Syria’s refugees: a global responsibility

Unless the Syrian refugee emergency is treated as a truly global responsibility, we cannot expect hard-pressed countries in the region to maintain the generosity they have demonstrated since the crisis erupted.  

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Syrian family displaced to Qaa in Lebanon.

Syria’s refugees: a global responsibility

Unless the Syrian refugee emergency is treated as a truly global responsibility, we cannot expect hard-pressed countries in the region to maintain the generosity they have demonstrated since the crisis erupted.  

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Syrian family displaced to Qaa in Lebanon.

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A once in a lifetime chance to protect the world's girls

Every day, we see more headlines documenting the severe rights abuses girls suffer. The primary cause of death for girls age 15-19 is now suicide. As UN leaders open the debate on the next frontier of global development, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to protect the human rights of girls.

Climate and Indigenous Peoples: the real dispute at the UN

With both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit underway at the UN, far more important than official declarations will be who is allowed to speak and to be heard. Whose voice matters in this clash of worldviews.

The UN should not let Sudan get away with murder

When the UN Human Rights Council meets this week to discuss the human rights situation in Sudan, will member states condemn the targeted attacks on civilians and mass forced displacement caused by Sudanese forces? Or will they keep sending a strong signal that Sudan can, and will, continue to get away with murder?

"What can a woman do?" Gender norms in a Nigerian university

Are universities necessarily transformative spaces for women students? Research at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, raises critical questions around how conservative gender norms are replicated by young students, in particular in the burgeoning culture of religious student organisations.

A fresh look: towards an Israel-Palestine two-state solution

A two-state solution is still possible in Israel and Palestine, but it will take a more aggressive strategy - one that focuses on the religious-nationalist right on both sides, and on concrete steps towards nation-building in Palestine.

Detained at the UK border: mould, cat calls and barbed wire

Key statutory instruments governing the use of detention do not apply to holding rooms at ports or short term holding facilities. Some 7,000 vulnerable individuals are held each year for up to 7 days in appalling conditions without proper regulation.  

A crisis of harm in immigration detention

A young Guinean woman has become the sixth victim in three years of ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ in UK immigration detention, with the High Court ruling that detention explicitly caused the disintegration of her mental health.

Compromise with political Islam is impossible

On the 20th anniversary of the fundamentalist assassination of Algerian educator Salah Chouaki, Karima Bennoune translates his warning - so relevant today - about the need to be uncompromising in the battle against the very ideology that motivated his murder.

Foreign national prisoners: the fear of being forgotten

Too often for foreign national prisoners in Britain, the completion of a prison sentence is followed by a period of limbo behind a new set of bars while the state works out what to do next. Labelled 'undeserving', they are largely invisible.

Scotland either way: challenging 'patriarchy in a skirt'

Feminist grassroots activism has raised the voices of women during the Scottish referendum campaign, and to some extent forced both campaigns and the media to engage with their demands. The question now is whether this engagement can be harnessed to advance gender equality under either outcome.

Oscar Pistorius: shooting to kill

Can a white man be morally absolved if it is decided that he meant to shoot an ‘imaginary black intruder’ rather than his girlfriend? Ché Ramsden explores the dark depths of colonial and apartheid consciousness and its intersection with patriarchy in the Pistorius trial. 

From 1990s Algeria to Iraq today: trampling Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad

What is the ideology motivating alleged “warriors of God” to “trample Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad”?  Algerian anthropologist Mahfoud Bennoune explored this question in 1994, offering an analysis of the political beliefs motivating “throat-slitting emirs” still much-needed today.

From 1990s Algeria to 9/11 and ISIS: understanding the history of "Homo islamicus fundamentalensis"

Today’s brutal jihadists like “Islamic State” follow in the footsteps of fundamentalists who have afflicted Muslim majority societies since the 12th century. Algerian anthropologist Mahfoud Bennoune revisited that history in order to strategize against jihadists - a task which remains essential.

25 years: women working against fundamentalism in the UK

In 1989 women of many faiths and none formed a collective in London to work at the interface of feminism and anti-racism, in struggles against both religious fundamentalism and the excesses of neo-liberalism. They told Deniz Kandiyoti the story of Women against Fundamentalism.

"We will not be beaten"

It's twenty years since the US Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act which right-wing conservatives targeted as subversive, but which helped ignite a global movement against all kinds of violence against women and girls.

Migrant lives in the UK: the deprivation of liberty

Detention is often seen as a difficult issue and one best avoided, even among those who make it their business to talk about immigration. To mark the first Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention, we are opening a new series which will explore migrant lives out of sight. 

Immigration detention: time for a time limit

The countdown to the UK general election is on, and with a collective push we could yet make change for those still languishing in immigration detention centres on our shores.

Our duty to the stranger: Remembering Helen Bamber

Although Helen Bamber has been celebrated as an ‘iconic’ human rights defender, the most fitting way to honour her is to redirect our attention to the marginalised and silenced people to whom she devoted her life. We don’t have to look hard to find them.

The death of Abelhak Goradia: a worrying silence in France

The recent death of an Algerian national at the hands of the police during deportation should provoke public indignation. It demands explanation, says Nath Gbikpi.

No laughing matter: Women and the new populism in Turkey

Stirring up moral anxieties over women's conduct and propriety is key to a populist discourse that pits a virtuous “us”- the people- against an immoral “them”. But despite its potential for authoritarian control of gender relations, this new populism holds many attractions for women.

Beyond armistice: women searching for an enduring peace

Women peace activists meeting in Zurich in 1919 understood the capitalist system of profit and privilege as a root cause of war. Women said it then, and say it now, as they tackle the perennial question facing all peace-seekers: what policies can assure a peace that will endure?

Still stateless, still suffering: It’s time for European leaders to take action

Life without a nationality means life in limbo. Statelessness is a man-made phenomenon which afflicts millions across the globe. It demands international attention.

Facing up to bitter truths: Rotherham child sex exploitation cases

The scale and severity of the child sex exploitation crimes in Rotherham warrants a constructive response which is more concerned with truth than evading blame, and with empathy rather than insularity, says Tehmina Kazi

Is Islamic State a cover for government policy in the Maldives?

Journalists, independent social media activists, human rights defenders and opposition politicians in the Maldives are being continually harassed and threatened. A look at what lies behind these attacks explores whether extremism is being fuelled by the Maldivian Government for political gain.

The truth behind the "Turkish model"

Contrary to received wisdom, the “Turkish model” was not based on the entrepreneurial potential of emerging conservative businessmen of Anatolia nurtured by market reforms and the Islamic outlook of the government, but on a regulatory framework changed to allow arbitrary government intervention in support of politically privileged entrepreneurs.

The power of stories: raising the profile of African women’s cultural production

"I’m concerned about the fact that we download a lot about ourselves yet upload very little into mainstream media, no matter which media we are talking about”, Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, Nigerian filmmaker and writer, speaks to Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah about her passion for all forms of creativity.

Palestinian refugees: homes in exile

In Palestinian refugee camps, the right of return now encompasses, and stands for, a wider universal demand for freedom, dignity and rights - including the right to go back or to stay, and to move across borders.

Litigating for equality in South Africa: Muslim marriages

While South Africa’s legal provisions around equality are some of the best in the world, do they adequately protect women in Muslim marriages? Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker reflects on the case law and feminist legal activism.

Prostitution and drug misuse: breaking the vicious circle

The double stigma faced by women who use drugs and are involved in prostitution, means that they are a largely hidden group in the UK. New research argues that for those who wish to rebuild their lives, policy and services must address these issues together.

Diagnosed in the dock? Gun control and mental health in Canada

Canada's tendency to frame its national conversations in comparison to the US evades its own problems, including inadequate mental health care.

Religious minority women of Iraq: time to speak up

While the annihilation of religious minorities in Iraq is being systematically enacted, we cannot ignore how the intersection of religious affiliation, gender and geographic location are influencing both the nature of violence perpetrated and its outcomes. Feminists cannot remain silent on the atrocities perpetrated on minority women’s bodies in Iraq.

Loans, university, and Britain's debt-laden teenagers

Current funding of higher education in Britain places an unfair burden on the young. It cannot be right that teenagers celebrating their A-Level triumphs this week face a debt-burdened future and poorer health in order to protect the pensions of those who enjoyed a free education. 

Preventing HIV: the decriminalisation of sex work

A new bill, together with moves by some police departments in American cities to end the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution, has given hope to activists fighting to reduce the spread of HIV, secure human rights for sex workers, and to decriminalize sex work.

Guerilla woolfare: against the madness of mutually assured destruction

Rolling out a seven mile knitted pink peace scarf between the Atomic Weapons Establishment complexes at Aldermaston and Burghfield on Nagasaki Day may sound crazy. It isn't as insane as letting the UK government spend another £100 billion on building a new nuclear weapons system to replace Trident.

One year on from the 'Go Home vans' flop: has the Home Office learned anything?

The UK government seems immune to criticism of its hostile approach to immigration, but the decision to return home for any migrant is not a simple one. Rather than obscuring evidence, the government must be transparent about what really constitutes a solution.

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