Active Citizens

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.

Farmers, CSOs Rally Behind Environmentalist Jailed for Exposing Land Grabbing in Cameroon

Farmers and activists in Cameroon say a jail sentence handed down on an environmentalist who exposed land-grabbing by a multinational agro-industrial company, sends a dangerous signal to communities trying to protect their land and resources.

“Nothing Will Be the Same” for Turkish Press After Recent Elections

Days after the 1 November general elections in Turkey, Beyza Kural, a reporter with the independent press agency Bianet, rushed to Istanbul University to cover a stand-off between protesting students and the police.

Latin America Has Beaten Down, but not Beaten, HIV/AIDS

The countries of Latin America have partially met the Millennium Development Goal referring to the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to the UNAIDS report on the global epidemic released Tuesday.

German Development Cooperation Piggybacks Onto Africa’s E-Boom

In a major paradigm shift, the German government is now placing its bets on digitalisation for its development cooperation policy with Africa, under what it calls a Strategic Partnership for a ’Digital Africa’.

Sex Workers in Nicaragua Break the Silence and Gain Rights

After living in the shadows, thousands of Nicaraguan sex workers have broken their silence, won support from state institutions and gained new respect for their rights.

Civil Society and Politics March for Negev Bedouin Recognition

There was a symbolic dimension to a recent four-day march from the periphery of Israel to the corridors of power in Jerusalem to seek recognition for Bedouin villages.

Global Civil Society to the Rescue of the Amazon

A global civil society petition to save the Amazon is circulating on the internet and its promoters say that once one million signatures have been collected indigenous leaders will deliver it directly to the governments of Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.

Palestinian Grassroots Resistance to Occupation Growing

As soon as the truck carrying Israeli dairy products entered Ramallah’s city centre it was surrounded by Palestinian activists who proceeded to remove and trash almost 20,000 dollars’ worth of mainly milk and yoghurt.

Kurdish Civil Society Against Use of Arms to Gain Autonomy

A rupture inside the movement for the creation of an independent state of Kurdistan has given new impetus to the voices of those condemning the use of weapons as the way to autonomy.

Diversity and Inclusion for Empowering ‘People of Color’

A unique initiative – the Network Inclusion Leaders (NILE) project – has just held its second workshop here to set up a diversity and inclusion network for future leaders from among Germany’s ‘people of color’, or persons from different ‘non-white’ cultural backgrounds.

Civil Society Support for Marshall Islands Against Nuclear Weapons

Ahead of the Dec. 8-9 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, activists from all over the world came together in the Austrian capital to participate in a civil society forum organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on Dec. 6 and 7.

Laying the Foundations of a World Citizens Movement

Has organised civil society, bound up in internal bureaucracy, in slow, tired processes and donor accountability, become simply another layer of a global system that perpetuates injustice and inequality?

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