Notion of the World

Month: March, 2012

Computer Chips in Brazilian t-shirts

Parents in the city of Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil don’t have to worry any more whether their children are in school or not. Grade school students now have to wear a T-shirt that contains a computer based tracking chip.

A text message is sent to the student’s parents if the student has not arrived at the school 20 minutes after classes have begun.

Twenty thousand students have by March 2012 a computer chip T-shirt. By 2013 the city is planning that all of the city’s 43,000 students in grade school will be using the text sending T-shirt.

The intention is to keep track of the children aged 4 to 14. The students won’t be able to cut classes anymore with this implementation in their clothes. The education secretary in Vitória da Conquista says that if a student skips classes three times the school will contact the parents of the student and they would have to account for the students’ absence.

The T-shirts carries the text: “Education does not transform the world. Education changes people and people transform the world.”

The city spent $670,000 on the project.

Photo Credit: Ana Fukase

Photo Source: flickr


Juveniles raped in Afghan prison

Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) published a report on March 17th 2012. It exposed that three juvenile prisoners were beaten and sexually abused by the prison director.

AIHRC base the report on long-term detainee monitoring executed by the organization itself. One of the Afghan institutions in question was the Juvenile Corrections Center, a juvenile prison, in the Helmand province. The AIHRC experienced that several inmates were regularly beaten and especially three of the juvenile detainees were in the director’s interest.

One of the detainees told the AIHRC about three detainees who had been sexually abuse “many, many times.” by the director and the director’s son. He adds that they would use them whenever they wanted to.

As a result of the AIHRC findings the director was removed from his position in late July. It is still unknown if the director has been criminally prosecuted.

You can find out more about the report and its content here:

Photo by Island-Life

Photo source: flickr (Island-Life)

Law in the Dominican Republic deports Dominican born Haitians


After the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 the Dominican Republic, neighbors of the Haitians, were one of the first countries to help the ones in need in Haiti. The Dominican Republic even opened its borders so the Haitians could use their hospitals.

Somewhat a year and a half after the natural disaster in Haiti, the Dominican Republic passed a new law, which implies that Haitians can be deported back to Haiti even though Haiti hasn’t recovered from the troubles the earthquake resulted in.

The Dominican Republic government explains this initiative by having problems themselves. The rate of unemployment and crime has gone up and the numbers of people infected with cholera is up since the earthquake, however it appears that the main part of those who have cholera, in the Dominican Republic, are of Haitian descend. These are some of the reasons the Dominicans validate the actions made towards their geographical neighbors with.

The law in question entitles the Dominican Republic government to deport Dominican citizens who are of Haitian descend. The New York Times spoke with a Dominican born man with Haitian roots. He had lost his job because he could not renew his citizenship, at age 31 and lived his whole life in the Dominican Republic, because his parents were illegal immigrants from Haiti. Moreover newborn babies of the Haitian immigrants are denied citizenship in the Dominican Republic.

The International Organization for Migration tried to help out the Haitian refugees as well as the Dominican born Haitians by offering $50 plus additional relocation assistance to each one of those who would willingly move back to Haiti. This aid seemed to do it for almost 1,500 Haitians or Dominican born Haitians on the short run, however it certainly does not solve the long-term problems the two countries are facing in the near future.

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