Active Citizens

Why we Need to Build Economies– not Walls– to Stop Migration

If you speak to farmers in El Salvador, many will tell you about the time they were driven to head north across Central America towards the US. The routes to the border are many, but the origins are so often the same: desperation and hope that better employment opportunities can be found elsewhere.

Water Harvesting Strengthens Food Security in Central America

At the school in El Guarumal, a remote village in eastern El Salvador, the children no longer have to walk several kilometers along winding paths to fetch water from wells; they now "harvest" it from the rain that falls on the roofs of their classrooms.

Time to End Generational Injustice with a ‘Global Blue New Deal’ to Protect Oceans

Increasingly, youth are rising up to declare that they've had enough of the cyclical exploitation of the environment that jeopardizes their own future.

Sowing Water by Restoring Ancient Ditches in the Peruvian Highlands

In the highlands near the capital of Peru, more than 3,000 metres above sea level, ageold water recovery techniques are being used to improve access to water for 1,400 families, for household consumption and for crops and livestock.

People Power: Why Mobilisations Matter Even in a Pandemic

It has been one year since the police murder of George Floyd, an outrage that resonated around the world. The killing forced people to the streets, in the USA and on every inhabited continent, to demand respect for Black lives and Black rights, proving that protest was essential even during the pandemic.

– Mining giant Rio Tinto Face Environmental, Human Rights Complaint in Papua New Guinea –

On the occasion of World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, drawing from IPS’s bank of features and opinion editorials published this year, we are re-publishing one article a day, for the next two weeks. The original article was published on January 4 2021

Myanmar: Protestors Plea for International Help as Analysts Fear Full Military Might

Myanmar activists have called on the international community for help as security forces loyal to the military continue their draconian sweep against the civil disobedience campaign that has brought the country to a standstill since the Feb. 1 coup. The pleas come as analysts, commentators and diplomats who know Myanmar fear that more bloodshed is almost inevitable.

Lebanon: A Lion Pit for Journalism

Our deadliest nightmare is back: Political assassinations in Lebanon is back with the horrific murder of Luqman Slim, a vocal critic of Hezbollah. Slim’s assassination is the first killing of a high-profile activist and outspoken journalist in years. What do the political assassinations in Lebanon tell us about the history of this country?

UN Peacebuilding Commission must Prioritise Protecting Youth Activists Facing Retaliation

The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission must prioritise the protection of youth activists who face retaliation from state and non-state actors, said UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.

Is Turkey a Proof that Religion and Democracy Cannot Coexist?

Over the years, Turkey has survived three Coup d'état in which its military forces took power, in 1960, 1971 and 1980. The coup in 1997, was carried out in a “post-modern way”, where generals sat down with the then prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan and forced him to resign. However the turning point in Turkey has been the failed coup attempt in July 2016, which has till date been one of the bloodiest coup attempts in its political history, leaving 241 people killed, and 2,194 others injured.

A Counter-Narrative? Ruminations Around Holocaust Memorial Day

For more than two decades, the mantra was “PVE” (preventing violent extremism) and/or “CVE” (countering violent extremism). Millions of dollars were spent, new NGOs and think tanks emerged, government policy papers were drafted, countless books and articles were published, large and small scale initiatives developed - indeed almost an entire industry in development and foreign policy spaces thrived.

Q&A: What Nigerian Feminists Hope will Come Out of the #EndSARS Movement & Pandemic

As Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, reportedly experienced a massive shortage of oxygen cylinders last week — with demand increasing fivefold in one of the city’s main hospitals just as the country recorded some of its highest number of coronavirus cases — its youth leaders are concerned about the impact on vulnerable women.

Volunteerism in the Decade of Action

After the pioneer Global Technical Meeting on Volunteerism last July, a recently-held on-line follow up helped gathering new insights from experts and practitioners from the world on how to move forward with positioning volunteering at the center of development agenda.

Imprisoned Saudi Activist and Other Rights Defenders Seek Justice in 2021

Two events generated significant interest and global solidarity in the final days of December 2020. A court in Saudi Arabia handed down a five years and eight months sentence to activist Loujain Al-Hathloul for publicly supporting women’s right to drive. Nicholas Opiyo, Ugandan human rights lawyer and defender of persecuted members of the LGBTQI community and political opponents of the president was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges of ‘money laundering.’ Nicholas Opiyo was granted bail on 30 December following an outpouring of global support for his activism for justice. In handing out the verdict to Loujain Al-Hathloul, the court partly suspended her sentence raising hope that she might be released from prison in a couple of months due to time already served.

Mining giant Rio Tinto Face Environmental, Human Rights Complaint in Papua New Guinea

Local communities in the vicinity of the abandoned Panguna copper mine, have taken decisive action to hold the global mining multinational, Rio Tinto, accountable for alleged environmental and human rights violations during the mine’s operations between 1972 and 1989.

USA Downgraded as Civil Liberties Deteriorate Across the Americas

Few images better illustrate the recent decline in civil liberties in the United States than that of peaceful protesters near the White House being violently dispersed so Donald Trump could stage a photo-op.

If Your Civic Space is Closed, your Human Rights Dissolve

On Human Rights Day, civil society calls for the protection of civic space as a fundamental freedom, as more than 80% of the world’s population live in countries where civic space is closed, repressed or obstructed.

The Importance of Investing in Volunteerism

The International Volunteer Day will approach soon and the 5th of December will become a day to celebrate the actions of millions of volunteers from all over the world, in the south as well in the north of the world.

Amid COVID-19, What is the Health of Civic Freedoms?

More than half a year after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, governments are continuing to waste precious time and energy restricting human rights rather than focusing on fighting the virus.

Community Hydropower Dam Illuminates Life in Salvadoran Villages

Ermelinda Lobos's life has improved substantially since she and the rest of the people in her small village, hidden in the mountains of northeastern El Salvador, worked hard to build a mini hydroelectric plant and become self-sufficient in energy.

‘Leave No one Behind’: How Inclusive is World Leaders’ Call to Climate Action?

Wrapping up Climate Week at the United Nations General Assembly, global leaders called for climate action that may be “ambitious but achievable” and called for climate measures that would “leave no one behind”. But some climate activists remain concerned about how this can be achieved.

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