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Justice and accountability for war related sexual violence in Sri Lanka

As the testimonies of survivors of sexual violence in Sri Lanka’s long war enter the public domain and the government designs transitional justice mechanisms, is an end to impunity in sight?

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Tamil war survivors listen to the UN, 2013. Photo: Eranga Jayawardena/ Press Association. All rights reserved

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oD 50.50 Editorial highlights 2015

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We feel that we found our self after we lost it in the war

My home Syria is a beautiful place, but war took it from us. As refugees in Amman, rehearsing and performing Euripides’ The Trojan Women gave us a way to explain our new lives, and what we have lost. 

Disembodying honour and exposing the politics behind it

The reaction to the public stripping of a Coptic grandmother in Upper Egypt reminds us of the power of popular campaigns to shame those who use embodied concepts of honour politically.

Whitewashing Sharia councils in the UK?

In an Open Letter to Theresa May, hundreds of women’s human rights organisations and campaigners warn against a further slide towards privatised justice and parallel legal systems.

Theresa May and the love police

In Theresa May’s “One Nation” we are all border guards. Her vision of the Big Society will make us all shrink.

From the border to the harbour: the Greek tragedy goes on

The inaction of many EU countries in resettling refugees is creating many problems for the Greeks. It's also causing a lot of problems for the refugees, if one is allowed to mention them. 

Mourning the dead while violating the living

The EU’s feigned compassion for the deaths of migrants at sea only serves to hide the perpetuation of the lethal policies that have led to them in the first place. 

Islamist terrorism: chilling echoes of Pastor Niemoller

The Islamists have us all in their sights. We are all targets. Being Muslim is not enough. Are you the right kind of Muslim in the eyes of the Islamists?

Unravelling the 2016 Global Slavery Index. Part two

The Global Slavery Index sets out to determine slavery prevalence in every country and to assess the quality of government responses. What lies behind apparent complicity of silence that surrounds the Index? Part two. Part one.

Unravelling the 2016 Global Slavery Index. Part one

The Global Slavery Index seeks to mobilize action against human exploitation by quantifying the scale of the problem and the quality of current responses. How well has this been done? Part one. Part two.

Piece of Silk: "When story-telling is a matter of life and death"

The play, Piece of Silk, is a powerful study of the experiences of women survivors of domestic abuse - an experience that knows no ethnic, national or class boundaries. 

Myth-busting in defense of grassroots women crisis responders

False claims that deny the impact of grassroots women's crisis responses are diverting much needed resources away from the very people making the best use of them.

India's new camel legislation: protection or relegation?

Threatened by trade bans and industrialization, the Raika's ancient pastoralist culture in Rajasthan is seeking a lifeline in camel milk as it struggles to survive. 

The next UN Secretary-General: administrator, figurehead, or leader?

Public interviews for the job of the next UN Secretary-General are continuing in New York. Female candidates are speaking of leadership, while male candidates speak more of administration and management.

Rojava revolution: how deep is the change?

Is optimism in the future of revolutionary change misplaced in a region torn apart by war and a society where patriarchy has been so entrenched?  Part 6 of Witnessing the Rojava revolution.

What if? Security consequences of Brexit and Trident renewal

If David Cameron survives the result of the EU referendum, he may try to rush Parliament into a vote on Trident renewal in July. What is at stake for Britain's security?

Trident or the EU: which is better for peace and security?

Mutual security and deterrence with fewer risks has been a conscious, crucial, and underestimated role of the EU.  A Brexit vote would put this at risk and make Britain less secure.

Ending HIV: UN slogans vs the voices of civil society

Last week’s UN meeting exposed the deep divide about whether HIV responses should commit to respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights rather than blaming those who are most affected.

City Plaza: a way forward for the European ‘migration crisis’?

A novel migration and refugee accommodation project in Athens organised by refugee, student, and solidarity activists is offering crucial assistance where governments and international agencies are not.

For domestic abuse survivors, Kosovo’s justice system can be fatal

Proponents of family values preach respect for mothers, but expect those same mothers to simply endure abuse within their homes in silence - normalizing violence for generations to come.

Ending HIV: ideology vs evidence at the UN

This week’s negotiations over the UN’s Political Declaration Ending AIDS are rife with circular debates, and sex, gender and sexuality are flashpoints of polarization. 

Hotspot stories from Europe's border

A response to testimony from an unaccompanied minor whose long journey culminated in a perilous boat journey, the author discusses Europe’s failure to address the rights of those it renders precarious.

Lampedusa: red letter days

'The journey to make my life easier has actually been the most difficult experience I have ever faced in my life'. An unaccompanied minor recounts his journey to safety in Europe.

Transnational marriage abandonment: A new form of violence against women?

Transnational marriage abandonment lies at the intersect of immigration and patriarchal control, allowing abusers and states to enjoy impunity for violations committed against women in transnational spaces.

Spain, seriously?

As elections in Spain loom for the second time since October, the slogan of the caretaker government of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) “España en serio”  gets more surreal every day.

Women beedi rollers and necrocapitalism in Sri Lanka

Women in one village in the Jaffna district of northern Sri Lanka have been rolling beedi with their bare hands for over fifty years in a gendered survival economy. This is no accident.

Choosing the next UN Secretary-General: real change ahead?

For the first time in the UN’s history, the global public is having the chance to hear about the individual agendas and the visions of all the nominees for next UN Secretary-General.

Idomeni: a devil’s game

The most important and most asked question in Idomeni is, what is the West waiting for? Your agreement with Turkey does not handle our cause. The Europeans are using us to scare other refugees away.

Georgian migrant mothers: never to return home?

Older women migrants are locked into perpetual domestic work in New York, endlessly deferring retirement and returning home because their adult children in Georgia depend on their remittances.

Rojava revolution: on the hoof

Rojava is a fast moving, dynamic place where things change by the minute. What are the material conditions which support this woman-centred revolution ? Part 5 of 50.50's series  Witnessing the revolution in Rojava, northern Syria.

The Fast Track is dead

The systematic detention of asylum seekers in the UK has reached the end of the track.  The Home Office needs to let go, and invest the savings in a fast, high quality asylum process.  

The back way to Europe: Gambia’s forgotten refugees

The distinction between a refugee and other irregular migrants coming from the Gambia is hard to maintain in a country where a lack of democracy is accompanied by failures of economic and political governance. 

From colonials to corporates: maternal mortality in Assam’s tea gardens

For the women employed in the tea gardens of Assam, pregnancy is a life-threatening ordeal. An interactive exhibition records the struggle of Adivasi mothers across the decades for better conditions.  

The Palestinian Museum: imperilled objects and unsafe ideas

Palestine’s first National Museum opens today in the West Bank - a “cultural mothership” drawing together pieces from a scattered and censored Palestinian history.

Poland: a total ban on abortion?

With unprecedented political momentum for a total ban on abortion in Poland, thousands are marching in protest and the Prime Minister is receiving coat hangers in the post.

 

China's "leftover women" and the left-out system

Can a skin brand “change your destiny” in a socially empowering way? A video titled ‘Marriage Market Takeover’ seems to have done a good job, but not without an underlying agenda. 

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