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

Sri Lanka’s Big Tourism Push Could Entrench Sinhala Nationalism

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Seven years after the end of its civil war, tourism in Sri Lanka continues to spike. The island nation is fast approaching its annual target of 2.5 million international visitors, a staggering figure for a country of 20 million. But rapid-fire development has created two Sri Lankas, leading to deepening schisms … Read more

At UN, Momentum Is Gaining to End Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking

Experts on human trafficking and slavery are calling for strong involvement by the private sector in tackling the enormous challenge of these abuses, particularly with girls and women. At the same time, the experts, who spoke at a recent panel discussion held at the United Nations, recognized the daunting task in asking industry to participate … Read more

All in Africa: The World’s 13 Highest-Mortality Countries

M'Poko camp in Central African Republic

Despite remarkable reductions in mortality, 13 sub-Saharan African countries — 1 out of every 20 people in the world — have yet to achieve life expectancies at birth of 55 years, the global average attained a half century ago. These highest-mortality countries, with Somalia leading the list, are more than 15 years behind the world’s … Read more

The Drug War: A Dangerous Trap for Poor Children and Their Families, a New Report Says

In time for Universal Children’s Day, a new report shows how the war on drugs hurts children’s health, puts them into the line of fire amid drug-gang violence and leads them into the netherworld of human trafficking and enslavement. The drug war also destroys families when parents are unnecessarily imprisoned for drug crimes, among other … Read more

The Heart of Pope Francis’s Speech at the UN: Don’t Look Past the Poor

Pope Francis spread his gospel of not forgetting the poor at the United Nations on Friday morning, where he spoke in his native Spanish to the 193 member delegations and heads of state gathered before him at the General Assembly Hall. It was his first appearance at the UN during his first trip to the … Read more

The Situation for Women and Girls Around the World? Stark.

As the United Nations prepares to formally accept the new Sustainable Development Goals at midday at a summit meeting on Friday, here is a close look at one of the main resources that helped inform the long debate on creating the goals — the UN Development Program’s Human Development Report for 2014. What do the … Read more

A Broader Breastfeeding Campaign Emphasizes Mothers’ Health

Every year, the first week of August is dedicated to promoting the exclusive feeding of newborn infants with natural breast milk, which evidence shows can ensure numerous health benefits for mother and child. There are few if any specialists in the field of infant health who would now dispute that. United Nations agencies, the World … Read more

Freed From Extreme Poverty, but Left Out of the Middle Class

When the final assessment of what the Millennium Development Goals achieved was released on July 6, the United Nations said confidently that more than 1 billion people had been lifted from poverty since 1990, the baseline year for setting the goals, which were then monitored from 2000 to 2015. But where did these poor people … Read more

Prostitution: A Word That UN Women Does Not Want to Hear

On the eve of a speech Ruchira Gupta was to give on International Women’s Day in New York as the recipient of a Woman of Distinction award, she got a strange email. Gupta, who has collected numerous awards for her work against sex slavery in India — including an Emmy for her 1996 documentary, “The … Read more

Middle-Income Countries May Hold the Key to Ending Global Hunger

To the ever-expanding archive accumulating over recent years on how to make global development policies more effective, a venerable research organization has added a novel proposal. In a report published in March, the International Food Policy Research Institute suggests that looking at food-exporting rich countries as the key to ending hunger and malnutrition worldwide, or … Read more

The 10 Youngest Nations by Population? They’re Mainly in Africa

While the graying population around the world is rising in countries like Japan and South Korea, along with much of the United States and Europe, other parts of the world — primarily Africa — are experiencing the opposite situation, with young people claiming the majority. The contrast between oldest and youngest populations can be stark: … Read more

Favela Girls Pirouette Out of Poverty in Brazil

FORTALEZA, Brazil — Bom Jardim, home to some 200,000 people, is one of the poorest and most violent neighborhoods in this city. Located at the southwestern tip of the metropolis, with long streets laid in a grid, the signs of poverty appear everywhere: cracked cement or none at all, half-built houses and other makeshift architecture … Read more

Malnutrition, a Problem the World Over

A new report on global nutrition levels has found that malnutrition affects every country in the world except two, and that countries are facing more complex, overlapping forms of malnutrition that require more attention. The two exceptional countries, China and South Korea, made the data cutoff rates for levels of anemia, obesity and stunting — … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

Mumbai Mobile Crèches Build Hope for the Future of Migrant Children

Decades of activism to free oppressed children in India earned Kailash Satyarthi the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, which he shared with Malala Yousafzai, the young education advocate from Pakistan. Satyarthi’s advocacy also brought to international attention the work that Indian nongovernment organizations carry out to change the lives of millions of Indian youth denied childhoods … Read more

Where Ecuador Stands on Assange and on a ‘Good Life’

Ricardo Patino

Ecuador’s foreign minister says his country will indefinitely host the WikiLeaks co-founder, Julian Assange, at its embassy in London if that is what it takes to spare him from an eventual extradition to the United States. In a wide-ranging interview with PassBlue during the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly in late September … Read more

What Good Can a Film Do?

ISTANBUL — In 2013, Daniela Kon founded the Social Impact Media Awards to give a boost to a certain kind of documentary film. Documentaries don’t usually make a lot of money. Except for a few lucky theatrical or television releases each year that manage to do more than break even, most documentary films are largely … Read more

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