Civil Society

Laws and Threats Undermine Freedom of Expression in Honduras

A series of laws that came into force in the last five years and the petition for amparo by 35 journalists and 22 social communicators against the government's "Secrecy Law" give an idea of the atmosphere in Honduras with regard to freedom of expression.

The Sun Powers a Women’s Bakery in Brazil’s Semi-arid Northeast

“The sun which used to torment us now blesses us," said one of the 19 women who run the Community Bakery of Varzea Comprida dos Oliveiras, a settlement in the rural area of Pombal, a municipality of the state of Paraiba, in Brazil's semi-arid Northeast.

States Must Treat Refugees & Migrants as Rights Holders & Prevent Trafficking & Exploitation

States around the world must act now to strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, including by ensuring that victims and potential victims are considered and treated as rights holders.Many people who fall prey to traffickers are migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, who have decided to leave their country for various reasons, such as conflict, natural disaster, persecution or extreme poverty.

Latin American Migrants Targeted by Trafficking Networks

The rescue earlier this month of 12 Venezuelan and three Colombian women from a prostitution network that recruits migrants in Peru is an example of the complex web where migration and human trafficking often involve victims of forced labour and sexual exploitation.

After Elections, Hard Work Starts for Zimbabwe’s Civil Society

For many Zimbabwean voters, casting their ballots on July 30 is sure to be a somewhat surreal experience. For the first time since the country’s independence, the ever-present face of Robert Mugabe will not be staring back at them on the ballot paper.

Educating Girls, The Only Road To Achieve the SDGs

Better and prolonged education can bring down high rates of illiteracy, sexual abuse and early marriage among girls.

Half of the Young People from Poor Central American Neighbourhoods Want to Migrate

La Carpio is an island of poverty on the outskirts of Costa Rica's capital, surrounded by the country's most polluted waters – the Torres River - on one side and a massive garbage dump on the other.

We Cannot Look Away From the Crisis in Nicaragua

Just 40 years after the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dictatorship, a severe crisis grips Nicaragua. Most Nicaraguans want nothing more than to see President Daniel Ortega, who has been in office now for eleven years, disappear from the political scene.  Hivos, headquartered in The Hague, believes the Netherlands should use its membership in the UN Security Council to prevent a civil war and bring about a peaceful transition.

Sustainable Agriculture To End World Hunger

Significantly more investment is needed to lift hundreds of millions rural poor out of poverty and make agriculture environmentally sustainable, according to Rob Vos, director of the markets, trade and institutions division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Can Cities Reach the Zero Waste Goal?

How should cities address the problem of waste? The most important thing is to set a clear objective: that the day will come when nothing will be sent to final disposal or incineration, says an international expert on the subject, retired British professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology Paul Connett, author of the book "The Zero Waste Solution."

Even Rocks Harvest Water in Brazil’s Semi-Arid Northeast

Rocks, once a hindrance since they reduced arable land, have become an asset. Pedrina Pereira and João Leite used them to build four ponds to collect rainwater in a farming community in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast.

The Industrialization of Cybercrime

Cybercrime is now a mature industry operating on principles much like those of legitimate businesses in pursuit of profit. Combating the proliferation of cybercrime means disrupting a business model that employs easy-to-use tools to generate high profits with low risk.

Chile Has Medicine Against Desertification, But Does Not Take It

The retention of rainwater which otherwise is lost at sea could be an excellent medicine against the advance of the desert from northern to central Chile, but there is no political will to take the necessary actions, according to experts and representatives of affected communities.

Mission Accomplished: 15 Years of Peacekeeping Success in Liberia

On a bright, sunny day in January this year, Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf turned over power to George Weah, a decorated soccer star, following peaceful and successful elections. This marked Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years.

A UN Parliament Gains Support in an Age of Divisive Political Leaders

A long standing proposal for the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) is slowly gathering momentum.The 751-member European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg has called on the European Union (EU) to extend its support for the establishment of the proposed new body -- specifically with a resolution before the upcoming 73rd session of the 193-member UN General Assembly (UNGA), which begins in mid-September.

A Gender-Specific Approach To Counter-Terrorism

Understanding the different way that terrorists target women and how to prevent their recruitment could play a significant role in counter-terrorism efforts, and is gaining increased recognition among the international community.

Agroecology Beats Land and Water Scarcity in Brazil

"Now we live well," say both Givaldo and Nina dos Santos, after showing visiting farmers their 1.25-hectare farm in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast, which is small but has a great variety of fruit trees, thanks to innovative water and production techniques.

Youth Skills: Have We Addressed the Need?

The World Youth Skills Day is being celebrated around the world on 15 July. This day was established on 18 December 2014 by General Assembly resolution A/RES/69/145 which was initiated by Sri Lanka. Following a lengthy consultation process, at the UN and outside, during which some delegations, including some Europeans expressed reservations, the resolution was eventually adopted unanimously. It received solid support from youth delegations from around the world.

Age Appropriate Sexuality Education for Youth Key to National Progress

Fifty years ago at the International Conference on Human Rights, family planning was affirmed to be a human right. It is therefore apt that the theme for this year’s World Population Day is a loud reminder of this fundamental right.

From the Soccer Field to the Political Arena

Was your childhood room not adorned with posters of Gerd Müller or Zinedine Zidane? Were Willy Brandt or Mikhail Gorbachev the idols you looked up to in your youth?

The Voice of Argentina’s Slums, Under Threat

Between the dimly-lit, narrow alleyways of Villa 21, only 30 minutes by bus from the centre of the Argentine capital, more than 50,000 people live in poverty. It was there that La Garganta Poderosa (which means powerful throat), the magazine that gave a voice to the "villeros" or slum-dwellers and whose members today feel threatened, emerged in 2010.

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