Today we mark a milestone in history: the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
. As people around the world commemorate Human Rights Day, we must also deeply reflect on the meaning of this historic document and what it takes to achieve peace in the world.
It is a global catastrophe of astounding proportions that millions of children are on the run today, forcibly displaced from their homes. As conflict and climate change increasingly become the most pressing challenges facing the world now, the number of displaced children has doubled in the last decade alone, reaching a record high of 43.3 million children.
Africa is contending with a climate crisis it did not create without sufficient recognition for the unique rights and needs of the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population. Not only is the continent least responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, having historically produced just a tiny fraction
, but it is also disproportionately impacted by the consequences of emissions generated elsewhere.
A dark cloud is hovering above human existence. It is a fairly illusory cloud haunting our minds and wellbeing, but also an actual, menacing, mostly invisible cloud that covers the Earth’s entire atmosphere. Saturated by greenhouse gases, this global threat increases with every year, threatening all life on Earth, causing increased flooding, extreme heat, draught, wild fires, rising sea levels, food and water scarcity, as well as diseases and mounting economic loss. This misery, caused by human greed, thoughtlessness, and self-aggrandizement, trigger human migration and armed conflicts.
Greater government reliance on consulting companies has greatly enriched them while also undermining state capacities, capabilities, national economies, progress, governance and legitimacy.
“The one international language the world understands” wrote Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children, “is the cry of a child,” and the evidence is accumulating that children are not only the innocent victims of conflict whose pleas need to be heard, but also the most vulnerable victims of climate change.
The Netherlands is the latest country to lurch to the right amid the global cost of living crisis. Its November election saw maverick far-right populist Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) come first. A hardline Islamophobe who’s called for the Quran to be banned could be the next prime minister.
Across the globe, the number of crisis-affected school-aged children facing climate shocks amplified by climate change keeps rising. The Somalia region of Ethiopia is facing the worst drought in 40 years. Last year in Pakistan, unprecedented flooding damaged more than 26,000 schools. Tropical Cyclone Tej recently made landfall in Yemen, affecting thousands of people.
A catastrophic surge in the frequency, intensity, and severity of extreme weather events has placed children on the frontlines of climate emergencies. Nearly half of the world’s children, or one billion, live in countries at extremely high risk from the effects of the climate crisis. Most of these children face multiple vulnerabilities.
The UN Secretary-General has defined the crisis in Gaza not just as a humanitarian crisis, but rather as a crisis of humanity. According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres
: “Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being killed or injured every day.” This continued trend of violence and disregard for international humanitarian law and human life has enveloped our world.
is a medical doctor. Born in Sparta (Greece) in 1976, she holds both French and Greek nationalities and is a graduate of Sapienza University in Rome, as well as holding a PhD on endometriosis. She arrived in France in 2007, practicing as a gynaecological surgeon at Bégin Military Hospital.
As the global community marks World Children's Day, every child should be guaranteed their rights, including those in the Gaza Strip, where heavy bombardment and military operations by Israel have killed more than 11,000 people, 40 percent of them children.
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) for infrastructure and service provision are both costly and risky. Worse, PPPs typically fail to ensure universal, let alone fair access to public amenities.
On August 22, 2023, Women's Affairs Ministers from the Commonwealth huddled in a room at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, they were meeting in person.
It all fits into an off-road vehicle that can reach even the most remote parts of Southern Africa to bring cinema where the essentials are lacking, where there's no electricity to power a projector, and where perhaps no one has ever sat in front of a screen to watch a movie. With just the sun and a solar panel, a theater can be set up in areas where people struggle to access food and water and make a decent living. But what it truly requires is the courage to not view creativity as a luxury. Sydelle and Rowand, the founders of Sunshine Cinema, a network of mobile movie theaters, are not just entertaining people; they are crossing a bridge.
After months of warding off appeals from his employers to get vaccinated for the COVID-19 disease, Mohammad Yusuf, 24, working as a live-in domestic worker in Karachi’s Clifton area, finally relented and got his first shot.
Today, as we commemorate United Nations Day, more than 224 million children and adolescents are in need of quality education, and the hope, protection and opportunity it provides. Their numbers are increasing by the day. From Afghanistan and Sudan to Ukraine; from South Sudan, Latin America and across sub-Saharan Africa; and in Gaza, where 50% of the total population of 2.2 million are children under siege.
Seven-year-old Salim al-Bakkar was orphaned in the earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6, 2023.
Saved by members of the civil defense team who pulled him from the rubble, doctors had to amputate his left leg – which had been crushed in the 7.7 magnitude quake that killed more than 55,000 people and destroyed at least 230,000 buildings.
Ijora Badia, a slum in Lagos, was swimming in plastic waste. Now children pay their school fees in plastic bottles, and these are used to build classrooms.
Have you ever seen a dried frog? We have, and it’s making us rethink our impact on the environment. Frogs are incredibly sensitive to dry conditions, and they are facing the threat of extinction due to global warming. Amphibians, like frogs, make up a significant portion of endangered species, with 41 percent vulnerable compared to only 25 percent for mammals like polar bears.
Almost one third (32%)
of women aged 20 to 24 in Eastern and Southern Africa - around 50 million – were married before 18 years old. To address this pervasive problem, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum has adopted the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage
, a legal framework providing a comprehensive, integrated approach to ending child marriage and protecting children already married.