Human Rights

Non-formal Education Helps Senegalese Women Combat FGM and Harmful Practices

Growing up in Senegal’s southern Casamence region — a conflict zone —  Fatou Ndiaye, now 43, often heard gunfire and watched fearfully as she saw people flee their villages. But what she dreaded more than a flying bullet was Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Security Council’s Overdue COVID-19 Ceasefire Resolution Must Put Women & Youth at Center

More than three months after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Security Council has finally passed a resolution supporting his call.

Why Does Racism Prevail? Leading Scholars Apply their Minds

All people belong to one biological species and there are no human “races”. So why does belief in race persist? It may be a scientific misconception, but it is real. It defines the lived experience of many people and determines how governments act and how people treat one another. How did race come to have this power and this durability?

Nuclear Testing, Never Again

Seventy-five years ago, on July 16, the United States detonated the world’s first nuclear weapons test explosion in the New Mexican desert. Just three weeks later, U.S. Air Force B-29 bombers executed surprise atomic bomb attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing at least 214,000 people by the end of 1945, and injuring untold thousands more who died in the years afterward.

”Murder Most Foul” – the Death of Olof Palme

Just as the U.S. is haunted by the 1963 murder of John F. Kennedy, Sweden is troubled by the 1986 murder of its Prime Minister Olof Palme. The American feelings were aired on Bob Dylan´s latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, containing a 16 minutes long song with lines like:

India’s Test along the Line of Actual Control

Being the sole candidate from the Asia Pacific region for the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India was elected by 184 votes in the 193-member United Nations’ General Assembly. on June 17, 2020.

Are We Going from San Francisco?

Seventy-five years ago, on 26 June 1945, before the Japanese surrender ending the Second World War, fifty nations gathered at San Francisco’s Opera House to sign the United Nations (UN) Charter.

White House Fenced In: Trump, Within, Ploughs a Lonely Furrow

President Donald Trump has got himself a wall. But it is not the one of his choosing, as one on the Mexican border. It is on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, a high fence that now separates him from his people. But as polls for him keep dipping, and the prognosis for a victory in the upcoming November elections keep worsening, a prediction from an unlikely person should bring him cheer. The source is none other than the Foreign Minister of a country that Trump considers to be in the forefront of his list of foes: Javad Zareef of Iran. I have known Zareef and worked with him as a fellow diplomat for years and would rate him as a person of extraordinary intellect. Speaking at an interview on Instagram with an Iranian journalist Farid Modaressi, Zareef stated that despite all that is happening, Trump’s support base of 30 to 35 percent has not moved , and till that occurs, he still has over 50 percent chances of re-election. Zareef did not elaborate if he himself would prefer such an outcome, calculating that four more years of America with Trump at its helm , might eliminate that nation totally from the global power scene, which for Zareef and Iran, ought to be a consummation devoutly to be wished!

Put Climate at the Heart of COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plans

Cast your mind back. Six months ago—it seems like a lifetime—the world’s attention was on Madrid. The United Nations was meeting to take stock of international progress in fighting climate change. Headlines were dominated by young people pointing out—rightly—that governments were still not doing enough. They demanded urgent and ambitious action to cut emissions and help the most vulnerable.

Racism in America: Police Chokehold is Not the Issue

The American project was founded on rank hypocrisies. On the one hand, President Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the stirring words in the Declaration of Independence that upheld "these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal", did not free his own slaves (not even Sally Hemings, who bore him six children).

Safety of Children an Afterthought for Tech Companies

Global upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left society’s most vulnerable exposed. Instances of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) found online have increased at an alarming rate over past months.

Sudan’s Partners Pledge almost $2Bn but Is it Enough?

This week, when Sudan's Minister of Energy and Mining Adil Ibrahim addressed the country, stating that households will face power-cuts for up to seven hours a day, people had already been sitting on plastic chairs outside their homes, scouring the internet to purchase battery-operated fans. This Northeast African nation has seen temperature highs of up to 41 degrees Celsius recently.

What still needs to happen to win the fight against human trafficking

In late 2019, we learned of the harrowing plight of Suma Akter, a Bangladeshi woman in Saudi Arabia who secretly recorded and shared on social media her story of abuse and exploitation abroad. In Saudi Arabia, Akter said, her employer beat her and at one point poured hot oil on her hand. Later on, when she fell ill, Akter said her employer sold her to another person for 22,000 riyals (almost Tk 5 lakh).

African Governments Failing Survivors of Child Sexual Exploitation

In Malawi, Mary* was only 14 years old when she was recruited and trafficked to the city of Blantyre and sold for sex in a bar. A man had arrived in her village looking for girls to work as domestic helpers for families.

Looking Beyond the Lowest-common Denominator? DFID/FCO Merger

Nazia has a herd of 5 cows. She has two daughters in secondary education, a seat on the Village Council, a savings account and a permanent home. Nazia has dignity, security and prospects beyond poverty. This is Nazia’s story because alongside her commitment and conviction to create a better life, she benefited directly from the UK government, and its global leadership in the drive to end extreme poverty.

COVID-19 Increases Suffering of Children in Conflict

The current coronavirus pandemic is having a profound affect on children in conflict zones -- with girls especially being at higher risk of violence and sexual health concerns.

The US & the UN — A Looming Confrontation

The recent approach of the US to the UN and its agencies has left many shaking their heads. The US, under President Roosevelt, played a seminal role in creating the UN and its key agencies after World War II and subsequently nurturing them.

The UN’s Failure to Act on Race

Racism is not only an American problem but a plague that people of African descent have had to endure since time immemorial. Rather than seizing this historic moment to act decisively, the United Nations, the world’s highest platform for human rights, dithered on the issue when it was called on to establish a full commission of inquiry on race following the outrageous killing of George Floyd on May 25 2020.

Unlawful Use of Force by Police at Protests Across the US

Police forces across the United States have committed widespread and egregious human rights violations in response to largely peaceful assemblies protesting systemic racism and police violence, including the killing of Black people.

Racism, Shitholes and Re-election

Over the course of his presidency, US President Donald Trump’s racism has become more evident with more leaks of his private remarks, which he has been generally quick to deny, qualify and explain away.

Message to Ostracized World Leaders: You Don’t Need a US Visa to Address the UN

The coronavirus pandemic is beginning to transform the United Nations into an institution far beyond recognition. The Secretariat building has been shut down since mid-March, and the UN campus will continue to remain a ghost town through end July-- and perhaps beyond-- with nearly 3,000 staffers, delegates and journalists working, mostly from home.

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