Entera Bio Announces Departure of Dr. Phillip Schwartz, the Company’s President of Research & Development to Pursue Outside Opportunities

BOSTON and JERUSALEM, June 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Entera Bio Ltd. (NASDAQ: ENTX), a leader in the development of orally delivered peptides and therapeutic proteins, today announced that Dr. Phillip Schwartz, the Company's President of Research & Development and Founder, will resign from his current role effective July 21, 2022 to pursue other opportunities. Dr. Schwartz also stepped down from the Company's Board of Directors, effective June 15, 2022. Dr. Schwartz's resignation was not a result of any disagreement with the Company and Dr. Schwartz will remain as a consultant to the Company.

Bringing in his expertise from various development and commercialization roles at Merck KGaA–Serono and Endo Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Schwartz was a co–founder of Entera Bio in 2009 and led the Company as Chief Executive Officer through 2019 and its IPO in 2018. "We are grateful for Phillip's vision and leadership which have been paramount to the progression of Entera from an early stage R&D platform to a late stage clinical company with two core PTH programs in Phase 2/3 development and core R&D strategic partnerships, including with Amgen," said Mr. Jerry Lieberman, Chairman of the Board of Entera. "Under Dr. Schwartz's leadership, Entera Bio successfully navigated through over a decade of persistent growth and we remain indebted to his experience and contributions. In recent months, Entera has announced new leadership, which we believe will carry out Dr. Schwartz's vision for the Company at this critical stage in its evolution."

"Starting from a two person company in a small storage room of our apartment to a NASDAQ company with multiple clinical stage assets and a number of significant collaborations with biotech and other pharmaceutical companies has been the adventure of a lifetime. The Entera team is like family, and I will miss them greatly. I am very confident in the new management team, and am confident they will be able to move Entera forward to its next stage of development. I would like to express my gratitude to the Board of Directors and in particular to the employees and team at Entera who have made this progress possible and who have been creative, supportive and simply amazing to work with," stated Dr. Schwartz.

"After more than 12 years as Founder, CEO and President of R&D, I believe it is a good time for me to leave my position so that I can spend more time with my family and pursue other opportunities. I remain very excited by the Company's prospects and the potential of our compounds to change the treatment paradigm of patients with osteoporosis, hypoparathyroidism and other serious illnesses. Our lead compound, EB613, is moving into Phase 3 pivotal clinical development and has the potential to serve as the first oral anabolic for the treatment of osteoporosis. Currently, approximately 30% of the 15 million women with osteoporosis are on any form of treatment, and of those, only a fraction are on any form of bone building/anabolic agent. Being an oral medication is one of the primary drivers for acceptance of a treatment in osteoporosis. As such, an oral bone building agent like EB613 holds the potential to be transformative to a much expanded base of osteoporotic patients. Likewise, EB612 is a highly differentiated treatment candidate for hypoparathyroidism which promises to greatly improve the treatment of this serious illness. With the development of these drugs, as well as an excellent validated platform technology for the development of other oral formulations of world class biological drugs, I am confident that the recent strengthening of Entera's management team will be successful in achieving our strategic goals and increasing shareholder value. I look forward to continuing to advise Entera going forward."

About Entera Bio
Entera is a leader in the development of orally delivered peptides and therapeutic proteins for use in areas with significant unmet medical need where adoption of injectable therapies is limited due to cost, convenience and compliance challenges for patients. The Company's proprietary, oral drug delivery technology is designed to address the technical challenges of poor absorption, high variability, and the inability to deliver large molecules to the targeted location in the body through the use of a synthetic absorption enhancer to facilitate the absorption of large molecules, and protease inhibitors to prevent enzymatic degradation and support delivery to targeted tissues. The Company's most advanced product candidates, EB613 for the treatment of osteoporosis and EB612 for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism are in clinical development. Entera also licenses its technology to biopharmaceutical companies for use with their proprietary compounds and, to date, has established a collaboration with Amgen Inc. For more information on Entera Bio, visit www.enterabio.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Various statements in this release are "forward–looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements (other than statements of historical facts) in this press release regarding our prospects, plans, financial position, business strategy and expected financial and operational results may constitute forward–looking statements. Words such as, but not limited to, "anticipate," "believe," "can," "could," "expect," "estimate," "design," "goal," "intend," "may," "might," "objective," "plan," "predict," "project," "target," "likely," "should," "will," and "would," or the negative of these terms and similar expressions or words, identify forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements are based upon current expectations that involve risks, changes in circumstances, assumptions and uncertainties. Forward–looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and may not be accurate indications of when such performance or results will be achieved.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in Entera's forward–looking statements include, among others: changes in the interpretation of clinical data; results of our clinical trials; the FDA's interpretation and review of our results from and analysis of our clinical trials; unexpected changes in our ongoing and planned preclinical development and clinical trials, the timing of and our ability to make regulatory filings and obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for our product candidates; the potential disruption and delay of manufacturing supply chains; loss of available workforce resources, either by Entera or its collaboration and laboratory partners; impacts to research and development or clinical activities that Entera is contractually obligated to provide, such as those pursuant to Entera's agreement with Amgen; overall regulatory timelines; the size and growth of the potential markets for our product candidates; the scope, progress and costs of developing Entera's product candidates; Entera's reliance on third parties to conduct its clinical trials; Entera's expectations regarding licensing, business transactions and strategic collaborations; Entera's operation as a development stage company with limited operating history; Entera's ability to continue as a going concern absent access to sources of liquidity; Entera's ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for any of its product candidates; Entera's ability to comply with Nasdaq's minimum listing standards and other matters related to compliance with the requirements of being a public company in the United States; Entera's intellectual property position and its ability to protect its intellectual property; and other factors that are described in the "Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward–Looking Statements," "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of Entera's most recent Annual Report on Form 10–K filed with the SEC, as well as the company's subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10–Q and Current Reports on Form 8–K. There can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by Entera will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Entera. Therefore, no assurance can be given that the outcomes stated or implied in such forward–looking statements and estimates will be achieved. Entera cautions investors not to rely on the forward–looking statements Entera makes in this press release. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and Entera undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward–looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.


Countering Hate Speech Through Media: A Young Caribbean Woman’s Perspective

“While there is no singular cure for hate speech, my wish is for young people to stand up and fight against it.” Credit: University of the West Indies (UWI)

By Isheba Cornwall
MONA, Jamaica, Jun 17 2022 – Hate speech is a phenomenon that can be defined as threatening speech or writing expressing prejudice towards a specific group, primarily based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.

As a black undergraduate student from Jamaica, especially being a part of Generation Z, I have experienced countless attacks in the form of hate speech. This phenomenon has grown immensely over the years, taking different shapes and forms. One major reason for this is the advancement of technology, and more so the creation of new media or social media.

However, what is interesting is that the same platforms used to immortalize hate speech can also be used to combat it in creative ways. We must realize that we are an unhappy generation of young people.

Because of the contrasting beliefs and viewpoints that we have surrounding identity, we are constantly struggling to embrace each other’s uniqueness. Sadness consumes us and acts as a catalyst for hate speech. Which, if left untreated, catapults into violent behaviors.

We are often unimpressed by the power of language and uninterested in how our speech can cause harm. Many reasons come to mind when I think about why the contagious disease of hatred continues to spread.

One main reason is the lack of education, which stems from being socialized in a way that glorifies hate and celebrates violence. This is not an idea based on mere observation but rather the reality for many Caribbean people — including myself— who were raised in vulnerable communities.

The sad truth is, the individuals tasked with taking care of us were themselves brought up in toxic environments that failed to teach them how to properly engage with other people, especially those who may be different from them.

Therefore, the need to voice any dissatisfaction was almost always done in a way that exudes hate. This is what they learned. And indeed, this is what they know.

It is like a full circle: older generations teach us, their children, to express hate, and so the cycle of hate continues. Although there are many ways to combat this viewpoint that promotes hate speech, including via institutions of socialization such as schools and churches, other stakeholders have a role, including the media. They are needed to grow a community of emotionally intelligent and understanding people.

From a Caribbean perspective, hatred spreads because of negative stereotypes emerging from our history, for example, through colonization. Negative stereotypes see some groups or individuals as being different or inferior to others.

For example, a lighter-skinned individual is given a job over a dark-skinned woman like me. Or a man is given more pay than my friend who is a woman who is equally qualified.

Harmful stereotyping fuels hate speech and appears when we see the idea that one group is superior and another inferior. This has pitted us against each other, and to reinforce this, we take to social media and spew hateful comments to individuals hailing from groups viewed as “less than.”

Unfortunately, this way of thinking has been embedded in our minds and without the desire to unlearn these tendencies, hate speech — and ultimately violence — will persist.

Hate speech is one of those problems that can influence society and develop into something worse. Hateful phrases and casual racist comments — the language used to highlight our distaste for something, or someone, are all-powerful, impactful, and dangerous.

Especially when many people believe them. Hate speech, if left to flourish, can lead to grave acts of violence on a large scale. And it is no secret that hate speech contributes to hate crime.

Therefore, we need innovative and creative ways to combat hate speech. I believe that both traditional and new media can provide support. For instance, by conceptualizing and creating educational, fun, and engaging programs on television and radio for young people.

But to convince youth, they must believe that whoever is sharing this information with them understands their circumstances and that the story told to them is relevant to their lives.

With cultivation theory in mind—a theory that suggests that individuals who mostly consume television programs are more likely to perceive the real world in a way most commonly depicted in television messages, we could argue that constantly showcasing programs that show acts of hate speech as unacceptable, could have a positive impact on viewers which can influence their behavior.

With the rise of social media, the transmission of information is as fast as the speed of light, and sadly hate speech, or cyberhate, follows closely behind. There has never been a time that I have been scrolling on social media that I did not come across some offensive speech. It is alarming that a single person does not engage in hate speech; rather it is often a large group of individuals—perhaps due to misconceptions and misinformation.

Creative campaigns via social media platforms can also help to combat the problem. This will not solve the issue; however, social media can be used to fight hate speech through “counter-speech.”

That is sharing easily digestible content focused on inclusivity, equality, and diversity. Imagine funny videos teaching youth how to respectfully disagree with each other, or ‘live’ sessions with influencers speaking about their experiences with hate speech.

Live sessions with influencers utilizing humor and creative campaigns would be pretty powerful nowadays and could also make a very accurate statement so loud that young people would be forced to listen and pay attention to it.

A lot more can be done, for instance, by creating codes of conduct that would somehow influence online behavior. The ultimate goal would be to educate youth so that they want to be respectful and not indulge in hate speech.

I can see and imagine a society filled with love, peace, and understanding. While there is no singular cure for hate speech, my wish is for young people to stand up and fight against it so that this disease will have no place in our society.

We must rethink and redefine our ideas about identity, gender, and race. And those working together to create new pressure points to tackle hate speech need to listen to the voices of young people.

The author is a social media strategist, radio host and producer, and undergraduate student of the Integrated Marketing Communication program in the Caribbean School of Media and Communication at the Mona Campus in Jamaica of the University of the West Indies, a member institution of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).

To learn more about the issues and the work the United Nations is doing to counter hate speech, visit Hate Speech | United Nations. Please join the #NoToHate campaign to counter hate speech (feel free to use assets available here)

Source: UN Academic Impact, United Nations

IPS UN Bureau

 


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Excerpt:

On Monday June 20, there will be an informal high-level UN meeting to mark the commemoration of the first International Day for Countering Hate Speech.

Taliban: The Return of Misogynistic Gynophobes in Afghanistan

Afghan women. Credit: Shelly Kittleson/IPS

By Sania Farooqui
NEW DELHI, India, Jun 17 2022 – Gynophobia is defined as an intense and irrational fear of women or hatred of women, it may be characterized as a form of specific phobias, which involves a fear that is centered on a specific trigger or situation, which in the case of gynophobia is women.

After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, in August 2021, the Taliban completed their shockingly rapid and forced advance across Afghanistan by capturing Kabul on 15th August. What followed this takeover has since then been a series of human rights violations, humanitarian catastrophe, roll back on women’s rights and media freedom – the foremost achievements of the post-2001 reconstruction effort. The country has also been enduring a deadly humanitarian crisis, with malnutrition spiking across the country with 95 percent of households experiencing insufficient food consumption and food insecurity, according to this report. The number of malnourished children in Afghanistan has more than doubled since August with some dying before they can reach hospitals.

According to this report, 9 million people are close to being afflicted by famine in Afghanistan, millions have gone months without a steady income. Afghanistan’s economic crisis has loomed for years; the result of poverty, conflict and drought. This, combined with a sudden drop-off in international aid, has made it more tough for Afghans to survive, adding to this list is illicit opium trade and the worrying drug addiction, an ongoing challenge for the country.

However the priority for the Taliban was not saving the economy and the country from these disasters, instead under the cloak of religion, it didn’t take too long for the fundamentalist group to focus and display its misogynistic gynophobia towards the women and girls in the country, as it was expected. What Taliban fears, yet again, Afghan girls attending school beyond 6th grade, a decision directly affecting 1.1 million secondary school girls, depriving them of a future.

Taliban officials have also announced women and girls would be expected to stay home and if they were to venture out, they would have to cover in all-encompassing loose clothing that only reveals their eyes, making it one of the harshest controls on women’s lives in Afghanistan since it seized power in August last year. They fear women journalists so much, they ordered all female newscasters to cover their faces while on air.

International rights groups, Human Rights Watch says the list of Taliban violations of the rights of women and girls is long and growing. Amongst many that have been listed, include appointment of an all-male cabinet, abolition of the ministry of Women’s Affairs and replacing it with the Ministry of Vice and Virtue. Banning secondary education for girls, banning women from all jobs, blocking women from traveling long distances or leaving the country alone. “They issued new rules for how women must dress and behave. They enforce these rules through violence,” it stated in this report.

Women in Afghanistan since last August have been fighting back, through protests demanding the right to work and to go to school.

Sara Wahedi

“We don’t need any more condemnation”, says Sara Wahedi, CEO and Founder of Ehtesab, Afghanistan’s first civic technology set up. “It is infuriating because most Afghan women knew this would happen, and we told the international stakeholders if they wanted to deliberate with them (the Taliban) then to have very specific points that would keep the Taliban accountable, that never happened, and now there are these flood gates where they are doing what they want to do, they are repeating everything from 1996.

“We know what is happening is terrifying, it’s unjust, it’s inhumane, what is the international community going to do to facilitate accountability measures now,” says Wahedi.

In 2021, Wahedi was named one of the Next Generation leaders by TIME Magazine, her mobile app, Ehtesab, crowd-sources verified reports of bombings, shootings, roadblocks and city-service issues, helping residents of Kabul to stay safe. As a young tech entrepreneur, Wahedi says she is amongst the few who got her education and the freedom to do what she wanted, as the times were different

“I feel incredibly guilty, I think most Afghan women who are out of Afghanistan, who were able to pursue education to the highest level feel a crippling sense of anxiety and guilt. Education is ingrained in our psyche right from the time we are born from our parents, but for our country it was also different because we have seen war, we have seen instability, it is even more pertinent to get out of this life, all Afghan girls, they know this and to have it taken away from them so violently, it’s obviously affected their mental health, and I feel an inexplicable level of guilt to be in this position,” Wahedi says.

Women and girls have continued to bear the brunt of restrictions under the Taliban and their imposed doctrine, as seen in the past. The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (UNHCR) in this report said, “What we are witnessing today in Afghanistan is the institutionalized, systematic oppression of women.”

In this interview given to CNN, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Afghanistan’s acting Interior Minister and Taliban’s co-deputy leader since 2016 said, “We keep naughty women at home.” After being pressed to clarify his comments, he said: “By saying naughty women, it was a joke referring to those naughty women who are controlled by some other side to bring the current government into question.”

With the Taliban coming into power, there is no doubt that the women in Afghanistan will continue to face an uncertain future and in order to avert the irreversible damage being done to the female population, international communities and organizations must not just condemn the Taliban, but also hold them accountable and speak up on behalf of Afghan women, before they are all forced into invisibility. Whatever little progress was made by women in Afghanistan, the Taliban have through their rules and policies reversed them, pushing women towards invisibility and exacerbated inequalities against women. What they fear – women being educated, being seen, having an identity, agency, work, job, rights, freedom and their ability to hold them accountable. The realities of life under the Taliban control, whatever the timeline may be, remains the same.

Sania Farooqui is a New Delhi based journalist, filmmaker and host of The Sania Farooqui Show where she regularly speaks to women who have made significant contributions to bring about socio economic changes globally. She writes and reports regularly for IPS news wire.

IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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Small-Scale Fishers in Central America Demand Social Security Policies

Salvadoran fisherman Nicolás Ayala, 63, walks to his boat at the San Luis La Herradura pier, on the Pacific coast of El Salvador, to begin a 24-hour fishing stint offshore. He said that due to the lack of a breakwater at the mouth, where the sea meets the estuary, boats have capsized and some of his colleagues have drowned, leaving their families unprotected because they have no kind of insurance. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Salvadoran fisherman Nicolás Ayala, 63, walks to his boat at the San Luis La Herradura pier, on the Pacific coast of El Salvador, to begin a 24-hour fishing stint offshore. He said that due to the lack of a breakwater at the mouth, where the sea meets the estuary, boats have capsized and some of his colleagues have drowned, leaving their families unprotected because they have no kind of insurance. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

By Edgardo Ayala
SAN LUIS LA HERRADURA, El Salvador , Jun 17 2022 – At the pier, Salvadoran fisherman Nicolás Ayala checked the pocket of his pants to make sure he was carrying the hypertension pills he must take when he is at sea on a 24-hour shift. He smiled because he hadn’t forgotten them.

At the age of 63, “we are just aches and pains now,” he told IPS, while showing other pills he carried with him to relieve a toothache and other ailments.

Ayala lives in San Luis La Herradura, a small town located on the coastal strip of the department of La Paz, in south-central El Salvador, on the banks of the Estero de Jaltepeque estuary, which leads to the Pacific Ocean.

Waves of vulnerability

“I am worried that I will suffer a health mishap and I won’t be able to continue working and I will be left on the street, ruined,” he added, noting that, as an artisanal fisherman, he does not have any type of coverage for illness or work-related accidents.

This should not be the case, and they should be covered, as it is one of the highest risk jobs in the world, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

But that is the reality of the thousands of people dedicated to small-scale fishing in El Salvador and the rest of Central America on the two coasts of the isthmus, an activity that is vital for the food security of a large part of the 43 million inhabitants of this region, many of whom suffer serious social deprivation.

Like other sectors of the population, artisanal fishers work in almost absolute vulnerability, without any social measures to protect them or provide adequate coverage from the accidents or illnesses they face on a daily basis, and with only precarious health systems to rely on.

Ayala said that since there is no breakwater at the mouth, the point where the estuary lined by mangroves meets the sea, the waves become dangerous and sometimes overturn small motorboats.

And even if the fishermen know how to swim, they can drown anyway, because their boats fall on them or they get entangled in the nets. Two or three people a year die this way, he added.

“We have nothing, no accident insurance or anything, here only God can bless us, if we drown. If they find our bodies, that’s good, if not, well, the crabs can eat us,” he said, only half jokingly.

According to a FAO report from January 2021, in El Salvador in 2018 the fishing sector employed about 30,730 people, with a total fleet of 13,764 boats, 55 of which were used by the industrial sector and the rest by artisanal fishers, 50 percent of whose boats were motorized.

Fishers weigh part of the day's catch, after fishing near the Estero de Jaltepeque estuary, on the Pacific coast of El Salvador. Most small-scale fishers in Central America do not earn enough and have to work harder and harder to support their families. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Fishers weigh part of the day’s catch, after fishing near the Estero de Jaltepeque estuary, on the Pacific coast of El Salvador. Most small-scale fishers in Central America do not earn enough and have to work harder and harder to support their families. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Social security for all

FAO urged the countries of Central America to begin efforts to incorporate artisanal fisheries into national social security policies, during the Mesoamerican Forum on Social Protection in Artisanal Fisheries and Small-scale Aquaculture, held in May in Panama City.

The UN agency pointed out that worldwide, small-scale fishers account for half of the world’s fisheries production and employ 90 percent of the sector’s workforce, half of whom are women.

More than 50 million families in the world depend on small-scale fishing, according to FAO data.

In the case of Central America, the regional director of the Organization of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA), José Infante, commented that all of the countries have been developing social protection systems for their populations, but that not all sectors have the same access to them, which increases inequality and vulnerability for those who are excluded.

“The artisanal fishing sector is the perfect example of this,” said the OSPESCA director.

These workers, like so many others without coverage, worry about reaching old age and no longer having the energy to go to sea on a daily basis, or suffering a work-related accident that leaves them unable to work.

A Salvadoran fisherman shows some of the shrimp and other kinds of seafood he caught off the Pacific coast of El Salvador. FAO urges governments in Central America to promote social protection for small-scale fishing workers, given their vulnerability and the important role they play in food security in the region. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

A Salvadoran fisherman shows some of the shrimp and other kinds of seafood he caught off the Pacific coast of El Salvador. FAO urges governments in Central America to promote social protection for small-scale fishing workers, given their vulnerability and the important role they play in food security in the region. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

The uncertain future

“It will be a very difficult situation; If we don’t have a pension tomorrow we’re going to have a tough time,” Nicaraguan fisherwoman Arelis Flores, 23, mother of one, told IPS.

She is president of the Abraham Moreno cooperative in the Venecia Community, a village of fishers and farmers where 400 families live, located in the municipality of El Viejo, on the Pacific coast of the department of Chinandega in western Nicaragua.

“Around here only teachers retire (with pensions),” Flores said in a telephone interview, adding that her community is made up of poor families with very low levels of schooling.

Fishing in their village consists mainly of breeding red snapper (Lutjanus guttatus) in aquatic cages made with nets in the mangroves.

For his part, Salvadoran fisherman José Santos Martínez, also a resident of San Luis La Herradura, told IPS that artisanal fishers are about to finalize a proposal to present to the country’s authorities, demanding social coverage, in order to reduce their vulnerability.

Martínez is the president of the Salvadoran Confederation of Small-Scale Fishing, Aquaculture and Small-Scale Livestock Farming, the first of its kind in the country, which brings together three federations with a total membership of 3,500 men and women.

“If we are sick we can go to a national hospital, like every citizen, but we have no injury or sick leave coverage for the days we have to stay at home recovering,” said Martínez, 57.

By contrast, those who have a formal sector job, working for a private or state-owned company, are covered by the Salvadoran Social Security Institute (ISSS).

The ISSS, although it has many needs, is considered to provide better service than the national public hospital network, which covers everyone in this country of 6.7 million inhabitants.

Martínez said that achieving something similar for the artisanal sector would be a great step forward, given the accidents and illnesses suffered by fishers in their line of work.

Salvadoran fishers can join the ISSS as self-employed workers, but those interviewed told IPS that they could not afford the 40 dollars a month that the coverage costs.

Martínez said that, in his case, he suffers from intense back pain because of the impact from the constant bouncing of the boat over the waves.

“Because of that, I hardly go out fishing anymore,” he said.

He added: “Illnesses become more complicated, and in the end we die, we have no pension, no decent insurance, our families are completely unprotected.”

Martínez said the government should create a mechanism that offers coverage, but the problem is how to pay for it.

However, different proposals can be analyzed, he said. As an example, he pointed out that for decades artisanal fishers have paid a road tax charged to motorists of 0.20 cents of a dollar per gallon of fuel purchased, even though they are clearly not using the fuel to drive on the country’s roads.

“We have paid millions of dollars to the State, without receiving anything in return. Well, part of that money could be returned to us in the medical coverage we need,” he argued.

This charge of 0.20 cents per gallon of gasoline was recently eliminated, since it made no sense to charge small-scale fishers for using the roads.

Gregorio Torres, president of the La Paz Federation of Fishing Production and Services Cooperatives, which brings together 900 fishers from this department in central El Salvador, complained that small-scale fishers are unprotected against illnesses and accidents at work, and need government support to obtain this type of coverage. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Gregorio Torres, president of the La Paz Federation of Fishing Production and Services Cooperatives, which brings together 900 fishers from this department in central El Salvador, complained that small-scale fishers are unprotected against illnesses and accidents at work, and need government support to obtain this type of coverage. CREDIT: Edgardo Ayala/IPS

Decent work

His colleague, Gregorio Torres, said that the artisanal fishing sector is key, as it provides fresh products to the country’s markets and helps boost food security, but workers have been unprotected, without pensions or accident insurance.

“We don’t have any of that, and it would be a good idea to push that FAO idea forward,” he commented, referring to the proposal to include them in the social security system.

Torres is president of the La Paz Federation of Fishing Production and Services Cooperatives, which brings together 900 fishers.

Public policy expert Nayda Acevedo told IPS that social security strategies are government tools to minimize the impact of inequalities on vulnerable populations.

In the case of Salvadoran artisanal fishers, the government should focus on promoting “decent work” in that sector, so that the seasonality and irregularity of their incomes can be overcome, she said.

And within the range of social security policies, the State could focus on the most urgent ones, such as medical coverage, she added.

In the meantime, fisherman Nicolás Ayala, at the San Luis La Herradura pier, climbed into his boat, revved up his 60-horsepower engine and headed out to sea, through the estuary.

“As long as I don’t die today, that’s good enough,” he said with his characteristic dark humor and a wry smile, as he motored off in his boat.

Slave Markets Open 24/7: Refugee Babies, Boys, Girls, Women, Men…

Two young victims of human trafficking, who were rescued from the Dzaleka Refugee Camp, are receiving support at a shelter in Malawi. Credit: UNODC

By Baher Kamal
MADRID, Jun 17 2022 – In addition to slave selling and buying deals in public squares, as reported time ago in ‘liberated’ Libya, a widespread exploitation of men, women, and children has been carried out for years at refugee camps worldwide.

One of them is a Malawi refugee camp, where such inhumane practice has been reported by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Malawian Police Service.

“I even witnessed a kind of Sunday market, where people come to buy children who were then exploited in situations of forced labour and prostitution,” on 11 June said UNODC’s Maxwell Matewere.

“I even witnessed a kind of Sunday market, where people come to buy children who were then exploited in situations of forced labour and prostitution,”
Maxwell Matewere, UNODC

The Dzaleka Refugee Camp, the largest in Malawi, was established in 1994 and is home to more than 50,000 refugees and asylum seekers from five different countries. It was originally designed to accommodate 10,000 people.

Most of the 90 victims so far rescued are men from Ethiopia, aged between 18 and 30, while there are also girls and women too, aged between 12 and 24 from Ethiopia, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

 

A trafficking processing hub

The UNODC report also explains that women and girls are exploited sexually inside the Dzaleka refugee camp, or transported for the purpose of sexual exploitation to other countries in Southern Africa, while male refugees are being subjected to forced labour inside the camp or on farms in Malawi and other countries in the region.

The camp is also being used as a hub for the processing of victims of human trafficking. Traffickers recruit victims in their home country under false pretences, arrange for them to cross the border into Malawi and enter the camp.

 

Everywhere

Other refugee camps, like the Rohingya ones in Myanmar, which host up to one million humans, are also being under scrutiny.

Add to this millions more of humans falling easy prey to traffickers and smugglers, victims of wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, not to mention around six million Palestinian refugees.

 

A whole continent on the move

Ever greater numbers of vulnerable people are risking their lives on dangerous migration routes in Latin America, forced to move by the global food security crisis spiralling inflation, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said ahead of 2022 World Refugee Day.

“We are having countries like Haiti with 26% food inflation and we have other countries that really are off the charts even with food inflation,” said Lola Castro, WFP Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The dramatic deterioration in people’s daily lives has given them little option but to leave their communities and head north, even if it means risking their lives, she explained.

“All of you are watching caravans, caravans of migrants moving, and before we used to talk about migration happening from the north of Central America, but now, unfortunately, we talk about migration being hemispheric. We have the whole continent on the move.”

 

The Darien Gap

One of the clearest signs of people’s desperation is the fact that they are willing to risk their lives crossing the Darien Gap, a particularly arduous and dangerous forest route in Central America that allows access from the south of the continent to the north.

“In 2020, 5,000 people passed by the Darien Gap, migrating from South America into Central America, and you know what, in 2021, 151,000 people passed, and this is 10 days walking through a forest, 10 days through rivers, crossing mountains and people die because this one of most dangerous jungles in the world.”

For these migrants the reason why they are on the move is simple, the WFP official explained: “They are leaving communities where they have lost everything to climate crisis, they have no food security, they have no ability to feed their people and their families.”

UN data indicates that of the 69 economies now experiencing food, energy and financial shocks, 19 are in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

 

Highest ever number of displaced children

Conflict, violence and other crises left a record 36.5 million children displaced from their homes at the end of 2021, UNICEF estimates – the highest number recorded since the Second World War.

This figure, which was reported by UNICEF on 17 June, includes 13.7 million refugee and asylum-seeking children and nearly 22.8 million children who are internally displaced due to conflict and violence.

These figures do not include children displaced by climate and environmental shocks or disasters, nor those newly displaced in 2022, including by the war in Ukraine.

20 people on the run… every minute

Every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror, according to UNHCR.

But while the world’s specialised bodies have been making legal distinctions between migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, stateless people, retruerness, etcetera, the fact is that all of them are victims of stargeering inhuman suffering.

 

100 million… for now

At the end of 2021, the total number of people worldwide who were forced to flee their homes due to conflicts, violence, fear of persecution and human rights violations was 89.3 million, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported ahead of this year’s World Refugee Day annual marked 20 June.

 

Armed conflicts in 23 countries

If ongoing conflicts remain unresolved and the risks of new ones erupting are not reined in, one aspect that will define the twenty-first century will be the “continuously growing numbers of people forced to flee and the increasingly dire options available to them.”

Regarding the conflict-driven wave of forced displacement, UNHCR citing World Bank data, reports that in all, 23 countries with a combined population of 850 million faced “medium or high-intensity conflicts.”

Poor countries host 4 in 5 refugees

Data from the UNHCR report underscored the crucial role played by the world’s developing nations in sheltering displaced people, with low and middle-income nations hosting more than four in five of the world’s refugees.

With 3.8 million refugees within its borders, Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees, followed by Colombia, with 1.8 million (including Venezuelan nationals), Uganda and Pakistan (1.5 million each) and Germany (1.3 million).

Relative to their national populations, the Caribbean island of Aruba hosted the largest number of Venezuelans displaced abroad (one in six), while Lebanon hosted the largest number of refugees (one in eight), followed by Curaçao (one in 10), Jordan (one in 14) and Turkey (one in 23).

All the above adds to the specific case of the increasing number of victims of climate change, on whom IPS has already reported in its: What Would Europe, the US, Do with One Billion Climate Refugees?

 

Not new, Europeans have largely traded in humans

Such horrifying practice was intensively widespread more than four centuries ago, mostly by European powers, who captured, chained and shipped millions of Africans to their descents’ country: the United States of America, as well to their colonies in Latin America and the Carribeans.

Just see what the UN secretary general, António Guterres, stated In his message on last year’s International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Today “we honour the memory of the millions of people of African descent who suffered under the brutal system of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade”.

This trade created and sustained a global system of exploitation that existed for more than 400 years, devastating families, communities and economies, the UN chief stated.

We remember with humility the resilience of those who endured the atrocities committed by slave traders and owners, condoned by slavery’s beneficiaries, added Guterres.

“The transatlantic slave trade ended more than two centuries ago, but the ideas of white supremacy that underpinned it remain alive.”