Democracy

Venezuela: Violent Abuses in Illegal Gold Mines

Residents of Venezuela’s southern Bolívar state are suffering amputations and other horrific abuses at the hands of armed groups, including Venezuelan groups called “syndicates” in the area and Colombian armed groups operating in the region, both of which exercise control over gold mines, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, February 4.

Cybersecurity Threats Call for a Global Response

Last March, Operation Taiex led to the arrest of the gang leader behind the Carbanak and Cobalt malware attacks on over 100 financial institutions worldwide.

India’s Citizenship Law Triggered by Rising Right-Wing Ideology

“Fire bullets at the traitors of the country,” chanted mobs of Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, supporters wrapped in Indian flags in Delhi last week.

Reflections for a New Year

In a world shaken by so many problems, it is difficult to look at 2020 and not make some kind of holistic analysis. While enormous progress has been made on many fronts, it is clear that the tide has turned, and we are now entering – or have already entered – a new low point in the history of humankind..

Impeachment: An Ordinary Citizen’s View

When I decided to become a US citizen in 1990s, it was a deliberate decision to spend my life fighting for preserving and deepening democratic freedoms at a place where I have spent all my adult life. Having struggled against a brutal military dictatorship while I was a teenager, I knew that democracy is something you have to fight hard for. Therefore, when I became a citizen, for the swearing in event I took with me key documents of US democratic heritage. These included the constitution, the federalist papers and related documents from the 1780s. Since that ceremony I have tried to learn as much as I could about the crucial idea of democratic checks and balances among the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of our government. I have come to realize how prescient some of the revolutionaries from the 1770s and 1780s were in identifying the potential sources of tyranny and corruption of democracy. I have always looked at the impeachment provisions in this light.

The Ignoble Fall of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Appearing before 17 judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto civilian leader of Myanmar, became a public apologist for the military government of Myanmar which has long been accused of genocide and forcing over 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown.

Five Lessons for Journalism in the Age of Rage– & Where Lies Travel Faster Than Truth

The news-media industry has long lamented how the digital revolution has broken its business models. Today, a majority of digital advertising money goes to Facebook and Google, and media companies are struggling to reinvent themselves through digital subscriptions.

We Shouldn’t Expect Philanthropists to Fund Activism

Since philanthropists are unlikely to fund anything that destabilises their businesses, building independent institutions can be an effective approach to create lasting impact.

End Rape—an Intolerable Cost to Society

If I could have one wish granted, it might well be a total end to rape. That means a significant weapon of war gone from the arsenal of conflict, the absence of a daily risk assessment for girls and women in public and private spaces, the removal of a violent assertion of power, and a far-reaching shift for our societies.

Dangers and Questions of the Zuckerberg Era

This year the Worldwide Web is thirty years old. For the first time since 1435, a citizen from Brazil could exchange their views and information with another in Finland.

The UN at 75: Time to Give Citizens a Voice

Next year the United Nations will commemorate its 75th anniversary. The General Assembly determined that all the UN’s activities in 2020 shall be guided by the theme “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”.

PNG Bougainville Prepares for Historic Vote on Nationhood

The people of Bougainville, an autonomous region in eastern Papua New Guinea (PNG), have aspired to self-government for more than a century. Now their longed-for opportunity to vote on independence will occur on Nov. 23.  But, even with a clear majority in the vote count, the region’s future, which must be agreed and ratified by PNG, is far from certain.

Central America – Fertile Ground for Human Trafficking

Central America is an impoverished region rife with gang violence and human trafficking - the third largest crime industry in the world - as a major source of migrants heading towards the United States.

‘When Journalists are Targeted, Societies as a Whole, Pay a Price’: UN Chief

“Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned in a statement released ahead of the International Day to End Impunity Against Journalists, which falls on 2 November.

Fearless Young Women and Insensitive Men

On October 11, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee announced that this year´s Peace Prize is awarded to Ethiopia´s prime minister Abiy Ahmed: “For his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.”1 Let us hope that Abiy remains a worthy Peace Prize winner and that warfare and human suffering on the Horn of Africa will finally come to an end.

Nigerian Military Targeted Journalists’ Phones, Computers with “forensic search” for Sources

Hamza Idris, an editor with the Nigerian Daily Trust, was at the newspaper’s central office on January 6 when the military arrived looking for him.

13 Commitments to Tackle Hate Speech

In June 2019, the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, launched the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech. Respect for human rights, without any form of discrimination is one of the core fundamentals of this strategy.

Religious Leaders’ Plea to Member States: Honour Your Commitment to the UN

On the 8th of October, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the organisation is running out of money by the end of October - "member States have paid only 70 percent of the total amount needed for [our] regular budget”.

UN’s 75th Anniversary Shadowed by Right-Wing Nationalism, Widespread Authoritarianism & Budgetary Cuts

When the six much-ballyhooed high-level UN meetings concluded late September, there were mixed feelings about the final outcomes. And civil society organizations (CSOs), who were mostly disappointed with the results, are now gearing themselves for two upcoming key climate summit meetings: COP25 in Santiago, Chile in December and COP26 in Glasgow, UK in late 2020, along with the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Women’s Conference scheduled to take place in September 2020 in New York.

Holding Transnational Corporations Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

In Geneva this week, a treaty process is underway that promises to usher in a new era for human rights around the globe. The process—the intergovernmental working group on the binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights—could mean that for the first time, human rights would be prioritized above corporate profits.

Election Death Toll Underscores Afghanistan’s Fragile Democracy

A wave of bloody Taliban attacks aimed at derailing Afghanistan’s recent elections killed and maimed hundreds of people, including children, the United Nations mission to the country said on Tuesday.

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