• Human Rights

    Syrian Women Are Ready to Participate in UN-Led Geneva Peace Talks

    by  • January 20, 2016 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Middle East, Syria • 
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    A family in Syria sheltering in the basement of an abandoned school, in March 2013. R. GARCIA VILANOVA/ICRC

    While new Syrian peace talks organized by the United Nations remain tentatively scheduled to begin on Jan. 25 in Switzerland, a substantial group of Syrian women is preparing to convene in Geneva starting that day to demand an equal place at the negotiations table. Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, who...

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    Report Damns the UN for Its Response to Sex Abuse Cases in Central Africa

    by  • December 17, 2015 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, UN Peacekeeping • 
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    Marie Deschamps

    A strongly worded independent report released Dec. 17 condemned the United Nations for bungled and deceptive responses to reports of sexual abuse of children by primarily French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic in 2014. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his “profound regret” and accepted blame for the organization’s systemic failures. The report implicated at...

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    The UN’s Demands to Stop the Violence in Yemen Fall on Deaf Ears

    by  • October 26, 2015 • Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Middle East, Secretary-General, Security Council • 
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    Saudi led airstrike in Sana

    While the regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia continues its aerial bombardment against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and as ground troops — from Bahrain, Sudan and United Arab Emirates — join the Saudis in the fray, the pain dealt to civilians, especially children, has been rising ever since the war began in March....

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    Repression of Civil Society in Cambodia Reflects an Alarming Global Trend

    by  • October 11, 2015 • Asia, Human Rights • 
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    Protesters rallied in Phnom Penh this summer to vent frustration over a new law restricting civil society. ©LICADHO

    PHNOM PENH — Accused of organizing an “insurrection” last year, nearly a dozen Parliament ministers from the political opposition were sentenced to prison terms from 7 to 20 years by a Phnom Penh court this summer. The charge stemmed from demonstrations held in July 2014, rallying the opposition to end the national ban on...

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    Industrial Mining: A Wild Frontier in Need of Monitoring

    by  • August 26, 2015 • Africa, Climate and Environment, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Latin America • 
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    Maxima Acuña de Chaupe JORGE CHAVEZ ORTIZ

    Extracting minerals from the earth is a messy, albeit lucrative business, and the disputes that plague the industry tend to be equally challenging. As the center of international trading of mining company stocks, London is regarded by some watchdog groups as a hub of multinational mining companies that they say tends to disregard the...

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    Despite Peace Talks, Colombians Are Still Terrified of the FARC

    by  • August 31, 2015 • Child Soldiers, Human Rights, Latin America, Women's Issues • 1 Comment
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    Silvia, Cauca. JOHANNA HIGGS

    MEDELLIN, Colombia — “There is conflict in every single country in the world,” a 16-year-old former combatant from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or FARC, rebel group said at a rehabilitation center for demobilized child soldiers here in Colombia’s third-largest city. Yet when it was pointed out that there was no conflict in...

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    Human Rights and the UN’s SDGs: A Sidelined Priority?

    by  • September 3, 2015 • Human Rights, Sustainable Development Goals • 
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    Syrian refugees

    This month, a summit of world leaders at the United Nations is to adopt a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to take the relay from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have yielded mixed results when it comes to making the world a better place for peace, development and the universal realization of...

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    The Legal Push to End Genital Cutting of Girls in the US and Abroad Progresses

    by  • August 11, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Women's Issues • 2 Comments
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    More scenes of the reconciliation ceremony held by the Tasaru Rescue Center in Narok, Kenya.  PAUL MUNENE

    Almost 20 years have passed since the genital mutilation of girls has been outlawed in the United States, but the traditional practice has continued to grow ever faster in recent years with increased immigration from parts of Africa where it is most common. It is estimated that more than 500,000 girls and women in...

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    French Military Covered Up Sex Abuses by Its Soldiers in Central Africa, a French Journal Says

    by  • July 14, 2015 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights • 
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    French soldiers at the checkpoint of their base in Bangui

    Alleged rapes by French soldiers of boys in the Central African Republic from December 2013 to June 2014 were actually known by French officers in Bangui, the capital, as the sexual abuses occurred, says a new investigative report published by Mediapart, a well-respected independent French journal in Paris. The article, written in French and...

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    Tunisian Women Feel Their Rights Eroding

    by  • July 9, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Middle East, Women's Issues • 
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    A market in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, where women say their rights are eroding. JOHANNA HIGGS

    TUNIS — Tunisia has possessed the rare reputation of being progressive in gender equality in the Middle East-North African region. Yet with the rise of an Islamist political party in Tunisia after its relatively placid revolution in 2011, the question is, how have women fared in the post-Arab spring landscape? In Tunis, the cosmopolitan...

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