Active Citizens

World’s Young Activists at War: First, Occupy Wall Street, Next Un-Occupy Palestine

The world’s young activists, numbering over 3.8 billion, are on the war path. The rising new socialist movements—which included “Black Lives Matter,” “Occupy Wall Street” “Un-Occupy Palestine” and "the #Me Too Movement" triggering women's marches— were aimed at battling racism, institutionalized inequalities, political repression and sexual harassment.

When UN’s Cash Crisis Undermines Human Rights, Are the World’s Torturers the Key Beneficiaries?

The UN’s ongoing cash crisis, which has virtually destabilized the Organization’s day-to-day operations, has also undermined the human rights mandate of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC).

“For Generations, We Have Been Nominating Men Just Because They are Men”

Marlène Schiappa, Minister of State for Gender Equality and the Fight against Discrimination in France, attended the 25th year Regional Review Meeting of the Beijing Platform for Action for the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Region last month. She highlighted why this meeting is key for advancing the gender equality agenda and the priorities for the Generation Equality Forum in 2020, a global gathering for gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico.

Cybersecurity Threats Call for a Global Response

Last March, Operation Taiex led to the arrest of the gang leader behind the Carbanak and Cobalt malware attacks on over 100 financial institutions worldwide.

India’s Citizenship Law Triggered by Rising Right-Wing Ideology

“Fire bullets at the traitors of the country,” chanted mobs of Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, supporters wrapped in Indian flags in Delhi last week.

2019 – A Devastating Year in Review

By any measure this has been a devastating year: fires across the Amazon, the Arctic and beyond; floods and drought in Africa; rising temperatures, carbon emissions and sea levels; accelerating loss of species, and mass forced migrations of people.

The Ignoble Fall of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Appearing before 17 judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto civilian leader of Myanmar, became a public apologist for the military government of Myanmar which has long been accused of genocide and forcing over 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown.

Volunteerism – An Antidote to a World in Flux

As the world warms, as inequality widens and as an increasing number of societies suffer from instability and conflict, many people are left wondering what they can do about it.

With the UN Security Council in Paralysis, Are there New Hopes for Rohingya Muslims?

The 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) stands virtually paralyzed in the face of genocide charges against the government of Myanmar where over 730,000 to one million Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2016 crackdown by Myanmar’s military.

End Rape—an Intolerable Cost to Society

If I could have one wish granted, it might well be a total end to rape. That means a significant weapon of war gone from the arsenal of conflict, the absence of a daily risk assessment for girls and women in public and private spaces, the removal of a violent assertion of power, and a far-reaching shift for our societies.

Los Angeles Joins a Global Movement to Protect Human Right to Water

On November 6, Los Angeles became the first major city in the United States to earn the designation of “Blue Community” – a bold move that will keep water protected from privatization.

Campaign Targets UNESCO’s Tie-up with ‘Saudi Spies’

The United Nations faces renewed criticism over its partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Misk Foundation amid revelations that the charity is headed by the mastermind of a recent Twitter spying operation.

The Rapid Decline in Civic Freedoms: 5 Countries to Keep an Eye on

2019 has been a year of protest. From Algeria, to Chile, to Hong Kong, ordinary people have taken to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction with governance systems. Their causes are as diverse as the people pouring into the streets.

Wall Street can Free the World’s 40 Million Modern-Day Slaves

Financiers in Wall Street, the City of London and other banking centres should play a bigger role in freeing the millions of people who endure slave-like working conditions globally, according to a new study.

A Rising Youth Movement Picks Up Where Governments Have Failed

When the Youth Climate Summit concluded last week, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres predicted that if governments still lack the political will to make peace with nature, “there is huge hope in what the youth is doing all over the world".

We Have Swung into the Dark Ages, Says Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams

On Monday, United States President Donald Trump continued to float the idea that he should be awarded a Nobel Prize, but that it would never happen because the system was rigged.

50 Days of Kashmir Under Lockdown – in Pictures

It is 50 days into the lockdown in Kashmir since roads were blocked off, schools shut, and internet and communication services stopped.

‘I Want my Kids to Know What a Rhino and Turtle Are’ – #ClimateStrike Kids Say

From Nigeria, to Kenya to the Democratic Republic of Congo, to South Africa, thousands of African climate campaigners have taken to the streets joining millions around the world for the global Climate Strike ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, which starts in New York next week.

NYC Library Ditches Controversial Saudi Royal MBS’ Event

A New York library appeared to bow to pressure this week when it canceled an event that was being co-hosted by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is accused of a range of human rights abuses.

Calls for Reform, Research and Reorganisation in Leprosy Healthcare

Rachna Kumari of Munger in Eastern India’s Bihar state is not yet 30. But she's already been married at 18, abandoned by her husband after she was diagnosed with leprosy and become an award-winning advocate of the disease. She has traversed a long road. And this week she undertook another step in her journey to fly to Manila, Philippines, as a delegate at the 20th International Leprosy Congress (ILC).

‘Conference Emphasises Need for Partnerships to Create a World Without Leprosy’

Forty years ago, Yohei Sasakawa saw his father moved to tears after meeting and witnessing the suffering of people affected by leprosy – also known as Hansen’s disease. Not only did the patients have a physical illness, but they also suffered from social exclusion and discrimination. It made the young Sasakawa vow to work for the elimination of leprosy from the world – just as his father had been doing.

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