Headlines

Special Report: Exposing Afghanistan’s Pervasive, Methodical System of Gender Oppression

The UN Special Rapporteur’s annual report on human rights in Afghanistan lays bare the alarming phenomenon of an institutionalized system of discrimination, segregation, disrespect for human dignity and exclusion of women and girls. In the new report, Richard Bennett, the UN’s Special Rapporteur, provides an intersectional analysis of the establishment and enforcement of this institutionalized system of unparalleled gender oppression. It paints a picture of a worsening situation for women and girls.

IRAQ: ‘Tolerance for Abuses Against LGBTQI+ People Has Now Been Made Explicit Through Legislation’


 
CIVICUS discusses the criminalisation of same-sex relations in Iraq with Sarah Sanbar, researcher at Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division.

Pottery Barn Rules for Gaza

The rule at Pottery Barn is “You break it, you bought it.” It should be for Israel as well. The Netanyahu government’s eight-month long bombing campaign in Gaza, nearly half of the strikes by 2,000 lb. “dumb” or unguided bombs, has destroyed a high percentage of housing units in the territory.

Cambodia at a Tipping Point: Authenticity Makes Way for Progress

Modernity is arriving rapidly in Cambodia, observes journalist Kris Janssens (48), who has lived and worked in the country since 2016. The predominantly young population is eager to move forward, embracing technology over traditional agriculture or fishing. Can Cambodians unite their country's authentic soul with their aspirations for progress?

UN Climate Talks: Setting Sail to Plunder the Ocean

Despite the evident and increasing urgency of the climate crisis, the June intersessional meeting of the UNFCCC closed with little to show for two full weeks of negotiation.

Nuclear Coercion: Dangerous and Illegal

Our three organizations-- Western States Legal Foundation, Peace Depot, and Basel Peace Office-- all dedicated to the elimination of nuclear weapons, have consistently expressed our concern about the risk of nuclear war escalating during armed conflicts and times of high tension, when nuclear-armed states often make veiled or even explicit threats to use nuclear weapons and prepare for such use.

Kashmir Frontier Woman Leads the Way in Breaking Down Patriarchy

Smelling the toxic smoke coming from burned powder kegs and helplessly watching fields turn into smoke and ash is traumatic. Rushing to the government's safe houses and leaving your homes, belongings and cattle behind whenever the armies of India and Pakistan trade fire is inexplicable. Then came climate-change-induced weather unpredictability. 

A Tax on the Super-Rich to Fight Hunger Gains Ground

A global agreement could levy a small tax on the world's 3,000 richest people, with fortunes in excess of US$ 1 billion, and use the money to fight world hunger, a study by the Brazilian government and the European Union's Tax Observatory has shown.

Thailand’s LGBTQI+ Rights Breakthrough

At the height of 2024 Pride season, decades of civil society campaigning came to fruition in Thailand. With 130 votes for and only four against, on 18 June the Senate passed the Marriage Equality Bill. With a few strokes of the pen, the bill tweaked the language of the Civil and Commercial Code, replacing gendered references such as ‘man’ and ‘woman’ with gender-neutral ones such as ‘persons’ and ‘spouses’. It now goes for formal assent to King Maha Vajiralongkorn and will take effect 120 days after publication in the official bulletin.

Youth-Led Protests Force Kenyan President’s Hand Over Tax Bill

In a historic first, Kenya's youth have mobilized in large-scale protests to demand that the political establishment listen to them. The Finance Bill 2024, which proposed new taxes across several sectors, was the catalyst for the protests, igniting outrage among a youth demographic that feels betrayed by decades of political promises. These protests, driven by economic and social grievances, escalated dramatically, culminating in clashes with police that led to numerous deaths and widespread unrest.

Fiscal Reform Can Help Dominican Republic Attract Greater Investment

The Dominican Republic leads Latin America in GDP growth, with an average annual rate of around 5 percent per year since the 1970s. The Caribbean nation has made great strides in reducing poverty and improving living standards.

Georgia’s LGBT+ Law Could Lead to Violent Repression, Rights Group Warns

“If this legislation passes, LGBT+ people simply aren’t going to be able to live here.” The warning from Tamar Jakeli, an LGBT+ activist and Director of Tbilisi Pride in Tbilisi, Georgia, is stark, but others in the country’s LGBT+ community agree, accurate.

Worse Than Genocide: Killing Truth

There have been many genocides throughout history, but the first to be displayed on TV in all its sickening horror before the entire world is the Israeli genocide against the civilians of Gaza.

Finance Healthcare, Not Insurance Premia

Comparative research on healthcare financing options shows revenue-financed healthcare to be the most cost-effective, efficient, and equitable, while all health insurance imposes avoidable additional costs.

EUROPE: ‘The Future of the EU as We Know Cannot Be Taken for Granted’


 
CIVICUS discusses the results and implications of recent elections to the European Parliament with Philipp Jäger, Policy Fellow at the Jacques Delors Centre, an independent, non-partisan think tank focused on European policy processes and outcomes.

Women Warriors Winning Fight to Bring Back Indigenous Food Traditions

As the school lunch bell goes off, 40 eager little bodies—41 if you count the school dog—burst out onto the veranda. Awaiting them are a stack of steel platters, into which will be ladled a nutritious and delicious lunch, all of it indigenous cuisine.

The Age of Holy War & Poetics of Solidarity – (Part 2)

In Part 1, I outlined how our shared existence is challenged not only by simultaneous crisis, but also by the notions - and realities - of perceived ‘holy wars’. I point out that ‘holy wars’ are not only perceptions within, or of, monotheistic faith traditions, but actually enacted by members of diverse belief systems.

Germany’s Climate Envoy Talks Partnerships with SIDS; Urges G20 Nations to Step Up Emissions Reductions

Germany’s State Secretary and Special Envoy on International Climate Action, Jennifer Morgan, has emphasized the need for urgent climate action and called on G20 nations to do more to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The G20 comprises 19 developed and developing nations, the European Union and, since 2023, the African Union. It represents the world’s biggest economies, totaling 85 percent of the global GDP.

The Age of Holy War & Poetics of Solidarity – (Part 1)

“Holy War” is how the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church referred to the Russian war on the Ukraine, and indeed, on “the West”1 . “Holy War”, aka “jihad” is a foundational principle of “the Base” or “al-Qaeda”, which has grown into a non-state hydra with too many names and atrocities to list here (but if you are curious, one of the hydra faces is ISIS).

Violent Deaths by “Small Arms & Light Weapons”: UN Chief’s Warning Dead on Target

Perhaps two of the biggest misnomers in military jargon are “small arms” and “light weapons” which are the primary weapons of death and destruction in ongoing civil wars and military conflicts, mostly in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In a statement last week, at the opening session of the Fourth Review Conference of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was dead on target when he said there is nothing “small” or “ight” about the damage these weapons cause.

When U.S. Officials Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

"When someone shows you who they are,” Maya Angelou said, “believe them the first time." That should apply to foreign-policy elites who show you who they are, time after time.

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