Civil Society

Lawmakers in Europe Want the UN to Debate a Parliamentary Assembly. When Will Governments Follow?

Earlier this month, the European Parliament adopted its annual recommendations on the European Union’s policy at the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly that begins in September.

How to Achieve Universal Goals, Strategically

Discussion around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a list of 17 goals listed by the UN, was all the buzz in the conference rooms of UN headquarters this week.

Not Just Numbers: Migrants Tell Their Stories

Every single day, print and online media and TV broadcasters show images and footage of migrants and refugees adrift, salvage teams rescuing their corpses--alive or dead, from fragile boats that are often deliberately sunk by human traffickers near the coasts of a given country. Their dramas are counted –and told-- quasi exclusively in cold figures.

Civil Society on SDG Engagement: “We Are Not Guests”

Showing up in record numbers, civil society groups are urging greater inclusion and accountability in sustainable development processes at a UN high level meeting.

Communities Step Up to Help Save Jamaica’s Forests

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 31.1 percent or about 337,000 hectares of Jamaica is forested. Of this, 26.1 percent or 88,000 is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse and carbon-dense form of forest.

Governments Support Trump’s Aim to Block Central American Migrants

Trying to make it into the United States as an undocumented migrant is not such an attractive option anymore for Moris Peña, a Salvadoran who was deported from that country in 2014.

Time Stands Still for Nepal’s Conflict Victims

“Reconstruction and reconciliation require finances and physical structure, but the families of the victims of the conflict first and foremost need their integrity protected. Physical and financial compensation mean little without justice,” wrote Suman Adhikari nearly 11 years ago, during a ceasefire in Nepal’s Maoist insurgency.

Chilean President’s Apology to the Mapuche People Considered “Insufficient”

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s formal apology to the country’s Mapuche Indians, for the “mistakes and atrocities” committed against them by the Chilean state, is seen by indigenous and social activists in the central region of Araucanía – the heartland of the Mapuche people - as falling short.

Why Is International Human Rights Law Such an Easy Target?

"Earlier this month, Britain’s Prime Minister called for human rights laws to be overturned if they were to "get in the way" in the fight against terrorism. Specifically, Theresa May said there was a need "to restrict the freedom and movement of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they are a threat, but not evidence to prosecute them in full in court."

“Torture Works” — in All the Wrong Ways

“Torture works” might rank among the most sweeping generalisations ever uttered, one brutal in its disregard of the pain and suffering created by this abhorrent practice. Indeed, torture works, but to all the wrong ends.

Men Who Commit Femicide Lose Rights Over Their Children in Argentina

In January 2008, Rosana Galliano was shot to death in Exaltación de la Cruz, a rural municipality 80 km from Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. Her ex-husband, José Arce, who was sentenced to life in prison, had hired hitmen to kill her.

Large Landowners Jeopardise Indigenous Revival in Brazil

The attack with guns and machetes that left at least 10 Gamela indigenous people wounded, in the northeastern state of Maranhão, highlighted the growing threats against the resurgence and survival of native people in Brazil.

Why the G7 Must Fund Health & Nutrition

The G7 Summit, held annually among the leaders of the world’s most powerful economies (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the EU), plays an important role in shaping responses to global challenges—theoretically at least.

Gateway Portals and the Quest for Sustainable Urbanization

On a busy Friday afternoon, the number 1 subway train heading north through Manhattan’s Westside comes out of a dark tunnel --and if one takes a minute to release oneself from communication devices—one can catch sight of the approaching 125th street in the distance, the crosswalk buzzing with yellow cabs.

Survivors of the El Mozote Massacre Have New Hopes for Justice in El Salvador

Except for a house with its walls riddled with holes made by bursts of machine gun fire, nobody would say that the quiet Salvadoran village of El Mozote was the scene of one of the worst massacres in Latin America, just 35 years ago.

Reflections on 2017 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

More than 7 billion people live on this planet spread among 7 continents, 194 states of the United Nations (UN) and numerous other non-self-governing territories. The world is made up of a mosaic of people belonging to different cultural and religious backgrounds. Our planet has been a cultural melting pot since time immemorial.

Punishment for Human Rights Abusers Is Irrevocable Achievement for Argentine Society

What at first was terrible news that outraged a large proportion of Argentine society, who see the conviction and imprisonment of dictatorship-era human rights violators as an irrevocable achievement for democracy, became a cause for celebration a week later.

Poor Rural Communities in Mexico Receive a Boost to Support Themselves

Jilder Morales, a small farmer in Mexico, looks proudly at the young avocado trees that are already over one metre high on her ejido - or communal - land, which already have small green fruit.

When It Comes to Fracking, Argentina Dreams Big

Since a US Energy Information Administration (EIA) report announced in 2011 that Argentina had some of the world’s biggest shale oil and gas reserves, the dream of prosperity has been on the minds of many people in this South American nation where nearly a third of the population lives in poverty.

In France, ‘Us and Them’ Amid Elections

Launched in the run-up to the French presidential elections, a daring exhibition in Paris is sparking dialogue about the origins and nature of racism, both in Europe and elsewhere.

Social Forum Calls for Fight Against Corruption, to Defend the Amazon

Corruption has penetrated the Amazon rainforest like an illness that infects everything, said Ruben Siqueira, coordinator of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), during the VIII Panamazonic Social Forum (FOSPA), which brought together in the Peruvian Amazon jungle representatives of civil society from eight Amazon basin countries.

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