Sunday, 18 May 2014

In Conversation with Sally Armstrong

Filed under: Africa files,children and youth,gender,Human Rights,Media and Conflict,South Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 13:55 PDT

Canadian journalist and human rights activist Sally Armstrong often says that in her 25 years of reporting on women and girls in zones of conflict, she hasn’t had a good-news story to tell.

Indeed, the gender-based discrimination and violence she regularly reports on is horrifying. Girls being denied the right to go to school. Girls and women suffering acid attacks. Girls and women having their genitals mutilated. Girls and women being systematically raped as a weapon of war. Girls and women being murdered in so-called honour killings. Girls and women disappearing.

But Armstrong is telling more good-news stories these days. She says there’s reason to be optimistic: Girls and women all over the world are rallying. Her most recent book, 2013′s The Ascent of Women, tells the stories of the remarkable, courageous and tenacious women worldwide who are fighting for their rights — and emerging victorious.


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Myanmar activists launch anti-‘hate speech’ campaign

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Myanmar,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:58 PDT

BANGKOK – A group of Myanmar activists, including former political prisoners, are launching a campaign on Friday to tackle the ‘hate speech’ against Muslims that has engulfed social media and spread into Burmese society.

Panzagar, literally “flower speech”, is a movement set up by Nay Phone Latt, a blogger and executive director of Myanmar ICT For Development Organization (MIDO) who spent nearly four years in jail for writing about the monks’ protests in 2007 that ended in a bloody crackdown.


Jerusalem, April 6th: Marking 25 years of Rabbis for Human Rights | Live online

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Media and Conflict,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:37 PDT
Sunday, 6 April 2014

LIVE event!
Sunday April 6 (6 Nissan)
7pm, Jerusalem Botanical Garden Auditorium

For those who cannot make the event in person, you can watch the event LIVE with English subtitles. On April 6, the footage will feed directly onto the linked page. No need for registration.

Also see the Facebook “event” page.

The event is at 7 pm in Israel, this corresponds to the following times globally:

Pacific Daylight Time (LA, San Fran, Vancouver)- 9am
Central Daylight Time (Chicago, Minneapolis)-11am
Eastern Daylight Time (NYC, Boston,Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal)- 12pm, noon
British Summer Time (London)-5pm/17:00
Central European Summer Time (Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Johannesburg)- 6pm/18:00
Eastern European Time (Cairo, Istanbul)-6pm/18:00
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Melbourne, Sydney)- 3am, APRIL 7th
WATCH: 25 Years of Rabbis for Human Rights


Friday, 4 April 2014

Honduras: Liberating a Prison

Filed under: Art of Peacework,children and youth,Film, video, audio,Latin America & Caribbean — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:42 PDT

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Friday, 14 March 2014

Myanmar: The systematic repression of the Rohingya minority continues | by Maung Zarni

“What can we do, brother? There are too many. We can’t kill them all.”

He said it matter-of-factly—a former brigadier and diplomat from my native country, Myanmar, about Rohingya Muslims.

We were in the spacious ambassadorial office at Myanmar Embassy in an ASEAN country when this “brotherly” conversation took place. I am familiar with Myanmar’s racist nationalist narrative. I have also worked with the country’s military intelligence services in pushing for the gradual re-engagement between the West and our country, then an international pariah. Apparently, knowledge of my background made the soldier feel so at ease that he could make such a hateful call in a friendly conversation on official premises in total candor: Islamophobia normalized in the highest ranks of the bureaucracy and military in Myanmar.


Saturday, 22 February 2014

Will Cambodia see a ‘spring’?

Filed under: Cambodia,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:30 PDT

The past seven months in Cambodia can only be described as a roller-coaster ride… Cambodian citizens have repeatedly taken to the streets and public squares to demand reform…

Demands for change are now coming from all corners of society: victims of land grabs, who have been fighting a losing battle to protect their homes; garment-factory workers, who want a living wage; farmers, who remain mired in poverty; and civil society groups, which have been frustrated at a lack of real progress on the myriad of issues they work on. The increasing dissatisfaction and expressions for change since Rainsy’s return in early July have led many Cambodians to ask, will our country see a “spring” like the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East?


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Where is the public outrage on Syria?

Filed under: Human Rights,Humanitarian work,International Law: War,Media and Conflict,Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:38 PDT

Visiting Damascus last week I saw for myself how local and international relief workers are engaged in heroic, dangerous and often life-saving work in Syria. However, the successful evacuation of civilians from some neighbourhoods of Homs will not end the continued provocation against basic human decency that is happening on our watch. Of Syria’s many besieged civilians, 99% are not in Homs. The conflict in Syria has put back the clock on humanitarian progress by decades, and if the UN security council cannot agree on a basic resolution on humanitarian access then the future is even bleaker.


Monday, 3 February 2014

USA | Esta Soler: How we turned the tide on domestic violence

Filed under: gender,Human Rights,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:50 PDT

When Esta Soler lobbied for a bill outlawing domestic violence in 1984, one politician called it the “Take the Fun Out of Marriage Act.” “If only I had Twitter then,” she mused. This sweeping, optimistic talk charts 30 years of tactics and technologies — from the Polaroid camera to social media — that led to a 64% drop in domestic violence in the U.S.

In 1994, Esta Soler convinced Congress to pass a law to combat the devastating effects of violence against women.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

New video pressures Redskins to change name before Super Bowl

Filed under: Film, video, audio,Indigenous Peoples,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:54 PDT

Just days before Super Bowl XXLVII, the National Congress of American Indians in the United States has released a video? denouncing the term ‘redskin.’

It’s part of an ongoing campaign urging the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change the team’s name.

The video titled Proud To Be highlights the strengths and positive attributes of indigenous peoples, as well as features prominent aboriginal people throughout history.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Despite conflicts, the bells ring on in Bethlehem

Filed under: Art of Peacework,Human Rights,International Law: War,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:32 PDT

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — A Palestinian college student is one of the last keepers of a fading tradition: ringing the bells of Bethlehem.

Twice a week, Khadir Jaraiseh climbs to the roof of the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born. He pulls the ropes of four bells in a rooftop tower a total of 33 times, the number of years Jesus was believed to have lived…

His rooftop perch offers a view of old stone houses and cobblestone alleys in the center of Bethlehem.

On Sunday, patches of snow were left on rooftops, remnants of a rare storm that hit earlier this month. Much of the church was covered in scaffolding, as part of urgent repairs of a leaking roof — the first facelift in 600 years. Below, Manger Square was filled with tour groups, including visitors from India and Africa.

But the postcard-like vista is disrupted by Israel’s West Bank separation barrier in the background.


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Canada: The whistleblower

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:37 PDT

Last December, Edgar Schmidt, the general counsel in the Legislative Services Branch of the federal Department of Justice, personally served the Office of the Attorney-General with a statement of claim, alleging that his own ministry had acted unlawfully by failing to properly review the constitutionality of draft legislation.

The next day, Schmidt’s immediate superior, Philippe Hallée, advised him by phone that he was suspended without pay for filing the action. Later, he sent Schmidt an email adding that he was denied access to his office.

The soft-spoken lawyer is now embroiled in a court case that not only goes to the heart of the federal legislative process, but also raises issues about the ethical duties of government lawyers and the tension between whistleblowing legislation and rules of professional conduct. The matter is expected to go to trial in the next six months.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Snowfall unites Jerusalemites of diverse faiths

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 22:44 PDT

Aglow in an incandescent white sheen, the Old City became perhaps the most unlikely and historic playground in the world on Thursday, uniting Arab and Jewish children and adults of all streams with a shared sense of awe and adventure.


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Liverpool, UK: Call for Papers – Conference ‘Arts, Peace and Conflict’, 2- 4 July 2014, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies

Filed under: Art of Peacework — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:11 PDT

 The Annual Conference on ‘Arts, Peace and Conflict’of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War andPeace Studies will be held on 2nd – 4th July, 2014.  This conference aims to examine the role of the artsin relation to conflict and peace from theoreticaland practical perspectives.

 Authors are invited to submit abstracts by Tuesday7th January 2014.

For more details, please visit


Friday, 27 September 2013

On reconciliation, memory and justice in Cambodia: Interview with Youk Chhang

Filed under: Cambodia,Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Religion and peacebuilding,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:40 PDT

Named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2007 by Time magazine, Youk Chhang turned the misfortune and suffering of his childhood under the Khmer Rouge into a documentation centre detailing genocide under the Pol Pot regime which took around 2 million lives.

The Documentation Centre of Cambodia houses over 500,000 documents and 6,000 photographs, making it the largest archive of its kind. According to Chhang, it was an important source of evidence contributing to the establishment of the Cambodia Tribunal in 1997.

During his brief visit to Bangkok, Prachatai talked to Youk Chhang, Director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia and a genocide survivor about reconciliation, forgiveness and the future of Cambodia.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Antoinette Tuff: Meet the Woman Who Prevented a Mass School Shooting Yesterday

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:50 PDT

In Tuesday’s terrifying incident in which a man carrying a rifle and other weapons entered an Atlanta elementary school, Antoinette Tuff helped convince the gunman to surrender.

Fortunately, Tuesday’s gunman incident at an elementary school near Atlanta ended with no injuries or deaths. This is mainly thanks to Antoinette Tuff, a school clerk who spent about an hour calmly persuading the gunman to put his rifle down and surrender. Tuff feared the worst when she encountered the gunman carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons in her school office. She told reporters, “I saw a young man ready to kill anybody that he could.”


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Michael Grunwald and the Assange Precedent Problem | Amy Davidson, New Yorker

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:02 PDT

On Saturday night, Michael Grunwald, a Time correspondent, deleted a tweet that he said was “dumb”; a spokesperson for the magazine noted in an e-mailed statement that it had been on Grunwald’s “personal twitter account” and “is in no way representative of Time’s views,” and called it “offensive”: “he regrets having tweeted it.” Those responses are apt. This is what Grunwald said:

I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.

People say reckless things on Twitter, as Grunwald’s defenders pointed out and as some of his more extreme critics, who posted that they couldn’t wait to write a similar defense regarding the drone strike that hit him and other gruesome things, demonstrated. If dumbness were the only issue we’d be done. But this one deserves being talked about a bit more, less because Grunwald still seems a bit oblivious as to what was wrong with what he said (though there’s that) than because it encapsulated something hazardous about the current moment, for journalists, for anyone who cares about civil liberties, and for the political culture more generally.


TIME Journalist Defends Murdering Julian Assange | by Kevin Jon Heller, Opinio Juris

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:37 PDT


It’s been quite a month for the mainstream media. First, at, Elias Groll completely misstated the mens rea of the Espionage Act and refused to correct his mistake… Then, at the Guardian, Owen Bowcott misrepresented the specific-direction requirement, eliding the distinction between aiding and abetting and ordering/instigating.

But that pales in comparison to a new tweet from Michael Grunwald, Time‘s Senior National Correspondent:


Yes, Time‘s Senior National Correspondent can barely contain his enthusiasm for murdering Julian Assange. And let’s be clear: that is what Grunwald is so excited about. We can debate the legality of drone strikes. We can have a rational argument about whether the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki was consistent with IHL and/or IHRL. But there is no conceivable rationale for killing Julian Assange.



Friday, 16 August 2013

40 maps that explain the world: Where people are the most and least welcoming to foreigners (and more)

Watch a video of the author discussing these maps and what they say

Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. So when we saw a post sweeping the Web titled “are original to this blog (see our full maps coverage here), with others from a variety of sources.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

How to Negotiate Like North Korea

Filed under: Art of Peacework,Dispute resolution and negotiation,Film, video, audio,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:56 PDT

North Korea’s leaders have been threatening the world with nuclear strikes and war for decades now, to the point that the international community has branded the small country as the Boy who Cried Wolf. In fact, world leaders are probably resistant to making peace talks effort with North Korea’s new leader Kim-Jong Un. While Kim-Jong Un’s international relations efforts might seem borderline delusional, in truth he is just partaking in negotiations tactics well-known and understood in North Korea… more

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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Social Media Drives Youth Involvement in Cambodia’s National Elections | Faine Greenwood

Filed under: Cambodia,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:21 PDT

Cambodia’s June 28 national elections ushered in the dawn of a new age of electoral politics in the small, southeast Asian country. A hotly contested election saw unprecedented political engagement coming from the country’s youth – those under 25 years old. And in an indirect way, Mark Zuckerberg and friends are responsible.

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