Stories written by Lucy Westcott
Lucy Westcott is a British-born journalist and master’s student of multimedia journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is a Dean’s Fellow. Born in Swindon, U.K., she attended the University of Sussex, where she earned her bachelor’s of American Studies. As IPS United Nations correspondent, her work focuses on the rights of indigenous people and the convergence of gender and technology.

Survivors Question U.N. Focus on Legalising Sex Work

The age-old debate over how to regulate sex work has led to a rift between the United Nations and anti-trafficking organisations, which are pressuring the world body to rethink its position following two reports that advocate decriminalising all aspects of prostitution.

Poor and Disabled When Disaster Strikes

Upon first glance, the emergency checklist distributed in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake looks like any other. Organised into key categories like water, sanitation and hygiene, and psychosocial support, the information is typical of the kind circulated for emergency response.

Mental Health an Overlooked Casualty of Disaster

Although Hurricane Sandy made her final sweep through the Northeastern United States nearly 10 months ago, for many people the stress caused by the storm lingers.

When Disaster and Disability Converge

Like many people living in the path of Hurricane Sandy last fall, Lauren Scrivo needed more battery power. Despite a call offering help from the mayor of Fairfield, New Jersey, where Scrivo lives with her family, her concerns went far beyond extra water bottles and flashlights.

UNICEF Launches New Program to End Violence Against Children

The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Wednesday  launched a new initiative to curb violence against children around the world.

Police Scramble to Adapt as Human Trafficking Goes Mobile

In the second half of June, law enforcement in Chişinău, Moldova’s capital city, received an email from a parent telling them their child had been kidnapped.

Support for FGM Slowly Eroding, Global Report Finds

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF released a report Monday that gives the most complete picture of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) ever published.

Q&A: “Did 100,000 People Have to Die, or Disappear?”

The violent drug war in Mexico's borderlands has changed the face of the country, injecting fear into both average citizens and the journalists trying to tell their stories.

Saudi Women’s Rights Activists to File Prison Appeal Friday

Two Saudi Arabian women's rights activists are filing an appeal on Friday after being sentenced to 10 months in prison for helping a woman who had allegedly been abused by her husband.

U.S. Navy’s “Green Fleet” Sparks Praise and Cynicism

The United States military, an organisation that consumes 90 percent of the country's federal oil allowance, is trying to become a greener institution.

Q&A: How One Woman Demands Answers and an End to FGM

Bogaletch Gebre knows exactly what women in her Ethiopian community are going through. Along with her sisters, the women's rights activist was a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM) when she was a child in a part of Ethiopia where the practise was carried out on every girl.

Job Creation Looming Challenge for Post-2015 World

In the aftermath of the global economic crisis and with three years to go until the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals, global leaders are struggling to formulate a post-2015 agenda that can address the widespread dilemmas of employment and inclusive growth.

No “Free Pass” for U.S. in Human Rights Film Festival

Stories of struggle can be found all over the world, from a law classroom in Oklahoma and the brutal borderlands between the United States and Mexico to a Bedouin village in Jordan and wedding parties in Morocco, as the 24th Human Rights Watch Film Festival is showcasing.

Group Highlights Broken Families in Anti-Deportation Protest

As the debate on immigration reform continues in the Senate and fractured talks persist about the future of 11 million undocumented migrants, one New York-based group took to the streets to ask their senator a question.

Rights Groups Push to Improve New York Sex Trafficking Law

It started for Ruth when she was 12 years old and for Lowyal when she was 13. After being raped by her mother's boyfriend, Ruth ran away from home and was picked up by a pimp, who sold her into prostitution.

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