Stories written by Cléo Fatoorehchi

World Water Forums Expose Large Dams as ‘Unsustainable’

Numerous non-governmental organisations used the World Water Forum (WWF) held in Marseille last week as an opportunity to remind the international community about the serious global impacts of large dams all over the world.

French Alternative Water Forum Says ‘No’ to Privatisation

Back in 2001, Gérard Mestrallet, CEO of the transnational water giant GDF- Suez, highlighted his company’s "commitment to fight for better access" to safe water and sanitation throughout the world, in order to put an end to all deadly water-borne diseases, from children’s diarrhoea to parasitic diseases to dysentery.

EUROPE-DEVELOPMENT: The “Indignados” Still Have Wind in Their Sails

Months of protest across the European Union, sparked by ‘indignant’ youth demanding an end to the brand of free market capitalism that has blighted the continent with an unemployment epidemic, finally bore fruit on Jan. 30 when Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, proposed an ambitious jobs scheme.

Sylvia Meltina, a Kenyan woman, says her family can no longer afford regular meals because of rising food and fuel costs.  Credit: Peter Kahare/IPS

G20 Remiss in Tackling Food Security

Last Friday Benoit Miribel, President of Action Against Hunger, delivered a strong indictment of the outcome of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in the south of France: "The G20 meeting in Cannes has been a missed opportunity."

Heads of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies meet at this year's summit in Cannes, France. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

G20: Final Push for Financial Transactions Tax

While the Greek bailout and stimulus package dominated discussion among the Group of 20 (G20) major industrialised and emerging market economies at the high-level summit in Cannes, France, this week, the proposed financial transactions tax (FTT) received meagre attention.

French honour guards at the G20 Summit at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

At G20 Summit, Civil Society Demands ‘People First, Not Finances’

While the 20 heads of state of the Group of 20 (G20) industrialised and emerging countries gather in southern France to deliberate on the future of the global economy – particularly the crises unfolding in the Eurozone – pockets of activists are amassing around the summit to make their voices heard.

Anti-G20 Summit Prepares Its Case

Anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist groups are gathering ahead of the G20 meeting in Cannes in the south of France next week.

After Torture, Homelessness Is Lucky

When Saoul decided to take the risk of leaving Chechnya for France, he could not imagine how much trouble protection could mean once he got here.

For the 2009 planting season, CCT planted 225 trees on the Marc Antony Gomez farm in Tierras Morenas, Costa Rica. Credit:

ENVIRONMENT DAY: Better to Plant a Tree Than Curse the Desert

With deforestation claiming 5.2 million hectares annually and governments seemingly incapable of agreeing on a new pact to curb climate-altering carbon emissions, it would be easy to write off the situation as hopeless.

Valli Batchelor Credit: Courtesy of Valli Batchelor

Q&A: “Clergy Sexual Abuse of Women Is a Violent Abuse of Power”

Ninety to 95 percent of victims of clergy sexual exploitation are women, according to recent estimates by the Columbia Theological Seminary's Rev. Pamela Cooper White, and yet very few studies have been conducted on this issue.

Rights Groups Take on “Ex-Gay” Ministries

Groups peddling the widely discredited notion that gay people can be "cured" of their sexual orientation are encountering staunch resistance to their message, even as converts insist that they are leading happier lives.

Female Migrant Domestic Workers: A Sad Story Largely Unknown.

Migrant domestic workers often toil under difficult and abusive conditions out of sight of the world's eyes. "Individual migrant domestic worker have virtually no possibility to negotiate for better working conditions before moving to the country of employment," Martin Oelz, International Labour Organization's legal specialist in the Conditions of Work and Employment Programme told IPS.

U.S.: Budget Cuts Threaten Handful of Beds for Homeless Youth

When Malika, 21, fled her parents' house in the U.S. state of Virginia three years ago to escape a forced marriage in Iran, she did not expect to end up homeless and living in shelters.

Time to Drag Sextortion into the Light

In their 2010 book "Half the Sky", Pulitzer Prize-winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn write about a disturbing but not uncommon problem in Southern Africa - male teachers who trade good grades for sex with students.

Joan Winship Credit: Courtesy of IAWJ

Q&A: Putting the Force of Law Behind Women’s Rights

The two-week Commission on the Status of Women at United Nations headquarters draws together a wide array of civil society leaders as well as policy-makers and U.N. development experts to compare notes on the many facets of women's empowerment.

Yifat Susskind. Credit: Courtesy of MADRE

Q&A: ‘Responding As We Would To A Friend In Crisis’

Working with grassroots organisations is the only viable way to genuinely help people, according Yifat Susskind, the newly appointed Executive Director of the New York-based women's organisation MADRE.

Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny Credit:

Q&A: “Transparency Helps Ensure Donors’ Promises Are Met”

This past September, world leaders meeting at the United Nations vowed to spend $40 billion over the next five years to save the lives of more than 16 million women and children dying of deadly diseases or lack of medical care, particularly during and after pregnancy.

Jennifer Redner Credit: Courtesy of IWHC

Q&A: “Child Marriage Is a Form of Violence Against Women”

At the start of this month, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted the 'International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act'. Women's rights groups are now urging the Congress's lower chamber to pass it before adjourning at the end of the year.

Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Q&A: Revitalising Agriculture Starts in a Small Field

In countries around the world, small farmers are trapped in a vicious circle - hard-pressed governments don't invest enough money in local agriculture, and local producers find themselves driven off their lands and into urban slums, where they sink even deeper into poverty.

Radhika Balakrishnan Credit: Courtesy of CWGL

Q&A: “More Women Peacekeepers Is Not the Solution”

For two decades, women around the world have marked "Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence", which fall between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov. 25 and International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.