New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 115

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BIAS AND THE SOCIAL ORDER[image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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Australian Volunteers Abroad

Australian Volunteers Abroad
69 Grey St East Melbourne
Victoria 3002, Australia
Tel: (03) 419 1788

AIMS

To work in partnership with Asian, African and Pacific countries towards social and economic development by providing professional and technically skilled Australians for developing societies where such trained personnel are in short supply.

To allow individual Australians the opportunity of gaining greater insight and understanding of neighbouring communities.

To encourage an individual and community awareness within Australia of world development issues.

METHODS

We respond to requests from government and private employers in Asian, African and Pacific countries for skilled personnel to fit needs identified by the requesting authority. We realise these requests by inviting applications from suitably qualified Australians, who are prepared to work for a 2-year period on local rates of remuneration and conditions of employment

SUCCESSES

Since establishment in 1961, about 1500 Australian volunteers have worked in25 countries, providing access to technical and professional skills in the host communities. Meeting the personal and professional challenges of living in a different culture can be an enriching experience for each volunteer. Goodwill between individuals of different cultures has been facilitated and enhanced.

FAILURES

We’re concerned that we do not reach and/or encourage sufficient numbers of skilled and experienced Australians to fill all requests we receive for volunteers.

FUTURE PLANS

To encourage greater involvement of the Australian community and former volunteers in our new programme and activities. We have commenced an extensive evaluation of the Overseas Service Bureau which administers AVA and of the role of volunteers in development which will influence future direction.

HELP NEEDED

Those committed to development are urged to encourage skilled, experienced Australians to apply to volunteer.

We need Australian employers (government and private) to grant concessions so that an overseas assignment does not jeopardise the employment situation/status held by a volunteer before departure.


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Ecoropa

Ecoropa
Crickhowell
Powys NP8 1 TA
Tel: (0873) 810758

AIMS

To take practical action against individual companies/ governments Whose practices threaten the ecological balance.

To determine the best way of securing ecological security.

METHODS

Our field of operation is Western Europe, Ecoropa being represented in each country. We organise trans-European campaigns on major issues. Campaigns are based on the widespread distribution of well researched information leaflets which generate a high level of public awareness of the selected issue. Conferences to discuss these issues are held. An international ‘Ecological Tribunal’ is being organised to try companies flagrantly polluting the environment

SUCCESSES

Our campaign against nuclear power run in 1980 and 1981 (and about to be re-launched) has so far resulted in the sale of 2.25 million leaflets in Britain alone. There is strong evidence that public attitudes have now hardened decisively against nuclear power. A campaign against nuclear arms was launched in the Autumn of 1981 and so far 1.5 million leaflets have been sold. We believe that trans-European cooperation on such issues is a great step forward.

FAILURES

To secure an adequately strong financial base for our operation.

To arouse a larger part of our population from apathy.

FUTURE PLANS

To regionalize Ecoropa’s activities throughout Europe so that each major ethnic group has its own campaigning operation. Other campaigns are planned for 1983 — one on the Arms Trade and another on the health effect of agrichemicals and food additives.

HELP NEEDED

To distribute leaflets and to set up a system for localised distribution. To organise fund-raising. To organise meetings to discuss the issues and to plan local action.

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Anti-Slavery Society

Anti-Slavery Society
180 Brixton Road
London 5W9 6AT
Tel: 01-582 4040

AIMS

To eliminate slavery and all forms of ‘slavery-like’ practices as defined by the 1956 United Nations Supplementary Convention on Slavery.

To defend the interests of endangered indigenous peoples.

To promote human rights in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, and with the various international covenants on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

METHODS

We publish original reports frequently researched by nationals of the country under investigation.

We inform national governments of our findings in order to effect solutions. We report verbally and in writing every six months to three United Nations bodies.

SUCCESSES

Our recommendation that a United Nations expert be appointed to help integrate Mauritania’s slave community has been accepted by both that country’s government and by the Commission on Human Rights.

Our exposure of the exploitation of working children.

We have consultative status with ECOSOC — the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

We were instrumental in the appointment in 1975 by the United Nations of a Group of Experts on Slavery.

FAILURES

Still being needed after working since 1839 for universal freedom from exploitation.

FUTURE PLANS

To add grassroots participation to our child labour programme.

To highlight debt bondage in India.

To continue our discreet, 60-year old project to eliminate female circumcision in East and West Africa.

To reexamine the plight of sugar workers in the Dominican Republic.

To report on minority peoples in South East Asia and Central America.

To reorganize and expand.

HELP NEEDED

Photographs and first-hand information are always welcome and so are volunteers, supporters and new members. The Annual Subscription is £6.00. Associate and Student membership is only £2.00 a year.

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