WORLDVIEWS

Men Can Experience Sexual Violence in War Too

The United Nations Security Council recognized that men and boys are targets of sexual violence both in wartime and in post-conflict settings. Resolution 2467, approved on April 23, calls upon UN member countries to strengthen policies to provide help for victims. As a human-rights lawyer, during the last nine months, I have been documenting cases of conflict-related sexual … Read more

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

With Trump’s Human-Rights Policies, Religious ‘Values’ Take Priority

Cubans waiting to be served food during the country's annual celebration of its revolution.

For almost three centuries, through street protests, court battles and a civil war, the United States has sporadically but steadily advanced and expanded human-rights protections and commitments in domestic and foreign policies. Now Donald Trump and the most conservative, ideologically driven officials on his team want to turn back this record in fundamental ways, as … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Reform Eludes the Human Rights Council as Bolton Returns to the Scene

The 2018 winter session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was marked more by what didn’t happen than what did. There was still no official announcement in Geneva from the Trump administration about whether the United States would leave the Council or even seek re-election in 2019, when its current term expires. There was also … Read more

 

TAKE A LOOK

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

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

Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people with … 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

The US Tightens Rules on NGOs in Global Health, Hurting Poor Women

While trying to make the case that the United States remains committed to global health programs, the Trump administration has issued orders to nongovernmental organizations and others working in women’s health that could cripple some of their international operations by demanding contractual compliance with US anti-abortion policies. The new rules have been written under the … Read more

Take a Look: New Research and Data Online for Fact-Checking

In the arcane language of diplomacy, a special section is reserved for navigating linguistic traps in negotiating peace agreements. One of many examples is the 1995 Oslo II interim agreement with Israel on the future of the West Bank and Gaza, which nearly broke down over the translation of one small Arabic word, ra’is. Was Yasser … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Suriname Should Do the Right Thing on LGBT Rights at the UN

Suriname’s government is on the right track at home when it comes to protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination and violence. In 2015, the government introduced antidiscrimination legislation, including sexual orientation on grounds for nondiscrimination complaints. The government also understands that it needs to protect the rights of same-sex couples living in … Read more

Failing Public Schools Spur Global Boom in Private Education

Chinese Children

While governments bask in data showing that the development goal of universal access to primary education has largely been achieved, attention is turning to what that really means in the classroom. Educators and human-rights advocates question whether acceptable standards are being met in many schools, as evidence mounts of the proliferation of private education in … 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

Advocates for Besieged Children Say Collaboration Is Essential

Grim images from the small world of children are multiplying. Little bodies adrift in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Uncomprehending faces pressed against wire fences and barricades in Europe from the Balkans to the French port of Calais. At least 17 Syrian children and their pediatrician slaughtered by a bomb apparently targeting a hospital in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Smear Campaign Against UN Rights Expert in Yemen, Another Bad Move

SANAA, Yemen — I carry out human-rights work in the age of social media, but the hashtag #AbuAlzulofLostHumanitarianEthics is one of the most disturbing I’ve seen in a long time. It’s one more wrong move that has turned the hope for a new day in Yemen into a humanitarian and human-rights disaster. Documents leaked to … Read more

As Women’s Rights Gain Broadly in Africa, the Global Picture Looks More Mixed

Hailing from various corners of the world, five activists gathered in New York recently to assess the progress of women’s rights globally — presenting a mixed picture of gains in Africa but threats to women’s rights through new programs countering violent extremism — just as the world celebrated International Women’s Day. The five women, representing … Read more

 

BOOKS

The UN Security Council, Functioning Amid Disasters

There is no easy way to describe a book about the United Nations that is nearly 1,000 pages long, with dozens of authors, all experts in their fields. “The UN Security Council in the 21st Century” is that book, a collection of situation reports, analyses and prophesies published as the 70th anniversary year of the UN ended … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Keeping LGBT Rights Active on the UN Agenda

Several major breakthroughs in the promotion of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have occurred through United Nations mechanisms. From the worldwide multimedia Free & Equal campaign to LGBT-related resolutions and reports in the Human Rights Council to the public support of such figures as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and … Read more

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

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. In … Read more

Despite Peace Talks, Colombians Are Still Terrified of the FARC

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 Australia … Read more

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