NIKKI HALEY WATCH

The UN’s Report on Poverty in the US Is Rebuked by Nikki Haley

When Philip Alston decided to focus a report on the United States, in his role as the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, the goal was to spur a larger discussion. However, in the past week there has been a slow-motion volley of criticisms instead, as Nikki Haley, the US ambassador … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Prisoners’ Human Rights: A Seriously Forgotten Problem in Britain?

NOTTINGHAM, England — Prisoner rights are not a popular topic either in the hallowed halls of the British Parliament or in the public domain in Britain. Aside from the standard “tough on crime” approach that most governments adopt as a go-to populist policy, there is little if any attention paid to people in our population … Read more

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Data Miners See Poverty Gradations; and More Cases of Harassment at the UN

International organizations, governments and a vast army of nongovernmental organizations justifiably welcome the sharp reductions that have been achieved in global poverty in recent decades. Data researchers show, however, that when it comes to defining who are the poorest, poverty is not a monolithic state. Two analysts from the online site Our World in Data, … Read more

UN Agencies Moving Into Blockchain to Help People in Crisis Settings

  Blockchain technology emerged alongside Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency powering digital payments through a peer-to-peer system, currency trading and even, in some cases, black-market transactions. Now, some United Nations agencies are using blockchain to provide basic identification to refugees and others in developing countries as well as for specific actions like helping refugees obtain food rations … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

Changing the Minds of Youths to Stop India’s Extreme Bias Against Girls

HARYANA, India — In 2014, Breakthrough India, an independent human-rights organization, launched a program to tackle gender discrimination throughout 150 schools in Haryana, one of India’s most gender-biased states. A 2011 census showed that Haryana, a primarily agricultural state bordering Delhi in northern India, had the worst child-sex ratio in the country, with only 830 … Read more

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Trump Team Wants to Slash Funds for Global Women’s Health by Half

There has yet to be a decision in United States Congress on what funds for global women’s health, if any, will survive in the current 2018 national budget, a decision that is nearly six months overdue. But Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, a hard-line social conservative who is playing a larger role … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why Turkey’s Model Work Permits for Refugees Don’t Actually Work

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A major problem with Turkey for the millions of refugees there, it has a model work permit system for the newcomers, but it still bars them from the country’s labor market. Such problems can be overcome, experts contend, so that the refugees can work for decent wages in Turkey. Izza Leghtas, a … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Least-Developed Countries, a Status That Many Nations Can’t Leave Behind

Since 1971, the United Nations has recognized least-developed countries as those deemed highly disadvantaged in their development strides because of structural, historical and geographical reasons. The aim has been, and still is, to support these countries to graduate to higher levels of self-sufficiency and economic independence, not in the sense for a privileged minority but … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

David Miliband on Our Duty to the Strangers in Our Midst: Refugees

David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, has been president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee since 2013, overseeing both the agency’s humanitarian relief operations and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in several American cities. The son of European refugees from Nazi Germany, he just published his first book, “Rescue: Refugees and the … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

Girl, Disrupted: How a Boarding School Shifted the Life of One Young Woman

Shilpa Raj is not a Bollywood name, though she has starred in a documentary. She is not a best-selling author — yet. But she has written a frank, soulful book that can contribute to important discussions about the human costs of a disrupted childhood, however well-intentioned, based on her own extraordinary story. At the age … Read more

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TOPIC: WOMEN

‘Period Poverty’: Why No One Is Talking About Eco-Friendly Solutions

The United Nations has recognized menstrual hygiene as a global public health and human-rights issue, yet across the world, “period poverty,” as some call it, is the reality for millions of women and girls. In India, for example, it is estimated that only 12 percent of the country’s 355 million menstruating women can afford to … Read more

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Where the Hungriest People in the World Live

The 2017 Global Hunger Index produced many sadly predictable findings but also worrying surprises. The report’s subtitle, “The Inequalities of Hunger,” suggests a reason. Naomi Hossain, the guest author of the report, looks at the power structures that can dictate every step of a food chain. “In food systems, power is exercised in a variety … Read more

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Tunisia Acts on Violence Against Women, With Help From UN Women

• Prodded by Tunisian advocacy organizations and assisted by international legal experts, the Tunisian parliament passed a law in late July not only to curb violence against women but also to introduce measures to protect them and provide help to those who have suffered abuse. It is the first such law passed by Tunisian legislators, … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Did Equatorial Guinea Bribe Its Way to a UN Security Council Seat?

Amid the predominantly Francophone region in West Africa is tiny Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, a country blessed — or cursed — with vast oil reserves. For most of its independent life, the country has been ruled by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has the distinction of being the longest-serving nonroyal head of state in the … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Is Feminism in Britain Slipping Under Theresa May’s Leadership? Women’s Groups Wonder

NOTTINGHAM, England — Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May once famously wore a “This is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt and has been vocal in her support for women — much more than her only female predecessor and fellow Conservative Party member Margaret Thatcher. Yet May has remained a divisive figure among the feminist community … Read more

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TOPIC: INDIA

A Special School to Help Special Children

Abraham George was a young officer in the Indian army when his postings around the country in the late 1960s exposed him to faces of India that shocked him. His comfortable home in a distinguished Kerala family had not prepared him for the misery he saw. His father was the dean of Kerala University Law … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Trump’s ‘Gag Rule’ Contradicts UN Policy Helping Women in Distress

Just days after a global outpouring of support for a movement demanding protection for the rights of women and other advances promoted by civil society, Donald Trump has fully turned back the clock. On Jan. 23, with a stroke of his presidential pen, he banned all official American aid to any global organization that provides … Read more

In Congo Republic, Struggling Efforts to Get Child Prostitutes Off the Street

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo — On the outskirts of the capital here, it is dark and loud in a makeshift bar as Congolese music blares across the room. When we ask two patrons if children are there, they point to one girl and suggest she could be a prostitute. Young and slim, she might indeed … Read more

In Hanoi, Families Finance Vietnam’s Entrepreneurial Women

HANOI — Michaela Walsh, a founder and the first president and chief executive of Women’s World Banking, and Lilia Clemente, the founder of Clemente Capital, an early investor in developing nations, went to Vietnam in early June to meet women and observe how they fared with their street carts, market stalls and shops under more … Read more

The ‘Children of Nobody’: Street Kids in West Africa

A street child crying consoled by his friend in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Tasséré Ouedraogo, 33, appears to have spent his childhood comfortably, as reflected in the colorful tailor-made suit he wears as an adult. Yet, from age 11 to 16, he was a bakroman, or street child, in local slang. Here in Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa of around 18 … Read more

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