International Civil Society Week 2017

“Banging on the Door” – Women Fight for a Voice and Space in Civil Society

The space for civil society organizations is shrinking around the world, with particular impacts on women activists and human rights defenders who face additional barriers due to their gender or sexual orientation.

Are Rising Seas, Coastal Erosion & Powerful Storms a Wave of the Future for Small Island Nations?

The 44-member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) represents some of the world’s most vulnerable island nations fighting a virtually losing battle against rising sea levels triggered by global warming and climate change.

Food Sovereignty as a Pillar of Self-Determination

A recent meeting in Rome between our Pacific leaders and UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) highlighted the urgency of food security in our region given the reality of climate change affecting our agriculture and aquaculture.

Despite Progress, Gay & Abortion Rights Face Threats in Latin America

Cancun, Mexico, of white sand beaches and spring break-style nightlife, was, this past June, the unusual backdrop for a regional gathering on human rights and democracy.

Post-Nuclear Nightmares Still Linger Over Pacific Islands

The Pacific islands have long remained victims of nuclear crimes – but the perpetrators, three of the world’s major powers with permanent seats in the UN Security Council, never paid for their deadly sins.

Pacific Islands Struggling to Meet SDG7 Energy Targets

The four Pacific Island nations who are amongst the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) may be falling behind in meeting energy access targets because they are too busy devoting resources towards climate change.

“Migrants Deserve Dignity” says CIVICUS While Trump Pulls out of Proposed Migrant Compact

Continuing his “America First” approach, President Donald Trump has pulled the U.S. out of a proposed United Nations global compact seeking an agreement to protect the safety and rights of migrants and refugees.

“Will Civil Society & Democracy in India Rise to the Existential Challenges They Face?”

A cursory glance at international funding of the social sector in India reveals that it has grown at over 25% annually over the past three years.

Civil Society Week Puts Spotlight on the Pacific

It's a busy week for movers, shakers and policymakers attending a global gathering of civil society activists here in Fiji. For the first time, the International Civil Society Week (ICSW) is holding its sessions in the Pacific. It's a sign of a growing awareness of the problems facing these remote islands – problems they cannot be ignored any longer.

Build Back Better: The Tiny Island of Dominica Faces New Climate Reality

McCarthy Marie has been living in the Fond Cani community, a few kilometres east of the Dominica capital Roseau, for 38 years. The 68-year-old economist moved to the area in 1979 following the decimation of the island by Hurricane David.

Indigenous People, Guardians of Threatened Forests in Brazil

Indigenous peoples, recognised as the best guardians of the world's forests, are losing some battles in Brazil in the face of intensified pressure from the expansion of agriculture, mining and electricity generation.

Are Rising Attacks On Human Rights Defenders The ‘New Normal’?

At CIVICUS, a global civil society alliance working to strengthen citizen participation, we receive bad news of attacks on compatriots every day.

‘Sparks of Hope’ in a Time of Fear

Out of 300 nominations from across the globe, just four have won an innovation award for their commitment to human rights.Now in its 12th year, the Nelson Mandala-Graça Machel Innovation Awards seeks to celebrate and promote diverse individuals and organizations for their excellence and bravery in creating social change.

Fiji Civil Society Meeting to Focus on Pacific Islands Under Threat

The 57 small island developing states (SIDS), including 20 described as territories which are non-UN members, are some of the world’s most vulnerable – both economically and environmentally.

Should Environmental Refugees be Granted Asylum Status?

The 1951 UN convention on political refugees-- which never foresaw the phenomenon of climate change-- permits refugee status only if one “has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”

Climate-Smart Agriculture in Vanuatu: Learning to Grow

It’s been dry in Isavai on the island of Aniwa for last couple of years – ever since Tropical Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu in March 2015, leaving an El Nino-induced drought in its wake. A dry phase is bad news for farmers anywhere, but in Aniwa, where there is no constant water source and the only water supply comes almost exclusively from harvesting rain into tanks, it’s disastrous.

Vanuatu: Community Farms Helping Small Islands Adapt to Climate Change

Here in Vanuatu, the ocean has been getting warmer and more acidic. Scientists are predicting that cyclone patterns will change, we’ll see heavier rainfalls, a wetter wet season and a drier dry season. We’re already seeing the sea rising six millimeters per year in the capital, Port Vila; higher than the global average.

Pacific Communities Building Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

In the Pacific, climate change is an ever-present threat, undermining human rights, livelihoods, and security. Pacific Islanders are working with courage and resolve to build the resilience of their communities and to catalyse international actions towards ending global carbon pollution.