Human Rights

Replacing Monopolies with Impact Rewards

Impact Funds would make the business of innovation more cost-effective and enable a triple win for the potential beneficiaries of innovations.

Indigenous Peoples in Mexico Defend Their Right to Water

In the San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan Otomí indigenous community, in the state of Mexico –adjacent to the country’s capital–, access to water has been based on collective work.

Bukele Speeds Up Moves Towards Authoritarianism in El Salvador

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has been widely criticised for his authoritarian tendencies, but has said that the changes he plans will be long-term - which to his critics means a further undercutting of the weak democratic institutions that he has already begun to dismantle.

Venezuela’s Glimmer of Hope

This is the third serious attempt to inject some momentum in the negotiations between the Venezuelan government and opposition. Negotiations have been taking place in Mexico since last Friday, with Norway acting as mediator.

Even as IUCN Congress Closes, Conservation Debate Hots Up

One of the most hotly debated issues at the recently concluded IUCN Congress in Marseilles was about designating 30 percent of the planet's land and water surface as protected areas by 2030.

White Privilege: What It Is, What It Means and Why Understanding It Matters

A prestigious, private school in Pretoria, South Africa, recently became a site of protest. Black learners and parents accused Cornwall Hill College of rejecting calls to make its whites-only board more representative of its diverse learner body.

We Stay and Deliver until the Light Shines

Kabul 1990. I land in the capital of Afghanistan for my very first mission with the United Nations. Controlled by the government, Kabul was surrounded by the Mujahedeen. As a young female professional, living and working across the country, I felt protected by the Afghans, whether walking in the bustling cities or meeting with the Mujahedeen in the rural countryside. Afghanistan had already been at war for over ten years and we all worked with the hope that the fighting would come to an end soon.

The Covid-19 Youth Employment Crisis in Asia & the Pacific

A pre-pandemic report published by the International Labor Organization, ILO, the Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020, offered a sober analysis on the job market prospects for youth.

As War Keeps Poisoning Humanity, Organizing Continues to Be the Antidote

Last weekend, U.S. corporate media continued a 20-year repetition compulsion to evade the central role of the USA in causing vast carnage and misery due to the so-called War on Terror. But millions of Americans fervently oppose the military-industrial complex and its extremely immoral nonstop warfare.

9/11: The Turning Point

In September 2001, soon after the attack on the Twin Towers, the Bangladesh government issued a public announcement to contact the America & Pacific wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the whereabouts of Bangladeshi residents. The director concerned was travelling from Barishal to Dhaka that evening; he remained ignorant of the horrible incident that had taken place that day. He came directly from Sadarghat to his office and started receiving a flurry of phone calls from worried relatives. He called in his associate, my wife, and asked: "What's the deal with the Twin Towers?" My wife briefed him, but he was in utter disbelief. "What do you mean the towers have collapsed? How could that even happen?" he exclaimed. My wife used two pencils and an eraser to demonstrate the incident, only to confuse the man even further. He rested his chin against his hand, and said: "Thank God, I took a photo in front of those buildings during my last visit."

A Milestone Anniversary Reiterates The Culture of Peace is a Movement, not a Revolution

Today, on 13 September 2021, the UN Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the General Assembly in 1999 will be turning 22. You would recall that the 20th anniversary of The Culture of Peace of its adoption by the world’s highest multilateral body in 2019 was observed by the United Nations in an appropriate and befitting manner, as called for by the Assembly. It was an occasion for reiteration and recommitment by us all to create the culture of peace in our world, beginning with each one of us.

The Islamic Emirate, led by an Insurgent Group, Aims at Capturing a Coveted Seat at the UN

When the high-level segment of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly opens September 21, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is unlikely to occupy a much-coveted seat in the world body.

A Tale of Two Internationally Trained Medical Doctors in Canada

Wagma Saad, is an Internationally Trained Medical Doctor (ITMD) from Kabul Medical University, Afghanistan, currently living in Canada with her family. Saad graduated in 2016, an education that didn’t come easily to her. With numerous restrictions, blocks and challenges placed at every step, fighting numerous social and political battles, she chased her passion for science and medicine, and after seven years at medical school, she finally got to call herself a doctor.

Twenty Years After September 11, 2001: Institutions on Decline, But Religion Rising?

Described as the “worst terrorist attack ever in the United States”, September 11, 2001 is a moment which has led to multiple transformations, cascading around our world.

Afghanistan’s Girls Need our Unwavering Support in Education

The Taliban takeover of government in Kabul is just days old, and the eyes of Afghans and the world are cautiously watching and hopeful to see them stand by their word and ensure that girls’ education be promoted and protected.

The Forbidden Love

Abandoned by family and friends, transgender people in Bangladesh are subject to extensive daily abuse. The existing and continuously growing transphobia and homophobia in society are obstacles in the lives of this group. The people featured here from the LGBTQ+ community share a wide variety of narratives.

“Time Is A-Wasting”: Making the Case for CEDAW Ratification by the United States

The U.S. is one of only a handful of countries that has yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), rendering it “strange bedfellows” with Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Tonga, and Palau.

The Main Contradiction of the Modern Era

The main contradiction of the modern era, and indeed of all human history, is not between capitalism and socialism, and not even between authoritarianism and democracy, but between individualism and collectivism, between public and personal interests. Countries that are getting ahead in the economic race allow themselves the luxury of individualism, prioritizing human rights, which ultimately undermines their political and economic power and causes their decline and the rise of more collectivist civilizations. It is literally the story that is as old, as the world itself…

Belarus Crackdown Leaves Human Rights, Minorities Exposed

There will soon be no one left to defend human rights or help minorities in Belarus as the country’s third sector moves closer to “complete liquidation”, international rights groups have warned.

Civil Society Must Build on Protest Movements – Podcast

2020 was a year of tremendous upheaval. The murder of George Floyd, followed by global Black Lives Matter protests, Covid-19 and the stark light that the pandemic shone on inequality within countries and between the global north and south, protests and brutal repression after elections in Belarus, ongoing demonstrations for climate action led by youth around the world, to name just a few.

Afghanistan: A Swedish Officer’s Point of View

Like most of us, I rely on news media to find an explanation to tragedies I watch on TV. Neverthelss, some of my opinions about the Afghan tragedy have furthermore been influenced by talks I once had with my friend Bernth Dagerklint. We had for some years been working as teachers at a high school, though this was not Bernth’s main occupation. Most of the time, he served as an officer during international, armed campaigns supported by the Swedish government. He had been to former Yugoslavia, the West Bank and not the least in Afghanistan, where he since 2003 on several occasions worked as ”instructor” for Afghan officers.

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