Opinion

Gains and Losses of Irregular Migration

While opening a newspaper or watching a TV program we are every day made aware of the plights of irregular migrants. Some recent examples among many – on 24 October, 39 Chinese nationals were found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex. They had apparently frozen to death within a refrigerator container with temperatures as low as -25C (-13F). This while tragedies occur almost daily on the Mediterranean Sea. On 26 November, a rescue vessel found a boat almost completely sunken. It had three dead bodies aboard. Fifty-five migrants were saved. Three of them were in a critical condition, and one died after reaching Melilla in Spain, where the migrants were brought in. Three children were among the survivors, though a further ten individuals were reported missing. Nowadays, such news items pass by almost imperceptibly. Every day, thousands of unfortunate human beings are trafficked all over the world to suffer underpaid, hazardous work, or prostitution.

Forced to Flee. Displaced with a Dream. Time for Action.

Genesis smiles and holds her hand up proudly to answer questions in class. She claps her hands in support of her classmates when they answer the teachers’ questions correctly. “I miss my cousins and aunts in Venezuela, she says.” Her smile fades and her lips tighten. She struggles to hold back her tears. “I can’t return. I want to stay here in my school, with my new friends.” Her smile returns, as she resolutely states: “I want to become a lawyer, so I can help solve problems.”

The Adaptive Age: No Institution or Individual can Stand on the Sidelines in the Fight Against Climate Change

When I think of the incredible challenges we must confront in the face of a changing climate, my mind focuses on young people. Eventually, they will be the ones either to enjoy the fruits or bear the burdens resulting from actions taken today.

Fostering Jobs, Entrepreneurship, and Capacity Development for African Youth: The Time for Disruption Is Now!

“There is no greater asset to Africa than its youth,” a statement that has been repeatedly proclaimed, but the continent still has a long way to go. Despite robust economic growth over the past two decades, a 1 percent increase in growth between 2000–14 was associated with only 0.41 percent growth in employment. This figure suggests that employment stood at less than 1.8 percent a year, far below the nearly 3 percent annual growth in the labor force. If this trend continues, 100 million people will join the multitudes of the unemployed in Africa by 2030.

Volunteerism – An Antidote to a World in Flux

As the world warms, as inequality widens and as an increasing number of societies suffer from instability and conflict, many people are left wondering what they can do about it.

Case Against Tobacco Giant Could Protect Children

Legal action against British American Tobacco (BAT), one of the world’s largest tobacco firms, could see the company punished for profiting from child labor and force the industry to finally confront its treatment of vulnerable workers.

Inequality and Its Many Discontents

Much recent unrest, such as the ‘yellow-vest’ protests in France and the US ‘Abolish the Super-Rich’ campaign, is not against inequality per se, but reflects perceptions of changing inequalities. Most citizens resent inequalities when it is not only unacceptably high, but also rising.

What Do We Want from Our Oceans?

This is a question we need to ask ourselves but before answering we need to acknowledge the diversity of expectations and aspirations that we all have for oceans, which cover more than two-thirds of the planet’s surface.

Under Pressure. Can COP25 Deliver?

Mass public pressure backed by the weight of scientific reports is starting to bring governments to their senses as the annual UN climate summit kicks off in Madrid today.

Community Efforts are Key When Addressing HIV/AIDS

Three years ago, I led an evaluation of an HIV project that focused on increasing access to quality care and supporting services for people living with HIV in Nigeria. It also aimed to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Nuclear False Warnings & the Risk of Catastrophe

Forty years ago, on Nov. 9, the U.S. Defense Department detected an imminent nuclear attack against the United States through the early-warning system of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). U.S. bomber and missile forces went on full alert, and the emergency command post, known as the “doomsday plane,” took to the air.

Did Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election Bring Back a Polarising Wartime Figure?

The Economist proclaimed recently that Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the man who, as secretary of defense, presided over this horrifying episode (the final phase of Sri Lanka’s terrorist inspired internal conflict), has just been elected president of Sri Lanka.

Climate Change-Related New Record-Breaking Events: It’s Time to Think Outside the Box

Recently, Italy declared a State of Emergency because of record-breaking flooding while on 11 November, it did not rain anywhere on the continent of Australia, also breaking a record.

IEDs: Tackling Terrorists’ Weapon of War

Some of the most memorable images of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, show her wearing a protective suit while touring a minefield in Angola in 1997 to raise awareness of the devastating effects of land mines.

Four Ways to Prevent Deaths from Lassa Fever

Dr. Wouter, a Dutch doctor who helped perform surgeries and train colleagues in surgical skills in underserved areas of Sierra Leone died of Lassa Fever. He was infected as a result of performing a Caesarean section on an infected pregnant woman. 

Catalysing Change for Gender Equality

Great strides have been taken to empower women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing adopted an ambitious global agenda to achieve gender equality twenty-five years ago. Gender parity has been achieved in primary education. Maternal mortality has been halved. Today, the region’s governments are committed to overcoming the persistent challenges of discrimination, gender-based violence and women’s unequal access to resources and decision-making.

I am Generation Equality: Child Marriage Survivor & Activist

-- I am Generation Equality because… I didn’t want other girls to go through the same struggles I experienced. I got married when I was 14 years old. I had no idea what marriage was.

Businesses Have Key Role in Safeguarding Human Rights

Unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are the authoritative global reference point articulating the responsibilities of companies to respect and protect human rights.

Social Protection Necessary to Quickly End Poverty, Hunger

Historically, most social security systems have developed in the formal sector of rich economies. However, most of the poor and hungry in the world live in rural areas, surviving in the informal economy.

Statistics and Stories – Time to Change the Refugee Narrative?

Statistics and stories. When aid agencies appeal for funding to tackle the latest refugee crisis and journalists do their reporting, then these are the two narratives most chosen -- one impersonal and the other upfront and individual. The sheer numbers can feel overwhelming. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says more than 70 million people are currently displaced by conflict, the most since the Second World War. Among them are nearly 26 million who have fled their countries (over half under the age of 18) and 3.5 million more are registered as asylum seekers.

Science & Policy Must Remain Partners in Mercury Challenge

It has been more than two years since the Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force. The global treaty protects humans and the environment from the toxic metal, but countries are still stuck on how to measure the agreement’s effectiveness.

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