Migrating children; immunity for African leaders; Iran's role in Iraq; Russia's middle class; fraternity hazing in the Philippines

This week's round-up of commentary from around the world addresses immigration of unaccompanied children, a protocol that gives immunity to African heads of state, how Iran can bring peace to Iraq, Russia's expensive middle class, and fraternity hazing in the Philippines. 

Eduardo Verdugo/AP/File
People are rafted to the Mexican shore, across the Suchiate river that separates Tecun Uman, Guatemala and Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, on a makeshift raft from inner tubes of trucks attached to wooden boards on July 11.

El Universal / Mexico City
Migrating children face xenophobia in the US

“The immigration of unaccompanied children to the United States is confirmed as one of the most dramatic human migrations in the entire world,” states an editorial. “[W]e have seen deplorable scenes of xenophobia in the United States, rejecting the presence of immigrant children and calling them invaders and ‘transmitters of diseases and infections’.... The problem is far from having an easy solution, but precisely because of its nature, multifaceted measures are necessary, first to prevent unaccompanied children from leaving their countries and [going] through whole territories without anyone noticing, and then to fight the criminal gangs that make them prey.... The problem has dimensions of humanitarian crisis.”

Daily Nation / Nairobi, Kenya
Amendments leave new African court weak

“The future of international justice in Africa is uncertain following [the recent] approval ... of a protocol to the proposed African Court of Justice and Human Rights, which will exempt ... heads of state and senior officials from prosecution while still in office,” writes George Kegoro about the court that is replacing the current African Court of Human and People’s Rights. “This amendment is the culmination of a difficult year ... between the International Criminal Court and the [African Union].... While African states have asserted that these amendments are part of a scheme to find ‘African solutions for African problems’... [the protocol] shows that African states are not prepared for meaningful accountability.”

Iran Review / Tehran, Iran
Bigger Iranian role in Iraq can bring peace

“[T]he 2014 crisis in Iraq is [an] extension of other crises in the Middle East. With or without resolution of this crisis, the forthcoming developments in the country will cause Iraq to remain an active area of tension and conflict in the world politics and within the international political system,” Behzad Khoshandam writes. “[I]f global players had chosen to take advantage of Iran’s effective influence in the present-day Iraq, they would have been able to establish peace in the region and Iraq for several decades. Undoubtedly, establishing sustainable stability in Iraq on the basis of Iran’s specific experiences and approaches, will lead to a win-win game for all players that are involved in Iraq’s developments.”

The Moscow Times / Moscow
Putin needs the middle class, but they are expensive

“The middle class is the mainstay of Russia’s society, as well as the greatest threat to the country’s political regime. The Russian middle class is conservative, prefers stability to change and generally supports the ruling authorities,” writes Vladimir Ryzhkov about Russia’s middle class, which is 42 percent of the population. “Its members expect the government to guarantee their income and provide free education and health care. If access to those benefits disappears, the middle class will unhesitatingly cease to support the authorities.... The way to the middle class’s heart is through their stomachs and wallets.”

The Manila Times / Manila
The universality of fraternity hazing

Readers may be surprised to learn that Greek fraternities face familiar discipline problems outside the United States. “On June 28, an 18-year-old student from the De la Salle University’s College of Saint Benilde, Guillo Servando, died after being beaten up during a fraternity’s initiation rites.... [In early July] social media was abuzz with reports that [another] student from the University of the Philippines was hospitalized after a fraternity hazing session,” states an editorial that draws comparisons of hazing problems at Philippine fraternities with an exposé of American fraternities that appeared in The Atlantic in February. The Anti-Hazing Law “clearly wants a school to be equally responsible if violence, injury or death occurs during an initiation. But does a school really want to shoulder that responsibility?... Perhaps the law needs some tweaking,... [to] put more pressure on school authorities to curb hazing.”

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