Active Citizens

Rights Experts Urge Action on Gender Equality in Taiwan

Prominent international human rights experts are calling on the Taiwan government to quickly enact a comprehensive anti-discrimination act, revamp the law on citizenship and take a wide range of other actions to curb gender discrimination.

Chile’s Patagonia Celebrates Decision Against Wilderness Dams

The Chilean government rejected Tuesday the controversial HidroAysén project for the construction of five hydroelectric dams on rivers in the south of the country. The decision came after years of struggle by environmental groups and local communities, who warned the world of the destruction the dams would wreak on the Patagonian wilderness.

Train on the Move to Unite Basques, Scots and Catalans

"Around 150,000 showed up to claim that we, Basques, want to decide the future of this country,” Urtzi Urrutikoetxea, journalist, writer and member of the Basque people’s organisation Gure Esku Dago (GED), told IPS after on the 123-kilometre long human chain “for the right to decide” organised Sunday.

Protests Threaten to Paralyse Brazil Ahead of World Cup

As the FIFA World Cup approaches, the streets of Brazil are heating up with strikes and demonstrations, and there are worries that the social unrest could escalate into a wave of protests similar to the ones that shook the country in June 2013.

Conflict with Local Communities Hits Mining and Oil Companies Where It Hurts

Conflicts with local communities over mining, oil and gas development are costing companies billions of dollars a year. One corporation alone reported a six billion dollar cost over a two-year period according to the first-ever peer-reviewed study on the cost of conflicts in the extractive sector.

Lagging Urban Transport Works Hinder World Cup Sustainability

Brazil’s efforts to promote the image of an environmentally sustainable World Cup have focused on the stadiums built for the tournament. But the 12 cities where the matches will be played are in a race against time to complete the urban transport projects.

Latin America’s LGBTI Movement Celebrates Triumphs, Sets New Goals

Although it might not seem to be, Latin America is the most active region in the world when it comes to the defence of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.


Brazil Assumes Leadership in Future of Internet Governance

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed into law an Internet bill of rights just before her opening speech at an international conference on Internet reform in the southern city of São Paulo Wednesday.

Persecution of Uganda’s Gays Intensifies as Rights Groups Go Underground

As she sits in a Kampala hotel holding a mobile phone that rings frequently, Sandra Ntebi tells IPS: “I’m really exhausted. I don’t know where to start. We have many cases pending.” Ntebi manages a hotline and is helping Uganda’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community find alternative, safe accommodation after they have faced harassment.

Civil Society Wants More Influence in New Development Agenda

Making international cooperation more effective requires a civil society with greater influence in the negotiations of the development agenda that the world’s governments are to adopt in 2015, civil society representatives said at an international meeting in Mexico.

Soaring Child Poverty – a Blemish on Spain

“I don’t want them to grow up with the notion that they’re poor,” says Catalina González, referring to her two young sons. The family has been living in an apartment rent-free since December in exchange for fixing it up, in the southern Spanish city of Málaga.

Colombia’s Breadbasket Feels the Pinch of Free Trade

“Things are getting worse and worse,” Enrique Muñoz, a 67-year-old farmer from the municipality of Cajamarca in the central Colombian department of Tolima, once known as the country’s breadbasket, said sadly.

Biofortified Beans to Fight ‘Hidden Hunger’ in Rwanda

Joane Nkuliye considers herself an activist. She is part of a select group of farmers producing biofortified crops on a commercial scale in Rwanda. 

Rural Costa Rican Women Plant Trees to Fight Climate Change

Olga Vargas, a breast cancer survivor, is back in the countryside, working in a forestry programme in the north of Costa Rica aimed at empowering women while at the same time mitigating the effects of climate change.

Behind Bars for Being Young, Poor and Wearing a Hat

Just being young, dark-skinned, poor, and wearing a hood or cap exposes you to arrest as a suspected offender in the Argentine province of Córdoba. Arbitrary police detentions are based on the misdemeanour of “loitering”, meant to prevent crime but in fact a violation of constitutional rights.

Rapping to Uganda’s News Beat

“People in Ukraine took over power. “Celebrated a few days, then the party went sour…” raps Sharon Bwogi, aka Lady Slyke, on NewzBeat, a weekend show that airs on Uganda’s channel NTV in both English and the local language Luganda. 

Uganda’s Human Rights Record Plunges With Signing of Anti-Gay Law

Uganda’s gays are bracing themselves for a spate of arrests and harassment as the country’s draconian anti-gay bill was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni on Monday, Feb. 24.

Chagos Islanders ‘Will Not Give Up’ Fight to Return Home

“The Marine Protected Area (MPA) created around the Chagos archipelago is a new obstacle that the British government has placed in our path to prevent us from going back to our homeland,” claims Olivier Bancoult, leader of the Chagos Refugees Group (CRG).


Descendants of Slaves Report Military Abuses in Brazil

Residents of the small community of Rio dos Macacos, made up of descendants of slaves in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, reported to United Nations bodies that they were attacked by military personnel from the Aratu naval base, which occupies part of their land.

Fashion Backward: Cambodian Government Silences Garment Workers

“Cambodian garment workers have two handcuffs and one weapon [against them]. One handcuff is a short-term contract [10 hours a day, six days a week]. Even if they get sick, if they get pregnant they feel they have to get an abortion so they don’t lose their jobs.

Sawhoyamaxa Battle for Their Land in Paraguay

The Sawhoyamaxa indigenous community in Paraguay have spent over 20 years fighting to get back their land, which they were pushed off by cattle ranchers.

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