Active Citizens

Wall Street can Free the World’s 40 Million Modern-Day Slaves

Financiers in Wall Street, the City of London and other banking centres should play a bigger role in freeing the millions of people who endure slave-like working conditions globally, according to a new study.

A Rising Youth Movement Picks Up Where Governments Have Failed

When the Youth Climate Summit concluded last week, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres predicted that if governments still lack the political will to make peace with nature, “there is huge hope in what the youth is doing all over the world".

We Have Swung into the Dark Ages, Says Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams

On Monday, United States President Donald Trump continued to float the idea that he should be awarded a Nobel Prize, but that it would never happen because the system was rigged.

50 Days of Kashmir Under Lockdown – in Pictures

It is 50 days into the lockdown in Kashmir since roads were blocked off, schools shut, and internet and communication services stopped.

‘I Want my Kids to Know What a Rhino and Turtle Are’ – #ClimateStrike Kids Say

From Nigeria, to Kenya to the Democratic Republic of Congo, to South Africa, thousands of African climate campaigners have taken to the streets joining millions around the world for the global Climate Strike ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, which starts in New York next week.

NYC Library Ditches Controversial Saudi Royal MBS’ Event

A New York library appeared to bow to pressure this week when it canceled an event that was being co-hosted by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is accused of a range of human rights abuses.

Calls for Reform, Research and Reorganisation in Leprosy Healthcare

Rachna Kumari of Munger in Eastern India’s Bihar state is not yet 30. But she's already been married at 18, abandoned by her husband after she was diagnosed with leprosy and become an award-winning advocate of the disease. She has traversed a long road. And this week she undertook another step in her journey to fly to Manila, Philippines, as a delegate at the 20th International Leprosy Congress (ILC).

‘Conference Emphasises Need for Partnerships to Create a World Without Leprosy’

Forty years ago, Yohei Sasakawa saw his father moved to tears after meeting and witnessing the suffering of people affected by leprosy – also known as Hansen’s disease. Not only did the patients have a physical illness, but they also suffered from social exclusion and discrimination. It made the young Sasakawa vow to work for the elimination of leprosy from the world – just as his father had been doing.

The Emergence of a Global Voice for Hansen’s Disease Affected Persons

The Global Forum of People’s Organisations on Hansen’s Disease, which was attended by members of people’s organisations from 23 different countries, wrapped up in Manila, Philippines, today Sept. 10 after four days of discussion and deliberation. The main outcome was a set of recommendations, which included participants stating that those affected by the disease should have more inclusive roles in the global campaign against leprosy.


Culture of Peace Takes Big Stride as UN Observes 20th Anniversary of Norm-Setting 1999 Decision

It has been a long, arduous journey – a journey ridden curiously with obstacles and indifference. Two decades have passed by since the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted, by consensus and without reservation, its landmark and norm-setting resolution 53/243 on the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace in 1999.

Litigation, a Mechanism to Ensure Justice and End Stigma for Hansen’s Disease

Professor Ai Kurosaka remembers the day she first interacted with a person affected by Hansen’s disease. It was 2003 and Kurosaka, then a graduate student of sociology at the Saitama University in Japan, had been assigned to interview ex-patients and their family members to document what kind of discrimination they faced. It was a very difficult task because nobody wanted to speak or identify themselves.

The Business of Social Enterprise

Organisations supporting people affected by Hansen’s disease (leprosy) have social rather than capitalist aims, but they need to take a business-minded approach to their work if they wish to be sustainable, experts at a global conference in Manila, Philippines said.

Global Network Key to Strengthening Leprosy Organisations

Organisations of people affected by Hansen’s Disease or leprosy agree that a global network of volunteer groups is key to eradicating the disease, but concrete steps need to be taken to move the idea from an often-discussed concept to a reality.

First Global Forum of Leprosy-Affected People’s Organisations Kicks off in Manila

Being part of a platform where leprosy-affected people from all over the world can freely interact, exchange and share opinions, ideas, experiences and strategies was always something Tasfaye Tadesse dreamt of.

A Global Forum to Encourage Dialogue and Share Solutions

Professor Takahiro Nanri is the executive director of the Sasakawa Health Foundation, co-organiser of the Global Forum of People’s Organisations on Hansen’s Disease, which will take place from Sept. 7 to 10 in the Philippines.

Festival Pays Tribute to Singer, Civil-Rights Icon Nina Simone

It must be a daunting prospect to sing songs made famous by the incomparable Nina Simone, but performers Ledisi and Lisa Fischer brought their individual style to a BBC Proms concert in London, honouring Simone and gaining admiration for their own talent.

Let the World’s Future Not Turn into Ashes

With the record rate blaze in the Amazon that struck Indigenous communities, the world is confronted by a humanitarian crisis in the midst of an ever-worsening political-economic condition.

Disaster Risk Resilience: Key to Protecting Vulnerable Communities

The past five years have been the hottest on record in Asia and the Pacific. Unprecedented heatwaves have swept across our region, cascading into slow onset disasters such as drought. Yet heat is only part of the picture. Tropical cyclones have struck new, unprepared parts of our region and devastatingly frequent floods have ensued. In Iran, these affected 10 million people this year and displaced 500,000 of which half were children. Bangladesh is experiencing its fourth wave of flooding in 2019. Last year, the state of Kerala in India faced the worst floods in a century.

Close the Door on Nuclear Testing

Everybody knows that nuclear weapons have been used twice in wartime and with terrible consequences. Often overlooked, however, is the large-scale, postwar use of nuclear weapons:

Amazon Fires Heat Up Political Crisis in Brazil

August is the month of major political crises in Brazil, but no one suspected that an environmental issue would be the trigger for the storms threatening the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, just eight months into his term.

Solving the Climate Crisis is Beyond Governments

Throughout my ten years working in international development and climate policy, I’ve mostly heard colleagues talk about the private sector as if it was this intangible, multifaceted medusa with its own business lingo that is impossible for us policy experts to tackle: “the ‘private sector’ needs a return on investment in order to act on climate” or “the ‘private sector' does not have the right incentives, but we need ‘private’ capital to solve this crisis”


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