Topic: human rights

Doing better on defending civic space

In a new Carnegie Endowment paper, “Defending Civic Space: Is The International Community Stuck?”, Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers take stock of and argue for bolstering transnational efforts to push back against the global trend of closing space for civil society. During the past five years, the international aid community has woken up to the […]

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Four female activists tell us what they need from their international allies

As part of Power Shifts, I have started highlighting more grounded perspectives from activists, doers and thinkers around the world that speak to the question of ‘being a feminist in difficult places’. As a mini-series of sorts, I am hoping this conversation highlights how feminism, as well as backlashes against it – although diverse in both […]

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When democracies die, they die quietly… but what’s the role of Civil Society?

Save the Children’s José Manuel Roche has a book he wants you to read. So, it turns out that nowadays democracy seldom dies through violent coup d’état. More commonly (and insidiously), democracy slides gradually into authoritarianism.  By the same token, democracy survives when democratic leaders fight for it.  This is part of the main thesis […]

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‘Being a feminist in difficult places’: Balkan Feminism

Lately, I’ve enjoyed learning about the development and status of women’s rights movements and the feminist agenda in the Balkan countries, which in many ways sit uncomfortably within geopolitical and developmental binaries like Global South/Global North, developed/developing. Here is a compilation of some stand-out contributions from four of the most prominent women’s rights activists in the Balkans.

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‘This Shit is Killing Me’: Dalit rights and Mumbai’s sewers

I thought I’d enliven the summer by posting some of the top blog posts from this year’s students in my LSE class on ‘Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots activism‘. Their individual assignment was to design a campaign strategy for a cause close to their hearts, and write a blog about it. First up, Monica Moses on […]

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Supporting Feminist and Queer Activists Under Growing Threat Worldwide

This post first appeared on the Urgent Action Fund Africa site, under a Creative Commons License. Within women human rights activist circles, the recent rape and murder of Viktoria Marinova, journalist covering EU corruption, is all too familiar to circumstances surrounding the killing of Brazil’s Marielle Franco. And similar yet to the murder of Berta Caceres, a well-known environmental […]

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On Africa’s feminist frontlines, we need accessible care practices to sustain our movements

Jessica Horn is a feminist activist, writer and technical advisor on women’s rights. She is a co-founder of the African Feminist Forum and currently works as Director of Programmes for the African Women’s Development Fund.  Feminism is having its global moment – that heady feeling when a movement’s revolutionary demands are being heard by the […]

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Meet the artist changing gut reactions to the Philippines ‘war on drugs’

Jay Ramirez writes about Carlo Gabuco’s visceral, intimate and poignant depictions of Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines. Some brilliant insights on the power of art that bring the concept of human rights “down to the gut.” In an art fair in Manila in March last year, one installation caught everybody’s eye. A blue […]

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Maps in Court: how the Waorani are upholding their rights in Ecuador

Aliya Ryan is an anthropologist working with Digital Democracy on their Ecuador programme to support the Waorani and Siekopai territory mapping projects.  Last month the Waorani hit the headlines due to a landmark win against the Ecuadorian Government. Sixteen Waorani communities contested the supposed consultation that the government carried out in 2012 before putting millions […]

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Decolonising government through Indigenous ‘love-bombing’: a Tasmanian example

Dr Emma Lee is a trawlwulwuy woman from tebrakunna country, north-east Tasmania. She is a Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, and an Honorary Member of the ICCA Consortium. To be an Indigenous person is to be a recipient of other peoples’ idea of what ‘development’ should look like.  I am a trawlwulwuy […]

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The journey of making mental health a development priority

For years, we’ve seen first-hand that mental health support and services globally are too sporadic, poorly funded and insufficient to meet the enormous demand for them. Dr. Dixon Chibanda and Elisha London talk about the work behind making mental health a development priority.

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Vikalp Sangam: a search for alternatives in India…and globally

Pallav Das and Ashish Kothari explain the need for alternative visions to the dominant model of economic development in India, and beyond. Pallav and Ashish are two of the founders of Kalpavriksh, a 40-year Indian NGO focusing on environment and development issues. Contemporary India is going through a perplexingly critical time in its economic development, as it seems that […]

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