Active Citizens

Student Struggle in South Africa Gains Momentum

When #FeesMustFall began to trend on social media platforms in South Africa in October 2015, government shrugged it off as an example of isolated hotheads, while political pundits predicted the student campaign wouldn’t last.

Mexico City’s Expansion Creates Tension between Residents and Authorities

People living in neighborhoods affected by the expansion of urban construction suffer a “double displacement”, with changes in their habitat and the driving up of prices in the area, in a process in which “we are not taken into account,” said Natalia Lara, a member of an assembly of local residents in the south of Mexico City.

New Government Inherits Conflict over Peru’s Biggest Mine

Of the 150 socioeconomic conflicts related to the extractive industries that Peru’s new government inherited, one of the highest-profile is the protest by the people living near the biggest mining project in the history of the country: Las Bambas.

Global Citizenship Education Aims to Break Down Artificial Barriers

The importance of education in the promotion of peace, sustainable development and human dignity, and the prevention of violent extremism, was the focus of a Global Citizenship Education Seminar at UN headquarters in New York on Friday September 9.

Making African Palm Oil Production Sustainable

“In San Lorenzo they cut down the jungle to plant African oil palms. The only reason they didn’t expand more was that indigenous people managed to curb the spread,” Ecuadorean activist Santiago Levy said during the World Conservation Congress.

When It Comes to Conservation, Size Matters

When the communities living in the Tatamá y Serranía de los Paraguas Natural National Park in the west of Colombia organised in 1996 to defend their land and preserve the ecosystem, they were fighting deforestation, soil degradation and poaching.

Without Indigenous People, Conservation Is a Halfway Measure

“You don't convert your own house in a tourist site,” said Oussou Lio Appolinaire, an activist from Benin, wearing a traditional outfit in vivid yellows and greens. He was referring to opening up to tourists places that are sacred to indigenous people.

Mexico, a Democracy Where People Disappear at the Hands of the State

“Go and tell my dad that they’re holding me here,” Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez told his travelling companion on May 7 at the migration station in Chablé, in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco. It was the last time he was ever seen, and his parents have had no news of him since.

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.

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.

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.

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