Civil Society

Post-Rana Plaza, Global Investors Pushing for Systemic Change

A coalition of 134 institutional investors are calling for global corporations to institute new transparency policies throughout their supply chains and to step up assistance to survivors and families still suffering a year after a major fire led to the collapse of a garments factory in Bangladesh, despite repeated warnings from workers.

Storm in a Rice Bowl

Rice, a staple of the South Korean diet, is stirring up a bowlful of worry for Seoul. Under a promise to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the government has to make a tough choice on rice imports by June this year.

Persecution of Uganda’s Gays Intensifies as Rights Groups Go Underground

As she sits in a Kampala hotel holding a mobile phone that rings frequently, Sandra Ntebi tells IPS: “I’m really exhausted. I don’t know where to start. We have many cases pending.” Ntebi manages a hotline and is helping Uganda’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community find alternative, safe accommodation after they have faced harassment.

Japan Seeks Foreign Workers, Uneasily

Desperate for more workers to support a construction boom, Japan has proposed to expand its controversial foreign trainee programme to permit more unskilled labour from Asia to work in Japanese companies for five years from the current three years.

Bringing the Bridges Home

As foreign forces withdraw slowly from Afghanistan, they leave behind a vulnerable band of people who were their ears and guides on the ground. These people who served as interpreters, face a life of threats and uncertainties. Many have been killed.

U.S. Urged to Tackle Lead in Aviation Gasoline

Consumer advocates, public health workers and environmental groups here are calling on the federal government to take a formal step towards regulating the use of lead in aviation gasoline, despite a failure to do so for nearly two decades.

Imprisoning Themselves to Stay Safe

"I don’t dare tell you who the murderers are but their target is just us, Turkmens," says Ahmed Abdulla Muhtaroglu, sitting by the portrait of his brother who was killed last year.

Azerbaijan Backing Turkey’s Crackdown on Gülen Movement

Azerbaijan appears to be joining in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaign against a religious movement led by U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen.

India’s Women Lose the Election

“Men just do not want to give up their seats, it’s as simple as that,” says 67-year-old candidate in the Indian election Subhhasini Ali, voicing a gloomy view across women’s groups in India.

Poland Uses Ukraine to Push Coal

A European ‘energy union’ plan proposed by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as an EU response to the crisis in Ukraine could be a Trojan horse for fossil fuels.

When Not To Go To School

In large parts of rural India, the absence of separate toilets for growing girls is taking a toll on their education. Many are unable to attend school during their menstrual cycle.

U.S. Foreign Aid Approach Is Outdated, Experts Say

U.S. foreign aid is becoming increasingly outdated, analysts here are suggesting.

Ostracised and Isolated: Muslim Prisoners in the U.S.

Such stigma now surrounds the word ‘terrorist’ that most recoil from it, or anyone associated with it, as though from a thing contagious; as though, by simple association, one could land in that black hole where civil liberties are suspended in the name of national security.

South Sudan Dictates Media Coverage of Conflict

As rebel forces loyal to South Sudan’s former vice president Riek Machar declared on Tuesday Apr. 15 that they had captured the key oil town of Bentiu, the government has been accused of clamping down on local media in an attempt to influence the reporting on the conflict.

Civil Society Wants More Influence in New Development Agenda

Making international cooperation more effective requires a civil society with greater influence in the negotiations of the development agenda that the world’s governments are to adopt in 2015, civil society representatives said at an international meeting in Mexico.

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