Stories written by Fawzia Sheikh

Natural Disasters Add to Myanmar’s Troubles

As Myanmar nurses a fragile democracy after long years of military rule, a new danger has reared its head. Climate change, say experts, has the potential to spur migration and exacerbate conflict in the country.

Canada Eyes African Resources amid Shrinking Foreign Aid

With an initial focus on oil-producing Nigeria and mineral-rich Ghana, Ottawa is bolstering its trade strategy in Africa, but some within the international development and economic communities have expressed concerns about Canada’s approach.

This image is taken from a video secretly recorded when 16-year-old captive Omar Khadr was interrogated by Canadian officials in Guantanamo. Credit: Public domain

Coming of Age in a Guantanamo Jumpsuit

Plenty of monikers have been attached to Omar Khadr, one of the most famous Guantanamo Bay detainees - child soldier, terrorist, war criminal, Al-Qaeda family member, security threat.

Where Are Canada’s Missing Native Women?

First Nations’ leaders are calling on the Canadian government to establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate at least 582 missing and murdered indigenous women and girls - a wish which was not immediately granted by provincial premiers meeting last week.

Private-sector estimates suggest the combined value of chromite and nickel in the north is approximately 60 billion dollars. Credit: Lazurite/CC BY 2.0

Native Canadians Fear Mining Boom in “Ring of Fire”

With accusations that Canadian resource companies and government officials are disregarding the need for indigenous consent in development projects, First Nations leaders have lashed out by approving a resolution calling for a moratorium on mining development in the so-called Ring of Fire until proper consultation begins.

Canada Targets Traffickers, With a Close Eye on Sex Work

The arrests last week of the three remaining perpetrators of the alleged Opapa human trafficking ring, which forced 19 people recruited from Hungary to endure long work days, poor living conditions and no pay in the Canadian construction industry, has cast a light on Ottawa’s new measures to combat the crime.

Native Canadians See Way of Life Under Assault

Canada's West Coast First Nations are feeling overwhelmed by crises affecting their land rights, economic well-being and health, prompting warnings in one territorial dispute with a local energy company that the country risks a degeneration of Aboriginal-federal government relations to a level unseen in two decades.

View of the Amazon rain forest in San Martín, Peru. An indigenous community there is accusing an oil company of social and environmental damage. Credit: Milagros Salazar/IPS

Indigenous Peruvian Community Locked in Dispute with Oil Company

An indigenous group in the Amazon rain forest took its anti-oil message to Canada in a case rife with accusations of social and environmental damage that highlights the issue of securing consent prior to commencing exploration operations.

Canada’s Trade and Aid Appear Increasingly Aligned

Canada is ending bilateral aid programmes in eight countries and refocusing efforts in five others due to "high operating costs", a move which the umbrella group representing Canadian international development organisations say is difficult to immediately measure but will affect some of the poorest countries in the world.

Canadian Budget Cuts Ripple Overseas

The Canadian development community is concerned that the government's international assistance commitment to poor nations is waning in the interest of fiscal responsibility and that Ottawa instead prefers to forge ties with middle-income nations for commercial purposes.

New Rules Leave Canadian Aid Groups in Limbo

Many Canadian civil society organisations working in international development are still awaiting a definitive answer about future government funding, a months-long lag critics argue has hampered overseas operations and only worsens Canada's global reputation when viewed in light of other issues in recent years.

Cooperatives have grown in prominence, in part due to the Occupy movement, but how closely the two can coordinate remains to be seen. Credit: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture/ CC by 2.0

Forging Bond Will Be Test for Co-ops and Occupy Movement

Canadian cooperatives may grow as the global Occupy movement raises the profile of their business model through boosting interest in credit unions over traditional banks, but uncertainty remains about the degree to which the two camps will join forces from here on.

Although the Toronto public school board has approved a second

CANADA: Alternative School Sparks Fears of Division and Isolation

The Toronto public school board has approved the second 'Africentric' Alternative School despite persistent criticism that the format attracts mainly black students and is equivalent to segregation in a country that prides itself on national unity regardless of ethnic differences.

Sri Lankan Rights Abuses Obstruct Trade Efforts with Canada

Despite the crossfire of Canadian accusations of human rights violations by Sri Lanka at the end of its civil war and Colombo's corresponding counter-claims, the economically battered South Asian country aims to bolster its trading relationship with Canada and increase foreign direct investment.

A woman working in a gold mine in Siguiri Prefecture, Guinea. Credit: USAID

Global Gold Rush Brings Heightened Scrutiny

Bolstered by gold prices hovering above 1,800 dollars an ounce and a global economy slowly recovering, exploration activity for the precious metal in 2010 once again rebounded. Yet, with this surge comes the attendant scrutiny by activists, investors, and the media into the industry's human rights and environmental records abroad.