Civil Society

Healthy Planet Needs ‘Ocean Action’ from Asian and Pacific Countries

As the Second Global Ocean Conference opens today in Lisbon, governments in Asia and the Pacific must seize the opportunity to enhance cooperation and solidarity to address a host of challenges that endanger what is a lifeline for millions of people in the region.

Transgender People Gain Their Place in Argentine Society

"At the age of 35, with a document that says who I really am, I went back to school and finished my studies, which I had left at 14 because I could no longer bear the bullying and mistreatment," said Florencia Guimaraes, a transgender woman whose life was changed by Argentina's Gender Identity Law.

Missing Women in Peru – Pain that Never Ends

"They mustn’t stop looking for her," said Patricia Acosta, mother of Estéfhanny Díaz, who went missing on Apr. 24, 2016, along with her five-year-old and eight-month-old daughters, after attending a children's birthday party in Mi Perú, a town in the coastal province of Callao, next to the Peruvian capital.

Colombia Votes for Social Justice

On Sunday, 19 June 2022, the hopes of millions of Colombians working for a more democratic, safer, ecological, and socially just country came true.

How to Stop the ‘Hunger Pandemic’ During COVID-19

Johnny, living in the United States (US), goes to his school and gets free breakfast and lunch there. There may not be enough food for dinner at home. But he knows that he can get fed at school. Sadly, however, after the pandemic, schools were closed, which meant no breakfast and no lunch for him.

Youth must be Equal Partners in Digital Decision Making – ITU Youth Summit

"50 percent of the present, but 100 percent of the future," was the refrain at the first-ever Generation Connect Global Youth Summit.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Thirty years ago, the Earth Summit, which took place in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, paved the way for the establishment of three major conventions on the environment - specifically on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.

Meaningful Dialogue Amplifies Youth Issues, Leads to Change

Young people are often the first to rebuild their communities. However, youths' diverse challenges cannot be addressed without meaningful dialogue, says Klaus Beck, Regional Director of UNFPA APRO ai.

Poor Families Clash over Water with Real Estate Consortium in El Salvador

Alex Leiva woke up at 4:00 a.m. to perform a key task for his family’s survival in the Salvadoran village where he lives: filling several barrels with the water that falls from the tap only at that early hour every other day.

Over Two Decades of Impunity for Environmental and Health Disaster in Peruvian Village

"We are not asking for money, but for our health, for a dignified life," is the cry of the people of Choropampa, which lawyer Milagros Pérez continually hears 22 years after the environmental disaster that occurred in this town in the department of Cajamarca, in Peru´s northern Andes highlands, on the afternoon of Jun. 2, 2000.

Rivers Have no Borders: The Motto of Their Defenders in Peru

"Water is part of our culture, it is intrinsic to the Amazon," said José Manuyama, a member of a river defense committee in his native Requena, a town located in the department of Loreto, the largest in Peru, covering 28 percent of the national territory.

Employee-run Companies, Part of the Landscape of an Argentina in Crisis

"All we ever wanted was to keep working. And although we have not gotten to where we would like to be, we know that we can," says Edith Pereira, a short energetic woman, as she walks through the corridors of Farmacoop, in the south of the Argentine capital. She proudly says it is "the first pharmaceutical laboratory in the world recovered by its workers."

Reclaiming Our Future

The Asia-Pacific region is at a crossroads today – to further breakdown or breakthrough to a greener, better, safer future. Since the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) was established in 1947, the region has made extraordinary progress, emerging as a pacesetter of global economic growth that has lifted millions out of poverty.

Former Child Labourer, now Lawyer, Passes Light of Freedom to Others

Amar Lai’s first memories are working alongside his parents and siblings in a quarry, breaking rocks. He was aged four. Now chatting to Lai, a confident 25-year-old human rights lawyer, it is hard to believe he was once a child labourer.

It’s Time To Globalise Compassion, Says Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi

A mere 53 billion US dollars per annum – equivalent to 10 days of military spending – would ensure all children in all countries benefit from social protection, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi told the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour.

Youths’ Strident Voices Demand an End to Child Labour

Children's voices took centre stage at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, which kicked off in Durban, South Africa, on May 15, 2022. Their voices resonated with the saying: "Nothing about us without us."

One Hundred Years On, Argentine State Acknowledges Indigenous Massacre in Trial

It’s a strange trial, with no defendants. The purpose is not to hand down a conviction, but to bring visibility to an atrocious event that occurred almost a hundred years ago in northern Argentina and was concealed by the State for decades with singular success: the massacre by security forces of hundreds of indigenous people who were protesting labor mistreatment and discrimination.

Call to Freedom for Millions of Children Trapped in Child Labour as Global Conference Comes to Africa

Children washing clothes in rivers, begging on the streets, hawking, walking for kilometres in search of water and firewood, their tiny hands competing with older, experienced hands to pick coffee or tea, or as child soldiers are familiar sights in Africa and Asia.

In Sri Lanka, Things Fall Apart

When I ended last month’s column hoping that April would not prove to be hapless Sri Lanka’s ‘cruellest month’ (in the words TS Eliot), I hardly anticipated the current turn of events.

Indigenous Women in Mexico Take United Stance Against Inequality

Every other Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. sharp, a group of 26 Mexican women meet for an hour to discuss the progress of their work and immediate tasks. Anyone who arrives late must pay a fine of about 25 cents on the dollar.

China’s Entry into the Muslim World

The retrenchment of American power in the Middle East and the larger Muslim world, coupled with the war in Ukraine, has provided a geopolitical breather for China. Beijing is effectively deploying this to make strategic inroads into the region, given this vacuum and focus on Europe.

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