Democracy

Devastating Epidemic of Crime & Insecurity in Latin America & Caribbean

Development is a very uneven process, accompanied by heterogeneity in outcomes across sectors, across regions and across income groups. Such process, Albert Hirschman elegantly established about 60 years ago, constantly generates tensions and demands for redistribution of resources and power. In this sense, conflict is inherent to development.

South Africans Look to Re-elected Government to Rebuild a Stagnant Economy

Millions of South Africans headed out in large numbers, some braving cold and wet weather to cast their ballot in the country's sixth democratic elections this week. The 2019 election was one of the most competitive and contested elections that also saw a whopping 48 parties on the national ballot—up 300 percent from a mere 10 years ago.

The Age of the Internet Calls for Younger Leaders

Days before Algeria’s 82-year-old strongman president Abdelaziz Bouteflika was ousted from power, the country made one last ditch attempt to keep control: it shut down the internet.

Rise of Right-wing Nationalism Undermines Human Rights Worldwide

The rise of right-wing nationalism and the proliferation of authoritarian governments have undermined human rights in several countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Aid Organisations Welcome New Development Chief

International aid organisations have reacted positively to the appointment of new UK International Secretary of State for Development, Rory Stewart.

From Sanctioning Iran to War?

With the recent military moves announced uncharacteristically by the White House first, the world is witnessing with grim fascination what could turn out to be the early moves towards a war against Iran. How plausible is this scenario and what is likely to happen geopolitically if and when the US belligerence leads to an actual military confrontation with Iran?

“In Venezuela, Union Organising is Illegal”

Maduro or Guaidó? Neither, according to José Bodas. He is the former General Secretary of the FUTPV, Venezuela’s main oil workers trade union, and according to him, neither the president nor the challenger from the opposition has the people’s best interests in mind.

US Takes Back Signature on Arms Trade Treaty

The United States dropped a political bombshell when President Donald Trump announced his administration would withdraw from the historic Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which the former Obama administration signed in September 2013.

‘You Cannot Muzzle the Media’: Nigerian Journalists on Press Freedom under Buhari

When Nigeria's incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won re-election this year, he campaigned (as he did in 2015) on an image of good governance and anti-corruption. Billboards in the capital, Abuja, bore the smiling faces of the president--who first led Nigeria as military ruler from 1983-1985--and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, and called for voters to let them "continue" their work and take the country to the "Next Level."

Nicaraguans “Will Not Be Silenced”

A year since Nicaragua spiralled into a socio-political crisis, human rights leaders have called on the country to refrain from violence and uphold the human rights of its citizens.

Why the Prosecution of Julian Assange is Troubling for Press Freedom

After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, British police last week arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange--a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

Hard Battle Ahead for Independent Arab Media

Sometimes a peak into the future reminds us just how stuck we are in the past and present. It was the talk of the Middle East’s largest annual media industry gathering: a robot journalist – the region’s first – that wowed some 3,000 industry leaders and practitioners at the Arab Media Forum (AMF) in Dubai recently.

Civil Society, Press Freedom & Human Rights Under Attack in Africa

The civic space in several African countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Mozambique, Somalia and Eritrea, is gradually shrinking – and mostly under authoritarian leaders and repressive regimes.

The Crucial Role of the Military in the Venezuelan Crisis

In January 2019 Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly swore in congressman Juan Guaidó as the country’s interim president. Guaidó’s claim to power is a severe blow against the already weakened government of Nicolás Maduro, whose re-election as president in May 2018 was widely rejected by the international community and deemed illegitimate by over 50 foreign governments.

“They’re like those bad football fans”

It’s been called the most important election in decades. The coming elections to the European Parliament will take place in May, and some believe it will be a springboard for the parties on the far right. But what would the consequences of that be for the labour markets in the European Union’s member states?

An Indigenous Nation Battles for Land and Justice in Bolivia

The ancient Qhara Qhara nation began a battle against the State of Bolivia in defence of its rich ancestral lands, in an open challenge to a government that came to power in 2006 on a platform founded on respect for the values and rights of indigenous peoples.

Sierra Leone: Bio Government’s First Year

If the government of Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio were to be graded on their first year’s performance in office, it is likely that their report card would read, “promising start, which they must surpass in the years ahead”.

Q&A: “The Knowledge of Local Challenges Can Only Come from Working with People”

The remarkable story of an Adivasi lawyer and social activist who has led peoples’ movements against state development policies, and sought redress for human rights violations of his people in conflict-ridden regions of Maharashtra.

How Many Journalists are Jailed in China? Censorship Means We Don’t Know

Reporting on China's harassment of journalists has never been easy. Lately it's been getting much harder, which suggests that conditions for the press could be worsening.

International Trade Unions Condemn Recognition of Guaidó

More than 60 countries have recognized Juan Guaidó as legitimate interim president. But among international trade unions, support for Venezuelan self-determination is resolute.

The Crisis in Venezuela

My mission to Venezuela in November/December 2017 was the first by a UN rapporteur in 21 years. It was intended to open the door to the visit of other rapporteurs and to explore ways how to help the Venezuelan people overcome the protracted economic and institutional crisis.

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