Civil Society

Tracing War Missing Still a Dangerous Quest in Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka readies to begin the grim task of searching for thousands of war missing, those doing the tracing on the ground say that they still face intimidation and threats while doing their work.

Concern over Profit-Oriented Approach to Biodiversity in Latin America

In July 2015, the Mexican government granted a U.S. corporation permission for the use of genetic material obtained in Mexican territory for commercial and non-commercial purposes, in one of the cases that has fuelled concern in Latin America about the profit-oriented approach to biodiversity.

Breaking the Silence on Gender-Blind Transport

In today’s “Post-Feminist” world, it is time to pose a fundamental question. If we are really raking in the liberating outcomes of a “gender-just” 21st century, why do the vast majority of young girls and women, the world over, continuously refuse to speak out in the face of verbal, sexual and physical harassment on public transport?

The UN Must be at the Forefront of the fight for Civic Rights

The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 provides the foundation for citizens’ rights to participate in shaping their communities.

133 Organisations Nominate Syria’s White Helmets for Nobel Peace Prize

Syria’s White Helmets - the volunteers who rescue civilians from collapsed buildings - could be the “most popular” nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize ever, according to human rights group, the Syria Campaign.

Peruvians Say “No!” to Violence Against Women

Peruvians took to the streets en masse to reject violence against women, in what was seen as a major new step in awareness-raising in the country that ranks third in the world in terms of domestic sexual violence.

The Counter Narrative to Terror and Violence is Already Among Us

The French philospher Voltaire once said that “if we believe in absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.”Indiscriminate killing of self and innocent others, ostensibly in the name of some religion, is among the most absurd of beliefs. And rather than ceasing, the spiral of violence appears to know no end. There appears to be no locus, and no focus, beyond random killing.

Women’s Inclusion in Sports Competes in Rio Games

At the age of 14, Kaillana de Oliveira of Brazil knows she won’t be as tall as most professional basketball players, because of family genetics. But she is not letting that get in the way of her dream of standing out in the sport.

Native Plants Boost Local Diets in El Salvador

Juana Morales is cooking one of the most popular dishes in El Salvador: pupusas, corn tortillas with different fillings. But hers are unique: they are not made with the traditional corn tortillas, but use Maya nuts, a highly nutritional seed that has fallen out of use but whose consumption is being encouraged in rural communities.

Pan African Parliament Endorses Ban on FGM

After years of wrangling and debates among African leaders, the movement to end female genital mutilation (FGM) is gaining real momentum, with a new action plan signed this week by Pan African Parliament (PAP) representatives and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) to end FGM as well as underage marriage.

“Non-lethal” Pellet Guns Maim Hundreds in Kashmiri Protests

Hospitals in Kashmir’s summer capital are packed to capacity these days, their wards overflowing with pellet gun victims injured during violent clashes with government forces.

Right to Education Still Elusive for Native People in Latin America

Education, the most powerful instrument in the struggle against exclusion and discrimination, is still elusive for indigenous people in Latin America who remain the most disadvantaged segment of the population despite their wide presence in the region.

The Next UN Secretary General Should Be a Woman – and Must Be a Feminist

The process for arguably the top political job on the planet is well underway.  And the time is right for a woman and a feminist to take the helm.

UN Spotlight for Dark Shadow over Civil Society Rights

With more and more governments narrowing space for dissent and activism, the UN has emerged as a key platform to air concerns about acute rights violations and develop protections for civil society and other vulnerable groups.

Small Win for NGOs as UN Members Try to Exclude Critical Voices

An UN Committee responsible for giving non-government organisations (NGOs) UN accreditation has had one of its decisions overturned by other UN member states as it seems to be restricting NGOs which are perceived to be critical of governments.

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