DiscriminationCategory Archives

US State Alcohol Laws

Although many don’t bother, there is no legal restriction on British women against enjoying a drink of wine occasionally during pregnancy.  However in the United States, this is certainly not as clear cut.  More than forty US states have laws and regulations around mothers to be drinking.  These range from criminal prosecution to mandatory rehab course for pregnant women caught drinking alcohol.

Now obviously exposing an unborn child to high levels of alcohol is harmful, it is proven that it can cause all sorts of health problems including disabilities.  However is it the role of the state to legislate what women can do when pregnant?  An interesting study recently highlighted a fact that states which strict laws against pregnancy and drinking also had very restrictive abortion laws too.

Of course the reality is that most women don;t drink when pregnant, so are these laws actually effective or indeed even required?   There has been virtually no studies on whether legislation actually affects drinking behaviour in pregnant women.   This is surprising considering the amount of studies and research which has been conducted on other alcohol related areas.

In some states the legislations are stricter than others, for example in 20 states pregnant women caught drinking can be liable for child abuse and in some actually face incarceration.    The stance definitely divides many people, even if the objective is shared.  Of course, most agree that drinking in pregnancy should be discouraged but the role of the state is more controversial.

Many organisations consider that drinking while pregnant should be a criminal offence and that this is essential in order to protect the rights of the unborn child.    Other sectors are concerned that these laws are merely a way for pro-life or religious groups to further control women’s choices and prevent options for them.  This seems to have some truth in it considering the legislation often passes onto abortion rights too.

There is no doubt that in the US alcohol disorders are a huge problems just like in many developed countries.   There are many innovative treatments that offer a solution including like this method based on a drug called Selincro and The Sinclair Method – referenced here – http://cipec.org/science/selincro-an-alcohol-wonder-drug – however these can be expensive and not always accessible to poorer members of society.

Many worry that legislation like this will act in the same way as criminal charges around drugs abuse – which are mainly ineffective.  It is very possible that threatening pregnant women who have alcohol issues with criminal charges will be detrimental to their and their baby’s health.  It is almost certain to deter women from seeking help or treatment if they have issues with alcohol during pregnancy.

Jason Williams

http://cipec.org/

Benin Hosts the 9th African Carbon Forum

In a few days one of the most important African meetings takes place. It is the 9th African Carbon Forum and the agenda is one of huge significance – human rights and carbon emissions take centre stage.

Key stakeholders in the public sector, private sector and civil society in Africa and beyond are set to meet next week at Cotonou, Benin, to carry ahead collaborative climate action for sustainable growth within the area.   There is limited coverage of this event although some will be evident in the UK and US media for example.   If you are able to buy UK proxy IP address, then you can access the BBC which is well known for covering climate change and human rights based conferences.

In the African Carbon Forum, being held in Benin in 28-30 June, participants will concentrate on how to reinforce cooperation between authorities and other stakeholders in crucial sectors for Africa — particularly energy, agriculture and human settlements. This includes the function of future carbon markets in boosting climate activity and sustainable growth.

The assembly includes a high level ministerial department hosted with the Government of Benin, where Ministers and high-level officials will talk about mobilizing financial resources to undertake climate change.

“The Africa Carbon Forum can investigate how existing emission reduction initiatives could be further reinforced in crucial sectors of African nations. It’s also a chance to learn more about the part of future carbon dioxide markets to assist nations in reaching the targets of the Paris Agreement.”

Two-thirds of Africans earn their living off the land, therefore, it’s vital that the continent secures a climate-resilient economical and growth path. Hosting the Africa Carbon Forum establishes Benin’s dedication to the Paris Agreement and also to the wider prosperity of this continent”

The Africa Carbon Forum at Benin will incorporate the discussion of:

  • Practical illustrations of initiatives, policies and activities in Africa;
  • Barriers and allowing measures for participating climate activity in key sectors;
  • Advancing the measures to reduce climate activity.

Further Information:

To Access Geo-Locked websites  – Video on Paid VPN service.

EU Research Experts to Assist Hungary and Bulgaria in Defining Standards

Bulgaria and Hungary are the first E.U. member states to enlist the European Commission’s help to reform their research policies. The two Eastern European nations will receive guidance from external reviewers as a piece of the commission’s new Policy Support Facility (PSF), declared here yesterday.

For registering for the scheme the countries were praised by moedas. “Having a [science] minister [who] says: ‘we’re committed to doing the reforms, please include independent experts and tell me if I’m doing the best thing’; I think it requires a lot of bravery,” said Moedas, who presented the strategy with Bulgaria’s science minister Todor Tanev.

Bulgaria has requested “peer review” and advice in three areas: public funding of research, science professions, and knowledge transfer from academia to business. The commission has collected a number of five external reviewers and five “peers”–senior government officials involved in research policy within their particular state. The panel, headed by Luc Soete, rector of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, will conduct state visits in April and June and is anticipated to provide recommendations by the end of July.

The media on the whole don’t cover this sort of European cooperation but it makes interesting reading in these times of Brexit and other countries questioning the advantages of the European Union. SOme of the bigger broadcasters do cover these events to some extents though for example the BBC, you can actually watch the BBC in France and other European countries – see here.
This type of exercise is not completely new: there have been reviews of national science systems before, through consulting companies or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for example. But Soete says PSF could carry more weight if its recommendations are linked to the European Session, the annual evaluation of financial reforms in member states of the commission. Presently, the commission’s prescriptions focus mainly on budget area, but armed with the reviews of PSF, it might make more powerful recommendations about research and initiation reforms. (All member states have signed up to align their policies under the European Session, but its recommendations remain nonbinding.)

The commission has consented to prepare the ground to get an identical exercise in Hungary after in the year. Other nations, including Poland and Italy, have expressed an interest in setting their research policies beneath the microscope too. “The countries that feel the most powerful pressure as being underperforming [will] be the first to rap on the door,” while other nations “wait and see,” Soete says. Nonetheless, “I wouldn’t be surprised if many nations took advantage of this” eventually, he adds.

Authorities who use PSF will also have the ability to get practical assistance from your commission officials to roll out reforms.

 

Additional Sources:

How to Access BBC iPlayer Outside UK

The Martin McGuinness Paradox

The death of the Sinn Fein leader, Martin McGuinness has caused as much controversy as he did in life.   If you read the opinion pieces in the media there is a definite split, should we remember McGuinness for the latter part of his life involving the peace process and compromise or the violence of his IRA days.

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Much of course probably relies on your age and experiences to how you viewed the controversial figure.  Norman Tebbit of course, who’s wife was paralysed in the Brighton bombing orchestrated by the IRA has more reason than most to despise McGuinness.   For those unaffected directly though perhaps the most inspiring moment was when Arlene Foster joined the funeral congregation and was applauded by all the those who sat around.

The DUP leader has more reasons than most to despise Martin McGuinness,  she lost her father when he was shot by the IRA.   When she was 16 years old, her school bus was attacked by an IRA bomb.    Yet for the last 15 months she has worked with Sinn Fein and their leader in an attempt to maintain the peace process and lead Northern Ireland forward.

It was a bright moment which surprised many, yet the reception she received from the largely Catholic audience seemed genuinely affectionate.   Was it a political stunt, no-one except Arlene Foster would know but it’s moments like these that give hope to maintaining the peace of Northern Ireland.  The tribute was extended by Bill Clinton who praised the DUP leader, he also empathised with how difficult it was to attend the funeral of someone involved in her father’s killing.

It is important because hate and division has for so long been ingrained in the very fabric of Northern Irish society.  Even if the attendance was merely a political gambit, it had real power and demonstrated that it was possible to forgive even in the most extreme situations.  The symbolism was powerful, it might inspire others to follow her example on both sides of the political divide.

It will be interesting to see if McGuinness’s death  has any impact on the negotiations for power sharing, but it is hoped that something positive will develop.  It’s worth keeping an eye out on the local media for a fuller picture.  The Irish broadcaster RTE in the Republic of Ireland has good coverage but you’ll need to use the same technology people use to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland like this to access it from the UK mainland for example.

Additional Sources:

BBC in Ireland

 

 

 

 

China Still Last in Internet Freedom

It will probably come as little surprise to anyone who follows the stories of internet censorship and filtering that once again China has been listed as the least free place to use the internet.    The report was release by an organisation called Freedom House who produce this survey annually and monitor changes to the tables.  There is also a worrying global trend with overall online freedom declining across the world for the sixth year in a row.

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The survey uses a simple assessment which rates the level of freedom online from a 1 (completely free) to a 100 which is the worse possible score.  China again scored an oppressive 88, the same as last year and again higher than any other country in the survey.  These include countries like Syria, Iraq and Cuba who are known to heavily restrict and filter access to the internet.  China  is cementing it’s position as the most oppressive state with regards internet freedom.

There are some digital activists in China, those who are able to protest and who use VPNs like these to speak online.  However they are increasingly coming under pressure from  increasingly draconian legislation and restrictions.  For example one amendment to criminal law has added a 7 year prison term for those deemed to be spreading rumours – these are usually interpreted as anything which criticizes the state.  Other example include members of religious minorities who have been imprisoned for watching religious videos on their mobile phones.

Many thousands of websites are inaccessible from China and the list grows every day.  Any publication which criticizes any aspect of China or it’s policies is likely to be added to the banned list.  recently the Economist and the South China Morning Post (which operates from Hong Kong) were blocked for their political articles.   Most Chinese will routinely use a VPN to access something for an independent media source, it’s common to see BBC World News streaming on laptops and mobile phones although users will tend to obviously try and be discrete for obvious reasons.

Oddly China hosts a World Internet conference, which is full of irony in both practice and it’s speakers.  Last year the President Xi Jinping delivered a speech calling for ‘cyber sovereignty’ where no country holds a monopoly on internet governance and that Chinese internet users are allowed freedom online.  Of course, nobody pointed out that it was his Government who were wholly responsible for their lack of freedom.   There were some concessions though, foreign journalists were allowed access through the Great Chinese Firewall, local journalists though were blocked as normal.

 

The End of NGOs in Egypt?

It’s not been widely reported but there’s a chilling new law being drafted in the Egyptian parliament which would essentially block the existence of any civil groups unless they were controlled by the government.  Human rights organisations are universally condemning the rules which would essentially ban any non-governmental group from operating within Egypt.

Egypt

The draft was approved by the State Council on the 28th November and now is awaiting approval from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi which will sign it into the law books.  There is little doubt that the Egyptian state is trying to rush the law into force in order to bypass the public scrutiny of legislation which would simply ban all civil society groups from operating effectively.

Many are hoping al-Sisi will not sign through the legislation, for example it is in conflict with Egypt’s constitution and international law – this though seems unlikely.   The United Nations are concerned that the civil society which often perform essential work in African countries like Egypt will be merely transformed into an ineffectual Government puppet.

It is similar to previous drafts which have been heavily criticised by the international community however many experts suggest that this revision is actually even more far reaching.  For example it raises the maximum prison term for violating this law to five years, which considering many of the legislation’s vague provisions would make it extremely dangerous to be involved in any sort of civil group or charity.

For example individuals could potentially be imprisoned for up to five years if they conducted a public survey or anything which constituted field research without government approval.  Further conditions are equally vague relating to any work of ‘political nature’.  These terms as usual are not defined  by the legislation which means they will be interpreted by the authorities in any way that is convenient to their needs.

The law will put over 45000 local people and over 100 foreign groups working in Egypt at huge risk according to some estimates.   There are already many human rights groups being investigated on various ridiculous allegations of foreign funding, the latest laws would make running any sort of human rights groups in Egypt almost impossible and a huge risk to those involved.

It is already extremely difficult and dangerous to operate any of these groups as there are a myriad of laws that the Egyptian state can ‘utilise’ to target organisations it disapproves of.  There are also extensive internet surveillance and content filters in use to block access and monitor internet connections.  It is possible to bypass these using VPNs and technical fixes like using a US DNS server instead of an Egyptian one but there is still a risk.

Since al-Sisi led the military coup which overthrew the country’s first democratically elected president many thousands have been prosecuted for any opposition to the state whether peaceful or not.   This includes any one who have demonstrated in any minor way including such things like joking or criticizing on social media or online.  There are a myriad of activities protected under the Egyptian constitution which can easily be adapted by the authorities to prosecute and imprison anyone deemed to be a threat.    If the bill does pass then the future of civil and humanitarian groups in Egypt seems to be threatened.

John Williams

The Anonymous Torrent

Thor Halvorssen – Modern Human Rights Activist

As stated on Time.com, the story of Thor Halvorssen can be understood when you realise that his whole family was involved in several sorts of political activism. Thor Halvorssen wants every child to eventually become aware of their rights and to promote these within their very own straightforward ways. It is a useful parable of how people can become familiar about the people who play important roles in protecting and promoting human rights.

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Thor Halvorssen is a significant player within the human rights community. In regards to his private life, Thor Halvorssen Mendoza always keep it private for security and security reasons on account of the threats.

Any journalist looking for an actual story really has to be inside these meeting. Kevin Spacey kept a minimal profile regarding his three-hour visit however he was happy to relish a lengthy photo-op, and after that tour a different film facility. Mr. Halvorssen helped organize a global campaign because of his father’s release. Thor Halvorssen is also a global celebrity and has been covered in many documentaries, try checking out online media sites, this tool allows access despite the Netflix VPN block if you have issues.

Socialism is just like a knife. To begin with, Halvorssen contends that socialism will erode individual rights. Halvorssen discussed socialism for a policy and for a governmental structure.

Basically, what Halvorssen appears to be attempting to say is he doesn’t think that socialism in of itself is bad news. He will not every want to change.

He is famous in various countries of earth due to his advocacy concerning human right protection. His contributions paved way rising of freedom fighters who really need to change the shape of their government. Halvorssen has many contributions within the government that is certainly indeed beneficial on every people within the society. Because his group targets human rights violations around the world, he’s become the target for a lot of negative reactions by different groups.

Thor does see an extended war to fight in regards to providing more human rights for others in countries that aren’t so free. He understands exactly how hard it is to reside beneath a government that doesn’t respect human rights. Let’s continue spreading the amazing contributions of Halvorssen so that the brand new generation would have the capacity to understand why they’re free and why their rights are guarded.

His grandfather proved to be a prosperous military fighter with a series of winning stunts. He always put great efforts on each act he did and it’s evident on the success which he has. Liberty and human rights are topics which are incredibly critical to Halvorssen. Here are a few of the awards and recognitions he received.

Human rights is a rather beautiful situation to have. Yet, argues Halvorssen, there are lots of counter-examples wherein socialism was been abused. After all, he’s in the struggle for human rights. He doesn’t discriminate in regards to his cause.
Furthermore, Halvorssen’s cousin is presently imprisoned in Venezuela. He’s allowed only a single book, the Holy Bible, whereas ahead of the sentencing he had a library of over 100 books.This definitely is a critical topic that deserves exploration except to sidestep individual rights round the world is appalling.

John Simpson

Technology, News Blogger 

European Block Personal Search Results

Most of us have some sort of digital footprint online now, obviously the size of this varies between individuals.    The person who blogs, logs their every move on social media and takes pictures wherever they go will obviously have much more of a presence than the occasional web user however nearly everyone has some sort of personal information stored online.

However in some places you’ll find it much harder to find through the search engines if you’re looking for personal information.  Europe has actually become home to a certain amount of censorship of search engine results due to the effect of the ‘right to be forgotten’ rules which were passed in 2014.  This EU legislation states that companies like Google have a legal obligation to remove personal information about individuals from their search indices. Their are some caveats – the exclusions don’t apply to information which is in the public interest and data which is ‘inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant or excessive.’

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In practical terms it means that Google and indeed all search engines, have to remove links to pages for example in news and current affair stories if an individual requests it.  Of course this becomes very difficult for search engines, controlling access and tailoring results based on different locations.  In fact it became a little confusing that search listings were deleted in the European Union countries and still existed in other countries. So if someone from Europe invested in a fast USA proxy or VPN then they could view the results by using the US version of Google without any problems.

Such are the problems of the internet, you can pass legislation and laws in one country and watch as they are completely ignored or even contradicted in another country.  Google has decided on a pragmatic approach and will now remove all results in line with the European guidelines although presumably these excluded results can be accessed on request in other countries.

Such administrative issues are nothing compared to the more sinister moves by different countries across the world.  Many governments are trying to create their own versions of the internet, following on the heavy restrictions in force in China – places like Brazil, Turkey and Russia are trying to create their own barriers.  Fortunately no one has yet found a way to make these blocks complete and investing in the best VPN software you can afford will almost certainly bypass any of these restrictions including the technologically advanced Great Firewall of China.

We can see quite clearly though that without a global vision and central governance the internet is going to become increasingly fractured and localized.

Update on the USA Freedom Act

The USA Freedom act was approved by the House Judiciary Committee at the end of April, 2015.  There is a hope and indeed many human rights organisation have stated that the Act should be passed as soon as possible to stop the collection of bulk communications data, the expanse of surveillance and improve transparency of the US intelligence services.

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The USA Freedom Act is designed to stop the domestic bulk collection of both communication and phone records.    Over the last few months and largely thanks to Edward Snowden, the US government has been collecting millions of phone records of innocent civilians justified by a very loose interpretation of the USA Patriot Act (section 215 specifically).

It’s not a complete solution but merely a first step towards reining in the huge surveillance program that is currently in place in the USA.   the mass violations of people’s privacy may have continued without our knowledge if it wasn’t for the revelations of Edward Snowden which began now nearly 2 years ago.   There are still many areas of concern for human rights, which the USA Freedom Act doesn’t begin to address, at least there will be a statutory foundation for future reforms.

Human Rights Watch spokespeople urged the Act to be passed as soon as possible, without any modifications which would weaken it’s protection.    The situation is further complicated by the fact that section 215 of the USA PAtriot Act is set to expire on June 1st 2015, but it is expected without the Freedom Act that the Patriot Act would be extended without implementing any further privacy provisions.

There are of course concerns that the bill won’t be passed at all, in fact several versions of the Freedom act have been introduced and debated heavily in Congress.  Most of these happened in 2014 and they were not enacted, fortunately most of the key reforms involved in the 2014 Act have been carried over to the 2015 version.

Section 215 gives intelligence authorities the power to acquire data and records which could be relevant to an investigation.  This is of course a very loose definition and is subject to huge variations in interpretation.  Imagine that someone uses a VPN to encrypt their connection or simply to watch something like Hulu or the BBC iPlayer like this system – http://iplayerusa.org/index.php/proxy-to-access-bbc-iplayer-abroad/. This example could use by the agencies to investigate the encryption involved in using these tools, or simply include the records because they are being actively hidden. Millions of innocent people use these tools every day, are they relevant to such investigations because of this.

The Act strengthens these requirements, so that wholesale mass collection becomes much more difficult. The idea is that a specific selection term must be defined – that is a term which identifies a specific account or personal device which is deemed to be linked with some sort of terrorism or criminal activity.

Further Information: Source

A Primer on the Types of Discrimination in the Workplace

I’m sure you’ll come across some sort of work place discrimination sooner or later in your work profession.

This is a little listing of the kinds of work place discrimination:

Racial Discrimination:
That happens when even executives and supervisors or workers handle other races in manner that is unjust. They aren’t respected by them and this influences how they’re being handled. Racial discrimination is usually pointed at especially towards Aboriginal men, but to other groups too including Jewish, African, Chinese, Japanese, South Asian and Muslims.

Age Discrimination:
This happens when a worker is mistreated in an unfair way due to hers or his age. Senior workers might be told they are not too young for this particular occupation they are at. I’ve seen this occur many times. This can be certainly one of the reasons to bring younger who will cost the business a great deal less cash to keep and is more excited. Same thing sometimes happens when an employer tells a fresh man he doesn’t posses enough expertise and is way too young.

Sex Discrimination:
This happens when an employer will give the guys rather than the girls more regard. People always believe that guys are better then girls in everything they do. That is false in any way. Girls can perform exactly the same jobs the same as the guys and in an identical amount. For instance, Companies may suppose that physical work is meant for guys and work that is sensitive is for girls.

Language and Nationality Discrimination:

As an example, imagine you’ve got an accent and that you just speak Spanish. For a job interview someplace in the states as well as the interviewer lets you know that he cannot hire you because you’ve got an accent. Another example is when you make fun of your accent and do have an accent as well as individuals at your work laugh at you. That’s additionally considered language discrimination. It’s something that can easily be affected by your environment and should not be considered an issue. Certainly some people say I’ve picked up a British accent because I use a UK VPN like this one here, to watch BBC programmes all the time online.

Spiritual Discrimination:

This Happens when an employee is handled incorrectly as a result of their sexual beliefs. As an example, an employer may determine to not employ an individual as well as fire someone simply since this individual is in a same sex-relationship.

Handicap Discrimination:
This is when an employer treats someone with disability in a biased manner than someone without disability.

John (the VPN Guy) Williams
American DNS

VPN Services Purged by Chinese

China is blocking VPN services that let users evade on-line censorship of popular sites such as Facebook and Google amid a broader crack down on on-line advice, specialists and technology businesses said.

The virtual private network supplier Golden Frog wrote on its website the managements have hit a broad swath of VPN services. The favorite supplier Astrill told its users that its VPN protocols for Apple cellular devices to access services like Gmail have been blocked.   It’s been happening for years, but in some instances the Chinese have turned a blind eye to many of these services particularly the basic ones.  But last year there was a significant escalation with even the onion-routed service, TOR being targeted with specific nodes being blocked and also the commercial Smart DNS services like this.

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The Chinese government blocks tens of thousands of sites to prevent from reaching Chinese users what it deems politically sensitive info. VPNs reroute and encrypt Internet traffic in order that censors can not tell what is being obtained.

“This week’s assault on VPNs that changed its citizens and other VPN suppliers is more complex than that which we have found previously.”

For controlling the Internet, the Chinese government’s bureau didn’t promptly react to questions.

China-based entrepreneur Richard Robinson said the managements have especially hurt small- and medium-sized foreign businesses that depend on VPNs. Many bigger businesses can afford direct connections to servers outside the state, he said.

Over the previous weeks, Chinese censors have blocked what staying access there’s to Gmail and other Google products. Google services limited or have been occasionally blocked since 2010 when the firm said it would no longer collaborate with the censors in China.

“These smaller companies, they are dependent on Gmail,” Robinson said.

“That to me is a really definitely associated fact together with the quantity of political gossips and data related to China’s high politics showing up in sites beyond China.”

Additional Resources

http://thenewproxies.com/british-ip-address/

http://www.anonymous-proxies.org/

US Racial Discrimination Still a Problem

Most Americans say racial and ethnic discrimination is “a huge issue” in America and many consider the nation’s race relations have gotten worse under President Barack Obama, based on another survey.  It is disturbing considering this was expected to be one of the President’s primary goals during his time in office.  In fact it is actually quite difficult to find any significant sector of society who believes that there has been any improvement in both racial and ethnic discrimination during the last decade.

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African American respondents were almost equally split on the question while whites were most prone to say things had gotten worse. Latinos were more likely than whites hadn’t changed since Obama was elected president.

The same was said by somewhat less than half.

There are of course lots of other issues that can effect  these findings, including any significant events happening around the time of the surveys.  These will always have a huge impact on results and can seriously skew data.  It is also worth remembering that the last decade has brought even more developments in communication like social media.  People communicate on a global level now, particularly with Smart DNS tools like this –  anyone can watch the news or media in any country they like merely by changing a couple of settings on their router.

Racism and race have dominated politics and news headlines in the White House for much.

Large scale demonstrations have been activated by the killing of several unarmed black men by white police officers in recent months and conclusions by grand juries to not indict the policemen throughout the United States.

Additionally, there is prevalent racial inequality in the American criminal justice system. Based on a study one out of every three black males will probably be sentenced to prison in their life. The amount for white males is estimated at approximately one in seventeen will be sentenced to any prison term (again this will vary widely on location, social status).

Additional Reading/Resources

Hide IP Software –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2wPPJ7T64w

Height Discrimination in China

It’s not something you come across in most developed countries, although many professions have some common sense height restrictions.  However in China, discrimination due to height is quite open and expected.  Take the situation of two security guards in Dalian in North East China, one man was two inches taller than the other and hence received more money.   The reasoning was that the taller guard made people feel more secure due to his height, basically if you’re over 180 cms tall (about 5 ‘9″) you’ll get a premium tall rate.

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Now you could argue that increase height in a physical job like a security guard is acceptable, however it doesn’t stop there in China.  Height requirements are routinely specified in all sorts of careers – want to study tourism and hotel management in Huaqiao University?  Well you’ll need to be over 170cms tall for a man and 158cms for a women.  A company in Beijing is advertising for cleaners, who must be female over 162 cms tall.  Even if the job doesn’t specifiy this, many people (particularly tall ones!) will put their height on their CV, something that wouldn’t happen in most Western countries.

It’s difficult to see some of these adverts and job advertisements even the ones online due to the heavy restrictions in Chinese internet access.  You can get reasonable access if you find a reputable security or VPN provider which will at least bypass the content filtering – try this for information.

There have been several studies and most have found that height has a large effect on salary expectations particularly for women.  One study found that each centimetres above average will add about 2% to the women’s salary – the difference rises esepcially on higher salary scales.   Currently there is no legislation at all preventing this sort of discrimination although several Universities are working on some draft legislation to prevent discrimination based on physical characteristics like height.

One of the big problems here is  that this sort of discrimination is increasing divisions in what is already a society with many social and economic divisions.  The overall height of Chinese is rising greatly in tandem with the increase in economic prosperity.  This however is much marked in richer areas, where increased living standards and better nutrition mean people are generally taller.   Thus the richer groups are benefiting more and already large inequalities are growing larger.

Further Information:

Source

Internet Discrimination – A Real Issue

When the internet first came along, it was pretty wild, disorganized and often very hard to find stuff you were looking for.   The search engines were in their infancy, sometimes they’d help you find the information you were looking for but more often than not would propel you into completely random unrelated areas.

It was fascinating and exciting, probably largely because the concept was new and amazing.   I remember well having a chat with a welder from Houston in Texas about computers, using a very simple IRC client (Internet Relay Chat).  The concept was incredible, that my words were being transported down my telephone wires and almost instantly being read by a bloke called Alan sitting across the Atlantic.  Of course our children take all this for granted, and in some senses it’s kind of sad that  they missed out on that ‘moment of realization’ which many of us remember vividly.

Now my children have as many digital friends across the globe as they do in their local town.  It’s simply commonplace to communicate with people across the globe using a host of digital devices.   Search engines are increasingly efficient and usually home in on the information you need with minimal fuss, albeit with a growing sense of commercialism.

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However not all aspects of the internet have improved, and one of the most worrying trends is the growing level of filtering and censoring that is occurring.   In the first few years of the internet, it was virtually irrelevant  where you were located, we were all simply internet users.  I could see exactly the same from the UK as if I had logged in from Thailand, USA, China or Japan.  This is far from true nowadays where for a variety of reasons, the internet can look very different depending on where you log in from.

Blocks, filters and discrimination are common place – sometimes based on commercial reasons – others based on Government control.    The result is that your experience of the internet is greatly influenced by your physical location.  Do you want to watch all the latest movies on a the website Netflix, well you’ll need more than a subscription to the media giant – you’ll need to be in the USA.

Of course, the anarchic elements of the internet are constantly working hard to provide ways to work around these filters. You can use an American DNS for Netflix and fool it’s redirection, you can connect through a secure proxy to side step Government black lists.  It takes a little effort and some expenditure, but the unfettered version of the internet is still available if you try.  The problem is that for many even the inexpensive tools are out of reach, so for some living in places like China or Iran,  what you see online will be controlled by your Government.

It’s sad certainly that something that was once accessible to all, without distinction or discrimination is becoming like the rest of the world.   Slowly but surely tiers of internet access are  being established, due to blocks, filters and even access to infrastructure.  I might feel happy that I can use a VPN client and watch Channel 4 Online when I’m on holiday in Spain, but the reality is that it’s only available because I have the disposable income to buy  these tools.