Topic

human rights violations

180 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Minnesota State House, Minnesota State Senate, Mark Dayton

Curb Human Trafficking: Regulate Massage Therapy and Require Therapist Licensure

Human trafficking is a form of slavery. One extremely prevalent form of human trafficking is sex trafficking where a vulnerable demographic (i.e. foreigners, runaway teens) are forced to perform sexual acts to patrons (colloquially known as "johns"). It is a not-well-kept secret that massage parlors, taking advantage of lax regulations, operate as brothels. These places are simple to find since they advertise on sites that promote prostitution such as Rubmaps.com and/or Backpages.com. It is not uncommon for the victims to be beaten by their oppressors and forced to live on-site. They are taxied to and fro locations to decrease their chances of assimilation with the local population, and thus, escape. Many times, the victims do not speak English and their isolation is heightened. Meanwhile, the victims have no voice to be heard, crime increases in local towns, men (unaware of the location's reputation) will be sexually assaulted on-site and then be forced to pay for services, and legitimate massage therapists face an increased risk of encountering violent johns. The reason that such an industry is targeted is simple: there are no regulations, no requirements for certification. Police officers and district attorneys hesitate to bring these cases to court or even be investigated. Anybody can rent a location, call themselves a massage therapist, and be open for business. By increasing regulations on massage therapists, we not only increase the legitimacy of therapists, we close one of the avenues that traffickers use to make forced prostitution legal in their towns. 

Humanitarians of Wright County
108 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Kim Foxx, Bruce Rauner

New trial for an innocent man

Detective Richard Zuley may be most famous for his notorious interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, but he first learned his torture techniques in the interrogation rooms of Chicago. Now, this 30-year veteran of the Chicago PD is under investigation for using illegal methods to coerce confessions that have put several possibly innocent people behind bars. One of his cases has already been overturned, and a man who spent 23 years in prison is now finally free. But while officials slowly make their way through the pages of evidence against this corrupt cop, my friend Lee Harris -- another of Zuley’s many victims -- still wastes away in prison.   My name is Robert. From 2000-2001, I shared a cell with Lee. We became good friends. Like a lot of people in prison, he would go on about how he was innocent and how he had been wrongly accused, but I never knew what to believe. However, when I received letters from the “witness” who put him away, apologizing for lying on the stand, I started digging: Lee’s conviction doesn’t add up. And now that I am on the outside, I am doing everything I can to get him a new trial so he can prove his innocence. I am asking Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to grant my friend Lee Harris a new trial, so he can prove his innocence. He shouldn’t spend one more day behind bars while the true criminal is allowed to walk free. At first, Lee collaborated with Detective Zuley to help him find the real killer in the crime he is doing time for. Facing public pressure to find the killer, they pressed Lee for information using both threats and rewards. In one instance, Zuley offered him a $20,000 reward, and in another, he threatened to stop providing protection for his family, exposing them to retaliation. When they couldn’t find the real killer, they turned on their informant and charged him with the crime. They had no murder weapon or evidence connecting Lee to the crime. Yet, even with all these legal missteps and the lack of evidence, they still threw Lee behind bars for 90 years. He remains in jail to this day for a crime I am sure he didn’t commit. And I am not the only one: Chicago attorney Kathleen Zellner, who has won more exonerations than any other lawyer in the US, is now taking a closer look at Harris’ conviction. It’s time to grant my friend Lee Harris a new trial and let true justice be served. We cannot continue to keep this man behind bars while the real killer could be walking the streets. Please sign my petition and help me fight for justice for Lee Harris.

Robert Chattler
63,679 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Parliament of the Republic of Uganda., President Yoweri Museveni

ENCOURAGE UGANDA'S PARLIAMENT TO PASS THE ACID ATTACKS PROHIBITION AND PREVENTION BILL

Let me tell you my story.  I am many things.  I am Ugandan.  I am a mother.  I am an artisan and businesswoman.  I am also a SURVIVOR.  I am a survivor of an acid attack that left me scarred forever and terrified and hopeless for a long time.  It is a story that many of my sisters in Uganda and around the world can also tell you, because acid attacks disproportionally affect women and girls. My story is my own and at the same time, it echoes the cries of my fellow survivors and the cries of my country. My name is Bukirwa Juliet.  I am 27 years old and I am the mother of two daughters. My parents died when I was still very young and so I was sent to stay with my aunt in the village.  My aunt had very many kids at the house and couldn't take care of all of us.  Therefore, I was forced to drop out of school.  A friend of mine took me to Kampala City, where I got work as a house maid at 14 years old. This is when I met the man who changed the course of my life.   I entered a relationship with him and he beat me and sexually abused me. He was so violent that I decided to leave him and go back to school.  Then I discovered that I was pregnant.  I was 15 years old.  I stayed in the relationship for two more years and then gave my daughter to my mother-in- law, to keep her safe and away from the situation, with this man, that I still found myself in. I began to think more about leaving and talked to my aunt, who decided to help me leave and go back to school.  I did that.  I found a place to live and began my studies.  I was determined to make my life better.  But he found me.  When I refused to go back to him, he beat me so badly that I pressed charges.  But the police wanted money to process the complaint and I didn't have any money.  Two days later he found me again. This time, he poured acid on me while I was in bed.  I thought it was a nightmare! As I rose, I slipped in the acid, burning my body. As I tried to scream, I swallowed the acid, burning my throat.  I was on fire. I ran to the neighbors and they rushed me to the police station to make a statement and then I was rushed to the hospital in Mulago, where I stayed for over 6 months. The police never followed up on my case.  My attacker fled and I started a new and painful life. This bill is so important in order to help the new generation, especially young girls who are vulnerable to acid violence. I want to thank the RISE team, the End Acid Violence Uganda team, the University of Cincinnati, Uganda Christian University and the John Sentamu Institute, for all of the work they've put into drafting this bill. This comprehensive bill not only strengthens punishment for perpetrators of acid violence, but also works to protect and aid acid attack survivors on their road to recovery. As it stands now, there is a lack of proper legislation regarding acid attacks.  RISE successfully helped to pass the Toxic Chemicals Prohibition Bill last year, which worked to restrict the sale and distribution of acid, but did not target acid violence as a whole. The lack of a bill specifically geared toward acid violence has led to multiple injustices, in which perpetrators walk away without prison time, and survivors are left not only without justice but also with medical needs that they and their families are obligated to pay for. With our proposed bill, perpetrators, and anyone who abets in the attack, will be held accountable. In addition, perpetrators will be obligated to pay for the survivors’ medical needs. Research in other countries with high rates of acid violence, indicates that comprehensive legislation is the most effective way to reduce acid attacks. I am kindly asking Parliament and H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to pass this bill and put in place tough laws on the sale and use of acid as a weapon of violence.  Let there be harsher punishments for anyone who would use acid as a weapon to kill or disfigure others. I am dreaming of a Uganda without acid violence, where women are not abused and where people remain free from the fear of such an attack against humanity.  Please help me realize this dream.  Sign our petition today! Thank you, Bukirwa Juliet  For more information please visit risecoalition.org. Special thanks to the John Sentamu Institute, Uganda.

RISE
1,077 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Carl Heastie, Latoya Joyner, Jose Rivera, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Michael Benedetto, Mark Gjonaj, Michael Blake, Carmen Arroyo, Marcos Crespo, Victor Pichardo, Rafael Salamanca, Vanessa l gibson

Take down Hugo Chávez Mural in Bronx New York.

In order to assist low income New Yorkers with their energy burden, the politicians of New York took the easy way out and knowingly made a deal with the Devil.  The only thing Hugo Chávez did for Venezuela was promote hate, divide a country and increase poverty, illness, misery and corruption. This mural is a constant reminder to exiled Venezuelans of the violence, despair and suffering that is ongoing in their homeland, and the families they were forced to leave behind. More than 8,300 Venezuelans applied for asylum in the USA this year so far. In 2016 the number was more than 18.000. If The Chavista government is working, how do we justify these numbers?  The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, created in 1999 through the leadership of former President Hugo Chávez Frías, has turned the prosperous, beautiful, safe, and happy country into the least democratic state in South America with the second highest murder rate in the world. His dictatorship has left a legacy of terror in what was once a harmonious and idyllic paradise. There is no food, no respect for the rule of law or human decency, no medicine, and a complete collapse of its economic infrastructure. Ask any Venezuelan about Chávez's presidency and they will tell you it was a catastrophe. The great irony of the mural is that Hugo Chávez felt a deep detestation for everything the United States represents and through hateful speaches frequently criticized and insulted our imperialist government, policies and culture. Nowhere in the United States is there a public photo of his mentor Fidel Castro; Why should there be one of Hugo Chávez? Even in Italy there are no reminents of Benito Mussolini.  For Venezuelans, the face of Hugo Chávez is symbolic of a regime that represses and kills its people as Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.  There is absolutely NO difference. Like Al-Assad uses weapons against his people, so have the GNB (military police in Venezuela) by shooting at peaceful protesters. The 16th of June 2017, marks day 80 of protests in Venezuela.  This government has killed more than 80 people, injured 14.000 and arbitrarily imprisoned more than 3.000.  (see video links below)  Exiled Venezuelans don't need to be reminded of the reason they were forced to leave their homeland and loved ones.  Let us stand united with the Venezuelans and so many other people fighting for freedom and democracy in their homelands.    Thanks to the government of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela has collapsed. The socialist government has failed to supply the health care system with basic medical supplies, less than 50% of hospital operating rooms are functioning, detention centers and prisons are inhumanely overcrowded and prisoners are tortured through severe burning and beating.  Inflation has hit over 800% causing a severe food shortage; looting, sequestering, and armed robberies have become everyday occurrences.  Grocery shelves are empty. There is a complete halt of imports and exports.  Babies and children are dying from malnutrition. Recently published videos show images of desperate families forced to eat from trash bins to survive (see video link below).  This is a serious humanitarian crisis caused by the government created by Hugo Chávez and worse is predicted to come. It was also recently published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times that Venezuela's top officials, including Vice President Tareck El Aissam and President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello are known drug traffickers.  Venezuela's government harbors one of the world's largest drug cartels.   In fact, two of President Nicolas Maduro's nephews were convicted of Drug charges in 2016 in New York State. In addition, Venezuela's government has a long list of sanctions for human rights violations. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/world/americas/nephews-of-venezuelas-first-lady-convicted-in-us.html This petition was created to ask the borough of the Bronx to show good character and remove the tasteless mural of Hugo Chávez Frías.  Honor should not be given to a man who is not respected in his own country because of the despair and suffering he has caused. Hugo Chávez does NOT represent the political or cultural ideologies of the Venezuelan people.  Since 2014 hundreds have been murdered by this fascist government during peaceful protests, and the number continues to rise daily.  2017 has been one of the deadliest after an overwhelming amount of people turned out to demand early elections.  Opposition leaders, ex-military officials, photographers and press (national and international) and politicians have been arbitrarily detained and tortured while the national police murder protesters and abuse the same citizens they vowed to protect. The government of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro have also intimidated, censored and prosecuted critics of their government and the free press; over 1,300 have been arrested this year. Hugo Chavez Frías created a government that with his hateful rhetoric keeps its people in fear just as dictators of the past Latin American tyrants Fidel Castro, Rafael Trujillo, Alberto Fujimori, and Augusto Pinochet.  In Venezuela during the month of May 2017, many statues, posters, and murals of Chávez have been broken, torn down, or removed by Venezuelans in protest of the misery he has created. Even his childhood home in the state of Barinas was burned down. On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans risking their lives daily in peaceful protests, it is time to take down the mural. Venezuelan-Americans deserve an honorable image to represent its people and culture; not a murderer or a dictator. Medicine, food, drugs and humanitarian aid is what Venezuela needs more than anything at this moment , not a mural of fascist dictator Hugo Chávez. The fact is that in exchange for discounted oil, Bronx politicians did business with an assassin and drug trafficker and ignored the facts relating to Hugo Chávez.  Show solidarity with the thousands of Venezuelans risking their lives protesting in peace every day and condemn this man that has destroyed their country. Stop supporting the CastroChavez Regime. The people of the Bronx New York decided on a mural of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez to adorn their neighborhood in Hunts Point but I am sure that with the artists talent, the councilmen and women, representatives, assemblymen, and congressmen and women can choose a better image to represent the borough of Bronx. New Yorkers must understand that for Venezuelans, he is a symbol of inhumanity, corruption, barbarism, savagery, and poverty.  He was a villain, not a saint to be glorified.   Just because Hugo Chávez sold oil at a discount to New Yorkers, does not make him a God, neither a saint, nor hero. While the citizens of the Bronx were given oil to heat their homes, today Venezuelans are eating out of trash bins. The Bronx politians FAILED at their jobs and took the easy way out the moment they made this deal with a communist, drug trafficking, dictator instead of being responsible leaders.  Chávez's promises were all smoke and mirrors and his image and failed political ideology, continues to be the focus for the socialist government.  Video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8MgzoPruk4    Fuerza y fe. For those unaware of the chaos and violence happening for the past 3 months in Venezuela, here are some sites with images from international reporters risking it all to report the truth. Images from 2017 Protests: https://www.hrw.org/blog-feed/venezuelas-crisis#blog-304239  Malnutrition: https://www.hrw.org/blog-feed/venezuelas-crisis#blog-304587 Health Crisis: https://www.hrw.org/blog-feed/venezuelas-crisis#blog-303527  https://www.hrw.org/report/2008/09/18/decade-under-chavez/political-intolerance-and-lost-opportunities-advancing-human http://www.caraotadigital.net/  https://dolartoday.com/ 

marianna pierri
978 supporters