quarta-feira, 26 de dezembro de 2012

santa claus story

Santa Claus is a fictional character of the Christmas and winter seasons. He is the combination of the main subject of several different stories, including the tales of Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and real-life St. Nicholas of Greece. Santa is depicted in various ways around the world, based on how these stories have come together over time, but in the West, he is shown as a jolly, fat man with a white beard and red suit. He lives at the North Pole, rides a sleigh pulled by reindeer, enters homes of good children once a year via the chimney and delivers toys. People generally consider him to be a symbol of goodwill, hope, magic, and joy, but in some regions he is controversial.

St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas, or St. Nick, was the biggest influence on the Western version of Santa Claus known today. He was a man of Greek origin, born in the 3rd century. His family was very wealthy, but both of his parents died in a plague while he was quite young. Surviving the epidemic, Nicholas took his strict Christian upbringing very seriously and devoted his life to God.
Nicholas rid himself of all his material possessions and set out to help the poor, the infirm and anyone else who was suffering. One popular story describes how he secretly left bags of gold for three poor women who had no dowries. In St. Nicholas’ time, a father could only secure the marriage of his daughters by providing a dowry to her would-be husband. If a father could not afford this, he risked his daughters being sold into slavery. In order to prevent the sale of the daughters of the poor women, St. Nicholas threw the bags of gold through a window, and they landed in stockings left by the fire to dry.
Tales of the saint were very popular in the middle ages, and many communities built churches out of devotion for him and held celebrations on St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated in modern times on 6 December, the date of his death. The Vikings held him in high esteem and considered him to be the patron saint of ships. In the 8th century C.E., the Vikings spread his good name during their travels. Dutch settlers, who called him "Sint Klaas," introduced St. Nicholas to North America.

Kris Kringle

Kris Kringle derives from the German Christkindl, which translates to "Christ Child" in English. Supported by Martin Luther as a push against the commercialized traditions of St. Nicholas' Day, this figure is a young boy, the representation of a young Jesus. Traditionally, he would come into homes and leave gifts, which Luther used as a symbol of the gifts of Christianity and the Gospel. The legend goes that the Christkindl appears only when residents of the home are asleep, and therefore is never seen personally.

Father Christmas

Also known as Old Man Winter, Father Christmas was a traditional figure during the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. His story asserts that he travels from home to home, and that people offer him food and drink. He grants blessings of a kind winter in return.

The Melding of the Traditions

The stories and legends behind Kris Kringle, Old Man Winter, and St. Nicholas gradually merged together over time. The tradition of Santa going from home to home has origins in Old Man Winter, while the Vikings’ use of St. Nicholas might have contributed to the idea of Santa using the “ship” of a sleigh. The idea of him delivering presents comes from Kris Kringle, with parents still telling children that Santa will not come if they do not go to sleep. People hang stockings based on the story of the poor women St. Nicholas helped, and kids leave cookies for Santa as a modern extension of giving food and drink to Old Man Winter.
Different areas of the world have slightly varying interpretations of Santa Claus, based on how the stories of Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and St. Nicholas joined. In Great Britain, for example, people still use Father Christmas, but the British version has taken on some of the attributes of the Western Santa. The names for the different characters are interchangeable in many regions.

Modern Presentation

In the West, people routinely dress up as Santa Claus during the Christmas season. Some people do this simply for fun and because they like what he stands for, and others do it for the enjoyment of children, who go to Santa and explain what they want for gifts. Individuals also dress up as a reminder of the giving spirit of the Christkindl and Old Man Winter, such as when individuals are trying to collect donations on behalf of the poor.
This character appears in virtually every medium, including drawings, paintings, and sculptures, as well as in movies and TV shows. Depictions vary drastically in style, with some being true to the historical traditions while others are intended to be funny and cash in on current trends. One of the most common places for his image to appear is on gift wrapping paper.


Not all individuals support the idea of Santa Claus. Critics claim that it is cruel to get children to believe he is coming to their house when, in reality, Santa is a collection of different traditions rather than a real person. They assert that finding out the truth about Santa might be psychologically distressing and have long-lasting effects. Others cite finances as a problem. Some parents have trouble affording gifts to provide as having been brought by Santa, but they are usually considered necessary if the parent wants to perpetuate the concept of him being real.
Santa Claus also is controversial among members of the Christian faith, even though he connects to Jesus through Martin Luther’s presentation of the German Christkindl. Christians criticize him as taking attention away from the “real” message of the holiday season, the story of Jesus’ birth and the salvation of the world. They assert that he supports outdated pagan rituals and ideas.

terça-feira, 25 de dezembro de 2012

Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December?

No one knows the real birthday of Jesus! No date is given in the Bible, so why do we celebrate it on the 25th December? The early Christians certainly had many arguments as to when it should be celebrated! Also, the birth of Jesus probably didn't happen in the year 1AD but slightly earlier, somewhere between 2BC and 7BC (there isn't a 0AD - the years go from 1BC to 1AD!).
The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.
There are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. A very early Christian tradition said that the day when Mary was told that she would have a very special baby, Jesus (called the Annunciation) was on March 25th - and it's still celebrated today on the 25th March. Nine months after the 25th March is the 25th December! March 25th was also the day some early Christians thought the world had been made, and also the day that Jesus died on when he was an adult.
December 25th might have also been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals called 'Saturnalia' and 'Dies Natalis Solis Invicti' took place in December around this date - so it was a time when people already celebrated things.
The Winter Solstice is the day where there is the shortest time between the sun rising and the sun setting. It happens on December 21st or 22nd. To pagans this meant that the winter was over and spring was coming and they had a festival to celebrate it and worshipped the sun for winning over the darkness of winter. In Scandinavia, and some other parts of northern Europe, the Winter Solstice is known as Yule and is where we get Yule Logs from. In Eastern europe the mid-winter festival is called Koleda.
The Roman Festival of Saturnalia took place between December 17th and 23rd and honoured the Roman god Saturn. Dies Natalis Solis Invicti means 'birthday of the unconquered sun' and was held on December 25th (when the Romans thought the Winter Solstice took place) and was the 'birthday' of the Pagan Sun god Mithra. In the pagan religion of Mithraism, the holy day was Sunday and is where get that word from!
Early Christians might have given this festival a new meaning - to celebrate the birth of the Son of God 'the unconquered Son'! (In the Bible a prophesy about the Jewish savior, who Christians believe is Jesus, is called 'Sun of Righteousness'.)
The Jewish festival of Lights, Hanukkah starts on the 25th of Kislev (the month in the Jewish calendar that occurs at about the same time as December). Hanukkah celebrates when the Jewish people were able to re-dedicate and worship in their Temple, in Jerusalem, again following many years of not being allowed to practice their religion.
Jesus was a Jew, so this could be another reason that helped the early Church choose December the 25th for the date of Christmas!
Christmas had also been celebrated by the early Church on January 6th, when they also celebrated the Epiphany (which means the revelation that Jesus was God's son) and the Baptism of Jesus. Now the Epiphany mainly celebrates the visit of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus, but back then it celebrated both things! Jesus's Baptism was originally seen as more important than his birth, as this was when he started his ministry. But soon people wanted a separate day to celebrate his birth.
Most of the world uses the 'Gregorian Calendar' implemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Before that the 'Roman' or Julian Calendar was used (named after Julius Caesar). The Gregorian calendar is more accurate that the Roman calendar which had too many days in a year! When the switch was made 10 days were lost, so that the day that followed the 4th October 1582 was 15th October 1582. In the UK the change of calendars was made in 1752. The day after 2nd September 1752 was 14th September 1752.
Many Orthodox and Coptic Churches still use the Julian Calendar and so celebrate Christmas on the 7th January. And the Armenian Church celebrates it on the 6th January! In some part of the UK, January 6th is still called 'Old Christmas' as this would have been the day that Christmas would have celebrated on, if the calendar hadn't been changed. Some people didn't want to use the new calendar as they thought it 'cheated' them out of 11 days!
Christians believe that Jesus is the light of the world, so the early Christians thought that this was the right time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They also took over some of the customs from the Winter Solstice and gave them Christian meanings, like Holly, Mistletoe and even Christmas Carols!
St Augustine was the person who really started Christmas in the UK by introducing Christianity in the 6th century. He came from countries that used the Roman Calendar, so western countries celebrate Christmas on the 25th December. Then people from Britain and Western Europe took Christmas on the 25th December all over the world!
The name 'Christmas' comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service (which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist) is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life. The 'Christ-Mass' service was the only one that was allowed to take place after sunset (and before sunrise the next day), so people had it at Midnight! So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas.

So when was Jesus Born?

There's a strong and practical reason why Jesus might not have been born in the winter, but in the spring or the autumn! It can get very cold in the winter and it's unlikely that the shepherds would have been keeping sheep out on the hills (as those hills can get quite a lot of snow sometimes!).
During the spring (in March or April) there's a Jewish festival called 'Passover'. This festival remembers when the Jews had escaped from slavery in Egypt about 1500 years before Jesus was born. Lots of lambs would have been needed during the Passover Festival, to be sacrificed in the Temple in Jerusalem. Jews from all over the Roman Empire travelled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival, so it would have been a good time for the Romans to take a census. Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census (Bethlehem is about six miles from Jerusalem).
In the autumn (in September or October) there's the Jewish festival of 'Sukkot' or 'The Feast of Tabernacles'. It's the festival that's mentioned the most times in the Bible! It was when the Jewish people remember that they depended on God for all they had after they had escaped from Egypt and spent 40 years in the desert. It also celebrated the end of the harvest. During the festival people lived outside in temporary shelters (the word 'tabernacle' come from a latin word meaning 'booth' or 'hut'). Many people who have studied the Bible, think that Sukkot would be a likely time for the birth of Jesus as it might fit with the description of there being 'no room in the inn'. It also would have been a good time to take the Roman Census as many Jews went to Jerusalem for the festival and they would have brought their own tents/shelters with them!
The possibilities for the Star of Bethlehem seems to point either spring or autumn.
So whenever you celebrate Christmas, remember that you're celebrating a real event that happened about 2000 years ago, that God sent his Son into the world as a Christmas present for everyone!
As well as Christmas and the solstice, there are some other festivals that are held in late December. Hanukkah is celebrated by Jews; and the festival of Kwanzaa is celebrated by some Africans and African Americans takes place from December 26th to January 1st.

segunda-feira, 24 de dezembro de 2012

Christmas Eve in the United States and around the world

Christmas Eve in the United States, which is annually on December 24, is the day before Christmas Day. It falls within the Christmas season, which is a time for people to buy presents and visit friends or relatives.

Christmas Eve is a day to remember the events around the birth of Jesus. ©iStockphoto.com/Dieter Hawlan

What do people do?

Since Christmas Eve is not an official holiday, most people have to work. However, many workplaces hold Christmas parties or celebrations, so there is a celebratory air to the day. People who work in the retail or catering sectors often have to work very hard to meet consumer demands on December 24.
Many people in the United States decorate their homes and driveways with seasonal decorations, although some do this much earlier, starting just after Thanksgiving Day in late November. The centerpiece of the decorations is often a Christmas tree decorated with fairy lights, tinsel, angels, stars and other seasonal ornaments. Outdoor light sculptures are also becoming increasingly popular. These are many light bulbs or LEDs in the form of trees, sleighs, reindeer, Santa Claus, snowmen and other seasonal figures. Light sculptures may be placed on driveways, roofs or in gardens.
In the evening, often just before bedtime, many families, particularly those with children, will hang up stockings on the fireplace or the end of their bed. These Christmas stockings are often red with a white fluffy trim, although they may be of any design and are often much bigger than the socks that they represent. Children hope that Santa Claus, a mythical figure thought to represent an ancient European saint, will enter their home via the chimney and fill their stocking with gifts, sweets and oranges.

Public life

Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday. However, schools and other educational establishments are usually closed. Many organizations will open as usual, but some may close earlier or offer reduced services. Stores are normally open as usual, but may shut earlier. Stores and malls are likely to be very busy, as people look for last minute Christmas gifts and stock up on food for the festive season.
Public transit systems may run a normal or reduced service, particularly in the evening. If you need to use public transit on Christmas Eve, is it a good idea to check the services that the appropriate companies offer carefully. Many people travel to visit family members or friends on Christmas Eve. There may be some congestion on roads and highways, particularly around major cities. Airports and long distance bus terminals may be especially busy.


Christmas Eve marks the start of the holiday season at the end of the year. For many Christians, it is a day to remember the events around the birth of Jesus. Some people, especially Roman Catholics, attend a midnight mass at church. Traditionally, the midnight mass started at midnight, just as Christmas Eve ended and Christmas Day started. However, now may churches hold this church service in the late afternoon or early evening of Christmas Eve.
Many Protestant churches also hold special services on Christmas Eve. These are often candle-lit and may be very solemn. Some include the presentation of a crib scene depicting the holy family, with statues or actors representing Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the shepherds and various animals thought to be present in the stable where Jesus was born.
On Christmas Eve in 1914 and 1915, unofficial Christmas truces began in the World War I fighting. German soldiers lit candles and sung Christmas carols. On the other side, British troops responded by singing English carols. Soldiers from both sides shouted greeting and visited each other, sometimes exchanging small gifts. On Christmas Eve in 1968, the astronauts of Apollo 8 read from the creation story in the Book of Genesis. This was widely broadcast on television.

What do people do?

Many people around the world celebrate Christmas Eve in different ways. It is observed in many countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Workers in some countries get a day off or half-day off to prepare for Christmas Day, including last-minute shopping for presents, decorations or food. In some countries Christmas Eve is celebrated with large family meals featuring traditional Christmas dishes. In some cultures, presents are exchanged and opened on the night of Christmas Eve. Many homes have their Christmas trees lit up, mistletoes hung, and other Christmas decorations, such as holly and ivy, at this time of the year.
Some people organize groups of singers who go Christmas caroling from door to door, or sing Christmas carols in public venues. It is also a time for children in many countries around the world to hang their Christmas stockings (or pillow cases), hoping for a present to arrive from Santa Claus on Christmas Day, which is December 25 in the Gregorian calendar. Children in France set out their shoes near a fireplace on Christmas Eve because they believe that Father Christmas (Santa Claus), also known as le Père Noël (in French), will arrive before dawn and fill them with toys, nuts and sweets.
Many churches hold special services during Christmas Eve, including midnight services. These services include special choirs and sermons to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many churches also display a crèche or miniature Nativity scene. Christmas celebrations in different countries combine the country’s cultural traditions, beliefs and superstitions with more contemporary customs, such as Santa Claus and Christmas trees.

Public life

Christmas Eve is a public holiday in countries such as the Czech Republic and Estonia. Some banks and businesses are closed in some countries, including Austria and Germany, on Christmas Eve. Many people in countries such as Brazil have the afternoon off work on Christmas Eve.
Some stores are often open late to accommodate for last-minute Christmas shopping in some cities around the world. Schools and educational institutions are usually closed on Christmas Eve as it falls as part of either the winter (northern hemisphere) or summer (southern hemisphere) vacation period. Airports, bus stations and train stations may be busy as many people travel to visit their families around this time of the year.


Christmas Eve, also known as the Vigil of Christmas, is perceived as the culmination of the Advent season. Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas Day and is associated with celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth, although his actual birth date has been disputed among many scholars. However, many Christmas traditions that are around today have their roots in pre-Christian winter festivals. These include the importance of candles and decorations made from evergreen bushes and trees, symbolizing everlasting light and life.
In Roman times, a mid-winter festival was held. This was a relaxing time with a lot of parties and merry making. It was also common to give other people small gifts, such as dolls for children and candles for adults. This festival culminated with the celebration of the winter solstice, which fell on December 25 in the Roman calendar.


Since pagan times, it was customary to decorate with greenery on festivals, especially with holly, ivy, and mistletoe. After some debate, the church authorities permitted it to be done on Christian festivals, at least from the early seventh century in England. Holly and ivy were associated with good and evil, or male and female, and so were often combined. Mistletoe has pagan associations. For example, the druids of Gaul regarded mistletoe growing on oak trees as sent from heaven.
Images of Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, snowmen, reindeer, and candy canes are seen in cards, posters, signs and other printed or marketing material associated with the Christmas celebrations. Images of baby Jesus, the Christmas star, and other symbols associated with the religious meaning of Christmas are also seen during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

sábado, 22 de dezembro de 2012

minuto pela paz

On December 22, just three days before Christmas, 1963, the first "Minute for Peace" was broadcast on radio and TV stations. This came one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Wire services featured the "Minute for Peace" in news stories that went around the world. The broadcast included the voice of President Kennedy addressing the United Nations with an urgent plea for peace, and asked each listener to dedicate his thoughts and action to peace.

On June 26, 1965, the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the United Nations charter, a "Minute for Peace" message featuring UN Secretary General U Thant was broadcast on all major U.S. radio networks, by United Nations radio, by networks in other countries, and by international short wave radio.

Since then, all over the globe, we who have pledged ourselves as Earth Trustees have taken a minute each December 22 to meditate and pray for peace. Again this year we ask you to join us in this effort to help bring peace.

Can a "Minute for Peace" become a minute of goodwill observed in unison around the world? Will it irresistibly move the leaders of men into paths of peace? Will the hearts and minds of people in all countries be touched by the Holy Spirit with the peace and love that bring men into the Kingdom of God?

What has happened so far seemed utterly impossible at first. Who knows what may happen if we put our faith to work and use the power of the Spirit to solve the problem of the sword?

On December 22, 2011, join with Earth Trustees all over the world in dedicating your hearts during a "Minute for Peace." Let every radio and TV station fill the day with minutes of music and words that inspire peaceful actions. Help us unite as one human family in new understanding and care for this wonderful nest in the stars: Planet Earth, our home.

quinta-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2012

dia internacional da solidariedade humana

Dia Internacional da Solidariedade Humana – 20 de dezembro de 2011Mensagem do Secretário-Geral da ONU, Ban Ki-moon.
Neste ano, a celebração do Dia Internacional da Solidariedade Humana acontece em meio a um período em que o mundo enfrenta múltiplos desafios e oportunidades.
O velho mundo está gradualmente, mas inevitavelmente, mudando e os contornos de um novo mundo estão começando a tomar forma. Neste ano, a população mundial chegou a sete bilhões de pessoas. Uma nova austeridade está se estabelecendo. Novas ansiedades estão dando origem a tensões e temores.
Ao mesmo tempo, temos diante de nós um mundo de possibilidades na luta contra as doenças, no aproveitamento da tecnologia e na eliminação das disparidades e desigualdades econômicas. Essas mudanças não aconteceram por acaso. Isso não vai acontecer por si só. Nem vai acontecer se continuarmos agindo da mesma forma. Estas épocas exigem algo diferente. Precisamos pensar grande, tomar medidas enérgicas e ter força para interligar os desafios globais.
Na Assembleia Geral, em setembro, convoquei os líderes globais a prestarem maior atenção as cinco tarefas imprescindíveis para o século XXI na qual a solidariedade é essencial: alcançar o desenvolvimento sustentável; prevenir e mitigar conflitos; abusos de direitos humanos e impactos de desastres naturais; construir um mundo mais seguro e livre de perigos; apoiar os países em transição; e aproveitar o talento das mulheres e dos jovens.
A Conferência das Nações Unidas sobre Desenvolvimento Sustentável (Rio+20) no ano que vem será a oportunidade de adotar medidas e revitalizar uma aliança mundial que inclua dirigentes governamentais, sociedade civil e setor privado em busca do desenvolvimento sustentável e inclusivo para todos.
Em um mundo de desafios comuns, nenhuma nação pode ter êxito sozinha, mas se trabalharmos juntos em torno de uma causa comum, poderemos construir um futuro mais próspero e seguro para todos. A solidariedade deve ser o alicerce das soluções globais.

quarta-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2012

O Dia Internacional do Homem

O Dia Internacional do Homem é um evento internacional celebrado em 19 de Novembro de cada ano. As comemorações foram iniciadas em 1999 pelo Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh em Trinidad e Tobago, apoiadas pela Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU)[1], e vários grupos de defesa dos direitos masculinos da América do Norte, Europa, África e Ásia. No Brasil o Dia do Homem também é comemorado em 19 de Novembro.
A diretora da Secretaria de Mulheres e Cultura de Paz da UNESCO, Ingeborg Breines, disse que a criação da data é "uma excelente idéia para equilibrar os gêneros"[1]. Os objetivos principais do Dia Internacional do Homem é melhorar a saúde dos homens (especialmente dos mais jovens), melhorar a relação entre gêneros, promover a igualdade entre gêneros e destacar papéis positivos de homens. É uma ocasião em que homens se reúnem para combater o sexismo e, ao mesmo tempo, celebrar suas conquistas e contribuições na comunidade, na famílias e no casamento, e na criação dos filhos.

18 de dezembro ia Internacional dos Migrantes

No dia Internacional dos Migrantes, as Nações Unidas lembram que embora vivamos na da maior mobilidade humana de sempre, a migração continua a ser vista de forma negativa quer pelas populações, quer pelos media. Esta é uma das conclusões do Relatório da Organização Internacional para as Migrações (OIM) de 2011 lançado do passado dia 6 de Dezembro.
“E evidente que a migração é muitas vezes o bode expiatório para outros problemas, medos e incertezas relativamente ao emprego, à habitação e à coesão social nas sociedades hospedeiras. A migração pode também ser apontada como a causa da perda de capital humano e de dependência económica nos países de origem dos migrantes” afirma o Director-Geral da OIM, William Lacy Swing.
Para combater os mitos e percepções erradas sobre o fenómeno da migração, a OIM propõe uma mudança radical na forma como se fala de migração. O Secretário-Geral das Nações Unidas, Ban Ki-Moon e a Alta Comissária das Nações Unidas para os Direitos Humanos, Navi Pilay, apelas aos Estados que ratifiquem a Convenção Internacional para a protecção dos direitos dos Trabalhadores Migrantes e suas famílias.

segunda-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2012

dia internacional das/dos trabalhadoras/dores do sexo

Dia 17 de Dezembro é o dia escolhido pelas organizações que trabalham na área do trabalho sexual, para relembrar todos os trabalhadores e trabalhadoras de sexo que foram alvo de violência, opressão e ódio, por parte de clientes, parceiros, autoridades policiais ou pelo estado. A violência contra os/as trabalhadores/as do sexo é um fenómeno em larga escala perpetrado, legitimado e aceite por muitos. As autoridades policiais e as leis que regulam esta actividade têm, em algum casos aumentado o risco de violência contra os/as trabalhadores/as do sexo, em vez de os/as proteger. Estes actos de violência são também perpetrados por proxenetas, clientes, membros da família ou parceiros íntimos. Para além de ser um ataque aos Direitos Humanos, arruína os esforços de prevenção do VIH e aumenta a vulnerabilidade dos/as trabalhadores/as do sexo à transmissão do VIH de diversas formas:

A violação pode aumentar o risco de infecção pelo VIH dos/as trabalhadores/as de sexo, devido ao trauma vaginal e lacerações causadas pelo uso da força.
Alguns ou algumas proxenetas podem forçar os/as trabalhadores/as sexuais a aceitar mais clientes ou a não usar preservativo, sob ameaças ou violência.
Os trabalhadores e trabalhadoras sexuais, especialmente os/as que trabalham em contextos de exterior (rua), podem ser forçados/as a “trocar” sexo não-pago ou desprotegido com autoridades policiais, de forma a escapar da prisão, assédio, libertação da prisão ou para não serem deportados/as.
O assédio, por parte das autoridades policiais ou outros, às pessoas ou entidades que fornecem serviços de proximidade a trabalhadores/as de sexo, pode diminuir o acesso deste a serviços de informação e prevenção.
Os/as trabalhadores/as sexuais podem também sofrer violência às mãos de clientes e parceiros/as íntimos/as, impendindo-os/as de negociar sexo seguro.
Os trabalhadores e trabalhadoras do sexo podem não usar os serviços de saúde devido à hostilidade ou abuso das pessoas que prestam cuidados de sáude.
Os trabalhadores e trabalhadoras do sexo que usam drogas injectáveis correm riscos quer pela troca de seringas quer pelo sexo desprotegido. Estes/as podem também experimentar violência relacionada com a compra, partilha ou venda de drogas, o que pode impedi-los/as de se protegerem convenientemente.
A constante ameaça de violência pode estar ligada à ansiedade, depressão, perda de autoestima dos/as trabalhadores/as do sexo, dando assim, em alguma situações, pouca prioridade à sua saúde e à prevenção do VIH em detrimento de outras preocupações imediatas relacionadas com segurança e sobrevivência.

sábado, 15 de dezembro de 2012


Zeca Afonso
...O que é preciso é criar desassossego. Quando começamos a criar alibís para justificar o nosso conformismo, então está tudo lixado ! (...) Acho que acima de tudo é preciso agitar, não ficar parado, ter coragem, quer se trate de musica ou de politica. E nós, neste país, somos tão pouco corajosos que, qualquer dia, estámos reduzidos à condição de "Homenzinhos" e "Mulherzinhas" TEMOS É QUE SER GENTE, PÁ !... José Afonso - in: Jornal Se7e - 27 Novembro 1985

sexta-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2012

dia internacional da energia

World Energy Day is celebrated on 14th December to underscore the importance of energy consumption and its use in our day-to-day life, its scarcity and its impact on sustainability of global eco systems. It focuses attention on critical issues facing the future of mankind with respect to energy.

It is not only a day for reiterating past resolutions and taking but also an occasion for building up awareness regarding need for energy conservation, energy efficiency and frugality in energy use. Energy use is a major source of global warming, which has the potential of making the earth uninhabitable. World Energy Day aims at universal public awareness and participation to make it a global movement. This is of utmost importance for sustainable development and survival of mankind on Planet Earth. World Energy Day serves to spell a sense of urgency on the issues involved.

Reserves of all conventional forms of energy are fast depleting. Every day the human population across the world wakes up and uses energy for leading a civilized life. Energy resources are crucial input of human development which comprises providing adequate food, shelter, clothing, water, sanitation, medication, schooling, transportation, industrial applications, access to information, etc.

In short, energy affects all facets of activities related to modern life. Per capita energy consumption is often considered an important indicator of development. As people and nations progress, consumption of energy will increase. The most important source of energy is coal, petroleum products and nuclear energy popularly known as conventional sources of energy.

quarta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2012

dia internacional do tráfico de pessoas

Above is a snapshot I took from the Hall of Justice today. It's good to know that the forum we conducted in several public schools are in time for the commemoration of the International Day Against Human Trafficking this coming December 12, 2012.

terça-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2012

Dia Internacional da Montanha

No dia 11 de Dezembro, pelas 21h30, o Núcleo Regional do Porto da Quercus, vai celebrar o Dia Internacional da Montanha. No dia 11 de Dezembro, pelas 21h30, o Núcleo Regional do Porto da Quercus, vai celebrar o Dia Internacional da Montanha com a inauguração de uma exposição sobre as montanhas de Luís Avelar da Quercus e com a projecção de um audiovisual sobre a necessidade de defesa das montanhas, na Quinta da Gruta, Castêlo da Maia. Junte-se a esta celebração em defesa das MONTANHAS! As montanhas são ecossistemas terrestres com paisagens sublimes, e com uma grande biodiversidade de fauna, flora e de uma considerável singularidade cultural. Contudo, a sua destruição e degradação paisagística tem vindo a aumentar consideravelmente devido à pressão humana directa e indirecta através do aquecimento global e alterações climáticas associadas. Por estes motivos e em defesa destas áreas, a ONU decretou 2002 como o Ano Internacional das Montanhas e 11 de Dezembro como o Dia Internacional da Montanha. O tema para 2007 é: Enfrentar a Mudança: Alterações Climáticas nas áreas de Montanha

segunda-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2012

dia internacional dos direitos humanos

A 10 de dezembro de 1948, a Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos foi adotada pela Assembleia Geral da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU). No mesmo dia, em 1984, uma convenção aprova o fim da tortura e outros tratamentos ou penas cruéis, desumanos ou degradantes. Em 1998, é instituído, a 10 de dezembro, o Dia Internacional dos Direitos Animais.
Hoje é o Dia Internacional dos Direitos Humanos, data que coincide com a declaração universal rubricada pela Organização das Nações Unidas, em 1948.
Também hoje assinala-se a convenção das Nações Unidas contra a Tortura e Outros Tratamentos ou Penas Cruéis, Desumanos ou Degradantes (Resolução 39/46 da Assembleia Geral da ONU), estabelecida em 10 de dezembro de 1984, numa atualização da convenção de 1948.

domingo, 9 de dezembro de 2012

Dia Internacional Contra a Corrupção

Assinala-se hoje o Dia Internacional contra a Corrupção, por ocasião do 6.º aniversário da assinatura da Convenção das Nações Unidas contra a Corrupção, também conhecida como Convenção de Mérida (cidade mexicana onde foi formalmente assinada).

O lema para a campanha conjunta de 2009 do Escritório das Nações Unidas Contra a Droga e o Crime e do Programa das Nações Unidas para o Desenvolvimento é «O seu NÃO conta» (ver www.yournocounts.org): “a corrupção não é uma força impessoal, antes o resultado de decisões pessoais, muitas vezes motivadas pela ganância”, afirmou já o Secretário-Geral da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU). Encorajou também todas as pessoas para que nunca ofereçam ou aceitem um suborno ou enveredem por actos corruptos: “sigam aquele lema e o mundo será um lugar mais honesto”, afirmou, “e aumentarão as possibilidades de cumprir os Objectivos do Milénio”.
O Secretário-Geral da ONU apelou ainda para que os sectores público e privado façam uma maior utilização da Convenção contra a Corrupção, que identificou como “o mais robusto instrumento jurídico mundial para construir a integridade e combater a corrupção”. O recente acordo sobre o mecanismo de avaliação da aplicação da Convenção, obtido no quadro da 3ª sessão da Conferência dos Estados Partes, vem também, por outro lado, reforçar este desiderato.
Somando-se às comemorações deste Dia Internacional contra a Corrupção, a Organização para a Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Económico (OCDE) acolhe hoje uma mesa redonda de alto nível dedicada ao tema “Corrupção internacional: quem paga o seu preço?”

international day anti-corruption

Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the "start-up costs" required because of corruption.
On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties (resolution 58/4).
The Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it. The Convention entered into force in December 2005.

sexta-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2012

dia internacional da aviação cívil

O Dia Internacional da Aviação Civil foi celebrado pela primeira vez a 7 de Dezembro de 1994, para marcar o 50º aniversário da assinatura da Convenção sobre a Aviação Civil Internacional. Em 1996, a Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas reconheceu oficialmente a data de 7 de Dezembro como o Dia Internacional da Aviação Civil.
A Aviação civil é qualquer utilização não-militar da aviação. Dentre as utilizações estão: aviação desportiva, voos panorâmicos, acrobáticos, aeronaves experimentais, ultra-leves, e transporte de passageiros e cargas com fins comerciais. Existe na aviação civil a construção de aviões por construtores amadores, denominadas homebuilts.
A Aviação veio revolucionar todo o sistema de ligações entre os povos como aconteceu nos séculos XIV, XV e XVI, com as Navegações. Face àelevada e imprescindà­vel acção desempenhada por este meio de transporte nas relações entre todos os povos, a aviação contribuiu para a proximidade e desenvolvimento, constituindo um factor socioeconómico de maior valia.
Foi também a Aviação, um dos elementos básicos do Turismo, que contribuiu para o desenvolvimento económico, possibilitando a deslocação de grandes correntes de visitantes entre vários paà­ses, ajudando a expandir a economia e, com as suas receitas, contribuindo para o equilà­brio da balança de pagamentos.

quarta-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2012

dia internacional do voluntariado

“Neste dia 5 de dezembro, Dia Internacional do Voluntariado, nossa homenagen a esse exército, que diariamente,
absolutamente pacífico, luta para, com muito trabalho, talento e espírito solidário, ajudar pessoas e causas.
O reconhecimento da importância do voluntário é internacional. A partir da resolução da assembleia geral da Onu, o dia 5 de dezembro foi escolhido como data alusiva do Dia Internacional do Voluntariado.

É uma chance de homenagear todas as pessoas que normalmente ficam anônimas, mas cujas ações são fundamentais para o funcionamento da nossa sociedade e da nossa civilização. O “pensar no outro” faz a gente ser humano.
Independente das dificuldades enfrentadas, a principal forma de contribuir é a participação. Ser voluntário é ser solidário, é doar tempo, talento, trabalho, vontade e ter consciência do que os atos podem produzir na sociedade.

segunda-feira, 3 de dezembro de 2012

dia internacional da pessoa com deficiência

 O projecto “Dança sobre Rodas”, que visa divulgar e implementar em Portugal a modalidade de dança desportiva em cadeira de rodas, está a organizar o Dia da Dança Inclusiva para comemorar o Dia Internacional da Pessoa com Deficiência, que se celebra todos os anos a 3 de Dezembro. O evento destina-se a amantes da dança e curiosos em geral, cadeirantes ou andantes, com ou sem conhecimentos de dança, e terá início por volta das 15 horas, nas instalações da Academia de Dança Dancefloor, localizada na Portela, a cinco minutos da zona do Parque das Nações. O Dia da Dança Inclusiva é um evento concebido e desenvolvido pelo projecto “Dança sobre Rodas”, em parceria com a Academia de Dança Dancefloor e com o apoio da Junta de Freguesia da Portela, como parte de um conjunto de iniciativas que pretendem ajudar a dar a conhecer esta modalidade de dança adaptada a um público cada vez maior e mais diversificado. A dança em cadeira de rodas é uma modalidade de desporto adaptado para pessoas portadoras de deficiência motora, reconhecida pelo Comité Paralímpico Internacional como modalidade paralímpica. É practicada em vinte e dois países, por aproximadamente cinco mil pessoas, que vem nesta modalidade uma via por excelência para a reabilitação física, o lazer e a integração social.

domingo, 2 de dezembro de 2012

Dia Internacional para a abolição da escravatura

Para assinalar este dia, deixamos-te o discurso de Kofi Annan, Secretário Geral da Organização das Nações Unidas.

"O Dia Internacional para a Abolição da Escravatura é uma óptima ocasião para nos apercebermos de que, apesar séculos de luta, a escravatura ainda não foi completamente erradicada no nosso mundo.
Muitas formas de escravatura subsistem ainda nos nossos dias, como o trabalho forçado e em condições de servidão, o trabalho infantil e a escravatura para fins rituais ou religiosos. O mundo tem também de enfrentar uma nova forma de escravatura: o tráfico de seres humanos, que faz com que muitas pessoas vulneráveis, virtualmente abandonadas pelos sistemas jurídicos e sociais, sejam apanhadas numa engrenagem sórdida de exploração e de abusos.
As pessoas que cometem, toleram ou facilitam a escravatura ou práticas aparentadas com esta devem ser responsabilizadas a nível nacional e, se necessário, a nível internacional. A comunidade internacional deve fazer mais para combater a pobreza, a exclusão social, o analfabetismo, a ignorância e a discriminação que aumentam a vulnerabilidade e figuram entre as causas profundas deste flagelo.
Exorto todos os Estados a ratificarem e a aplicarem os instrumentos já existentes sobre esta questão, em particular o Protocolo Adicional à Convenção das Nações Unidas contra o Crime Organizado Transnacional para Prevenir, Reprimir e Punir o Tráfico de Seres Humanos e em particular de Mulheres e Crianças.
Exorto também os Estados a colaborarem plenamente com o relator especial sobre tráfico de seres humanos, nomeado no ano passado pela Comissão de Direitos Humanos das Nações Unidas, e a recorrerem com mais frequência aos “Princípios e Directivas sobre Direitos Humanos e Tráfico de Seres Humanos”, definidos pelo Alto Comissariado das Nações Unidas para os Direitos Humanos, e que fornecem ferramentas práticas para a elaboração de estratégias eficazes de luta contra o tráfico de seres humanos, tanto a nível nacional, como a nível regional e internacional.
Espero também que os Estados contribuam generosamente para o Fundo de Contribuições Voluntárias das Nações Unidas para a Luta Contra as Formas Contemporâneas de Escravatura, que presta assistência às vítimas.
Neste Dia Internacional para a Abolição da Escravatura, reafirmemos a nossa convicção de que a dignidade humana está no centro do trabalho das Nações Unidas, e de que, para garantir o respeito total pelo ser humano, é necessária uma atitude de “tolerância zero” em relação à escravatura."
(Fonte: Comunicado de imprensa SG/SM/10223, HR/4575 de 28/11/2005).

sábado, 1 de dezembro de 2012

dia mundial de luta contra a sida

1° de Dezembro: Aids continua sendo epidemia grave
O total mundial de soropositivos, 34 milhões, reflete uma grave epidemia, embora tenha sido possível reduzir a mortalidade graças aos tratamentos antirretrovirais e os índices estejam "estáveis" na América Latina.

Às vésperas da celebração do Dia Mundial de Luta Contra a Aids, o Programa Conjunto da ONU para o HIV/aids (Unaids) divulgou seu relatório anual em que se destaca que o continente mais afetado é a África.

Cerca de 70% dos portadores do HIV - 23,5 milhões - vivem na África Subsaariana, onde 3,1 milhões de crianças estão infectadas (94% do total mundial das crianças infectadas).

Apesar da força desses números, a região também viu uma grande diminuição das mortes relacionadas à aids, 32% entre 2005 e 2011 - ano em que o número de mortos foi de 1,2 milhão.