Civil Society

Rural youth can be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

Bolstering widespread prosperity in Africa is a key necessity if the world is to achieve its commitments to eradicate poverty and hunger by 2030.

Microcephaly Revives Battle for Legal Abortion in Brazil

The Zika virus epidemic and a rise in the number of cases of microcephaly in newborns have revived the debate on legalising abortion in Brazil. However, the timing is difficult as conservative and religious groups are growing in strength, especially in parliament.

Dying for the News: Media Call for Help from Gov’t and Public against Attacks

“No story is worth dying for.” This comment at a landmark conference on media safety at UNESCO last Friday emphasised the bewilderment the media felt at the brutal slayings of journalists as they carry out their work.

Women of Haitian Descent Bear the Brunt of Dominican Migration Policy

A middle-aged woman arranges bouquets of yellow roses in a street market in Little Haiti, a slum neighbourhood in the capital of the Dominican Republic. “I don’t want to talk, don’t take photos,” she tells IPS, standing next to a little girl who appears to be her daughter.

Cameron at large: Want Not to Become a Terrorist? Speak Fluent English!

“Do you speak English fluently? No? Then you risk to become a terrorist!.” IPS posed this dilemma to some young Muslim women living in Cairo, while explaining that this appears to be UK prime minister David Cameron's formula to judge the level of Muslim women's risk to fall, passively, into the horrific trap of extremism.

Media Come Together to Discuss Safety of Journalists, Fight Against Impunity

Amid continuing attacks on journalists, media representatives from around the world will meet in the French capital this week to discuss how to reinforce the safety of those working in the sector.Organized and hosted by the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, this “unprecedented” meeting between media executives and the agency’s members states on Feb. 5 is an attempt to “improve the safety of journalists and tackle impunity for crimes against media professionals”, UNESCO said.

UN Hails Myanmar’s Historic New Parliament

When U.Thant of Burma (now Myanmar) was elected UN Secretary-General back in November 1962, he was the first Asian to hold that post after Trygve Lie of Norway and Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden.The appointment was also a historic moment for Asia, which waited for 45 long years for the second Asian to hold that position: Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, the current UN Secretary-General, who was elected in January 2007.

Women’s Rights First — African Summit

Despite the enormous challenges facing Africa now, the leaders of its 1.2 billion plus inhabitants have decided to spotlight the issue of Human Rights With a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women in their 26th summit held in Addis Ababa on 21-31 January this year. Why?

Hydropower at Front and Centre of Energy Debate in Chile, Once Again

The Chilean government’s approval of a hydroelectric dam in the Patagonia wilderness has rekindled the debate on the sustainability and efficiency of large-scale hydropower plants and whether they contribute to building a cleaner energy mix.

Activists Accuse India of Violating UN Convention on Child Rights

Civil rights groups and child welfare activists have strongly protested against the enactment of a new Juvenile Justice Act by the Indian parliament, lowering the age of a legally defined juvenile for trial from 18 to 16- years old in heinous crimes cases.

Mexico Creates First and Second-class Migrants

The Mexican government’s decision to grant humanitarian visas to Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica contrasts sharply with the poor treatment received by the tens of thousands of Central American migrants who face myriad risks as they make their way through this country on their long journey to the United States, social organisations and activists complain.

The State We’re In: Ending Sexism in Nationality Laws

Everyone has the right to be born with a nationality – safe, fearless and free – and secure in their human right to equally transfer, acquire, change or retain it. There is no reason why over 50 countries should still have sexist nationality and citizenship laws, which largely discriminate against women, potentially putting them and their families in danger and denying them the rights, benefits and services that everyone should enjoy.

Africa, Only If It Bleeds It Leads?

Africa is clearly one of the most negatively impacted regions in the world, not helped by the increasing trend of the mainstream media to focus on tragic news, following a self-imposed rule: “if it bleeds it leads”.

New Year, New Fight Against Inequality

With New Year’s resolutions already fading fast for most people, attention turns to what 2016 will really hold. And so it is for those wanting to tackle the world’s biggest problems.

CoP 21: The Start of a Long Journey

The agreement reached in December, 2015 at the 21st Conference of the Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a major step forward in dealing with the challenge of climate change. The very fact that almost every country in the world signed off on this agreement is a major achievement, credit for which must go in substantial measure to the Government of France and its leadership. However, in scientific terms, while this agreement certainly brings all the Parties together in moving ahead, in itself the commitments that have been made under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) are quite inadequate for limiting temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century relative to pre-industrial levels.

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