Mario Joseph is Haiti's most influential and respected human rights attorney. Since 1996, he has led the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port-au-Prince, which uses prominent human rights cases and a victim-centered approach in the interest of the poor majority.
For millions of indigenous villagers and pastoralists it means forced relocation, loss of livelihoods, and a death blow to their ancient cultures. Ethiopia is a sad example of the worst of these outcomes.
Today, on World Water Day, I'm asking you to join me in raising awareness and help to break the poverty cycle for women and children whose days are otherwise filled by collecting dirty water, not going to school or successfully earning an income.
Afghan women and girls have achieved significant social and economic gains over the last decade. These achievements must be protected as foreign troops begin to withdraw and political negotiations seek to end the war.
The pursuits of foreign firms -- making governance decisions about rebuilding, paving the way for other firms, racking up humanitarian clout -- have been at the expense of Haitians still struggling for basic needs and democratic power.
I go to India at least once a year to see the progress of the work our foundation is doing there and I'm always struck by two things -- the dynamism of the place, and the tremendous need. Unfortunately, the former doesn't cancel the latter out.
In 2010, the United States spent 20 percent of its budget on Defense and Security, as opposed to less than 1 percent on non-security related international assistance. This 1 percent is less than half of the foreign aid budget of the 1980s, and even less of earlier decades. What's the deal?
In a new year in which the candidates will rehash arguments about American exceptionalism, it is worth paying attention to a little known aspect of American foreign policy that breaks the mold in many ways.
If there's one message I try to get across everywhere I go, it's this: Through innovation and generosity, the world has made amazing progress in improving the lives of its poorest people over the past 50 years.
A shadow financial system consisting of tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions and anonymous corporate vehicles makes it easy for corrupt dictators, terrorists, drug traffickers and tax evaders to quietly shepherd their funds out of the developing world and around the planet without notice.
It makes sense, and not just because it would save over $40 billion -- the Department's annual budget. That big building in Foggy Bottom near all the monuments can be turned into a Motel 6, making it a moneymaker rather than a revenue eater.
Despite real economic pressures and many competing priorities, across the world, governments, private companies, foundations, doctors, and individual volunteers worked to create a world where opportunity and hope are not crippled by poor health.
As America prepares for the holiday season, I hope that Congress will give a gift of life, health and hope by helping people around the world with something that most Americans take for granted: safe drinking water.