Civil Society

Muslim Terrorists Heading Towards a Jihadist Hell Hole

The history of terrorism in Sri Lanka reveals a clear pattern. The first to take up arms in the post-Independent era were the misguided Sinhala youth. They were educated youth desperately running in search of a quick solution to establish their classless paradise. Their violence did not take them anywhere.

Against All Odds, Indigenous Villages Generate Their Own Energy in Guatemala

In the stifling heat, Diego Matom takes the bread trays out of the oven and carefully places them on wooden shelves, happy that his business has prospered since his village in northwest Guatemala began to generate its own electricity.

Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday Carnage: Quo Vadis?

I returned from attending a three-hour Easter Sunday mass at the Fordham University Church around midnight New York time on April 20, 2019, when my phone rang and a colleague asked me what’s going on in Sri Lanka? I said what is going on? He said there were a series of coordinated terrorist bombings with multiple fatalities and scores of injuries in my native country. For the next four and a half hours I was on the phone trying to piece together what happened, including reaching out to Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence Hemasiri Fernando.

**UPDATED: Activists Spotlight Education for Development and Rights

“Communicate something to your partner in silence.” The pairs of strangers or acquaintances who received this instruction gesticulated, smiled, shook their heads, touched their hearts and otherwise tried to transmit a message.


UN’s Empty Promises to World’s Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations, as in so many other areas, gives lip service in support of Indigenous issues while lacking the political will and enforcement power over individual member states to comply with the protection of fundamental human rights for the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of the world.

‘You Cannot Muzzle the Media’: Nigerian Journalists on Press Freedom under Buhari

When Nigeria's incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won re-election this year, he campaigned (as he did in 2015) on an image of good governance and anti-corruption. Billboards in the capital, Abuja, bore the smiling faces of the president--who first led Nigeria as military ruler from 1983-1985--and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, and called for voters to let them "continue" their work and take the country to the "Next Level."

Pakistan’s Battle Against Climate Change

Pakistan, which has been listed as the 7th most vulnerable country affected by climate change, is now seriously tackling the vagaries of weather, both at the official as well as non-official level. Pursuant to an initiative launched by the Pakistan Parliament’s Upper House, the Senate, which specially entrusted a sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Climate Change to focus on “Green and Clean” Islamabad, media, civil society and students have taken up the cudgels on combating climate change.

Nicaraguans “Will Not Be Silenced”

A year since Nicaragua spiralled into a socio-political crisis, human rights leaders have called on the country to refrain from violence and uphold the human rights of its citizens.

Why the Prosecution of Julian Assange is Troubling for Press Freedom

After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, British police last week arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange--a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

Q&A: Achieving “Togetherness”

Increasingly facing restrictions and assault, civil society from around the world have come together to celebrate and promote people power.

Global Governance and Information

The past seventy years since the end of the second world war have been marked by profound changes in our international system. Relations between states have become more horizontally structured interactions with a rising significance of the common good articulated and pursued by newly-created international programmes and organisations.

Civil Society Under Attack in Name of Counterterrorism

Counterterrorism measures are not only affecting extremist groups, but are also impacting a crucial sector for peace and security in the world: civil society.

When Youth Take on The Fight to Defend Rights

Abraham M. Keita says he was nine years old when a girl of thirteen was sexually assaulted and strangled in his home community in Liberia.

Hard Battle Ahead for Independent Arab Media

Sometimes a peak into the future reminds us just how stuck we are in the past and present. It was the talk of the Middle East’s largest annual media industry gathering: a robot journalist – the region’s first – that wowed some 3,000 industry leaders and practitioners at the Arab Media Forum (AMF) in Dubai recently.

Civil Society, Press Freedom & Human Rights Under Attack in Africa

The civic space in several African countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Mozambique, Somalia and Eritrea, is gradually shrinking – and mostly under authoritarian leaders and repressive regimes.

Shining a Spotlight on the Strengths & Challenges of Civil Society in the Balkans

It is an incredible privilege to welcome you all to the ‘International Civil Society Week’. I am going to remind us of the reasons that make it so important for us to be here in Belgrade this week.

No Story Worth Dying For?

“Stay safe. There’s no story worth dying for.” That’s the message to journalists from Nada Josimovic, programme coordinator of Amsterdam-based media rights organisation Free Press Unlimited.

People Do Not “Deserve to Die”: Injustice of Death Penalty Persists

While figures have dropped, the “inhuman” use of the death penalty still remains too common worldwide, a human rights group said.

Attacks on Media in the Balkans Sound Alarm Bells for Democracy

Anti-government protesters invading Serbia’s state-owned television station, demanding that their voices be heard. Journalism bodies writing to the Albanian prime minister over plans to censor online media outlets. A Belgrade corruption-busting reporter forced to flee his house that had been torched; a Montenegrin investigative journalist shot in the leg outside her home.

Fridays for Future – Following Greta Thunberg!

What happens worldwide on Fridays, a regular working day and consequently, a school day? We are all witnessing that students do not attend their classes: during the week of March 15, 2019, according to fridaysforfuture, there were at least 1.6 million striking students in more than 125 countries on all continents.

Smears, Laws, Lack of Cooperation: Tools Against Activists

The murder of Brazilian politician and human rights activist Marielle Franco just over a year ago and attacks on other rights activists around the world have galvanised civil society organisations, with the United Nations heightening its own strategy to protect rights defenders.

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