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The US and the Dominican Republic establish a working group to address complaints of labor violations in the sugar sector – JURIST

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The United States and the Dominican Republic jointly announced Friday the formation of a technical working group to address alleged labor violations in the latter’s sugar sector. The ad promotes the new task force and says: This joint effort takes into account the commitment of the two countries to enforce labor laws, including those related to forced labor, improve working conditions under CAFTA-DR and in accordance with international standards, and continue their long-standing partnership to address these issues. The announcement comes after a long history of alleged labor violations in the Dominican Republic’s sugar cane fields, which has complicated the two countries’ diplomatic relationship. In 2011, Father Christopher Hartley of the Mission of Mercy Foundation sent a letter to Office of Trade and Labor Affairs (OTLA) Director Gregory Schoepfle, alleging child labor and other labor violations on sugar cane plantations. The OTLA responded by opening an investigation in 2013 under Chapter 16 of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The subsequent investigation found “significant concerns about the methodological and procedural deficiencies of that inspection process in the sugar sector that undermine the government’s ability to effectively identify labor violations.” The most recent reports come from a joint letter from the US Congress Blumenauer (D-OR), who chairs the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee, to President Joe Biden and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai . The letter alleges that “[s]Stakeholders have raised serious queries about the inhumane working conditions in the Dominican Republic sugar sector for many years.” A 2004 study, conducted by the Center for Legal Services for Women, Inc. and financed by the International Fund for Labor Rights, gathered accounts from sugarcane field workers in the Dominican Republic. Through these, they found that 58 percent of workers were pressured to work overtime, 33 percent were not paid consistently on time, and of the workers who were offered promotions, only 2, 9 percent were women. The report also found violations of the union law, with one respondent saying: We created a union, registered it and complied with all the legal requirements… We had started the collective bargaining process, we had a negotiation in the capital and everything was going very well. right. right. Then the administrator found a lawyer, Ramón, who was working to eliminate the unions. This lawyer was bribing four of the union leaders with money… Some took the money and left.

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German court sentences 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard to 5 years in prison – JURIST

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Germany’s Neuruppin Regional Court in Brandenburg on Tuesday convicted a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard of 3,518 counts of accessory to murder and sentenced him to five years in prison. Former SS guard Josef Schuetz was indicted for his involvement in the “execution by firing squad of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942” and for operating the gas chambers at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Josef denied all the alleged charges and claimed that he worked as a farm laborer near Pasewalk in northeast Germany. However, the court began the trial last year in October. Judge Udo Lechtermann noted that the defendant “voluntarily supported mass extermination” in his role. He further said: The court is satisfied that you worked as a guard in the concentration camp for about three years, despite your claims to the contrary. You saw how deported people were cruelly tortured and killed there every day for three years. Sachsenhausen saw 200,000 people imprisoned, with at least 30,000 deaths. Joseph is considered the oldest person to be convicted of Holocaust crimes. Previously, a 93-year-old former guard was convicted of 5,232 murders and a 95-year-old former field secretary was charged with 10,000 counts of accessory to murder, rulings pending. Joseph can appeal his sentence to the Federal Court of Justice within a week.

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UN Fact Finding Mission reports serious human rights violations in Libya – JURIST

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The UN Independent Fact Finding Mission (IFFM) on Libya reported Wednesday that Libyan authorities have committed crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious human rights violations under international law. The FFM was formed in June 2020 to document human rights violations in Libya and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. FFM conducted 103 interviews with victims and witnesses during its investigation. FFM documented 27 places of detention in the eastern and western parts of Libya and reported that migrants were subjected to the “systematic use of prolonged arbitrary detention”, including the detention of thousands of migrants in secret and extra-legal prisons. The report highlights the atrocities of women facing sexual violence by human smugglers and smugglers for extorting money from their families and documents more cases of rape in places of detention or captivity in which migrant women are forced to have sex. to survive, in exchange for food or other essential goods. articles.FFM with the use of UNOSAT satellite image-based analysis documented the atrocities during the reign of the Al-Kaniyat militia in Tarhuna, Tripolitania region, and reported the discovery of new uncovered mass graves.Mohammad Aujjar, president of the FFM He said: The mission calls on the international community to support the relevant Libyan authorities in conducting prompt investigations, in accordance with international standards, into the alleged violations and bringing those responsible to justice. The goal is to end the prevailing impunity in the face of clear and persistent patterns of serious human rights violations, in many cases perpetrated by militia groups… Now more than ever, the Libyan people need a strong commitment to help bring peace and justice to his country, and establish a state based on the rule of law and human rights. The FFM published its first report on Libya in October 2022, and then published a follow-up report in March 2022.

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Two more charged for the death of 53 migrants in Texas – JURIST

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US authorities on Wednesday charged two additional suspects in the deaths of several dozen immigrants whose bodies were discovered in a truck in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday. These latest charges are in addition to charges filed Tuesday against two men suspected of involvement in the incident. The San Antonio Police Department discovered a truck carrying about 100 immigrants across the border on Monday. Piles of bodies were found inside the truck with the remaining victims collapsed next to it. In total, 39 men and 12 women died in the incident. Charges were filed Wednesday against the alleged truck driver, Homero Zamorano, as well as an alleged co-conspirator, Christian Martinez. Zamorano was charged with one count of alien smuggling resulting in death, while Martinez was charged with a single count of conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants. Given the incident’s status as the deadliest migrant smuggling incident on record in the United States, the US Department of Justice announced that if the defendants are convicted, they will face life in prison or capital punishment. Due to the incident, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters at a Wednesday news conference that the state will immediately begin additional truck checkpoints like the one found in San Antonio to prevent a recurrence. a similar tragedy.

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