Crime & Justice

Drug Users Often Do Not Seek Help Because They Fear Legal Repercussion

In the February 12th editorial on the issue of illicit drug use, the Samoa Observer stated that “… there is no data currently available to show that drug abuse including meth consumption levels in Samoa have reached crisis levels, which would warrant the government considering decriminalizing drug use and consumption.” The United Nation’s position on this is clear, we must not sit by and wait for a problem to blight our communities before acting. The evidence shows that it is cheaper and more effective to prevent drug use than to deal with the consequences. To be clear, my concerns are for the drug users and their families and not for the criminal dealers.

International Women’s Day, 2021
Women Must Continue To Claim Power & Challenge The Unseen Barriers

Power is an intriguing concept and it means different things to different people. In simple words, power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get what you want. Power distribution is usually visible in most societies when there is a clear and obvious division between the roles of the men and expectations from women. One can’t talk about power without talking about patriarchy - in which men always hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. Women are almost always taught power and ambition are two dirty words, and should not be linked to their personalities.

International Women’s Day, 2021
#MarchWithUs: 5 Activists on Dismantling “Gender Lies”

Today, despite centuries of activism and mobilisations, women and non-binary people continue to remain disadvantaged in almost every sphere – from “public life” to the “shadow pandemic” of gender-based violence.

International Women’s Day, 2021
The World Not Only Needs Women Leaders – It Needs Feminist Leaders

International Women's Day pays tribute to the achievements of women worldwide and reminds us what still needs to be done for full gender equality. In 2021, we are taking stock of the many ways in which COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women and girls around the world.

Fantasy Turned Nightmare for Human Trafficking Survivor who is now Thriving in the US

Marcela Loaiza was just 21 years old when a man approached her at her workplace in Pereira City, Colombia with promises of fame and money. The well-dressed, mysterious Colombian said he could give her an opportunity for a better life. Loaiza was also working at a supermarket to support herself and her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

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?

Myanmar: Heroes and Villains

Myanmar’s State Counsellor was recently deposed and arrested along with other leaders of her ruling party – National League for Democracy (NLD). The Leader of Tatmadaw, the Military, Min Aung Hlaing, announced that elections in November last year had been fraudulent and in an “effort to save democracy” the military would now rule the nation for at least one year, until new elections could be organised. Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of “importing ten or more walkie-talkies” and of violating the nation’s “Natural Disaster Law”. Some might agree that Suu Kyi deserves to be locked up. As an admired role model and Nobel Peace Prize winner, she was globally depicted as an almost saintlike being, canonized in movies like Luc Bessons’s The Lady. U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, watched the movie before she in 2011 visited Suu Kyi, who by then had spent altogether fifteen years in house imprisonment, deprived of the company of an ailing and eventually dying husband and two sons. In spite of her forced isolation she became an eloquent representative for her compatriots’ resistance and perseverance under almost fifty years of military dictatorship.

Is This The End of Myanmar’s Quasi-Democracy?

On February 1st, 2021 the military of Myanmar overthrew the country’s democratic government in a coup d’etat followed by arresting more than 40 government officials including Aung San Suu Kyi. The military declared a year-long state of emergency under the rule of it’s Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Troops took over the streets, a night-time curfew has been put into force. Tens of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets across Myanmar, in what is seen as the biggest street protests in more than a decade. The anti-coup demonstrators are undeterred by police attacks and increasing violence from the security forces.

Argentina’s Abortion Legislation Sparks Hope in Caribbean Region

It was a joyful, tearful celebration in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, 2020 for countless Argentinians when they heard the news: the senate had legalized terminations up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to this, activists have said that more than 3,000 women died of botched, illegal abortions since 1983. And across the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, this renewed sense of optimism was compounded after President Joe Biden rescinded what is known as the “global gag rule,” which essentially denied funding to international non-profit organizations that provided abortion counseling or referrals.

Intellectual Property Cause of Death, Genocide

Refusal to temporarily suspend several World Trade Organization (WTO) intellectual property (IP) provisions to enable much faster and broader progress in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic should be grounds for International Criminal Court prosecution for genocide.

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.

The Struggle to End Female Genital Mutilation: A Dark Secret No More

Survivors of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), are determined to share their stories to end this practice – even though they face ostracisation by their communities. Masooma Ranalvi, an FGM/C survivor and founder of ‘WeSpeakOut’, an organisation committed to eliminating FGM/C or khafd/khafz/khatna explains that FGM/C is practised by various communities in India but is prominently practised among the Dawoodi Bohras.

Water Graves: Nightmare for Mexican Fishermen

All of Erizo's nightmares are the same. Since his return from the ocean - almost unrecognizable - every bad dream is identical. A wave punches his little boat and throws him into the deep sea where everything is so dark that he can't even see his own hands.

Myanmar Looks Back in Fear and Anger after Military Coup

As night fell on Tuesday, the second day of the military coup in Myanmar, two familiar scenes were being played out on opposite sides of the world.

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.

Sri Lanka’s Deteriorating Human Rights Situation Raises Multiple Alarms

A decade has passed since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war between the government and the LTTE, where at least 100,000 people were killed in the over three-decade long conflict. Families of victims of enforced disappearances continue to seek justice, the government is yet to end impunity and put accountability for crimes under international law and human rights violation and abuses in its transitional justice process.

A Grey Cloud Over Lebanon: Mental Health Burdens

Humankind is no stranger to the destabilizing events of 2020. The state of the global economy and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the headlines. In this ever escalating global crisis, Lebanon, has been facing what can only be described as unimaginable hardships. For the past year the country has seen challenges which have resulted in an utter state of hopelessness and rapid deterioration in mental health of many of its citizens.

The Struggle to End Female Genital Mutilation: A Dark Secret No More

Survivors of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), are determined to share their stories to end this practice – even though they face ostracisation by their communities. Masooma Ranalvi, an FGM/C survivor and founder of ‘WeSpeakOut’, an organisation committed to eliminating FGM/C or khafd/khafz/khatna explains that FGM/C is practised by various communities in India but is prominently practised among the Dawoodi Bohras.

An American Horror story

Occasionally some of us might suffer from a feeling of maximal overload, overwhelmed by COVID-19 and the reign of Donald Trump. It can maybe be conceived as far too euro-centric to be concerned about the disastrous situation in the U.S., with media stuffed to the brim by news about Donald Trump while the global environmental crisis is steadily getting worse and war, injustices and famine continue to agonize people in places like Darfur, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria.

Feminist Movements Continue to Battle Culture of Impunity in Egypt

Ten years ago on this day, January 25, one of the biggest revolutions in the world took place in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, as protestors poured into the streets chanting slogans of “Bread, Freedom and Social Justice”, demanding one of the region's longest-serving and autocratic President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Three weeks later, on February 11th, Mubarak stepped down as president, leaving the Egyptian military in control of the country.

Personal Testimonies, Pledges Mark the Start of the ‘Fair Share to End Child Labour’ Campaign

Selimatha Salifu of Ghana is a former child labourer who has vowed to do her part to bring attention to the plight of the world’s over 150 million child labourers. Raised in a fishing community, she recalls her days buying fish to sell, working from daybreak till nightfall to contribute to her family. She credits the General Agriculture Workers Union for rescuing her and ensuring she enrolled in school.

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