Active Citizens

Turkey’s Crackdown on the Press

On the evening of March 4, heavily armed police forced their way into the headquarters of the Turkish daily Zaman. The hundreds of protesters that had gathered in front of the building in an Istanbul suburb in solidarity with their newspaper were violently dispersed.

Palestinian Refugees from Syria

In the safety of his sister's bare flat in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, 42 year-old Iyad Yusef still shakes his head in disbelief when he recounts the journey that from war-torn Syria, brought him and his family to the relative safety of the blockaded strip.

Public Primary Boarding Schools in Pastoral Communities

Jonathan Tipapa is a nine year-old boy whose daily journey to and from school exposes him to many dangers that have seen him come close to dropping out of school -- like many of his friends who can be seen running after cows even on school days. He attends Enkutoto primary school in the expansive Narok South Constituency in the Rift Valley region, approximately 70 miles from the capital Nairobi.

Anti-Mining Protests in Turkey Book Temporary Victory

Over the past weeks, thousands of people across Turkey have protested against the planned construction of a gold mine in Cerattepe, close to the town of Artvin in the northeast of the country. Protesters fear that the mine will cause irreparable damage to the unique natural environment of the region.

Schools are in for Summer

“We are extremely jubilant over the rebuilding of our school that the Taliban destroyed it in 2013, due to which we used to sit without a roof,” Mujahida Bibi, a student of 8th grade in Government Girls Middle School North Waziristan Agency, told IPS.

Sterilisation of HIV-Positive Women

Mayimuna Monica* has been living with HIV for over 10 years and wants to have a baby. But she can’t because her uterus was removed against her will at a government hospital where she had gone to deliver her last child now aged eight. “My uterus was removed in 2007. When I got pregnant and went for medical check-up, the doctor asked me why I was pregnant. I told him I want to have a third child. The doctor said, you people living with HIV at times annoy us because you understand your situation but you come to disturb us.” Mayimuna narrates.

Women’s Empowerment in Bangladesh

On a gloomy weather in a hilly suburb in Tarabonia, three women keep themselves busy stitching clothes. The informal shop-cum tailoring outlet is the only one of its kind in the neighbourhood and so the shop has a good record of sales of apparels. Minu Bai Marma, a 27 year-old housewife who runs the rented shop, gives a smile and attends to her regular customers. Customers keep ordering for new dresses, especially before festivals and Minu and her husband earn a fairly good amount of profits to run the family.

Kidneys Going Cheap in Poor Estate Community

One and half years ago, Johnson, a 20- something youth, hailing from Sri Lanka’s tea plantations, received an unusual request. The caller, someone Johnson knew casually, made an offer for his kidney. “It was for a half a million rupees (around US $3,500),” he said.

Extremism Threatens Press Freedom

Pakistan continues to remain one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, where frequent attempts to restrict press freedom are commonplace and challenges to expanding media diversity and access to information abound.

Press Crackdown Is Likely to Worsen

On October 2015, the day that Ugandan journalist Enoch Matovu, 25, was allegedly shot by the police for simply “doing my job”, the police had “run out of tear gas”, he claimed.

Activists Accuse India of Violating UN Convention on Child Rights

Civil rights groups and child welfare activists have strongly protested against the enactment of a new Juvenile Justice Act by the Indian parliament, lowering the age of a legally defined juvenile for trial from 18 to 16- years old in heinous crimes cases.

Loneliness and Memories, Syrian Refugees Struggle in Safe Spaces

Emelline Mahmoud Ilyas is an outgoing 35-year-old mother of three from Syria. Sitting in a community centre in Zarqa, Jordan, where she just held a meeting with Jordanian and Syrian parents on the subject of childcare, she remembers the 'journey of death' that led her family to the Hashemite Kingdom.

CPJ: Two Thirds of 2015 Journalist Deaths were Acts of Reprisal

Of the 69 journalists who died on the job in 2015, 40 per cent were killed by Islamic militant groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. Startlingly more than two-thirds were targeted for murder, according to a special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Power of the Pen

“How would you like it if you were just expressing your feelings and someone just put you in jail?” This is how an eight-year-old American schoolchild asked King Salman of Saudi Arabia not to flog imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi.

Initiatives Revive Palestinian Heritage Boosting Economy and ‘Homeland’

Deep into the subtly monochrome landscape of the southern West Bank, Abu Ismaeel’s tent stands out amongst bare rolling hills that stretch into the horizon. A lonely gate, with no fence around it, signals the official entrance to two large tents in the Rashayda Desert.

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