Volunteers wearing locally sewn masks funded by Jewish World Watch distribute supplies across the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
COVID-19 has disrupted many social justice efforts, including those of paramount importance to the Jewish World Watch mission – preventing genocide and atrocities and protecting human rights. While the management of the global pandemic has overshadowed many initiatives to protect vulnerable populations around the world, JWW is pleased to report that key advocacy initiatives continue.
Just as Jehovah’s Witnesses support the surviving communities that we serve as soldiers in this unprecedented time, the law that promotes rights continues to support their path through Congress, reminding us that the light of hope remains strong even in our darkest moments .
We encourage you to take some time to learn about and support these important advocacy initiatives. Please urge your elected officials to continue efforts to promote rights and prevent atrocities during this critical time.
Take a look at our current legislative measures
Global leadership in the face of COVID-19
In early May, leading Senate Democrats introduced extensive laws to provide an additional $ 9 billion to support international efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act, also known as CIRRA (P. 3669) aims to force the Trump administration to work constructively with other countries, international organizations and multilateral forums to not only stop the spread of COVID-19, but also to ensure that key rights are protected throughout the global response .
In essence, the bill requires the United States to continue to look outside in the face of a pandemic that has caused most countries to turn almost entirely inward and ignore the world’s most vulnerable countries. Legislation suggests revisiting institutions that are indicting COVID-19, including the World Health Organization and the coalition for epidemic innovation. Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.), who introduced the legislation, said: “The US leadership in the global arena currently has a moral imperative, and this legislation is recognition that we must lead the international community to end Pandemic. If we do not, even if we are successful here at home, failure of the international response will make it inevitable that COVID-19 will return to our coast. “
CIRRA aims to strengthen the global healthcare system, support American citizens abroad, and restore global leadership in the US in a time of profound crisis. In addition to serving these clear U.S. interests, the bill also works to stop many of the dynamics that can lead to mass crimes if not checked. As co-sponsor Senator Ed Merkley (D-Ore.) Highlighted, legislation also aims to “provide essential humanitarian aid to refugees and other displaced people [and] push back those who would take advantage of a crisis to violate human rights. “
Jewish World Watch has actively monitored the erosion of human rights protection in the global response to COVID-19. We have consistently warned against governments and bad actors who use COVID-19 as a cover for either ignoring their responsibility to vulnerable communities or continuing their silent persecution.
Unfortunately, our fears continue to be recognized. War affected and vulnerable populations continue to be overlooked in the COVID-19 response. Crimes of atrocities Despite global ceasefire efforts, there are still many. And many of the drivers or underlying causes of mass crimes have been tightened, in particular gender-based violence, dangerous speech, Exclusion and extremism, including terrorism.
Recognizing America’s critical role – and moral commitment – to counteracting these dangerous tendencies, CIRRA includes efforts to support democratic institutions, human rights defenders, civil society, and other countries where government action in response to the pandemic has seriously violated human rights. The bill also calls on the Trump administration to stop the forced return of vulnerable migrants to these countries and to restore America’s role as a safe haven for those fleeing danger and abuse.
Legislation calls for programs to be strengthened to address this gender-based violence during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and restores US funding to the United National Populations Fund. This measure is extremely important as COVID-19 created another one “Shadow epidemic” sexual and gender-based violence. As orders for staying at home have become the new normal, the world is experiencing another global boom – violence against women and girls. With the additional pressures that have caused nationwide locks, including job loss and hungerCountries around the world have seen dramatic increases in reports of sex crimes, helpline calls and shelter calls. This alarming dynamic has prompted the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, to take action global ceasefire in such violence and for “peace at home and in homes around the world”.
You’re welcome Click here Support the COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act to ensure that the United States does its part to curb the global spread of COVID-19 while facilitating the protection of the world’s most vulnerable.
An important step towards accountability for Uighurs
In addition to this promising new COVID-related legislation, unexpected but welcome progress is being made on the Uyghur front. The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, a cornerstone of Jewish World Watch’s commitment to the Uyghur crisis, has been revived.
On Thursday, May 14, the Senate unanimously approved the Uyghur Human Rights Act 2020 (P. 3744) – the latest incarnation of ongoing efforts to hold Chinese government officials accountable for their role in prosecuting crimes against humanity against millions of Uighurs in eastern Turkestan, commonly known as the Xinjiang region of China. The legislation would impose global Magnitsky sanctions on key figures and would require extensive reporting on the atrocities against the Uyghur minority in China.
The house and the senate passed different versions of Uyghur legislation last year. While bicameral approval provided a major boost to the Uyghur cause, the differences in the two versions meant that the legislation had to be renegotiated and re-approved by both chambers before it could be legally signed by President Trump. After consulting with key stakeholders, Jewish World Watch feared that this would never happen – that this extensive accountability effort had reached a dead end and could be dead in the water.
Fortunately, lawmakers recognized the importance of sustaining this process for the benefit of the millions of Uighurs who have been deprived of their rights, regardless of whether they are under constant surveillance or detained in internment camps where they have a litany of Are subject to abuse.
You’re welcome Click here You should contact your representatives to encourage them to go through this process so that the United States can play an important role in holding Beijing accountable for the irresponsible persecution of its own citizens.
We sincerely thank you – our loyal supporters who have accompanied us in this challenging time – for recognizing our shared moral commitment to stand up for the world’s weakest in the face of the scourge of COVID-19. In times of crisis, we must continue to defend the marginalized and persecuted groups who are either overlooked or explicitly attacked while the world is not watching. Thank you for your cooperation and support in defending our common humanity.
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