2022 is halfway through. It’s clear this is a year of immense disruption, mayhem and contestation. Horrendous war crimes are taking place in Ukraine.
The conflict is spurring soaring living costs, impacting the most vulnerable people, already faced with the adverse impacts of the pandemic and extreme weather caused by climate change.
"At the age of 35, with a document that says who I really am, I went back to school and finished my studies, which I had left at 14 because I could no longer bear the bullying and mistreatment," said Florencia Guimaraes, a transgender woman whose life was changed by Argentina's Gender Identity Law.
"They mustn’t stop looking for her," said Patricia Acosta, mother of Estéfhanny Díaz, who went missing on Apr. 24, 2016, along with her five-year-old and eight-month-old daughters, after attending a children's birthday party in Mi Perú, a town in the coastal province of Callao, next to the Peruvian capital.
Johnny, living in the United States (US), goes to his school and gets free breakfast and lunch there. There may not be enough food for dinner at home. But he knows that he can get fed at school. Sadly, however, after the pandemic, schools were closed, which meant no breakfast and no lunch for him.
"50 percent of the present, but 100 percent of the future," was the refrain at the first-ever Generation Connect Global Youth Summit.
Young people are often the first to rebuild their communities. However, youths' diverse challenges cannot be addressed without meaningful dialogue, says Klaus Beck, Regional Director of UNFPA APRO ai.
Alex Leiva woke up at 4:00 a.m. to perform a key task for his family’s survival in the Salvadoran village where he lives: filling several barrels with the water that falls from the tap only at that early hour every other day.
"We are not asking for money, but for our health, for a dignified life," is the cry of the people of Choropampa, which lawyer Milagros Pérez continually hears 22 years after the environmental disaster that occurred in this town in the department of Cajamarca, in Peru´s northern Andes highlands, on the afternoon of Jun. 2, 2000.
"Water is part of our culture, it is intrinsic to the Amazon," said José Manuyama, a member of a river defense committee in his native Requena, a town located in the department of Loreto, the largest in Peru, covering 28 percent of the national territory.
"All we ever wanted was to keep working. And although we have not gotten to where we would like to be, we know that we can," says Edith Pereira, a short energetic woman, as she walks through the corridors of Farmacoop, in the south of the Argentine capital. She proudly says it is "the first pharmaceutical laboratory in the world recovered by its workers."
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
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.