In a world rife with war, religious, racial, gender, sectarian, and political strife, when so many children lack safety, enough food, shelter, health care, and education and suffer unthinkable losses of parents to disease, violence, and war, I hope this New Year will bring adults closer to our common sense and moral responsibility for children's well being.
In a season focused on gratitude, 17-year-old Monica Chica has an attitude about choosing to be grateful that's wise far beyond her years: "The most important lesson I learned is that being happy is not about having with you what you loved in the past, but learning to love what you have in the present."
This week the world commemorates the killings, 25 years ago, of six Jesuit priests (five of them from Spain), the clerics' housekeeper and her teen-age daughter. All were killed on the grounds of Central American University, a Jesuit institution in the capital of San Salvador. In El Salvador, the memory of those events has never died.
President Obama may have "delayed" his promise for major immigration reform to accommodate the politics of the Nov. 4 midterm elections, but there remains an opportunity for massive improvement to the immigration "court" system. The reason that such measures can gain consensus support is the same reason that "court" must be in quotation marks.
Scratch beneath the surface of apparent peace in El Salvador and you will find a hidden war being waged. A war that does not involve guns or troops but one that has still resulted in the unnecessary deaths and disability of thousands and the incarceration of others. A war being waged against women and girls.
This year, the UN Human Rights Office set up a photo booth near the entrance to the iconic General Assembly Hall. Visitors were invited to stop by and have their photo taken while holding up a sign affirming their support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world.
The media spotlight has all but moved on from the recently white-hot humanitarian crisis on the Southern U.S. border involving upwards of 60,000 child refugees from Central America. Sadly, the region has faded from the headlines, but the conditions on the ground that force families from their homes persist.