Civil Society

Crisis Drives Nicaragua to an Economic and Social Precipice

Five months after the outbreak of mass protests in Nicaragua, in addition to the more than 300 deaths, the crisis has had visible consequences in terms of increased poverty and migration, as well as the international isolation of the government and a wave of repression that continues unabated.

Preservation of the Klamath River – a Life or Death Matter for the Yurok People

Fishermen are scarce in the Klamath River delta, unlike other fishing season, because climate change has driven up water temperatures which kills off the salmon, the flagship species of this region in northern California.

Culture of Peace Embedded in Every Word on the UN Charter

As we open this Forum, I will make three main points. First, I want to ask: what does a culture of peace actually mean?And, frankly it might be different for every person in this room. But I will share some elements, which have stuck with me.

Equality and Territory: the Common Struggle of Indigenous Women in the Andes

"At the age of 18 I was the first female leader in my organisation, my grandfather who was a male chauvinist demanded that I be beaten because I was sitting among men," said Teresita Antazú, an indigenous leader of the Yanesha people in Peru's Amazon region.

Land, Water and Education, Priorities for Chile’s Mapuche People

The right to land and water, as well as to multicultural education, are the top priority demands of Mapuche leaders working with their communities in the Araucanía region and in Santiago, Chile’s capital.

Amid Chronic Violence, Millions of Afghans Face Risks of Drought Related Displacement

Amid a precarious security situation in Afghanistan, the worst drought in recent history, that hit two out of three provinces in Afghanistan in July, has destabilized the lives of tens of thousands of civilians, some of whom have already been displaced.

Annan Victim of One of the Greatest Fake News Concoctions in History

Looking at the deserved outpouring of eulogies over Kofi Annan I could not help remembering the advice of the old Latin saying, “Say nothing about the dead unless it’s good.”

When Being ‘Offensive’ or ‘Morally Improper’ Online Carries an Indeterminate Jail Sentence in East Africa

JamiiForums was Tanzania’s largest whistleblowing online platform, with one million visitors each day. But now some 90 percent of staff has been retrenched and the owners are considering shutting down their offices since the June implementation of the country’s online content communication law.

The Fight for the Right to Abortion Spreads in Latin America Despite Politicians

The Argentine Senate's rejection of a bill to legalise abortion did not stop a Latin American movement, which is on the streets and is expanding in an increasingly coordinated manner among women's organisations in the region with the most restrictive laws and policies against pregnant women's right to choose.

Q&A: A New Leader with a Vision to Redefine Human Rights

The human rights movement must be bigger, bolder, and more inclusive if we are to tackle today’s challenges, said Amnesty International’s first South African Secretary General.

Annan Denounced Iraqi Invasion as “Illegal” & Criticized Military Leaders Addressing UN

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, who is  a creature of member states, rarely challenges or defies his creators. But Kofi Annan, who died last week at the age of 80, did both. Surprisingly, he lived to tell the tale-- but paid an unfairly heavy price after being hounded by the United States.

An Appreciation – Kofi Annan: A Great Man of Peace & Multilateralism has Left Us

I woke up on Saturday morning with the heart-breaking news that our dear Kofi is no more. The peoples of the world are unequivocal in expressing their feelings of the love, respect and recognition that they have for his qualities of head and heart.

Use of Water for Electricity Generation Triggers Outcry in Mexico

One of the fears of the people of the Sierra Huasteca mountains in the state of San Luis Potosi in northeast Mexico is the construction of combined cycle power plants, which would threaten the availability of water.

Take Charge of Your Food: Your Health is Your Business

The minimum we expect from the government is to differentiate between right and wrong. But when it comes to regulating our food, it’s like asking for too much. Our latest investigation vouches for this. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)’s pollution monitoring laboratory tested 65 samples of processed food for presence of genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

Scientists Warn of the Imminent Depletion of Groundwater in Chile’s Atacama Desert

Eighteen national science prize-winners in Chile have called for a halt to the over-extraction of water in the four regions over which the Atacama Desert spreads in the north of the country, a problem that threatens the future of 1.5 million people.

Campaigns Promote Women’s Participation in Latin America

An alternative network in Brazil promotes women's participation in elected offices with media support. This campaign, like others in Latin America, seeks to reverse a political landscape where, despite being a majority of the population, women hold an average of just 29.8 percent of legislative posts.

Sousa, a Solar Power Capital in an Increasingly Arid Brazil

Sousa, a municipality of 70,000 people in the west of Paraíba, the state in Brazil most threatened by desertification, has become the country's capital of solar energy, with a Catholic church, various businesses, households and even a cemetery generating solar power.

Winds of Change on Kenya’s Northern Borders

Previously characterised by belligerence, based on competition for resources, the border regions of Eastern Africa can sense the blissful wind of peace approaching.

Laws and Threats Undermine Freedom of Expression in Honduras

A series of laws that came into force in the last five years and the petition for amparo by 35 journalists and 22 social communicators against the government's "Secrecy Law" give an idea of the atmosphere in Honduras with regard to freedom of expression.

The Sun Powers a Women’s Bakery in Brazil’s Semi-arid Northeast

“The sun which used to torment us now blesses us," said one of the 19 women who run the Community Bakery of Varzea Comprida dos Oliveiras, a settlement in the rural area of Pombal, a municipality of the state of Paraiba, in Brazil's semi-arid Northeast.

States Must Treat Refugees & Migrants as Rights Holders & Prevent Trafficking & Exploitation

States around the world must act now to strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, including by ensuring that victims and potential victims are considered and treated as rights holders.Many people who fall prey to traffickers are migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, who have decided to leave their country for various reasons, such as conflict, natural disaster, persecution or extreme poverty.

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