Active Citizens

Former Child Labourer, now Lawyer, Passes Light of Freedom to Others

Amar Lai’s first memories are working alongside his parents and siblings in a quarry, breaking rocks. He was aged four. Now chatting to Lai, a confident 25-year-old human rights lawyer, it is hard to believe he was once a child labourer.

How Collective Action Can Move the Needle on Gender Equality

During this year’s sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), we are eager to see the global community pivot towards more inclusive approaches to advocacy. It's imperative to put the spotlight on women’s rights and youth-led organizations in communities that are often left out of key discussions. By handing the mic over to advocates across all backgrounds and ages, we can shift to a model that enables all advocates to take a lead role in policy-making and ultimately translate promises and rhetoric into real impact and accountability.

Youths Trailblazing Paths in Sexual and Reproductive Health Ahead of ICFP Family Planning Conference

Travelling in northern Nigeria, Peace Umanah noticed teenage girls with multiple children – they would be walking with one strapped to their back, holding another by hand and with a protruding belly.

Changing a System that Exploits Nature and Women, for a Sustainable Future

"Pachamama (Mother Earth) is upset with all the damage we are doing to her," says Hilda Roca, an indigenous Peruvian farmer from Cusipata, in the Andes highlands of the department of Cuzco, referring to climate change and the havoc it is wreaking on her life and her environment.

Struggle in Guatemala Offers Hope for Latin America’s Indigenous People

A struggle for the defense of their territories waged by indigenous Maya Q'eqchi' communities in eastern Guatemala could set a historic precedent for Latin America's native peoples because it would ensure not only their right to control their lands but also their natural resources, denied for centuries.

Youth Have the Spirit to Change Trajectory of Leprosy, says Yohei Sasakawa

Yohei Sasakawa said the youth have the power to change the world, and their participation in removing the stigma and myths about leprosy is crucial to the campaign to end the disease.

Activism will be Key to Overcoming the Covid-19 Crisis

As the Omicron surge overwhelms the world, it is clear to people everywhere that the actions which leaders so far have taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis have not been sufficient to overcome it.

Journalists Who Faced Relentless, Targeted Attacks: 293 Imprisoned in 2021

This past year, uncertainty blanketed our world. The COVID-19 pandemic, the rapidly advancing climate crisis, the pervasive nature of new technologies, and encroaching authoritarianism have all shown that our world is changing fast and in ways that fundamentally affect how we live.

Rural Women in Peru Seed Water Today to Harvest It Tomorrow

"When I was a little girl we didn't suffer from water shortages like we do now. Today we are experiencing more droughts, our water sources are drying up and we cannot sit idly by," Kely Quispe, a small farmer from the community of Huasao, located half an hour from Cuzco, the capital of Peru's ancient Inca empire, told IPS.

The Global Assault on Human Rights

Human rights are under global assault. In 2021, the escalation of the worldwide siege on human rights included clampdowns on civil society organisations, attacks on minorities, the undermining of democratic institutions, and violence against journalists.

The Age of Discontent: What Drives the Rising Wave of World Protests?

In recent years, the world has been shaken by protests. From the Arab Spring to the social uprisings in Chile and Latin America, the world has seen a dramatic rise in protests. In a polarized world, the COVID-19 pandemic has only accentuated feelings of outrage and discontent.

Homeless Camps, a Reflection of Growing Inequality in Chile

Camps made up of thousands of tents and shacks have mushroomed in Chile due to the failure of housing policies and official subsidies for the sector, aggravated by the rise in poverty, the covid-19 pandemic and the massive influx of immigrants.

APDA Young Leaders Devise Solutions for the Future

Whether you look at society, the environment, or technology – the world is changing rapidly. Global organizations strive to adapt to this change. The United Nations, for example, has developed the Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint for human development.

Volunteerism: Central to the Creation of a New Social Contract

The International Volunteer Day, on December 5, is not just one of the many internationally observed days that the United Nations commemorates annually.

No Vaccine for the Pandemic of Violence Against Women in Latin America

Despite significant legal advances in Latin American countries to address gender-based violence, it continues to be a serious challenge, especially in a context of social crisis aggravated by the covid-19 pandemic, which hits women especially hard.

Journalists Covering the Protest Movement in Nigeria were Beaten, Harassed & Fined by Law Enforcement

The photos showed blood-soaked concrete, a gashed open thigh, and an injured protester grimacing in pain on the ground. Taken by photojournalist Eti-Inyene Godwin Akpan on October 20, 2020, the images tell the story of Nigerian forces’ mass shooting of anti-police brutality protesters at Lagos’ Lekki Toll Gate, an incident the government continues to deny.

Social Movement Voices Fall on Deaf Ears of Governments at COP26

One element that runs through all social movement climate summits is their rejection of the official meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the low ambition of its outcomes - and the treaty's 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) was no exception.

Combating Energy Poverty in Chile with Community Inclusion

More than 90 percent of Chile's 17.5 million people have access to electricity. But many live in energy poverty because they do not have access to hot water, have unsafe connections, houses without thermal insulation and with indoor pollution, or can't afford to pay the monthly bill.

COP26: the Heat is On, But Climate Leadership is Off, Warns UN Report

When over 100 political leaders meet in Scotland next week for the UN Climate Change Conference, the very future of our planet seems to hinge on the outcome of the summit which is scheduled to take place October 31-November 12.

COP26: Rich Nations Have Not Shown Leadership in Their Fair Share of Emission Cuts

It is well-known that all the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) added together, even those that have been updated, will not help to place the world on a 1.5 degree C pathway.

We Heard Public Development Banks, but Will They Have the Guts to Deliver?

Public development banks have committed to ramp up action to tackle climate change, to protect biodiversity, to promote human rights, to align their investments with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, and to create spaces of dialogue with civil society, farmers, indigenous peoples, and communities affected by the projects that they, as banks, finance.

Next Page »