Active Citizens

Urban Slums a Death Trap for Poor Children

It’s called the urban survival gap – fuelled by the growing inequality between rich and poor in both developing and developed countries – and it literally determines whether millions of infants will live or die before their fifth birthday.

Families in Quake-Hit Nepal Desperate to Get on With Their Lives

Just over a week after a dreadful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal, displaced families are gradually – but cautiously – resuming their normal lives, though most are still badly shaken by the disaster and the proceeding aftershocks that devastated the country.

Popular Nigerian Writer Headlines at Blockbuster World Voices Fest

Prize-winning writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is hoping to break down some stereotypes at the upcoming World Voices Festival sponsored by the PEN America free expression group.

In India, a Broken System Leaves a ‘Broken’ People Powerless

As India paid glowing tributes to Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the architect of its constitution and a champion of the downtrodden, on his 122nd birth anniversary last month, public attention also swivelled to the glaring social and economic discrimination that plagues the lives of lower-caste or ‘casteless’ communities – who comprise over 16 percent of the country's 1.2 billion people.

Q&A: “People Need to Be at the Centre of Development”

In a populous archipelago nation like Indonesia, where 250 million live spread across some 17,500 islands, speaking over 300 languages, the question of development is a tricky one.

Draconian Ban on Abortion in El Salvador Targeted by Global Campaign

International and local human rights groups are carrying out an intense global campaign to get El Salvador to modify its draconian law that criminalises abortion and provides for prison terms for women.

In Nicaragua Marriage Is Only for ‘Him’ and ‘Her’

A new Family Code that went into effect in Nicaragua this month represents an overall improvement in terms of the rights of Nicaraguans. However, it has one major gap: it fails to recognise same-sex marriage, and as a result it closes the doors to adoption by gay couples.

Deadline Looms for NGOs to Apply for ECOSOC Status

The NGO Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations is calling on non-governmental organisations to apply for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status in order to be considered by the 2016 NGO Committee.

Q&A: Comprehensive Ban on Nuclear Testing, a ‘Stepping Stone’ to a Nuke-Free World

With the four-week-long review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) underway at the United Nations, hopes and frustrations are running equally high, as a binding political agreement on the biggest threat to humanity hangs in the balance.

Campaign Against Glyphosate Steps Up in Latin America

After the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, the campaign has intensified in Latin America to ban the herbicide, which is employed on a massive scale on transgenic crops.

Opinion: Continuing the Centennial Work of Women and Citizen Diplomacy in Korea

A century ago, the suffragist Jane Addams boarded a ship with other American women peace activists to participate in a Congress of Women in The Hague.

Anti-Foreigner Discrimination ‘Fostered in South African Schools’

A practice of denying admission to South African public schools of children without visas or whose parents are refugees from other African countries is creating a foundation for the current rash of xenophobia, critics of the practice say.

Expo 2015 Host City Promotes Urban Food Policy Pact

How can we provide healthy food for everyone, without threatening the survival of our planet? This is the fundamental issue at the centre of Expo 2015 – which has ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ as its central theme – and a huge challenge for cities. 

Chaos Grows in Burundi as President Defies Advice to Step Down

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, overriding objections to an ill-advised third term, now faces a growing popular movement to oust him after his term ends this coming June.

Moving Indigenous Land Rights from Paper to Reality

Frustrated with decades of marginalisation, and of seeing their rights respected only on paper, Indigenous peoples are calling for major recognition from the international community.

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