Human Rights

A Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone in the Middle East— & the Elephant in the Room

Israel’s nuclear presence in the Middle East is best characterized as “the elephant in the room” -– an obvious fact intentionally ignored with deafening silence.

Refugee Voices Matter – Nothing about Us, Without Us

Over the past two years, the global refugee response has been tested. The world is being rocked by the greatest pandemic in over a century, while waves of refugees have fled from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Belarus, and Tigray. So, where do we go from here? Next week, the international community will convene to take stock of the successes and shortcomings of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), a unique multilateral mechanism built to ensure the protection of one of the most vulnerable populations. This marquee Compact is up for review, but unlike other review processes, the participation of the people whose lives are shaped by the decisions to be made in the review process will be marginal. Unfortunately, only 1 in 50 of the invited attendees at the UNHCR High-Level Official’s Meeting (HLOM) to discuss the GCR are refugees.

Belarusian Journalists Keep Reporting From Exile – Here’s How

Independent journalism has come increasingly under attack in Belarus, as the country has become a regional hotspot of media repression. Lately, as many as six media outlets have closed shop to ensure the security of their staff. Some media workers have fled the country.

Time for Public Conversation, Justice after ‘Blasphemy’ killing in Pakistan, say Rights Activists

Mukhtiar’s heart sank when he saw the grisly incident of lynching of a man in the industrial city of Sialkot, in Punjab province.

All Humans Are Born Equal in Rights? That’s Still Far from Being True

”All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” These words are a sound introduction to the transcendental issue of human rights and equalities, as stated by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Poor Communities on the Salvadoran Coast Face Constant Threat of Eviction

Small farmer Francisco Martínez pushed his son’s wheelchair to another part of the courtyard of their house, located in a small coastal community in El Salvador, before saying sadly: "It would be a great injustice if they kicked us out of here."

Global Arms Industry Thrives Amid Worldwide Pandemic Devastation

The 21-month long pandemic, which began with the outbreak of the deadly corona virus back in March 2020, ravaged hundreds and thousands of businesses and industries resulting either in widespread losses, closures or bankruptcies.

Zero-Leprosy in Pandemic: Experts, Advocates Discuss New Strategies

As 2021 nears its end, public health systems worldwide remain severely strained by COVID 19, which is showing no sign of ending. But even as countries battle to control the deadly pandemic, they must also maintain the progress made against other diseases, including leprosy, global leprosy experts and advocates have urged.

Volunteerism: Central to the Creation of a New Social Contract

The International Volunteer Day, on December 5, is not just one of the many internationally observed days that the United Nations commemorates annually.

Call It ‘Old’, ‘Contemporary’, ‘Modern’ or Whatever: It Is Slavery

No matter what it is called -- it is the abhorrent daily life of a billion enslaved humans.  The real number of “modern” slaves is understandably unknown. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.

How to Tackle the Femicide Epidemic

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase in domestic violence rates has led the United Nations to declare a ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence. In the most brutal cases, the violence has led to murder – or ‘femicide’, as the World Health Organisation calls the killing of women specifically because of their gender.

Pakistan: Gender-Intentional Policy Can Make Agent Banking Work Better

Many women in Pakistan remain financially excluded. In 2020, only 7% of the female population had a formal account. One of the reasons for this is that agent networks — the bridge between the cash economy and digital financial services — remain largely inaccessible to many women. Approaching policy and regulation through a gender-intentional lens that considers prevailing social norms can help regulators affect positive change in this arena.

UNESCO Member States Adopt Recommended Ethics for AI

By SWAN
The member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have agreed on a text of recommended ethics for artificial intelligence (AI) that states can apply on a “voluntary” basis.

Gender, Education and Drop Outs

While COVID 19 is keeping the world and news media in its constant grip and national politics often come to the forefront, it might be easy to forget urgent and nevertheless related matters. One is how global education has suffered and how children and youngsters have been forced to cope with a different reality. This aspect like so many other of human existence is gendered and while addressing education it is relevant to talk about changing gender roles as well.

Safety of Women Journalists

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November), UNESCO is raising awareness for the continued violence, threats and harassment that women journalists and female media workers face all around the world.

Ethiopia’s Civil War Fueled by Weapons from UN’s Big Powers

In Hollywood movies, the legendary Wild West was routinely portrayed with gunslingers, lawmen and villains—resulting in the ultimate showdown between the “good guys and the bad guys”. Linda Thomson-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council early this month that the warring parties in the devastating 12-month-long civil war in Ethiopia involve the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Eritrean Defense Forces, the Amhara Special Forces, and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.

Wave

Rising sea levels, extreme climate conditions such as severe storms faced by Bangladesh, one of the primary victims of anthropogenic climate change, the country is set to be the worst sufferer from climate change by 2025, far worse than any other country.

Ongoing Pandemic Push Africa’s Children Out of School

Kenya’s secondary schools’ administration has been in the eye of a storm since schools reopened in October 2021. Since then, students have set on fire 35 schools and counting, forcing the government to announce an unscheduled break from school – ahead of the planned December 23 closing.

Feminism Weaponized Against Trans People

There is a resurgence of anti-trans sentiment right now. It’s not only Dave Chapelle’s toxic rants in his most recent Netflix special: we see it across social, political and cultural arenas including in JK Rowling's ongoing embrace of trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs); the introduction of bills designed to harm trans kids in the US; Uganda's Sexual Offenses bill, which violates international human rights; and “gender-critical” academics like Kathleen Stock profiting from their inflammatory rhetoric.

No Vaccine for the Pandemic of Violence Against Women in Latin America

Despite significant legal advances in Latin American countries to address gender-based violence, it continues to be a serious challenge, especially in a context of social crisis aggravated by the covid-19 pandemic, which hits women especially hard.

Yet Another Scourge: A Third of All Women are Subjected to Violence

Thirty percent of women and girls suffered physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner. And more than 70 percent of all sold, bought and enslaved victims of human smuggling and trafficking are women and girls -- three out of four of them are sexually exploited.

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