Chechnya A.D. 1000: stop the gay concentration camps!

Chechnya - rainbow flag in front of the Moscow Kremlin

Authorities of Chechnya have launched an anti-gay campaign that has led to arresting of dozens of men suspected of being gay. These men are being kept in horrific prison camps in the capital Grozny, in Argun and maybe in some other Chechen cities. In these camps, where violent abuse and torture is common, at least three people were killed following violent acts.

The Chechen government denies all allegations. The spokesperson of Chechnya’s leader, Alvi Karimov, denies the accusations on the claim that there were no gay people in Chechnya. Other officials call these reproaches even “an April fool’s joke”.

Very few people in Chechnya speak about this issues because of the overwhelming climate of fear, where people have been largely intimidated into silence. Some Russian LGBT networks and international human rights groups set up hotlines for people seeking help and received reports of the abuses and torture inside the prison through a hotline. They criticize the consequences of the Russian “anti-propaganda law”, which was unanimously passed in the federal law banning gay “propaganda” in 2013. Until then, a sharp increase in anti-gay violence was registered in the whole region.

IUSY stands in solidarity with the LGBT community in Chechnya.

We condemn every form of violence and discrimination, in Chechnya and in the whole region, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation. We call on the Chechen authorities to immediately stop every form of violence and to fully implement human rights.

IUSY also calls on Russia and the international community to react immediately and take concrete actions in order to overcome violence and discrimination against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Death penalty in the Philippines: stop it now!

Philippines - Death penalty

The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) strongly condemns the passage of the death penalty bill in the Philippine House of Representatives. Aside from being intrinsically flawed and illegal, the bill is a setback in the overall fight for freedom, social justice, and human rights and dignity across the world.

The death penalty is anti-poor. It systematically targets small-time drug peddlers forced into the industry by poverty and inequality. It disregards the rights of victims of substance abuse to seek rehabilitation and rebuild their lives. It endangers the lives of thousands of innocent individuals who may be misidentified or framed by the incompetent and corrupt police force.

Once under detention, poor Filipinos do not have the financial resources to hire the services of competent lawyers. Court cases can take years. Furthermore, mistakes in convictions in the Philippines are not unusual. No less than the Philippine Supreme Court acknowledged in 2004 that the judicial error rate on death penalty cases was 71.77 percent. 

The reimposition of the death penalty in the Philippines will affect the marginalized members of society the most, not the drug lords who have since fled the country or the corrupt politicians who pocket the money of Filipino taxpayers.

The death penalty solves nothing. There is no compelling reason to re-impose capital punishment, particularly for drug-related offenses. Across the world, there is a growing consensus that it is the assurance of being caught and prosecuted—not the degree of penalty—that deters individuals from committing crimes. 

Moreover, in the Philippines, crimes are largely a result of poverty. One of five Filipinos lives below the poverty line. Millions do not have access to quality, accessible, and relevant education. The labor sector is beset by high unemployment rates, low wages, lack of tenure, and other unfair labor practices. These factors, along with neoliberal economic policies, trap people in a vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty. 

Legislation to boost the economy and provide opportunities and protection to everyone should be the priority of the government, not death to victims of circumstance. 

The passage of the death penalty bill did not undergo due process. The time for Congressional debates was considerably short while voting for the bill was railroaded. Opposing lawmakers were threatened with sanctions, from being stripped of their committee chairpersonships to having their congressional districts defunded. 

This is undemocratic. A vibrant, functioning democracy provides a platform for discourse and dissent. As a co-equal branch, it must be ready to act as a check-and-balance to the excesses of the Executive branch. The current Philippine House of Representatives has, sadly, become a rubber stamp to President Rodrigo Duterte’s undemocratic policies. 

The death penalty is a setback to the global campaign for human rights. The passage of the bill will have far-reaching effects beyond Philippine borders. The Philippines is a signatory to several international treaties and conventions that prohibit the reimposition of the death penalty. For years, Southeast Asian countries have looked towards the Philippines in their own struggle to eliminate the death penalty in their respective jurisdictions. 

The underlying message that there is a need to bring back the death penalty to curb the presence of illegal drugs will effectively derail the headway made by civil society organizations in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

As the Senate reviews its version of the bill, we offer our support to the Filipino people fighting the death penalty. The Resistance continues. We, the progressive youth leaders of the world, are one in the struggle of Filipinos for social justice, human rights, and equality.

IUSY Presidium condemns the restriction of academic freedom in Hungary!

Hungary Passes Law Targeting George Soros-Funded University in Budapest

IUSY is shocked by the recently passed Hungarian legislation modifying the law on higher education, designed to close down the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary.

The attack on a leading higher education institution is unprecedented in the country and it sends a very disturbing message about the state of democracy in Hungary. 

We, members of IUSY presidium condemn this shameful move that puts the existence of the CEU in danger.

If anything, we need more universities like the CEU, more possibility for young people to study, and more academic freedom. The future of young generations depends greatly on the quality of education they can receive.

The restriction of intellectual and academic freedom paves a way for alarming tendencies. It shows that the government is aiming for a future where critical thinking is not expected from citizens. 

IUSY stand with CEU and the protesters and we also urge to contest the constitutionality of this legislation.

IUSY manifiesta preocupación por acciones contra la democracia en Venezuela

Maduro Venezuela

Read the Article in English

La Unión Internacional de Juventudes Socialistas (IUSY por sus siglas en ingles) manifiesta su preocupación por las acciones que desde el sector del gobierno venezolano se promueven en contra de su sistema democratico. 

Los jovenes socialistas del mundo hemos seguido todos los procesos politicos que se vienen dando en Venezuela, sus consecuencias y la actual crisis economica, politica y social que afecta al pueblo venezolano.

Hemos realizado, hace mas de un año, una visita de estudio donde pudimos reunirnos con todos los sectores del país, politicos, economicos, sociales e incluso con las casas de estudio reconocidas a nivel internacional. 

La irracionalidad política, el irrespeto a la separación de poderes, la confrontación entre los mismos, así como las potestades que se otorgan al presidente de la república en materia civil, penal y administrativa por parte de Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, son acciones que quebrantan la convivencia poĺitica y democratica. 

La grave confrotación politica, inlcuso violencia politica entre los principales actores politicos del país, son de gran preocupación para la comunidad internacional. Como la organización politica juvenil mas grande del mundo, hemos valorado de manera objetiva todo este proceso, donde el llamado al dialogo plural y al respeto de los principios democraticos han sido nuestra principal expresión e increbrantable posición. 

Consideramos que las ultimas acciones que ha promovido el gobierno venezolano profundizan la crisis. Como principal actor politico en Venezuela, el gobierno debe promover un espacio de dialogo plural, donde se incluyan todos los sectores politicos y sociales, donde los puntos en comun,  sean los elementos para inciar y logras avances para el bien de todos y todas. 

Reiteramos el llamado al dialogo plural, y exhortamos a los principales actores politicos tanto del gobierno como de la oposición al cese de la violencia politica, tambien, esperamos se respeten las instituciones y apuesten al reconocimiento de todo el pueblo venezolano. 

Expresamos nuestra disposición como organización juvenil internacional, en promover y propiciar espacios de dialogo plural en Venezuela, donde los jovenes tienen mucho para aportar y construir. 

En IUSY estamos en todo el mundo para luchar y promover la solidaridad, igualdad y democracia. 

IUSY is concerned about actions against democracy in Venezuela

Maduro Venezuela

Lea el artículo en español

The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) expresses its concern about the actions taken by the Venezuelan government against its democratic system.

The young socialists of the world have followed all the political processes that are taking place in Venezuela, their consequences and the current economic, political and social crisis affecting the Venezuelan people.

We have done a study visit more than a year ago where we were able to representatives of the country from all fields: political, economic, social, and even with the internationally renown study houses.

The political irrationality, the disrespect to the separation of powers, the confrontation between them, as well as the powers that are granted to the President of the Republic in civil, criminal and administrative matters by the Supreme Court of Justice, are actions that break the Political and democratic coexistence.

The serious political confusion, including political violence between the main political actors of the country, are of great concern for the international community. As the largest youth political organization in the world, we have objectively appraised this whole process, where the call to plural dialogue and respect for democratic principles have been our main expression and unbelievable position.

We believe that the latest actions promoted by the Venezuelan government deepen the crisis. As the main political actor in Venezuela, the government must promote a space of plural dialogue, including all political and social sectors, where the common points are the elements to initiate and achieve progress for the good of all.

We reiterate the call for plural dialogue, and we urge the main political actors of both the government and the opposition to the cessation of political violence, we also hope to respect the institutions and ask for the recognition of the entire Venezuelan people.

We express our willingness as an international youth organization to promote and foster spaces for plural dialogue in Venezuela, where young people have much to contribute and build.

At IUSY we are all over the world to fight and promote solidarity, equality, and democracy.

Act on terror: they did their worst, we will do our best

London attack

On behalf of IUSY, we extend our hand of solidarity and most heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the catastrophic incident of terror unfolded outside of Westminster London.

We also condemn – on no uncertain terms – the despicable and inhuman acts, upon the gates of one of the most prominent and recognisable symbols of modern democracy: Westminster Abbey in London.

The attack has brought terror and shockwaves of fear unto lives of practitioners of democracy, Londoners, as well as tourists from all around the world there to witness and experience one of the oldest functioning democracies at work.

For those who have been injured and suffered losses as a result of the attack, our hearts and spirits are with you. For the brave public service and law enforcement personnel, who are on high alert and currently working overtime to re-stabilise London, our gratitude and solidarity are with you. For those who are no longer with us, we mourn you.

Exactly one year after the Brussels attack, it is difficult to dispute the terroristic intent behind the attack. This shows a strategically planned and placed attack on democratic institutions and the notion of peace. This tactic of dividing and disrupting peaceful democratic societies with fear and terror must be opposed, with a strong measure of human resolve and a timely unification of all lovers of peace.

It is time that all of humanity join hands and hearts in fighting fear and violence, with courage and hope. It is time that we, the Progressives, extend our hands of peace and progress to fellow humans of all colour or creed; for Peace. More so now than ever before, that we must respond to these manifestations of the worst of humanity, with the best of our human nature.

It is in that spirit, that we, young socialists and progressives, now quote a Conservative former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill, when London was attacked during the second world war, “You do your worst, and we will do our best”.

Howard Lee, International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) President
Alessandro Pirisi, International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) Secretary General

The EU-Turkey agreement it’s not the migration policy that we need!

European Union - Turkey agreement it's not the Migration policy that we need!

Today, it is one year since the deal between the European Union and Turkey on relocation of refugees came into force.

In the absence of a functional relocation scheme within the European Union, a deal was forged that would effectively push back refugees to Turkey, deemed a safe third country. There are, however, numerous reports from leading human rights organisations that Turkey is not safe for refugees (source: HRW, Amnesty International).

The European Union – Turkey deal decreased the amount of crossings along the so called Eastern Mediterranean route from Turkey to Greece. However, the number of migrants trying to reach Europe via the so called Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy increased . The latter route is considerably more dangerous than the former, leading to new deadly records each year. More than 5000 migrants lost their lives in the Mediterranean in 2016  – more than any previous year. In the first two months of 2017, the death toll in the Mediterranean is already higher than in previous years. The vast majority of these victims were attempting to reach Italy (source: IOM).

One year later, we regret to note that the EU-Turkey deal has worsened the already dire situation of thousands of displaced persons. Furthermore, deals modeled on the EU-Turkey deal with even less stable countries, like Libya and several countries in North Africa, threaten to lock up vulnerable people in inhumane situations. We, therefore, demand the following:

1. The urgent implementation of a functional framework for the resettlement of refugees in the European Union. The size of the quotas must reflect the actual needs of protection of asylum seekers.

2. Sufficient support to countries of entry, in particular Greece and Italy, to ensure decent living conditions for refugees and the resources needed to expediently process asylum applications.

3. The abolishment of the Dublin-II regulation and an end to the nationalization of asylum policy in general.

4. The constitution of a European Agency for Asylum and Migration responsible for the examining of asylum applications. This agency has the responsibility to coordinate the national asylum agencies, increase the efficiency and grant for the rights of refugees by consistently applying existing European standards.

5. The creation of more legal channels of migration in order to save lives and reduce human trafficking by all EU Member States to commonly introducing a “humanitarian visa system” allowing refugees to enter the EU territory legally, and thus be able to seek asylum on humanitarian grounds upon arrival. The adoption of common criteria for these visas, and the enabling of asylum seekers to apply to all of the EU countries in any EU embassy by creating a common asylum policy at European level.

6. The revoking of the EU-Turkey deal and the halting of plans for other similar deals with third countries, such as with Libya, until there are guarantees that all agreements with third countries comply with the international humanitarian legal obligations of EU member states. The EU to work together to even out the differences in financial responsibility of member states in managing the external border in order to make sure that no country feel that it is necessary to outsource border control to non-EU countries.

7. The allocation of sufficient resources to the Asylum and Migration Fund, which will include the former asylum and refugee funds, in the EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. The EU to ensure that the EU external aid priorities and fundings are coherent with the ones of the Asylum and Migration fund.

Signatories:

EFAy – European Free Alliance Youth
IFLRY – International Federation of Liberal Youth
IUSY – International Union of Socialist Youth
JEF – Young European Federalists
LYMEC – European Liberal Youth
YDE – Young Democrats for Europe
YEL – Youth of the European Left
YES – Young European Socialists
FYEG – Federation of Young European Greens

2nd Working group on Political economy

2nd working group on Political economy of IUSY and YES

Dear Comrades,

we have the pleasure of inviting you to the forthcoming:

IUSY / YES 2ND WORKING GROUP ON POLITICAL ECONOMY

What’s left of the economy

Riga, Latvia

18/21 May 2017

Overview

What: 2nd Working group on Political economy – Organised by IUSY and YES
When: 18-21 May 2017
Where: Riga, Latvia
Age: up to 35 years

Number of participants:

for Europeans: The number of participants is not limited for the period of the registration, however please note that due to high interest no more that 4 participants will likely to be selected. All delegations must be gender balanced.

for non-Europeans: up to 2 participants for each non-European Regional Committee (Asia-Pacific, Africa, America and Mediterranean)

Please note that the working language of the seminar will be only English.

Deadline for registrations:

for Europeans: Friday 28 April 2017 (23:59 CET)
for non-Europeans: Friday 14 April 2017 (23:59 CET)

All the participants must apply via the online form. Apply now
Outline

During our 2nd Political economy Working group seminar, we are going to evaluate the work that has happened so far, engage in discussions on various economic issues and draft a first campaign.

Our work so far has happened decentralized and mostly online. We want to use this opportunity to bring everybody, who participated in the process and everybody, who is interested in the political economy, together.

Theme

At the center of our seminar in Riga are the multiplier workshops on Friday. In five full day workshops on topics, including Tax evasion, International Labor movements, Socialist Utopia, Financial regulations, trade and development economics we will discuss these issues and our positions in depth and provide you with the necessary literature and methodical tools to reproduce the workshop in your local organization.

We want to facilitate knowledge about the political economy in all our member organizations and engage as many people into the work of our group on these important issues.

On Saturday, there will be two panel discussions, one including the Mayor of Riga, Nils Usakovs on “Socially responsible cities” between we are heading to the streets with Restart Latvia.

On the last day, we will develop and outline an international campaign and our next steps as a working group.

For any questions or remarks please don’t hesitate to contact the IUSY Secretariat at iusy@iusy.org or the YES Secretariat at office@youngsocialists.eu

We are very much looking forward to seeing you!

With best regards,

Alessandro Pirisi IUSY Secretary General
Lucie SusovaYES Head of Office

APPLY THROUGH THE ONLINE FORM:

INVITATION LETTER, PROGRAMME AND TECHNICAL DETAILS (.pdf file)