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International Olympic Committee Should Help Secure Peng Shuai’s Safety

“We have taken a very human and person-centred approach to her situation,” the International Olympics Committee (IOC) said in a December 2 statement, revealing it had held a second closed call with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. Meanwhile, Peng has…
Two men speak to each other while seated
News

Needs of Marginalized Groups Should Inform Government Response

Canada’s western province of British Columbia is once again reeling from devastation linked to climate change. Following this summer’s deadly heat and rampant wildfires, record rainfall this month has triggered massive flooding, displacing more than…
A woman and children in boat leaving behind car with floodwaters up to the roof in the background.
News

Need to Protect Communities’ Rights in Importing Countries

Last week, the European Commission proposed new rules governing waste shipments from EU countries. The regulation could be good news for communities around the world impacted by European plastic waste exports. Currently, many EU governments ship…
A pile of garbage and waste next to a road
News

Russia Should End Discrimination Against Women in Custody Cases and Beyond

This week, the European Court on Human Rights ruled that Luisa Tapayeva, a Chechen woman, should be reunited with her four daughters who were taken from her after their father died. Under local customs, children are “owned” by the father and his…
A picture from an animation by Justice Initiative Project on the custom of taking children away from mothers in Chechnya and Ingushetia.
News

Call for Visionary Leadership at COP26 to Face Climate Emergency

Brianna Fruean, a 23-year-old Samoan activist, put it simply when addressing world leaders at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26): “We are not drowning; we are fighting.” The youth climate movement is present and vocal in Glasgow, both…
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, demonstrates with others in front of the Standard and Chartered Bank during a climate protest in London, England, October 29, 2021
News

Activists at COP26 Side Event Demand Recognition

“Disabled people won’t survive climate change if it isn’t in the plan for us to do so. And you can’t plan without us.” These were the words of Gabrielle Peters, a disabled policy analyst from Canada, during a side event at the United Nations…
Exterior of the COP26 Climate conference, showing the event banner.
News

Recent Digital Sex Crimes Underscore Urgent Need for National Plan

Last week, authorities arrested an elementary school principal in South Korea who had installed a spy camera inside a bathroom used by the school’s female staff members. In October, authorities arrested a group of men who had bribed a motel worker…
A group of women sit holding protest signs that read "My Life Is Not Your Porn"
News

Governments Should Recognize Militaries as Greenhouse Gas Emitters

The armies, navies, and air forces of the world are significant greenhouse gas emitters and contribute to the climate crisis taking a growing toll on the lives, health, and livelihoods of people globally. With all eyes on Glasgow this week as world…
Soldiers in military tanks
News

Such Restrictions Violate Women’s Rights, Can Facilitate Abuse

On November 3 a court in Gaza will consider the request of Afaf al-Najar, a 19-year-old woman, to lift a travel ban imposed by her father. She told Human Rights Watch that on September 21, Palestinian border officials at the Rafah Crossing between…
Women hold signs during a protest against the decision by Gaza's Supreme Judicial Council banning women from movement in and out of the Gaza Strip without the permission of her "guardian," in Gaza City, February 16, 2021. 
News

Closing Secondary Schools to Girls Causing Lasting Harm

“I want to go to school and become an independent woman who chooses and decides for her life,” 16-year-old Nasiba told me. “If I am educated, men wouldn’t dare to interfere but if I am not, they will decide my whole life for me.” She lives in Kabul…
Women demonstrate for their rights during a gathering for National Teachers Day in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 5, 2021.
News

Rights Should be at Center of COP26 Climate Deliberations

As world leaders gather in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) this week, the stakes could not be higher. From burning forests to sweltering cities, parched farmlands to storm-battered coasts, the climate crisis is taking a…
A forest fire rages in Santo Antonio do Matupi, southern Amazonas state, Brazil, August 27, 2019.
News

Just Four Out of 109 Judges Have Been Female

What’s 76 years old, and 3.7 percent female? Sounds like a joke, right? But it’s not funny at all, especially when it refers to a global judicial body. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial arm of the United Nations, has…
Judges are pictured during the second day of hearings in the case brought by Gambia against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, December 11, 2019.
News

Investigate Fikile Ntshangase’s Murder and Hold Killers Responsible

One year ago Fikile Ntshangase, an environmental activist from South Africa, was gunned down in her home in Somkhele in KwaZulu-Natal province, after raising concerns about a coal mine in the area. No arrests have been made. Today, members of her…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
News

Yegorov Protested Moscow’s Trash Pouring into His Community

Yesterday, a court in the city of Kolomna, Russia sentenced Viacheslav Yegorov to 15 months in prison for repeatedly taking part in peaceful protests in 2018 against the “import” of trash from Moscow. It is ironic that this sentence came less than a…
Vyacheslav Yegorov at Kolomna court, 2021
News

Governments at COP26 Should Follow Suit

Less than three weeks ahead of the global COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow, two key United Nations human rights bodies in Geneva have taken action to strengthen the human rights framework around the climate crisis. The decisions are a clear…
Dry climate and wildfires create a residual layer of thick pollutants that cover the city of São Paulo, Brazil on September 17, 2020.
News

Governments Should Prioritize Addressing Global Environmental Crisis

When the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke to the UN Human Rights Council at the beginning of its current session, three weeks ago, she told governments: “Addressing the world's triple environmental crisis is a…
A woman walks through a flooded street during heavy rains in Mumbai, India on June 12, 2021.
News

Legislators Need to Ensure Access to Safe, Legal Abortion Care for All

I had an abortion in the US state of Illinois as a young woman. I had support from friends and family, and I was able to access timely, compassionate care from a clinic 20 minutes from my home. I was treated with dignity and respect. It was the kind…
 People rally downtown for the Second Annual Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
News

New Guidelines Raise Alarms for Reproductive Rights

The State Council, China’s cabinet, in its “Chinese Women’s Development Guidelines” for 2021-2030, announced today, identified “reducing non-medically necessary abortions” as a step toward women’s development. It’s unclear what specific policies…
A promotion for China's defunct one-child policy remains on the outer wall of a government office in Bobai, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, August 26, 2021.
News

For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Over 1,300 Climate Marches Planned Around the Globe

On Friday, September 24, young climate activists from around the world will be marching once again to call on governments to cut carbon emissions and tackle the climate crisis. Millions marched in 2019, but this will be the first time since the start…
Youth Climate March