Civil Society

The Precipitous Barbarisation of Our Times

When all is said and done, it appears that Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century English philosopher who had a dire vision of man, was not totally wrong. From the frivolous to the serious, in just a week we have had four items of news which would not happen in a normal world. An English porn beauty with 86,000 followers on social media has put bottles of the water she bathes in on sale at 30 pounds a bottle and has sold several thousand bottles.

It Takes Listening to Children to End Violence

We see many challenges that affect children around the world. Child marriage, corporal punishment, voting ages, air pollution, teachers going on strike…

Finland’s Education System Leads Globally

Finland has garnered attention for its top-notch education, and the newly appointed Minister of Education for Finland is planning to continue with the success of her country’s education system through various and innovative approaches.

How Skills Can Change Lives of World’s Youth

When the United Nations commemorated World Youth Skills Day, there was one stark reality that emerged out of the event: the world’s youth account for over a third of the global population of more than 7.7 billion people, and they also account for over a third of those unemployed across the globe.

The Long Struggle Against the Stigma Surrounding Hansen’s Disease

At the age of 80, Yohei Sasakawa continues to travel around the world to promote solutions for some of the challenges facing humanity, such as Hansen's Disease or leprosy, wars and disabilities, factors of stigma and exclusion.

How Governments Still Allow Violence Against Children

Despite what you might have heard, things are getting better, every year. We are making amazing progress on fighting diseases, reducing the preventable deaths of children, and investing huge amounts to advance medicine and knowledge and to create better living conditions.

Early Detection is the Solution for Hansen’s Disease

On Jun. 27, Faustino Pinto was in Geneva, Switzerland, where he spoke to people at the United Nations about the fight against Hansen's Disease and the stigma surrounding it, at a meeting during the 41st session of the Human Rights Council.

How NGOs in Rich Countries Control their Counterparts in Poor Countries..and Why they Refuse to Resolve it

Many NGOs around the world are fighting inequality between the rich and the poor, between the policies that make rich countries richer, and poor countries poorer. So while Civil Society Organizations claim to be equal and are are fighting together to secure space for engagement and to work, the bigger NGOs should also ask themselves why they are unwilling to let others who are less resourced take up the space where their voice can be heard. Why are they unwilling to fight policies that keep rich NGOs richer?

Prejudice and Discrimination, the Uncured Ills of Leprosy

“The ambulance team refused to take my sick friend to the hospital because he had had Hanseniasis years before," said Yohei Sasakawa, president of the Nippon Foundation, at one of the meetings held during his Jul. 1-10 visit to Brazil.

A Lifelong Battle Against the “Disease of Silence”

Yohei Sasakawa has dedicated half of his 80 years of life to combating the "disease of silence" and is still fighting the battle, as president of the Nippon Foundation and World Health Organisation (WHO) goodwill ambassador for elimination of leprosy, formally known as Hansen's Disease.

Right to Information in Latin America & the Caribbean

Transparency is a critical element of making governance more effective. By making information available, it creates a foundation for greater accountability to citizens.

​Media and Web Freedom Threatened in Sudan Turbulence

The United Nations has condemned an internet shutdown and the blocking of social media channels during Sudan’s political crisis, as fears persisted over a crackdown on media freedoms in the turbulent African country.

Japan Boosts Complex Fight to Eliminate Leprosy in Brazil

When cases of Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy, increase in Brazil, it is not due to a lack of medical assistance but to the growing efficacy of the health system in detecting infections, contrary to the situation in other countries.

Solar Collectors and Solidarity Change Lives in Argentina

"This is the best thing ever invented for the poor," says Emanuel del Monte, pointing to a tank covered in black tarps protruding from the roof of his house. It forms part of a system built mostly from waste materials, which heats water through solar energy and is improving lives in Argentina.

Chilean Schools Recycle Greywater to Combat Drought

Children from the neighboring municipalities of Ovalle and Río Hurtado in northern Chile are harvesting rain and recycling greywater in their schools to irrigate fruit trees and vegetable gardens, in an initiative aimed at combating the shortage of water in this semi-arid region.

Indigenous Communities Head Towards Energy Self-Sufficiency in Guatemala

Because the government has never provided them with electricity, indigenous communities in the mountains of northwest Guatemala had no choice but to generate their own energy.

Sri Lanka on Security Alert Long After Easter Bombings

Sri Lanka continues to be on a security alert long after the devastation caused by a string of bombings on Easter Sunday this year. Raisa Wickrematunge, Editor of Groundviews, told IPS: “There has been a tightening of security. There are now security checks being carried out outside hotels and shopping malls - either through scanners or bag and body searches”.

Are We Fighting a Losing Battle in the War Against Drugs?

How effective is the global war on drugs? The latest statistics released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are staggering: 35 million people across the globe currently have a substance use disorder, and as of 2017, 585,000 people have died worldwide as a result of drug use.

Indigenous Rights Approach a Solution to Climate Change Crisis

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) was held in Bonn, Germany to rally behind a new approach to achieving a future that is more inclusive and sustainable than the present – through the establishment of secure and proper rights for all.

A Roadmap for Children as Victims, not Terrorists

The feeling in the air at a recent meeting of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was one of compassion and benevolence. The focus was on children as Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), a subject that everyone at the panel discussion argued is delicate and politically sensitive.

International conference in Vienna: Successful societies are those that manage diversity and stimulate empathy towards the Other

Societies must work together to build more tolerance, solidarity and peace within and between nations, said the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, during the 19 June international conference on "From Interfaith, Inter-Civilizational Cooperation to Human Solidarity.” He emphasized that all such societies are built on shared aspirations and not shared ethnicity.

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