Religion as a human rights liability

To protect the rights of minority groups, we must work to keep religion separate from human rights. A contribution from Pakistan to the openGlobalRights debate, “Religion and Human Rights”. Español, اُردُو‎ العربية

Islami Jamiat Talba organizes a protest in Karachi on US support to Pakistani homosexuals and transgenders.A rally on International Women's Day in Hyderabad. Demotix/Rajput Yasir. All rights reserved.

This week's guest editors

Polite people with guns

For 20 years Russians saw Ukraine as a parody of Russia, because 'Ukraine isn't Russia.' Now, our neighbours are suddenly our enemies; and nobody is laughing. How did we get here?

Why are they protesting in Rome?

April 12 saw violence break out in the capital of Italy as protesters responded to new reforms proposed by current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi that would create significant reductions to public sector spending.

North African diversities: Algeria in flux

Algeria’s circles of power and their relationship to a complex society and history are hard to grasp. Francis Ghilès describes his own route to understanding the country in the post-independence era, when the heavy legacy of the past mixed with the confident idealism of the present.

“We are all brothers in the end”. Three conflicts, three generations; Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian refugees in Jordan

Madaba is a large town in central Jordan and host to many of its neighbours' refugees. There has been some tension between Syrian refugees, Palestinians and Jordanians. But what is the current situation between the new Syrian arrivals and the local people?

Hawaii and Crimea

In 1898, Hawaii was officially annexed to the US illegally under a joint resolution of Congress, with the US using the excuse of ‘military necessity’ in the advent of the Spanish-American War.

Affirmative action: friend or foe?

Affirmative action refers to policies and legislative measures that take into consideration factors such as gender, religion, race or colour, and that tend to correct certain social imbalances by promoting an underrepresented group using different tools.

The selective awareness of Wisdom 2.0

Take an ancient practice, remove it from its context, strip away its ethical imperatives and sell it for a profit. Is the goal of the corporate mindfulness movement to comfort the already comfortable? 

Counting the cost of conflict

Casualty recording has redefined efforts to protect civilians in conflict, and provide aid and accountability to victims of violence. But with an absence of political will to respond to conflict, what good are the numbers? 

US position over Iran’s ambassador generates confrontation with UN

If the UN does not act to reject this precedent, it will contribute to an international erosion of faith in its own integrity and independence -precisely the kind of behaviour which the carefully crafted ‘headquarters agreement’ was designed to prevent.

From Skouries to Athens, the struggle of Greek women against austerity

As Greece’s protracted crisis disappears from the international headlines, violence against women is both exacerbated by and mirrors the structural violence of austerity. The resistance of Greek women takes place on several fronts.

Religion as a human rights liability

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2800:]]Although many human rights movements have religious underpinnings, explicitly linking religion to human rights can lead to the exclusion and persecution of minority groups. To protect the rights of those minorities, we must work to keep religion separate from human rights. A contribution from Pakistan to the openGlobalRights debate, “Religion and Human Rights”. Español, اُردُو‎ العربية

Human rights abuse in Burma and the role of Buddhist nationalism

Myanmar is taking significant strides towards political and economic liberalization after decades of military dictatorship, yet a series of violent attacks against Muslims is shaking confidence in the country. Surprisingly, Buddhist monks support much of the violence, notes Wai Yan Phone. ภาษาไทย,

Keeping alive the spirit of Greenham Common

As Britain commemorates the First World War a writer seeks out and listens to some of the women who created Britain's most compelling peace movement.

The many legislatures under Westminster's wing

There are around 18 legislatures responsible to Westminster, spread across the world and with a whole plethora of constitutional arrangements.

Book review: A Quiet Word

This book shines a bright light on the murky dealings surrounding politics, PR, big business and journalism, but the real issue it uncovers may not be lobbying but rather the dire state of our democracy.

Sexual violence on the margins of Delhi

While debates on sexual violence in India focus on the city, the experiences of women expunged to the city's fraught, anonymous margins are all too often excluded. Content warning: this article contains description of rape and sexual violence.

Free event: After the Party? The future of and beyond the mass party

In collaboration with OurKingdom, the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life at Birkbeck are hosting a free debate on April 24 about the future of mass party politics - is radical reform needed, or will we move beyond parties completely?

Let's forget about EU reforms

Those who bet their political career on EU reforms are likely to return from Brussels with little to show to their voters. It is time to embark on a more realistic European agenda.

Left behind: the rural youth in Afghanistan’s election

Despite the success of Afghanistan’s transparent, peaceful election, engagement with rural populations remained low. Failure to address the growing disaffection resulting from the urban-rural gap threatens the country's fragile progress. 

Boko Haram: time for an alternative approach

Military responses to Boko Haram have proved ineffective, as the latest atrocity in Nigeria highlights. An alternative focused on good governance, policing and socio-economic development, supported by the international community, would be much more likely to succeed.