Human Rights

Afghan Women Struggle with Soaring Mental Health Issues

Afghanistan is grappling with a growing crisis of mental illness, particularly among its women, as highlighted in a United Nations report. Officials from the mental health department at Herat regional hospital have observed a concerning uptick in the number of women afflicted by psychological disorders in the province.

Solomon Islands: A Change More in Style than Substance

There’s change at the top in Solomon Islands – but civil society will be watching closely to see whether that means a government that’s grown hostile will start doing things differently.

The US a Direct Partner in the Israeli War

A major mistake we often commit in our analysis of the US political discourse on the Gaza war is that we assume that the US and Israel behave as if they are two political entities with separate agendas and sets of priorities.

US Senators Threaten Criminal Court & Advise Israel to Nuke Gaza

As the ancient Greek saying goes: those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first drive them mad. Perhaps destruction is too far-fetched here, but madness is closer home—in Washington DC With the 7-month-old Israeli-Gaza conflict showing no positive signs of a permanent solution, there is a lingering sense of growing political craziness in Capitol Hill, the seat of the US government, once described as Israeli-occupied territory.

From Dorms to Demonstrations

The campus protests that have spread to universities in every part of the United States are not about the war between Israel and Hamas, despite the heated rhetoric around this topic. Most of the students who are protesting know little about the conflict, its history and its ramifications for international politics.

Ocean Action on Global Agenda as Negotiations to Save Biodiversity Deepen

The oceans are as fascinating as they are mysterious. Home to the largest animals to ever live on Earth and billions of the tiniest, the top 100 meters of the open oceans host the majority of sea life, such as fish, turtles, and marine mammals. But there is another world far below the surface. In the belly of the ocean, there are seamounts—underwater mountains that rise 1,000 meters or more from the seafloor.

Educating the Mind Without Educating the Heart is No Education at All

The words above, by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, serve as a reminder that we still have a long way to go to in educating ourselves. In doing so, we will naturally ensure that the young generation can access an inclusive quality education and use their knowledge to build a world of justice, equity, peace and security.

Biodiversity Masterplan: Negotiations on Crucial Science, Technology for Implementation Underway

The triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and waste are escalating. At the current pace, the world is on track to lose one quarter of all plant and animal species by 2030, with one species already dying out every 10 minutes. One million species face extinction. Human activity has already altered three-quarters of the land on Earth and two-thirds of the ocean.

General Assembly Strengthens Palestine’s Status at UN — with New Privileges

The United States and its closest political and military ally, Israel, once again found themselves isolated last week when 143 of the UN’s 193 member states approved a resolution enhancing the role of Palestine providing it with new diplomatic privileges. And the US, meanwhile, has implicitly threatened to cut off funding-- if and when the UN provides legitimacy to Palestine. But that legitimacy is not likely to be achieved as long the US continues to exercise its veto to deny Palestine the status of a full-fledged UN member state.

The World Must Not Abandon the Mothers of Gaza

As millions of children and families celebrate their mothers, my thoughts turn to the pregnant women and new mothers our teams at UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, support in more than 130 countries around the world. And I hold in my heart all those who, tragically, will never live to see their newborns.

Biden ‘Moving the Goal Post’ With Threat to Withhold Bombs from Israel

While some Palestine defenders on Wednesday welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden's threat to withhold bombs and artillery shells from Israel if it launches a major invasion of Rafah, critics noted that an invasion is already underway and accused the American leader of walking back a previous "red line" warning against an Israeli assault on the southern Gaza city.

The Bleak déjà vu in Darfur

As dawn breaks over Darfur, my return after two decades feels heavy. Many millions are suffering once again. Twenty years ago, I was part of the humanitarian effort to make a difference. That was in the early 2000s, when celebrities and world-famous journalists would make the trek in a well-intentioned effort to focus attention on the atrocities across Darfur.

Choose Hope: Standing at the Crossroads of the Future

We are at the tipping point in human history, facing major existential crises. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has heightened the risk of a nuclear weapon being used since the Cold War. Furthermore, the climate crisis is accelerating. In these crises, the most affected are those in vulnerable situations.

The Enormous Risks & Uncertain Benefits of an Israeli Strike Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel on April 13 has significantly escalated the tensions between the countries. For the first time, a declared and extensive Iranian military operation was carried out on Israeli territory. Now, the decision on how to respond rests with Israel. A direct war between the two countries now no longer seems unlikely.

Amid Record Displaced Persons, Migrant Remittances Spike—New IOM Report

While there have been a record number of displaced people worldwide, according to a new report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), migrant remittances are promoting human development.

A Russian Veto Threatens to Trigger a Nuclear Arms Race in Outer Space

When the 15-member UN Security Council failed last month to adopt its first-ever resolution on outer space—co-sponsored by the US and Japan—the Russian veto led to speculation whether this was a precursor for a future nuclear arms race in the skies above. The vetoed resolution was expected to “affirm the obligation of all States parties to fully comply with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, including not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.”

Working to Keep Náhuat, the Language of the Pipil People, from Vanishing in El Salvador

A group of children participating in an immersion program in Náhuat, the language of the Pipil people and the only remaining pre-Hispanic language in El Salvador, are the last hope that the language will not die out.

Many African Nations Making Progress in the Rule of Law

The United Nations Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) supports the promotion of the rule of law, security, and peace in conflict-affected countries.

Civil Society Scores LGBTQI+ Rights Victory in Dominica

On 22 April, Dominica’s High Court struck down two sections of the country’s Sexual Offences Act that criminalised consensual same-sex relations, finding them unconstitutional. This made Dominica the sixth country in the Commonwealth Caribbean – and the fourth in the Eastern Caribbean – to decriminalise same-sex relations through the courts, and the first in 2024.

1.8 Million More Palestinians Doomed to Poverty if Gaza War Persists

Nearly seven months into the Gaza war, the UN warns that to rebuild and restore the buildings lost in this period, it would take several decades, and to revitalize Palestine’s economy, it would be a great undertaking. Meanwhile, the great losses in housing and public services and the economic stall only threaten to push even more Palestinians into poverty.

Media Freedom Declining Across Europe, With Implications for Rule of Law

A new report has warned media freedom in the EU is close to “breaking point” in many states amid rising authoritarianism across the continent.

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