Topic: human rights

The New Global Inequality Debate: “A Symbol of Our Struggle against Reality”?

Guest post from Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s Vice President for Policy and Campaigns  This blog will make more sense if you watch at least a few seconds of this Monty Python skit first.   Monty Python haunts me.  Too close to the bone if you work in a rights-based organization.   When I got into development work […]

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A new consensus on universal health coverage, the threat posed by health insurance schemes and some bizarre conference dancing

Oxfam health policy adviser Ceri Averill ponders the new consensus on Universal Health Coverage and the potential threat posed by health insurance schemes It has got to be one of the more memorable and surreal ends to a conference I’ve ever seen. After four days of serious policy discussions about health financing and universal health […]

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What’s the link between human rights and cooking, cleaning and caring and why does it matter?

Thalia Kidder, Oxfam’s Senior Adviser on Women’s Economic Rights, welcomes a new UN report that links unpaid care work, poverty, inequality and women’s rights People working on violations of human rights often find it a stretch to put housework, childcare and fetching water and fuelwood alongside evictions from ancestral lands, rape or unjustly emprisoning and […]

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This will make your day. Especially if you are a humanitarian with fantasies of being the subject of a rock anthem.

I really should be writing something more intelligent, but this video has destroyed any hope of that. Jan Egeland, a Norwegian Labour party politician, was the United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator from 2003-2006. He is currently Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council. But most importantly, he is the subject of this […]

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The Act of Killing: the most astonishing, disturbing, original film I’ve seen in years

We interrupt this blog to urge you to go and see an extraordinary film about Indonesia’s aging executioners. Here’s an extract from an NPR review, the wikipedia synopsis and the trailer, which gives a sense of its unique combination of the ‘banality of evil‘ of the old men, and the surreal quality of their reenaction. […]

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Some good news (and lots of guidance) on tackling Violence Against Women

I’m just finalising the first draft of a paper on how states have empowered excluded groups of people (more on that to follow). It’s pretty wide-ranging, as you can imagine, but one of the most striking areas of my reading was on Violence Against Women – a critical barrier to empowerment in far too many […]

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Has the Arab Spring Failed? Not yet, reckons the Economist – Highlights from its excellent Special Report

By blog-reader standards, the Economist’s Special Reports can be pretty long (15 pages in this case), but they are sharply written and stuffed full with great stats. As long as they steer clear of economic policy, they are also not as ideology-laden as some of the magazine’s other content. So if you can spare half an […]

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Some Monday Morning Inspiration: Malala Yousafzai at the UN

Moving and astonishingly confident speech at the UN last week by Malala Yousafzai on the UN-declared ‘Malala Day‘ (12 July – her birthday). Think we’ll be hearing a lot more from her – a future president? Here’s the film my sister-in-law Mary Matheson made for Plan International to celebrate Malala’s birthday (which got shown at the […]

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Women’s Leadership Groups in Pakistan – some good news and inspiration

I normally try and keep Oxfam trumpet-blowing to a minimum on this blog, but am happy to make an exception for this piece from Jacky Repila (right) on a new report on our Raising Her Voice programme in Pakistan, a country that ranks 134th out of 135 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index (only […]

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A great film on girls’ rights wins an international prize (and my sister in law made it)

Time for a spot of well-deserved nepotism. My sister in law, Mary Matheson, makes films for Plan International and yesterday won a prize at the Annecy International Animation Festival 2013. Chosen from more than 2000 entries, her animation “I’ll Take It From Here”, shot in Malawi last summer for Plan’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ […]

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Why building ‘resilience’ matters, and needs to confront injustice and inequality

Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Policy Adviser (right), introduces ‘No Accident’, Oxfam’s new paper on resilience and inequality Asking 50 Oxfam staff what they think of resilience will get 50 different responses. These will range all the way from the Sceptics (“just the latest buzzword, keep your head down and it’ll go away”), to the Deniers (“really […]

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Will horror and over a thousand dead be a watershed moment for Bangladesh?

A huge and chaotic conversation over how to respond to the appalling Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh (where the death toll has now passed an unprecedented 1100) is producing some important initial results, in the form of the international ‘Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh’, launched this week. I got a glimpse of […]

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