Stories written by Tharanga Yakupitiyage
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Break the Menstrual Taboo

It is time to rise up and fight a long neglected taboo: menstruation. Marking International Women’s Day, United Nations human rights experts called on the international community to break taboos around menstruation, noting its impacts on women and girls’ human rights.


Healthy Oceans, Healthy Societies

Over recent years, there have been shocking reports of marine endangerment and plastic pollution. The threats are clear, and now urgent action is needed more than ever.

Doing Business with Nature

As the environment continues to degrade and natural resources deplete at unprecedented rates, spelling disastrous consequences for societies, a new tool aims to bring financial institutions into the fight to protect nature.

The Misconceptions of Contraception

In light of rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies, governments are exploring ways to tackle taboos around condoms. In a new study, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) reviews the availability and accessibility of condoms, hoping to dismantle potentially harmful misconceptions.

“A Year of Shame” for Middle East and North Africa

Human rights violations are at an all-time high in the Middle East and North Africa, and global indifference is only making it worse.

A Spotlight on those Suffering in Silence

While news of political scandals and tweets may inundate social media feeds, numerous humanitarian crises have slipped under the radar, leaving victims “suffering in silence.”

World’s Youth Are Being Left Behind

Globally, youth are being left behind in education and employment, threatening the future vision of sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous societies.

Sexual Violence Surging in South Sudan

Women and girls continue to face the brunt of violence in the northern region of South Sudan with persistently high and brutal levels of sexual violence, a new report found.

Bringing #MeToo to the Fashion Industry

The global #MeToo movement has put a spotlight on sexual harassment and violence in various industries including the film and music industries. Is it now time for the fashion industry to address these issues within their supply chains, one organisation says.

The Hidden Economic Costs of Displacement

While the impacts of displacement on wellbeing are well-known, one group has pointed to the equally burdensome economic costs for those displaced as well as host communities.

The Right to Life, Liberty, and Land

Sustainable land management is becoming more important than ever as rates of emissions, deforestation, and water scarcity continue to increase. But what if you don’t have rights to the land? While the impact of agriculture on land is well known, the relationship between land degradation and land tenure seems to be less understood.

Q&A: The Nature of Value vs the Value of Nature

Humans have long had a varied and complicated relationship with nature—from its aesthetic value to its economic value to its protective value. What if you could measure and analyse these values? One group is trying to do just that.

Asia’s Expanding Illicit Market: Brides

Paradoxically, the world’s most populated countries are facing a population crisis: a woman shortage. And it’s women who are paying a brutal price for it.

Bullying is an “Infringement” on Children’s Rights

While rates have decreased, school violence and bullying is still a major global issue, contributing to lasting impacts on youth, a United Nations agency found.

Bringing Greener Pastures Back Home

One month on since the Global Compact for Migration was approved, civil society has highlighted the need to turn words into action, supporting those who have been displaced or forced to migrate as a result of environmental degradation.

Eat Plants, Save the Planet

While the modern agricultural system has helped stave off famines and feed the world’s 7 billion residents, the way we eat and produce food is posing a threat to future populations’ food security.

Q&A: 17 Percent of the Problem, but 30 Percent of the Solution

From expansive evergreen forests to lush tropical forests, the Earth’s forests are disappearing on a massive scale. While deforestation poses a significant problem to the environment and climate, trees also offer a solution.

A Salty Dilemma

As the threat of water scarcity increasingly grows, many have turned to the Earth’s plentiful oceans for a solution. However, this has created a new risk threatening public and environmental health: brine.

Building Mongolia’s Green Future

The landlocked country of Mongolia sparks certain images in the mind—rolling hills with horses against a picturesque backdrop. However, the East Asian country is facing a threat that will change its landscape: climate change.

Walking Miles In Their Shoes

In light of the millions of refugees escaping persecution in search of a safer, more prosperous future, a new campaign aims to raise awareness of the difficult journeys such populations take around the world.

Recorded Increase in Human Trafficking, Women and Girls Targeted

Human trafficking is on the rise and it is more “horrific” than ever, a United Nations agency found. In a new report examining patterns in human trafficking, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that the global trend has increased steadily since 2010 around the world.

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