermath of the battle, and notably the deadly legacy of mines, has not risen to the challenge,” said Nadim Houry, terrorism/counterterrorism program director at Human Rights Watch. “Explosive devices have already killed and injured hundreds of civilians, but these numbers will most likely increase as more people return.”

During a visit to the city in late January 2018, Human Rights Watch collected information from the Kurdish Red Crescent and international medical organizations working in the area. They found that between October 21, 2017 and January 20, 2018, mines injured at least 491 people, including 157 children, many of whom died. The actual number of victims is surely higher, as many people have died before reaching any medical assistance and those deaths were not necessarily reported.

Some members of the anti-ISIS coalition have donated funds for demining efforts, notably for clearing “critical infrastructure.” But local authorities in Raqqa and medical providers expressed concerns about the limited effort to clear residential areas and said there was a shortage of demining equipment and expertise. The situation has led Raqqa residents to pay local people, who are often ill-equipped, to risk their lives to demine homes.

According to local authorities, more than 14,500 families had returned to Raqqa, notably to neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, like al-Meshleb, by December 20, 2017. The authorities expect that substantial numbers of people will continue to return, despite the high level of mine contamination and the limited services available in the heavily damaged city.

The Raqqa Civilian Council, which is in charge of the city, issued a directive on November 21 urging people not to return to their homes before neighborhoods had been cleared of mines and other explosive devices. However, many local residents whom Human Rights Watch interviewed said that they had returned to check on their homes despite the risks because they feared looting or wanted to avoid remaining in camps for the displaced.

Residents said that relatives and neighbors were injured by explosives that detonated when they opened their refrigerator or washing machine, moved a large bag of sugar left behind, or simply pushed open a bedroom door. These accounts show that most of the victims were injured or killed by victim-activated improvised explosive devices, rather than by explosives detonated by a vehicle or by remote-control.

Victim-activated devices that explode due to the presence, proximity, or contact of a person fall under the definition of an antipersonnel landmine and are banned by the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which prohibits any use of antipersonnel landmines under any circumstance. Even if labeled as improvised explosive devices or booby traps, such mines are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, which Syria has not joined.

According to one demining organization working in Raqqa, a common switch or detonator used by ISIS relied on passive infrared sensors, an electronic sensor that measures infrared light radiating from objects in its field of view and detonates when a person merely passes through a particular area. The group noted that such improvised mines have been found in “building doorways, under stairwells, debris piles, roadside, rubble piles and even buried in open fields.”

The United States and other members of the anti-ISIS international coalition, including the United KingdomGermany, the Netherlands, and France, have provided or promised support for demining efforts, particularly to clear “critical infrastructure sites” while training local residents to take the lead in clearing residential areas. But the local demand for demining is far outstripping existing services.

A member of the Raqqa Civilian Council indicated that families could ask their local neighborhood council to request an inspection of their homes before returning, but that the ability to respond did not meet the demand. In just one Raqqa neighborhood, the local council reported receiving about 10 requests for house inspections a day, while they said that the local authorities’ ability to respond is about 10 clearance tasks a week across the entire city.

The discrepancy has driven many local residents to simply pay someone to clear their homes. During its visit, Human Rights Watch saw young men waiting at a roundabout to offer their services to inspect houses and remove rubble, at great risk to their own lives. One local resident said that he paid 25,000 Syrian pounds (about US$50) for a man to check his house. “It’s like playing Russian roulette, but these young men are desperate for money,” the resident said.

Some efforts to educate residents about the mine risks were visible in the city, with posters at key intersections and on administrative buildings. But many residents were still taking a risk by returning.

International donors should make mine clearance and mine risk education a priority to protect people from these avoidable deaths and injuries, Human Rights Watch said. Countries bordering Syria should facilitate access for demining organizations and for humanitarian assistance to survivors.

“Visiting Raqqa, one is struck by the discrepancy between the international support to militarily defeat ISIS and the very timid support to deal with the aftermath,” Houry said. “If the situation does not change, the ISIS legacy of landmines will continue to kill for years.”

Human Rights Watch is a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to bring about the Mine Ban Treaty and for its contributions to a new international diplomacy based on humanitarian imperatives.

Prima giornata nazionale delle vittime civili

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E’ ben noto che, a partire dal XX° secolo, le guerre e i conflitti hanno sempre più infierito sui civili che ormai sono diventati la parte preponderante delle vittime, con una proporzione che attualmente si aggira intorno l’80%.

Le cause di questo drammatico fenomeno sono molteplici: da un lato, infatti, il progresso scientifico rende possibile l’uso di armi e mezzi sempre più distruttivi e letali, per di più a costi sempre più economici; dall’altro l’affermarsi della democrazia rende il popolo un elemento decisivo nelle sorti dei governi coinvolti nel conflitto.

Un altro fattore che ha inciso ed incide in modo rilevante è l’incremento esponenziale dei bombardamenti dei centri abitati, in stretta connessione con l’aumento vertiginoso dell’urbanizzazione.


L’uso di ordigni esplosivi sempre più distruttivi su aree urbane che ormai contano spesso milioni e milioni di abitanti riuniti in un’area relativamente piccola (con una densità abitativa che supera facilmente le 20.000 persone a km quadrato) è la prima e principale causa del devastante impatto dei conflitti sui civili nel mondo contemporaneo.

Oltre ai danni diretti alle persone, non va sottovalutato il fatto che la distruzione degli edifici e delle infrastrutture ha delle gravissime implicazioni di lungo termine sulla salute pubblica e sullo sviluppo futuro dell’area interessata, dato che i bombardamenti disseminano il territorio di ordigni la cui pericolosità rimane una minaccia per decine e decine di anni.

Non va dimenticato, infine, che anche il fenomeno della migrazione è fortemente legato alla distruzione dei centri abitati, costituendo esso molto frequentemente l’evento che dà il via alla fuga dalla propria terra.

Nonostante l’unanime condanna, a livello di opinione pubblica, allo stato dell’arte nel diritto internazionale non vi sono regole generali che riguardano in modo specifico i bombardamenti sulle aree densamente popolate.

E’ vero che esistono importantissimi trattati internazionali sulla limitazione nell’uso di certe armi – le mine antiuomo, le bombe a grappolo, le armi incendiarie ecc. – ma purtroppo essi non sono ancora stati sottoscritti da tutte le Nazioni e inoltre riguardano solo indirettamente la protezione dei civili nelle aree densamente popolate.

La mobilitazione su questo tema ha portato alla costituzione di una rete internazionale, INEW – International Network on Explosive Weapons, che ha lanciato una campagna per sensibilizzare le Nazioni e gli organismi sopranazionali, al fine di poter ridurre in modo significativo le sofferenze prodotte dai bombardamenti sui centri abitati, campagna riassunta nello slogan “Stop bombing town and cities”.

La campagna si rivolge ai singoli stati e agli organismi sopranazionali, chiedendo di:
-    riconoscere che l’uso di ordigni esplosivi nelle aree popolate tende a causare gravi sofferenze alle persone e alle comunità, sia in modo diretto, sia per i danni create alle infrastrutture vitali;
-    impegnarsi per rivedere e rendere più stringenti le regole e le prassi nell’uso delle armi esplosive, rendendo altresì disponibili i dati sul loro utilizzo e sui loro effetti;
-    attivarsi per garantire il pieno rispetto dei diritti delle vittime e dei sopravvissuti;
-    individuare dei principi universalmente accettati, per proibire o limitare l’uso di armi esplosive nelle aree densamente popolate.

Alla rete INEW hanno aderito numerose organizzazioni non governative e associazioni, tra cui Campagna Italiana Contro Le Mine, Human Rights Watch, Save the Children ed anche l’Associazione Nazionale Vittime Civili di Guerra.

L’adesione dell’Associazione si inquadra nel più ampio impegno internazionale di difesa delle vittime civili dei conflitti che è stato perseguito negli ultimi anni e che, pochi mesi fa, ha assunto un posto di rilievo anche nello Statuto.

In questo caso poi l’ampliamento delle finalità istituzionali si sposa in modo estremamente coerente con la storia dell’Associazione, visto che il nome con cui essa fu fondata, nel 1943 quindi nel pieno della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, era “Associazione Nazionale Famiglie Caduti, Mutilati ed Invalidi Civili per i bombardamenti nemici”; questa circostanza dimostra come da sempre, nell’era della cosiddetta “guerra totale”, la storia delle vittime civili di guerra sia strettamente intrecciata con quella dei bombardamenti dei centri abitati.

Vista l’importanza di questo fenomeno, l’Associazione Nazionale Vittime Civili di Guerra – declinando la campagna di INEW nello slogan “Stop alle bombe sui civili” – ha scelto di metterlo al centro della celebrazione della prima Giornata nazionale delle vittime civili delle guerre e dei conflitti, che si terrà il prossimo 1° febbraio, al fine di conservare la memoria delle vittime civili di tutte le guerre e di tutti i conflitti nel mondo, nonché di promuovere la cultura della pace (legge 25/01/2017 n. 9)

Una delle iniziative organizzate a tal fine è l’organizzazione di un convegno a Roma, presso il prestigioso Auditorium della Scuola di Perfezionamento per le Forze di Polizia in Piazza di Priscilla 6, dal titolo “Stop alle bombe sui civili”, che si terrà il 1° febbraio 2018 dalle ore 9.30 alle 13.30 e che tratterà queste tematiche sia da un punto di vista storico, sia per quanto riguarda le attuali prospettive a livello internazionale.

Il programma provvisorio del convegno, che è organizzato in collaborazione con il MIUR e ha avuto la medaglia del Presidente della Repubblica e il patrocinio dei Ministeri dell’Interno, della Difesa e degli Affari Esteri,  è il seguente:

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9:30 -10.00  Apertura dei lavori 

  • Saluti delle autorità

10:00- 11:45  Vittime civili delle guerre e dei conflitti nel mondo e la campagna “Stop alle Bombe sui civili”

  • Giuseppe Castronovo (Presidente Nazionale ANVCG – Associazione Nazionale Vittime Civili di Guerra ONLUS)
  • Nicola Labanca (Docente di storia contemporanea all’Università di Siena e Presidente del Centro Interuniversitario di studio e ricerche storico-militari)
  • Susy Snyder (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – ICAN), Premio Nobel per la Pace 2017
  • Laura Boillot (Article 36, Coordinatrice di INEW – International Network on Explosive Weapons)
  • Pietro Ridolfi (Presidente della Commissione Nazionale Diritto Internazionale Umanitario della Croce Rossa Italiana)
  • Alessandro Cortese (Vice Direttore Generale/Direttore Centrale per la sicurezza, il disarmo e la non proliferazione presso il Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale)
  • Giuseppe Schiavello (Direttore della Campagna Italiana contro le mine, parte della lnternational Campaign to Band Landmines, Premio Nobel per la Pace 1997)

12:00 – 12:30  L’impegno dell’ANVGC

  • Corrado Quinto (L’Osservatorio – Centro di ricerche ANVCG sulle vittime civili dei conflitti)
  • Testimonianza di Nicolas Marzolino (socio ANVCG, vittima di un ordigno bellico nel marzo 2013 in Val di Susa)

12:30 –12:45 Domande dal pubblico e interventi programmati

12:45 – 13:30 Premiazione concorso ANVCG – MIUR

L’ingresso al convegno è su invito. Chi fosse interessato a partecipare può rivolgersi alla Presidenza Nazionale dell’ANVCG.


NEWS – Mali: camion salta su ordigno, 26 morti

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Un camion carico di passeggeri è saltato in aria su una mina artigianale nascosta lungo la strada, con un bilancio di almeno 26 morti, almeno 4 dei quali sono bambini e 6 donne. Lo rende noto il governo del Mali. Per le tv locali ci sarebbero anche numerosi feriti. Il camion era diretto a una fiera settimanale. Da una prima verifica le vittime sarebbero originarie del Mali e del vicino Burkina Faso. L’accaduto è attribuito ai militanti di Ansarul Islam, ma ancora non c’è alcuna rivendicazione.