Maryam al-Khawaja’s journey home ended before it had begun: British Airways staff stopped her boarding her flight at the request of Bahraini immigration authorities. Maryam was no regular passenger: her father is veteran human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, in jail in Bahrain for 12 years and counting.
It’s a year since a photo of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini – bruised and in a coma she would never recover from after being arrested by the morality police for her supposedly improperly worn hijab – went viral, sending people onto the streets.
Two years have passed since the Taliban re-assumed power in Afghanistan, and women and girls have yet to return to work or school. Can the international justice system now come to their defense? Experts say a case for Afghan women and girls has the potential to change the way the legal community thinks about human rights abuses. Will it?
At the UN SDG Summit
in New York, the Forus global civil society network
is calling for decisive action on SDG implementation. Clearly, as we hit the midpoint towards the "finish line" of the Agenda 2030, progress is stagnating.
With hope and courage, we must rise to the challenges before us. We must rise to the challenge of a world set afire by climate change, forced displacement, armed conflicts and human rights abuses. We must rise to the challenge of girls being denied their right to an education in Afghanistan. We must rise to the challenge of a global refugee crisis that is disrupting development gains the world over. We must rise to the challenge of brutal and unconscionable wars in places like Sudan and Ukraine that are putting millions of children at risk every day.
On 26 August, Gabon went through the motions of an election. Official results were announced four days later, in the middle of the night, with the country under curfew. Predictably, incumbent President Ali Bongo, in power since the death of his father and predecessor in 2009, was handed a third term. Fraud allegations were rife, as in previous elections. But this time something unprecedented happened: less than an hour later the military had taken over, and the Bongo family’s 56-year reign had ended.
It has been over a decade since 32-year-old Rafiqa (not her real name) was sold to a villager after being lured by the promise that she would be employed in the handicrafts industry of Indian-administered Kashmir.
Twenty years ago this month, a colleague saved me from a likely gruesome death. He insisted I stay in his Baghdad office of the World Food Programme (WFP) for a hot drink. “You can't leave us without trying the tea I made for you! The best in Iraq.”
This September, world leaders and public policy advocates from around the world will descend on New York for the UN General Assembly
. Alongside conversations on peace and security, global development and climate change, progress – or the lack of it – on the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) is expected to take centre-stage. A major SDG Summit
will be held on 18 and 19 September. The UN hopes that it will serve as a ‘rallying cry to recharge momentum for world leaders to come together to reflect on where we stand and resolve to do more’. But are the world’s leaders in a mood to uphold the UN’s purpose, and can the UN’s leadership rise to the occasion by resolutely addressing destructive behaviours?
In the years when Mexico did not have a general law against human trafficking, there existed an evil man known as "El Osito" (“The Little Bear”). His alias could mislead those who heard of his criminal record: he was a ruthless pimp, devoid of any trace of kindness in his body, who claimed to collect kidnapped women to exploit their bodies.
Youth offer a powerful voice in ECW’s global movement to ensure crisis-impacted children worldwide are offered the safety, hope and opportunity of a quality education. As a global multilateral fund, ECW offers a rare opportunity for youth to participate in its governance structure. In this sweeping two-part interview, ECW connects with Mutesi Hadijah and Hector Ulloa who were recently elected to represent the youth constituency on ECW’s High-Level Steering Group and Executive Committee, respectively.
When I first travelled to the Middle Belt of Nigeria, I listened to harrowing tales of murdered family members, physical injury, sexual violence, displacement, and hopelessness. In the years that have passed, these stories have only continued to stack up.
On 20 August, Guatemala witnessed a rare event: despite numerous attempts to stop it, the will of the majority prevailed. Democracy was at a dramatic crossroads
, but voters got their say, and said it clearly: the country needs dramatic change and needs it now.
His name is Matiullah Wesa, a girls education campaigner who now symbolises the “war” waged by the Taliban against the education and empowerment of women and girls. Exactly two years since the Taliban took over, Afghanistan is on a downward
trajectory and unfortunately, global attention that was drawn by families chasing planes to flee a few days after the Taliban assumed control of the government has waned over the last two years.
The war in Tigray, northern Ethiopian, led to sexual and gender-based violence against women, but when Hilina Berhanu Degefa, researcher, gender policy expert and co-founder of the Yellow Movement AAU, appeared before the UN Security Council Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict last year, and catalogued the problems that the victims of the war faced, it didn’t shock the world.
Qur’an burning has become a symbol of intolerance and “Islamophobia”, especially in some Western countries. Following the public burning of a Quran in front of Stockholm’s largest mosque on June 28 during the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival, a copy of the Qur’an was set on fire in the Danish capital on 24 July. Naturally, these events provoked protests from Muslims all over the world, including in Sweden and Denmark. The Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is “extremely worried
” that such protests could result in more burning of the Quran – thus creating a vicious circle – as the Swedish police received a large number of applications for anti-Islam protests.
In the wake of harsh climate change and erratic weather conditions, women and girls are most affected. They often walk miles to collect fresh water which makes them vulnerable to rape and other crimes and infringement of their rights. This podcast is highlighting simple water solutions for women and girls.
Civic space is deteriorating in Senegal ahead of next February’s presidential election. Recent protests have been met with lethal violence and internet and social media restrictions. Senegal’s democracy will soon face a key test, and whether it passes will depend largely on whether civic space is respected.
Protests against the high cost of living in Kenya have been met with police violence. Talks are currently underway
between government and opposition – but whatever results will fall short unless it brings accountability for the catalogue of human rights violations committed in response to protests.
The primary commodity price boom early this century has often been attributed to a commodity ‘super-cycle’, i.e., a price upsurge greater than what might be expected in ‘normal’ booms. This was largely due to some minerals as most agricultural commodity price increases were more modest.
The title shouldn’t fool you: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is one of the world’s longest-ruling
autocrats. A political survivor, this former military commander had been bolted to his chair since 1985, presiding over what he turned into a de facto one-party system – and now apparently a dynastic regime.