Human Rights

‘Zero Tolerance’ the Call for Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation

Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.

OPINION: Why Asia-Europe Relations Matter in the 21st Century

Hopes are high that the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting – or ASEM summit – to be held in Milan on October 16-17 will confirm the credibility and relevance of Asia-Europe relations in the 21st century.

In Bangladesh, a Steady Pursuit of Freedom

Visiting Bangladesh has been a lifelong dream of mine, but all that I had heard about a people who love freedom so much that they have withstood great armies, famine and intractable poverty could not prepare me for what I’ve seen in the last three days.  

Lebanon’s Closed Doors for Palestinian Refugees

Tens of thousands of Palestinians living in Syria have been uprooted since the violent government crackdown on the uprising and the ensuing battles that ensnared their communities. For around 50,000 of them, Lebanon was their only safe route out but now it seems this door is being closed on them.

Survivors of Sexual Violence Deserve More Than Just Talk

“States must make concrete commitments to enable and protect women human rights defenders, so that they can safely and securely carry out their work in support of victims of sexual and gender-based violence,” Amnesty International told the Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict that wound up Friday in London.

Q&A: Sperisen Trial “A Further Step in the Fight Against Impunity Across the Board”

Erwin Sperisen was chief of Guatemala’s National Civil Police from 2004 to 2007, when he left the country for Switzerland. In August 2010, the Guatemalan authorities issued an international arrest warrant, accusing him, among others, of extrajudicial executions in the prisons of Pavon and Infiernito.

Separatist Violence Just One of Ukraine’s Problems

As Ukraine’s president elect Petro Poroshenko prepares to begin his presidency, Ukrainians are hoping he will not forget that separatist violence is just one of a long list of problems he needs to help solve in the country.


Immigrants Face Indefinite Detention in Greece

The evolution of immigration and border control policy in Greece and its interdependence with European funding suggests an agenda which has been decided above national legislatures with strong coordination between European political actors and economic interests, while ignoring the human suffering it produces.

Vibrant Civil Society, A Must For South Sudan

I had the privilege of visiting South Sudan a few months after the world’s youngest state had been born in July 2011.  Then, most people were wondering what the future held for the country.  The road has not been easy so far.

UN Looks, Sri Lanka Ducks

It has now become an annual affair. When the Geneva based UN Human Rights Council readies itself for the first of its annual regular sessions in February, the government in Sri Lanka gets ready to ward off yet another attempt to scrutinise its rights record.

Virtually At Sea in the Pacific

The Pacific Islands have some of the lowest rates of Internet penetration in the world, yet tech-savvy urbanites are behind the emergence of a number of social media sites dedicated to generating public debate and demanding government accountability. However, without real action, online forums speaking truth to power are constrained in impacting political and social reforms in the region.

Never-Ending Case Arises Again

Pınar Selek, a Turkish sociologist who has on three occasions been tried and acquitted over a fatal explosion in Istanbul more than 14 years ago, is being taken to court again Jan. 24.

Food Sovereignty Prize 03

Groups Rewarded in Their Fight for Fair Food

The Korean Women's Peasant Association won the 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize for its efforts on behalf of the survival of small-scale and ecologically sustainable farming in South Korea.

Participants on the first day of the Fifth Session on the Conference of States Parties to the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, hosted by the U.N. Sep. 12-14, 2012. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Involuntary Sterilisation Threatens Rights of Disabled Women

In 1996, Maria Mamerita Mestanza Chavez, a 33-year-old Peruvian mother of seven, was threatened with imprisonment if she did not comply with the government policy of undergoing sterilisation. After suffering post-operative complications for which she was refused treatment, Chavez died nine days later.

India Coaxes Tribal Girls Into Schools

The deafening din of the lunch gong is sweet music to the 200-odd tribal girls rushing down the stairway, clutching stainless steel plates and tumblers.

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