Human Rights

Killings, Abductions Fuel Fear of Taliban Return in North-West Pakistan

The killing of eight people by the outlawed Tehreek Taliban Pakistan on September 13 has given credence to the fear of a new wave of terrorism in the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Africa Struggles with Neo-Colonialism

After a quarter century of economic stagnation, African economic recovery early in the 21st century was under great pressure even before the pandemic, due to new trade arrangements, falling commodity prices and severe environmental stress.

Multi-Faith Team Urges Repeal of Blasphemy Laws– in the Name of Religious Freedom

In nations lacking certain religious freedoms, the bold multi-faith membership of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable’s Campaign to Eliminate Apostasy and Blasphemy Laws, would be forbidden.

United We Stand to Achieve Sustainable Development

The world today faces a future that is in peril. Our challenges have become more complex and interconnected, as we see the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, an uneven economic recovery, a climate emergency, growing inequalities, and an increase in conflicts globally. This year also marks a grim milestone, with over 100 million people forcibly displaced.

Peruvian Trans Women Fight for Their Right to Identity

"Without recognition of your identity by the State and society, there is no exercise of citizenship or rights," said Leyla Huerta, director of Féminas Perú, an organization that has been working since 2015 to empower transgender women in the face of the highly vulnerable situation they find themselves in.

An Unsealed Indictment of Trump’s Crimes Against Migrant Families

For a while in 2018, the Donald Trump administration’s “family separation” policy looked like it might become the Stalingrad of his war on immigrants. It was clearly a bridge too far politically, given the global outcry it provoked. Even parts of the Republican party couldn’t stomach it. So Trump retreated strategically on family separation, and intentionally left the program so disorganized that reuniting parents and children became a still-incomplete ordeal.

We Must Unite to Protect Education From Attack

Schools, students and teachers continue to be targeted and attacked in countries around the world. Over the past two years, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of attacks on education. Innocent children, adolescents and teachers are being killed, raped and abducted. Schools and universities are bombed, burned down and used for military purposes. Girls and boys are too scared to walk to school and face intimidation and other attacks. These are severe breaches of international humanitarian law and ultimately – and absolutely – inhumane.

Developing Countries Must Grow More Food
Climate change and war on Ukraine a wake-up call

As our planet continues to heat up, extreme weather has affected many of us. From the west coast of North America across Europe, the Middle East and Asia to Pakistan and New Zealand, wildfires and flash floods have destroyed homes and property and disrupted the daily lives of millions.

UN Report Details Taliban Abuses in Afghanistan

This week, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, released his first report. It is a catalog of abuses under Taliban rule since August 2021 and their devastating impact on Afghans.

How Development Banks Put Communities at Risk – PODCAST

A 2021 World Bank-financed project in Uganda was supposed to help communities to sustainably manage local areas and to cope with the impacts of Covid-19. But at one site, the Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve, the funding emboldened the Uganda Wildlife Authority. A government body, and the project’s implementing agency, the UWA has long prevented indigenous communities from reclaiming their land near the wildlife reserve.

‘Longings’ Of Ana of Galilee: Voice of Everywoman, Everywhere, And in Every Age!

The American author Sue Monk Kidd's award-winning novel The Book of Longings has a sensational beginning, despite the simplicity of the phraseology: It starts: "I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus bin Joseph of Nazareth". It would be impossible for anyone not to swallow this bait with enormous curiosity, and follow through with reading what is well and truly a 'page-turner'. The book is crafted to be breezy and exciting, necessary perhaps to better deliver its message. This historical work of fiction was the subject of discussion at a recent seminar organized by the Dhaka -based 'The Reading Circle'. The event was held in a 'hybrid' format, an experiment of the Circle in consonance with the evolving practices of the Covid era. There was a core of participants in Dhaka, and other members joining in from London, Paris, and Singapore. Chaired by Professor Razia Khan, the list of speakers and commentators included Niaz Zaman, Nusrat Huq, Tanveerul Haque, Ameenah Ahmed, Shahruk Rahman, Asfa Husain, Nazmun Nahar, Sarazeen Ahana and myself. The following essay is based on my remarks made on the occasion.

Afghanistan: The Year of Illusions

Afghanistan is where history has taken it! The Trump-Taliban "Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan," signed on 29 February 2020, is deemed by many as the submission of a superpower to a group that had perpetrated acts of extreme ferocity and terror.

Afghanistan: A Treasure Worth More than a Trillion Dollars

Both mainstream media, international bodies and human rights defenders continue to rightly denounce the Taliban's inhuman abuses against the Afghan people’s basic rights, in particular those of women and girls.

Make Art, Not War: Ukrainian Artists Tell the Ukraine Story Through their Art

“I must say that I had a premonition of a war with Russia in 2014 when Russian troops had started to occupy Crimea,” said Mykola Zhuravel, a contemporary painter and sculptor, in an interview with IPS. Zhuravel, with his partner, Daria Tishchenko-Zhuravel, have used art to communicate and express the horrors of the war since 2014.

A Plea for the Creation of a UN Youth Assembly

There are many ways the UN can have a sizeable role in promoting the engagement and participation of youth and helping them becoming a central pillar of a new way of doing policy-making.

Transforming Girls’ Education, Changing The World

As we approach this year’s Transforming Education Summit, global leaders can and must prioritize expertise and mobilize political will to support efforts to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, especially girls. This is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the commitments made in the Charlevoix Declaration and the G7 Declaration on Girls’ Education.

Education Cannot Wait Interviews Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator


 

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres appointed Martin Griffiths of the United Kingdom as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in May 2021.

To Be Black (and Crash the Goal) in Nagorno-Karabakh

"This year the weather in Nagorno-Karabakh is warmer than in my home country, Senegal," jokes Sow Ababacar, a 22-year-old footballer from the local stadium in Stepanakert, the capital of this Caucasus enclave. Although he once dreamed of playing for the Senegalese national team, the midfielder is currently training with the disputed territory´s national squad.

Racism Hurts People and Democracy in Peru

Banning the use of the same bathroom, insults and calling people animals are just a few of the daily forms of racism experienced by people in Peru, a multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual country where various forms of discrimination are intertwined.

Mental Health as a Human Right Left Behind for Children in Fragile and Humanitarian Settings

Hiding in basements during bombings, fleeing their homes, going hungry, and facing the devastating and life-transformative traumas of losing their loved ones as their childhoods go up in flames of war. These are the lived experiences of crisis-impacted children and adolescents.

How France Underdevelops Africa

Most sub-Saharan African French colonies got formal independence in the 1960s. But their economies have progressed little, leaving most people in poverty, and generally worse off than in other post-colonial African economies. Decolonization? Pre-Second World War colonial monetary arrangements were consolidated into the Colonies Françaises d’Afrique (CFA) franc zone set up on 26 December 1945. Decolonization became inevitable after France’s defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrawal from Algeria less than a decade later.

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