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NGOs losing the moral high ground - too militant, too strident, too sanctimonious, from Peter Myers

(1) NGOs losing the moral high ground - too militant, too strident, too
(2) NGOs Face Increasing Hostility, losing  the moral high ground
(3) Save the Children lobbies for Asylum Seekers
(4) Médecins Sans Frontières lobbies for Asylum Seekers
(5) Amnesty International lobbies for Asylum Seekers

(1) NGOs losing the moral high ground - too militant, too strident, too
by Peter Myers, June 30, 2015

I have donated to some of these NGOs, and made the mistake of supplying
a postal address and email address. Within a few months, I was bombarded
with letters, emails, even phone calls, asking for more.

That made me angry; I wanted my donation going 100% to people in need,
not to pay for further fundraising.

Such NGOs are now placing numerous advertisements on TV, featuring
photos of children in dire circumstances. But how are these TV ads paid
for? Surely with money the donors intended for the children. In other
words, the donations are recycled into marketing programs, and the wages
of those employed to operate them.

These NGOs are also wading into political waters, campaiging for Open
Borders to Asylum Seekers.

Australia, like other countries, accepts a certain number of refugees
each year, who have applied through the official channels - via the
front door. But these NGOs are lobbying for people to be able to come by
the back door too - by just turning up.

The question is: who decides? We the people of Australia? Or would-be
migrants and their People Smuglers?

The flood of illegal immigrants into Europe and the US is meeting
increasing resistance. NGOs are lobbying to overcome that opposition,
and they are our using OUR money - our donations to help children - to
pay for it.

Let's stop funding their subversive activities; let George Soros foot
their bill.

"One World or None" means a borderless world, without countries, without
National Sovereignty - a communist World State.

(2) NGOs Face Increasing Hostility, losing  the moral high ground

Under Fire: NGOs Face Increasing Hostility

Long accustomed to occupying the moral high ground, NGOs are coming in
for increasing criticism.

By Luke Hunt

June 26, 2015

In recent decades the ubiquitous NGO has taken up the banner for
charities and worthy causes. From the environment and human rights to
health, education and animal welfare, nongovernment organizations have
championed the dispossessed, winning legions of fans.

But in recent years pockets of NGO Land – as some call it – have lost
their shine.

Too militant, too strident, and too sanctimonious are among common
complaints leveled at NGOs – whether in Australia or in Southeast Asia
and beyond — amid allegations of blatant lying and a victory at any cost

It was a point noted by academic and veteran correspondent Karl Wilson,
from the Asian Centre for Journalism in The Philippines, who spent time
working with a prominent human rights group.

He said they were not shy on self-promotion or in molding headline
grabbing causes with fundraising potential.

“A toothless bloke fishing in Indonesia whose livelihood is threatened
by global warming is not as attractive as a bikini clad chick on the
Great Barrier Reef, snorkeling,” he said. “Working with them showed me
how the other side works and how agendas are pushed and pushed hard.”

Arbiters of Bad Behavior

Greenpeace, which has annual revenue of around $350 million, has come
under sustained attack for the highly questionable methods it has employed.

In Australia, it was caught using photographs from a devastated reef in
The Philippines as part of its campaign to have the Great Barrier Reef
listed as endangered by UNESCO at next week’s annual meeting of the
World Heritage Committee in Bonn.

Later, the environmental campaigners were accused of running a massive
disinformation campaign in regards to the reef, driven by its broader
agenda to have coal mining banned.

This includes misleading advertising on the London underground and on
YouTube, one featuring a mother and child claims: “Half the Reef is
already gone.’’ This is nonsense.

Interestingly, few people were prepared to speak publicly about
Greenpeace. Some would only comment on condition of anonymity, a
journalistic protocol normally reserved for whistleblowers who live in
fear of dictators and despotic governments and certainly not
eco-friendly activists.

“We like Greenpeace, they make us look sane,” one seasoned
environmentalist said.

Another long-term observer said that Greenpeace was unethical in
publishing photographs taken from somewhere else and using misleading
numbers, adding that it was a questionable decision to combine the
future of the Great Barrier Reef with the entire coal industry.

“No government, globally, could find a single solution for that issue,”
he said, adding Greenpeace must tackle India if it is serious about
orchestrating a ban on coal exports, but this was unlikely.

“The Indians would immediately counter such an approach by flagging
their right to development.”

Last year the Indian government singled out Greenpeace as a “threat to
national economic security.”

Almost two decades ago, this journalist was on assignment with
Greenpeace environmentalists and scientists working with endangered pink
dolphins in the Pearl River Delta, straddled by Hong Kong and Macau.

Back then they claimed the dolphin population was devastated and were
adamant they faced extinction within five years. Nothing could be done.
Today there are about 2,000 pink dolphins living in the estuaries.

On Australian radio, Greenpeace has also drawn fierce criticism after
admitting it employed a range of tactics that “absolutely” includes
breaking the law when necessary, earning unlikely comparisons with the
nation’s bikie gangs who thrive on their self-anointed outlaw status.

But Greenpeace is not the only NGO in trouble. Far from it. Even the
hallowed Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)
is under attack.

One politician wants Australia’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, to
withdraw her royal seal after the RSPCA extended its reach from caring
for domesticated animals like cats and dogs to the horse racing industry
and live cattle exports.

“It’s like the live meat trade,” Wilson said in regards to unrealistic
NGO demands.

“The government can’t monitor everyone outside of Australia. And the
industry agrees there are some who don’t kill animals humanely, although
I still can’t quite get my head around a humane way of killing
something. But it is a legitimate business and it employs people.”

This behavior could cost NGOs dearly. The Abbott government is mulling
the removal of the tax deductible status on gifts and donations enjoyed
by environmental groups.

“We’ve got 100 to 150 groups that seem to have their purpose at stopping
industrial development, not just mining, some of those developments
include tourism developments or agricultural developments but engaging
in what I would view as a political debate, not the environmental
debate,” Queensland Liberal National Party senator Matthew Canavan told
local radio.

Further afield

Greenpeace has a long history of pushing the limits. In Peru it was
forced to apologize and faced criminal charges for a publicity stunt
that went wrong and damaged the world famous Nazca Lines.

In the Philippines, a former Greenpeace director upset his old employer
by denouncing a campaign depicting genetically modified foods as morally

He believed the technology was safe and could help alleviate hunger in
the developing world.

Similar accusations have been leveled against ActionAid in Africa.

“It’s becoming more and more a fear mongering organization, basing its
campaigns in populist exaggerations and blatant lies, and disregarding
science, pure and simple, either it be in the coral reef or genetically
modified foods,” another Greenpeace critic added.

In countries like China – where attitudes to the environment and human
rights are like a red rag to an NGO bull – and in Cambodia – where more
than 4,000 NGOs sprouted in the aftermath of war – groups like New
York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Greenpeace, are incensed by new
NGO laws which they say will curtail their activities.

Those laws have also been opposed by the many NGOs that do good work
in-country and want the drafts amended and clarified in regards to
potential offenses which they say are open to interpretation and abuse.

But the desire to legislate received a fillip from wayward rights
groups, in particular Somaly Mam, who earned worldwide headlines after
allegations she fabricated sex trafficking reports that had won her
anti-trafficking NGO the support of Hollywood celebrities and the money
and fame that comes with them.

“It is inevitable that some of those organizations will be well managed
and effective, and others less so,” said Craig Etcheson, Visiting
Scholar at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George
Mason University in the United States.

But at a cultural level the relationship between government and NGO goes
much deeper and beyond the legalities. NGOs, particularly foreign-based
groups, are often perceived as arrogant and patronizing while
masquerading as saints to avoid criticism.

In Thailand, the national police chief Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang
perhaps best summed-up that antagonism in Southeast Asia when he
complained about opposition from civil society groups on the most recent
proposals to legalize casinos.

“NGOs are not my father!” – he declared.

Politicization of the Moral High Ground

Etcheson said the humanitarian situation in countries like Cambodia had
changed as they no longer suffered the same vulnerabilities as 30 years
ago, when incapable governments desperately needed NGOs to deliver basic
services to their people.

“Many international NGO’s now focus on politically sensitive issues such
as human rights, rule of law and corruption, carrying out investigations
and issuing reports that the government often finds troublesome,” he said.

“And, of course, there will also be the occasional organization which
turns out to be fraudulent or otherwise engaged in outright illegal
activity. Those rare bad actors tarnish the image of all the rest who
are honestly attempting to do good works.”

This has lead to an erosion of legitimacy among some NGOs, which have
grown accustomed to the moral high ground, and increased tensions with
governments who want to diminish the standing NGOs enjoy in the
community. Importantly mainstream audiences – who want something done
about global warming, endangered species saved, and food security
ensured – are being left behind.

Adam Cathro, a former journalist and currently the Media Relations
Manager for Plan International Australia, echoed Etcheson’s sentiments
and said NGOs were becoming more outspoken but there was room for

“NGOs were always looking to do things better,” he said. “I think that’s
a good thing, because the point of that advocacy is to influence
governments and societies to change in ways that benefit the people
we’re trying to support in the long-term.

“But advocacy comes in lots of different shapes and forms and not
everyone is going to agree with every position adopted by every NGO,” he
added. “I would say that if an NGO feels it has no need to improve, then
it probably needs to improve more than most.”

Luke Hunt can be followed on Twitter @lukeanthonyhunt

(3) Save the Children lobbies for Asylum Seekers

Save the Children’s position on children being detained in Nauru and
Manus Island

Are you saying it’s ok for children to be detained on Nauru or Manus
Island? No, our belief is that it’s never OK for children to be detained
anywhere – even less so when the children in question have been fleeing
for their lives, and have already undergone terrifying experiences in
their journey to seek safety. What these children need is care and
protection, so that they can begin to recover from the horrifying ordeal
of their journey.

If not then what happens to kids who arrive with their families, where
do they stay, under what conditions, and who looks after them? We
believe that children shouldn’t be locked up, and that wherever possible
they should be kept together with their families. This means that when
child asylum seekers arrive by boat with their families, there should be
alternatives to closed detention for these children and their families –
and Australia should be in a position to provide these alternatives. One
example is releasing children and their families into the community
while their asylum claims are being processed. This is already taking
place in areas like Darwin, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide, and is a
recognised option implemented by the Department of Immigration and
Citizenship with the support of the Red Cross in ensuring access to
services and care, in particular for unaccompanied minors.

Are you advocating families be split up? Absolutely not – Save the
Children does not support this by any means. For a child who has been
through everything that these children have, it is unthinkable that they
should, having made it all the way over here with their families, then
be separated from them by Australia’s policies. To do so – or to in any
way allow this to happen – would amount to appalling treatment of
children and their families by the Australian government.

What’s your position on unaccompanied minors – should they be sent to
Nauru or elsewhere while their claims are processed, and if not how
should they be treated? Save the Children does not believe that any
child should be locked up, regardless of whether they entered into
Australian waters with their families or on their own. Instead we
advocate for a solution that helps children recover from the extreme
ordeals they have been through, by providing the care and support they
need in an environment where they feel safe and welcome. One example of
such an environment is in the community, where children would be cared
for by community members that have undergone rigorous screening to
ensure the children’s safety, and have sponsored these children’s entry
into community care while their claims are being processed.

If unaccompanied minors and other children are not sent to Nauru like
other asylum seekers, wouldn’t this encourage parents to put their kids
on dangerous, leaky boats, putting children at direct risk? There is no
evidence that this is the case, and we do not believe that offshore
processing would work as an effective deterrent for families who already
have been through unimaginable hardship. Save the Children works in many
of the “source”, “transit” and “destination” countries, and has spoken
to children and their families from Pakistan to the Congo – parents in
these situations are like parents anywhere in the world – they will do
whatever they can to keep their children safe, and help provide for a
better future.

The bottom line is, we advocate for Australian community alternatives to
offshore processing because we don’t believe children should be locked
up. Because the Bill has now passed, we are committed to working with
all actors in this sector to ensure that – while we work towards a more
humane and sustainable solution – the children affected by this debate
are provided the care and protection they need, and that they have
access to basic services like education and healthcare, to ensure their
wellbeing while their claims are being processed.

(4) Médecins Sans Frontières lobbies for Asylum Seekers

Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Vulnerable People at Europe's

MSF runs emergency medical programs for asylum seekers and migrants on
the border shores of a number of countries, calls for minimum standards
in their reception, and denounces their systematic detention.

Restrictive entry policies have not stopped asylum seekers, refugees,
and other migrants from knocking at European doors in search of refuge,
protection or better living conditions. However, these policies have
forced people to take more risks to reach Europe with negative
consequences for their physical and mental health.

The fact that Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an
international humanitarian medical organization, needs to be present at
the entry points to Europe is a telling indication of the lack of
adequate medical assistance currently available for these vulnerable
populations. Since 2000, MSF has provided emergency medical aid, medical
screenings, and mental health care to migrants who reach European shores
by boat. Over the past years, MSF medical teams have noted that more and
more of these migrants need medical assistance. Many arrive in a
desperate state, suffering from shock, hypothermia, and skin burns as a
result of the harsh conditions endured during long journeys at sea.
Others might not even survive the journey.

MSF teams in Southern Europe meet people on a daily basis who have fled
conflict, widespread violations of human rights, or harsh socio-economic
conditions. They travel, live and work in precarious conditions, with
limited or no access to health care. They are often marginalized and
face huge uncertainty about their future when they finally arrive in Europe.

MSF workers identify passengers in need of medical assistance while they
disembark from a boat from Libya.

To respond to the health needs of asylum seekers and migrants, MSF runs
emergency medical programs on the border shores of a number of
countries, including Malta, Italy, and Greece. At the same time, MSF
calls for minimum standards in the reception of migrants and asylum
seekers, as set out in European legislation and international law, and
denounces the systematic detention of asylum seekers and other
vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, children, and the seriously
ill. People coming from countries at war or with widespread human rights
violations should be considered as potential asylum seekers and access
to asylum procedures must be provided upon their arrival.

Asylum seekers and migrants are running away from war, violence, hunger,
and extreme hardship. Often, they have faced major difficulties on their
way to Europe, and in Europe they are likely to be further excluded from
society. As a medical humanitarian organization, MSF is helping these
people at Europe’s doorstep and advocating for their humane treatment.
MSF Projects in the Mediterranean Malta

Despite increased policies to contain arrivals and stricter border
controls at the European Union’s southern frontier, the number of
migrants landing in Malta increased in 2008, with more than 2,700 new
arrivals. In the first two months of 2009, 758 migrants landed on the

Undocumented migrants and asylum seekers set off to Malta on boats
leaving the coast of Libya, on journeys that can take up to seven days.
Nearly 60 percent originate from countries affected by conflict or
widespread violations of human rights—almost half of all newly arrived
migrants come from Somalia. Although most of them will eventually be
granted refugee status or humanitarian protection by Maltese
authorities, they are sent to detention centers for up to 18 months. In
the centers they face overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, and poor
general living conditions—an environment that has damaging effects on
their physical and mental health.

In August 2008, MSF started providing health care and psychological
support to undocumented migrants and asylum seekers in Malta. Its
activities included medical assessment of new arrivals soon after their
transfer to the detention centers, and follow- up medical consultations;
psychological support; medical triage and health and hygiene promotion.
MSF also identifies and refers vulnerable groups such as pregnant women,
children and sick people to the Maltese authorities in order to obtain
their release from detention.

Between August 2008 and February 2009, MSF provided 3,192 consultations
to migrants and asylum seekers in Malta. Among the newly arrived,
medical complaints were often a result of the harsh conditions of the
journey, as most had spent days on a boat with limited food and water,
unable to move, exposed to sun and rain. Musculoskeletal,
dermatological, urinary, and gastrointestinal health problems were common.

MSF also provided healthcare in detention centers in Malta, but it soon
became clear that the impact of this healthcare was limited by the
living conditions in the centers. About 17 percent of the health
conditions diagnosed by MSF medical staff were respiratory problems
linked to exposure to cold and lack of treatment for infections. Skin
infections reflected overcrowding and poor hygiene in the centers. After
repeatedly drawing the attention of the Maltese authorities to the
appalling living conditions in camps for detained migrants, MSF decided
to suspend its activities inside detention centers and publicly
denounced the living conditions and associated risks to which migrants
and asylum seekers were exposed. In its report "Not Criminals," MSF
uncovers the unacceptable conditions of detention and their impact on
the physical and mental health of the migrants and asylum seekers in Malta.

MSF continues working in open centers for migrants. Once asylum seekers
have their applications successfully processed and are granted refugee
status, they are transferred to open centers, where they have freedom of
movement. There, MSF facilitates migrants’ access to public health
services, provides mental healthcare and carries out health promotion
activities. Italy

Since 2002, Italy has experienced a growing influx of undocumented
migrants and asylum seekers. Excluded and exploited, they bear the brunt
of increasingly strict measures to deter migration. MSF provides
healthcare to the migrant population, including seasonal migrant
workers, and lobbies for better access to healthcare services and
improved living conditions for this excluded population.

Napoli (Naples), the capital of Campania region and the third largest
city in Italy, is marked by high levels of criminality and poverty. The
city attracts large numbers of migrants, with an estimated 25,000 living
in unacceptable conditions. In order to improve their access to
healthcare, MSF has set up clinics integrated into the country’s
national health services with a view to handing them over to authorities
in the future. The assistance is provided in a manner that ensures their
identities remain anonymous. In 2008, MSF carried out nearly 5,000
consultations in the clinics.

(5) Amnesty International lobbies for Asylum Seekers

Refugees' Human Rights

Millions of people around the world have no choice but to flee their
homeland to escape war, genocide, torture and persecution. Amnesty works
to uphold the rights of people seeking asylum across the world.

Peter Myers