It is time to raise the scales of preventive and punitive measures for sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers. An unequivocal message needs to be sent to every member state and troop contributing countries that only personnel who see the protection of human rights as their mission will continue to serve as UN peacekeepers.
At issue is a little-known UN committee that accredits non-governmental groups (NGOs) to participate in some meetings and conferences, including the Human Rights Council in Geneva. For the past four years it has deferred six times an application from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Since Portals launched in December 2014, more than 6,000 people have carried on 20-minute one-on-one conversations with strangers abroad. We expected the encounters to be neat, exciting, cool. But they were much more than that. Participants came out giddy, weeping, feeling as though they passed through some unique moment in time and space.
United States policy in Syria insists that President Bashar al-Assad must go. But if the U.S. succeeds and the Assad government is scattered to the wind it raises the question: Who will defend the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria from the Islamic State, the al-Nusra Front, and all the other heavily armed homicidal maniacs that already control nearly half the country?
A massive human rights tragedy is unfolding in Yemen. Thousands of Yemini civilians have already been killed and millions of Yemini civilians are in imminent risk of starvation as a consequence of the war being waged by the Saudi-led coalition against that country and its life-sustaining infrastructure. CNN recently described the extent of this crisis.