Stories written by Ed Holt

‘Tactical’ Nuclear Weapons Could Unleash Untold Damage, Experts Warn

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the conflict’s potential to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons has been highlighted by political analysts and military experts alike.

Counting the Massive Financial Costs of Illegal Fishing

As a new report lays bare the massive financial costs to developing states of illegal fishing, campaigners are hoping that drawing attention to the practice’s devastating economic effects will help push governments to greater action against the illicit trade.

Reform Needed As Big Business, Not Vulnerable Communities Benefit from Post-Pandemic Support

Governments and international financial institutions must adopt new ways of providing post-pandemic support, say campaigners after a report found that in many poorer countries, big business benefitted most from Covid-19 recovery funds. At the same time, vulnerable communities have been “left behind.”

Rights Groups Question ‘Pregnancy Register’ for Polish Women

Women’s rights groups fear a new legal provision in Poland requiring doctors to collect records on all pregnancies could create what they have described as a ‘pregnancy register’ to monitor whether women are having abortions.

Ukraine Refugee Rape Survivors Struggle to Access Abortions in Conservative Poland

An ultraconservative group in Poland has begun checking with hospitals to find out if Ukrainian refugees are being offered terminations in line with the country’s strict abortion laws amid warnings refugee victims of rape are struggling to access local help and clinical services.

Transgender Ukrainian Refugees Impacted as War with Russia Continues

Soon after Russia invaded her country, Anastasiia Yeva Domani found herself forced to abandon the regime of vital medicines she was taking. The transgender activist could no longer get hold of the hormone medicines she needed to regularly take in Ukraine as supply chains were disrupted and the vast majority of pharmacies were closed.

Women, Children Fleeing Ukraine Vulnerable to Human Trafficking

States must do more to protect women and children fleeing war in Ukraine, rights groups have urged, amid growing concerns they are falling prey to trafficking and sexual violence.

Refugees Recount Harrowing Escape from Besieged Ukraine

“I never, ever, believed that anything like this could happen,” says Valia*. “Not for a second.” Just two weeks ago, the English teacher says, she had been living a normal life in Kropyvnytskyi in central Ukraine with her 13-year-old son. But on February 24, she woke up to the news that Russia had invaded her country.

‘Brutal’ Discrimination Adds Trauma to Roma as they Flee War-torn Ukraine

Roma refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine are facing discrimination on both sides of the country’s borders at the end of often harrowing journeys across the country, rights groups have claimed.

Radical Relook at Drug Policies Puts Human Rights into Equation

A “radically innovative” new analysis of global drug policies has laid bare the full impact repressive drug laws and their implementation have on millions of people worldwide, civil society groups behind its creation have said.

Fair Tax Plan Could Prejudice Global South

An agreement between 136 countries aimed at forcing the world’s biggest companies to pay a fair share of tax has been condemned by critics who say it will benefit richer states at the expense of the global South.

Belarus Crackdown Leaves Human Rights, Minorities Exposed

There will soon be no one left to defend human rights or help minorities in Belarus as the country’s third sector moves closer to “complete liquidation”, international rights groups have warned.

Poor Sales at Slated Namibian Elephant Auction

A heavily criticised Namibian government sale of elephants has attracted only a third of its expected sales as government officials admit that an international outcry when the plans were announced may have put buyers off.

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Family Hope ‘Lessons are Learnt’ to Protect Investigative Journalists

The family of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has called for “lessons to be learnt” after an independent inquiry found that the Maltese state bore responsibility for her death.

Calls to Halt Construction of Massive Oilfield in One of Africa’s last Wildernesses

Wildlife and environmental campaigners have called for international action as concerns grow over a project to create a massive oilfield in one of Africa’s last wildernesses.

Kuciak Case Retrial An Opportunity to Break Global Cycle of Impunity in Journalist Killings

A ruling last week ordering a retrial in the murders of a Slovak journalist and his fiancée has led to a “unique” opportunity to break a global cycle of impunity in journalist killings, press freedom groups have said.

Q&A: If China had a Free Press COVID-19 Pandemic ‘May not Have been so Severe’

China is one of the worst places in the world for media freedom, according to the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) which ranked the country 177 out of 180 in its latest World Press Freedom Index. In the report, the group warned that Beijing is taking “internet censorship,  surveillance and propaganda to unprecedented level,” and had “taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to enhance its control over online information even more”. China is also the world’s biggest jailers of journalists with more than 120 journalists and what the group calls “defenders of press freedom” currently detained.

Large Corporations Cash in on COVID-19 Relief Funds

Poverty and income inequality are being deepened as COVID-19 relief funds are handed out to large corporations instead of social protection programmes in developing countries, groups involved in a new study of COVID-19 bailouts have said.

Refugee Children Explain How Education Helped Put Their Trauma Behind Them

Eighteen-year-old Chuol Nyakoach lives in the Nguenyyiel Refugee Camp in Gambella, Ethiopia. Chuol is grateful that despite the trauma she has already experienced in her young life, she is able to continue her education in the refugee camp. Learning has given her a reason to wake up every day.

Press Freedom under Lockdown Across Two-Thirds of the Globe

Independent journalism is facing a growing crackdown one year into the COVID-19 pandemic as governments around the world restrict access to information and muzzle critical reporting, media and rights watchdogs have warned.

Questions Remain over Botswana’s Mass Elephant Deaths

When hundreds of elephants died in the space of a few months in Botswana earlier this year, conservationists were shocked. Wildlife experts said it was one of the largest elephant mortality events in history.

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