Honourable senators, today is the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. More than 2 million women and girls in developing countries are living with obstetric fistula, a hole in the vagina or rectum caused by labour that is prolonged, often for days, without treatment. Usually the baby dies. Since the fistula leaves women leaking urine or feces, it typically results in social isolation, depression and deepening poverty.
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, since 1990 more than 11 million people have died as a consequence of drought and more than 2 billion have been affected by drought. . Droughts are a primary cause of most ill health and death because they deny access…
Since the beginning of January 2012, an insurgent group has been fighting with the Mali government for the independence of northern Mali, an area known as Azawad. This group, formally known as National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and also referred to as Tuareg nationalists, joined forces with Islamist rebels. By using their combined forces, they gained control of northern Mali in the spring 2012.
Every individual has rights, and states have obligations to all their citizens to protect those rights, including those of the most marginalized, vulnerable or at risk. The Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly sets out children’s rights and the principle that the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration in [...]
In 2002, I was appointed an Envoy to the Peace Process in the Sudan. As part of my job I went to Northern Uganda. When I arrived in the evening I saw hundreds of children walking,
The children were as young as six years old. Everywhere I looked there were young children walking with a purpose? They were not dawdling or lingering. They were walking towards a goal. The person accompanying me explained to me that they were Commuter children.
When I was a little girl, I clearly remember my mother reading poems to me about young men travelling to the battlefields to fight in the war. I remember listening to how they would travel through the trenches and how their bodies lay dead in the muddy fields. Now, when I read poems to my children about war, there is a stark difference. War has come into our communities and into our homes, literally and figuratively. For those lucky enough, war has come to their homes only by television. Others are not so fortunate. The Rwandan genocide, the war in Sierra Leone, the conflict in the Congo – these are no longer wars fought on a battlefield; rather, they have come to our streets and backyards, directly affecting our men, women, boys and girls.