Human Rights

Rules of War Widely Flouted, 70 years on: Red Cross

World governments are not doing enough to stop armed groups from committing mass rape, torture and other war crimes, the head of the Red Cross aid group head Peter Maurer said on Tuesday.

Are Jair Messias Bolsonaro and Donald John Trump a Menace to the Planet?

We live in different worlds. The ones of friends, family and work colleagues. Worlds which are overshadowed by other, much bigger ones. Global spheres of international finance, politics, climate change, etc., contexts that might threaten our smaller circle of relationships; our family, our income, our general wellbeing, in short – our entire existence. However, even at those levels there exist small circles of acquaintances and associates able to make decisions that affect the entire humankind. Let me take one example – the regimes of U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, which are menacing our global natural habitat.

Promoting Women’s Safety in Latin America

Every year, over 12,000 women are killed in Latin America. The region is plagued by extremely high levels of violence, and a vacuum of state power persists. Public face of this violence is caused by paramilitary, guerrilla, gangs and armed groups. 

Revitalizing Indigenous Languages Is Critical

Being fluent in a world language is a desirable skill in modern day society. However, some languages are suffering and in danger of extinction -- namely those of the indigenous peoples.

Five Million Palestinians Deserve Better!

An old adage passed on by veteran U.N. staff to younger recruits is, “Do nothing whenever possible. It’s safer.” For a junior officer that might indeed be career-enhancing. 

To Uplift a Woman is to Uplift a Village

Khadija Zuberi, 23, from Ruaha Mbuyuni village in Tanzania’s central highlands, is a single mother to her four-year-old son, Hashim.

How India’s Indigenous Female Forest Dwellers Feel about Owning Their Own Land

Kumaribai Jamkatan, 51, has been fighting for women’s land rights since 1987. Though the constitution of India grants equal rights to men and women, women first started to stake their claim for formal ownership of land only after 2005–the year the government accorded legal rights to daughters to be co-owners of family-owned land.

In the Midst of Conflict, India’s Indigenous Female Forest Dwellers Own their Land

Jam Bai, an Indigenous farmer from Korchi village in western India, is a woman in hurry. After two months of waiting, the rains have finally come and the rice saplings for her paddy fields must be sown this week while the land is still soft.

India’s Indigenous Women Assert their Land Rights

Korchi a village of 3,256 people, most of whom are small and marginal farmers belonging to Gondi and Kawar indigenous communities, lies about 750 kilometres east of Mumbai, India. Here, women like Jam Bai, a 53-year-old indigenous farmer, have been leading a ground movement for years to own land.

Global Geodetic Framework Helps Monitor Natural Disasters & Rising Sea Levels

There are several initiatives in place to foster sustainable development-- and the Global Geodetic Reference governance frame is one that has proved effective.

The Nairobi Summit – Towards a Watershed Moment

In 2019 a female scientist created an algorithm that gave the world the first ever images of a black hole. Working with a team of astronomers, physicists, mathematicians and engineers, a young woman led the development of a computer program that in her own words enabled them to “achieve something once thought impossible.”

The Moral Responsibility for Arms Trade

“I don’t want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster.” 1 These were the words of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 22 May 1940 when he learned of individuals profiting because of the booming arms trade industry during the Second World War. Seven decades down the line, President Roosevelt’s warning against the rise of the military-industrial complex and war profiteers is more relevant than ever and a telling testimony that for many in safe places war means profit. But, should the pursuit of economic profit be allowed to supplant ethical considerations, especially when weapons often end up in the hands of terrorists, human rights violators and criminal governments?

Will Palestinian Refugees Pay a Heavy Price for UNRWA Bungling?

A crisis that has threatened to undermine the future of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is expected to have a devastating impact—not only on the credibility of the United Nations-- but also on the lives of over five million Palestinian refugees whose very survival depends on the humanitarian services provided by the beleaguered UN agency based in Amman and Gaza.

Domestic Violence and the Role of Education

Trying to teach and inspire youngsters is a daunting task. Many teachers tend to suffer from a harrowing, bad conscience, obliged as they are to follow routines, rules, and regulations set down by their employers while knowing that these are difficult to apply and provide with desired results. Worst is a nagging feeling of inability to reach out to the students. Most teachers want their pupils to be good learners, critically thinking individuals who feel gratified and keen to change things for the better.

Your Life or Your Freedom? The Ultimate Price to Defend the Environment

For the family of indigenous Guatemalan activist Jorge Juc, the announcement last week by US President Donald Trump of an agreement declaring Guatemala a “safe third country” could not be more bitterly ironic.

Mediating Peace in a Complex World

“It is all about orchestration”, was Martin Griffiths’, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, response to the question of what mediation in Yemen looks like today.

Nuclear Weapons Must Go: Lessons of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

It has been 74 years since a nuclear devastation took place. But a clear message stands -- that nuclear weapons must go and peace and love must reign. “Because if we forget the horrific consequences of the use of these devices, the likelihood of repetition is increased.” Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute told IPS, as the United Nations marked the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2019

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They live in all geographic regions and represent 5000 different cultures. These people are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to others yet are being forced to give up their ways of life.

On Brutality of Violence Against Women

On a cold night in December 2012, a ghastly crime was committed in New Delhi which stunned the world. Six men dragged helpless Nirbhaya-a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern- to the back of the bus and raped her one by one. As she kept fighting off her assailants by biting them, one of the attackers inserted a rusted rod in her private part, ripping her genital organs and insides apart. She died a few days later. One of the accused died in police custody in the Tihar Jail. The juvenile was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment in a reform facility, and subsequently released. The Supreme Court awarded the death penalty but legal complications have prevented its execution.

Canada Effectively Addresses Children in Armed Conflict

More than 24,000 violations have been committed against children across the globe, including recruitment into armed forces, abduction, sexual violence, deprivation of basic needs, attacks on schools and hospitals-- and even murder.

U.S. Sanctions Imperil Aid to Iran’s Flood Victims

Two major humanitarian groups have warned that United States sanctions on Iran are stopping cash flows for vital humanitarian work in the country, adding another complication to the growing rift between Washington and Tehran.

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