Active Citizens

Civil Society Wants More Influence in New Development Agenda

Making international cooperation more effective requires a civil society with greater influence in the negotiations of the development agenda that the world’s governments are to adopt in 2015, civil society representatives said at an international meeting in Mexico.

Soaring Child Poverty – a Blemish on Spain

“I don’t want them to grow up with the notion that they’re poor,” says Catalina González, referring to her two young sons. The family has been living in an apartment rent-free since December in exchange for fixing it up, in the southern Spanish city of Málaga.

Colombia’s Breadbasket Feels the Pinch of Free Trade

“Things are getting worse and worse,” Enrique Muñoz, a 67-year-old farmer from the municipality of Cajamarca in the central Colombian department of Tolima, once known as the country’s breadbasket, said sadly.

Biofortified Beans to Fight ‘Hidden Hunger’ in Rwanda

Joane Nkuliye considers herself an activist. She is part of a select group of farmers producing biofortified crops on a commercial scale in Rwanda. 

Rural Costa Rican Women Plant Trees to Fight Climate Change

Olga Vargas, a breast cancer survivor, is back in the countryside, working in a forestry programme in the north of Costa Rica aimed at empowering women while at the same time mitigating the effects of climate change.

Behind Bars for Being Young, Poor and Wearing a Hat

Just being young, dark-skinned, poor, and wearing a hood or cap exposes you to arrest as a suspected offender in the Argentine province of Córdoba. Arbitrary police detentions are based on the misdemeanour of “loitering”, meant to prevent crime but in fact a violation of constitutional rights.

Rapping to Uganda’s News Beat

“People in Ukraine took over power.“Celebrated a few days, then the party went sour…” raps Sharon Bwogi, aka Lady Slyke, on NewzBeat, a weekend show that airs on Uganda’s channel NTV in both English and the local language Luganda. 

Uganda’s Human Rights Record Plunges With Signing of Anti-Gay Law

Uganda’s gays are bracing themselves for a spate of arrests and harassment as the country’s draconian anti-gay bill was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni on Monday, Feb. 24.

Chagos Islanders ‘Will Not Give Up’ Fight to Return Home

“The Marine Protected Area (MPA) created around the Chagos archipelago is a new obstacle that the British government has placed in our path to prevent us from going back to our homeland,” claims Olivier Bancoult, leader of the Chagos Refugees Group (CRG).


Descendants of Slaves Report Military Abuses in Brazil

Residents of the small community of Rio dos Macacos, made up of descendants of slaves in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, reported to United Nations bodies that they were attacked by military personnel from the Aratu naval base, which occupies part of their land.

Fashion Backward: Cambodian Government Silences Garment Workers

“Cambodian garment workers have two handcuffs and one weapon [against them]. One handcuff is a short-term contract [10 hours a day, six days a week]. Even if they get sick, if they get pregnant they feel they have to get an abortion so they don’t lose their jobs.

Sawhoyamaxa Battle for Their Land in Paraguay

The Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community in Paraguay have spent over 20 years fighting to get back their land, which they were pushed off by cattle ranchers.

Mexican Communities On Guard Against Thirst for Oil

The Terra 123 oil and gas well in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco was in flames since late October, just 1.5 km from a community of 1,500 Oxiacaque indigenous villagers, who were never evacuated.

An Argentine Town that ‘Celebrates’ Garbage

Towns traditionally celebrate their most characteristic aspect. So the town of Bouwer in central Argentina decided to “celebrate” garbage.

U.S. Urged to Change Policy on Support to Victims of Sexual Violence

The U.S. government is being urged to roll back a longstanding policy that has banned foreign aid funding from being used for health care services for victims of sexual violence in conflict situations.

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