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Pope Francis’s support for same-sex civil unions, extracted from a 2019 interview and recently broadcast, has reverberated around the world. Not surprisingly, it is the only snippet from “Francesco”, a wide-ranging documentary on his life,…
Pope Francis attends a inter-religious ceremony for peace in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, in Rome, October 20, 2020.
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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“The jihadists are the law now,” an elder from central Mali told me. “The very day the French-supported operation finished, the Islamists were back in the villages,” confided another villager last week, referring to a military operation near the…
French soldiers from Operation Barkhane stand outside their armored personnel carrier during a sandstorm in Inat, Mali, May 26, 2016.
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On November 2, the Chilean Senate adopted a resolution urging the Bachelet administration to support the Vatican’s efforts to mediate the Venezuelan crisis, and to seek a special OAS session to evaluate Venezuela's compliance with the Inter-American…
Aerial view of St. Peter's square in the Vatican.
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Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
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He sat quietly drinking tea on a December morning in a village in central Mali. But Amadou, a local chief from the Segou region whose name I have changed for his protection, was worried. “I know of 10 young men who’ve joined…
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Correa Cracks Down on Environmental Activism

During his visit to Ecuador last month, Pope Francis delivered a speech on environmental stewardship and urged the administration of President Rafael Correa to “open spaces for dialogue” on how to manage the country’s resources. The 4,000-square-mile…
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Why Catholics must condemn anti-gay violence

The recent assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family has brought renewed attention to Catholic approaches to gay and lesbian persons. During the synod, church leaders discussed pastoral and theological perspectives regarding the place of homosexual…
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Many multinational companies now ban children from working in their operations, but child labor is still a central issue for them. In the globalized economy, products have long and complex supply chains, often reaching down to a multitude of small, local…
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I went to Vatican City recently to talk to officials there about Pope Francis’ views on homosexuality. In that famous interview in July, Pope Francis answered a question about how he would deal with gay priests: “Who am I to judge”? We sent him a letter…
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I am not Catholic. I am not a believer. And yet, as a South African, I am aware of the positive and negative roles the Catholic Church can play. It was outspoken against apartheid, and its liberation theology (controversial within the church) inspired a…
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“I thought I was dead,” Adam K. said, describing a mining accident the previous year, when he was 16 years-old. Adam, who started mining at age 12, was digging a horizontal mining shaft, deep in the ground.  The tunnel collapsed in front of him,…
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As the world awaits a possible military intervention in Syria, few are paying attention to the last one, in Mali. This African country has turned a significant corner, swearing in a newly elected president. The question now is whether the government can…
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It has been more than three months since jihadists waged an offensive south towards Sévaré and Mopti. France and Mali, supported by battalions from West Africa, immediately pushed back. I went to Mali to make an initial assessment of this war with regards…
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The New International Convention on the Highly Toxic Metal Mercury Could, Despite Some Flaws, Be a Huge Step Forward in Protecting the Right to Health This weekend, more than 140 governments agreed on the text for a new legally binding convention on…
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Mercury is present in many areas - such as gold mining, industrial production, coal burning and dental medicine – and therefore needs to be regulated across the globe, insists campaigner Aminata D. is a self-confident, energetic 11-year-old girl who…
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Mercury is an ancient metal rich in history, cloaked with mystery and power. It is liquid at room temperature, with a beautiful silver hue. The metal is used in industrial production, in medical and cosmetic products, and in small-scale gold mining.…